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November 30, 2005

The Economics of Profits

In a NY Times story about the booming economy (with caveats) is this bit of information. There's a buried lesson here if you can find it.

By most measures, the economy appears to be doing just fine. No, scratch that, it appears to be booming.

But as always with the United States economy, it is not quite that simple.

Consumer confidence is bouncing back from what was arguably some of its worst readings in years. Gasoline prices-the national average is now $2.15, according to the Energy Information Administration- have fallen because higher prices tamped down demand and supplies in the Gulf Coast have been slowly restored. The latest read on home sales, released today, contradicts virtually every other recent measure of housing activity that generally indicate a slowdown. And yes, manufacturers' fortunes are on the mend, but few besides airplane makers are celebrating.

Let's look at one sentence in particular. "Gasoline prices...have fallen because higher prices tamped down demand and supplies in the Gulf Coast have been slowly restored.

During the period of high gas prices we had here, demand dropped. No surprise there. While that was happening, the pipelines had a chance to ramp up again and prices have dropped again. Supply and demand. No big deal.

But now we're hearing about punishing oil companies for making more money when the prices went up, even Republicans who have historically been against "windfall" profits taxes or price controls. There are so many things wrong with this.

1. Yes, the oil companies made more money in absolute dollars during the high price times, but then every business makes more money in absolute dollars when the prices go up. If you charge a 10% markup on a $5 item, the price is $5.50 and make 50 cents. If you charge a 10% markup on a $7 item, the price is $7.70 and you make 70 cents. Same profit percentage but more absolute dollars. By the way, is a 10% markup a reasonable profit? If so, you'll love the oil companies. Their profits are in the 7-10% range.

2. What happened when the prices went up? "Higher prices tamped down demand" which means more conservation took place. Isn't that what everyone would like to see happen more often? Instead, folks are trying to punish oil companies by suggesting either price controls or "windfall" profit taxes. The latter are really just retroactive price controls; they come with the threat that if you raise your prices by more than we think you should, you'll get nailed for it. But just as higher prices encouraged conservation, artificially lower prices would reduce conservation. Now that the prices have fallen quite a bit, it's almost a guarantee that gas usage has risen. If you want more conservation, don't punish companies for responding to supply pressures, because you're working against your own goals.

3. Let's assume price controls had been in effect during the Katrina aftermath; what would that have done to the gas situation? Demand would not have slackened off. As it was, with demand reduced, some gas stations still ran out of gas. Imagine what would have happened if demand just kept its usual pace. We would have had a far more serious gas crisis than just a few stations out of regular unleaded. It was the higher prices that actually kept the inconvenience from becoming a panic.

So the "solution" to this "problem" is to tax 7-10% profits as "windfalls", discourage conservation, and make the crisis worse next time around. Your government at work.

Posted by Doug at 01:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 29, 2005

The Iraq Not Seen

This article from the Christian Science Monitor tells (once again) the story of an Iraq full of hope, and a media that are intent on not showing it.

Cpl. Stan Mayer has seen the worst of war. In the leaves of his photo album, there are casual memorials to the cost of the Iraq conflict - candid portraits of friends who never came home and graphic pictures of how insurgent bombs have shredded steel and bone.

Yet the Iraq of Corporal Mayer's memory is not solely a place of death and loss. It is also a place of hope. It is the hope of the town of Hit, which he saw transform from an insurgent stronghold to a place where kids played on Marine trucks. It is the hope of villagers who whispered where roadside bombs were hidden. But most of all, it is the hope he saw in a young Iraqi girl who loved pens and Oreo cookies.

Like many soldiers and marines returning from Iraq, Mayer looks at the bleak portrayal of the war at home with perplexity - if not annoyance. It is a perception gap that has put the military and media at odds, as troops complain that the media care only about death tolls, while the media counter that their job is to look at the broader picture, not through the soda straw of troops' individual experiences.

This cover story for the media is preposterous. There have been plenty of "soda straw" stories about the pain and anxiety of some soldiers and their families, as there should be. But Cindy Sheehan's soda straw, and others like her, have been magnified far above any good news a Cpl. Mayer might like to bring. The much-missed Good News from Afghanistan and Iraq articles that Arthur Chrenkoff used to gather and dispense were huge tomes that would cover just 2 weeks. But from the media, only one side of the broader picture ever emerges; human interest stories, but specifically and almost exclusively the tragic ones.

