WWW Opinion Times

Friday, February 25, 2005

"Property In Men"

"[The Convention] thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men."

--James Madison

Is Terri Schiavo any less someone's property?

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Tax Reform Clue

President Bush made an interesting statement today which may be a signal to his tax reform plan
DRUDGE REPORT FLASH: President Bush, who has pledged to reform the U.S. tax code in his second term, today praised the flat tax implemented by Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda of the Slovak Republic. During their meeting in Bratislava, Bush, without prompting, made a point of touting the flat tax:

“I complimented the Prime Minister on putting policies in place that have helped this economy grow. The most important responsibility we have at home is to make sure our people can find work. And the president put a flat tax in place; he simplified his tax code, which has helped to attract capital and create economic vitality and growth. I really congratulate you and your government for making wise decisions.”
The Fair Tax is the best way to go in my humble opinion. But simplification is the best way to true reform. Though Fair Tax purists may not agree with me, I'll settle for a Flat Tax filled out on a post card. That would be much more "fair" than the present system.

Don't give me an 'R'

Though Hollywood stubbornly continues to cram its values into the throat of American Culture, it is not as though they are completely unteachable.

Variety reports that for the first time since the 1980's PG movies have outpaced R movies in the Box Office take.
In 2004, PG films outgrossed R pics for the first time in two decades: $2.3 billion to $2.1 billion. The last time PG was bigger business than R was 1984, the year the Motion Picture Assn. of America introduced the PG-13 rating.

While PG films have been making more money . . . the box office generated by R-rated films has been falling precipitously.

Since 1999 -- when the $3 billion grosses for R pics was 41% of all box office -- total box office has grown by 26% while R-rated biz has fallen 30%.
Facts are stubborn things, and as in every place where the market rules, filmmakers are making adjustments in their script choices. But they unfortunately are not waxing philosophical about the shift.
No single cause is likely responsible for the shift, but many execs cite one factor: the voluntary guidelines studios and execs adopted five years ago. Those regulations restrict the marketing of R-rated films to kids, which in theory ensures that only people 17 and older can buy tickets to R-rated films.

But no matter what has put R into free-fall, some filmmakers and studio execs have concluded that R is losing its commercial luster.
It is clear that marketing changes have had some effect on these numbers. But a bit of introspection (and a review of the 2004 election results) might help them understand that self-imposed advertising restraint is no more responsible for this development than protecting the steel industry made us more competitive abroad. In both cases the market itself dictates the change. And thus as steel tariffs were withdrawn exposing production arrogance at home, removing the "tariff" against family oriented films advertising in "child-time" programming slots (via an overload of 'R' advertising) has revealed the arrogance of the Hollywood studios.

It is not insignificant to note at this point that domestically in 2004, "The Passion of the Christ" and "The Last Samurai" (both 'R' rated with Red State value scripts) accounted for $481 million (22%) of the $2.1 billion 'R' gross. Internationally they combined for $1.136 billion!

As Hollywood execs wring their hands over their increasing inability to produce seedy movies at a profit, they have missed the much more significant development: they're in an industry boom fueled by Red State ethics.

More evidence that Blue hearts yet remain blinded to Red thinking.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Terri Schiavo: Urgent Action Needed

Read various posts on the Terri Schiavo issue at Blogs for Terri Schiavo to find out the latest news being reported around the blogsphere.

I quote Logicus bLogicus regarding the Terri Schiavo case
"Tomorrow (Feb. 22), at 1 pm est, Terri Schiavo's husband will have the legal ability to withhold food and water from her. Although he claims she is in a vegetative state, Terri recognizes and responds to others and makes attempts to verbally communicate. Twelve medical experts, nurses who cared for her, family members and, recently, a Catholic Priest, confirmed these facts. Health care workers have testified under oath that she uses several words.

Terri is not on life support but does need someone to feed her through a removable tube which experts testify would not be needed if she were given therapy. This assisted feeding is a natural means of preserving life and not a medical act of life support.

Terri is a person with disabilities who thinks and expresses her moods and desires. She is loved by her family and responds to their visits with smiles and laughter."

Look at this video of Terri. (RealPlayer feed) This seems conclusive evidence that she is alive and aware of what is around her. This is hardly a "vegetative" state.

Here is a full account of the history behind the Terri Schiavo case.

