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VIDEO FEATURE: Heck Debates Malcolm on Porn & Santorum 

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE PETER HECK RADIO SHOW
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Tuesday, May 31 2011

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

 

If at first you don't destroy the entire economy, try, try again.  Such appears to be the lesson Nobel laureate Paul Krugman is trying to teach the Obama administration when it comes to their idiotic and destructive policies.  

 

 

Check out his recent column.  Faced with the failure of the stimulus and the excessive government spending, Krugman is at a loss.  The best he can offer is.to spend more.  In an incredible demonstration of just how clueless and hopelessly lost the left is when it comes to ideas, Krugman actually goes back to the failed strategies of FDR's New Deal in the 1930s to try to find something to use.

The core of our economic problem is, instead, the debt ? mainly mortgage debt ? that households ran up during the bubble years of the last decade. Now that the bubble has burst, that debt is acting as a persistent drag on the economy, preventing any real recovery in employment. And once you realize that the overhang of private debt is the problem, you realize that there are a number of things that could be done about it.

 

For example, we could have W.P.A.-type programs putting the unemployed to work doing useful things like repairing roads ? which would also, by raising incomes, make it easier for households to pay down debt.

That's it.  That's the best they've got.  Just get the unemployed, put them out on roads and have them fix them.  We can then pay them from the government's money.  Shoot, Paul, why don't we put some to work digging ditches and some others to work filling those ditches back in?  If we want to go back to the 1930s boondoggles, we might as well go all the way.

 

Hopefully this stupidity does not need to be exposed, but just in case: where does the government get the money to pay these road workers?  From tax dollars generated from the private sector.  Does this Krugman/FDR plan do anything to grow that private sector?  No.

 

So as the private sector continues to shrink, the government will struggle to take in more funds to spend.  That includes funds to pay road workers, Paul.  This isn't a solution.  It is a demonstration of the futility of Keynesian economics - the religion of Obama, Krugman and the left.

 

When FDR initiated this plan in 1935, unemployment was right at 20%.  Three years later, in 1938, unemployment was at 19%.  Not to mention that it cost an incredible amount of money to fund.  Does anyone think we have an incredible amount of money to start spending right now?

 

 

For decades, the left has been rewriting textbooks and ingraining an anti-capitalist, pro-socialist message in the minds of America's youth.  We are about to see how successful they have been by whether our country accepts as a solution what history totally proves as an utter and colossal failure.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 31 2011

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

 

One of the things I've always said about polls and studies that rank American presidents in order of their "greatness" is that they are so subjective that the rankings actually tell us far more about those doing the ranking than they do about the presidents.

 

A recent study on such studies seems to validate that position:

Call it history's conservative curse.

 

According to a University of Miami study, those historical rankings of American presidents that pop up every year or so are significantly weighted in favor of Democrats, thanks to the liberal leanings of academia.

 

Political science professor Joseph E. Uscinski, one of the study's authors, said the new analysis shows that the overwhelmingly liberal academic community consistently ranks Republican presidents about 10 spots lower than the public would.

 

"I don't think anyone is surprised," Mr. Uscinski told The Washington Times. "Among the political scientists and historians that I work with, Democrats outnumber Republicans 8 to 1."

 

What was eye-opening, he said, was the stark difference between the historians' assessments of Republicans and the grades given by the public.

 

"On average, all the Republicans get the short end of the stick," he said. "But the one it impacts the most is [Ronald] Reagan. It's often difficult for people to fathom why he's ranked as low as he is."

So just how low is Ronald Reagan ranked by these geniuses that are teaching young American minds?  You won't believe it.  Actually maybe you will.  But even I was stunned at a few of the names that were ranked above the Gipper.

In the C-SPAN rankings - the focus of much of the University of Miami analysis - Reagan in 2009 broke into the Top Ten, behind Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Jefferson, Dwight Eisenhower and Woodrow Wilson.

 

But on other surveys, the late conservative icon falls much lower. A 2010 Siena College poll has Reagan at No. 18, behind Bill Clinton, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Barack Obama.

Good grief.  If these scholars want to make a mockery of themselves and their own objectivity, by all means, I say have at it.  But the downside to this kind of nonsense is that it eventually becomes ingrained in people's minds.  While such polls may have a hard time convincing Americans who lived through the Reagan and Obama years that the latter was stronger than the former, they can convince Americans that Coolidge or Polk were failures.  Such conclusions are just as ludicrous as suggesting Obama or LBJ or JFK were "greater" than Reagan.  But less people know that to be the case.

 

In the end, it's fine to say that these polls are meaningless, and it's accurate to say that they reveal more about those being polled than those they are ranking.  But the real issue is that what these college profs are voting in the polls is too often what they are flagrantly teaching in their classrooms.  That is the real damage that's being done.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 31 2011

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

 

We broadcast from a union-friendly town.  There are, consequently, several folks in our listening audience who are members of local labor unions, and who have been told repeatedly by the union bosses that the Democrat Party has their backs.

 

Obviously this is done because the Democrat Party favors and pursues policies that benefit union bosses.  But do they favor the average worker?  You tell me.

 

As the Democrats continue moving leftward, embracing and advocating the socialistic principles of Barack Obama, and boldly defended by spokesmen like Michael Moore, it's a worthwhile exercise for these workers to catch a glimpse of the goal line.  As they pour dues money into these politicians, what are they working towards?

 

Appearing on MSNBC, Michael Moore made that very clear:

MICHAEL MOORE: The auto thing is a good example too of where I wish Obama would just, if he would just ratchet it up another notch. Yes, he saved the jobs of all my friends back in Michigan.  But now that we sort of control the car companies, let's get them doing mass transit.  Let's get them doing things that are going to save this planet.  Because the internal combustion engine is not going to get us to the 22nd century. That's just not going--we're not going to have a planet. That has to stop.  And I just thought: gee, we have this power. You know, you can do things.

So there you go.  As American auto workers continue funding Democrat campaigns, they are helping advance a movement whose ultimate objective is to kill the internal combustion engine (cars), and replace it with mass transit.  It's like roaches for Raid.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 31 2011

In a recent letter to the editor ("Return to ?external' in right vs. wrong), James Davis begins:

We may not associate the failure of ethics in today's society with the rise in secularism. (Think Enron, Tyco, Madoff, the economic collapse.) However, there may be unintended consequences in rejecting traditional religious beliefs. A faith system that is wholly dependent on human opinion and science may aim to achieve "the greater good," but it is built on a foundation of shifting sand.

Mr. Davis provides some very good thoughts about the consequences of rejecting the biblical principles that informed the major movements of Europe and America toward modern civilization. As noted, the drum beat of "greater good" pounded by those who seek to undermine natural law results in significant unintended consequences.

 

 

The left love berating business for jettisoning ethics, but decry any attempt to introduce firmly established morality into the classroom. They have driven it into the young heads of mush for so long now that more and more ethical principles can be turned into moral relativity - that right and wrong are simply matters of individual perspective and choice - that any attempt to prick a conscience with a notion of right and wrong becomes lost. "What is sinful to you may not be sinful for me." So, like all cultures that lose their moral compass, the consequences of sin beget disasters for us all.

 

I appreciate Mr. Davis's reference to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's, Jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." King is one of those great men whose firm belief in the Christian faith is twisted by moral relativists into something it was not. Clearly, Dr. King believed that Christianity belonged at the forefront of public discussion - even to the point of being integrated into public policy. As Dr. King quoted from Thomas Aquinas:

"An unjust law is a human law not rooted in eternal or natural law."

If we would continue to remember that for our own time, we would experience far fewer unintended consequences.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 30 2011

On Friday, President Obama visited the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial in Poland. He laid a wreath there and met with Jewish leaders and citizens.

 

There should have been a protest.


 

This is the same President Obama who gave a speech telling Israel that they should consider the pre-1967 borders as the starting point for peace negotiations with Palestinian terrorists. (OK, he did not say "Palestinian terrorists," but Palestinian terrorists have been the recipient of Western diplomacy for decades).

 

Now he shows up in Poland, site of some the worst Jewish persecution by Nazis in the world, and pontificates how we must ensure that this never happens again?

 

There should have been a protest.

 

The 44th president of the United States gives little to no indication that he is interested in our alliance with Israel.

 

Why wasn't there a protest?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 30 2011

A sad irony of the legacy of human history is that we so rarely have peace unless it is forced upon us. Many a human civilization has tried to live peacefully without an umbrella of vigilance and military protection because they would not or could not provide it. All too often, the unfortunate consequence is that such civilizations become the target of predatory regimes that have no interest in peace, mercy, or justice.


Thus it is that America maintains Armed Forces and calls upon them to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Memorial Day is our opportunity to pay respect and honor to those who have gone before us in service to our nation. Whether in war or in peace, America has lost too early sons and daughters who have sacrificed themselves for the benefit of others.

While our tribute through prayers, parades, memorial services, and other ceremonies is proper and fitting, we can also honor our military personnel, both living and dead, by remembering that freedom, liberty, and peace are secured only through vigilance, hard work, sacrifice, and plain ol' "guts."

Carl LaVo, author of The Galloping Ghost, records:

CDR Gene Fluckey was among the first generation of World War II submarine commanding officers to abandon certain conservative battle tactics employed by those preceding them. Upon the return from an extremely successful first patrol as commanding officer of the USS Barb, CDR Fluckey was summoned to a visit with President Roosevelt in July 1944. After briefly discussing his patrol with the President, CDR Fluckey was told, "Battle reports like yours let me sleep, confident that peace is inevitable."

Let us honor this Memorial Day, and every day, those who sacrifice to make "peace inevitable."

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 29 2011

As you know Governor Mitch Daniels disappointed many Hoosier voters when He announced Sunday that he would not seek the Republican nomination in 2012. However, he has won the approval of AFA of Indiana. First, Governor Daniels' reason for not running because of his care and concern for his family having to go through the media wringer is admirable and one we applaud. What husband and father in their right mind would want their family to go through one-tenth of the mistreatment that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin went through for merely being a conservative on the 2008 presidential ticket? Agree or disagree with him, no one can say that Governor Daniels does not have his priorities in order. (With a former California Governor in the headlines for not having his marriage and family as his priority, Governor Daniels' consistent dedication to his wife and daughters seems all the more compelling and admirable.)

Secondly, the response to our web site poll question last week revealed that there are a large number of AFA of Indiana supporters who wanted Mitch Daniels to run for president. Governor Daniels won our online web page poll. With over 640 total votes, Governor Daniels was the winner among nine choices with 30% of those vote. The other top choices were Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Michele Bachman but Governor Daniels still led the rest of the pack by 11 points or more.

It is no secret that I have had some significant policy differences with the Governor on certain social issues. I could rehash those, but I'd rather end this with a slightly different praise for our Governor.  Many of you have heard various speculations, news reports or talk radio recounts of what a Daniels campaign might have looked like given his record, some questionable statements to various groups, or other parts of his public or private life. One thing that deserves comment is the slimy innuendo that the Governor's divorce would have given people, particularly social conservatives, reason to oppose his Presidential candidacy.

The history of Mitch and Cheri Daniels marriage is a reason to admire this family, not mock or smear them.  In a day in which 6 out of 10 new marriages end in divorce and far too many couples call it quits before they should, the divorce and remarriage of Mitch and Cheri is remarkable. I was talking with Maggie Gallagher about this recently and she observed that this was the single most impressive item in the entire Mitch Daniels resume. Gallagher is the author of The Abolition of Marriage and The Case for Marriage, two of the best books on marriage and divorce ever written. The second book, The Case for Marriage, includes a groundbreaking study from the University of Chicago following nearly 2,000 struggling married couples some of whom divorced and others who stuck it out. Five years later they found that for the most part, those who hung in there and worked through their problems were actually happier five years later than most of those who had taken the easy, no-fault divorce exit.

Mitch and Cheri Daniels experienced a divorce and then saw the error of their ways and the dangers their divorce posed to their children, and did something difficult and remarkable. They remarried each other.  By all accounts, today they have a solid, committed, happy and close marriage. They and their children have benefited from this recommitment. Outside of one's faith, nothing matters more than family. Again, we applaud the Governor for placing his family first; not once, but twice.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 29 2011

I had a momentary twinge of excitement when I heard that President Obama was beginning to get serious about border protection. Then I learned that it was Palestinian borders he wanted to defend, not Texas and Arizona. Shucks.


 

Like the rest of the anti-Jewish segments of the world, Mr. Obama seems to believe that Palestinians have a national right to territory they once owned. Quick history lesson, then:

 

The term "Palestinian" originates from the Greek/Latin cognate of "Philistine." Following the Jewish rebellion against Rome in A.D. 66-70, the Romans were so angered that they sought to obliterate recognition of Israel as Jewish land. The official reference became "Palaestina." In spite of the official designation, Palestine was never "owned" or ruled by a Palestinian government. It went from Roman rule to Arab caliphate rule to Crusader rule to Malmuk rule to Ottoman rule to British rule to the Jewish state and consequent Jewish-Palestinian conflict. For all the modern talk of the return of Palestinian land, one has to ask when have they ever had their own land? The formation of the modern Jewish state had its origins with the legally legitimate purchase of territory from the Turkish Ottomans by Zionist organizations well before World War I. The Turks sold Jews literal swampland, and the settling Jews literally drained the swamps. The reality is that it has been Muslims who have kicked Palestinians off the land, not the Jews. Indeed, prior to any conflict, Palestinians were allowed to live alongside the Jewish owners. Over the course of time, Palestinians abandoned their land ahead of planned operations by Arab nation military to eradicate the Jews and "return" the land to the Palestinians. In essence, they volunteered to become refugees.

 

Do Jews have any rights to the land? If we trace the complete history, whether one believes the Biblical testimony of Divine revelation or not, Jews entered the land at one point through invasion. Could it not be said that they displaced the original owners - the Philistines - then? If one wants to make such an argument, fine. Let's be historically honest, then.

 

The Philistines were never original occupants of the land, either. They came from an island in the Mediterranean Sea as invaders themselves. Like the later Vikings, they were coastal raiders who eventually began settling the area after losing some conflicts to the Egyptians. They became one of the tribes the Israelites encountered as they crossed the Jordan River. So the Philistines, aka Palestinians, were no more original to the region than the Hebrews. Since it was the Hebrews, then, who defeated the opposing tribes, established boundaries, and formed a government, then the established protocol of history would have to cede the land to them.

 

The Jews were displaced numerous times since then, but they were always allowed to return and reestablish the land of Israel for some reason.

 

Yet, President Obama, along with other anti-Semites, believes the land belongs to someone else. He proposes a return to "pre-1967" borders for Israel. So be it. How does this look?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 05:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 28 2011

Mark Salvo, WildEarth Guardians:

They require a very specific, very rare habitat type and their range has been reduced by 40 percent. This is a species that warrants listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Mark Salvo of WildEarth Guardians is referring to the 'dunes sagebrush lizard.' They are being used as a reason for environMENTALists to seek to stop oil and natural gas drilling in portions of Texas and New Mexico. A suit is filed in federal court.

These are challenging times...Times where the craziest lunatics in our midst are allowed to destroy the American economy with claims of saving the world. Times where a stupid lizard has preference over the American people. Such is life in the land of left-believe.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:11 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 28 2011

On Sunday night millions of American youth tuned in to watch the Billboard Music Awards. The highlight of the show, according to reviewers, was a video tribute to the singer Beyonce Knowles. You may not know Beyonce from Barbara Streisand, but in one sense you should if you have children or grandchildren. She is an attractive individual who has appeared in several movies, won Grammy awards for her music and sold millions of records. She co-stared in the enjoyable movie The Pink Panther with Steve Martin. My point here is that Beyonce is considered a mainstream musical artist. She is not one like Madona or Lady Gaga who seem to exist to push the envelope and shock people.

We've come a long way in a certain direction since my high school days when the top pop artist like Hall & Oats had a top hit with the benign, "Your Kiss is on My List" and President Reagan's administration had concerns about the Beach Boys playing at the White House.

Before Beyonce sang her new song, "Girls Who Run the World" she was welcomed by a video introduction from her father, artists like Stevie Wonder, and Streisand as well as First Lady Michelle Obama. The First Lady praised Beyonce and described her as, "a powerful role model for girls and young women around the world." Oh Really?

When the video ended with great applause, Beyonce performed her new song. You can see the music video, which was similar to her Billboard performance here.

Remember again, that this is not a song from some gangster rapper.  It is from a mainstream centrist artist.   This is why, after some contemplation, I included a link to the music video for parents, grandparents and church youth leaders to observe.

Here are some of the lyrics of her "song," Girls Who Run the World.

[I guess these inane and obnoxious repetitions are what pass for a song today.  Excuse the lyrics lousy grammar, this was a cut and paste directly from her web site]

Girls, we run this motha (yeah!) GIRLS!??
Who run the world? Girls! Who run this motha?
Girls! x4?Who run the world? Girls! x4??

This "chorus" was repeated with the slang for a two-word obscenity (starting with the word mother) about two dozen times throughout the "song."

[Verse 1] Some of them men think they freak this like we do.
But no they don't. Make your cheques come at they neck.
Disrespect us no they won't. Boy don't even try to take us.
Boy this beat is crazy.
This is how they made me - Houston, Texas baby.
This goes out to all my girls. That's in the club rocking the latest.
Who will buy it for themselves and get more money later?

I think I need a barber. None of these hoes can fade me.

Remember when Don Imus was kicked off the radio for using the word "Ho" which is slang for whore?  And the Rev. Al Sharpton went bonkers over it?

I'm so good with this. I remind you I'm so hood with this.
Boy I'm just playing, come here baby.
Hope you still like me, If you hate me.
My persuasion can build a nation.
Endless power, our love we can devour. You'll do anything for me.

[Chorus] Who run the world? Girls! x4
Who run this motha? Girls! x4
Who run the world? Girls! x4

[Verse 2] It's hot up in here.
DJ don't be scared to run this, run this back.
I'm repping for the girls who taking over the world.
Have me raise a glass for the college grads.
Anyone rolling I'll let you know what time it is.
You can't hold me - I broke my 9 to 5 and copped my cheque.

This goes out to all the women getting it in. Get on your grind.
To the other men that respect what I do.
Please accept my shine. Boy you know you love it.

[Chorus repeat]

Don't ask me to interpret what the heck all that means. I don't know the meaning all the street slang, but it is definitely there.  Sadly, most of our youth know exactly what she's talking about.

My question is this: " Mrs. Obama is this really what you endorse for America's women as a good role model? Would you really let your girls watch, sing or act out Beyonce's videos? What messages to America's youth are being sent by this singer, this song, and video that are so worthy to be embraced nationally from the White House?  Does this endorsement of a role model apply for your daughters too, or just the pollution of the rest of the youth in America?"

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 28 2011

I cannot fathom why, but President Obama gives every appearance of wanting to offend America's longstanding international friends. Early in his presidency, America's Boy Wonder - the fix-it man of international relationships - presented Great Britain Prime Minister Brown with a DVD set that was incompatible with British DVD players and the Queen of England with an iPod loaded with video and photographs of her 2007 visit to America. Classy.

 

But that was a couple of years ago, Mr. Obama was a bit wet-behind-the-ears and has now matured into his role as America's smoothest and most notable diplomat. Right?
 

 

During his state visit to Great Britain in the week before our Memorial Day, President Obama signed the guest book at Westminster Abbey:

It is a great privilege to commemorate our common heritage, and common sacrifice.

Barack Obama, 24 May 2008

Yes, 2008. It's in the book. He should have checked the teleprompter. A real "back to the future" moment.

 

Well, everyone makes mistakes every once in a while, so let's shake it off and move along, shall we?

 

At a state dinner, Mr. Smoothie proceeds to keep talking during the playing of the British national anthem. Granted, the orchestra mistook Mr. Obama's pause during a toast as their cue to begin playing, but zipping his lips after they got going would have been the protocol. However, with his typically acute situational awareness, our president bullies right through his toast. The video tells the tale.

 

No wonder he was not on the royal wedding guest list.
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 28 2011

OK. Mr. Harold Camping needs to stop with his end-of-the-world predictions. He had his shot, and he missed it. Telling us now that he was off by five months is just pathetic.

 

However, there are many who might wish that Mr. Camping's prediction had been true if some other recent predictions unfold as laid out.

 

These predictions concern the American economy and telltale signs of the consequences of recent massive government meddling. Mr. Larry Edelson, a member of the Weiss Research team, points to eight types of inflation that are hitting and will continue hitting our economy hard:

 

 

Credit Inflation

Deficit Inflation

Scarcity Inflation

Profit Inflation

Trade Inflation

Tax Inflation

Cost-Push Inflation

Demand-Pull Inflation

 

Mr. Edelson predicts that these eight forces of inflation plus inflation through dollar devaluation will push inflation "through the roof" by 2016. What does that mean for the pocketbook? In his latest "Real Wealth Report" newsletter, he offers some minimum expectations:

 

Corn - $36 a bushel or as much as $1.50 per ear.

Sugar - More than $2.49 per pound.

Coffee - $15.40 per pound (OK, now he's stopped preaching and gone to meddlin').

Oil - minimum, $185 a barrel; probable, $250; max, $375.

Unleaded gasoline - minimum, $7.00; probable, $9.00; max, $11.00.

 

He offers these caveats: (1) Prices will not go straight up; there will be inevitable pullbacks. (2) Not factored in - an all-out rout in the dollar, a complete collapse in ts value, or natural disasters that could further impact supplies or supply chains.

 

Accurate? Alarmist? Time will tell.

 

As we all know, predictions are...well...unpredictable. But I do not think that Mr. Edelson is trying to be alarmist. Archived editions of his subscriber newsletter indicates that he bases any of his predictions on the analysis of economic forces, and his specific recommendations vary over the years in accordance with the current and predicted economic forces and consequences.

 

The reality is that regardless of how many times we hear U.S. Federal Reserve and Treasury officials tell us that they are able to "fine-tune" our economy and maintain the balancing act between inflation and deflation, not everyone believes it is possible.

 

I don't know about you, but these predicted prices look pretty discouraging to me. At least our promised heavenly banquet won't be priced out of reach.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 27 2011

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

 

A few weeks ago, Liberty Tree blogger and executive director of AFA of Indiana Micah Clark wrote a post about the abortive indiscretions of Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler.  It left many folks with a lot of questions: why would parents ever sign over their 14 year old daughter to a rock star as her legal guardian?  Why would Tyler never face rape and sexual battery charges for his actions?  What ever happened to the girl in question?

 

I've taken in a number of those questions, many of which I couldn't answer.  Until now.  LifeSite News has posted a commentary by Julia, the mother of Steven Tyler's aborted son.  Her story is at once heartbreaking, but also inspiring.  It shows the power Christ can have to change hearts and minds and redeem the most broken among us. 

 

When you have time, read the incredible full story.  In the meantime, here's a sample of Julia's tragic background:

My biological father abandoned my mother while we were toddlers.  He was a charming rogue of a gambler who came and went in our lives, leaving a wake of debt and infidelity.  My mother had been encouraged to get an abortion (illegally) by more than one family member when she found out she was expecting me, (the middle child).  Thankfully she gave birth to me and later to my younger brother, and was a loving mother. When Daddy's gambling debts caused her small teaching salary to be garnished, she filed for a divorce.  Even after the first divorce she had been a good mother, taking us to church, reading us the Bible in the morning before school, singing to us at night, and praying with us for our wandering father.  She was gentle and supportive and I always knew I could go to her for help.  When mother remarried my first stepfather, (who was an alcoholic) things became difficult.

 

A devastating trauma struck our family in the summer of 1971 when I was 13 years old. My younger brother was killed in a car accident on our way home from a camping trip with our grandparents. He was 10 years old. My grandfather was also killed, my grandmother lost a leg, and my sister and I were injured.  The car accident and family trauma triggered a chain of events that led to my mother and first stepfather to divorce.

 

My stepfather was committed to a mental hospital briefly, and mother had an emotional breakdown. My sister and I went to live with my aunt and uncle for some months.

When we returned home to my mother after the divorce, things were not the same. My mother seemed wounded and disillusioned with life.  Without the stability of the family, or the church, we all struggled to recover from my brother's death. She was still working as a teacher but she was living with my second stepfather, though they were not married yet.  He is a man I have grown to love and respect over time, yet in the 1970's, when he was living with my mother, he was a different person than he is today and we disliked each other.

 

My sister and I were left on our own most of the time.  Previously, I had been raised going to church, but after the accident we just never went back. My sister and I became angry and rebellious. My sister left home when she was about 16, and backpacked around the country with her boyfriend. There I was at age 15, my sister gone, and feeling like I was in the way. There was a sense of being an obstacle to my mothers' relationship with this new man.

 

My friendships changed from the kids we knew at church to the kids who hung out at the local Teen Center. Some of them took drugs and drank.

That's simply mind-boggling to me.  It certainly begins to explain how Julia's life went off the tracks.  But that's only the beginning.  Again, read the full story.  As you do, you will see the depths to which she fell - and the incredible redemptive love of Christ that lifted her from the bottom of life's miry pit.  It will make you cry if you let it.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 27 2011

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

 

When it comes to glaring media double standards, this one is hard to beat.  In fact, it is so bad that it almost demands some kind of response from either Time magazine or their now-embarrassed writer, Nancy Gibbs.

 

 

Writing a cover story on the recent revelations of sexual indiscretion by Arnold Schwarzenegger and the IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Gibbs piously sermonized:

[B]oth suggest an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust. And both involve men whose long-standing reputations for behaving badly toward women did not derail their rise to power. Which raises the question: How can it be, in this ostensibly enlightened age, when men and women live and work as peers and are schooled regularly in what conduct is acceptable and what is actionable, that anyone with so little judgment, so little honor, could rise to such heights?

Now, take away those two names and re-read that paragraph.  What prominent political figure of our time could she easily be talking about?  Does the name Bill "I have paid more to defend sexual misconduct and harassment charges than I have in taxes" Clinton ring a bell?  So obviously Nancy would pose the same questions about this prominent Democrat hero if she had been writing at the time, right?  Oh wait!  She was writing at the time!  And she did address Clinton's "betrayal of trust."

 

Marvelously exposing Gibbs' and Time's shameless hypocrisy, Tim Graham reveals that, "Clinton wasn't an arrogant pig, but a miraculous politician who deserved forgiveness."  Writing on February 9, 1998, Gibbs actually penned the following:

Clinton's gritty State of the Union speech reminded voters how well things are going, how much he promised to do for them if they would just give him one more chance. He invited his exhausted audience to take a holiday from Lewinsky and spend a refreshing hour and 12 minutes feeling like a country again. For once the talk on the screen was not of oral sex, but of our lives and fortunes and sacred happiness. He had become all human nature, the best and the worst, standing there naked in a sharp, dark suit, behind the TelePrompTer. That which does not kill him only makes him stronger, and his poll numbers went through the roof. Exactly a week after the sex scandal broke, Clinton achieved the highest approval ratings of his five-year presidency. That may have been a miracle, but it was no accident: Americans are less puritanical and more forgiving than the cartoon version suggests, and this President is never better than in his worst moments.


Wow.  That's about as stark a contrast as one could ask for in proving the shameless double standards of the leftist media.  Gibbs didn't question Clinton's "honor" or his "judgment."  In fact, she was implying that we should question the honor and judgment of those who were questioning Clinton's honor and judgment!

 

Proving liberal media bias is about as simple as it can be.  But every so often there is a jewel that is so patently and absurdly obvious that not even the most rabid liberal can deny it.  Thanks for that, Nancy.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 27 2011

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When we captured an al-Qaeda terrorist training manual on the battlefield a few years back, we found that would-be terrorists were being schooled not just on how to handle a machine gun, inflict massive carnage, and strap suicide belts to themselves.  We found that they were being trained on how to handle imprisonment and confinement by American captors.

 

In essence, they were told to began prating about the denial of their rights, the abuse they were suffering from prison guards, the lack of respect given to their belief system, etc.  If you look at the way they have behaved in our custody, you will see that many of them took the training to heart.  Stop and think about that for a second - the very people who, when given the chance, walk into a grocery store and kill women and children indiscriminately are complaining that they are being denied enough prayer rugs.  Why do they do something so outrageous?  Because they know it will work.

 

 

They know they can rely on the far-left bleeding hearts to kick their self-loathing into high gear and demanding a redress of this vile mistreatment of the lovely terrorists.  Along those lines, check out what unindicted terror co-conspirators, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) have recently sent to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano:

In a letter to Janet Napolitano, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, called for an agency-wide probe to determine if the trainers "offer hostile, stereotypical and grossly inaccurate information about Muslims and Islam" as part of their training procedures.

 

...

 

"The use of these fear-mongers does harm to our national security because it misinforms DHS personnel about Islam and American Muslims," reads the letter. "It also harms the relationship of trust with the Muslim community."

Actually what harms the trust between Americans and the "Muslim community" is the refusal of the Muslim community to reject the shariah-espousing leadership of groups like CAIR.  A group in bed with terror supporters around the globe, espousing a desire to undermine the U.S. Constitution and replace it with Shariah law is not one that should even be operating in the United States, no less issuing demands to our Homeland Security department.

 

So what are the odds of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder actually pointing that out as opposed to taking their request seriously and following through?  Given that Obama is falling all over himself to "reach out" to Muslims everywhere, Eric Holder is too politically correct to even mention the phrase "radical Islam," and Napolitano is busy looking for terrorists at "Support our Troops" rallies, I'm saying not very good.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 27 2011

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I was recently asked by a friend whether I truly believed that there would ever be a day when abortion was illegal in the United States again.  He said, "Microphone is off, no one else is listening, be honest with me."  My answer is unequivocal: yes, that day is coming, and I believe that day is a lot closer than what many might believe.



He seemed really stunned to hear that, and asked why I was so confident.  It's a good and fair question given that we've been wandering in the wilderness of legal child sacrifice for nearly 40 years.  Here's why: for the first time in those 40 years we are actually starting to talk about the only issue that matters...what is conceived in the womb.

 

If it's a living human being, the case for abortion collapses.  Any sound, rational mind (even those that argued for and authored the Roe decision) understands this.  If it's a living human being, justifying abortion is obviously tantamount to justifying murder.  If it's not a living human being, then abortion should not be restricted.  Pro-lifers are finally starting to realize that their strategy can no longer focus on slowly "chipping away" at the monster.  That hasn't worked.  The new strategy aimed at addressing humanity is working:

Sixty-one percent of American adults?including some who describe themselves as "pro-choice"?told Gallup in a survey conducted May 5-8 that abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances.

Obviously that isn't enough.  Obviously this is no time to celebrate.  But obviously this is a positive development - not because the rightness or wrongness of abortion is dependent upon polls, but because it reveals that a growing majority of Americans recognize the wrongness of it.

 

They recognize that despite the messages of abortion on demand sent by pop culture.  They are bombarded with self-centered immorality espoused by people like Chelsea Handler:

In a new interview with the New York Times, the comedian said she is not a fan of television shows like MTV's Teen Mom that depict teenagers have children.

 

"People are too P.C.," she told the Times. "We need to be focusing on other things. We're seeking out such grossness in human behavior and want such mindless entertainment. The Real Housewives of Atlanta and some of these other shows are more racist. Or 16 and Pregnant."

 

Handler told the Times, "Getting rewarded for being pregnant when you're a teenager? Are you serious? I mean, that makes me want to kill somebody."

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe in glamorizing teen pregnancy.  But that wasn't Handler's point.  She doesn't mind the teen sex (she has built her entire career of off sexual immorality, after all).  She just thinks those girls should be getting abortions like she did.

[S]he continued, "I had an abortion when I was 16. Because that's what I should have done. Otherwise I would now have a 20-year-old kid. Anyway, those are things that people shouldn't be dishonest about it."


What ignorance.  What selfishness.  What a role model.  Notice she doesn't say, "I should have shown personal responsibility and not had sex."  No, that's her right, of course.  Just like she sees it as her right to punish the innocent baby for her poor decisions. 

 

That's my point: there's much work to be done in confronting the ignorant selfishness that is bred and celebrated in our culture by people like Handler.  That is done by appealing to people's sensibilities and rational understanding of the inviolable gift of life.  It's done by asking people if they still want to be a nation that subscribes to the Declaration of Independence.  It's done by challenging those espousing the same philosophy of the slave owners to defend their hostility to the inalienable rights of man.


We will win that fight if we're willing to fight it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 26 2011

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Religious discrimination is becoming the order of the day on the left side of the political aisle.  It is amazing how people who prate about the rights of individuals (whether that's the right to kill a child in the womb, the right to healthcare, the right to a high paying job, the right to marry whomever and whatever you want) so brazenly assault and assail the rights of conscience in this country.