Indeed, you can find military personnel that are dour about the Iraq situation. They do exist. But there are most definitely in the minority (64% to 32%). You would think that when doing "soda straw" stories from Iraq, about 60% of them would be about good news. But you'd be wrong. Tellingly, the split among news media folks as to whether we'll succeed in Iraq or not is almost precisely the opposite of the military.

Posted by Doug at 04:56 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

The Annual Christmas Holiday Season

Good job, Lowe's.

One day after a WorldNetDaily story brought national exposure, the home-improvement retailer Lowe's dropped references to "Holiday Trees" in favor of "Christmas Trees" only.

As WND reported, a Lowe's store in Austin, Texas, featured a banner that referred in English to "Holiday Trees" but in Spanish said "Christmas Trees."

The American Family Association says its supporters contacted Lowe's to express their displeasure.

The company responded in a statement: "To ensure consistency of our message and to avoid confusion among our customers, we are now referring to the trees only as 'Christmas Trees.' We have also removed a banner that read 'Holiday Trees' from the front of our stores."

This was a follow-up to a (rather humorous) report that had the picture of the Lowe's banner that, in English, advertised "Holiday Trees" but in the Spanish translation below referred to "Aborles de Navidad"; "Christmas trees".

There's no need to fear religion in the marketplace. If you're offended by displays of an even slight religious nature (i.e. calling Christmas trees what they are), you're in the wrong country ("free expression" and all that, even by company presidents).

Posted by Doug at 01:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 28, 2005

Derek Webb Mea Culpa

Let me offer something of a follow up to my post on Derek Webb. I think I was somewhat unfair in my discussion, so met me say a few things.

Let me first say that I feel, in retrospect, that my post was made in haste. It should have been fleshed out further with more links and quotes than I provided.

I have noticed in Derek's interviews a theme of social justice. I certainly share his heart on this matter, but I simply can’t go along with some the organizations he supports; namely, the ONE campaign and Sojourners, both of which linked on his website under the heading Social Justice. I take that sort of linking as open support of both the organizations and their underlying premises. I certainly think that Bono and the others behind ONE have good intentions, but debt relief and fair trade agreements have never proven to be an adequate means of relief, particularly in Africa where corrupt regimes, tribal practices and the threat of radical Islam loom large over any small gains that might be made.

I agree with Jim Wallis’ belief that the Kingdom of God is not limited to the GOP, but Wallis undermines his own point when he advocates, on practically every issue save abortion, a political program that is, at the very least, as leftwing as the Democratic Party, if not more liberal. This is not a new development, either. The Weekly Standard ran a piece recently noting that for all his talk, Wallis has always been a leftist. That’s fine and good, but I don’t think Wallis should be afraid to say as much, and he should certainly be willing to defend his position biblically.

It was my failure to address these points in my post, and I will offer a mea culpa shortly. My own reference to Derek’s political beliefs was based upon the links on his site and particularly with this interview in Relevant Magazine wherein he said:

“As a Christian if you are not pro-rich, pro-war then you re just not a Christian. And I think that we’ve got to blow all that apart, we’ve got to break all that, we’ve got to open that up and find out what the hell is going on. None of that makes any sense. It’s not even a consistent Christian worldview. There’s a lot of work to do in the way Christians think about politics and issues of social justice in this country and internationally. I think we’ve got to be people who know what’s happening in the world, who can apply Scripture to all of it.”

Please understand that I share his concerns, but I’ve read enough political literature to have an alarm go off when I hear “pro-rich, pro-war” used in a negative light. Combine that with his support of Sojourners, and yes, I think the logical assumption is that he believes the Wallis model for social welfare to be both competent and Biblical. I find it to be neither.

I do not feel that I was overly harsh in my language or my tone. I do feel that I jumped too far on this point: It is quite likely that Derek is turned off by the Dobsons and Falwells of the world. As I have said countless times on SCO, I am, too. It is also fair to assume that Derek is exploring the need for concern for the fatherless and the widow. Same here. It is possible that he is exploring the Wallis position because he is turned off by the other side and, frankly, who can blame him. Yet I believe, as many Christians have believed, that free markets, when combined with compassionate church and private sector, are the best solutions for ending poverty. I do question whether Derek has considered this or been presented with an articulate model. It is possible he has not been presented with such a model, and it is my failure to consider this for which I apologize. I fear that I was reading into his words something deeper than necessary, but I do find his support of Sojourners troubling.