Urgent help is needed today. Many prayers and petitions need to be made on Terri's behalf and on behalf of her parents who are suffering under this tremendously difficult event for them. They may lose their daughter unnecessarily.

This would be the first time to my knowledge that someone will be killed by the state because a person brought a cause of action stating the person was an inconvenience.

Comment if you know of other similar situations.


LaShawn Barber has an update here on a 24 hour stay on the removal of the feeding tube.

News report at CNN.

More news--stay given by the court.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

A Different View On Heinz Ketchup

Many conservatives have been switching from Heinz Ketchup to W Ketchup because of the outrageous statements and views of Theresa Heinz, part heriess of the Heinz family fortune. I must admit that my sentiments have been much the same until this morning at church.

My pastor shared the following excerpt from the Last Will and Testament of Henry J. Heinz, the founder of Heinz "57 Varieties":
"Looking forward to the time when my earthly career will end, I desire to set forth at the very beginning of this will, as the most important item in it, a confession of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Saviour. I also desire to bear witness to the fact that throughout my life, in which there were unusual joys and sorrows, I have been wonderfully sustained by my faith in God through Jesus Christ. This legacy was left me by my consecrated mother, a woman of strong faith, and to it I attribute any success I have attained."
I think I'll continue to use the ketchup I enjoy--Heinz--and maintain my support in absentia for a man committed to the faith and teaching of the Lord and Creator of the universe, Emmanuel, Jesus Christ.

Let Theresa live out her years with or without the knowledge of the true reason why she enjoys the blessings she has been privileged to obtain. They have come to her through the fortune of her marriage into a family built with a heritage of faith in the God she currently rejects. Our prayers are that she may understand them sometime in the future.

The quote above can be found elsewhere here. I have not been able to verify its validity beyond this link and some links to sermons on the web. Further research will be updated at this post later.

A short biography of Henry J. Heinz.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Men In Black

As we all consider the wisdom of Mark Levin's analysis of our federal judiciary in his book Men In Black, we have this quote from Jefferson (on the the heels of the Marbury v. Madison decision) to bolster the argument.

"It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression...that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary;...working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped."

--Thomas Jefferson

"It's Deja Vu All Over Again"

I am re-introduced to Yogi Berra's wisdom as I read the news today.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - : "President Bush is not ruling out raising taxes on people who earn more than $90,000 as a way to help fix Social Security's finances."
Is this a genetic problem? Am I the only person here who wonders if President Bush believes his political capital can work against Democrats as well as those of us who supported him last year?

Count me in as befuddled and frustrated by this news! Credibility seems in short supply with this news. There is some assurance mentioned by the President:
Asked directly, Bush said he would not bar raising the $90,000 cap, although he does not want to see the payroll tax rate go up.

"The one thing I'm not open-minded about is raising the payroll tax rate. And all the other issues go on the table," Bush said in the interview, according to an account in Wednesday's New Haven (Conn.) Register.
That's nice, but I the President said that no tax increase was "on the table" already. The Washington Post reported in early February at a rally in South Dakota,
"Bush told the mostly partisan crowd here that he would never 'play politics with the issue.'

At some point, the government will be forced to cut benefits, raise taxes or restrict eligibility if the system is to stay solvent, Bush said. The president is leaving those choices to Congress but signaling he will support almost any change short of a tax increase.

'If you've got a good idea, come forth with your idea,' he said. 'Because now is the time to put partisanship aside and focus on saving Social Security for young workers.'"
As it is, the press is already making a connection between his father's broken promise and this current proposal. The President is risking too much political capital by potentially aligning himself to his father's political faux paux. It's the wrong course.

Let Mr. Greenspan do his own work Mr. Bush. Stay the course! "Thousand Points of Light," and all that stuff. Don't put your light under a peck-measure. Press on and let us keep our money at the same time!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Pictures of Global Warming? You Be the Judge, but the Jury is Clearly Out.

American photographer Gary Braasch has been documenting images of environmental change since 1999. This webpage at the BBC's website has some examples of his work.

Braasch makes the claim that his photo comparisons are documentation of global warming. Maybe. But I have the following questions. Follow the pictures at this link as my questions follow their order in the BBC presentation.
  1. Do reductions in glaciers show evidence of current environmental damage or the lagging effects of a previous Ice Age tens of thousands of years ago?
  2. Is soil erosion really that much different now than any previous era of this planet's geological history?
  3. It seems to me that snowfall varies from year to year.
  4. It seems to me also that bugs have been moving around the planet for some time now, but maybe I misunderstood the memo.
Needless to say, there is much debate as to the effect man can have on the environment. I am certainly no scientist and have no expertise on the issue. But I also haven't seen where these critical questions (and others) have been adequately addressed in the scientific community. And I have heard other trained scientists ask them. (See here and here and here).