 

This has been going on for some time, but the most concerning part is how they are losing all shame for their actions.  Consider a case before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Not that long ago, this would have been the stuff of parodies.  This would have been the kind of story the right would warn was coming, only to be laughed at by those on the left who would have called it silly exaggeration.

 

 

But the kids in Plano, Texas aren't laughing today:

The lawsuit was filed by the families of several elementary-school students in Plano, Texas. The suit states that, although the schools hold birthday and "winter break" parties, no Christmas parties are allowed. Moreover, the schools ban all "references to and symbols of the Christian religion and the celebration of the Christian religious holiday, Christmas," at the winter-break parties. Even "red and green Christmas colors" are banned. And students were explicitly instructed "not to write ?Merry Christmas' on greeting cards sent to United States soldiers [or to retirement homes] because that phrase might be offensive."

 

Apparently the schools never considered that such rigorous censorship might be offensive. Indeed, they went further. Students were allowed to exchange gift bags at the winter-break parties. However, the suit alleges, "students and parents [were] interrogated by school officials . . . as to whether or not the contents of their gift or ?goodie' bags . . . contain any religious viewpoint, religious references or religious message." If they did, the bags were confiscated by school officials.

I struggle to imagine that average liberal Democrats find this to be appropriate or prudent.  It is purely the far left wing that enacts and embraces such rigid suppression of personal religious expression.  The problem comes in that the average liberal Democrats who know this is beyond excessive are either incapable or unwilling to stand up and confront the nuts in their own party that push this.

 

And as a result of their cowardice, this Gestapo like methodology continues unabated.  The stories that come from this school would be funny (seriously, they sound like material for a classic Saturday Night Live sketch) if they weren't so serious:

One student's bags were seized because they contained pencils inscribed with the phrase "Jesus is the Reason for the Season." Another student was banned from giving his friends candy-cane-shaped pens with a laminated card entitled the "Legend of the Candy Cane," which explained the Christian origin of candy canes. Another student, "during noncurriculum times and with no material and substantial disruption to the operations of the school," was giving her friends tickets to a free Christian drama production at her church. Principal Jackie Bomchill ordered the tickets confiscated and destroyed because they "expressed a ?religious' viewpoint."

 

One student's mother asked for a meeting with Bomchill to get prior approval for her daughter to give her friends two pencils at her own birthday party during lunch recess, one inscribed with the word "moon" and the other with the phrase "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so." Instead of engaging in a calm discussion, the principal handed the mother a letter threatening that "law enforcement officials" would be called to arrest her and told her that the Jesus pencils could only be distributed "outside of the school building." However, when the daughter attempted to do just that, outside of the school building, Bomchill grabbed her, took the pencils, and berated her. Bomchill told the mother her daughter would be "kicked out of school" if she made any further attempts to distribute religious items. School officials even called the police, who pulled over the mother on her way home.

 

Since these events, the school district and the principals have only compounded their errors. Rather than acknowledge that they made a mistake, apologize, and change their discriminatory policies, they have spent over a million taxpayer dollars fighting this lawsuit all the way up to the federal appeals court. In fact, they claim that they did nothing wrong and should be granted "qualified immunity" because "the First Amendment does not apply to elementary school students" and the "Constitution does not prohibit viewpoint discrimination against religious speech in elementary schools."

 

In other words, it's not just the Christian religion that is under assault in schools run by these kind of left-wing radicals.  It's basic constitutional principle as well.  No, not every public school is like this.  But ensuring that they become that way is the prime objective of those on the far left. 

 

Christians who sit idly by (whether that's because they are too busy, not convinced it would 'ever happen here,' or because they share a similar political party identity with the folks who perpetrate these actions) are forging their own chains.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 26 2011

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My friend, and fellow Liberty Tree blogger Joel Harris, sent me a link that blew me away.  Take a look at the latest results of an IBOPE/ZOGBY poll on the Republicans presidential candidates:

Herman Cain leads Chris Christie as the top choice of Republican primary voters in the race for the 2012 Presidential nomination. Among all voters, no one in a list of 13 possible GOP candidates leads President Barack Obama. However, less than half of voters (42%) say Obama deserves re-election.

 

 

The results of a new IBOPE Zogby Interactive poll, conducted from May 20-23, show Cain, a businessman and radio talk show host who drew attention at the first party Presidential debate early this month, as the choice of 19% of GOP primary voters. Christie, the New Jersey Governor who led in our four previous polls, is second with 16%, followed by Mitt Romney in third with 11%.

Obviously this is a stand-alone poll, and the results of others show Cain with much less name recognition and notoriety.  Thus, it would be pretty easy to pass this poll off as an anomaly.  But Cain shouldn't.  He should seize upon this result and use it as fodder to continue propelling himself into the national spotlight as a serious contender on the Republican side.

 

If nothing else, it indicates there is interest in a Cain candidacy, and that excites me.  At this point, if I were advising Cain, I would steer him clear from the rabid attack dogs on MSNBC and CNN.  Those that vote in Republican primaries aren't tuned into those channels in large numbers anyway.  Make the talk show rounds, do Fox News interviews, hold large, well planned events in strategic locations, but most of all, prepare, prepare, prepare for the issues debates that can set him apart from a crowded field.

 

I don't mean to suggest that Cain isn't bright or aware of the issues, but just that if there will be any weakness to his candidacy his primary opponents will attempt to exploit, it's that.  His style is outstanding, his convictions undeniable, his passion unquestioned.  Prepare, Mr. Cain...this poll indicates there's great interest in what you have to say.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 26 2011

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The national media is starting to notice the Indiana insurrection against incumbent Republican Senator Richard Lugar.  In fact, many folks are beginning to suggest that this will be the most watched primary race in the nation.  At this point, it appears that the race will be a head-to-head between Lugar and Indiana's popular State Treasurer, Richard Mourdock.

 

For his part, Mourdock has built a reputation of dogged devotion to the rule of law.  Resisting the unconstitutional manner in which the Obama administration conducted the auto bailouts was not something Mourdock did to win friends.  Indeed, shameless politicians like Joe Donnelly (Mourdock's potential foe in the general election) and Evan Bayh demagogued the issue, pandering to a state with several auto workers. 

 

 

Mourdock's position was simple: regardless of whether you favor the bailout or not, it has to be done in a constitutional manner.  For political reasons, the Obama administration violated years of debtor rights, endangering the pensions of Indiana's retired teachers and police officers.  In what is a sometimes rare happy ending in politics, Mourdock's principled decision to stand up for the Constitution paid off for him at the ballot box.  Mourdock was the largest vote getter for any statewide office in 2010 (he actually won more votes in Congressman Donnelly's district than Donnelly did).

 

In other words, Mourdock is known and well-respected in the state, and offers Richard Lugar perhaps his most serious challenge ever.  In light of that reality, National Review Online recently conducted an interview with Mourdock.  The whole thing is worth reading, but here were some of the best parts:

NRO: What happened to Richard Lugar?

 

MOURDOCK: First of all, as I always say, I have great respect for Senator Lugar. Anyone who serves almost 50 years in public life deserves the respect of everyone. But I think, and I hear it often, that Senator Lugar is now perceived here in Indiana as having a worldview rather than a Hoosier view. I think there comes a time ? and I don't care who you are, Democrat, Republican, man, or woman ? that if you spend enough time in Washington, D.C., you become disconnected from your electorate. I certainly think that's happened in this case, and that's one of the reasons we're running as strong as we are.

Mourdock was also asked about whether he was the "Tea Party" candidate assailing the Republican Party.  His answer was outstanding, and worth noting:

MOURDOCK: Certainly we'll be outspent. But primary races, especially in the last few years, are not so much about money. They've been about emotion. He has dollars behind him, and I have a grassroots network that's fired up and ready to go. I have great tea-party support, and I truly appreciate it, and I know he's going to try to portray this as a tea-party rebellion. It's not. The day I announced, three quarters of Indiana's Republican county chairmen signed on to support my candidacy. Today, we're announcing that more than half of state Republican committee members have signed on. This isn't about the Tea Party assaulting the walls of the Republican fortress. This is a rebellion inside the walls. And that, too, is why I feel confident that we're going to win.

 

Plus, there are the contacts I've made over the years with the Republican organizations in the 92 counties. I never made them with the intent to run for this office. I just did it because I love the party and love the activities. But it's coming home to me that we're getting every advantage from that.

Check out the whole interview.  This is going to be a great race to watch.  Richard Lugar has served his state admirably, but I agree with Mr. Mourdock...it's time.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 26 2011

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As the list of Republican candidates challenging President Obama in 2012 continues to form, many are hoping that Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will put his name among them.  Though Ryan has suggested that he is not interested in seeking that office (though he left the door open to a potential vice president appointment), his willingness to confront Obama on the budget, propose the very tough choices that Barack once bragged about being willing to make but now cowers from, and stand by his convictions has drawn the attention of many Americans.

 

And those who watched Ryan deftly handle one of Obama's spokesmen - David Gregory of NBC's Meet the Press - in a recent exchange are likely to join the number of those impressed by him.

 

 

Challenging Ryan with the now tired liberal attack line of, "Well, you don't have popular support, so you have to abandon your ideas," Gregory was undoubtedly surprised by Ryan's powerful response.  Oh, and it's nice to see how helpful Newt Gingrich has been in providing the Democrat left further ammunition to use in advancing this false charge:

GREGORY: Law does not become law without building political consensus, and you don't have that, and now you had a major figure in the Republican Party say this was right-wing social engineering. So, I'm wondering how much you do feel undercut in actually getting this passed, which I assume is your goal?

 

CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN (R-WISCONSIN): First of all, if people are describing this accurately in polls, it's far more popular than the poll you referenced. Second of all, leaders are elected to lead. I don't consult polls to tell me what my principles are or what our policies should be. Leaders change the polls, and we are leading in the House. We are not seeing this kind of leadership from the President of the United States.

That makes me come out of my seat.  First, Ryan responded exactly how Newt Gingrich should have responded (which is how a true, convicted conservative would respond) in pointing out that when Americans are given the facts in the course of questions about the Ryan plan, they will respond differently than if they are misled in question.

 

But more importantly, Ryan's statements that, "Leaders change polls," is exceptional.  That is the essence of leadership.  It demonstrates the difference between capitulation (something that has defined Republicans for too long) and leadership, as well as the difference between bullying (something that has defined the Obama/Pelosi strategy) and leadership.  You persuade people that you're right, and bring them your way.  Kind of like, dare I mention him...Ronald Reagan did. 

 

That's the kind of leadership Americans are craving.  Even NBC's resident liberal Andrea Mitchell acknowledged that later, stating:

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC: When he said to you that leaders change polls...

 

GREGORY: Yeah.

 

MITCHELL: ...that's leadership that people are hungry for.

With liberal Democrats having failed for over 750 days to pass any form of a budget - in the midst of a budget crisis - Ryan's leadership is refreshing.  I can't help but think that this will blow a little more wind into the sails of the Draft Paul Ryan for President movement.  With good reason, that is.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 25 2011

Due to severe weather rolling through central Indiana on Wednesday afternoon, normal programming of The Peter Heck Radio Show was cancelled for the day. 

As a result, blog/transcripts won't appear tonight.  Stay safe tonight, and check back tomorrow as Peter resumes normal broadcasting!

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 03:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, May 24 2011

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This one is going into the archives.  J. Matt Barber of Liberty University has written an absolutely fabulous column that exposes a most uncomfortable fact for the washed-up hippies on the left: they are no longer the nonconformists rebelling against the man - they are the man:

Hippies once were the counterculture. Liberals were the nonconformist rebels, boldly wearing unwashed anarchy on tattered sleeve. They loudly and proudly raged against the establishment machine.
 


Today, they are the establishment machine...
self-identified liberals outweigh their conservative counterparts in the mainstream media by a 5-1 margin. 

 

Likewise, a 1999 North American Academic Study Survey (NAASS) of students, faculty and administrators in colleges and universities throughout the United States determined that five times as many college faculty members vote Democratic as Republican. In fact, 72 percent described themselves as "to the left of center," while a mere 15 percent identified themselves as "right of center."
 
One can only imagine that in the ensuing decade, the ideological disparity has increased.

This has been self-evident to anyone paying attention.  Liberals have taken over the system - they are "the system" - with their politically correct rules and regulations.  They may pretend that they are still rebelling against the man, but Barber exposes that fraud:

In fact, today's liberals are nothing of the sort. They compliantly conform -- like little windup, patchouli-daubed lemmings -- to a carnival-prize caricature of what they imagine nonconformity to look like. You know, the usual stuff: neo-Marxism, environmentalist activism, sexual relativism, big-government nanny statism, an actions-without-consequences rendering of reproductive rights, and other such populist nonsense. Simply put, today's progressive nonconformist conforms.
 
Indeed, the "Stepford Wives" have become the "Stepford Lesbians." The prudish, judgmental church lady has swapped spots with the easy -- yet somehow self-righteous -- birth-bashing feminist.
 
So what is a young person -- brimming over with that instinctive, defiant impulse to rebel against "the man" -- to do?

A brief word of warning for washed-up liberal has-been hippie retreads: stop reading now.  The truthful answer to that question is something that will cause your head to explode...

Conservatives have become the contemporary nonconformists. Today's rebellious youth are telling the progressive establishment to put its moral-relativist, redistributionist party-line pig swill in its well-used chamber pipe and smoke it.
 
Kids: Really want to get under your obnoxiously "tolerant," Volvo-driving, MSNBC-watching folks' skin? Try this: Go to church, abstain from premarital sex, join the Young America's Foundation, attend a Tea Party rally, enroll at Liberty University, listen to Rush Limbaugh and vote Republican.

 

Far from following the fad and "coming out" as someone practicing homosexuality, I've said repeatedly that if a person really wants to demonstrate courage in our culture, have them "come out" as a Bible-believing, born again follower of Jesus Christ who believes in the existence of moral authority.

 

Simply look at the way our cultural elites from Hollywood to mainstream media to educational institutions treat conservative ideology: it is banned, rejected, mocked, criticized, ostracized, marginalized in every corner.  Simply ask any average college student today what it takes to be a rebel on campus.  Sexual freedom is the norm, alcohol abuse is expected, environmentalism and moral relativism define the enlightened path.

 

As actor Rob Lowe recently pointed out, liberalism is based on emotion and conservatism is based on logic.  And right now, over emotionalism is the order of the day.  If you want to be a rebel, try thinking.

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

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During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama talked consistently about the need to end the profligate government borrowing that was going on under the Bush administration.  Many Americans agreed with him.  But ever since getting elected, President Obama has quadrupled the borrowing and spending.

 

And now, in the midst of the budget debate, liberal Democrats are outraged at the "draconian" and "outrageous" cuts in spending Republicans are demanding in order to get that borrowing under control.  What nonsense.

 

If you want to know what is really outrageous consider this:

President Ronald Reagan once famously said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to the U.S. government's debt would be about 67 miles high.

 

 

That was 1981. Since then, the national debt has climbed to $14.3 trillion. In $1,000 bills, it would now be more than 900 miles tall.

One of the problems with talking about that astronomically large number is that people can't compute it.  They can't make sense of it.  It's too big for them to wrap their minds around.  That's why saying that the stack of bills would be over 900 miles tall is an effective tool in demonstrating to people the serious crisis that we face.

 

Here are other ways to conceptualize the mess our politicians have put us in (and too many, particularly those in the Democrat Party right now, want to ignore):

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said the United States borrows about $125 billion per month.  With that amount, the United States could buy each of its more than 300 million residents an Apple Inc iPad.

 

In a 31-day month, that means the United States borrows about $4 billion per day.  A stack of dimes equivalent to that amount would wrap all the way around the Earth with change to spare.

 

In one hour, the United States borrows about $168 million, more than it paid to buy Alaska in 1867, converted to today's dollars.

 

In two hours, the United States borrows more than it paid France for present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa and the rest of the land obtained by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

 

The U.S. government borrows more than $40,000 per second. That's more than the cost of a year's tuition, room and board at many universities.

Those kind of examples may be anecdotal, but they represent the magnitude of what we face, and what anyone worthy of our vote will take beyond seriously.

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

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It's tough to know what is the most appalling part of this story.  First the facts:

Seven students on IU-South Bend's campus filed complaints against IUSB Chancellor Una Mae Reck for allowing Chick-fil-A to vend at the two main dining areas on campus once a week.

The students filed the complaint because a Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A franchise donated food to the Pennsylvania Family Institue's seminar, "The Art of Marriage," an event perceived to support discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Reck suspended service to review the facts, but reinstated the vendor on February 2.

The students requested a public hearing, but their complaints have been forwarded to the IU Office of Procurement Services in Bloomington because they have authority over vendors, according to IUSB spokesman Ken Baierl.


IU-Bloomington has a Chick-fil-A in the basement of the Wells Library, which several students are working to remove. Senior and telecommunications major Tom Tahara supports removing Chick-fil-A from campus.

"This type of stuff just doesn't really fly that well in America anymore and I think this proves that the next generation realizes it and will not tolerate it," Tahara said.

Jake Porter is a senior majoring in queer studies through the Individualized Major Program who also started the Facebook group "Kick Chick-Fil-A off IUB's Campus!" after he heard what was happening at IUSB.

"I think it's admirable that Chick-fil-A sticks to its religious beliefs, but I don't think it's appropriate that a public university like IU has it on campus," he said.

So you tell me: is it more ridiculous that this is yet another indication of the lack of tolerance among the so-called tolerance crowd or that there is actually something called "queer studies" your child can major in at Indiana University?

 

Actually, the two go hand in hand.  By our continued promotion of homosexuality not as a behavior but as an identity, we breed the dangerous lie that any disagreement or disapproval of that behavior is on par with hateful, prejudicial discrimination of the past. 

 

And what is lost on these folks who make these protests is that they are guilty of the very same kind of action that they condemn.  They are actively seeking to discriminate against those that express their convictions on Biblical, sexual morality.  They seek to drive them off campuses for it.  They seek to silence them in classrooms for it.  They seek to fine them, bully them, threaten them, and strip them of their rights.

 

And these people think they have any credibility on the issue of tolerance?  Apparently their queer studies have given them a pretty queer view of the word.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, May 24 2011

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So what happens when you get a couple hard core leftist feminist commentators together on MSNBC to talk about an unfaithful Republican?  A whole lot of self-righteous pomposity that froths over into a mess of stupidly incoherent conclusions, that's what.

 

Feminist columnist Gail Collins went on Rachel Maddow's show last week to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child, his failed marriage, and how this proves all social conservatives are lying hypocrites.  Apparently the fact that pro-gay, pro-abort Schwarzenegger is about as far away from a social conservative as a Republican can be doesn't seem to faze them.

 

 

In the course of this darling exchange came Maddow's ridiculous question:

Maddow: But we're sort of being confronted with the glass houses and throwing stones problem. I understand why people have glass houses. People fail. But why is throwing stones still part of, a main stream part of Republican politics?

Do you get what Maddow is implying?  Follow this through to see the stupidity behind the premise.  People fail to live up to moral standards, therefore moral standards should not be promoted or expected for lawmakers?!  Absolutely incredible inanity.  But that's the unspoken motto over at MSNBC.

 

So with a question like that, you know the answer is going to be spectacular:

COLLINS: Well, because there are people, a lot of people in the country who not only have very strong, you know, family values, but believe that somehow you can legislate them into other people`s families and they're very powerful within the party. So, the poor Republican candidates, I must say, do get kind of stuck on this one because they toe this very rigid line about personal behavior when like most human beings, they're failing to live up to it.

I'm sorry, but was Schwarzenegger actively pushing legislation in California to outlaw philandering or adultery at the behest of the far right?  No?  Then what in the world is this woman talking about?  This accusation that conservatives are trying to legislate family values into other people's families needs some kind of explanation.  But of course none is forthcoming.  Because this is just the same old, tired accusation of the left.

 

It's too bad that no one with a conservative point of view is allowed in the MSNBC building, otherwise they might have asked these two geniuses a couple questions:

 

1. Do you find it better to have no moral standards so that you can't fail to live up to them?

 

2. Since a stronger moral compass, more entrenched values, and stauncher convictions might have prevented Arnold from behaving this way, why do liberals like you two work overtime to remove those things - and the religion that teaches them - from our public square?

 

Perhaps someone could pose as a liberal, infiltrate the organization, build up trust, and then spring these questions on them sometime in the future.  That would be the closest to an honest moment that network would ever see.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 23 2011

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

 

I made a mistake last Friday.  I dismissed a recent letter-writing critic too quickly and didn't take the time to evaluate and respond to what were some very instructive remarks he undoubtedly made accidentally in the course of trying to criticize me.  Though it was a mistake not to read through the entire letter, I think to any fair minded person, my flippant dismissal of his letter can be somewhat understood.  Here's how David Wallace chose to start his complaint:

As ever, the bigoted, right-is-right columnist Peter Heck can't get it right.

 

Being blessed to have my columns published on nationally and internationally read websites like The American Thinker and One News Now, I typically get a lot of feedback from my opinion pieces.  And the vast majority of the negative response comes from those who have little substance to their arguments, but rather just like the satisfaction they get from calling names and clicking send. 

 

I don't have much patience for that.  And since Mr. Wallace decided to hurl out the classic "bigot" label without any explanation for why he was calling me that (and don't look for it in the rest of his letter - liberals are under the sorry impression that just by calling someone a name they've somehow won an argument rather than make themselves look petty), I shook the dust from my sandals and moved on.  Oh, and as for the "right is right" remark, it's not my fault that the left is wrong all the time.

 

But after the show, I was contacted by a couple folks who said, "Oh Peter, you missed a great opportunity!  David Wallace gave you a hanging curve ball over the plate!  He wrote a letter that totally validated your column and didn't even realize it!"  So I went back and read the whole thing.  I'm glad I did.  Sure, Wallace was all over the place, but it seemed everywhere he landed, he provided a very helpful point to validate my original position.

 

First, Wallace took issue with my contention that far from being a "distraction" in the war on terror (as Barack Obama had concluded), Iraq ended up being the place where we captured the key figure who gave us the information we needed to track down Bin Laden.  Wallace wrote:

Spending eight years in Iraq had nothing to do with getting bid Laden. Unfortunately, it was an expensive sideshow in the Bush administration's war on terror. At no time has any credible source ever connected bin Laden, al-Qaida or the Taliban insurgency with Saddam's Iraq. Actually, al-Qaida went to Iraq because we were there, not the other way around.

My favorite part of that was when Wallace railed that no credible source ever connected al-Qaida to Iraq...right before he connected al-Qaida to Iraq by saying they came there after us!  Nowhere in my original column did I suggest that finding Bin Laden was the reason we went into Iraq.  I've never suggested that...ever. 

 

We went to Iraq for the reasons stated at the time: to rid Saddam of his weapons of mass destruction program.  Once there, Wallace is quite right - al-Qaida flooded Iraq to fight us (and I for one am thankful that we were fighting al-Qaida in the streets of Iraq rather than the streets of New York City).  And as a result, we nabbed key terrorists there that eventually led us to Bin Laden.  That, Mr. Wallace, was the whole point of my column! 

 

 

Iraq obviously didn't end up being a distraction or a sideshow if the road to Bin Laden went through its streets! 

 

From there, Wallace ventured into the concept of torture and decided to put words in my mouth:

I'm not sure how Heck can support torture as a Christian, because that is just what those "aggressive tactics" are, just without the politically correct term. The Bush administration started down a real slippery slope when it authorized that.

I would ask Mr. Wallace to provide some sort of evidence for my support of torture.  In truth, the issue is a very difficult one for me.  Wallace or anyone else who claims to be "against torture" is being intellectually dishonest.  It's an issue that by its very nature is made up of a lot of gray area.  To say you're "against torture" means what?  You oppose loud music and dripping water?  You oppose fingernails being torn off?  You oppose forcing prisoners to watch a 24 hour loop of The View? 

 

And what if we're dealing with a ticking nuclear bomb scenario, Mr. Wallace?  Would you honestly be willing to let 10 million of your fellow Americans die in order to prevent their killer from having water dripped up his nose lying on a board?  These are the difficult questions that accompany any discussion of torture. 

 

Not to mention that as a Christian, I would never throw a switch to electrocute someone.  I would never open fire with a machine gun and mow down people I perceive as enemies.  But the expectations and responsibilities of civil government are not the same as those for our individual lives as Christians.  I do believe that government executioners can be Christians.  I do believe that soldiers can be Christians.  Don't you, Mr. Wallace?  These are difficult issues that Mr. Wallace merely wants to demagogue. 

 

But the best is yet to come: in my original column I actually said that it is reasonable to have moral objections to torture.  I believe that is a respectable position to bring into debate.  But you have to be consistent if you want to do so.  My whole point in bringing up "enhanced interrogations" was to show the hypocrisy and inconsistency of the left - of people like Mr. Wallace.  And amazingly, in a letter meant to criticize me, he obliged me and proved my point!

 

Here's what I originally wrote:

It's fine to be morally opposed to such techniques, but what warped ethical interpretation of our values does one have to possess to condemn non-lethal interrogations, yet condone and celebrate shooting an unarmed, pajama-clad man in the face with an assault rifle? 

 

That question was put to Obama's National Security Advisor Tom Donilon by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.  Donilon's response was a priceless depiction of the awkward position the left now finds itself in.  When Wallace asked Donilon to explain the contradiction of believing that waterboarding a violent terrorist like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not consistent with our values but shooting a violent terrorist like bin Laden in the head was, Donilon paused and then stammered, "We are at war with Osama bin Laden."  Of course we are.but isn't the same true for KSM and the entire al-Qaeda network?

And what did Wallace do?  After questioning my Christianity and condemning non-lethal torture, Wallace came to the defense of the brave soldiers who shot Bin Laden in the head!  He wrote:

Monday morning quarterbacks like Heck can easily talk about the "shooting an unarmed, pajama-clad man." They weren't there and never would be. The brave men insulted by Heck by being so denigrated had a split second to determine if there was a threat to them or others in the room. With people screaming and lunging at you, there's no time to calmly determine whether a weapon is present. The stress of the moment is evidenced by the wounds received by OBL.

 

What utter foolishness.  Obviously anyone who knows anything about my beliefs or positions, or who actually listens to my radio show, knows that I wholeheartedly supported the actions taken by our Navy SEALs.  In fact, I mocked leftists like Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell who criticized the killing of Bin Laden.  Far from contradicting what I said, I totally agree with Mr. Wallace in his defense of the SEALs actions.  But that puts him in the very awkward position I was illuminating in my column!

 

Maybe he should have spent a little less time thinking up names to call me and a little more time contemplating and trying to understand the points in my column before he inadvertently proved one.  I'll go slower and be a bit more deliberate: you have no credibility if you condemn torturing one terrorist in non-lethal ways, but celebrate shooting a different terrorist in the face.  Thus, you look pretty silly, Mr. Wallace, when in your rebuttal to my column, you condemn torturing one terrorist in non-lethal ways, but celebrate shooting a different terrorist in the face.

 

Normally I criticize liberals for their refusal to try substantive debate and choice to call names instead.  In this case, Mr. Wallace might have helped his cause by stopping after the bigot comment and calling it a day.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 23 2011

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

 

It's a fascinating process: the slow evolution of a primordial being morphing into a more complex, more rational, more intellectual one.  This phenomenon was recently observed during a Fox News interview between Sean Hannity and movie star Rob Lowe.

 

 

Lowe is a former Dukakis-campaigning liberal, bred in the bowels of Hollywood leftism.  Hannity reveals he is not such anymore.

SEAN HANNITY: All right, so you were pretty liberal. You supported Mike Dukakis. It doesn't-

ROB LOWE: I can always pick a winner, Sean. [Laughs]

HANNITY: Now you sound like Bob Beckel. But you changed a little bit, you now registered independent.                

LOWE: Yes.

HANNITY: So, why is Hollywood so liberal?

LOWE: Well, first, I think it has a long tradition of being a highly Democratic town. You get that perspective sort of over and over and over and over. And you know, one of the great things about Hollywood liberals their passion and their ability to stand out and try to get things done. You can agree or disagree, but they are very vocal. And I admire- I think that's a good thing.

So he has drifted into the world of moderates...a step in the right direction...literally.  Granted, Lowe has much to learn if he finds the passionate politicking of Ben Affleck and the obnoxious street rioting of Drew Barrymore admirable.  But progress is progress.  And it appears that there is great reason for hope: Lowe has burrowed through the liberal nonsense that surrounds him and is onto something:

LOWE: But, here's what I think, I think that artists build their art around empathy. I think that if you  liberal politics is built on empathy. I think conservative politics, from my opinion is built on-

HANNITY: Common sense?

LOWE: Logic. Logic and empathy it's like left brain, right brain stuff. So I just think naturally empathetic artists are drawn to that.

Precisely.  That is a pretty easy reality to demonstrate, but it's impressive that Lowe has thought that through in the liberal enclave of Hollywood.  All that is left is for him is to ask himself this question: when you're trying to solve problems - serious problems - what is required, and what is the one thing you want to make sure doesn't cloud your judgment?  If you answered logic, then emotion...bingo!

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 23 2011

So I guess by now it's pretty much common knowledge that the rapture didn't happen "as expected" on Saturday.  Bummer.  But if you think for a second that I didn't leave a pile of clothes in the middle of the floor just to freak my wife out, you give me way too much credit.  It didn't work though.  I just got ripped for leaving my clothes laying around. 

 

My friend and Monday afternoon radio guest John Branyan and I talked at length about this rapture-that-wasn't, how it affects Christianity, mocking atheists, how it proves Jesus doesn't like Daylight Savings Time, and much more (we even ventured into Mitch Daniels deciding not to run for President and what that does to the Republican field).  You can listen to that entire enlightening back-and-forth here.

 

 

Now, about this rapture business.  I do feel bad for so many of Harold Camping's followers who invested their life savings into publicizing this prediction.  Though my Monday afternoon guest John Branyan takes a harder line (I believe his comment was something like, "If they're stupid enough to give him that much of their money, you can't really feel too bad for them"), I just can't imagine the disappointment, compounded by the financial worry this decision to bankroll a false teacher is going to cause them.  It's a shame.

 

Not too disappointed by the lack of rapture, however, was the group of intellectual giants known as the American Atheists.  John and I talked a little bit about their unbridled arrogance and how exactly they find joy in celebrating their lack of belief in the afterlife.  How do you get excited about believing that this is all there is?  It's beyond depressing to even think about.

 

But in their mind, I guess they believe that this pretty much does it for Christianity.  No one can believe that Jesus is coming back anymore since he didn't follow the timeline laid out by an 89 year old dude in California.  Again, this is why I referred to these folks as intellectual Goliaths earlier.

 

In a weird way, I actually found inspiration in the doomsday folks this time around.  I don't mean Harold Camping in particular.  I mean those that gave everything to spread the word about Jesus' impending return.  Rather than peddling some get rich quick scam like climate change, and using fantastically absurd Hollywood computer graphics to get us to all give them our money and freedom, these people gave up their money to try to get our attention and save us from Hell.

 

No, I never believed that Camping had "cracked the code" that the Bible clearly tells us only the Father knows.  But Christ followers who are willing to sell all their possessions and give up all their earthly wealth to buy billboards and placards and hand out Bibles and preach the Gospel without sleep, urgently trying to get sinners to repent?  In an odd way, I think that's what Christianity should be about, don't you?

 

No man knows the hour.  And until it comes we are to be about our Father's business.  Giving up everything to cultivate a more abundant harvest isn't something I'll mock.  It's something I'll admire.

 

As for Camping, that's a different story.  The man has a great deal of explaining to do to not only his followers that he has misled, but also to the God that his actions mocked.  There is far greater accountability that Camping will face than a hostile media, confused followers, and scoffing atheists.  I am at the same time frustrated with Camping, disgusted with him, and terrified for him.  Someone needs to take the message of repentance to him...and fast.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 22 2011

Mr. Harold Camping was wrong to specify the date and time of the appearance of the Son of Man. I am not claiming that he is wrong because his specific prediction failed to materialize - and has failed to materialize several times prior - but because he was Biblically wrong to make such a prediction in the first place.

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heave, nor the Son, but only the Father. - Matthew 24:36 (NIV)

Fairly straightforward, isn't it? Yep, straightforward enough for Big Media to parade their religious subject matter experts in front of their cameras to deride Mr. Camping and anyone delirious enough to place any faith in his prediction for violating this sacred verse.

 

 

Wait a minute, though. Let's back up this truck.