I do worry about the growth of progressivism among Christians, particularly when I see people like Don Miller and Brian McLaren. Surely God is bigger than the GOP, but when Miller says that the MoveOn.Org and the ACLU are doing “God’s work” (I kid you not), I get more than uncomfortable. One, because I don’t find the statement to be true. Two, the results of that thinking are very unhealthy. Don has redone his website, so those links are no longer present, but I am telling the truth. I realize that there is a new conversation among young believers; I hope to become a part of it. Yet I am troubled that the politics of this conversation seem to be consistently drifting leftward, as though no one has noticed that damage that liberal economics has wrought upon Canada and Europe.

I hope this position makes sense. Though I often disagree with many of these writers (Miller, Lauren Winner, etc.) on theological, political and social matters, I like what they are doing in terms of addressing the new generation. I hope to somehow become a part of this conversation, because I remain worried about much of its implicit political direction.

Posted by Matt at 08:11 PM | Comments (30) | TrackBack

The Peace of Jesus May not Be the "Peace" Desired by the Modern Church

If we’re honest, most of us prefer to hear religious words and Bible passages that make us feel good. We run away or ignore the truth that convicts; we would rather have our consciences soothed than seared. We prefer a spirituality that is admired, rather than one that upsets and gets under the skin. We like the religion that eases us into heaven instead of one that turns everything upside down.

Charles Moore writes the above and more in a very challenging article. Moore takes on the seeker-sensitive church movement. However, in so doing, he also challenges all of us who are comfortable, modern Christians (to which group yours truly belongs for better or worse). Are we so trapped by the suburbs that we cannot really be effective for Christ? Moore suggests that could be the case. Read and be challenged.

Posted by Mark at 12:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 27, 2005

Quick Hits

Thanksgiving and homework have left me quite busy. I shall be back soon to further clarify my post on Derek Webb. In the meantime, here's a question, and I'm curious for some feedback.

Should you tell your children about Santa Claus?

Something tells me Professors Lewis and Tolkien would have no problem with such a thing.

Posted by Matt at 07:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Today is the first Sunday of Advent. The following is the listing on Advent from The St. James Daily Devotional Guide for the Christian Year, which is distributed by the folks who bring you Touchstone magazine:

The First Sunday of Advent: In the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian churches of the West, the several weeks prior to Christmas are known as Advent, from a Latin word meaning “coming.” It happens that the beginning of Advent falls on the Sunday closest to November 30, the ancient feast day (in both East and West) of the Apostle Andrew. On November 30, there will be two Gospel readings, both of them descriptive of Andrew’s bringing new disciples to Jesus.

The observance of the season of Advent can be traced to the late fifth century in Italy and Gaul, perhaps a bit earlier in Spain. At the time of the Reformation it was preserved among the liturgical customs of the Anglicans and Lutherans; in more recent years it has been revived by other Protestant groups.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the penitential season of preparation for Christmas always begins on November 15, the day after the Feast of the Apostle Philip. For this reason it is popularly known as St. Philip’s Fast. A simple count of the days between November 15 and December 25 shows that this special period lasts exactly 40 days, the same as Lent.

Among Christians in the West, on the other hand, this preparatory season, which tends to be slightly less rigorous and often involves no special fasting at all, always begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Thus, from year to year it will vary in length between 3 and 4 weeks, but always with four Sundays.

Several other features of Advent are worthy of comment:

First, in the West the First Sunday of Advent is treated as the beginning of the liturgical year. (In the East, the liturgical year does not begin at Advent but on September 1, which bears the traditional title, “Crown of the Year.” Its relationship to the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashana is obvious.)

Second, as a time of preparation for the birth and manifestation of Christ, the readings of this season have traditionally given special attention to the voice of prophecy, with a strong emphasis on the reading of Isaiah and John the Baptist’s preaching on repentance.

Third, during the twentieth century there arose the useful custom of the Advent wreath, both in church buildings and in Christian homes. This wreath lies horizontally and is adorned with four candles. The latter, symbolic of the four millennia covered in Old Testament history, are lit one at a time on each Saturday evening preceding the four Sundays of Advent, by way of marking the stages in the season until Christmas.