Until sufficient answers are given, the photos are at best interesting comparisons of geophysical change and at worst mere anecdotal "evidence" of man's destruction of nature intended to support the socialist agenda most environmental organizations propose governments adopt.

UPDATE: MaxedOutMamma has expanded upon this post. She went out and found some actual research (here) on the Upsala glacier in the picture and surrounding ones. It turns out that in the same area, certain glaciers expanded at the same time the Upsala glacier was reduced. She explains below:
I don't want to be pedantic about this, but when the temperature is falling, conditions can cause a glacier to retreat, and when the temperature is rising conditions can cause a glacier to advance. All glacial boundaries are marked by a melt/replenish cycle (ablation/flow). If a lot of precipitation (snow) is falling on the glaciers core, the glacier's boundaries may rapidly advance during a time of rising temperatures. If precipation on the glacier's core is low, the glacier may retreat during a time when of falling temperatures.
Here's the link she found to the research.

. . .Which brings me to a personal anecdote:

When I was young, I wondered why my mother questioned doctors so much. You should have seen how she treated them if they recommended something that worried her. She'd get in their face if she had to to figure out why they recommended a certain treatment that seemed inappropriate. And sometimes the doctor would change the them on her advice!

When I asked her to explain this, she told me that she became very suspicious of doctors after attending nursing school in the 1950's. Though there were doctors she liked during that experience, she came away with the impression that most trained physicians and surgeons considered themselves equal with God. They were little demi-gods ruling their kingdoms tyranically abusing those who questioned their ability or "professional qualifications." And when it came to the treatment of the children she loved, she wasn't having any of that! "They're humans who make mistakes like the rest of us!" she would say.

We would do well to take my mother's approach with scientists.

N.E. Republican links this story here.

A Message from Terri Schiavo's Father

Read a current update on the Terri Schiavo case at LifeNews.com.

GOPInsight.com provides this post:

By now you have probably heard about a young woman who is threatened with starvation in Florida.

That young woman is my daughter, Terri. In 1990, through circumstances which are shrouded in mystery (and may involve a criminal act by Terri's estranged husband), my daughter was left severely brain-damaged.

But before I go any further, I must put an end to the lies and misinformation that are circulating around the country through the media concerning my daughter's condition.

Contrary to anything you may have heard, Terri is NOT brain dead; Terri is NOT in a coma; she is NOT in a "persistent vegetative state;" nor is she on ANY life-support system.

Terri laughs, Terri cries, she moves, and she makes child-like attempts at speech with her mother and me. Sometimes she will say "Mom" or "Dad" or "yeah" when we ask her a question. When I kiss her hello or goodbye, she looks at me and "puckers up" her lips.

This may not seem like much to you, but it means everything to Terri's mother and me. It tells us she is still here, she still knows us, and with therapy and time she can have some level of recovery.

I know that there are some hard hearted people who believe that due to my daughters condition, she is better off dead. Words cannot describe the pain and anger such sentiments cause us. This is our daughter, our little girl, and even in her disabled condition, she still has the right to life and the right to be loved and cared for by her family.

[. . .]

After the "incident" that left Terry in this condition, her husband Michael Schiavo sued various members of the medical community for money, saying that they did not treat or diagnose her properly at an early stage, and that he needed this money to provide for Terri's therapy and rehabilitation and care.

After lengthy court battles, he finally won upwards of $1.7 million under the guise of caring for our daughter, and then to our horror, he immediately began spending the money on himself and his Playboy lifestyle.

Terri's estranged husband Michael Schiavo has been living with another woman for years, and has two children by her. He is determined to see Terri dead. . . .

To add insult to all of this injury toward my daughter, Michael Schiavo is still her "legal husband" and therefore is her "guardian." And since they are not legally divorced, he controls whatever health care she will and will not get. We are not even allowed to know if she is getting aspirin. . . .

My wife and I are not wealthy people. Throughout those years, we did not have any large organizations trying to help rescue our daughter. Consequently, we had to rely on the generosity of attorneys who were willing to offer their legal expertise at no cost or at reduced fees.