 

Earlier this month, Mr. Randall Tremba of Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church wrote:

Last week, a majority of the 173 presbyteries making up the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. voted to amend the church's constitution and allow openly gay and lesbian members to become ordained ministers, elders and deacons. The vote followed decades of debate and more than six months of voting.

 

In taking this action, I believe our church moved a step forward and brought itself closer in line with Christ's all-embracing love.

In some circles of Christianity and secularism, the steps to completely embrace homosexual behavior are welcome. Interestingly, no parade of Big Media's retained clergy to point out other specific verses, such as:

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. - Romans 1:26-27 (NIV)

When Mr. Camping foolishly proffers a date and time for the "beginning of the end," he is dragged over the coals with a verse of Scripture.

 

On the other hand, when clergy and entire denominations reinterpret sexual perversion as the new norm of righteous behavior, anyone daring to make reference to any of the contradictory Scriptures is branded as legalistic, intolerant, hateful, and unloving. Such a person is indicted for worshiping the Bible instead of its Author.

 

My! Who is here guilty of hypocrisy?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 22 2011

Craig Ladwig, editor of the Indiana Policy Review, brings us a poignant observation. Noting a friend with a framed copy of "Zimbabwean Corn Production 1975-2007," Mr. Ladwig expands:

The chart is made up of data points representing annual production beginning the year of Zimbabwe independence, he begins.  It is there as a reminder to be skeptical about official economic development (eco-devo in bureaucrat lingo), even and especially when promoted close to home.

 

 He will point out the year 2002 on the chart. That's when the production figures, defying weather, dropped below all but the worst drought years. That was the beginning of Zimbabwean "Land Reform," in truth the official degradation of private property.

Mr. Ladwig goes on to make a connection between the Zimbabwean land grab and one closer to home - the dealings between the city of Indianapolis and the N.K. Hurst Bean Company.

 

Fred McCarthy, the former president of the Indiana Manufacturers Association, has built a case file on the company, a local business whose misfortune was to sit on land "needed" for a more politically connected one, i.e., a then high-riding professional football franchise known as the Colts.

 

 McCarthy's reports for the Foundation for Economic Education and on his blog, Indy Tax Dollars, challenge anyone to argue that Hurst would have been any worse off dealing with a Third World totalitarian. McCarthy notes that the terms of Hurst's final agreement with Indianapolis require the company to ask official permission for the most basic business transactions regarding the property ? and to do so for 30 years.

The right hook of Mr. Ladwig's article is that these types of political dabbling in property rights, the marketplace, and Rule of Law are not without consequences, and the consequences are typically detrimental to local economic opportunity and prosperity. Continuing to draw upon the parallels between Zimbabwe and Indy, Mr. Ladwig notes:

Back to the corn chart: A direct cause of the drop in production was the decision by the new "owners" of the confiscated land, the regime's henchmen, to withhold investment. They well understood that politics had trumped property and that they could lose their new fortune on an executive whim. So they delayed planting, instead putting their cash and precious metals in foreign banks where it would be safe from people such as themselves.

 

 Today, in supposedly more sensible Indiana, it is a good bet those making money off the grand boondoggles of our time ? the stadiums, the convention centers and the music halls ? will not be buying "seed corn" for planting here. Their money will go elsewhere, to places where the Rule of Law prevails over political faction, where a family business like is safe from crony capitalism or governmental shift.

 

 The corrupt are corrupt, you see, not stupid. They ride in on horses named "Best Intentions," "Inarguable Good" and even "Go Blue." And, as John Galt knew, democracy without free markets and constitutional counterweight is no protection from them.

 

 Check the corn chart. Consider Hurst Beans.

I suspect that Mr. Ladwig's column is most unpopular with the many Colts fans within Indy and throughout Indiana. It is certainly unpopular with the politicians and business personalities who favored and promoted the new stadium.

 

But it nevertheless reveals the reality that we cannot expect to enjoy the fruits of economic innovation and prosperity when we cut private entrepreneurship off at the knees. We cannot allow this increasingly unfettered use of eminent domain, no matter how popular the cause. Continuing down this path ensures us that we will mess up prosperity.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 21 2011

Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating.

 

Every time the entertainment choices of a mass murderer are uncovered, Big Media, Big Entertainment, and other elements of liberalism enter denial hyper-drive. Hard-core violence, cruelty, and anti-social behavior found in lyrics of violent rap, punk, and other "alternative" music genres? Entertainment genres romanticizing the use of harmful drugs? Films such as the "Saw" series filled with all kinds of macabre cruelty? Video games portraying more and more precise graphics of human violence?

 

"Not responsible!" the liberals howl. "That's entertainment! It's fiction! There is no connection between fantasy and reality!"

 

 

This makes the recent entry into this fray, the director of PETA's Emergency Response Team - an extremely liberal organization - even more poignant. Writing about an app called KG Dogfighting (formerly Dog Wars), Martin Mersereau warns:

The developers say the app - in which players train and fight dogs against other players - is "just a video game." But for living, breathing animals, the consequences of glamorizing cruelty are deadly serious.

 

At best, this game trivializes the horrendous suffering that dogs endure at the hands of dogfighters and sends the dangerous message that abusing animals is entertaining.

 

At worst, it is a training manual for wannabe dogfighters and may pique some players' interest enough to inspire them to move from virtual dogfighting to the real thing - which is a felony offense in all 50 states.

So which is it? Does entertainment have no effect and no impact at all on its users, or is there enough influence to "pique some players' interest enough to inspire them to move from virtual dogfighting to the real thing?"

 

This issue indicates that liberals are at odds over such a question. If a video game can inspire some players to go from virtual to real dogfighting, then do not violent music lyrics have the potential to inspire some listeners to go on live shooting sprees?

 

I have always thought that the claims of "not responsible" were to some extent bogus. After all, those profiting from these kinds of exploitation expect to have enough influence to drive people to the box offices. Maybe, just maybe, the consequences of glamorizing violent anti-social behavior are deadly serious. Wouldn't that be interesting if a liberal makes that warning stick in the land of left-believe?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 02:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 21 2011

Brent Jacobsen, Newport Beach Lifeguard Management Association, concerning the salary of California lifeguards:

"We have negotiated very fair and very reasonable salaries in conjunction with comparable positions and other cities up and down the coast...well within the norm of other city employees."

The reasonable salary to which he refers? Try $100-200 thousand per year! Plus (there's a plus?), lifeguards are able to retire with 90% of their salary after 30 years.

 

 

Let's try some none left-believe math: if a lifeguard retires at 50 and lives to be 80, he/she will snag $2.7 million to $5.4 million from the city. Good for them - not so good for all the other taxpayers.

 

Small wonder Americans are becoming more and more fed up with public sector employers and their slush fund liberal unions.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 21 2011

Liberals must take stupid pills on an ongoing basis. How else can anyone explain how it is that truth always eludes them. Two cases in point.

 

First, the truth out about the Social Security and Medicaire trust funds is that they are facing serious trouble earlier than originally predicted.

Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is now expected to be exhausted in 2024 ? five years sooner than projected last year. Upon exhaustion, dedicated revenue will be able to pay 90% of costs for the hospital-insurance program.

 

Meanwhile, government officials said trust fund reserves for Social Security will be exhausted in 2036, one year sooner than expected last year. Afterwards, tax income will only be able to pay for three-quarters of scheduled benefits though 2085.

 

For the first time since 1983, Social Security spending was greater than non-interest income in 2010. A $46 billion deficit is projected for 2011, compared with $49 billion in the prior year.

The left's response?

"Those who say that Social Security is in deficit this year are flat wrong," said Nancy Altman, co-chair of Strengthen Social Security, in a Friday statement. "By law, Social Security cannor deficit-spend and cannot borrow, so it is obvious that Social Security cannot add a penny to the federal deficit."

Legally, yes, Social Security cannot hike the deficit, but the Treasury will borrow $5 trillion to pay off the IOUs from the government to itself. In other words, the Treasury must boost public debt to come up with the cash. (Investor's Business Daily, 5/7/2011) Talk about your "voo-doo" economics.

 

Second, anyone who hasn't crawled under the proverbial rock lately knows that Greece faces the most severe financial crisis ever. Years of expanding the public dole in every sector has brought it to the brink of economic catastrophe. Even though other European Union members have stepped in with aid packages - in violation of the EU charter, by the way - Greece has imposed so-called "austerity" measures. The reality is that the Greek government is out of money and is losing its ability to raise revenue through debt. Plus, other EU members threaten to provide larger bailouts.

 

The liberal Greek response?

 

Greek union workers protest the government's decision to raise the civil service workweek to 40 hours from 37.5. Their nation is on the brink of complete financial chaos, and government civil servants are upset over a 40 hour workweek? Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

 

Only in the land of left-believe are the laws of real life suspended. Real people know what reality is all about. Left wingnuts by the droves drive a culture into the ground and then protest eternally, loudly, and violently when predictable consequences rise to the surface.

 

Libs are adept at hiding and distorting truth in the short term, but in the longer term, it always finds them out. We just have to keep showing the truth every time it surfaces.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 20 2011

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

 

This is why I love Sarah Palin.  She says what needs to be said and confronts those who pretend to be the confronters. 

When NBC "Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich whether he infused racism into a recent speech by referring to President Barack Obama as "the most successful food stamp president in American history," Gregory raised a line of attack that had only previously been used by MSNBC and other left-leaning outlets, much to the chagrin of many conservative critics.

 

And one of those critics was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. On Fox News Channel's "Hannity" on Wednesday, Palin offered her views on Gregory's question. Her assessment: Gregory is the one displaying racism.

 

 

"Well, talk about racism - that was a racist-tinged question from David Gregory," Palin declared. "He made it sound like that if you're black you're on food stamps and the president is referring to you being on food stamps. I think that's racist. And you know, enough is enough of this calling out, this racism, these false charges. Obviously, it is done to end the conversation, just to distract, divert attention from what the real substance is and stop the conversation. Here again, enough is enough. Why do we let the press, the media personalities get away with such? Let's call him out on them and let's start concentrating on what the real issue is. The real issue is we have 40-something million Americans on food stamps. You know why? Because we don't have a robust economy allowing the private sector to grow and thrive and have jobs provided via the private sector because government has overreached, overtaxed and overspent and got us in debt and there isn't enough private sector money out there creating jobs. That needs to be the focus, not allowing David Gregory to falsely charge Newt Gingrich as being a racist because he's making a statement of fact about how many people are on food stamps."

Palin also made a very intriguing suggestion to Republican candidates: stop going on these shows.  It would take extraordinary discipline to pass on the prestige and face time these major networks offer, but if conservatives would start rejecting them due to their bias - and would do so consistently and without exception - and instead grant interviews to networks, journalists, and outlets that have proven themselves to be objective or at least not hostile to conservatism, it could do wonders to the "prestige" of those liberal outlets.

 

Now, in terms of the racial bit.if conservatives are going to make any grounds in reaching the minority community and cracking the patently false notion that the Democratic left is who best represents the interests of minorities, this is the type of aggressive approach that is necessary.

 

Call out the people who are race-baiting.  Call out those who are injecting race where it doesn't belong.  Call out those who claim to want a "colorblind" society, but find a way to work color into every story.  Expose the frauds on the left for exactly what they are...no friend of MLK's "Dream," but singularly interested in winning votes.  If that means smearing opponents as racists, if that means drumming up racial divides and stoking hatred, they'll do it.  We have a duty to call them out. 

 

Well done, as usual, Sarah.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 20 2011

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

 

It was a watershed moment in American history: perky Katie Couric leaving her spot on the Today Show to move to the anchor desk of the "well respected" CBS News made famous by the petulant leftism of Walter Cronkite and the underhanded fake news of Dan Rather.  Couric would be the first woman to hold down such a position.

 

The result?  Epically low ratings and a legacy of bias that would make even Cronkite and Rather blush.  Now, failure a firm reality, Couric is walking away.  And just like the pomp and circumstance created by liberals everywhere when she ascended to the desk, they are generating the same hype to try to save her face as much as possible.


 

Media Research Center has produced a compilation of some of Couric's worst that demonstrates just how tall of a task that is going to be.  The entire top ten list citing moments of Couric bias needs to be seen in full, but here are some of my favorites:

Katie Shakes Her Pom-Poms for Obama's "Dream Team"

 "You're so confident, Mr. President, and so focused. Is your confidence ever shaken? Do you ever wake up and say, ?Damn, this is hard. Damn, I'm not going to get the things done I want to get done, and it's just too politicized to really get accomplished the big things I want to accomplish'?"
Couric in an exchange with Obama shown on CBS's The Early Show, July 22, 2009

 

...

 

ObamaCare Can't Come Soon Enough

"I think providing health care for people who can't afford it is something that most people do agree with ? that there has to be some kind of alternative other than our national, our nation's emergency rooms for people who need health care. And I read somewhere ? I think it was in The New Yorker ? that 45,000 people died needlessly because they simply don't have access to health care, and that just seems so unfair and so undemocratic."
Couric in a December 22, 2009 Facebook video chat. The statistic Couric cited, which she also touted on the September 17, 2009 Evening News, was generated by the left-wing Physicians for a National Health Program

 

... 

 

Maybe We Need a Muslim Cosby Show

"The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface this year.... Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show. I know that sounds crazy, I know that sounds crazy, but The Cosby Show did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country, and I think sometimes people are afraid of what they don't understand."
Couric talking to comedian Mo Rocca on her @KatieCouric Web show, December 22, 2010

 

...

 

Praising the Great ?Goreacle'

"I'm honored to be joined today by the Godfather of Green, the King of Conservation, former Vice President Al Gore."
- Couric opening her November 2, 2009 "@KatieCouric" CBSNews.com webcast

 

Check out the whole list, and watch the video clips for an extra dose of nauseating bias.  In the meantime, in the paraphrased words of Katie's fellow journalist, Edward R. Murrow... "Good night, Katie...and good riddance."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 20 2011

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What else have we come to expect from NBC?  Take a look at this spectacularly outrageous inconsistency:

In December of 2007, a conservative organization known as Freedom Watch created an advertisement with a message of support and thanks to America's troops serving around the world.  They were rejected by NBC. 


In April of this year, a Muslim organization known as the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) created an advertisement with a message to counter Islamophobia from the ?conservative right'.  They are currently running on NBC Universal media networks.

 

According to the ICNA website, TV commercials featuring CharactersUnite.com and WhyIslam.org were broadcast for 2 weeks in April 11, 2011.  The group teamed up with NBC Universal media group to show the ad 130 times on networks including A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, CNN, Planet Green, Hallmark, History, Headlines Network, MSNBC, National Geographic, Oprah Winfrey Network, Travel Channel, the Weather Channel and USA Network.


So how does NBC justify the inconsistency?  They say they rejected the Freedom Watch ads because "the group insisted that the spot contain the URL address of its Web site."  Oh, okay, well that makes sense.  NBC obviously has a policy that you can't have your URL address in your ads and Freedom Watch wouldn't comply.  That's Freedom Watch's fault, not NBC's.

 

Uh...but wait.  Watch the ICNA ad.  I'm pretty sure the website URL WhyIslam.org is pretty prominently displayed.  Hmmm...okay, so maybe it's that Freedom Watch is too controversial while ICNA is a moderate, tolerant group.  Or not:

The WhyIslam campaign has controversy of its own.  The group's chair, Amir Mertaban, recently referred to Hamas terrorists as freedom fighters who have ?done a lot of good' in Palestine, and he refused to denounce the group. 


In 2008, WhyIslam ran a series of Muslim subway ads, promoted by a Brooklyn imam whom federal officials had linked to a plot to blow up city landmarks.   That Brooklyn imam is Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. 

ICNA is a Sharia law supporting organization with ties to terror.  So the "non-controversial" argument goes out the window.  So what's the real story here?  Why is NBC okay with the Islamic radicals running ads, but not the military supporting Freedom Watch?  Rusty Weiss answers it this way:

The real difference?

 

Freedom Watch is an organization that supports the war on terrorism.  The ICNA simply supports terrorism.

 

In 2004, NBC explained that they couldn't run certain ads because they have "straightforward corporate policies on accepting ads about controversial topics."


Apparently, NBC doesn't view terrorism as controversial.  But supporting and thanking the troops - that's where they draw the line.

While seemingly outrageous, other explanations appear to be sorely lacking.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 20 2011

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It's been a banner month in the sports world for the cause of sexual anarchy, and specifically the branch of it known as the homosexual movement.  As a general recap, first came the excessive fine placed on NBA star Kobe Bryant for using a "gay slur" when referencing an official.

 

Then came the NHL star Sean Avery who joined the gay marriage crusade by endorsing the practice in an ad for the Human Rights Campaign. 

 

Next, NBA stars Grant Hill and Jared Dudley recorded a PSA that proclaims use of the word "gay" is not acceptable trash talk.


 

Then, Phoenix Suns president Rick Welts announce that he was "gay."  And now, resident NBA buffoon Charles Barkley has waded into the fray with a hate-filled tirade against Christians who have moral opposition to homosexuality.  As Tim Graham reported:

On Wednesday, Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise championed a "very gay spring" in sports and an interview he did on the radio with former NBA star Charles Barkley, complete with the headline "Sir Charles champions a noble cause: tolerance." If "tolerance" is being taught, "Bible-thumpers" are being bashed. This is how the column ended:


"We gossiped behind each other's back before; I'll be the first to admit that," he [Barkley] said, before adding, "The first people who whine and complain is them Bible-thumpers, who are supposed to be non-judgmental, who rail against them. Hey, man, I don't worry about what other people do."

 

In this ever open-minded May, amen to that.

 

"Amen" to rejecting the Bible: that's a liberal-media mantra. Naturally, Barkley also proclaimed opposing homosexuality as a sin is just like racism:

 

"First of all, society discriminates against gay people," Barkley said. "They always try to make it like jocks discriminate against gay people. I've been a big proponent of gay marriage for a long time, because as a black person, I can't be in for any form of discrimination at all."

Charles doesn't even realize what a walking self-contradiction he is.  His aggressive hate directed towards Bible believing Christians makes it difficult to feel sorry for him, though.  And racially charged, idiotic remarks like, "As a black person, I can't be in for any form of discrimination at all," don't make it any easier.  What is that even supposed to mean, anyway?  White people can be in for discrimination but black people can't be?  Uh...racism, anyone?

 

Anyway, sports media is historically one of the most liberal forms of media.  So seeing a backwards piece like this isn't that surprising.  But it demands us reminding a confused culture that moral objection to a lifestyle behavior like men having sex with men (which is born out of love and concern for the physical, emotional, spiritual health of the individual) is not judgmental or discriminatory against people. 

 

If it is, then Michelle Obama is guilty of the same for her condemnation of obesity.  If it is, then Barkley is guilty of the same for his hatred towards Christians.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2011

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It was just two days ago that we discussed a scientific test that measures the length of your telomeres in an effort to tell you how long you'll live.  Today, we find out that it may not even matter.  Why?  Apparently - in case you haven't heard - the world is going to end on Saturday.  How disappointing...it was supposed to be a nice weekend.

 

 

Sorry, I probably shouldn't make light of the possibility of the end of humanity, and yes I firmly believe that one day God will turn right in His throne and say to His Son, "It's time."  My only point is that nobody but the Father knows when that day will come.  But don't bother telling that to all the modern prophets and prophetesses running around with books to sell and interviews to give.

 

Seriously, not to belabor the point, but how many times can people predict the end of the world and it not come true before we figure out that no one really knows?  But yet every time some false prophet pops up, people buy into it (literally) and publicize it, and then the day passes and life goes on.  The latest?

The latest prediction comes from Harold Camping, a preacher from California who says the Second Coming of Jesus will occur conveniently at 6 pm local time for each time zone around the world coming up this weekend, on May 21, 2011.

How nice.  At least the people furthest away from the International Date Line will be able to watch the events as they unfold and have time to get their souls right with Christ before he arrives in their time zone.  Who knew that geography would provide such a large advantage to some in the redemption of their souls?  What poppycock.

 

But what really frosts my rhubarb about all this is that it's this kind of stuff that gives Christianity a bad name.  It's bad enough when a failed doomsday prediction leaves egg on the face of ancient civilizations like the Mayans.  It's maddening when it diminishes the seriousness of the Bible and the message of redemption.  And that's what this kind of showboating nonsense perpetrated by Mr. Camping does.

 

 

Don't believe me?  Take a look:

Interestingly, many past predictions of the end of the world coincide with religious fanaticism (from the top image, above, it appears Camping's prediction has the biblical seal of approval.) and/or trying to make money. (Camping has amassed $120 million in donations from fervent followers). One of the most recent was God's Church minister Ronald Weinland who pitched his book "2008: God's Final Witness" by predicting the world would end by 2008, with the "end times" beginning in 2006.

 

Before that, it was the Heaven's Gate mess, where Applewhite's followers actually did kill themselves so that they would be taken by an alien spacecraft coming along with comet Hale-Bopp in 1997, (I guess, unfortunately the world did end for them.). This prediction included accusations of a huge cover-up by NASA who supposedly knew the alien craft was hidden in the comet's coma.

 

Televangelist Pat Robertson predicted Judgment Day would come in 1982. Scarily, Robertson later ran for president of the United States.

 

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church predicted the world would end by 1891, and a group that would eventually become the Seventh-Day Adventists predicted the end by 1843.

Granted, there are non-religious folks who have made similar predictions, and Hollywood is full of doomsday prophets wanting to make money off movies from climate change to solar flares to asteroid impacts.  But a special form of mockery is reserved for Christians who read and preach from the same book that is seen by the world as providing the impetus for these false prophets.  That's really annoying to me.

 

And don't give me the line, "Well, they mocked Noah in his day."  Yeah, they did.  And Noah had his confirmation directly from the mouth of God.  In our case, the confirmation we have from God is what He's provided for us in His Word: that no man knows the hour.  So what's really driving these folks who predict the end of the world?  A burning desire to garner fame and attention.  A bit of a different motivation, wouldn't you say? 

 

 

You can read all about this if you're interested, but apparently Camping is convinced he's cracked some mystical Biblical mathematical code that puts Noah's flood in 4990 BC.  He then concludes that when God told Noah He would send rain on the earth to wipe it out seven days from that moment, He also meant seven thousand years (since a day is like a thousand years to God according to Scripture...no over-interpretation of that passage going on there!).  Thus, Camping is convinced that this is 7000th year since the start of Noah's flood, so we're all in for it.  How he arrives at the specific May 21st date and the time zone nonsense is far more than I even care to know.

 

All I do know is this: Camping doesn't know.  The Mayans don't know.  I don't know.  But what I am sure of is this: his attention grabbing efforts are going to provide a lot of folks yet another excuse to ignore the seriousness of the Bible's warning to be prepared at any moment...not just May 21, 2011.  Have a great Saturday.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2011

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A couple from my church are hosting a young girl and her mother from South America.  The reason is so she can receive life saving heart surgery here in the United States.  It's a wonderful and incredible service, made possible by the work of a great Christian ministry called Samaritan's Purse.

 

So what would cause the media to trash the leader of such a wonderful organization?  Because he doesn't agree with their politics, of course.  It doesn't matter how much good you do, how many lives you save, how many people you positively impact, if you have conservative political views, you are an outcast.  Just ask Lisa Miller of Newsweek:

 

Franklin ? who's been accused of being a rhetorical and theological bully, saying, for example, that Islam is "wicked and evil"? agrees with the assessment that he is less gentle than his dad. "We preach the same Gospel," Franklin says, but "Daddy hates to say no. I can say no."

So many things that Lisa Miller could have focused on about this man's excellent ministry.  For the same left that loves to talk about the need for social change and whatnot, here was a great opportunity to highlight someone doing it for real.  But I suppose since he does it through the private sector, it's not as worthy of honor as when Barack Obama wastes our tax dollars on less effective programs rife with corruption and waste.

 

No, Lisa is much more interested in ripping Graham's politics:

And what of the criticism that Franklin, a Christian minister, takes political sides in a way that his father did not? Billy Graham formed friendships with many politicians, and had intimate (though complex) relationships with both Richard Nixon, a Republican, and Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat. Franklin's political friendships lean hard to the right.

And that, regardless of how much good a person does, is the unpardonable sin to leftists like Miller.  It doesn't matter if you save souls, if you're friends with Sarah Palin, you're a rat.  Classy stuff, Lisa.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2011

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CNN Host Don Lemon has decided to tell everyone he is practicing homosexuality.  I mean, what are we supposed to say to that?  "Great Don, that's really gross."  I'm being serious, actually.  Why do the people that constantly tell us that what we do in our bedrooms is private business constantly have to be out there telling us all on national television what they do in their bedrooms?  Has anyone paused to think about that?

 

Perhaps he's just generating awareness.  Uh.why do we need to be aware of the kind of sex he's into?  Can anyone answer that for me?  Frankly, I don't really want to know what kind of sex the news guy is into.  I don't need Brian Williams starting off the NBC Nightly News by saying, "Good evening, I'm still having heterosexual consensual sex with females.  Our top story tonight..."

 

 

This movement is such a joke.  But nevertheless, recently "outed" Don Lemon went on Joy Behar to have just a lovely conversation full of hatred, derision, discrimination and judgment against those that don't think like them:

BEHAR: And so you`re going to have people sit there with you like Rick Santorum, who seems like a big homophobe, and others, because they're running for president or whatever. And we'll talk about gay marriage, et cetera. How do you feel that you'll be able to handle that easily?

Geez, Joy, probably the same way that committed Christians handle it when they have to do an interview with you.  You are clearly a Christophobe by your continual animosity and mockery directed towards Christians.  Using your own standards, you are a hater - maybe not of men who have sex with men, but of men who pray and read their Bible.  Judge not, Joy!

 

For his part, Lemon's answer was equally ignorant:

LEMON: Well, I can talk about President Obama and be objective and I'm a black man. I can talk about having a mortgage and having your house not being worth what it was three, four years ago and -- and be a journalist.

He's right in saying that it is possible to be a man having sex with a man and report objectively.  I'll give him that.  Obviously, if you do any research into Lemon's on-air advocacy, you see that he is not doing it, but I will give him that it is possible.  What was ignorant about the comment was his absurd comparison to being a black man.  Homosexuality and being black.  One is behavior, the other is identity.  How can anyone with a functioning brain not realize this?

 

Yet, perhaps answering that very question, Behar and Lemon made their case for mental incapacitation:

BEHAR: I like how you said God made you this way.

LEMON: God- I was born gay just as I was born black.

BEHAR: Exactly, exactly it's not a choice. People have to get with the program.

LEMON: If it was a choice, then I would have decided when I was a kid or when I prayed all those years that I would change. If it was a choice, something would have happened, I would have changed. It's not a choice.

Sex is not a choice.  Got it.  It's compulsion.  You can't choose who you have sex with.  What a brilliant pair this is.  Oh, and by the way, pay no attention to all of the ex-gays who used to have sex with members of the same gender, but no longer do.  They didn't change...they uh, er...

 

The interview was full of inanity and self-contradiction (my favorite part was when Lemon let everybody know that he wasn't effeminate or weak.is there something wrong with a guy being that way, Don?  Sounds awful judgmental of several of your fellow "gays," don't you think?).  What else would you expect from these folks mired in the pit of moral relativism and committed to a cause as vile as sexual anarchy?

 

Nice to see CNN is supporting the continued rise of Christophobia in our culture.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 19 2011

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Despite what the hosts and hostesses of MSNBC's Morning Joe program may tell you, it is not "too late" for any Republican candidate to enter the presidential primary.  In fact, that's about as kooky a notion as one can have.  Granted, for dark horse candidates, they need more time to build a grassroots coalition, raise money, try to gain notoriety before the big dogs step in and scoop it all up, and make a name for themselves so that they can be considered a major player when it's go time.

 

But the idea that someone like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, or other high profile conservatives are hurting their chances by playing coy is just silly.  With that in mind, there are rumblings that one such high profile conservative who has consistently demurred about having interest in running for president (sometimes a good sign that he or she has an interest in running for president) is still a possibility for 2012.

 

As many grass-roots Republicans remain in search of a conservative candidate with the pizazz to go toe-to-toe against President Obama, a man from deep in the heart of Texas who was tea party before the tea party was cool appears to be giving the presidential race some thought.  Gov. Rick Perry has insisted on multiple occasions that he has no interest in the presidency, but RCP has learned that political associates have begun to nose around quietly on Perry's behalf.

 

A Texas pol who is close to Perry has been telling a few key strategists that the nation's longest-serving governor sees a vacuum and is waiting to be summoned into the race. This source believes that could happen by late summer. Without fellow Southerners Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee in the race -- and with Newt Gingrich's early troubles raising further doubts about the current lineup -- there could be a glaring niche for Perry to fill.

 

According to another well-connected Republican, at least one Perry confidant has been very quietly making inquiries about the political terrain in the nation's first voting state of Iowa. A third Perry associate, RCP has learned, has been heralding a small contingent of Iowans with the time-tested line that is often used by would-be candidates who are leaving their options open: "Keep your powder dry."

Perry has consistently said what Mitch Daniels has said: he has business in his state to attend to first.  Well, Perry's legislative session ends in a couple weeks, and there is nothing going on in the Republican primary right now to send a signal to Perry that it isn't a good time to run.

 

Perry is tough, he is conservative, and he is unapologetic.  He is battle tested and he seems to possess articulation skills that exceed that of his predecessor (George W. Bush).  He has led one of the largest states in the union for many years and has natural leadership skills.  So what might keep him out of the race?  Someone else who boasts a similar resume:

Perry's presidential prospects may ultimately be contingent on the decision made by the only GOP White House hopeful who can boast a resume and home state that is large enough to mess with Texas: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Perry shares Palin's dexterity with the simple, tough-talking language that tends to fire up the tea party faithful and is similarly adept at connecting on a human level that comes across as decidedly anti-politician, despite his more than a decade in the governor's mansion.

 

...

 

Palin endorsed Perry in his contentious primary against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison early last year, and they are both larger-than-life figures to the tea party rank and file. In other words, the race might not be big enough to hold both a Texas cowboy and a certain Mama Grizzly from the 49th state.

There's no indication that Palin is going to make a decision any time soon.  And she doesn't have to.  Her star power allows her to wait a long time before wading into the fray.  Perry doesn't quite have the same luxury.  But his entrance into the race would be a magnificent development for the Republican Party and for the country.  Keep your eyes on Texas.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2011

Joe Kernan is the co-anchor of CNBC's longest running program, Squawk Box.  He is also the author of a brand-new book: Your Teacher Said What?!  Defending Our Kids from the Liberal Assault on Capitalism.

 

 

The book was prompted by exchanges Joe had with his ten-year old daughter Blake, after she started explaining what she was learning at school.

 

Peter hosted Mr. Kernan on Wednesday's show to discuss the book, the problem, and what Americans must do to resist this grave threat to the republic.  Hear the whole interview here.

Posted by: Anna Anderson AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2011

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Social Security is set to run permanent deficits beginning this year.  Permanent deficits.  To most people that would be a sign that the system is in trouble.  The problem is that too many of those people get their news from the Obama propaganda machine in the mainstream media.  Take for instance the opening of a recent Associated Press report on the subject:

The bad economy is worsening the already-shaky finances of Medicare and Social Security, draining the trust funds supporting them faster than expected and intensifying the need for Congress to shore up the massive benefit programs, the government said Friday.

 

... The Social Security trust funds are projected to be drained in 2036, one year earlier than the last estimate.

 

2036, you say?  Oh, then we've got plenty of time before that happens!  No need to get in a panic!  No need to question an administration that ignores the issue for political purposes!

 

This entire line of logic is absurd.  There is no "trust fund" that is being "drained."  Tom Blumer puts it in easy to understand terms:

First, Social Security collected more in taxes than it paid out in benefits. A normal "trust fund" or investment account would invest these excesses and allow them to grow...

 

but that's not what happened. Since the 1960s, when President Lyndon Baines Johnson decided to present a "unified" budget which included Social Security instead of treating it as a separate, dedicated program, trust fund surpluses were lent to the rest of the government for the rest of its operations. The amounts involved didn't become significant until the late-1980s. From 1986-2007, the rest of the government wrote over $2.3 trillion in IOUs...

 

the annual surpluses, which peaked in fiscal 2007 and 2008 at about $186 billion each, started to rapidly shrink in 2008 as the recession hit... that means tax collections aren't covering benefits, meaning that the rest of the government is having to add to its already harrowing deficits to fund the annual shortfalls, which are forecast to continue and grow as far as the eye can see.