Fourth, traditionally the liturgical color for this season is violet or purple, symbolic of royalty (for the coming of the King) and of sobriety (as befits a season of renewed repentance). A softer rose color is sometimes substituted near the end of the season.

Fifth, because of the emphasis on repentance as the proper preparation for God, Advent is a season of great seriousness, not a time of festivity, much less of partying and secular concerns. Traditionally, it is not part of the “Christmas holidays,” and Christians of earlier times, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, would have been shocked at the current habit of treating this as a period of jolly good times and “Christmas cheer,” complete with office parties, the trimming of Christmas trees and other domestic adornments, the exchange of gifts, caroling, and even the singing of Christmas music in church.

All of these festive things are part of the celebration of Christmas itself, which traditionally lasts the 12 days from December 25 to January 6. Anticipating these properly Christmas activities in advance of Christmas itself considerably lessens the chance of our being properly prepared, by repentance, for the grace of that greater season; it also heightens the likelihood that we will fall prey to the worldly spirit that the commercial world would encourage during this time.

Our family began using an Advent Wreath and an Advent Calendar for the first time last year. If your family is looking to make its own Christmas traditions, using a wreath and calendar would be a very good starting point.

Posted by Mark at 10:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2005


I never remember that anything beautiful, whether a man, a beast, a bird, or a plant, was ever shown, though it were to a hundred people, that they did not all immediately agree that it was beautiful, though some might have thought that it fell short of their expectation, or that other things were still finer. I believe no man thinks a goose to be more beautiful than a swan . . . .
Edmund Burke, On Taste.
When we look at the unity of the transcendentals, and compare [the] vision of view [of theologians of an earlier age] to our contemporary poverty concerning things beautiful, we are quickly and painfully aware that something has gone horribly wrong. Why would human beings seek to sunder the unity between the good and the beautiful, between the true and the real, between the beautiful and the true? Why would we want to call something that is ugly true? Why would we want to call something that is unreal beautiful? That is a symptom of a human sickness, and that sickness is sin.

Albert Mohler reflects on beauty in a recent talk. As Mohler states, beauty is mostly overlooked in these post-modern times, or it is relegated to mere opinion about aesthetic characteristics. To say something is beautiful is no longer a comment on a greater transcendental theme. However, as anybody who has reflected on the beauty of a sunrise, a rose blossom, a painting by Monet, or a child's laugh, knows, one is sometimes confronted with beauty that makes one think beyond our immediate circumstances and reflect on something greater. That, then, is when we are contemplating true beauty. Mohler centers this contemplation about greater beauty ultimately on contemplation about God, who is the true Platonic "form" of beauty. This, I think, makes a good deal of sense--to reflect on beauty is to reflect on greater truth. God is the greatest truth we can possibly contemplate. Thus, contemplation on beauty is contemplation on, at least in part, the nature and being of God. This is not to reduce God to beauty nor does it mean that reflection on beauty is solely contemplation of God. However, it is an argument that God's nature is reflected in all His creation and we should not be surprised that, when we contemplate the beauty of creation, we also contemplate in some way the Creator.

Posted by Mark at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 25, 2005

Pondering the Season

Mother Teresa once noted that the first person to welcome Christ was John the Baptist, who leaped for joy on recognizing him, though both of them were still within their mothers' wombs. We, in stark contrast, are often so dulled by superficial distractions that we are incapable of hearing any voice within, let alone listening to it. Consequently, the feeling we know as Christmas cheer lacks any real connection to the vital spirit that radiated from the manger.

We miss the essence of Christmas unless we become, in the words of Eberhard Arnold, "mindful of how Christ's birth took place." Once we do, we will sense immediately that Advent marks something momentous: God's coming into our midst. That coming is not just something that happened in the past. It is a recurring possibility here and now. And thus Advent is not merely a commemorative event or an anniversary, but a yearly opportunity for us to consider the future, second Advent - the promised coming of God's kingdom on earth.

Charles Moore reflects on Advent, which begins this Sunday. A good reading to begin the Season, particularly on this day of the kick-off of that other season--consumerism. Do not get me wrong, I am no Scrooge, nor a Christian ascetic, I will buy and receive gifts this year too. However, I think it would be well for all of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, to use this time to reflect on that which is truly meaningful in life--that which transcends the baubles we give each other.