The bottom line is that we are in the final weeks or months of our struggle to rescue our daughter from an untimely death by starvation. Death by starvation is very slow, and extremely painful. As you must know, it is against the law to deliberately starve an animal to death. There are members of the
Florida court who would not treat a dog the way they plan to treat my daughter.

At this point we must pull out all the stops in our fight to rescue our daughter.

As parents, we are desperate to save our daughter's life. As people who love life, we are determined to deprive the euthanasia advocates of successfully legalizing this form of homicide. We believe that their efforts to kill Terri are designed to set a precedent for the future eradication of defenseless disabled human beings. I was alive when Americans fought the Nazis; I do not want my daughter to meet the same fate of thousands of disabled people in Nazi Germany, and I do not want our country to go down that same dark path.

Friend, though we have never met, I'm asking you for your help. We desperately need your financial assistance to help our family continue the battle to keep our daughter from being starved to death. There are so many expenses in a case like this it is mind-boggling and overwhelming. Please click below to make a contribution now:


Our adversaries believe that by our family's financial attrition and difficulties, they will attain their objective of killing our daughter. Presently, Terri's starvation may only be a few weeks away, unless we find the financial resources to prevent this atrocity from becoming a reality.

I implore you to please help us. We are writing to you, because we believe you have a heart for justice and mercy. I'm asking you to put yourself in my shoes, and then do whatever you can to help our family. Whether it is $10 or $1000, we are desperate for the resources to fight this battle for our daughter's life at this critical juncture.

Please do whatever you can, and forward this e-mail to any friends or family that you have who you think might be interested in saving Terri's life.

I thank you for your time, your concern, and I solicit your prayers for Terri and our entire family. These have been very trying times for us all.


Bob Schindler Sr.


La Shawn Barber's Corner

La Shawn Barber makes a good point about the ascension of white/male Howard Dean to the charimanship of the DNC. Read it here.

Murdoch Mulling Internet Strategy

I am curious to see the outcome of News Corporation's internet approach after a Rupert Murdoch meets with his executives which the Financial Times reports will be taking place on Wednesday.

I would like to see Fox News expand to provide greater internet information and video availability. C-SPAN is a great resource as it, but more commentary would be nice. Fox could provide an excellent outlet expanding beyond the weak internet efforts of the broadcast networks and CNN.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tax Tracking

California wants to tax drivers by the mile. Sounds fair until you see how it will be done. Read about it here.

US Withdraws Ambassador to Syria Over Assassination of Former Lebanese Prime Minister

The United States withdrew its Ambassador to Syria today in protest to the assassination by car bomb of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of Lebanon.
My Way News: Before departing, U.S. Ambassador Margaret Scobey delivered a stern note, called a demarche in diplomatic parlance, to the Syrian government, said an official who discussed the situation only on grounds of anonymity.
Because responsibility is being taken by an unknown (as of writing of this article) terrorist group, Syrian participation seems likely. And the size of the blast, which killed 16 others, seems to give the impression that military class explosives were used.

The experts will find out in days to come, but the question of our reponse to Syria over this (beyond diplomatic moves) looms large.

70's Justice

No one told me Ward Churchill was a TV star in the 70's. Thanks iowahawk for the great research.

Hat Tip: MaxedOutMamma

"It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs, whether any free government can be permanent, where the public worship of God, and the support of religion, constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in any assignable shape. The future experience of Christendom, and chiefly of the American states, must settle this problem, as yet new in the history of the world, abundant, as it has been, in experiments in the theory of government."

--Joseph Story

Monday, February 14, 2005

Funny Cartoon

check it out at Freedom of...

Liberal Entropy: An Open Letter to Jerry Landay

Captain Ed Morrisey recently posted a quite nasty letter he received. It seemed to him a random example of liberal hatred of the blogsphere. But it turns out that the writer, Jerry Landay, is a former member of the MSM and professor of journalism at the University of Illinois.

The good Captain suggested those of us who have interest might consider dropping Mr. Landay a line. I have done so, and herein provide that response.

Mr Landay,

I am very disappointed with your diatribe about our friend, The Captain. Count me in as a bit befuddled that a former member of the press, like yourself, could not contain his emotions effectively to make useful criticism of a well traveled commentator like Ed Morrisey. Are you feeling a bit vulnerable to us blog commenters out there? Is it we who cause you fear, or just the power of our ideas?