In other words, there is no trust fund.  Well, not anymore.  The trust fund has been spent by our government in exchange for a bunch of paper IOUs.  Remember that every time you hear politicians like Joe Donnelly refer to the system as "rock solid," or Democrats suggest that reforms are not necessary.  Remember it every time you read stories from the sycophantic state-run press that claims we have until 2036 to deal with the problem.  By 2036, the IOUs will be so thick, they'll bury us.

 

This is perhaps the most pressing domestic issue we face, as it constitutes such a large portion of the yearly budget.  We don't need politicians who will ignore the issue.  We need leaders who will deal with it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2011

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I can think of no better demonstration of the philosophy of government under the Obama regime than this:

There's a green side-effect to the 2005 DoD Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round that's wrapping up this year. Defense employees are moving from older, less energy-efficient buildings into new facilities that have to meet minimum standards for green construction.

 

Although BRAC involves the closure of bases, the realignment component has required the erecting of new buildings across the country, and military services managing the construction of those facilities have mandated that new construction meets the LEED Silver benchmark.

 

...

 

One example of the greener buildings springing up around the country under BRAC is northern Virginia's Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, which expects to be ready for patients this August with a LEED Silver rating.

 

 

"One of the first things people notice about the new hospital is these odd-looking structures at the top of the buildings, they're curved, sort of concave structures," said Don Carr, a spokesman at Fort Belvoir. "Those catch rainwater. That rainwater will be used by the hospital for all its non-potable purposes, like landscaping, cooling systems and so-forth."

Sounds super neat-o, doesn't it?  I can hardly wait to get a look at the price tag!  I'm sure it was a steal.  Most government projects are, you know?

 

So why do I say that this is a perfect demonstration of the Obama years?  Some on the left might actually agree with me at this point and say, "Of course it is!  Greener buildings, making us and the environment better off!  That's exactly what he is doing."  Yeah.

 

No, I'm talking a little bit more of the symbolism revealed in this later paragraph:

"It will be the third largest building in the government inventory, and it's the largest LEED Silver building in the country," said Travis Edwards, another base spokesman. "It's 2.3 million square feet, and you can fit the Statue of Liberty in the atrium. It's a huge building, and it uses very little energy."

A massively large government building that could swallow up the Statue of Liberty in just its lobby.  As I look at Mr. Obama's efforts to expand the government sector at the expense of the private sector, thus growing the power of the state over the power of the individual, I can't think of a more appropriate symbol. 

 

Government swallowing up liberty: the Obama monument!

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2011

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It's odd to me to hear conservatives leveling arguments against a proposed constitutional amendment requiring Congress to maintain a balanced budget.  The obvious exceptions (war, national crisis, unexpected attacks) are made in the proposed amendments on the table.

 

Most who argue against it suggest that they are uncomfortable with amending our preeminent document and that the best course of action is to just elect responsible lawmakers.  I agree with both of those sentiments, however, in this case, neither outweighs the arguments for the amendment.

 

 

Others have told me, "these lawmakers don't respect the Constitution as it is, so what makes you think that they'll respect an amendment?"  While that's compelling stuff, it ignores some key points that J. Robert Smith illuminated in a recent piece:

First, there are some constitutional restraints that keep Washington from going Hugo Chavez on the nation; in other words, from sliding into squalid statism.  There's certainly more competition than collusion among the branches, which provides a modicum of checks and balances.  The states still give some pushback to Uncle Sam.  There are electoral checks and balances and free speech and assembly rights that put the brakes on government - somewhat, at least. 

 

...

 

Senator [Mike] Lee's [Utah]  proposed constitutional amendment mandates a balanced budget, yes, but it also limits government spending to no more than 18% of the nation's GDP, unless there are wars or national emergencies.  Tax hikes, debt limit increases, and "specific" deficits all would require two-thirds majorities to pass.    

 

Any legislator in Washington or state capitols can attest to the challenge of mustering a simple majority to pass legislation - it's usually a tough task.  Imagine how much more formidable it would be to reach two-thirds agreement among Members of Congress to bust the debt limit or increase taxes.  The two-thirds requirement in Senator Lee's proposal is a tangible brake on spendthrift government and trigger-happy congressional taxers.  Simple legislative majorities are hard to get ordinarily but much easier to obtain than supermajorities. 

 

How much of Mr. Obama's spending proposals would have hit the skids had Senator Lee's balanced budget amendment been the law?  Hard to speculate, but Mr. Lee's balanced budget amendment would have at least greatly complicated matters for spend-happy Democrats and Republican suckerfish.

And that's the point.  Constitutional fidelity might not be at a premium among our current crop of Congressmen and President.  And yes, that should inspire us to make the necessary changes.  But amending the Constitution to demand a balanced budget will provide clarity to the abuses and corruption plaguing our country's leaders' fiscal insanity.  In other words, it will bring glaring light onto the perpetrators.

 

In short...it's worth it.  We need it, so let's do it.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2011

I heard a recent report about Dominique Strauss-Kahn's stay in New York. Mr. Strauss-Kahn is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief arrested on sexual assault charges. The report criticized socialist organizations like the IMF for putting Mr. Strauss-Kahn up in a posh $3,000.00 per night hotel.

 

I found articles today that the IMF states that it is not paying for Mr. Strauss-Kahn's stay. He is in New York on private business and is there on his own dime - or a lot of dimes.

 

 

Fine. Unless other evidence emerges, I believe the articles and the IMF statements.

 

But this does not diminish my astonishment at overtly blatant liberal-socialist hypocrisy. Folks like Mr. Strauss-Kahn are the "champions of the poor and middle class." They are the saviors to "working class" folks around the world. Indeed, Mr. Strauss-Kahn was (maybe still is) believed to have a good shot at leading the French Socialist party to victory and defeating the current French president in their next elections.

 

Regardless of who is footing the suite at New York's Sofitel hotel bill, isn't $3,000.00 a tad bit extreme for a socialist champion of the world's poor and working class? How is it that this socialist has the apparent income and net worth to afford such luxury? Isn't that supposed to be the purview of all those greedy, selfish, unjust capitalists?

 

Socialist hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.

 

Instead of spending $3,000.00 plus to chase a terrified maid down a hotel hallway, perhaps, just perhaps, Mr. Strauss-Kahn should have spent his night at the Manhatten YMCA and helped out in a food kitchen. Not only would that have demonstrated sincerity to so-called socialist ideas of fairness and justice, but it would have kept Mr. Strauss-Kahn out of what may be a ton of trouble.

 

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 17 2011

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It's an age old question: if you could know when you would die, would you want to?  I've never struggled with answering this question, to be completely honest.  I know others weigh the positives and the negatives, but for me, it's a no-brainer: no.  The reasons should be fairly self-explanatory: imagine having a never ending countdown timer in your head, knowing when your date with destiny would arrive.  While some might argue that it would be freeing to know how much time you've got to get as much "living" in as you can, I contend it would be paralyzing and extraordinarily depressing.

 

Those arguments, I thought, were merely philosophical since there's no way we could ever really know.  A story out of the UK Independent about a new controversial medical test suggests otherwise:

A blood test that can show how fast someone is ageing - and offers the tantalising possibility of estimating how long they have left to live - is to go on sale to the general public in Britain later this year.  The controversial test measures vital structures on the tips of a person's chromosomes, called telomeres, which scientists believe are one of the most important and accurate indicators of the speed at which a person is ageing.

 

 

Scientists behind the €500 (£435) test said it will be possible to tell whether a person's "biological age", as measured by the length of their telomeres, is older or younger than their actual chronological age.

I admit that when I saw the headline: "The 400 Pound Test That Tells You How Long You'll Live," I was immediately drawn to it.  Knowing it was going to be a crock, I was intrigued anyway.  Don't get me wrong, the science is interesting and the research to develop this is as impressive as always.  But it's silly.

 

Why?  I don't care how long one's telomeres are, that blood test doesn't do any predicting about the truck whose driver's telomeres expire right as he approaches me standing at my mailbox.  This is another elaborate medical test that will freak some people out (those who draw the short end of the telomere stick) and give a false sense of immortality to others (those whose telomeres are more lengthy).

 

At first I couldn't understand why this research was being deemed so "controversial."  This isn't "playing God" by social engineering or eugenics, so what's the big deal.  Then I reached paragraph four, and I realized:

The results of the tests might also be of interest to companies offering life-insurance policies or medical cover that depend on a person's lifetime risk of falling seriously ill or dying prematurely. However, there is a growing body of scientific opinion that says testing the length of a person's telomeres could provide vital insights into the risk of dying prematurely from a range of age-related disorders, from cardiovascular disease to Alzheimer's and cancer. "We know that people who are born with shorter telomeres than normal also have a shorter lifespan. We know that shorter telomeres can cause a shorter lifespan," said Maria Blasco of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, who is the inventor of the new commercial telomere test. "But we don't know whether longer telomeres are going to give you a longer lifespan. That's not really known in humans," she added.

Suddenly I was having flashbacks to Barack Obama's now infamous town hall meeting at the White House when he told the woman that her 100 year old mother should have gotten a pain pill instead of a life-saving pacemaker.  This kind of telomere nonsense will do nothing more than provide the central planning statists another piece of "scientific" justification for pulling the plug on those who have become expendable and too costly to continue covering:

 

"We'd love to give you that pacemaker Ms. Johnson, but as you can clearly see on the chart, your telomeres expire right...about...now."

 

It's a brave new world.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 17 2011

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We will take a hand count of all those surprised by this story when we get to the end of it.  You have heard about the catastrophic wildfires that have scorched the state of Texas by now.  Most are aware that President Obama chose not to take a flyover of the tragic scene with the state's governor Rick Perry most likely due to the fact that Perry is on Obama's enemies list.  Politics trumps all in this White House...even something like helping devastated people.  (By the way, isn't it nice to see the media treat Mr. Obama as harshly for that as they did President Bush for Katrina?  Ahem.)

 

But hold onto your hats.  As it turns out, Mr. Obama may have more to apologize for than just being immature:

 

A county official in the Texas Panhandle is now blaming a federal agency for starting one of the fires through carelessness.

 

Tom Edwards, the county attorney in rural Motley County east of Lubbock, said on Friday that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives was responsible on Tuesday for sparking a fire that consumed 150 acres.

"You can quote me on it: That bunch has a real corner on stupid," Edwards told Reuters.

 

Tom Crowley, a spokesman with the federal agency, said bureau officials were assisting four local bomb squads -- at their request -- to destroy some explosives. Firefighters were on hand, he said. The wind picked up, but the explosives were too dangerous to move, so the officials went ahead and destroyed the explosives.

 

"Unfortunately, a fragment ignited some grass," Crowley said. "As far as the community, we're working with them to let them know how to go about making a claim with the government."

Just a reminder: if you got caught burning leaves on a day that's windy, you'd get a ticket or be arrested.  But they're the government.  They're "professionals."  Ahem.

 

Granted, Barack Obama can't be held accountable for the stupid decisions of every government employee.  Again, you'll remember how much the left extended that same courtesy to President Bush during the Katrina disaster - every time you turned around, they were reminding us that it wasn't his fault.it was like he sent Dick Cheney down there in scuba gear to blow up the levees.  Ahem.

 

But Barack Obama can be held accountable for the fact that he continues wanting to expand the size and scope of a government into areas where it just doesn't belong and just can't do as good of a job as the private sector.  We see it on Indian Reservations.  We see it in welfare programs (if you want to help the poor, do you write a check to a private charity or the federal government?).  We see it everywhere we turn around.

 

I'll excuse Mr. Obama for not showing enough class to do a flyover and direct federal assistance to the state if he will stop the massive growth of government that isn't making us happier, healthier or better off.  It's burning our states to the ground.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 17 2011

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He has been seen.  The illusive "Silent Joe" Donnelly has made one of his first television appearances since announcing that he is running away from a rematch with Jackie Walorski in 2012.  The Michiana Fox59 crew caught up with the "Silentus Donnellus" species as it left its natural habitat of Washington for a tour of the state he "represents."

"There has never been a thought in my mind that I wouldn't win this next Congressional race," Donnelly said.

 

But Joe Donnelly isn't running for re-election to the House next year.

 

 

He's running for Dick Lugar's Senate seat, a move most pundits think is a way to avoid facing Republican Jackie Walorski in a in a redrawn 2nd District.

 

"I wouldn't be afraid of a race against Ms. Walorski.  We beat her in 2010 in possibly the worst political climate for a Democrat in decades and decades and decades.  And so, this new Congressional District, a Democrat can win it, and I expect that a Democrat will win it," Donnelly said.

Worst political climate because of the very policies that Joe Donnelly still supports, mind you.  And he squeaked out that victory in one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the nation - something that even national Democrats reluctantly acknowledge.  None the less, Mr. Donnelly has decided to be put out to pasture...er, go graze in greener pastures.

"I will tell you that I think Richard Lugar has a very, very tough race on his hands in the Republican Primary.  I'm not sure who will be coming out of that Republican Primary, but I'm not focused on that. I'm focused on going to every corner of our state, making sure that we have in place the kind of programs that are necessary for job creation, talk to every single resident of our state that I can and tell them the same message that I've had up here, which is that we'll work non-stop for you and your family," Donnelly said.

WHAT?!?!?!  Going to every corner of our state???  Talk to every single resident of our state that he can???  Mr. Donnelly has been offered for 342 straight shows, the opportunity to talk to a number of them by coming on our program and answering questions about why he thinks his votes facilitate the "kind of programs that are necessary for job creation."  Not only has he refused, he has insulted our listening audience - his constituents - by not even granting the courtesy of a polite decline.  No phone call, no email, no form letter, no nothing.

 

We should correct Mr. Donnelly's blatantly false, exaggerative rhetoric to more accurately reflect his true intent:

 

"I'm focused on going to every corner of our state that I view as sympathetic to my views, and talk with every single resident of our state that agrees with me," Donnelly said.

 

If Silent Joe wants people to believe he's truly interested in hearing the concerns of all citizens, he can prove it.  I'm pretty sure he knows the number...but just in case, we'll keep trying.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 17 2011

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There was a pretty boring column on Mitch Daniels and his wife Cheri at RealClearPolitics over the weekend.  That isn't meant to be an insult to the author - just an observation that unless you're into all things Daniels, it's likely not going to entertain you.

 

But tucked in at the very end of the piece was a nugget that made me glad I read it anyway.  The story talked about a recent sit-down Mitch had with a group of 55 college students who have been organizing a movement to draft Daniels to run in the Republican primary.  They flew to Indy to present Mitch with a list of thousands of signatures on a petition to get him to run.

 

Turning its attention to this possibility, the end of the piece revealed this interesting fact:

He has obviously given some thought to the area beyond Indiana's borders, too.

 

Daniels accepted an invitation from those 55 students to meet at a spacious bar several blocks away after the event; he sipped Woodford Reserve bourbon as he asked them about their own lives and families. In return, they asked him who he might like to tap as his vice presidential nominee if he runs.

 

Hypothetically, he told them, he'd like to pick Condoleezza Rice.

 

Condi Rice.  Wow.  Mitch is extraordinarily strong when it comes to fiscal conservatism.  And if that was the only issue that mattered, or if issues could stand alone, Mitch would be a definite front-runner for the nomination.  But Daniels is perceived as vulnerable in two main areas: foreign policy and social conservatism.

 

A pick of Condi Rice would dramatically alter the perception of his candidacy when it comes to foreign policy.  Rice is about as brilliant on foreign policy as one can be.  It would be a coup for him.  Not to mention, the media becomes extremely hampered in their ability to drum up racism charges against the right if they are championing a black woman for the vice presidency (not that they won't obviously give it their best shot).

 

It doesn't change his weakness on social policy, but it would make him much more formidable.  The major drawback for Mitch in this regard, of course, is that you don't get to pick your Veep until you've won the nomination.  And that is where he'll have a tough time.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 16 2011

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Well that didn't take too long, did it Newt?  A few days after announcing his entrance into the Republican presidential primary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decided to differentiate himself from the other candidates by...attacking conservative Republicans.  Hey, it worked so well for John McCain, why not give it a shot?

 

Going on Meet the Press, Gingrich unloaded on the Republican Medicare proposal:

White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare "right-wing social engineering," injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party's efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.  In the same interview Sunday, on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mr. Gingrich backed a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance, complicating a Republican line of attack on President Barack Obama's health law.

 

Complicating?  You could say that.  When the conservative right is demonstrating the fact that an individual mandate runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution, in parades Mr. Gingrich to back it.  Nice.  If there's any question as to whether Newt would be an effective standard bearer for the right (as if the Nancy Pelosi photo-op on global warming didn't seal that deal), this should answer it.  I think it was the moment he started playing from the Charles Schumer (D - NY) playbook by referring to Republicans as "extreme" (in this case "radical") that was the clincher.

 

Andrew Stiles noted Newt's verbiage resembled that of the left as well:

As far as an alternative, Gingrich trotted out the same appeal employed by Obama/Reid/Pelosi ? for a "national conversation" on how to "improve" Medicare, and promised to eliminate ?waste, fraud and abuse,' etc.

Lovely.  Perhaps we can reduce our "carbon footprint" while showing compassion to the schoolchildren too, Newt?  Good grief.  The most galling part of all this though, is the deception involved.  As the spokesman for the architect of the Republican Medicare plan, Paul Ryan, explained:

"The solutions offered by Chairman Ryan and advanced by House Republicans make no changes to Medicare for those in and near retirement, while offering a strengthened, personalized program that future generations can count on when they retire," [Conor] Sweeney says. "Far from claims of radicalism, the gradual, common-sense Medicare reforms ensure that no senior will be forced to reorganize their lives because of government's mistakes. The most ?radical' course of action on Medicare is continue to cling to the unsustainable status quo."

Here's the deal: some are asserting that Newt is making a tactical political decision to try to move to the center (read, "left") in order to win over the same moderates that gave McCain the nomination in 2008 over his more conservative counterparts.  Perhaps they're right - that may be Newt's thinking.  The problem with that thinking, of course, is that Newt should read the rest of the McCain novel.  He lost the election.  Unable to energize his base, he picked Sarah Palin, which saved him an epic embarrassment at the polls.  But 2012 is not the same environment as 2008, and therefore a political "genius" like Newt should realize that it doesn't call for the same strategy.

 

That's why I'm not buying the "strategy" argument.  I think this is Newt.  Infatuated with media attention, desperate to be the "reasonable" and "bright" Republican (which, in order to be considered as such requires one to bash conservatism), Newt is tacking left because it's what he really believes.  And he's just as wrong as they are.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 16 2011

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During the "heat" of the global warming debate, several conservatives who refused to buy into the hysteria that was making Al Gore and his Warmers a whole lot of money at the public's expense started asking a reasonable and ingenious question that the left had absolutely no answer to:

 

If the earth has been going through periods of warming and cooling throughout its history (and keep in mind for the vast majority of the Warmers, that means billions of years), what makes us think that the climate we have right now is optimal?  What makes this one today the best climate for everyone everywhere, and why do we have to go out of our way to try to ensure it stays just like it is?  Who's to say that a few degrees warmer wouldn't actually be better for more people around the globe? 

 

 

The left had no answer because they weren't really worried about people around the globe.  They were worried about themselves, their own profit, and their timeless Marxist effort to control more people through an ever-expanding authoritative state.  And the global warming movement created the kind of hysteria that was causing a lot of otherwise sane people to surrender their freedoms and blessings to those promising to protect them from instant global incineration.

 

Of course, a further point was made by conservatives that even if we could prove that this climate was the very best we could ever have, what made us think we are capable of stopping climate change if it has been going on for the entirety of earth's existence?  Wouldn't we be wiser to anticipate which direction the change was going and make adaptations to harness it and make it a benefit to us?  Again, no answer from the left.

 

On the heels of all this, comes a fabulous story out of Greenland:

NUUK, Greenland ? Few places on Earth have seen starker changes in weather than this icebound island straddling the Arctic Circle. With that in mind, America's top diplomat arrived here this week intent on calling attention to the perils of climate change.

 

The problem was that Greenlanders aren't exactly complaining.

 

In fact, as Secretary of State of Hillary Rodham Clinton toured snow-covered fjords on Thursday, there were awkward reminders of Greenland's embrace of the rise in temperatures that began two decades ago. Rather than questioning global warming, many of this island's 60,000 inhabitants seem to be racing to cash in.

 

The tiny capital of Nuuk is bracing for record numbers of visitors this year; the retreating sea ice means a longer tourist season and more cruise ships from the United States. Hunters are boasting of more and bigger caribou, and the annual cod migration is starting earlier and lasting longer.

 

In the far south, farmers are trying their hand at an exotic form of agriculture: growing vegetables.

 

"Before, the growing season was too short for vegetables," said Noah Melgaard, a local journalist. "Now it is getting longer each year."

 

For Clinton, who was visiting Greenland for a meeting of the eight-nation Arctic Council, it was one of several jarring contradictions that threatened at times to distract from the messages she traveled 2,000 miles to deliver.

 

It is always jarring for liberals when they realize that people don't really want to be controlled.  They don't really want to be managed.  They don't really want to be "taken care of" by the hand that does so by reaching into their pocket.  They actually want to be left alone.  And when they are...they survive.  They thrive.  They find innovative and amazing ways of responding to the changes in their environment, their surroundings, their world.

 

If anyone should know and respect that, it should be a representative from the United States of America.  That she doesn't, is a perfect example of what liberalism can do to the mind of citizens and lawmakers even right here in the seat of human liberty.  Here's to hoping that Greenland has many more productive years of growing turnips.  Maybe they could package some up and send them to Al Gore?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 16 2011

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Well at least I can say it now with no fear of contradiction: when it comes to the economy, raising taxes is the left's religion.

 

If we have deficits, the first item of business is to go to the altar of revenue bills and present the gods of the IRS with tithes and offerings that liberal politicians have coerced from the pockets of the citizens.  Just give the government more money and the problems will be solved.  It's the be-all, end-all solution.  Oh, they'll tolerate some talk of miniscule and insignificant cuts to the federal budget.  But don't ask them to use more than a "scalpel" to trim back the fat.  The big pot-belly stays.  No liposuction for the government.

 

 

But, as I was saying, it goes beyond just an obsession.  It goes beyond just groupthink.  It is a full blown religious experience for them to tax people more.  Don't believe me?  Check out this exchange between NPR's Nina Totenberg and PBS's Mark Shields (I'm sure it's just a coincidence that they both work for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting - an institution on the government dole):

NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: The trouble is there have to be some tax increases as well as spending cuts. You can't do this over the long haul without some tax increases.

 

GORDON PETERSON, HOST: We'll see.

 

MARK SHIELDS, PBS: Amen

Amen.  So be it.  To the left, this is it - their best, their only idea on how to grow the economy and improve people's lives: More taxes, more spending, more government.

 

Here's hoping that the heathens' message of freeing the individual from the burden of oppressive government regulation and taxation will triumph on election day in 2012.  It would be a much needed reformation for the country.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Monday, May 16 2011

Once more, reality rears its cruel head in the land of left-believe. In particular, economic reality:

Medicare's Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is now expected to be exhausted in 2024 ? five years sooner than projected last year. Upon exhaustion, dedicated revenue will be able to pay 90% of costs for the hospital-insurance program.

 

Meanwhile, government officials said trust fund reserves for Social Security will be exhausted in 2036, one year sooner than expected last year. Afterwards, tax income will only be able to pay for three-quarters of scheduled benefits though 2085.

Which ideology has been denying funding crisis of Medicare and Social Security? Fiscal liberalism. Which ideology has warned of the reality of Medicare and Social Security funding problems? Fiscal conservatism. Which ideology sought to begin fundamental changes to the Social Security program that would address the issue of shortfalls? Fiscal conservatism. Which ideology ran a smear campaign to impugn those suggesting changes? Fiscal liberalism.

 

 

Now cold, hard reality tells us that the respective Trust Funds are projected to be depleted even sooner than previously thought. (Uh, isn't it a problem if the Trust Funds of either of these major government-mandated programs are projected to be depleted at any point?)

 

This is a good time to point out another cold, hard reality: the reality of credibility. Although residents in the land of left-believe are very adept at covering up truth with their short-term smokescreens, long-term truth and reality always emerge. And they always emerge with even more ferocity as they were allowed to fester rampantly while being covered up.

 

Americans were told by liberal and government economic geniuses that there was no housing or mortgage problems. Then foreclosures began to accelerate. Americans were told by liberal and government economic geniuses that the housing problems were isolated and contained. Then humongous financial firms began to fail. And our geniuses were shocked.

 

Today, fiscal conservatives explain that the bailouts, the Fed's repurchase of Treasury debt (ie, "quantitative easing" or "printing money"), and increasingly humongous national debt obligations will result in no widespread economic stimulus but, instead, in escalating commodities prices and business cutbacks.

Bernanke is giving us the worst of all worlds ? slowing growth AND higher inflation. He's bucking the trend of virtually every prudent central banker the world over, and destroying our hard-earned wealth in the process.

Guess which ideology denies these predictions and denounces those making them as unbelievable extremists?

 

Given their respective track records in the face of cold, hard reality, who are you going to believe?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 09:17 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 15 2011

Remember the last presidential campaign? The one in which liberals opined that if only we had anyone in the White House other than President Bush, then all those mean, ol' bad guys would stop hating us? It was preached that world peace would be just around the corner?

 

Hasn't quite worked out that way.

US president Barack Obama was apparently on the hit-list of Osama bin Laden, the huge cache of material obtained from the slain al-Qaida chief's Abbottabad hideout suggested.

 

All of us know what Mr. Obama promised and what liberals hoped. Respect for America would return when we stop acting like... Americans! When we have a fearless leader willing to courageously circle the world with apology tours.

 

All that has been done and lo and behold - tsk, tsk - America still has enemies. Real enemies who vow to harm us every way possible.

 

Poor, poor liberals. They keep getting their wishes, but things keep getting worse. Thank goodness there are still conservatives who can take up their misguided slack.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 15 2011

I have made references numerous times to the Weiss Research team for financial and economic analysis and commentary. I do so because they have an experienced team with a global outlook who can translate complex "financial-speak" into real language we can understand.

 

In the May 14, 2011, Money and Markets commentary, Bryan Rich warns that the Lehman Brothers crisis of 2008 is still just the opening act for what lies ahead:

In 2008, the failure of Lehman Brothers nearly collapsed the global financial system. To avert collapse, it required unprecedented global government bailouts, backstops and policy responses.

 

 

These efforts bought some time ? nearly two and a half years to date. But time hasn't healed the wounds. In fact, the government responses have done nothing to avoid the ultimate fallout, rather exacerbating it by transferring private debt into public debt, and building more and more debt in the process.

 

That's why the global economy isn't recovering despite the many calls from Wall Street. It's only catching a breath, before the next wave hits.

His key words there are "government responses" that have transferred massive amounts of "private debt into public debt." This is a chilling observation. While third world socialist style nations are making economic advances by moving toward free market economics, economically advanced nations march toward central planning, command style economies and closer to third world status.

 

This observation is not lost on a wide spectrum of analysts and economists. Floyd and Mary Beth Brown of the Floyd Reports recently wrote:

Obamanomics is a disaster. A greater disaster hasn't been visited on the United States in our economic history because we are taking no substantial steps toward recovery. The real news, which should be screaming from every television and newspaper isn't pro Obama, therefore, it is ignored.

 

Here are the stories on which we should be focusing. The US dollar has slumped to a record low against major currencies. Since we have devastated our manufacturing base over the last two decades, this will result in Americans paying substantially more for goods on the store shelves in retailers from Walmart to Costco.

 

The outlook for the recovery has diminished to almost zero. If you subtract the impact of inflation, many economists believe we are actually still in a recession. When I talk to my friends and neighbors outside of Washington DC, we unanimously agree we are still in recession.

 

Here are some statistics which will help you understand the pain. More Americans are on food stamps today than at any other time in history. That's right?the most in history. The number of persons on food stamps is 44.2 million according a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

I want to add one facet: This is not about only "Obamanomics." The economic perils we face are the result of liberal economics. Those living in the land of left-believe contend that an economy must be "fair." In turn, their mythical "fairness" is legislated and imposed on a population through government coercion. Most liberals who espouse this are "useful idiots" who are deceived into the belief that such a system is fair and/or receive a benefit from such an economy. Fewer liberals who espouse this system are those who are driven to heights of power by controlling the lives of millions of citizens.

 

 

While Obama and liberals once again pin economic woes on convenient targets like "greedy" oil companies and "speculators" and vow to investigate "price gouging" and "market manipulation," the Browns point out that Mr. Obama is not at all hesitant to spend over a hundred thousand taxpayer dollars for teleprompter coaching.

 

This is third world leader arrogance in its full glory. How long will it be before thousands of "adoring citizens" will be coerced into standing for hours of political speech by their "beloved leader?"

 

Until we find ways to stop this madness, our march to third world status will continue unabated.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 15 2011

I received the following circulating email from a friend:

Does anyone have a map printed in 1961 or 1962 showing Kenya on it? 

 

"The problem with this 'new' birth certificate is that it's, well....new. It lists his birthday as August 4, 1961, then lists his father's native country as Kenya. The problem with that is Kenya didn't exist until 1963; it was British East Africa or East Africa Protectorate until then. It also lists the hospital of his birth as Kapi'olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, which didn't exist until 1978. Prior to that time it was Kauaikeolani Children's Hospital. It is also dated April 25, 2011, with Dr. Alvin T. Onaka signing to the stamp of "I certify this is a true copy or abstract of the record on file in the Hawaii Department of State Health". Being an abstract does not mean it is real or official; it means it matches what is in the electronic system, which would have been put in some time after 1978 because of the hospital name, and as recently as April 25, 2011, because of the date, or any time in between." 

 

Also........at this time, 1961, they were still recorded as ' negro' the term ?African American' didn't exist ... !!!!!

I post this not to attribute any accuracy to it or to perpetuate it, but to illustrate how much the left despises research and open critique.

 

Perhaps anyone raising or perpetuating these issues are as foolish as their critics claim them to be. What is amazing, though, is that anyone who makes observations and raises issues like these are instantaneously ridiculed by libs and even by some conservatives. Why can't the issues be raised and then put to rest with reasoned, well-mannered research? After all, weren't we all taught and required to do investigative research in public school and beyond? But now if we're inquisitive at all in any manner that upsets the liberal template, the steamroller response from those living in the land of left-believe is to crush any and all dissension.

 

Snopes includes these accusations on its birth certificate page and then declares that they are patently false. Perhaps that is the end of it, but they hardly post what could be considered measured research. It is more of the caliber of "Is too!" "Is not!" If the Snopes "investigation" is accurate, then there should be easily available other birth certificates from the same period recorded in the same manner. That would be investigative research.

 

Instead, the left would rather cruelly parody and intimidate.

 

Ah yes, the tolerant, open-mindedness of the left.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 15 2011

The comic strip "Zits" recently divulged the secret behind the left's energy policy proposals. In an oral report to his high school science class, one of the strip's characters, Pierce, reports, "By 2015, I estimate that eighty percent of this country's energy could come from flatulence and old ipods."

 

In response to the teacher's inquiry, he responds, "How? I have no idea."

 

Back at his desk, he says to his friend, "Physics teachers fear us big-picture types."

 

 

When one takes an honest, analytical look at many of the nation's energy policies proposed by the left, they look eerily similar to Pierce's report: high-flying dreams with little attachment to current reality.

 

While it is great to have new energy production ideas on the board, for that is where new realities will originate, much of what liberal activists and policy makers are demanding are extremely speculative. Yet, they insist on forcing all American taxpayers into their risk-filled dreams. If new realistic energy sources do not come from a marketplace free to experiment and fail, Americans will be saddled with long delays for sources of new energy, high bills to pay, and a wrecked economy.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 14 2011

You may not recognize the name Steven Tyler. In what has become the United States of Entertainment, I'd bet that ten times more Americans know that this is the lead singer of the 70's rock group Aerosmith and a judge on American Idol, than know that John Tyler was America's tenth President.

In recent weeks Tyler has appeared on the cover of several magazines, which seem to coincide with his role as an Idol judge and a new autobiography. Tyler is a pop star icon to millions of young adults through those in their late 40's. He is still active on the tour circuit and a successful musical artist with Aerosmith hits on the billboard charts appearing repeatedly over the last 40 years. Aerosmith may even be the best selling American rock band of all time having sold over 150 million albums.

I read an interesting article this week from Life News, an excellent Internet pro-life news source. It re-tells part of Aerosmith's biography, Walk this Way, in which Tyler has some sort of sympathetic pro-life epiphany, but the entire story is more of a reflection of moral relativism and the power of pop culture idolatry that consumes America today.