As an aside, last year our family began using an Advent wreath for the first time. If you have never done so, I would very much recommend starting that tradition in your own family. We found it to be very rewarding.

Posted by Mark at 06:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2005

That Which We Hold In Trust

“We hold all that we possess in trust for a future generation.” This, of course, we all know--intuitively perhaps or logically. The death rate is still close to 100% (the three examples that defy the perfect 100% are not statistically significant, although historically significant). Nonetheless, although we would all acknowledge the truth of this proposition, only the very aged or the very wise generally take time to reflect on it. Being neither, I do not spend much time dwelling on this fact. However, a recent even has caused me to reflect on it. Not, thank God, the passing of one close to me. Rather, in eight short weeks, I will no longer be the owner of the house in which my family currently dwells.

A family that lives five miles from us will take possession of this home--birthplace of all of our children and the home of 10 of the 14 years of our marriage. We will move to another home (or is it a home to be?) a few miles away.

Thus, all that is permanent (as permanent as something can be) in this home, I now hold in trust for another family--it really already belongs to them. I must preserve it as best I can for them, and yet we also must continue to live here and use these things that are no longer ours. As I looked at our (their) oven this evening, the reality of that hit me.

I wonder now if my paternal great, great grandfather, he who was born with the name Murphy (that my last name is Sides is one of those unique, and yet ubiquitously American, stories that may some other day be told), ever considered that all he possessed he really held in trust? I do not own any tangible thing that he owned. However, in a very literal sense, all that he could pass on to me, he did. I could not be without him. So, I wonder, when he left home, family and community in Louisiana in the early 1860s to fight for the "Yankees," did he ponder what that would mean for his future heirs? Did he consider that all he held, and all that he did, he really did for those who would come after him? I doubt it. And yet, of course, that is exactly what he did. He did not mean to make the future, and yet he did. One more small story wrapped up in the greater story of a nation still under construction.

And so, I now ponder, what will my great, great grandchild, who will likely not possess any physical thing that I now possess, think about when he is 37, and it is Thanksgiving, and his children are warm and sleeping in comfort with full bellies? Will he think of me? I tend to doubt it. However, I do hope that he will ponder the great story of this country in which he has the freedom (I hope) to ponder, and the opportunity to have children with full bellies. (A thing which many of my Irish forebears did not have the luxury of.)

I would hope that he would also ponder the greater meaning, and be thankful for more than just his temporary home, wherever it may be. Hopefully, if I have any legacy, it will be to pass on, not something tangible, but that which is truly lasting--the knowledge of the One who thought of us all, and Who provided for us all, and to Whom we owe all--the one whose tangible things we all possess in trust--those in the past, those in the present--and those in the future. It all belongs to Him. It is up to all of us to keep His trust. If we have anything to pass on, it is that knowledge.

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

Posted by Mark at 01:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 23, 2005

Catch and Release Program to End...But Why Did it Ever Begin?

Just when I thought the government couldn’t be any dumber… (HT: Drudge)

Under long-standing procedure along the U.S. border with Mexico, illegal crossers of nationalities other than Mexican -- dubbed OTMs by the Border Patrol -- have been entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge before they could be deported.

Because of a severe shortage of space to hold them until the hearing, they were released after being fingerprinted and given a "notice to appear," a document stating they had agreed to show up at court at a certain date.

The notice serves as a travel document allowing its holder past Border Patrol checkpoints on the roads leading from the border to the interior. Most OTMs do not show up for their hearing and meld into the population.

So let me get this straight. The immigrants come here illegally, get caught, then are released and asked to turn themselves in at a later date? Makes perfect sense...Geez.

Posted by Rick at 11:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2005

Derek Webb Interview

I'll post further thoughts on the idea of a separate Christian "culture" later, but for now check out this interview with Derek Webb. Part one is here, this is part two. I like Webb's music a great deal. I'm thankful for his voice and his creativity. I think he can say important things to the Church in this day of bad Christian t-shirts and cliches.

But...if his idea of "social justice" were ever inacted, it would be an unmitigated disaster. The Biblical call to mercy and compassion for the fatherless and the widow is not fulfilled by confiscatory taxes and the false notion that the federal, state or local government will solve our problems. It's a wrong idea. Moreso, it's a dangerous one.