I read your comments about the Federalist Society here. As usual, this conspiracy theory rivals that of those who see the Council on Foreign Relations and the Skull and Bones Society at Yale as threats to our freedoms.

I must say I find your theories equally lacking in the "logic" department. But, then, we who profess a conservative/libertarian/judeo-christian worldview have been known on occasion to be guilty of ad hominem as well. I guess I subscribe to the view that liberal invective has taken a juvenile tone in both logic and manner. I would advise a review of debate tactics you learned in high school.

We once fell into that same trap and have come to the point where we have shorn up the once weak foundation with truth. Whereas, liberal dogma, based on the issuance of false hope and emotional diatribe, has crumbled upon itself by means of a philosophical entropy.

We wish you--if I may say so--Godspeed in finding your way.

Lieberman for Rumsfeld?

The Washington Post noticed something I did during the State of the Union address. Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT, came forward as the President made way to the floor at the end of the speech and gave him a kiss on the cheek. The Post didn't notice that Lieberman came more than half way down his aisle to do this, but they could "feel the love" like I did. This has spawned a rumor in the District that the Connecticut Senator will replace Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld within the next year or so.
A Newly Meaningful Relationship? (washingtonpost.com): "There's been K Street chatter, our colleague Jeffrey H. Birnbaum tells us, that Lieberman could be on an administration list to replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the next year or so.

That would be convenient for Lieberman, whose term is up in 2006, and could give Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R) an opportunity to appoint a Republican to the seat for at least a few months before the election, inching the GOP closer to a filibuster-proof Senate."
If Rumsfeld goes, this would be a welcome addition for the President's team. Lieberman is a "hawk" of the highest order and highly competent for this position.

P.S. Knowing that their weakness on defense played havoc for them in November, the Democrats would have been wise had they nominated Lieberman instead of Sen. John Kerry, D-MA. In so doing, President Lieberman would be working to shepherd his own nominee for Defense as we speak.

Clinton's Second Grammy

Frankly, this is the most shameless example of the entertainment industry's bias against Red State values, and it proves Tom Wolfe's assertion (in a C-SPAN BookTV installment) that the Blue States are "mere parentheses" (also, here).

Terri Schiavo Doesn't Deserve Attorney Per Judge's Ruling

In another twist to the Terri Schiavo case, an outrage has occured. A local judge has decided to use a technicality in the law. Judge George Greer, a Florida Circuit Court Judge, rejected arguments from the attorney representing Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, that Ms. Schiavo was denied due process because she was not allow direct representation.
LifeNews.com: Judge Greer issued a nine-page written order on Friday saying the Schindlers didn't show enough evidence to move forward on a hearing on the due process claims. "The respondents (the parents) have failed to show that failure to appoint independent counsel violated statutory or constitutional due process requirements that would void the court's (previous) order," Greer wrote. He cited a ruling by the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal, which previously said it was appropriate for Greer to serve as an independent advocate for Terri as he considered the arguments by both sides.
What must make the pain of a family trying to save their daughter from unnecessary death even greater is that Terri Schiavo's husband, using the legal rights granted to him, is represented by a leading euthanasia lawyer, George Felos (Here is a press release regarding Mr. Felos' devotion to his viewpoint).

All that can be said for the "mercy" killing advocated by Michael Schiavo and Attorney George Felos is that it is mercy sought not for the patients but for those who must bear responsibility for them. This is a degradation for life with many parallel's in human history, not the least of which being the Holocost of the Jews.

UPDATE: Outside the Beltway cross-posts and quotes this article as well as provides further linkage and insight.

Please participate in the Terri Schiavo "One Hundred Blogs for Terri" blog effort being started by Pro-Life Blogs. Click here to find out more.

Friday, February 11, 2005

First Steps Toward a Big Brother State

I have always believed that one of the great strengths of this country is the self-policing nature of our social character. Thus, policemen need only intervene when we are unable to police the problem ourselves through outmoded concepts like discipline and shame. I believe this applies to times when terrorists might seek to violently intervene in our way of life. Though surely helped by geography, the American people have done a wonderful job of protecting themselves with relatively sparse government control. Unfortunately, this Republican Congress doesn't see it that way.