In 1975 when Steven Tyler was already a renowned rock star, the singer, then in his late 20's, took his live-in girlfriend to have an abortion. It must have been late-term abortion from the procedure's description. Tyler was present when a needle was injected into Julia's abdomen and later when she delivered a dead child. Tyler's band members remember that this event was devastating and "messed up" the singer for quite some time. The story also quotes Tyler with some sympathy as saying, "Jesus, what have I done?"

What did Tyler do? This is a question worth asking about an individual who is admired by millions of youth and lifted up as a "star." It's not an irrelevant question, because while abortion is a major problem, there's another significant and widespread problem in this story. Tyler's girlfriend Julia lived with Tyler in part because of their "romantic" relationship, but Tyler had also convinced Julia's parents to sign her over to him as her legal guardian. Julia was only 14 years of age!

Far from being lauded for stardom and serving on a panel judging TV singers, Steven Tyler should be singing a song today before a parole panel for rape and sexual misconduct with a minor. We have a culture that sexualizes almost everything and, as a consequence of our hedonism, routinely fails to protect children. One of the primary culprits of this problem is the entertainment industry.   I wonder if any reporter or book reviewer will notice Tyler's crime and question our nation's misplaced values when it comes to those we admire and reward with fame and fortune.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:24 am   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 14 2011

Courts have historically used a three-prong measure concerning minority status. This measure is not widely known or discussed because so many of those who want to hijack the civil rights movement fall woefully short of these logical measures. The first criterion is that a protected class should have a history of discrimination that is evidenced by an inability to obtain economic, educational or cultural opportunity. Second, protected classes should demonstrate political powerlessness. Lastly, protected classes should also exhibit obvious immutable (unchangeable) distinguishable characteristics like skin color, gender or national origin.

Thankfully, what one chooses to do or how one views himself does not automatically define who he is.


Millions of people have left foolish behaviors or views of self through maturity, education, counseling or religious dedication. Still, setting aside the third requirement for the moment, consider the first two criteria of economic and political powerlessness for minority classification in this astonishing news item from Gary Bauer, former Domestic Policy Advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

That the homosexual movement has been expanding its influence within the Democrat Party over the years is no secret. It is most evident in the fact that the last Democrat president, Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act, while this Democrat president refuses to enforce it. Now consider this quote from a column in today's Politico:

"President Barack Obama's reelection campaign is banking on gay donors to make up the cash it's losing from other groups of wealthy supporters who have been alienated and disappointed by elements of Obama's first term. ...Obama's finance committee included one gay man in 2008; there are 15 this year."

It speaks volumes about Barack Obama's radical agenda that his reelection campaign puts so much emphasis on getting support from a special interest group that wants to redefine marriage and indoctrinate children about "alternative" lifestyles. It tells you all you need to know about the kind of judges he appoints and other promises he has made to the militant homosexual movement.

Obama's gay agenda is out-of-step with the values of most Americans. More than 30 states have voted to preserve the meaning of normal marriage. But elections have consequences.

Obama has already appointed two left-wing justices to the Supreme Court, which has a narrowly divided 5-to-4 center-right majority. If Obama gets a second term, he could tip the balance of power on the court for a generation or more.

For Americans who cherish faith, family and freedom, Obama's dependence on the militant homosexual rights movement should be a wakeup call. The stakes in 2012 could hardly be greater. Only one side can prevail in the cultural war over the values we pass on to our children and grandchildren. The radical left understands that too. That is why the homosexual rights movement is so committed to reelecting Barack Hussein Obama.

What is so striking here is that political observers are predicting that the Obama re-election campaign will raise a record $1 billion for 2012. It is interesting to whom they are purposefully looking for a large part of those funds. Can you imagine such a strategic revelation about the Truman or Eisenhower campaigns of 1952 in regard to blacks? Hardly. No true minority in need of "civil rights" legislation could ever offer such powerful political and economic help.  Students all across America are being purposefully led to believe that homosexuals are the new societal victims and that homosexuality is the next civil rights movement. They could not be more wrong.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 06:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 14 2011

Governor Mitch Daniels has signed House Bill 1210 into law, following through with his statement a week ago. That strong statement, which I reprinted here last week, pointed out that the portion of this pro-life legislation moving state tax dollars away from abortion providers would still leave over 800 Medicaid providers who are still eligible for state funded women's services. This fact did not stop Planned Parenthood, Indiana's largest abortion provider, from holding a press conference an hour after the bill was signed.  They announced that they would seek a legal injunction (restraining order) against the implementation of the law.

Federal Judge Tonya Walton Pratt could issue or reject an injunction on the law's implementation as early as this afternoon. If the judge does not issue an injunction, it can be assumed that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood will still move forward with legal efforts to try to get the measure ruled unconstitutional.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has stepped up to announce that his office would defend the law, which is the duty of an Attorney General. (US Attorney General Eric Holder could learn a lot from General Zoeller in regard to the role of an AG when it comes to defending the law. Unlike AG Holder, Zoeller has used his office to defend marriage statutes.) It is obvious that the Indiana Attorney General's office has expected the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to try to block HB 1210 in court.

It is interesting to note that while the Governor signed HB 1210 and signaled that intent with a very good press statement in advance, he rejected a request by pro-life groups and their legislative authors for a signing ceremony. Not every bill has a signing ceremony. Yet, Planned Parenthood certainly won't give the Governor any less grief for not having one. Such an event would have given pro-life and pro-family leaders a photo opportunity for their publications. It might also have been politically helpful in regard to lingering questions about the Governor's "truce" comments and his true view of social issues.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 06:02 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 13 2011

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Boy if this doesn't reveal the reality that President Obama has absolutely no clue what he's doing to the American economy, nothing will.  Obama appeared at a town hall on CNBC to discuss the stagnant and faltering economic state of the nation.  Of course, no one expected him to actually take any blame for his destructive policies, but you would have thought someone on his staff could have briefed him on how to sound a little bit more in control and aware of the topic.

 

Apparently not:

President Obama urged businesses to "step up" and hire workers, pressing banks and other corporations to do more to help an economy that he said would take "several years" to recover fully.

 

Really?  That's what we need, Mr. President?  Businesses just need to "step up?"  That sounds like it was drawn straight from the epic "crisis of confidence" line in Jimmy Carter's now infamous Malaise speech.  (Of course, we all know what happened for Carter in the following election...here's to hoping!)

In a town-hall style meeting conducted by CBS News on Wednesday, Obama said the weak housing market and high gasoline prices were the biggest "headwinds" dragging on the economy.

Interesting since the biggest headwind is actually the headstrong president who can't seem to realize it's his housing and energy prices that are causing this stunted, non-existent recovery.

"We've got a lot more work to do to get businesses to invest and to hire," he told the audience in remarks broadcast on Thursday.

Actually, Mr. President, the more work you do to solve this crisis, the worse it gets.  Maybe the best thing you could do to make businesses want to invest and hire is just sit there and be quiet for a really, really, really long time.

"It's going to take us several years for us to get back where we need to be."

Actually, by my count, just a couple.  I'm thinking in 2013 we'll turn the corner pretty quickly. 

 

You get the point.  Basically the President said nothing in this town hall.  I could have made this a lot simpler on everybody if someone would have just given me access to the TelePrompter.  We could have done it in 15 seconds and spared everyone the long, boring, extraordinarily-void-of-anything-meaningful, presidential seminar.  Here's what he should have just said:

 

"My fellow Americans, I don't really have a clue what's going on with the economy.  My advisers all told me that things would be rosy by now if we just kept spending and spending at record levels.  They told me this Keynesian euro-socialist approach would be effective.  I'm just the salesman.  They said to sell it.  I'm not sure why it's not working, but I'm just gonna keep doing my job to sell it anyway."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 13 2011

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The layman's definition of insanity goes something like this: doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result.  If that's the case, someone should break out a fresh set of white jackets at the White House:

Community activists in St. Louis became concerned a couple of years ago that local banks weren't offering credit to the city's poor and African American residents. So they formed a group called the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance and began writing complaint letters to federal regulators.

 

 

Apparently, someone in Washington took notice. The Federal Reserve has cited one of the group's targets, Midwest BankCentre, a small bank that has been operating in St. Louis's predominantly white, middle-class suburbs for over a century, for failing to issue home mortgages or open branches in disadvantaged areas. Although executives at the bank say they don't discriminate, Midwest BankCentre's latest annual report says it is in the process of negotiating a settlement with the U.S. Justice Dept. over its lending practices.

 

Lawyers and bank consultants say regulators and the Obama Administration are scrutinizing financial institutions for a practice that last drew attention before the rise of subprime lending: redlining. The term dates from the 1930s, when the Federal Housing Administration drew up maps using red ink to delineate inner-city neighborhoods considered too risky for lending. Congress later passed laws banning lending discrimination on the basis of race and other characteristics. "The agencies have refocused on redlining because, in the wake of the subprime explosion and sudden implosion, they are looking at these disadvantaged neighborhoods and not seeing any credit access," says Jo Ann Barefoot, co-chair at Treliant Risk Advisors in Washington, D.C., which consults with banks on regulatory issues.

You might recall it wasn't that long ago that we hit a housing crisis that to this day hasn't subsided.  People were losing their homes, and candidates from every party, every stripe, every affiliation, were coming out of the woodwork demanding that government step in and save these homes - in other words, you the taxpayer...on top of paying for your own mortgage...need to have more tax dollars taken from you in order to pay these other folks' mortgage as well.

 

As it turns out, the reason we had this problem was pretty simple: the government had leaned on lending banks to give loans to people with terrible credit and who were way beyond rational risk limit.  In short, these were poor folks without the means to pay back such a large loan, or folks who had shown a consistent unwillingness to make good on their payment expectations.  In other words, people that you would never loan money to.  But politicians aren't worried about that.  They're worried about getting elected.

 

And from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, their administrations basked in the glory of telling the country how many more people were "owning" their own homes thanks to their policies.  Well sure they were.anyone can take a check and use it to purchase a house.  The problem comes when the mortgage payments start and the new "homeowner" is in over his head.  And what was Barack Obama's solution?  Send them more checks of taxpayer money!  So we did.  Bailout after bailout.

 

But that was only because it was a crisis, right?  I mean, we couldn't let people lose their homes, so it was just that one time deal, right?  We've corrected the underlying problem of the government forcing banks into making loans to folks who have bad credit, right? 

 

All evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 13 2011

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One of the reasons that political debate will go on perpetually in the United States (and everywhere) is because there are those who, for whatever reason, find themselves unable to accept simple, plain, incontrovertible facts if those facts happen to contradict their previously held position.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of folks on both sides of the aisle who are willing to swallow their pride and change their mind, or to acknowledge that we're all human and make mistakes. 

 

But changing your mind is seen as weakness more often than not, and it causes people (again, I'm speaking about all of us here) to obstinately hold onto intellectually vapid and patently ignorant positions just because they don't want their opponent to ever be right.

 

 

I look at the debate over gas prices that way.  What should be a simple statement of economic fact that is proven in every scenario and situation where it is applied (it's a law of economics, in other words): increased supply and steady demand will lower cost.  If the demand for gas stays the same, and you increase the supply of it, the cost will go down.  But because liberals have bought into the Big Oil, speculator, alternative energy-is-the-only-hope philosophy, they continue to deny what is patently obvious.

 

I think I've actually got one better now.  Check out this video exchange between Chris Matthews and Ron Reagan, Jr.  The question itself begs incredible ignorance.  And the answer goes on to deliver!

 

Here was the transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Ron, I got to get back to you and then to Doug. Did he really believe if you lowered the tax rates the government made more money? I mean, really believe it?

 

RON REAGAN: You know, I think he actually -- honestly, I think he did. All evidence to the contrary, I know, find me a time when that actually happened, but I think he believed somehow that that would happen.

The question is incredible.  Chris Matthews is incredulous about this.  He's acting like he can't really believe that Reagan would think this.  It's said in a, "C'mon, he wasn't really that dumb was he...he was just saying that for effect, right" kinda way.  That's incredible.  And then for Ron to respond and, while stating that his dad OBVIOUSLY did believe this, goes on to say that there's no evidence to show that position is right.  He challenges someone to "find...a time when that actually happened."  That doesn't take long:

Well, let's see. In Jimmy Carter's last budget (fiscal 1981), total tax receipts were $599 billion. In Reagan's last budget (fiscal 1989), they were $991 billion, a 65 percent increase.

Done.  Simple enough, right?  But liberals won't believe it.  They'll put their fingers in their ears, scream about tax cuts for the wealthy and totally ignore reality.  I guess that's what "lean forward" means over at MSNBC?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 13 2011

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Say what you will about President Obama, he keeps his priorities straight.  Perfect example: you're in a state that has been ravaged by wildfires.  Do you: A.) do a fly-over with the state's governor and address the need for federal aid (something you're always willing to dole out) or B.) head to a border town and give an offensive and bitterly partisan campaign speech?

 

No brainer for the President!  B, of course!

 

 

Picking out the most appalling line of this speech would be difficult.  Many have settled on the "moat" remark...you know, the one where he basically told the country that if you disagree with him on granting amnesty to illegals, you favor letting them be mauled by alligators.  Real post-partisan stuff there, Mr. Uniter!

 

But for my money, the best line was this one:

"Look at Intel, look at Google, look at Yahoo, look at eBay.  All those great American companies, all the jobs they've created, everything that has helped us take leadership in the high-tech industry, every one of those was founded by, guess who, an immigrant."

Ah yes, using the sarcastic, condescending flair while saying something incoherent and extremely ignorant - a practice that has come to define this presidency.  Let me see if I can answer with a bit of sarcasm myself.

 

Look at Intel, look at Google, look at Yahoo, look at eBay.  All those great American companies, and every one of those was founded by, guess who, Mr. President?  LEGAL immigrants.  People who followed the rules, worked hard, and lived the American dream.

 

Those who oppose the president do not want to take that dream away from immigrants.   They want to protect it for them, and for every other legal American resident by ending the monumental drain on our public resources, institutions and budgets that is being caused by the influx of illegal immigrants to the country.

 

But recognizing and acknowledging that would take a degree of character, honesty and class that President Obama has demonstrated he just doesn't have.  Sad.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2011

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It was an iconic moment on the Oprah Winfrey TV Show - right up there with when she declared that Jesus "couldn't possibly be" the only way to heaven or when she gave everyone in the audience a new car.  Doing a segment on "Spirituality" (which should have been enough to make any sane person head for the hills), Oprah welcomed Rev. Ed Bacon and Rev. Michael Beckwith on to discuss homosexuality.

 

 

In that exchange, Rev. Bacon made the stunning comment that, "being gay is a gift from God."  No, he didn't say, "being human is a gift from God and therefore we have to love people regardless of their choices."  He said that the act of homosexuality was not a sin, but rather a "gift."  That it was not condemned, but rather celebrated by God.  For folks familiar with the "itching ears" passage in Timothy, it was a chills-down-the-spine moment.

 

In case you're not one of those folks, we read in the book of 2 Timothy, chapter 4, verse 3:

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Beckwith immediately agreed with Bacon, and not surprisingly Oprah offered absolutely no counter to their false teaching.  Nice to see the blasphemy is spreading:

Being gay is a gift from God, asserts one church in Ohio.

 

That's the message that Central United Methodist Church is spreading throughout their community via a digital billboard, launched on Monday.

 

This "simple statement," the church announced, is "intended to be a gift to those who have experienced hurt and discrimination because of their real or perceived sexual orientation."

 

"The Church seeks nothing less than the healing of the world, and Central UMC wants to offer words and acts of healing to those hurt and marginalized," the website states.

Quick question for the church: healing from what?  Sin, perhaps?  Perhaps this church has decided that the best way to heal from sin is to just assume that the sin doesn't exist?  Brilliant.  Sure, it's going to lead people down a destructive path to eternal suffering, but hey, it's hip and politically correct and will earn praise in the media...so that's what matters, right?

 

Jeff Buchanan, the director of some group called Exodus Church Equipping and Student Ministries (don't confuse them with the group Exodus International), had a less than stellar argument in favor of the church's stance:

"Why would God bestow this ?gift' only to condemn it throughout the Bible? This would seemingly contradict His character as a God who is loving and just."

Uh, yes, Jeff, it would.  And so if we can agree that God does not argue with Himself, and that any perceived contradiction is the result of our misunderstanding or misinterpretation, that leaves us with one of two scenarios here: 1.) The Scripture that clearly condemns the behavior of homosexuality should just be ignored or disregarded because it's inconvenient to our political agenda, or 2.) We acknowledge the authority of Scripture and recognize that homosexuality is condemned behavior that we must do all we can to lead people away from...not a "gift" that we should celebrate and encourage them to embrace.

 

God is just, Jeff.  Which means those who sin must be punished.  But God is love, Jeff.  Which is why He has offered us an escape from that punishment through repentance and redemption in His beloved Son.

 

 

Later on, the story ran some quotes that appear on the church's website.  Look at these statements and put any other sin into those sentences and see the total dereliction of duty this church is guilty of:

"By welcoming and living in community with faithful Christians who happen to be gay, we have come to understand that being gay is part of who God made them to be," CUMC proclaims on their site. "And by gay Christians bringing all that they are to God, the body of Christ has been strengthened."

 

"In fact, we would experience the body of Christ as incomplete without LGBT persons."

Barnard told ABC, "We really believe that being gay is a gift from God, and it's not anything that anyone has to apologize for or be ashamed about. So that's how [the campaign] came to be."

Scripture lumps homosexuality in with other sins like idolatry, drunkenness, slander, debauchery and lust.  So let's apply the church's logic and gauge it's Biblical fidelity:

 

"By welcoming and living in community with faithful Christians who happen to be engaging in debauchery, we have come to understand that being lust-filled is part of who God made them to be."

 

"And by idolatrous Christians bringing all that they are to God, the body of Christ has been strengthened."

 

"We really believe that being slanderous is a gift from God, and it's not anything that anyone has to apologize for or be ashamed about."

 

Wow.  These are treacherous times, indeed.  Down is being called up, and sin is being called a "gift."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2011

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I guess you might call this the "summer surprise" instead of the much-feared "October surprise."  As the 2012 presidential election nears, it appears that there will be a bombshell story that drops not long before the votes are cast:

The Supreme Court's review of the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare initiative is on a collision course with the 2012 election calendar.


Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, speaking to the media after a hearing in Richmond, Va., on the latest legal challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, says the "most likely" target date for a Supreme Court ruling is June of 2012 -- the precise point when the presidential race shifts into high gear.

"It will be teed up right when the fall of 2012 rolls around," Cuccinelli said. "So the timing is kind of extraordinary -- but not of our own making."

The Supreme Court had recently announced that they would not be "fast-tracking" the case through the appellate process, allowing themselves the opportunity to rule on it in an expedited fashion.  That was seen by many as a minor victory for the Obama administration as it gives them more time to get the law implemented and established.

 

But in the end, that decision might prove costly for Obama's re-election hopes.  If the Court strikes down the signature law, Obama will be mortally wounded...and bitter.  If the Court doesn't strike down ObamaCare, it will light a monumental blaze under the bottoms of tea party types and constitutionalists everywhere.  It will signal to them that Congressional repeal of ObamaCare (and a president who will sign the repeal) is necessary. 

 

One can fairly imagine that to be the equivalent of town hall protests + tea parties, just months before the election that will decide Obama's fate.  Regardless of what the verdict is, the timing is bad for the President.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2011

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In an ongoing demonstration of the firm finger the Obama administration has on the pulse of the American people and their beliefs, we have this little jewel:

The invitation of rapper Common to the White House this week is drawing the ire of the union representing New Jersey state police.

Apparently, Michelle invited "Common" to the executive mansion for an "arts event":

 

FOX News and Sarah Palin criticized the decision after the Daily Caller published some of Common's lyrics, including some that criticize former President George W. Bush.

 

For New Jersey police, the outrage centers on a song by Common about Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted for the 1973 slaying of  Trooper Werner Foerster on the New Jersey Turnpike. 

 

Garden State police take offense at "A Song for Assata," which includes the lines "Your power and pride is beautiful. May God bless your soul."

 

For David Jones, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association union, the White House invitation to a rapper who seems to celebrate Shakur is disturbing.

 

"The young people who read this stuff, hear this stuff, are getting a very dangerous and deadly message," Jones said.

First he accuses cops of "acting stupidly," now she invites a man who praises cop killers. 

And as if that alone wasn't enough, check out the perfect timing of this clueless administration:

Jones was further incensed that the White House appearance comes during the same week that lawmen from across the nation, including Jones, make their annual trek to Washington to honor their fallen comrades at the National Law Enforcement Memorial.

In a sign of the trademark sensitivity that has prompted him to never miss a Muslim celebration or cultural event on the calendar with warm words of support and admiration, the Obamas pick the annual walk to Washington honoring fallen police officers to welcome a rapper who praises those who kill officers to the White House.  Classy.

 

For his part, Common finds it all quite humorous:

He also tweeted, "So apparently Sarah Palin and Fox News doesn't like me."

Yeah, that's it, Mr. Common.  It's just Sarah and Fox.  Unquestionably, the Obamas feel the same way.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2011

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Never underestimate liberals.

 

What is happening in Ireland might seem shocking, but it's exactly what conservatives in America have been predicting was coming for some time.  It was Margaret Thatcher who proclaimed that the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.  A perfect example of this is European socialist states like Ireland.  They've taxed and spent, taxed and spent, taxed and spent, and now as they look to keep spending, they've got to find other sources of revenue.

 

And guess where they're looking:

The Irish government plans to institute a tax on private pensions to drive jobs growth, according to its jobs program strategy, delivered today.

 

 

Without the ability sell debt due to soaring interest rates, and with severe spending rules in place due to its EU-IMF bailout, Ireland has few ways of spending to stimulate the economy. Today's jobs program includes specific tax increases, including the tax on pensions, aimed at keeping government jobs spending from adding to the national debt.

 

The tax on private pensions will be 0.6%, and last for four years, according to the report.

Yes, you read that right.  Personal retirement/pension plans are now being taxed by the government of Ireland to try to alleviate their insatiable need to "spend" in an effort to stimulate economic growth.

 

Keep that in mind when you hear liberals here in America saying how desperately government spending is necessary for economic growth.  Keep that in mind when conservatives say that the left feels entitled to power and to your money.  They feel no shame as they find new ways to grab it - they're doing it for the common good, you know.  As Barack Obama says, when you spread the wealth around, everybody benefits.

 

Of course they do.  Just ask the people in Ireland who have been responsible and planned for their retirement.

 

Obviously the American left follows the path of the Euro-socialist model to perfection.  So it's only a matter of time until we see this idea creep up in the United States.  Given the financial woes we have and that Democrats seem intent on exacerbating, that time may be sooner rather than later. 

 

There is, however, one major difference between Ireland and the U.S.: the people.  There's way too much American individualism to stand for this type of arbitrary and outrageous government overreach.  If they try, it's gonna get ugly.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 12 2011

If anyone is wondering whether this culture is achieving new lows, we need only look at the press surrounding Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa, since the royal wedding. Before the wedding day came to an end, Miss Middleton was dubbed "her royal hotness" by Big Media. Classy.

 

Now she is being offered $5 million to "star" in a porn film. Her brother has been offered $1 million. Classy.


 

These are the depths to which this culture is sinking. By all appearances, it's not over, either. The role models being offered girls and boys these days are intended to entice them into sexual activity and experimentation at earlier and earlier ages. Will the human race even be aware of the day that they sell out their children and hand them over to approved and institutionalized adult-child sexual relationships?  It is amazing how quickly the human race has become complacent about replacing freedom with bondage.

 

Never fear, though. These are, after all, consenting adults. So what if fathers sell their daughters for sex? So what if children are funneled into the sex industry? There is no shame in acts of sexual anarchy, we are told. The only people in this culture to be shamed are those who dare declare that indiscriminate sexual activity is a sin against God and humanity.

 

Instead, our heroes and role models in this culture are becoming those "brave" peddlers of smut, prostitution, and human misery. Classy.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:01 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2011

As FOXNews reports, the memorandum issued by the Navy Chief of Chaplains authorizing the use of Navy assets to conduct homosexual marriages in states allowing them has been rescinded until further notice.

Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, chief of Navy chaplains, issued a one-sentence memo Tuesday announcing that the earlier decision has been "suspended until further notice pending additional legal and policy review and inter-departmental coordination."

In spite of former headlines that led one to believe that all Navy Chaplains would have to perform homosexual marriage services, reports were clear that no Chaplain would be required to engage in any conduct that violated his/her faith group or conscience.

 

 

As a former Navy Chaplain myself, I am very familiar with the use of such terminology. For the most part, it rings true. No Chaplain of the Catholic faith, for instance, could be required to conduct a wedding service for a non-Catholic couple. No Chaplain of any faith could be required to participate in the worship service of another faith group that violated his/her principles. There are many services and ministries that were accomplished throughout the Sea Services in complete cooperation without violating one's doctrine or integrity.

 

That being said, it does not mean that pressure could not be directed toward a Chaplain to motivate him/her to be more cooperative. The issues of homosexual relationships become very sticky indeed. For instance, a wide range of personnel counseling is typically expected of the Chaplain. While there is a good chunk of vocational counseling that arises from personnel issues on the job, another large chunk originates from relationship issues from families, spouses, "significant others," and so on. As relational issues expand to homosexual relationships, what if a Chaplain's best, honest advice from the resources of his/her religious doctrine is to not engage in that behavior? What if the Chaplain is ordered to offer more "helpful" counsel? I predict that this will become one of the triggers from which new assaults from the church-state separation advocates will be launched.

 

Even the issue of officiating homosexual unions and/or marriages will become a sticky wicket for the Chaplain Corps. The doctrine I mentioned earlier concerning a Chaplain not being forced to violate his/her beliefs is often based upon the stated doctrine of the endorsing faith group. My presumption is that the Catholic Church has in place clear dogma directing their priests to refrain from endorsing/blessing homosexual unions. In this case, the Catholic Chaplain can refer to his denomination's doctrine. However, there are other faith groups that are not so clear. American Episcopalians, for example, are divided on the issue. They even sanctioned the ordination of a Bishop who is an active homosexual (he has since retired). But not every Episcopalian clergy accepts homosexual behavior. Many of them reject the behavior as a clear violation of God's instruction. In what position, then, is an endorsed Episcopalian serving as a Chaplain placed? If he/she declares to not perform a service of homosexual marriage, will he/she be forced to by higher military authority since there is no clear denominational directive? I predict that this, too, will become one of the triggers from which more legal assaults against the Chaplain Corps will be launched.

 

And, I predict that these battles will eventually bleed over into the civilian community as legal manipulators like the ACLU will attempt to impose the immorality of homosexuality on all communities of the Christian faith.

 

DADT battles... they're just getting started.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2011

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Back on April 14, I wrote that I was reserving judgment on the Republican/Obama budget deal until I saw if the Republicans would use the leverage they had just provided themselves.  In a post entitled, "Did the Republicans Just Outsmart the Smartest President We've Ever Had?" I argued:

Barack Obama would have let the government shutdown by rolling the dice on the hope that Americans would blame Republicans for it like they did in 1995.  But Barack Obama will not let the country default on his watch because he knows that he will be held accountable and his presidency will be over.  This is a whole different animal, and Republicans have all the leverage.

I argued that by making the deal to avoid the shutdown, Republicans now gave themselves the opportunity to hold the president over a barrel on spending cuts.  They could make essentially any demand for as big of cuts as they can think of, and the President is going to be in a difficult spot: either agree to the cuts, or take the blame for a catastrophic government default.

 

 

It seems as though Republicans are signaling they recognize their leverage and may be actually ready to use it:

Speaking at the New York Economic Club moments ago, House Speaker John Boehner established House Republicans' battle lines for the incipient debt limit debate.  Here is the salient passage:

 

As you know, the president has asked Congress to increase the debt limit, and to do so without preconditions. 

 

There are those who insist we shouldn't "play games" with it. 

 

Others have gone further.  One prominent figure even went so far as to say "the people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of Al-Qaeda terrorists."

 

With all due respect, this is the arrogance of power ? and the American people won't stand for it. 

 

This is the time to end the spending binge and prioritize and modernize what we spend.

 

There's a reason the debt limit can't be increased without a vote of Congress.  The debt limit is set in statute specifically so that the executive and legislative branches of our government have to deal with the difficult fiscal choices we face.

 

I know there are many in this room who are uneasy with this debate.  I understand your concerns. 

 

It's true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible.  But it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process. 

 

To increase the debt limit without simultaneously addressing the drivers of our debt ? in defiance of the will of our people ? would be monumentally arrogant and massively irresponsible.

 

It would send a signal to investors and entrepreneurs everywhere that America still is not serious about dealing with our spending addiction. 

 

It would erode confidence in our economy and reduce certainty for small businesses.  And this would destroy even more American jobs.

 

So let me be as clear as I can be.  Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. 

 

We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions. 

Trillions, not just billions.  Music to common sense Americans' ears.  This is what I was talking about in my post in April.  Before we criticize the Republicans for the budget deal, let's give them the chance to make good on the leverage they gave themselves in cutting it.  Boehner's only talking right now.  But if his talking turns into a serious policy demand, we're in business...and my faith in Republican leadership will greatly improve.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2011

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I can't count the number of times since the 2010 elections that I've said the most significant victory that came from them wasn't what happened in Washington D.C. to Congress, but what happened in statehouses around the country.

 

That's been seen in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and throughout the Midwest, as state legislatures have battled back abusive union practices that have drained the taxpayer and burdened budgets.  It's been seen in the redrawing of district maps that eliminate gerrymandered districts for Democrats and bring the regions into a more logical alignment with the people's interests and wishes - which means bad news in future national elections for the left.

 

And it's also now being seen in New England, where New Hampshire legislatures think they may be able to muster a 2/3 majority to override the Governor's expected veto of critical right-to-work legislation.

 

 

There, Republicans have the votes to override in the State Senate, but are just short of what they need in the House.  But they are stating their case confidently and boldly - something that before the Tea Party, before Barack Obama, simply wasn't happening with any regularity.  The majority leader, Republican D.J. Bettencourt, is out in front, combating the typical union resistance:

Among members' concerns, Bettencourt says, is the contention that this is a "union-busting bill." He makes two points in the bill's defense: One, "the individual-freedom component," is that "people who don't want to join a union shouldn't be forced to do so." Two, New England is awash in government, and a right-to-work law would further distinguish New Hampshire from its left-leaning neighbors Vermont and Massachusetts. "To be a right-to-work state carries the potential to be a magnet for small businesses," Bettencourt argues.

That he's right underscores the precise reason why unions are fighting this so much.  If New Hampshire's economy thrives as a result of this decision to favor freedom over union manipulation, that will send a strong message to the union-heavy states surrounding them.

 

It's also good to see that Republicans aren't surrendering the anecdotal sob story strategy to the left.  They're countering with true sob stories of their own:

By way of an example, he cites Franklin A. Partin Jr., for whom the bill is named. "He was working for the Air Force satellite-tracking station in New Boston as a civilian employee," O'Brien recounts. "The workplace became organized, and he was told he would have to join a union. For personal reasons he said, ?I do not want to join,' and he lost his job. It was the best job he ever had."

Barring socialists, that kind of heavy-handed, authoritarian enforcement is going to rub people the wrong way.  Republicans are wise to tell Franklin's story.

 

And while unions continue maintaining their argument that right-to-work laws are really nothing more than "right-to-work-for-less," their logic falls flat in the face of common sense.  If unions were really that beneficial to the worker today, the union should not fear allowing workers the choice whether to join or not.  As New Hampshire Republican Speaker William O'Brien puts it:

"If unions are providing a benefit to employees, then they don't need to pass a law to force them to join."

Keep your eye on New Hampshire.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2011

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So here's a shock: the Washington Post runs a column presumably about the Christian faith, and manages to trample orthodox Christian thought.  It's always amusing when I hear liberals argue, "There's no war against Christianity and Christian principle!  Even papers that you consider liberal have entire sections devoted to Christianity."  They're citing places like the "On Faith" blog run by the Washington Post as evidence. 

 

Of course, that argument falls flat when you actually take time to read the drivel they publish.  Drivel like this piece that appeared by Susan Brooks Thistlewaite in honor of Mothers Day entitled, "God the Mother":

This mistake is the source of a lot of the controversy in the use of female images for God, despite the fact that they are all over the scripture. But God the Mother, God the Father, God as "Rock" etc. are all metaphors. Metaphors are a powerful way language conveys both similarity and difference in order to make meaning.

 

 

[...]

 

God the mother is a metaphor for the work of God in both mercy and justice, both compassion and righteousness. Even as you surely know mothers who embody all of those characteristics, or perhaps tragically, none of them, you also know something deeply metaphorical about who God is and who God is not.