And don't get me started on this naive premise of Christian pacifism with which he's flirting...

"[Pacifists are] the last and least excusable on the list of the enemies of society. They preach that if you see a man flogging a woman to death you must not hit him. I would much sooner let a leper come near a little boy than a man who preached such a thing."
- G.K. Chesteron

Posted by Matt at 11:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 21, 2005

Hunter Resolution Post-Mortem

Last Friday we had some political gamesmanship in the House of Representatives. In a move like Democrat Charlie Rangel's own "reinstate the draft" proposal, which he introduced just to make a point but voted against, Republicans gave the Democrats an opportunity to "put their vote where their rhetoric was". (Thank you, Bill Bennett, for that turn of a phrase.) Unlike the Rangel situation, however, where no one had ever really wanted to bring back the draft, Democrats got caught saying one thing and voting another.

More, lots more, below the fold.

First of all, let's be clear the the resolution put forth by the Republicans was not specifically the Murtha plan. However, it dealt with the major lynchpin; pulling out of Iraq now. And by "now" I mean "right now". Here's Murtha's own words the day before the vote (emphasis mine):

My plan calls for immediate redeployment of U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces, to create a quick reaction force in the region, to create an over-the-horizon presence of Marines, and to diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq.

There are 3 parts to this, and they were enumerated in Murtha's proposal, but the latter 2 parts were predicated on the first part; the immediate redeployment of US troops. Now, as much as the Left would like to think that the Hunter resolution bore "ZERO resemblance" to the Murtha one, we can compare the relevant portions to see that, indeed, they are the same, especially in light of Murtha's own description.


The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.

The bolded words say the same thing precisely. So much for "ZERO resemblance". Now, the Murtha version added that they should be redeployed ASAP, so while both resolutions had the "cut" part of "cut and run", Murtha added "and run immediately". And if you wish to do some word-parsing, you could say that the Republican version could be construed to mean that no additional troops will be sent but says nothing about the current ones. Hence, the Hunter resolution was less drastic than the Murtha one, and yet Democrats couldn't even vote for that. It's that rhetoric vs. vote thing again, and the disingenuousness just drips from their press releases.

But let's continue with the Murtha proposal. He's described it above, and here is the text from the latter 2 sections.

A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.

So he believes that 150,000 troops in-country are useless against the terrorists, but 15,000 based in Kuwait, would somehow be better? Remember, the terrorists are increasingly going after Iraqis and their new duly-elected government. Our departure wouldn't stop those attacks. Murtha wants us to leave a much smaller force "over the horizon" to be available for...what, exactly? If we can only deal with one or two hotspots, or even 7 or 8, and if the Iraqi army isn't prepared for handling the rest (which it currently isn't), of what good is that? An immediate bail-out with no provision for training (and, if we're word-parsing, Murtha's proposal says nothing about that), you're setting this up for failure.

And finally...

The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.

Diplomacy? With whom? Zarqawi? Zawahiri? Think we can negotiate Iran into asking all their citizens in Iraq to lay down their arms and come home? The instability in Iraq comes from folks for whom UN resolutions make good bird cage liner. Nice words, but meaningless.

So eliminating these last two sections (which, in essence, eliminate themselves), the two resolutions are, at their base, the very same thing. As I said, the Republican version is simply a portion of the Murtha one, but the portion that is the prerequisite for anything else. And yet all but 3 Democrats voted against this. And yet Nancy Pelosi called the Republican resolution "a disgrace" and Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland said of it, "The rankest of politics and the absence of any sense of shame." These are strong words from Democrats for the very basis of their own man's proposal.

This display of hypocrisy ought to settle the whole "bring the troops home now" thing. It ought to take the wind out of the sails of the Sheehan entourage, and make the media look silly for giving it such overhyped play. It may do that for a little while, but it'll be back soon enough. "Bring them home NOW" is a chant too near and dear to the anti-war crowd's heart, and the Democrats can't afford to lose that constituency. You'll no doubt hear it from Democrats again. They hope you'll miss the irony.

Now let's look a closer look at the reasons Murtha wanted to pull the troops out now. These are all the "whereas" clauses at the beginning of his resolution that give the justification for it.