The U.S. House approved electronic ID card requirements today.
The measure, called the Real ID Act, says that driver's licenses and other ID cards must include a digital photograph, anticounterfeiting features and undefined "machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements" that could include a magnetic strip or RFID tag. The Department of Homeland Security would be charged with drafting the details of the regulation.
This Act, by mandating state compliance, could easily lay the groundwork for a National ID Card. This is anathema to civil liberties. It is hard to imagine that our Founding Fathers could have countenanced such a thing had such technologies been available at the time, and more to the point; had they been available, they most certainly would have been employed by Great Britain to require compliance to, say, The Stamp Act and the regulation of importation of goods. Would it not also be evident that personal ID's would have been employed after such dastardly acts as the Boston Tea Party?

A reality check on this issue came from an unlikely source as we read further:
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat from Washington, D.C., charged that Republicans were becoming hypocrites by trampling on states' rights. "I thought the other side of the aisle extols federalism at all times," Norton said. "Yes, even in hard times, even when you're dealing with terrorism. So what's happening now? Why are those who speak up for states whenever it strikes their fancy doing this now?"
I frankly couldn't agree more. This is certaily not Reaganesque Federalism. And the Republican Party doesn't need to be exposing a weakness clearly evident to the left.

I will be publishing an analysis of the dangers RFID technology and it's potential effects on personal freedom in an upcoming article.
UPDATE: Poliblog references my article here. He wonders what relevance ID cards would have had around the time of the Revolution or specifically the Boston Tea Party. It is in the sense that certainly Great Britain would have greatly benefited by traking movement or communication between the colonies. This would likely have killed the Committees on Correspondence which was the main communication channel between representative bodies in the colonies (e.g. blogs!). Also, this technology could easily have been incorporated in the Stamp Act using RFID devices as we do for inventory items today. Much personal information can be kept in them, and because the "stamps" used then were placed on documents, they would have been more easily subject to review and censure while tracking tendencies of individuals with no political recourse to protect privacy or commerce.

The point is this. The Founding Fathers succeeded because before government coercion got out of hand, they took quick action. And after the situation became untenable, Great Britian did not have the technological means to clamp down which they certainly would have used. I believe our current technology does provide a way for government misdeeds against personal liberty. And I further maintain that no further use of ID technology are necessary to maintain the current order but are specifically troublesome to the concept of personal liberty.

Bush Tells Pyongyang "We'll Talk Any Time"

The Bush Administration hasn't bit on North Korea's gambit to force bi-lateral talks by means of their announced possession of nuclear weapons.
My Way News: "It's not an issue between North Korea and the United States. It's a regional issue," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "And it's an issue that impacts all of its neighbors." North Korea has plenty of opportunity to talk to the United States within six-party talks, McClellan said.
This was the most wise course of action to take under the circumstances.

There is a real possibility that North Korea is lying about their nuclear capabilities as a way to derail regional talks. One cannot put it past a rogue nation to use a canard to see if their adversary will wink. Fortunately, George Bush is made of the same stuff as former Sen. Alan Simpson when he said, "I represent a state where gun control is how steady you hold your rifle." In Bush's case the answer is, "very steady, thank you."

What's at issue here, assuming North Korea has the goods, is the not-so-steady-on-foreign-policy Bill Clinton who made a deal with a country prone to lie to maintain a lie. His administration's acquiesence to a despotic government was both foolish and bathed in an ignorance of history and the nature of man. The Bush Administration is working to reverse an inevitable outcome of wimpy, feel-good foreign policy.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda's number two man, teaches us the true concepts of Liberty:
AFP: "An audiotape purportedly of Al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri hit out at the US concept of freedom, saying it was a cloak for spreading corruption and injustice in the Islamic world.

Liberty as construed by the Americans was based on 'usurious banks, giant companies, misleading media outlets and the destruction of others for material gain,' charged the voice in the recording aired by Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera.

Real freedom was 'not the liberty of homosexual marriages and the abuse of women as a commodity to gain clients, win deals or attract tourists,' said the voice.

'It is not the freedom of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib,' it said, referring to US-run prisons in Cuba and Iraq where serious allegations of torture have been levelled."
Notwithstanding the fact that I agree liberty is not in and of itself a licence to homosexual promiscuity (John Adams said that the Constitution was designed for a "moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other"), this statement shows his ignorance of a basic reason people settled this country and founded this government: freedom of religion.