 

God the Mother. It's a mystery.

Masked as a loving and heartfelt interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, what this amounts to is an assault (intended or unintended) on traditional Christian orthodoxy - principles that have long been unquestioned (for a reason) in the Christian church.  But, exposed to the fascinatingly unquenchable desire to create a do-it-yourself blend of religion (something Satan unquestionably fuels since it ends up pulling people away from Christianity and towards humanism), man continues coming up with bizarre ways to challenge the simplistic doctrine that God left for us to follow.

 

I might add that this problem is most significant in a country like the United States with our respect for free thought and free speech.  That's the great irony, of course: Christian principle protects and provides true freedom.  But true freedom is often abused to run down the very principle that bore the freedom to begin with - resulting in the collapse of both faith and freedom from the inside out.  It's why conservative, traditional-minded Christians must stay actively engaged in the culture.if we value the blessings of liberty, that is.

 

Anyway, back to this bizarre piece at the WashPo, I couldn't imagine putting together a more concise and effective rebuttal than Ken Shepherd did.  He wrote:

To the Christian, however, the persons of the Trinity are not mere metaphors and hence our names for them are not interchangeable with others we may prefer for politically correct reasons.

 

The Lord's Prayer begins with "Our Father." Jesus's prayer in Gethsemane and his cry of abandonment on the cross are directed to the Father. The New Testament epistles contain language of prayer directed to the Father through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Indeed, from the beginning of the church, Christians have been baptized in "the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).

 

To the orthodox Christian, God eternally was, is, and ever will be one God in three persons, and He has chosen to reveal Himself and His character in specific ways with specific terms with specific connotations for a specific reason.

 

That in no way diminishes the God-given value of motherhood or unduly elevate fatherhood above motherhood. But surely a site like "On Faith" should understand why orthodox Christians have a huge problem with labeling God as Mother.

Exactly right, Ken.  It's a problem when man starts thinking he is wiser than God.  It doesn't make it so - even if it gets published at the Washington Post.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2011

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So what do you suppose the New York Times would say about a star athlete standing up for Christians who are being silenced in our culture by the aggressive tactics of the homosexual left?

 

Seriously...what if someone like Tim Tebow spoke out for the rights of conscience of fertility doctors who have been fined for not impregnating a lesbian couple?  What if someone like Peyton Manning spoke out in defense of Christian kids being harassed as "haters" and "bigots" by radical homosexual groups like GLSEN?

 

How would the New York Times react?  You actually don't have to think too hard to figure out that it would be far different than the way they have reacted to the opposite.  New York Rangers (hockey) star Sean Avery has been given glowing press in the Times for his recent support of same-sex "marriage":

 

Until now, supporters have come mostly from the worlds of politics, entertainment, theater and fashion. One type of New York celebrity was conspicuously absent: the athlete.

Enter Rangers forward Sean Avery.

He recently recorded a video, becoming one of only a few active athletes in American team sports to voice support for gay rights, and is believed to be the first in New York to publicly advocate for same-sex marriage. No active male player in a major American team sport has declared his homosexuality, and homosexual slurs remain in use to insult opponents and officials.

Avery, a 31-year-old from Pickering, Ontario, has played nine seasons in the N.H.L. Known as a fashion-conscious, on-ice agitator, he has never been afraid of what others think of him.

All evidence to the contrary, Times.  That Avery is declaring his unfettered support for a media-protected politically correct cause like "gay rights" doesn't speak to the existence of any courage.  It actually suggests that Avery is potentially quite concerned with what others think of him, and so he has spoken out in a way that he knows will get him fawning attention from the mainstream media. 

 

As I've often said with folks in Hollywood, if Avery wants to prove he's got courage, have him come out in the sports and entertainment culture and take a stand for Biblical Christianity.  THAT takes courage. 

 

Interestingly, the folks at Newsbusters have once again nailed the Times on their political hypocrisy.  Control your shock, but it seems that when an athlete expressing a conservative political stance, the Times isn't nearly so impressed with the strength of their convictions:

Here's the paper's former columnist, and Duke lacrosse smear artist, Selena Roberts , on tennis star Jennifer Capriati, from a March 26, 2003 column, "Women on Tour Out of Tune." Capriati had requested a particular song by Outkast be played during her pre-match warm-up in support of the troops in Iraq (the war had just begun). The song included the chorus "Bombs over Baghdad." Capriati's explanation: "I wanted to support the troops." Roberts sniffed:

 

Politics aside, her logic was questionable. How uplifting is a song illuminated by such abrasive lyrics? But Capriati made a wish, and it was granted. Star power has its privileges on the women's tour, but it is often misspent on petty demands instead of tennis reform.

When it's liberal politics, it's laudable.  When it's conservative, it's questionable.  Nothing new at the fading Old Grey Lady.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 11 2011

Did you read about the U.S. evangelical serviceman who went berserk and shot up several soldiers at an Army Post? How about the U.S. evangelicals who hijacked commercial airliners and plowed them into an American financial center? You missed those news reports, too? Of course you missed them; they have never occurred.

 

In spite of the absence of anything close to the above scenarios, noted and celebrated columnist Stephen Dick dazzles us once again with his superior powers of observation and deduction.

 

Even though there has never been even a hint of any plot by a U.S. evangelical organization to carry out such despicable actions, Mr. Dick makes these parallels in his recent "analysis" of the death of Osama bin Laden. Even though U.S. evangelicals have been responding to multiple disasters around the world with time, talent, treasure, and prayer, Mr. Dick writes:

If you want to read any parallels into the conservative teachings of reactionary Muslims and U.S. evangelicals and far-right U.S. politicians, don't let me stop you. The parallels are there.

 

Parallels? Really? What kind of person can make this kind of unfounded accusation and expect to maintain credibility? This is demonizing a belief in its full-blown glory. Mr. Dick is delusional. This is life in the land of left-believe.

 

Numerous media outlets are noting the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, during which the abolition of slavery was secured. Abolition societies were formed and maintained by concerned U.S. evangelicals. The American Anti-Slavery Society's Declaration of Sentiments, written in 1833, concludes:

These are our views and principles -- these our designs and measures. With entire confidence in the overruling justice of God, we plant ourselves upon the Declaration of our Independence and the truths of Divine Revelation, as upon the Everlasting Rock.

A little more than 30 years later, the Republican President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, shared with State Senator James Scovel of New Jersey:

Young man, if God gives me four more years to rule this country, I believe it will become what it ought to be - what its Divine Author intended it to be - no longer one vast plantation for breeding human beings for the purpose of lust and bondage. But it will become a new Valley of Jehoshaphat, where all the nations of the earth will assemble together under one flag, worshipping a common God, and they will celebrate the resurrection of human freedom.

Only in the parallel universe of those living in the land of left-believe are there any parallels between U.S. evangelicals and "reactionary Muslims." The truth that so easily eludes Mr. Dick, yet remains intuitively obvious to the most casual observer, is that human freedom is the precious gift of the eternal Creator and none are more free than those who joyfully enter into His presence through the completed work of Jesus Christ.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 11:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 10 2011

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Liberal Fox News commentator Juan Williams grilled Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at the recent Republican presidential debate over the issue of creationism and "evolution."  Remember, it was Chris Matthews who said that the question over the validity of Biblical literalism should be asked of every single Republican candidate (I guess Chris just assumes that the Democrats all reject the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture).

 

 

Besides pointing out the anti-intellectual offense of lumping in Darwinian evolution, molecules-to-man, big-bang, as well as simple adaptation of species all into one massive heading entitled "evolution," I would have a few questions for Mr. Matthews and anyone who would attempt to scoff at Creationists.  And they would be easy questions without many big words, but rather focused on the assumptions underlying the "evolutionary" position: the self-defeating assumption of a "godless universe," assuming moral absolutes, assuming order out of disorder.

 

These monumental problems for the Matthews-style "evolutionist" are best articulated by the folks at Answers in Genesis:

Assuming a godless universe

 

It is ironic that evolutionists argue passionately for a naturalistic universe. If we are just bundles of chemical reactions in a meaningless world, why would it matter what we believe? Evolutionists seek to defend and prove their worldview because they inherently know the Creator yet suppress the truth in order to rebel against His authority (Romans 1:18-20). Their very act of trying to persuade, which requires the laws of logic, confirms the existence of the biblical God.

 

All reasoning must be based on the laws of logic, which are the tools we use to reason correctly and identify fallacious arguments. For example, according to one of the laws of logic, the law of non-contradiction, two contradictory statements cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. Without laws of logic, a discussion would be useless nonsense. Any meaningful communication assumes these laws.

 

While an evolutionist might seek to explain the laws of logic apart from the biblical God, his explanations fall short. If the universe consists of only matter in motion, abstract laws of logic would not exist, and no one could prove anything.

 

Wouldn't you love to see Dennis Kucinich field that question?  Or Chris Matthews?  Of course, Chris would undoubtedly say, "Oh I believe in God, I just don't believe it was all created exactly as intended in the Genesis account."  Which brings us to another assumption:

It is ironic that evolutionists often poke fun of "dark age creation science" when they could not even practice science apart from the biblical God. Scientific study is based on the uniformity of nature: the laws of nature do not arbitrarily change with time and space. Otherwise, how could scientists experiment and make predictions if physical laws didn't operate consistently? Uniformity makes no sense in a random chance world of evolution. How can the evolutionist assume that the future will reflect the past in a mindless world begun with a big bang?

 

While evolutionists have proposed other reasons, only the biblical worldview gives an adequate basis for the uniformity of nature. The Bible says God created the universe, instituting and promising the uniformity of nature (Genesis 8:22). Christ Himself upholds the universe through the physical laws He ordained (Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3).

 

To challenge the third basic assumption, ask your evolutionist friend, "On what basis do you assume the uniformity of nature?" Explain that his assumption of uniformity is actually based on the biblical worldview. Whether a scientist denies or believes in Him, God sustaining the universe through physical laws is the only reason science is possible.

Now, if you're tempted to say, "None of this should factor into presidential elections or debates," please understand your beef isn't with me.  It's with people like Juan Williams and Chris Matthews who think they're staging a coup by revealing the ignorance of Republicans, or that they are putting them in an impossible situation: either reject the tenets of your faith before men, or embarrass yourself by tying yourself to some backwoods, hillbilly, snake-handling, Bible-banging mockery of science.

 

So if they want to play the game, let's play it.  But let's play it even.  You point out the "ignorance" of Creationists, we get to point out yours.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 10 2011

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This is about as simple an economics formula that there is: the reason oil prices are going through the roof isn't the direct result of oil speculators...it's the result of government overregulation of supply.  Brilliant economist Walter E. Williams explains this:

White House and congressional attacks on oil speculation do not alter the oil market's fundamental demand-and-supply reality. What would lower the long-term price of oil is for Congress to permit exploration for the estimated billions upon billions of barrels of oil off our Atlantic and Pacific Ocean shores, the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, not to mention the estimated billions, possibly trillions, of barrels of shale oil in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and North Dakota.

You know the response: "it would take years for us to see the effects of that oil increase."  Do you get what the folks on the left who say this are doing?  They're talking about of both sides of their mouths.  They're saying out one side that speculators who buy up oil futures now (predicting that they will make money on the increased price of oil later) are driving up costs immediately.  But out the other side they are saying that those same speculators who would sell their oil futures now if they knew that the price would be going down due to increased supply would not drive down costs immediately.

 

 

Williams makes this point better:

Some politicians pooh-pooh calls for drilling, saying it would take five or 10 years to recover the oil and won't solve today's problems. Nonsense! I guarantee you that if permits were granted to all of our oil sources, we would see a reduction in today's prices.

 

Why? Put yourself in the place of an OPEC member knowing there's going to be a greater supply of U.S. oil in five or 10 years, which might drive oil prices to a permanent $20 or $30 per barrel. What will you want to do now while oil is $120 per barrel? You would want to sell.

 

OPEC's collective efforts to sell more would put downward pressures on current oil prices. The White House, U.S. Congress and environmental wackos, by keeping our oil in the ground, are OPEC's staunchest ally. I wouldn't be surprised at all if we discovered OPEC reciprocity in the forms of political contributions to congressmen and charitable donations to environmental groups.

In other words, if you're looking for someone to blame for your gas prices at the pump: look at your government and it's corrupt deals with environmentalists, and OPEC buddies.  That's the "Big Oil" scandal you should be angry with.the one that includes the collusion of your government with foreign oil selling countries.

In the wake of higher gasoline prices, the only intelligent thing that Obama has called for is an end to $4 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies to oil companies. To get that done, he has an uphill bipartisan fight on his hands. Oil companies buy off both Republicans and Democrats in order to receive government handouts and special treatment.

Precisely.  Our only hope is that people get beyond their partisan politics and elect those who are concerned with the general welfare, not their own re-election coffers.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 10 2011

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Meanwhile, in the next predictable step down the path to Sodom:

Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies -- if homosexual marriage is legal in the state where the unions are to be performed.

 

The advisory came in the form of an April 13 memo [2] issued to all chaplains, in which the Chief of Navy Chaplains, Admiral Michael Tidd, said the Chaplain Corps was revising its Tier I training manuals, which had previously indicated that same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property.

 

Instead, Tidd called for chaplains to comply with service-wide efforts underway to be more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriage as the end of the military policy on homosexuality nears.

 

 

Citing "additional legal review" by Navy attorneys, the admiral said the Navy "has concluded that, generally speaking, base facility use is sexual orientation neutral."  "If the base is located in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, then the base facilities may be used to celebrate the marriage," the admiral's directive states.

Evidently the U.S. military is unconcerned with federal laws.  That would be the Defense of Marriage Act which, contrary to the assumption of many on the left, is still in effect.  Sure, the Commander-in-Chief has arbitrarily decided to flip against his previous flop back to his original flipped position and declare DOMA unconstitutional.  And though he, and his worshippers, deign him some sort of extra-governmental deity, just because Barack doesn't like the law doesn't mean it's not still the law of the land.

 

How nice to see that our military is being placed under the thumb of the rule of political correctness rather than the rule of law.  That's going to bode well for all of us. (Please note the extreme sarcasm)

 

In what has become a familiar refrain amongst conservatives, Family Research Council's Tom McClusky chimed in:

He said conservatives had warned months ago that the push to repeal the military ban on homosexuality would lead to efforts to introduce same-sex marriage -- but were dismissed at the time.  "This is what we thought was going to happen, and unfortunately now its happening," McClusky said.

Of course it is.  Because as much as those on the left would love to pretend that conservatives are merely making up exaggerative slippery slope arguments, the logic they profess demands the ends that we are predicting - and now witnessing.  One in which sexual anarchy reins and common sense, decency, and Biblical morality are shown the door.  While that may sound appealing to some, the end result - played out in countless debased cultures for ages - is not something anyone is going to enjoy.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 10 2011

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In the immediate aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden, there were many who were quick to assert that such an event guarantees four more years of Obama.  Knee-jerk reactions can be excused, but it's important to logically debunk them, which we've done (as have many others) on the program for the last week.

 

In doing so, many (including myself) have been quick to point out the epic fall from grace experienced in our time by George H.W. Bush - a man who, after winning the first Gulf War, experienced a near 90% approval rating only to see it decimated by a faltering economy.  Bush lost his re-election bid a little over a year after those astronomical ratings.

 

 

While that analogy is an encouragement to many of us, there are a few differences that need to be noted.  Jonah Goldberg's recent column addresses them:

The analogy can be ? and is already ? overdone. We are technically in a recovery, albeit a tepid one. Obama has the media in his corner and no Ross Perot-type figure nipping at his heels. (Donald Trump may play such a role, but he would, like Perot, steal more votes from the Republicans than from the Democrats. Already the fever swamps speculate that Trump-the-Birther is an Obama plant. He's not. He's simply an ego with hair.).

 

The 1992 analogy falls apart in other ways as well. Bush was challenged in the primaries. To date, Obama's party may not be as enthusiastic as the White House would like, but there are no signs of revolt either, despite an increasingly long list of disappointments and betrayals from Obama.

Of course, before the Obamabots begin rejoicing and carrying on again about how we are guaranteed another four years of The One, they might want to notice that though not perfect, the 92 analogy has some strong application as well:

But there are ways in which 1992 is instructive. First, the challenger won by "focusing like a laser" on the economy. (Remember "It's the economy, stupid"?) It is already looking next to impossible for the White House to coast on a resurgent economy the way Reagan did in 1984. Things will likely improve, but don't expect a lot of "Morning in America" ads from the Democrats.

 

More important, 1992 demonstrated the folly of complacency. The first President Bush wasn't the only one who thought he was a shoe-in for re-election. So did a great many top-tier Democrats who opted not to run against the "unbeatable" incumbent. Bill Clinton saw an opportunity, and he was hungrier for victory than his opponent was. This election will likely go to the hungrier candidate who can convince Americans he or she can deliver better days.

 

Getting rid of bin Laden is a good start. But there's an irony here. Obama has treated foreign policy (at least until his Libyan adventure) as something to keep on the back burner so he could concentrate on domestic politics. By killing Osama bin Laden, he got what he wished for. And that may just be the beginning of his problems.

What to make of all this?  Each election is its own.  Each candidate is his or her own.  The 2012 campaign will be a referendum on the first term of Barack Obama.  That is a term that now includes the high point of killing the madman bin Laden.  But it is also one that includes stagnating unemployment, stunted recovery, and spiking gas prices.

 

In the end, the most direct parallel to the 1992 campaign we may be able to draw is the lovely little phrase that haunts George H.W. Bush - and may soon haunt his son's successor - "It's the economy, stupid."

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 09 2011

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

 

Remember that "dumb war" in Iraq that Barack Obama was always talking about?  Remember how Iraq was a "distraction" from the real War on Terror and search for Osama bin Laden?  Remember how the left banked their foreign policy credibility on the notion that Bush's obsession with Iraq unnecessarily cost us American lives and treasure for no real purpose?

 

Well, guess what?

Information from an al-Qaida operative named Hassan Ghul, captured in Iraq in 2004, provided the "key moment" in identifying the notorious courier that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden, a U.S. government official confirmed to CNSNews.com.

 

Granted, there is still a lot we don't know.  And there is conflicting testimony among various intelligence officials about the role that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other interrogated terrorist detainees played in leading us to the bin Laden courier (the rat that led us to the cheese).

 

In fact, what we're finding is that it wasn't necessarily one detainee and what he did or didn't say as much as it was the brilliant comparing, contrasting and deducing from the conflicting information provided by various sources:

"It depends on how you define lead information," the official told CNSNews.com. "One of the values of the program is the ability to compare and contrast comments from different detainees. So, in this case it's almost what they didn't say and what they're trying to hide that we were also able to key on to."

It appears that KSM and others admitted knowing al-Kuwaiti (the courier), but denied his importance or significance.  But it was Hassan Ghul (the man captured in Iraq) that provided the information necessary to seal the deal.  Details will continue to emerge, and we will undoubtedly see that it was a complicated process of serious intelligence work that led us to bin Laden's lair.

 

But, of course, the opportunity for our intelligence folks to do that brilliant deduction would not have been possible had we:

a.) not been in Iraq

b.) not captured terrorists from Afghanistan to Iraq

c.) not detained them indefinitely without providing them attorneys and court trials

d.) not interrogated them with and without enhanced techniques

Interestingly, all of those things that we now know were so necessary for our success in killing Osama bin Laden were all things the left openly and fiercely opposed.  If you're celebrating the end of bin Laden, you are celebrating the wisdom and courage of President Bush as well - a man who faced withering criticism by those who now bask in the glory of what his policies, the very ones they demagogued, wrought.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 09 2011

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

 

Well, it appears that Rep. Joe Donnelly didn't want to take on his 2010 challenger Jackie Walorski in a rematch...this time without the comfort of a gerrymandered district.  Rumors from St. Joe County had been for some time that Mr. Donnelly was weighing his options as he did not want to lose to Walorski.  It seems he's made up his mind:

Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly announced Monday morning that he's running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Dick Lugar.

 

"I want to take the fight for American jobs and opportunities to the United States Senate. I want to make sure that the voices of hard working Hoosiers are heard in the U.S. Senate," Donnelly said in a video message to supporters.

For those constituents in Indiana's 2nd Congressional district who are sorry to hear that they'll be missing Joe's classic campaign strategies, rest assured, it appears that he'll be taking that show on the road to the whole state:

"Our parents spent a lifetime paying into Social Security and Republican proposals to privatize it would leave Hoosier seniors vulnerable. They also want to privatize Medicare, which is plain wrong," Donnelly, attacking GOP proposals that Democrats claim will privative Medicare.

Lying to and misleading Indiana's 2nd district just wasn't enough, apparently.  Donnelly has never provided a shred of evidence to support those outrageous claims. 

 

Allowing young people to keep a portion of their Social Security deposits out to invest in their own retirement plan only if they want to (and if they don't, they don't have to) is not "privatizing the system." 

 

Allowing seniors who like the private health plan they are on to stay on that plan and not be forced to join the Medicare system in order to get their Social Security check is not "privatizing the system."  In fact, Joe, it's called freedom.  Freedom for the individual - something that Joe's party has long opposed.

 

National Republicans nailed the announcement for what it was:

"Just months after voters overwhelmingly rejected Brad Ellsworth's liberal policies, Joe Donnelly wants to sell Hoosiers on that exact same big-spending, job-killing Washington agenda. We welcome him into the race and look forward to him campaigning side-by-side with President Obama," National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brian Walsh said.

Joe is scared of Jackie.  Fair enough.  Joe is running away from Jackie because he doesn't think he can sell his record to the voters of Indiana 2 in a fair fight.  Fair enough.  So he's sacrificing himself, much like Ellsworth did, in a cause he can claim is for the "greater cause" and spare himself the embarrassment of seeing his allegiance to left-wing politics rejected by his constituents.  Fair enough.

 

But what else can we take from this?  Perhaps the Democrats think Dick Lugar is weaker than what he pretends?  Perhaps Donnelly feels like this is worth it because rather than the juggernaut he has been in the past, Lugar is vulnerable to Richard Mourdock's primary challenge and a resurgent Tea Party movement?  It all remains to be seen, but Joe should think this one through: if the movement for conservative constitutionalism is strong enough to oust an establishment stalwart like Lugar because he drifted too far to the left, does Donnelly think they would elect a tireless defender of ObamaCare, porkulus, and other Obama policies like him?

 

He can refuse to call this what it is, but let's not be kids: this is a run to avoid Jackie, pure and simple.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 09 2011

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

 

Here's a challenge: finish the following sentences.

 

"That's the bottom ----."  "There's no place like ----."

 

These phrases, as author Daniel Flynn points out, are clichés.  Predictable, uninspiring statements that people tend to gloss over because they've heard them a million times before.  Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore is becoming a walking cliché, and in the process is becoming one of the most inconsequential Americans in the public eye. 

 

 

There are commentators who grab our attention because they have a tendency to say the outlandish, or stake out positions that are unpredictable or at least approach different circumstances from a unique perspective that people weren't counting on or expecting.

 

Michael Moore is about as far from that reality as possible.  You know what to expect from Moore.  He hates America, he blames America, there's never reason to cheer America.  It's tiresome, it's boring, and it's gotten really old to a lot of people.

 

Flynn writes,

The reflexive anti-Americanism that we have come to expect from Michael Moore neither derives from, nor provokes, thinking. Part of the reason why Moore's wet-blanket rant following bin Laden's assassination rings so trite is that we have heard it all before.

"What has the United States done to make itself this kind of target?" "This is a case of the chickens coming home to roost." "Take a look in the mirror, America, and ask why."

A decade after 9/11, Michael Moore still faults America. Then, he blamed the victim. Now, he blames the nation who saved the world from al Qaeda's founder. Notice a pattern? 

I know that mainstream media types have settled on Moore as a spokesman for the perpetually disgruntled left (and because, truth be told, his ideology is eerily similar to theirs).  But the truth is that the networks could all decide to do a blackout on Moore's opinions from here until eternity, and no one would feel slighted.  We already know what he's going to say anyway.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 08 2011

I am not as much anti-tax as I am anti-spend - especially anti-wasteful spending at any government level. However, wasteful spending and overspending inevitably lead to higher taxes, which I do oppose.

 

One of the unfortunate results of taxation is the suppression of improvement. My case in point involves a friend who recently bought a new home and property. He has been thinking of adding an in-ground pool. Definitely, this is what is called a property improvement.


 

However, I learned not too long ago that he has decided against that improvement project. As you are no doubt already guessing, he is abandoning his plan not because of the cost of installing the pool, but because of the cost of the additional property tax he will face.

 

Like many other property owners, no doubt, government, via their taxing authority, suppresses improvement. It should come as no surprise to anyone in my area why so many property owners have allowed their homes and other property to fall into disrepair.

 

I have recently been corresponding with a former economics professor who has written on more than one occasion how surprised his European guests are when they learn the rate of American property taxes. They are especially taken aback when they look at the state of many American properties in comparison to the state of their own.

 

This is a very real and sad testimony to the damaging impact that taxation imposes on American citizens.

 

Suppressing improvement. What a sad state of affairs.
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 01:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 08 2011

If any conservative ever lapses into a false sense of security that liberals are ready to compromise, all that needs to be done is look up Mr. Stephen Dick of the Anderson, Indiana, Herald Bulletin. Mr. Dick is a no-nonsense, uncompromising liberal who never misses a chance to spew vindictive hatred toward anything conservative, anything decent, and anything that closely resembles American Constitutional liberty. Take, for instance, one of Mr. Dick's recent forays into expressing his thoughts on Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis) budget proposal.

There is no way to win an argument with a true believer who is not bothered by factual errors or questions of morality. A prime example is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan who has drawn up, as most of the media tell us, a courageous budget to reduce the deficit.

 

Mr. Dick writes with typical derision that those seeking to perpetuate the American ideal of human liberty are immoral hypocrites. In a bizarre contortion of muddled thinking, he refers to the "rights in the Constitution," then immediately condemns any notion that economic rights of free enterprise are legitimate.

The U.S. is a country that defined individualism. Look at the rights in the Constitution. But economically, individuals are winners and losers and the deck is stacked against those who don't have money.

Without indication of any evidence, Mr. Dick baldly declares, "Most of the wealth in this country is not earned, it's passed down." Then he goes on to parade Paris Hilton as his prime example. The only reason we know anything of Ms. Hilton is because she has been propped up by Big Entertainment and Media, with which Mr. Dick is enamored. Why not cite Oprah Winfrey as his example of the wealthy in America? Why not Dan Akerson or Richard Trumka? And why not include the recent acknowledgment from the Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, that tax revenues are exceeding projections in spite of the continuation of the lower tax rates? Mr. Dick would certainly be spot on if it weren't for all those pesky facts out there.

 

Readers need to ask Mr. Dick why he is fascinated with subjugating human liberty to government central planning and control. Colonial Americans sacrificed greatly in order to throw off the yoke of an onerous monarchy, yet Mr. Dick cavalierly condemns our economic liberties as "immoral ideas."

Most of the wealth in this country is not earned, it's passed down. It's a gift from U.S. policies on private property, free trade and taxation and paves the way for layabouts like Paris Hilton who are far more numerous than those rugged individuals who pulled themselves up to make billions.

Private property is a "gift" of government policy? Yikes! This is one of the most consistently dangerous threats to liberty throughout the history of humanity. But it is the ideology almost universally espoused by residents of the land of left-believe.

 

Mr. Dick is one of the reasons that conservatism must make a resurgence into the hearts and minds of Americans who want to retain this magnificent "grand experiment."
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 08 2011

It is the environment in which we live that scrutinizes and politicizes every statement and every action, no matter how beneficial the act is.

 

Such is the situation we face with the mission to remove, by capture or other means, Osama bin Laden from the terrorist scene. He was, after all, wanted "dead or alive." Dead works.

 

Nonetheless, there is still political posturing and backlash. I wish that the event could just be acknowledged as a successful mission and President Obama commended for taking the measured risk to authorize the mission. And he has been commended. Peter and I have expressed that on the pages of The Liberty Tree.

 

 

Still, there are observations to make. During my Navy days, even the most successful missions were critiqued for lessons learned. In spite of cries of politicizing the bin Laden mission, it is still worthwhile to critique the actions of this administration for lessons learned. Oliver North does a superb job of this in his recent column.

President Barack Obama's surprise announcement at 11:35 p.m. Sunday night, "The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden," has generated well-deserved accolades for those who planned and executed the mission. Unfortunately, it has also prompted extraordinary criticism, speculation and damaging revelations about operational capabilities that ought to remain classified at best or uncertain at least.

The aftermath of the mission is where the O-Team, as Col. North uses, is breaking down. I concur with North's admonition: this administration could have and should have responded with "no comment." As noted in this article, there is probably too much information being disseminated that should remain classified. I am not an expert in security matters, but I did learn long ago that most damage from security violations come from incremental disclosures rather than one big disclosure. Taken individually, incremental disclosures do not seriously damage the integrity of classified information. But collectively, they allow enemy operatives to piece together sensitive information.

 

When Tom Clancy's first novel, The Hunt for Red October, was published, it caused a big stir among the Navy intelligence and submarine community. Clancy included details of submarine operations that were classified. Investigations led to the final conclusion that Clancy, who had no access to any official sensitive information, was able to piece together the details from public sources.

 

Potential security leaks aside, this administration could have saved themselves a lot of grief had they just offered no comment on this mission. They would have certainly been justified to do so.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 08 2011

In late April, Weiss Ratings fired a shot across the bow of the major ratings firms, such as Moody?fs and Standard & Poor?fs, by publishing their own Sovereign Debt Ratings. They gave America a ?gC.?h Writes Mike Larson,

If there?fs anything we?fve learned about the major ratings agencies, it?fs that they?fre almost ALWAYS a day late and several bucks short.

 

In the early 1990s, they failed to downgrade or adequately warn about ailing life and health insurance companies ... until it was too late.

 

In the early 2000s, they didn?ft cut Enron?fs debt ratings until days before the company went broke.

 

In 2008, Moody?fs actually rated Bear Stearns ?gA2?? on the very day the firm failed! Standard & Poor?fs gave it an ?gA.?h

 

Just a few months later, when Lehman Brothers crumbled, they screwed up again! On the very morning the giant investment bank collapsed, Moody?fs still gave it a rating of A2; S&P gave it an A; and Fitch gave it an A+!

 

Should this upstart service be given any serious consideration? Take a few facts into consideration, and then draw your own conclusion. Dr. Martin Weiss and his team have been butting heads with major ratings agencies for decades over financial and business ratings. The Weiss team repeatedly demonstrates that the ratings agencies are not independent and exposes their conflicts of interest. As Mr. Larson noted, evidence is plentiful about how failing institutions were receiving high ratings from established, venerable rating services.

 

The Weiss Sovereign Debt Ratings are not intended to belittle America. They are intended to accurately notify Americans and all investors of the true risk of this massive debt and the impact it may have upon our financial institutions and currency.

 

During the run-up to the housing market collapse, I frequently stopped listening to Glenn Beck?fs radio program because I thought he was being too alarmist. Looking back, I wish that I had paid closer attention. Prior to the economic collapse, I did not know about Dr. Martin Weiss and his analysis team. I wish I had known about their work.

 

I am not suggesting that all of the predictions coming from their analysis is going to happen as they see it. Neither do they make that claim. However, they do have decades of experience and data upon which to base their conclusions. Although they offer a variety of professional services, no-cost articles are available. Go to Money & Markets for more info. (Note: I am not affiliated with Weiss Research, Inc. in any way and do not receive any benefit for recommending any of their literature or products. I simply think that all of us can make better decisions with good data.) Forewarned is forearmed!

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:30 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 07 2011

It is a good thing to research before making comments. I was going to point out that the better than expected jobs data - 244,000 jobs added in April - was bumped up in part by the McDonald's recent hiring binge. Turns out that those jobs are not included in the April data. However, the 62,000 jobs added by McDonald's will show up in the next jobs report.

 

Concerning this month's report, MarketWatch notes:

A bright spot in today's report is that manufacturing added 29,000 jobs in April, the sixth straight month of job gains. Manufacturing has added 250,000 jobs since its low point in December 2009, and among manufacturing production and nonsupervisory workers, hours per week are 41.4 ? just below the level in March but higher than at any point in the 2000s economic recovery. A key factor in sustained growth in manufacturing jobs is the increasingly competitive dollar, which helps U.S. exports. Goods exports grew by an annualized rate of 7.8% in the first quarter of 2011.