Though Zawahiri or anyone else who would impose beliefs on others through government institutions

Highlighting Social Security Reform

The CATO Institute has an excellent website called The Project for Social Security Choice which is an excellent resource for understanding the issue of Social Security Reform.

You should also check out the resources at the Heritage Foundation as well.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

"Draft Condi" Endorsed by Morris

Dick Morris is calling for a "Draft Condi" movement in the Republican party in this article.

I agree with is point about the mark her Presidency would make in erasing much of the lingering problem of racism (benign and malignant) in this country, and I hope and pray for the day that a qualified person of color would become President. But the jury is out as to the possibility or efficacy of a draft movement as Condi has made it clear to this point that she is not running.

This is a story to watch is it unfolds.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

GOP Consultant Sentenced in Phone Jamming

Many politicoes may not be aware of this, but dirty tricks are not a good way to win a campaign.

Good campaigns win campaigns.

This article in Newsday highlights the imporper (and illegal) use of automated phone systems to generate voter turnout.

Social Security Reform Ads

Progress for America is running ads in support of Social Security reform. You can read their press release here. You can also view the ad online at the links below.
It's time to remove the power from the "third rail."

Friday, February 04, 2005

"If it be asked, 'What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic?' The answer would be, 'An invoilable respect for the Constitution and Laws -- the first growing out of the last.' ... A sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government."

--Alexander Hamilton
The Founders Quote Daily is a service of The Federalist Patriot, the most widely read conservative e-journal on the Internet. If you would like to have this highly acclaimed Digest of news, policy and opinion, delivered FREE by e-mail to your inbox, link to: http://FederalistPatriot.US/subscribe/

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Pro-Life Advocate Arrested for Exposing Medical Negligence in Public Area

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is defending a pro-life advocate who was arrested by Cleveland police for playing a tape recording of a 911 call made by an abortion doctor in front of his clinic. The police cited a noise ordinance as the basis for the arrest. The ADF says this is a violation of free speech rights.
Alliance Defense Fund: "CLEVELAND: An attorney allied with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit today in federal court to have the City of Cleveland's sound device and noise ordinances declared unconstitutional on behalf of two pro-life advocates. The city used the ordinances as a basis to arrest one of the men outside of an abortion clinic for playing an audiotape of a 9-1-1 recording involving the clinic's owner.

The audiotape contains a recording of abortionist and clinic owner Martin Ruddock talking to a 9-1-1 operator during complications that occurred during an abortion procedure performed on a 30-year-old woman. “I just can’t stop the bleeding. I can’t see what I’m doing and I want her out of here,” Ruddock says on the tape. "
The first impression one has coming away from this story is that the doctor shows a sterile disregard for the safety of the woman having the abortion and would rather see the problem removed from his premises. In fairness, it is problematic to evaluate 911 tapes on the surface. But the content is still compellingly eerie.

But as regards the arrested activist, it is totally appropriate on his part to point out the method and means by which abortions are performed in general and by this doctor specifically. The tape in question suggests a problem with the lack of medical standards in abortion clinics. They are run by nurses and doctors, but they are not held to the same governmental and professional scrutiny as other medical facilities. This protest appropriately points that out.

There is also the issue of respecting the life of the woman. This concern--as I pointed out yesterday--is not paramount to abortion providers. Seemingly, the money that can be made from the procedure is the top concern of abortionists and organizations like Planned Parenthood. Disrespect for life in the womb reaches levels of hatred which are shocking (as quoted yesterday in may article, "From the time [women seeking abortions] walk in to [clinics which provide alternatives to abortion], they are inundated with information that is propaganda and that has one goal in mind. And that is to have women continue with their pregnancies." As if it is a horror to bring that innocent child to life.)

This protester has provided a meaningful, public insight into how women are viewed by the abortion industry. Though opponents to this view might find the situation anecdotal, others like myself see the logical conclusion of killing innocent babies in the womb to be to be a selfish disregard for the life and needs of others (e.g. the Terry Shaivo situation).

"Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions."

--Thomas Jefferson
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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Sonogram Use in CPCs Is Changing the Abortion Debate

A few years ago I heard a quote which literally changed my outlook on personal relationships. You may know of it. It is by St. Francis and goes like this: "Preach the Gospel at all times. . . . Use words when necessary."

This is an important maxim for each individual believer, but it is also an important rule in a much broader sense for the pro-life movement: don't just say how bad abortion is, but, rather, through your actions show how we can do better for women. That's how hearts and minds are changed. It's the topic of Dr. J.C. Willke's book, Why Can't We Love Them Both?. Having adopted this approach, the pro-life movement has radically changed the approach to reaching the hearts of Americans. And the Crisis Pregnancy Center movement is at the forefront of that approach.

So much fruitful work has been done by CPCs that even the New York Times has taken notice. In a recent article, they wrote positively about how these centers are affecting womens' choices:
The New York Times: In the battle over abortion, opponents say they have discovered a powerful new tool: sonograms. And over the last 18 months, they have started major fund-raising campaigns to outfit Christian crisis pregnancy centers with ultrasound equipment.

The groups, including the Southern Baptist Convention and the evangelical organization Focus on the Family, have spent $20,000 to $30,000 apiece on ultrasound machines, and some of the clinics are vying for more expensive state-of-the art machines that show the fetus in three dimensions. Focus on the Family has budgeted $4.2 million in the current fiscal year for the machines and on training on how to use them.

. . . The fund-raising is a sign of how the opponents of abortion are dividing their efforts - seeking to chip away at abortion through legislation but also waging a battle for women's hearts. And it comes at a time when leaders of both major political parties are talking about making abortion rare.
On the legislative side, the Partial Birth Abortion debate has destroyed the foundation of the "pro-choice" argument. It is becoming increasingly clear that a woman's body is not the only factor in pregnancy, there is a human life at stake inside her (not to mention that research increasing shows that women who undergo the procedure have lasting emotional and physical problems). So much so that when Planned Parenthood and NARAL activitists comment on pro-life efforts to minister to the needs of women, they become shrill in their criticism. Here's an example from the article:
Supporters of abortion rights say that a large number of the centers lure women by leaving the impression that they do, in fact, perform abortions and subsequently do not give young women a full picture of their choices. "Generally, their treatment of women who come in is coercive," said Susanne Martinez, vice president of public policy at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "From the time they walk in to these centers, they are inundated with information that is propaganda and that has one goal in mind. And that is to have women continue with their pregnancies."
Partial Birth Abortion is a procedure clearly designed to kill a truly living person when that baby can clearly survive outside the mother. The last sentence of this quote shows that abortion activists truly want any "unwanted" life destroyed under any "chosen" circumstance, and they want to convince those who might let the baby live to kill it as well. And it is because Planned Parenthood (in particular) makes tens of millions of dollars every year promoting the killing of pre-born human beings.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers, by ministering to the true needs of women--fear of carrying a baby they didn't plan; fear of future financial problems; misunderstanding of how to give an "unwanted" baby away for adoption; teenage confusion when a young woman finds herself in crisis--are meeting the true needs of women. And they are changing the heart of the American people.

There is still much more work to be done. And CPCs need to expand services and provide more and better medical help to women. But the ministry approach to womens' pregnancy problems has been a tremendous help in reducing abortions and saving women from life altering decisions.

For more information:

Journal of Social Issues: Psychological Perspective on Abortion and Its Alternatives: Research and Policy.

Baptists for Life has a bibliography of research on the effects of abortion on women.

Effects of Abortion

Effects of Abortion on Men

Wictory Wednesday

Tired of Democrat filibusters? If we pick up a few more Senate seats, they won’t matter anymore! You can help make that happen by donating to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican campaign.

If you’re a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesdays by e-mailing me at wictory@blogsforbush.com. I’ll add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll. I’ll also send you a reminder e-mail every Wednesday, explaining which candidate to support that day.

"[R]eligion and virtue are the only foundations, not of republicanism and of all free government, but of social felicity under all government and in all the combinations of human society."

--John Adams

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Christopher Hitchens: Shinola

Kudos to Christopher Hitchens. He was on the Laura Ingraham show this morning discussing the success of the Iraqi elections.

He was describing the misunderstanding in the MSM about the motives of Sunnis in Iraq. In Sunni cities like Fallujah, voters stayed inside for most of the voting day but started to come out in number when the coast became clear of violence.

They are not all motivated by the Saddam Sunni wing which is a "mafia style family from Tikrit" and not representative of the entire sect in Iraq, so says Hitchens. But many reporters still tout that Sunnis may still rebel and cause trouble for a new constitution and government moving forward.

The upshot, to Hitchens: "these statements are made by those who don't know Sunnis from Shinola."