 

The economic outlook remains cautious. Amid continuing signs of slow to modest recovery, there remain concerns. And, as is typical of economic reality, good news in one sector is not so good for another. The above report notes, for instance, that our weaker U.S. dollar helps our export businesses. The risk is that long term dollar weakness is a big negative for domestic savings and spending as inflation erodes our purchasing power. Plus, as the American dollar weakens, money flows from our nation to others with stronger currency - China, India, Switzerland, Brazil, and others.

 

An important step this government can take to stabilize our economy and move it forward is to stop confusing business. Create the environment that allows business leaders to plan ahead. We have none of that now. No one knows what the tax picture will look like. No one knows how the healthcare debacle will play out. (A significant issue here is that while the much touted Obamacare is supposed to cure America's healthcare ills, government entities, unions, and some businesses, such as McDonald's, get waivers from portions of the bill. That is not stability.)

 

This nation needs leadership that understands the significant challenges, addresses them in a comprehensible and Constitutional manner, and allows American ingenuity to take on and overcome them. When that happens, we will once again see a full head of steam building in the American engine.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 05:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 07 2011

Although you might not know it by listening to the media or reading newspapers, there are more "controversial" bills going to the Governor's desk than simply the pro-life one that includes defunding Planned Parenthood.

The "Firearm Preemption Reform" bill Senate Bill 292 authored by freshman Sen. Jim Tomes had an interesting path through the legislature that may have even surprised its House Sponsor, Rep. Mike Speedy. SB 292 levels out Indiana's firearms laws to protect law-abiding citizens from not inadvertently violating a city ordinance as they travel through the state.

The bill faced a lot of opposition and even some hysteria from several mayors (and even some celebrities like Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay) who seemed to want to portray concealed carry permit holders as a throwback to the old west.

The bill survived a somewhat risky move by Senator Tomes late in the game when he filed a dissent motion and pushed his bill into a conference committee. I know this worried the House Sponsor who understandably wanted the bill to go to the Governor without risking what the House Democrats might do with a conservative bill after their walkout antics. Yet, Sen. Tomes, who before becoming a State Senator ran a TEA party style group called the 2nd Amendment Patriots, stuck to his guns, (so to speak), in wanting to remove some amendments and strengthen his bill. It worked. SB 292 survived the Conference Committee when all Republican and Democrat members signed off on the changes and the bill went to the Governor.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 09:51 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, May 07 2011

Congressman Mike Pence will officially announce tomorrow that he will be running for Governor in 2012. Pence will be the 800-pound Gorilla in the race on the Republican side and a near certainty to be the GOP's nominee.

On the Democratic Party side, it is less clear who may emerge in their primary. Former House Speaker John Gregg is a name most often mentioned, and he has made it clear that he is interested and is speaking at various party functions. However, there are some who are wondering if Congressman Joe Donnelly might follow through with his threat to run if his district was redrawn to help the GOP and his opponent, State Rep. Jackie Walorski who nearly defeated Donnelly last November. The new 2nd district was redrawn to be squarer and less gerrymandered than before. It appears to be a more politically competitive district than it had been the previous ten years.

John Gregg and Joe Donnelly can both talk a good talk as being "moderate" Democrats and social conservatives who are pro-life, even if their legislative records have not always reflected those talking points. Either one would make for an interesting, and likely competitive match up against Mike Pence.

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 07:49 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, May 07 2011

On Friday Governor Mitch Daniels issued a statement putting to rest the speculation over whether he might sign House Bill 1210. I expect that his strong words may have shocked Planned Parenthood, which had spent thousands of dollars in radio advertisements urging people to call the governor's office to urge him to veto the legislation.

The Governor didn't merely say that he would sign the bill. He made a point of addressing the scare tactic that claimed the Schneider Amendment to the bill would prevent poor women from receiving non-abortion services through Medicaid funding. Here is what the Governor said:

"I will sign HEA 1210 when it reaches my desk a week or so from now. I supported this bill from the outset, and the recent addition of language guarding against the spending of tax dollars to support abortions creates no reason to alter my position. The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers, as reflected in greater than 2:1 bipartisan votes in both legislative chambers.

"I commissioned a careful review of access to services across the state and can confirm that all non-abortion services, whether family planning or basic women's health, will remain readily available in every one of our 92 counties. In addition, I have ordered the Family and Social Services Administration to see that Medicaid recipients receive prompt notice of nearby care options. We will take any actions necessary to ensure that vital medical care is, if anything, more widely available than before.

"Any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions."

The statement also pointed out this key fact, which counters the claim that not funding Planned Parenthood severely limits services offered to women. This law will affect 7 entities in Indiana, which have a total of 34 locations in 21 counties throughout the state. In the 21 counties where these 7 entities currently operate, there are approximately 800 Medicaid providers, which are eligible to provide Medicaid clients with health and family planning services.

(Later this afternoon the US House of Representatives is expected to vote on HR 3, the "No Funding for Abortion Act" which moves hundreds of millions of tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.)

Posted by: Micah Clark AT 06:46 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Friday, May 06 2011

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

 

When I got the news that Osama bin Laden was dead, I gladly acknowledge that my heart leapt with joy and satisfaction.  Even when media reports were confirming that was the case, I wanted to hear it from the President's lips.  I freely admit that I was fist-pumping and rejoicing over the death of America's mortal enemy.  As I watched the crowds gather at the World Trade Center site and outside the White House waving flags and cheering, "USA, USA," I was moved.

 

 

 

I naively assumed that was the way most all of my fellow Americans, and my fellow Christ believers were reacting as well.  Then the emails started to come in.  Then the messages started appearing.  Then the rebuking posts were made, saying things like, "A Christian doesn't rejoice in the death of anyone," or "This man had a soul that is lost forever...how can you celebrate that?" or "Cheering in the streets is what they did to us after 9/11...how did we feel when we were on that end of it?"

 

I appreciate the good intentions of those who offer such questions, but I believe they are misguided.  Here's why:

 

"A Christian doesn't rejoice in the death of anyone."

 

Really?  We don't?  Not even a wicked man responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents for decades?  I must wonder if such a response is grounded in Scripture or if it is grounded in moralistic derivatives of Scripture mixed with the false compassion of years' worth of liberal emotionally-driven politics.

 

Scripture is pretty clear that the righteous rejoice in the death of the wicked.  That's a principle that dates back to the Bible's earliest days.  As Dr. Randy White explained:

Moses rejoiced that, ""Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. "The deeps cover them; They went down into the depths like a stone" (Exodus 15:4-5, NASB95).

When Jezebel died, the Scripture records that, "...they returned and told him. And he said, "This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 'In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, 'This is Jezebel'"  (2 Kings 9:36-37, NASB95).

When Hamaan, the enemy of the Jews, was hanged on the gallows, and the Jews were allowed to defend themselves against his evil plan, the Jews made a permanent day of rejoicing, still observed to this day: "because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor " (Esther 9:22, NASB95).

The Psalms are full of prayers against the wicked, such as, "O let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; For the righteous God tries the hearts and minds. " (Psalm 7:9, NASB95)

Even the wisdom of Proverbs rejoices when the wicked perish: "When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting." (Proverbs 11:10, NASB95)

Osama bin Laden is the textbook definition of a wicked man - on par with the Jezebels, Hamaans, and Pharaohs of old.  A Biblically minded person would not struggle to rejoice in the death of one so evil.

 

"This man had a soul that is lost forever...how can you celebrate that?"

 

I think it is a warped (intentionally or not) interpretation of the celebration taking place in America - and particularly among Christian believers - to surmise that the celebration is centered around the fact that apart from Christ, Osama bin Laden is "rotting in Hell."  Even those who say such things are typically reflecting a much more superficial attitude that they are pleased he no longer treads the earth.

 

 

And while I have avoided saying things like "rot in Hell, Osama," - because the mere thought of an eternity forever separated from God is not something I can even bring myself to think about for anyone - I am pleased beyond words that he no longer treads the earth as well. 

 

He was a murderous butcher who, if given the opportunity and the weapons he was undoubtedly pursuing, would exact an Armageddon upon you and me.  God has spared us from that, through the U.S. Navy SEALs, and I will not be deterred from expressing great gratitude for such. 

 

So criticize the flippant word choice if you will, but any notion that the celebration taking place in our streets is excitement over the permanent residence of Osama's soul is uninformed.  We grieve that Osama made the conscious decision to reject the Lordship of Christ.  It was something he was given ample time and opportunity to do.  We lament that terrible decision that he alone made, but celebrate that his reign of terror (something that resulted in countless others having their time to find and accept Christ cut dreadfully short) is over.

 

So what is a good response for Americans (specifically believers) to the death of Osama bin Laden?   Rejoice and express thanks that a wicked man who tormented us and brought death and terror to our shores is dead.  Lament that bin Laden is in Hell - something that God wishes upon no one.  Pray earnestly that those who have followed bin Laden will turn from the evil they have embraced and find redemption and peace in Christ.  And yes, wave your flag and pump your fist that those with the Biblical duty to protect us from the evildoer have done their job...and done it well.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  4 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 06 2011

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

 

I've been talking since Tuesday of this week about the unfolding backfire against the left as they have sought to politicize the killing of bin Laden.  It is culminating in this simple truth: the day America won big, liberal policies lost even bigger.

 

While this reality is apparently lost on folks like Ed Schultz, who goes on TV and ignorantly claims that the killing of bin Laden is the "Republican Waterloo," it is no less true.  For proof, just survey the left's policies from Guantanamo to interrogations to war fighting itself and compare it to what just happened.

 

 

Rusty Weiss does that very effectively:

If Guantanamo Bay had been closed and coercive tactics not used on its prisoners, Bin Laden would still be alive.  Obama himself sought to appease his liberal base by signing a largely symbolic, yet unrealistic executive order to close Guantanamo Bay.  The vision of that order never came to fruition, to the benefit of this nation.  The Australian reported that "the man who led them to the al-Qa'ida leader was a trusted courier, identified by several detainees under questioning."  That identification was confirmed by two other sources, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libi.  How was that information attained? 

 

[H]ad proponents of the open government platform had their way, and details of this mission were released to the public, Bin Laden would still be alive.  Early suspicions that Bin Laden had been located cropped up in August of 2010, when the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, was discovered.  Operations were planned in a series of meetings between the President and the National Security Council in mid-March.  Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has stated that the organization's goal ?is to force governments into total transparency by making all official documents available to the public.'  Had documents, plans, and meeting notes been released prior to the day the actual operation was carried out, Bin Laden would easily have escaped.

 

And finally, had the military exercised a liberal war tactic known as ?courageous restraint', Bin Laden would still be alive.  One year ago, NATO developed a plan to reward troops for exercising ?courageous restraint', in the hopes they would avoid using force that could endanger innocent lives in a firefight.  In the firefight which eventually took down Bin Laden, a woman, possibly one of the terrorist's wives, was used as a human shield.  Had American forces thought twice about killing a civilian in this case, exercising ?courageous restraint', the operation may not have gone so smoothly.  American lives may have been lost; the mission may not have been accomplished.

What it says is that Americans just learned a valuable lesson.  When liberals actually get serious about protecting America, they ignore their own policies and ideas and follow the conservative path.  Ed Schultz may be right in saying this was a "Waterloo."  He just has mistaken who is playing the part of Napoleon.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 06 2011

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Well that didn't take long.  I figured the bleeding hearts would stay in the closet for a few more weeks before coming out to complain about the U.S. killing bin Laden.  Seems I overestimated their wisdom.  Michael "I'm going to wear this ball cap to continue to try to pretend that I'm an average working man" Moore appeared on CNN last night to say this:

"They killed him not because there was a fire fight or something going on. They went there with the intention to kill him. That's an execution or an assassination, whatever you want to call it," Michael Moore told CNN.

 

Not to be outdone, Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury weighed in as well:

"The killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling because it doesn't look as if justice is seen to be done," he said.

If I had to pick which statement was dumber, I'd be hard pressed.  On one hand, you just have come to expect it from Michael Moore.  But the idiocy to suggest that there was no fire fight going on may be a new mark for the man from Michigan.

 

It's pitch black.  It's a heavily fortified complex.  The SEALs work their way up through 3 floors encountering resistance on the way.  They have to blow doors open with explosives to get to bin Laden, who apparently saw them before ducking back into his room - a room with a loaded pistol and AK-47 inside.  SEALs have to bust into the room, not knowing what they'll find before they administer the death blow.  And Michael Moore wants them to cuff him, read him his rights, and bring him before Judge Judy.  One is amazed how Moore can get so much ignorance to pour out of his mouth all at once.  (This isn't even addressing the madness and hysteria that would be created by the left regarding the kind of trial we should hold, where we should hold it, what the punishment should be, etc. - Maybe Moore is upset because that would have provided him more opportunities to get face time on TV to complain about how we aren't giving bin Laden justice.)

 

But then again, Williams' comments are choice.  "The killing of an unarmed man is always going to leave a very uncomfortable feeling?"  Sort of like the feeling that families of the armed bin Laden's thousands of victims feel every day, Rowan?  Osama bin Laden had 10 years to give himself up and face a trial.  Instead, he resisted, he continued plotting and killing.  I think the fact that we happened to catch him in his PJs without a rifle in his hand doesn't change the reality that he got his justice.

 

But if nothing else, at least these folks continue to demonstrate to the country what our world would be like if it was run by liberals.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, May 06 2011

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Great news continues to emerge from the resurgent pro-life movement's successful strikes against the evil organization, Planned Parenthood.  This monstrous facility that operates on a budget underwritten by the blood money accompanying the deaths of millions of innocent children is seeing its taxpayer funds threatened, and in some cases totally removed.  While this isn't the endgame for those of us who believe in the principles of our Declaration of Independence, it's an important step.

 

 

An important front in this battle with PP and the abortion culture at large is on college campuses.  And it makes sense.  Young co-eds, sometimes living in the same dorm, often find themselves yielding to sexual temptation that encompasses them, and as a result, end up with an unplanned pregnancy.  Given that campuses are run by ex-hippy administrators and faculty who even use freshmen orientation to preach the greatness of Planned Parenthood's "services," college aged girls are promised an opportunity to keep it all a secret, not disappoint their parents, and continue with their education without the "distraction" of a child.  In that context, confused choices made by scared or selfish motives cost us tens of thousands of lives.  That's why groups like Students for Life of America (SFLA) are so important.

 

I have said that I believe this will be the generation that ends abortion in America.  And when it is, I believe SFLA will have a large hand in it.  Kristen Hawkins recently wrote a very encouraging piece about the determination of SFLA in the face of withering opposition from their tired, and hopelessly backwards university administrators:

While pro-life students can be treated as second-class citizens on campus, the good news is that there are more of them than their opposition or administrations want to believe.  Polls are showing that this millennial generation is the most pro-life generation yet.  In 2010, a Gallup Poll revealed that 47% of America's youth identify themselves as pro-life.  This is a huge shift from just 10 years ago, and as SFLA continues to expand our student outreach, these numbers will only continue to rise.

What really sets these young people apart from pro-lifers on campus before them is two things: technology and experience. Today's technology is incredible.  We now have the ability to view the preborn child as never before through highly advanced video cameras and 3-D and 4-D ultrasounds.  These videos and pictures make their way onto the Internet and social media by proud parents posting the videos of their preborn children on Facebook and YouTube or companies advertising their products.  These mainstream images give this millennial generation the images to back up their scientific truth on campus.  Because they are mainstream, their opposition can't deny their validity as they often try to do with images of aborted children.  Instead, these images force opposing students and professors to debate the real issue: the personhood of the preborn.
 
Because this generation has never known an America without legalized abortion on-demand, they have experienced the real effects of abortion.  They know women and men who have been directly affected by abortion in their families, circle of friends, and dorms.  They are the survivors of abortion and have been forced to live their lives with the question of "What if?"  "What if my Mom had decided to abort me?"  "What if I'm missing a sibling or a best friend?"  Because this generation has seen the devastating effects abortion has had on their friends and members of their own family, they know the truth and are not about to sit back as their peers are targeted and used by the abortion industry.

 

Praise God for that.  And praise God that they continue to persevere, bringing in speakers and activists who can shake the scales from the eyes of a new generation of leaders:

Students also bring pro-life speakers and debates to campus to talk on different aspects of the abortion issue, including Dr. Alveda King to speak on black genocide, Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, Ryan Bomberger and Amanda Lord to speak about adoption, members of Silent No More and Operation Outcry to speak about their abortion experiences, and the list goes on. College and university campuses are the heart of the abortion battle.  It is during these years that students are often faced with this critical life-and-death decision, and forced to form their adult opinions on a number of issues.  It is precisely because of this that SFLA is dedicated to working with pro-life students across the country, whether by providing them with the training and resources they need, giving them new ideas for how to break through the debate, or helping them deal with campus opposition.
 
The millennial generation that SFLA works with on a daily basis provides important leaders of the pro-life movement, and because of their hard work and leadership, we will abolish abortion in our lifetime. 

And what a glorious day that will be.  A day when, just like with the abolition of slavery, America will again stand as a defender of the rights of all men: black or white, planned or unplanned.

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

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The preeminent blogger Iowahawk has lit up the left in a beautiful indictment of their celebrations regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.  This is why he's one of the best.  It's simply a masterpiece.  He begins by explaining his jubilant surprise over the sudden change of heart of America's "peace community":

I can report that I also completely underestimated the capacity of America's erstwhile "peace community" for turning on a dime and embracing the kind of all-American xenophobic flag-waving bloodlust they only recently decried. So today I stand proudly with my new friends of the formerly antiwar left in a mindlessly jingoistic salute to President Obama for an extralegal military assassination well done.


Yes, it's true that some pre-January 2009 antiwar activists have remained morally and logically consistent in their opposition to America's military presence in the Mideast; but, thank God, it appears now they were only a tiny, insignificant minority. Recent events have happily made clear that the antiwar movement of 2001-8 was overwhelmingly dominated by a vast silent hypocritical majority of craven political opportunists awaiting a Democratic administration to gleefully celebrate the covert execution of a man whom, until 28 months ago, they would have described as a "tragic civilian casualty."

Then, he appropriately turns his wry praise of our new-found national unity on the Unifier-in-Chief, Barack Obama.  The master blogger notes that Obama had convinced many of us (including the Nobel Prize folks) that he was something that he apparently isn't.

Who is to credit for this rebirth in American national unity? First and foremost, we must cite the leadership of President Obama. Like many Americans - and the Nobel Peace Prize committee - I naively feared he was actually serious when he initially proposed shutting down Guantanamo, trying detainees in American civilian courts, and prior consultation with the international community. Little did I know that this untested young Commander-in-Chief would muster the courage to read his weekly Gallup numbers and, in one daring unilateral extra-judicial targeted hit job, toss aside every single idiotic foreign policy principle of his election campaign. Perhaps most satisfyingly, it was a mission made possible thanks to information extracted by methods he previously banned as "illegal torture."

Perhaps this is that high-mindedness that greatly exceeds the wisdom of common men that the left has always been talking about.  While saying he was against Guantanamo, he really meant he was for it.  While saying he was against tough interrogations, he really meant it's a great tool.  The only thing is, if that's the case, who has Obama been "outsmarting" all these years?  It would appear the duped would be the very ones on the left that bought these claims as spoken, no?  How does that fit into the media narrative?

 

What I think is the better explanation is that the left is not caught up in a very difficult and uncomfortable moment: they have killed bin Laden through a practice they once called murder or assassination, using tactics that they once called illegal, using intelligence they once said was gathered in violation to international law, and they are trying to wave flags (which they once called chickenhawk behavior) to cover up their inconsistency.  Iowahawk calls them out:

But this triumphant new era in situationally-unified American bloodlust does not belong to the President alone; we must also cite Congress's born-again waterboarders like Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and their newfound enthusiasm for what (at least until 9pm Sunday) they would have once considered illegal military murder squads. Neither can we forget the watchdogs of America's press, who have shown unprecedented ethical flexibility in shedding their long-held Gandhi moralism and embracing their inner Rambo.

 

So how long will all this last?  The blogger explains his belief on that one as well:

At some point, possibly after the next election, American troops will once again assume their traditional role of psychotic baby-killing objects of fear and pity. And, doubtlessly, those of us who still admire them must once again assume our traditional role as America's flag-humping racist chickenhawks. But when that day comes, we can look back at the week of May 1, 2011 and realize that it isn't personal.

Perfect analysis.  America is now safer according to the left, because the left consented to using conservative tactics to execute a conservative strategy to bring about a conservative goal.  God love 'em.
Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, May 05 2011

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I'm always intrigued when I get emails or calls from folks who accuse me of being inconsistent in my support of the death penalty, but opposition to abortion.  Obviously holding those two positions is completely consistent to a Biblical Christian mind.  Besides the Biblical command coming from the post-Flood Noahic covenant, simple logic can walk you through this one: Life created in the image of God instills an inviolable sanctity that cannot be destroyed but with the most severe consequences. 

 

 

When one does, the only price that is serious enough for such a heinous act is the forfeiture of one's own life at the hand of the civil authority.  The book of Romans lays that out pretty clearly.

 

But what floors me is that many of the people that incorrectly try to call me a hypocrite on those two issues are seemingly unaware of what their position many times is: killing innocent children in the womb should be a legal choice, but execution of horrific violent offenders should not be.  Stunning incoherence.

 

And if there's one place that incoherence thrives today, it's college campuses.  So no surprise to see Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Matthew Robinson giving his "scientific" analysis that the death penalty is too expensive and doesn't make anyone safer.  And, as with most liberal professors, common sense (like that espoused by conservatives like Mike Adams) is not going to deter them.

 

Adams counters Robinson's silliness by pointing out:

Because of their undying commitment to expanding abortion rights I always welcome moral advice from liberals. That's why I was nearly moved to tears after I read a new report from Appalachian State University Professor Dr. Matthew Robinson. His "scientific" report asserts that the death penalty system in North Carolina costs millions of dollars a year and does not make our state safer.

 

What Professor Robinson does not report is that the abolitionist movement is the sole reason for the higher-than-expected expense and lower-than-expected deterrent value of capital punishment. The death penalty is expensive because abolitionists level costly appeals - even in cases where they know the condemned is guilty and has had a fair trial.

 

Put simply, the abolitionist wants to get rid of the death penalty regardless of guilt and regardless of process. And the impact of these endless appeals is predicable: It undermines the deterrent capacity of the death penalty.

 

If the liberal reader cannot understand why a fifteen year delay between crime and punishment undermines deterrence then just try this little two-step experiment: 1) The next time your fifteen-year old breaks a rule tell him he will be grounded when he turns thirty. 2) See if you can count to ten before he decides to recidivate.

 

But the most effective part of Adams' excellent rebuttal is by drawing the effective parallel that shows the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of these liberal "scholars":

Dr. Robinson also says that the death penalty "poses a serious risk to innocent people." I have a similar concern with abortion. I think it might pose a pretty serious risk to innocent people. So, for me, the solution lies in the appellate process.

 

Here's my plan: When a woman decides to abort, opponents of abortion should be able to file appeals on behalf of the baby. If we can just drag out the process for fifteen years or more then, who knows, we might be able to reduce the risk abortion poses to innocent people.

 

...

 

Robinson also asserts that innocent people are being wrongly sentenced to death. He notes that seven people have been exonerated and freed from North Carolina's death row since 1973. I'm glad he chose the year 1973 as a reference point. Since then, no wrongfully condemned person has been freed from a North Carolina abortion clinic. The criminal justice system is broken but, look, the health care system works just perfectly!

 

Robinson concluded a recent interview by asking, ''What do we get for all the money we spend on the death penalty?'' He humbly answered his own question saying, ''We get a punishment that is almost never used, that is mired in racial bias and that threatens the lives of innocent people. It defies logic to continue using a system like that.''

 

In recent years, the abortion rate has been dropping slightly - as has been the murder rate. Imagine if abortion were mired in racial bias or threatened the lives of innocent people. Then both logic and sanctimonious professors would defy its continued use.

Coherence and consistency...two elements that aren't highly valued in the world of the left.

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

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You might recall not that long ago, President Obama stood in front of media personnel as he revealed his long-hidden long-form birth certificate.  And as he did so, he proclaimed that we did not have time for "this kind of silliness."  Saying that we have "better things to do," he used the occasion for another one of his fascinating lectures about how he's serious and no one who criticizes him or questions him is.

 

 

While they were ironic words coming from a man who would just moments later head out the door to go appear on Oprah's TV show and begin a campaign fundraising spree, an even more instructive example of what Obama finds important has just emerged:

Two days later, he gave his idea of a dignified use of presidential time and resources as the Office of Public Engagement (OPE) headed by his closest advisor, Valerie Jarrett, held the first-ever White House conference devoted exclusively to transgender concerns.

 

Among the transgender activists present at the super-secret gathering was the president of an organization that is lobbying the government to pay for sex-change operations, allow open military service and top-secret security clearances for trannies, and develop "transgender-specific needle exchange programs" for those who abuse intravenous drugs. The activists state although this was the first time the federal government invited them to discuss their agenda, it will not be the last; the next steps are already planned. And the Obama administration is already churning out significant regulations catering to cross-dressers - and silencing their critics.

For those on the left, this shouldn't be seen as a criticism, but a celebration of our President's priorities.  He clearly finds catering to cross-dressers a pressing issue.  I think that's pretty instructive.  With unemployment at 9%, the economy tanking, gas prices going through the roof, it's nice to see the president not focusing on any "kind of silliness."

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

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There seems to be an emerging controversy about President Obama's new preacher.  If you get the feeling that we've been here before, you're right.  Barack Obama's obsession with Black Liberation Theology is a concern to anyone who knows and understands BLT.  His willingness to subject his young girls to it is even more concerning.

 

By now the storyline of Jeremiah "G--D--- America" is well known. 

 

 

Radical preacher of Obama for 20 years, married the Obama's, Obama calls him a mentor, baptizes Obama's girls, all of sudden when he runs for president Obama realizes the guy is a hate-filled racist.  Obama distances himself, throws Wright under the bus, the media looks the other way and accuses anyone who points out the fact that any other person would be asked why they would sit in the pew for 20 years of such racism if they didn't share the beliefs as being racist themselves.

 

But what's the "rest of the story?"  Obama gets elected president and stops going to church.  And when he does, he chooses the church of another radical: Rev. Wallace Charles Smith of Shiloh Baptist Church.  And that's where he took his family on Easter Sunday.  Bill O'Reilly explains the scoop on Mr. Smith:

The pastor is a race-activist who last year said this at a private Christian college: "Now Jim Crow wears blue pinstripes, goes to law school and carries fancy briefs and cases. ... He doesn't have to wear white robes anymore because now he can wear the protective cover of talk radio, or a regular news program on Fox."
   
I have worked at Fox News for nearly 15 years and don't know any racists on or off the air. At the very least, Smith is irresponsible in making that statement. And the whole tone of that diatribe is unfair and undisciplined. No fair-minded person indicts lawyers as racists. Obama went to law school.

But obviously that was just one excerpt probably taken out of context, right?  Obviously Obama wouldn't willingly choose to go to another church like this, right?  It's all coincidence, right?  And surely racial overtones didn't play a part of the colorless, creedless, unifying message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday, right?  Wrong:

As the first family sat in their pew, Smith did not hold back during his sermon. He talked about his baby grandson who was trying, the pastor posited, to say his first words: "I am here. ... They tried to write me off as three-fifths of a person in the Constitution, but I am here right now. ... I am not going to let anybody stop me from being what God wants me to be."
   
The three-fifths reference is to the constitutional mandate of counting each slave as three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation in the U.S. House. That, of course, was rendered obsolete with the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, but apparently Smith holds a grudge.

 

No one is doubting Mr. Smith's right to preach his race-baiting blather.  But many are - and even more should be - asking why President Obama sits through it and chooses it...again.  If he doesn't pick up on it, is that because such a mindset is already ingrained in him to the point where it seems natural?  And what kind of message is it sending to his daughters?

 

O'Reilly points out that Obama's own storyline disproves the notion that a person with a non-Caucasian background can succeed - even become president.  So why sit there, Mr. President?  There's no throwing Wright under the bus this time.  Americans deserve an answer.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2011

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Barack Obama deserves credit...again.  Just like I believe President Obama deserves great credit for his pursuit of bin Laden and his ultimate decision to execute the operation to bring him down, I think President Obama has - at least in the public eye - continued to play down the politics of bin Laden's death.

 

 

Obviously the same cannot be said about his political allies on the left, as I explained in detail here.  But Barack Obama has stayed above board, which by the way, is quite presidential.  And while he hasn't gone anywhere close to extremes to credit his predecessor in this particular incident, he has made appropriate and meaningful gestures in that regard.

 

Take for instance, Obama's invitation to former President Bush to join him today at Ground Zero in New York to mark the death of Osama bin Laden.  Classy move.  Politically motivated?  I don't really care.  It's a classy move.  Unfortunately, President Bush decided to decline the invitation:

Former President George W. Bush will not be joining President Obama during a Thursday event at Ground Zero to mark the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

Obama had invited his predecessor to a ceremony at the site of 9/11 attacks in New York City.

 

Bush appreciates the invitation, "but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight," said spokesman David Sherzer.

 

Sherzer added that Bush "continues to celebrate with all Americans this important victory in the war on terror."

I'm sure he does.  But in my book, this is a trip the former president needs to make.  Talking with a colleague today about the left's attempts to deny Bush any credit on the killing of bin Laden, he made the point that such complaints lose a little bit of muster when someone on the left like Obama does reach out to President Bush only to be rebuffed.

 

Perhaps Bush thinks this is going to be another Paul Ryan or Supreme Court justice moment - where President Obama invites his adversary to join him, only to rake them over the coals in front of millions while they're forced to sit there silently.  I can't imagine that would be the case here...and even so, Bush should have gone.

 

Perhaps Bush thinks this would be hurtful to conservatives who can now take advantage of the left's politicizing of the bin Laden death, and he is staying away to prevent Obama from being able to have an image to use showing him as a "uniter."  To me, that shouldn't matter...he should have gone.

 

Perhaps Bush is simply fed up with Barack Obama's behavior over the last two years of blaming him for anything and everything, and simply doesn't want to be around the guy.  Understandable, but this is bigger than all that...and I think he should have gone.

 

Or perhaps the statement made from Mr. Sherzer is precisely his reasoning - he wants to stay out of the spotlight and not make this about him.  Clearly President Bush has visited and grieved with 9/11 families.  Clearly he is moved by this entire storyline. 

 

 

So there is a high degree of likelihood the statement from his spokesman is the exact reason.  And while that is something I can respect, this is one of those moments that I think the President has to put aside those feelings, honor the kind gesture of President Obama and go to the ceremony.

 

If someone wants to say that Obama's playing me for a fool because he is making public gestures like this as a sign of goodwill all while pulling strings behind the scene to have his underlings like Feinstein and Frank attempt to discredit Bush and the right, so be it.  Until I have some sort of evidence for that, I am more than willing to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt on this one. 

 

His gesture to George W. Bush was appropriate and fitting.  It wasn't something he had to do or needed to do.  But he did.  And I think George Bush should have taken him up on the offer.  It would have been a powerful sign of bipartisanship and unity that the country would benefit from.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2011

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The phrase is: "Let sleeping dogs lie."  The left should have abided by its wisdom.

 

After the killing of bin Laden, Republicans and conservatives everywhere were going in front of microphones and applauding President Obama for his decision to execute the plan that brought the terrorist mastermind to justice.  It was a truly bipartisan moment...for a few minutes anyway.

 

Unfortunately for the left, their bitter partisanship overcame the patriotic moment and their deranged hatred for George W. Bush once again got the better of them. 

 

 

While conservatives who vehemently disagree with Mr. Obama on a host of issues were able to put things in perspective and compliment him on a great moment, the left simply could not do the same with Obama's predecessor.

 

Had they been able to do so - had they been able to put aside their bitterness for just a few days - President Obama would have enjoyed a more sustained bin Laden bounce in the polls than what he is likely to get now because they couldn't.  Because in their desperate effort to show no goodwill towards George Bush and deny him any credit for the killing of bin Laden, they have opened up a can of worms that in the end will hurt them far more than would have otherwise happened.

 

It is unlikely that had liberals been able to issue simple statements like, "We thank President Bush for his efforts and congratulate him for 7 years of pursuit," conservatives would have never brought up the uncomfortable realities that they are now beginning to point out to the country - realities that not only vindicate George Bush, but that will diminish the political potency of Mr. Obama's success.  What are those realities? 

 

Barack Obama was able to pull the trigger on a mission to kill bin Laden because of intelligence gathered from sources and techniques that occurred during the administration of George Bush and through policies and strategies that the left vehemently opposed.  In other words, had the left's policies been in place during the last 10 years, Barack Obama would not have had the opportunity he took advantage of to rid the world of Osama.

 

This is going to become widely known precisely because the left has denied Bush any credit in the events of Sunday night.  In their attempt to help their political cause, they will wind up hurting it.  In response, folks like Barney Frank and Dianne Feinstein are leading the charge to suggest that those aggressive interrogations profited nothing useful.  But even if the critical info about the bin Laden courier didn't come as the direct result of something like waterboarding, Shannen Coffin explains:

[T]his argument is specious. When [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] was captured, he was resistant to any form of interrogation, conventional or otherwise. As our colleague Marc Thiessen learned in writing Courting Disaster, KSM's resistance was "superhuman." It was only after being subjected to waterboarding and other enhanced measures that he became compliant, and from that point forward, cooperated with more conventional techniques. As one of the CIA interrogators told Marc, "If we had not had these techniques, we would have gotten zero from him." So enhanced interrogation methods played an integral role in all of the intelligence collected from him.

 

Notice I'm not suggesting that the question of whether waterboarding and aggressive interrogations are moral and ethical is settled.  I think rational and reasonable people can disagree on that point.  But the question of effectiveness is settled.  No sane person can deny that fact. 

 

So here's where the left has left themselves: 1.) continue to praise the great victory of President Obama in killing Osama bin Laden, which demands simultaneously eating crow by acknowledging that the very techniques they fought against were what brought us to this point of celebration, or 2.) lament the fact that Osama bin Laden was killed by the use of techniques that are "un-American."

 

It didn't have to be this way.  Conservatives were - as is apparent by every public statement they made - content to let this be a victory for all Americans.  But liberals wouldn't, couldn't let the sleeping dog lie.  They made it political, and now that's going to become pretty uncomfortable for them.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2011

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In their ongoing effort to find a way to get Barack Obama re-elected, the mainstream press have instituted a new policy for convincing Americans the disastrous Obamaconomy isn't really that bad.  The policy is called "No Straw Left Ungrasped," and was beautifully demonstrated by T.J. Holmes' hilarious report on CNN last Saturday:

Here is a sign that the economy is getting better, an unexpected sign you didn't think about. Divorce rates in the U.S. are on the rise. It's explained here. In 2000 before the recession, of course, way back before the recession, the divorce rate was 4.0. When hard times started in 2007 the breakup rate dropped to 3.6 percent here. But then last year it fell a bit more, a bit more to 3.5. That was the divorce rate then. So, fewer and fewer people are getting divorced.

 

But now as the economy gets better, we're learning now, we're starting to see a surge in divorce filings. I'm going to bring in matrimonial attorney -- that sounds so much better than divorce attorney -- Elizabeth Lindsay, here to explain this to me.

Yes, you are reading that correctly.  In a desperate effort to prove that the economy is getting better, CNN is thrilled to report on a surge in divorce filings.  Tell your friends and tell your neighbors!  Growth has slowed to 1.8 percent, jobless claims grew to 429,000, unemployment is approaching 9% again, the federal government is borrowing $52,000 a second...BUT...more families are being severed by the terrible practice of divorce!  A sure sign things are improving.

 

Actually, it's a sure sign that mainstream Obama outlets like CNN are going to stop at nothing to convince you to re-elect the walking disaster in the White House.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2011

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I have often wondered and asked how we would regard Abraham Lincoln if when asked by his contemporaries which skin colors were entitled to human rights he would have responded by saying that "answering that question with any specificity is, you know, above my pay grade."  I think we probably would have regarded him as a coward.  Because he would have been.

 

Because he wasn't a coward, a man like Barack Obama now sits in the White House.  But when given the chance to stand on Lincoln's shoulders and defend the rights of all men, we know he gave that equivocating non-answer to Rick Warren regarding a baby in the womb.

 

 

News is now emerging that puts an all new light on this issue for Barack Obama, personally.  It would be interesting to know if he's paused to consider its implications:

Say what you will about President Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, but at least she chose life.  Given the track record of her putative husband, Barack Obama Sr., this would surely not have been his idea.

 

Although the media have taken some notice of Barack Obama Sr.'s immigration documents secured by the Arizona Independent, almost all focus on Obama's Harvard years and yet overlook a disturbing bit of news therein.

 

Only the British press has addressed the most scandalous allegation in these documents.   Key words were redacted in the file, but the redactions do not hide the abortion of what would have been Barack Obama's half sister or brother.

 

A March 1964 INS document more than suggests that Obama impregnated a Kenyan high school girl in Massachusetts on an exchange program. 

 

The girl left inexplicably for London -- a trip almost assuredly subsidized by the 29 year-old Obama -- and this caught the attention of our then vigilant immigration officials.

 

"The suspicion exists," a March 1964 INS document said, "that she may have gone to London for [redacted]".  The girl cited a visit to her sister, but upon checking, officials discovered she had no sister in London.

 

"At the time," reports the U.K. Telegraph, "abortions were illegal in the US."  They were not illegal in England. No wonder Obama was strapped for funds.  No wonder Harvard wanted him gone.  Those were the days.

Simplest scenario: Barack Obama likely has an aborted half-brother or half-sister.  More complex scenario: it is not that far of a stretch to assume that Barack Obama senior might have preferred to do the same thing to our current president.

 

Ronald Reagan once remarked that he noticed those fighting for abortion rights are already born.  Mr. Obama has been a vociferous defender of the right to kill life in the womb through his entire legislative career.  One wonders if word of this story reaches him, if there will be but a single fleeting moment where he will change his perspective to being what he once was: a helpless baby in the womb of his mother.  My guess is that would cause him to answer Mr. Warren's question a tad bit differently, don't you think?

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 03 2011

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So Barney Frank has warned Eric Cantor not to politicize the death of Osama bin Laden.  Good grief.  Not that I should be overly surprised that Frank has once again wondered into the land of incoherence, but you think even he would be a little more aware of his surroundings than that.

 

Cantor, for his part, had given credit to President Obama AND President Bush for their tireless efforts to track down and kill bin Laden.  You caught that, right?  Cantor gives credit to BOTH presidents, and Frank calls him out for politicizing the death.  Apparently to Frank, giving President Bush any credit for putting into motion the very wheels that Obama rode to kill Osama is a bridge too far.  In Frank's mind, this event is to be Obama's sole victory.  One that only Democrats can rejoice in.  And he's complaining about politicizing the event?!

 

 

Here's what we know from intelligence officials: Obama acted on the mounting evidence that bin Laden was living in this compound.  He felt like the evidence was sufficient to make the decision to execute the operation.  But where did that evidence come from?  It came from the multi-year tracking of one of bin Laden's couriers who was observed going in and out of the compound.  But how did we know the courier was one of bin Laden's henchmen?  We received that information from the aggressive interrogations of other terrorists caught by U.S. troops on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq.  This includes the mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - the man who was "waterboarded."  Additionally, we launched the operation from an Afghan base - something only possible because of Bush's move to depose the Taliban and liberate Afghanistan.

 

Barack Obama deserves extraordinary credit for his handling of the intelligence and his decisiveness in pulling the trigger.  But attempting to divorce the Bush Administration and their policies from this great success is absolutely ludicrous, and no serious person can do so.  Which is why Barney Frank has entered the discussion - he thrives in the land of being unserious.

 

But Frank might want to actually try opening his eyes and ears to the world around him - if only for a moment.  While every conservative Republican - from Boehner to Limbaugh to Cheney - who has gone on record has praised Barack Obama for his leadership on this issue (thus, not politicizing the death), he and his allies on the left are the ones failing to acknowledge the work and effort of Bush (thus, politicizing the death).

 

 

Andrea Mitchell, before the President even announced the success was mocking Bush's "mission accomplished" moment and his "failure" to get bin Laden at Tora Bora (even shamelessly reciting John Kerry talking points that were far from accurate then or now).

 

Barbara Walters announced with great glee that she would hate to be a Republican running against Obama right now.

 

Democrat Gary Ackerman taunted that this was a "mission accomplished moment" that Bush only "fantasized" about (as though we all haven't been desperately fantasizing about this great moment).

 

And the list keeps going. 

 

Frank is right in saying that the death of bin Laden should not be politicized.  The reason is two-fold: first, doing so glosses over some folks who deserve a great deal of credit themselves...the studs of the SEAL team who performed the operation; and second, it is a victory presided over by a Democrat who would have never had the opportunity without a Republican.  In other words, it was a truly American effort that drew on the strength and skill of folks across the political aisles.

 

The only ones failing to note that are ironically, the very ones complaining about not politicizing the event.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 03 2011

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It's been a day, so I suppose that means it's time to start talking about the politics of bin Laden's death (in actuality, the media and left had politicized the event even before Obama announced it...see my comments in that regard here).  There's no doubt that Barack Obama is going to receive (deservedly, I would add) a bump in the polls as a result of this great success for our country.  How high that bump is remains to be seen.  But this much I can tell you: it won't be bumping him to the realm of 90% approval.

 

Why do I pick such an outlandishly high number you ask?  Because that was the approval rating of George H.W. Bush at roughly the exact same moment of his first term in office following the Desert Storm military success.  And in case you can't remember, the economy tanked and Bush was dispatched from office a little over a year later by an unknown Governor from Arkansas.

 

 

Not that the two circumstances and situations are the same.  Andrew McCarthy reminds us that Bush was in a far stronger position than Obama is now:

In terms of a presidential election cycle, bin Laden has been killed at a time roughly similar to the point in the '92 cycle when President George H.W. Bush won the Gulf War. (I realize there are a couple of months' difference, but that's immaterial.) The victory gave Bush approval ratings that brushed 90 percent ? i.e., significantly higher than President Obama's are today. Just as now, it was unclear which member of the opposition party would run against Bush (unlike the case with Obama, Bush's sky-rocketing polls actually convinced big-name Dems not to make the race). Bush seemed like a shoo-in ? which Obama does not. But the election turned out to be about the economy . . . which was a dream economy compared to the one we're in.

It makes sense for the Obama security team to crow and celebrate a great victory for America.  And yes, a great victory for their administration.  But for supporters to assume that means a guaranteed re-election is beyond silly.

 

Politically speaking, had this event happened a year and a few months from now, we could have a rational conversation about its impact on the 2012 race.  But now?  Not reasonable.  Think of it this way: with as ecstatic as Americans are now, fast forward three months to the guy standing by his family's mini-van trying to figure out how he's going to make ends meet with $5.50 a gallon gasoline.  Which is going to affect his vote more?

 

That's not meant to diminish a great victory for all Americans.  It's simply the reality of presidential politics.  Ask W's Dad.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 03 2011

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A recent commenter to one of my columns chided me about why I support budget cuts that - as they saw it - hurt the poor.  The commenter asked,

Who speaks for poor and elderly Peter? Not you and the Republicans. You continue to advocate tax breaks for the rich on the backs of the poor. How un-christian and how immoral! It makes me sick!!!

While I do hope my commenting friend has overcome his infirmity, I think it's a good question and one worth answering: Who speaks for the poor?  Let me answer the question first with a negative: certainly not the modern Democrat Party.

 

 

Take the recent budget plans that exist.  While the left (which encompasses the leadership of the Democrat Party) has been quick to excoriate Paul Ryan and the Republicans for proposing cuts that would hurt the poor and elderly, they simultaneously are supporting plans that would do far worse.  Take the Bowles-Simpson plan (a bipartisan commission that Obama had set up to deal with the budget crisis):

Its recommendations included the closing of one-third of America's overseas military bases, increasing the Social Security retirement age to 69, eliminating the mortgage interest deduction under the income tax, cutting the top income tax rate, a three-year freeze on federal pay, a 10 percent cut in the federal workforce, and increasing the gas tax by 15 cents to pay for road projects. Regressive? You bet.

Regressive means that it is going to hurt "the working man" the worst.  Looking at its proposals, that is certainly the case.  So what about another bipartisan commission, the Dominici-Rivlin plan?  Raymond Richman and Howard Richman explain that one too:

It gets most of its budget savings by gradually limiting the growth in Medicare spending for each eligible senior.  It also proposes sizable benefits cuts and tax increases for Social Security and a new 6.5 percent national sales tax. Regressive? You bet.

By now you should be somewhat confused.  You've heard that the Democrats oppose the Ryan plan because it would hurt the poor in favor of the wealthy too much.  That is, after all, what Republicans are all about (just ask my commenting friend from earlier).  Well just wait.  It gets worse.  Let's take a look at what Paul Ryan and the Republicans have really proposed:

Ryan's plan would reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion over ten years by repealing ObamaCare, substituting private health plans, and making block grants to the states for Medicaid.  It also imposes hard spending caps on domestic spending.  It ends government bailouts to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have already cost the U.S. taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars (and, with house prices continuing to fall, will likely cost hundreds of  billions more).  It enhances business investment by reducing the top corporate and personal income tax rates from 35% to 25% while making up the revenue loss by closing tax loopholes.  Furthermore, Ryan's plan would remove the barriers to safe, responsible energy exploration in the United States.

 

Not only that, but Ryan's plan would actually benefit the poor tremendously, simply by ending Obama's environmental crusade which has been banning the exploration and development of our plentiful oil and natural gas resources on public lands; offshore in the Atlantic, Pacific, Bering Sea, and Gulf of Mexico and through the EPA's many restrictions on coal, oil and natural gas producers.  The rising price of transportation and energy hurts the working class more than any other group. Regressive? You bet.

 

 

It would also help the poor by reducing corporate welfare. President Obama's Recovery Act gave billions in corporate welfare to wind and solar plants. Not only did these plants get direct subsidies, but they were also guaranteed higher prices for the electricity they produce -- double or triple the cost of electricity produced by coal or nuclear energy. Even though Obama gave China a free pass to emit carbon dioxide when he negotiated the Copenhagen Accord, his EPA is raising electricity prices to all American households and businesses by requiring that they separate out carbon dioxide from their smoke stacks and sequester it underground.  These regulations will be paid for by American households in the form of higher utility bills and lost manufacturing jobs.

My commenting antagonist asks the question: who is looking out for the poor.  Though it contradicts what he/she is being force-fed by left-leaning media and Democrat politicians (who have a stake in keeping the poor in their deplorable state - it's their strongest and most reliable voting bloc to make promises to every couple years), if he/she would go read the plans and see what's in them, they'd get an answer to their question.  One that might just surprise them.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Tuesday, May 03 2011

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After a major victory like our recent killing of Osama bin Laden, there is a tendency to temporarily gloss over the annoying flaws of leaders like President Obama.  But as time passes, those flaws will inevitably re-emerge, and the questions that existed prior to this historic event will persist. 

 

Along those lines, I was recently asked in some email feedback I received what I was most surprised about in the presidency of Barack Obama.  Obviously, I had passionately campaigned and spoken against him during the election cycle, so I can't say that the disastrous nature of his policies has been a shock.  I also can't say that I'm overly surprised by how out of his league the president appears.  I (and plenty of others) had said during the campaign that this man had never been in a position of executive leadership before (not even headed up a neighborhood watch), so the idea that he is going to be in control of his office and the duties that will accompany it is a pipe dream.

 

 

In the end, though you could make the argument I'm most surprised by his petty, hyper-partisan tone, I think the biggest shock to me is his lack of political savvy.  A campaigner?  Sure.  Adept at politics?  Not at all.  And this isn't a partisan criticism, by the way.  I happen to think that Bill Clinton was one of the finest political figures of our time.  Barack Obama isn't even in the same zip code.

 

Human Events magazine compiled a top ten list of his political missteps.  While the whole list is worth reading, here are a few of the highlights that demonstrate what I mean:

Tone-deaf priorities:  When the American people were desperate for jobs, President Obama used all his political capital to jam health care reform down their throats.  Then, when voters spoke loud and clear in the midterm elections that they wanted government to live within its means, Obama put out a budget with increased spending.  Do we really need an expensive high-speed rail system when the deficit is spiraling out of control?

Doesn't know when to shut up:  Obama has fallen in love with his own words so much that he doesn't realize that sometimes it is best just to say nothing.  For example, when he disparaged the Cambridge, Mass., police officer in the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest.  Or when he needlessly inserted himself into the Ground Zero mosque controversy.  And did he have to go from country to country apologizing for America's misdeeds?

Slow to react:  It took Obama more a month before addressing the American people on the BP oil spill and he diddled for weeks without a clear policy as the Middle East erupted.  His moves on the Bush tax-cut extension and on deficit reduction were made only after Republicans forced his hand and as a deadline neared.

 

Leisure-time overkill:  Every President needs some rest and relaxation to unwind, but Barack Obama takes downtime to a new level.  With his frequent golf outings and pickup basketball games, his many vacations, and the numerous concerts and ball games, Obama sends a message that having fun takes priority.

 

 

Out of touch:  At a time when Americans are suffering due to the poor economy, Obama seems to relish every glitzy trapping of the White House.  From black-tie galas to Kennedy center concerts, from New York date nights to expensive vacations in Spain, Vail, and Martha's Vineyard, President and First Lady Obama are living like royalty.

 

Insensitive to Middle America:  How is it that the President can release special greetings in the last year to Muslims for their Ramadan, Eid ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid al-Adha holidays, yet fail to issue an Easter or a Good Friday message to the nation?  Perhaps the answer is that he views many of his fellow countrymen as bitter people who cling to their guns and religion.

I could have predicted his policies would be a disaster.  But I would have never guessed he would have been this inept at politics.  I'm guessing Bill Clinton's appalled too.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, May 03 2011

Don't get me wrong, and please don't take this the wrong way. I am firmly convinced that America and the world are better off with the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

As media outlets across the nation recorded the reactions of Americans to the news that this "most wanted man" in the world had now assumed room temperature, I noted how many times the word "justice" was being used. Even President Obama has declared that "justice has been done."

 

 

However, I find myself asking what is meant by "justice" in this context. After all, some Americans being interviewed with their reactions are the very Americans who denounce violence. They denounce the incarcerations of terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. They decry military trials. They have called for American constitutional rights to be afforded our military enemies and terrorists. They constantly call for regulations that hamstring our ability to collect intelligence and prosecute the war.

 

Yet, all of a sudden, here they are celebrating that Osama bin Laden has been brought to justice!

 

But bin Laden was not brought to a trial where evidence was presented and a proper verdict rendered. He was just shot in the head. Is this what constitutes justice in this case?

 

Again, I ask the question because these are some of the same folks who have called for former President Bush to be tried as a war criminal. Even President Obama has questioned the legitimacy of the interment of terrorists in Guantanamo and the use of certain interrogation techniques. But, all of a sudden, the death of bin Laden is the service of justice.

 

I think that this highlights the complexity of terrorism, warfare, civility, and justice. I wish it were straightforward and simple to figure out, but it rarely is. My assumption is that all of my readers would agree with me that the intentional slaughter of unarmed combatants who have surrendered and been taken into captivity would be a criminal act of murder. But, what if a small group of paratroopers behind enemy lines have captured a couple of enemy soldiers but do not have the resources to hold them and cannot release them without compromising the mission? Is their execution an act of murder or an unfortunate part of warfare?

 

My point is that those who have been outspoken for a decade about America maintaining the "high moral ground" by advocating policies that interfere with the successful prosecution of this war are now showing what other Americans have been telling them: that war is messy and not our first choice of action, but once engaged, we need to get it done. Quit horsing around with harmful political correctness and politics. Unite as Americans dedicated to the cause of freedom.

 

Yes, the death of Osama bin Laden is just because there is overwhelming evidence that he is responsible for heinous acts of terrorism. His death ends that capability. Regardless of what other acts of terror, if any, that may be committed against Americans, we can know that it will not be perpetrated by Osama bin Laden.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 02 2011

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Check out my full column on this great news here.

 

I was sitting at my computer doing some video editing late last night when I got a text from my Mom saying that President Obama was going to speak at 10:30 or 11:00.  Obviously this seemed to signify that it was something certainly out of the ordinary and that it was of a "breaking news" nature.  So I quickly logged onto the internet to see what was happening.

 

The headlines on all the major news sites were talking about the Libyan riots over the bombs that killed Qaddaffi's son.  I assumed that was what it was about and texted that back to Mom who replied by saying that Geraldo was going nuts on Fox.  The thought of Geraldo going nuts didn't cause me any undo surprise, so I went on about my business. 

 

Then I got the text: bin Laden is dead. 

 

 

Maybe it's morbid, maybe it's a character flaw, maybe it's unprincipled to admit it, but I immediately pictured those poor people in the upper floors of the World Trade Center...those poor innocent and scared children on the airliners...and my heart leapt with anticipation for the news to be true.

 

The media had confirmed the story before the president spoke, but it didn't matter.  I wanted to hear it from him.  And when I did, I'd have to admit that it made me a little emotional with a feeling of contentment, pride and satisfaction for all the sacrifice that has been made these last several years. 

 

And I am beyond thrilled that it was a U.S. military operation, carried out by our best and most skilled, that conducted the operation. 

 

Word is now emerging that President Obama turned down a March bombing of the compound that could have gotten him because he wanted to be able to confirm Osama's death.  Good call.  And further word has surfaced that this wasn't to be a capture attempt.  Good call.  This wasn't to be a drone bombing or a kidnapping escapade.  It needed to be exactly what it was.  Our boys against him and his minions...with us - every last one of us - left standing.

 

The war on terror will obviously go on.  In fact, it is entirely likely that al-Qaeda will seek to ramp up their activities and their violence in the near term to show the world that they are still relevant.  As a result, our vigilance must remain undaunted.  But there can be no mistake that this is a crushing blow to the enemies of America.  This is a tremendous victory for our military, our intelligence agencies, our administrations past and present, and our people.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 02 2011

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From my understanding, the White House Correspondents' Association dinner is a yearly event where the President and other invited guests enjoy an evening of self-deprecating ribbing and jocularity.  Historically speaking, the president's speech is the most anticipated, and usually involves the Commander-in-Chief entertaining the crowd by demonstrating his ability to laugh at himself.

 

That's why the last couple years, conservative critics have watched in anticipation, given that President Obama has demonstrated a remarkable inability to self-deprecate.  Limbaugh has pointed out the insecurity that reveals about the "man-child" we've elected.

 

 

This year it was worse.  Far worse.  This year, President Obama decided it was a time to exact revenge on his political adversaries...an "off with their heads" moment - as if his daily routines don't do enough of that.  His prime target was the man who has done an excellent job getting under the president's skin of late: Donald Trump.  Just like Paul Ryan being invited to sit through a presidential smack down and the Supreme Court justices before him, Donald Trump was present in the room as Obama took dead aim not at himself, but at The Donald.

 

The appropriateness and presidential dignity of such a decision can and will be discussed.  I think it adds yet another chapter to Obama's pathetic immaturity issues.  But the greater story may be this:

Trump arrived on the red carpet at Washington's Hilton Hotel with his wife, Melania, shortly at 7:00 p.m. (ET). After giving a brief interview with a group of several of media outlets, Trump -- who was invited to the event as a guest of the Washington Post -- walked away to a chorus of audible boos from the media members on the press line. (And it wasn't because they wanted to hear Trump talk more.)

Think about that for a second.  President Obama sees Trump as an adversary and decides to insecurely lash out at him.  Immature?  Sure.  But not scandalous.  But with these media figures you have folks who are supposedly objective journalists writing and reporting on the Trump vs. Obama storyline.  And there they are booing Trump!  Think about what an indication that is about their total, glaring and appalling lack of objectivity.

 

We've all been to ballgames where the home team crowd has relentlessly booed the star from the other team.  We expect it.  But imagine if the umpire of the game took off his mask when the visitors' star emerged from the dugout to come to the plate and started booing and jeering him right along with the fans.  Would anyone suggest that such would be appropriate?  Would anyone suggest the visitors were getting a fair shake in the game?  Of course not.

 

Republicans better realize that and plan accordingly for the upcoming race.  Obama's got the striped shirts on his side.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 02 2011

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Well they're at it again:

On April 25, gay-rights advocates -- led by the Human Rights Campaign -- scored a victory after the HRC applied pressure on a law firm hired to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as a union between a man and woman and denies federal benefits to same-sex partners. The firm fired its client.

Writing about this reality, columnist Debra Saunders points out the two major reasons this should be concerning to anyone and everyone regardless of how you feel about DOMA.  First, lawyers don't abandon their cases - particularly because of political pressure.  That is a threat to the professionalism and craft of lawyers everywhere.  But second, our legal system is predicated upon the notion that everyone (no matter how evil or murderous or scandalous the public may regard them to be) is entitled to representation in court.  As Saunders notices, though:

 

Unless, it now appears, you don't agree with the [radical homosexualist group] Human Rights Campaign.

 

When the news of the [King& Spalding law firm] contract came out, HRC boasted that it would send "informational letters" to K&S clients and to "top law schools informing them of K&S's decision to promote discrimination." The group's communications director, Fred Sainz, described the effort as an "educational" campaign in response to K&S's "business decision."

 

He was especially outraged because K&S had solicited a rating from the HRC for its record on LGBT issues. It's 95 out of 100 -- and still up on the K&S website. Sainz added that his group never expressed a judgment on the legal ethics of dropping a client, held "no hope" that its efforts would alter the firm's judgment and when the firm dropped the case, "it was a complete and total surprise to us."

 

Choper faulted gay-rights advocates for saying that opponents "don't have a right to litigate properly."

 

Sainz denies that charge. Yet he effectively admitted as much when he told me, "At the end of the day, I am fairly positive that law firms in the future will think twice before taking on these kinds of engagements because they know that we'll be watching."

 

Case closed. This is intimidation.

 

This is intolerance.

And that shouldn't surprise any of us by now.  Even pro-homosexualist attorneys like Jonathan Turley at George Washington University have pointed out the dangerous idea of lobbying to prevent the defense of someone or some cause in court.  That's because Turley is thinking objectively and fairly.  But those two words are not embraced in the radical homosexual lobby's vocabulary.  It's why they will close down businesses, fine organizations, throw people in prison and intimidate and bully schoolchildren into silence if they don't agree to condone their ideology.

 

That we continue to be told theirs is a movement of "tolerance" is the biggest joke going.

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 02 2011

Waking to news that Osama bin Laden has achieved room temperature stirs hundreds of thoughts and feelings. As news programs are showing, there is a great deal of relief being expressed at Ground Zero and elsewhere.

 

First, I salute those who planned and executed this operation. This aspect alone is phenomenal. Any number of sequences of events could have occurred that would have led to far different results. The success of this operation came only through the literal years of hard work and preparation on the part of each and every member of that SEAL team, support forces, and the echelons of military planners.

 

 

Second, I salute President Obama for authorizing the implementation of this operation. It was executed with very real risks, and there may yet be unanticipated risks that emerge. But I cannot imagine it having taken place without the personal authorization of our Commander-in-Chief.

 

Third, we must remain vigilant. Unlike the death of, say Hitler, this is unfortunately not the end of a war. Our State Department has already issued warnings to Americans. There is a high likelihood that there will be reprisals. We certainly do not know how this will unfold with regard to al Qaida and other terrorist organizations. In fact, one of the first reported condemnations of this operation comes from Hamas, which should tell us volumes about the interests and intents of this organization.

 

Americans celebrate.

 

Americans remain vigilant.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 07:35 am   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 01 2011

I discovered in an issue of World magazine that Donald Trump told the Christian Broadcast Network that he is a Christian:

"I believe in God... I think the Bible is certainly, it is THE book... [said he goes to church] as much as I can. Always on Christmas. Always on Easter. Always when there's a major occasion. And during the Sundays. I'm a Sunday church person. I'll go when I can."

I watch "Apprentice" and "Celebrity Apprentice." (Yes, confession time. I enjoy this "reality" show - some more than others). The context of this show, which is virtually all of my exposure to Mr. Trump, has never demonstrated to me any Christian testimony. I don't think that he has to be an outspoken gospel-style evangelist, but some indication of Christ's claim upon his life would be nice if he is going to go around telling everyone he is a Christian.

 

 

Same is true with the man in the Oval Office. Mark my words - bookmark this article - Mr. Obama will at some point during the campaign pace back and forth with microphone in hand and loudly declare, "I am a Christian!" Like he was "bemused" at those questioning his origin of birth, he appears "bemused" and offended by those who question his faith. Sadly, though, words and actions are not closely connected, as noted by Bobby Eberle:

Ever since he was a candidate, questions have followed Barack Obama around regarding his faith and the beliefs of his spiritual advisors. Remember the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? He was Obama's pastor for twenty years and spewed "hate America" rhetoric over and over again. But that was the past, right? Let's take a look at this year's Easter and see how things have (or have not) changed.

 

As noted on Monday in a Fox Nation posting, "President Obama failed to release a statement or a proclamation recognizing the national observance of Easter Sunday, Christianity's most sacred holiday."

 

The report notes that last year, Obama's Easter message was a generic "feel good" address that "reached out to Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and people of no faith at all ... about a holiday that is uniquely Christian."

It takes interviews and magazine articles for people to learn that Mr. Trump is a Christian. It takes campaign trails for Americans to discover Mr. Obama's declared faith.

 

Gentlemen, have you never heard about living what you say you believe?

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:14-16

How about it, gentlemen? How about letting your lights shine so that others may praise your Father in heaven?

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 02:15 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 01 2011

I recently submitted my thoughts on the Obama birth certificate pettiness. The conclusion I draw from observing the entire unfolding soap opera is that the recent submission of THE birth certificate verifies the pettiness of this man we have in the Oval Office. Yes, a lot of the birther rhetoric was petty as well. So were the false words put into the mouths of birthers by liberal media masters, entertainers, bloggers, etc. A lot of pettiness to go around.

 

 

But none more than from Mr. Obama himself. What was my personal conclusion the other day has been confirmed, as I just read in a Newsmax email:

Obama said he had "watched with bemusement" as people kept alive for two years the idea that he might have been born outside the United States and therefore wasn't eligible to sit in the White House. "I've been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going," Obama said.

What are we to make of something like this? The duly elected President of the United States of America sitting in the Oval Office just watching the birther issue with "bemusement?" What kind of president would do this to the citizens of his own nation? What kind of person is Mr. Obama?

 

It would seem that Mr. Karl Rove does have a point: this administration is "Nixonian."
Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 01 2011

It is a sad day for America when a communist schools us on economics - and schools us properly!

"Two plus two is four. Never five, much less six or seven, as we have sometimes pretended." Raul Castro, president of Cuba, in mid-April at the Cuban Communist Party's first Congress in 14 years. "No country or person," said Fidel Castro's brother, "can spend more than they have."

Well, duh!

 

 

Conservatives should inundate the web with this one; saturate leftwing websites and blogs. Maybe residents in the land of left-believe will begin to let the message soak in since it comes from a beloved communist.

 

Why don't we get it ("we" meaning all those leftwing folks who seem to believe that they can suspend the realities of economics)? If a communist's communist gets it, why don't we?

 

As I suggested; zap the leftwing world with this one. Who knows? Maybe completely balanced federal and state budgets will become a liberal crusade. Wouldn't that be a hoot? Sigh. I can only wish.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 08:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, May 01 2011

OK. Add this to the "you've got to be kidding" folder. The all-wise, all-knowing United Nations is considering the approval of a $38 million aid program to Syria for what is called "a well-functioning partnership with the government."

The U.S. is among a dozen Western nations that are board members. Among other things, the program calls for UNDP to "continue to work closely with the government of Syria," led by President Bashar Assad, while strengthening its collaboration with "NGOs [non-government organizations], the private sector, the donor community and local authorities"?all of which may be impossible to do amid the Assad regime's ugly crackdown and its aftermath. 

 

The proposal says little about political conditions under the Syrian dictatorship, except to note mildly that the country's "democratic governance needs strengthening." 

 

"Democratic governance needs strengthening?" Yikes! There's a candidate for the understatement of the year award. The Syrian government is brutally beating and murdering pro-democracy protestors, and all the U.N. can muster is that its "democratic governance needs strengthening?"

 

What more evidence needs to be collected before the moral bankruptcy of the U.N. is finally recognized by liberal leaders? At the merest sign of self defense, the U.N. will gleefully lambast and pillory Israel. But when a heavy-handed autocracy metes out raw brutality upon its own citizens who are seeking more say in their own affairs, the U.N. contemplates millions of dollars in aid for that government? Seriously?

 

Where is the voice of the free world in this? A couple of years ago, we (and I use the term loosely) elected the self-proclaimed harbinger of "hope and change." He ran his campaign unabashedly on the world stage. As current events like these shape up, I think we have a refund coming.

 

It is well past the time for America to once again stand strongly alongside those who seek freedom. It is time to stop being soft on Syria.

Posted by: TheOldSalt AT 06:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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