Whereas Congress and the American People have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to "promote the emergence of a democratic government"

No measurable progress? Only if you don't count the on-time turnover of sovereignty to the provisional Iraqi government, and if you don't count the nearly-on-time drafting of a Constitution, and if you don't count the on-time election of a legislature. The last step, the training of an Iraqi military and police force, is moving right along. Bush said that as they stand up, we will stand down. How much clearer and measurable can those steps of progress be? And let's not forget that the Left was all for postponing those checkpoints in light of the violence at the time, especially the turnover of sovereignty. As a comment on Redstate.org noted:
The "plan" for the creation of new governments in Japan and Germany did not proceed as rapidly as the Iraq plan. What more do you want?

Now all of a sudden the Left are sticklers for timetables. Returning to Murtha:
Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U. S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft

Talking point and opinion only.
Whereas more than $277 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan

Wars cost money? Who knew?

Consider this: If this resolution were to pass, terrorists would know just how much monetary damage to inflict on us before we cut and run. Do we really want to give them that sort of leverage? And I think what we really need from Murtha is how much is too much to pay for a stable democracy in the Middle East. Liberals are fond of defending their nanny-like regulations by saying, "If it saves just one life, it's worth it". Compared to the death that was going on while Hussein was around, we've save a whole lot more than one life. The Middle East has been a knotty issue for decades; do you really want to just throw that investment away by pulling out?

Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution, 2,079 U.S. troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom

War has casualties? Who knew?

See above. Now terrorists would know how many to kill to get us to turn tail. And bailing out before the job's done would be a true disservice and do incredible dishonor to the men and women who gave their lives for this purpose.

Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency

"Hey, if the enemy starts shooting back, we're outta there."
Whereas, according to recent polls, over 80% of the Iraqi people want U.S. forces out of Iraq;
Whereas polls also indicate that 45% of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified

First of all, Rep. Murtha needs to understand that Iraq is a representative democracy now. USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup aren't in charge.

Secondly, if you look at the poll results, you'll find a lot of self-serving results. Sunnis and Shi'ites are grumpy, Kurds are happy. There are huge disparities in opinion, and unless you think that the coalition soldiers are angels in the north and devils in the south, the poll really doesn't tell us anything. But it makes good legislative copy.

What I find interesting is that, while the Sunnis and Shi'ites generally find the whole deal a bad thing from then to now, the majority of them say they are either the same or better off than before the invasion. I'm not a big fan of polls at all, and this one just confirms my distrust of them.

Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action

Again, pure opinion. If a stable democracy in the Middle East isn't in our interests, or if one less safe haven for terrorists isn't in our interests, or if cutting off the funding of Palestinian terrorists isn't in our interests, I don't think Rep. Murtha is on the same planet. Does he not think that military protection in anticipation of a home-grown force isn't in the best interest of the Iraqi people?

So those are the reasons that Murtha gave for his proposal to leave the Iraqis out in the cold before they're ready to take on the challenges of defense of their nation and protection of their democracy. I'm thoroughly unimpressed.

Yes we do need to leave, but now, or in Murtha's idea 6-month timeframe, isn't when it should happen. Paul Seale at NoEndButVictory.com says this:

Murtha was right that the answer is a political one. The catch is, though, without our support there can be no political organization. I know we would all like to wave a magic wand and the Iraqi forces would be ready to fight. That is not the case though. Is the Iraqi army getting better? Yes, but it will take some time. The answer is not to tuck tail and run and give the enemy an important victory.

I can only wonder what some of these Democrats would be saying during the Battle of the Bulge or Iwo Jima. Both were vital to the war effort and were costly battles. Niether was resolved over night. Would have they called for Eisenhower or Mc Author’s resignation and our withdrawl from the war?

Before any Democrats answers "of course not", remember we took a lot more than 2000 deaths in WWII, and that specific count is one of Murtha's reasons to hightail it outta there.

There are so many other comparisons that could be made as well--pulling out of Vietnam early and the resulting carnage that followed come to mind--and the thought is that those who don't remember history are condemned to repeat it. But do these guys really not remember the end of the conflict they keep comparing this war to? If they do remember, why do they insist on doing the exact same thing this time around? I find it hard to believe that it's an ignorance of history, but the alternative is that it's a purely political move to try to make a President of the other party look bad, in spite of what that my mean to the Iraqi people they say they care so much about.

Friday's vote put the lie to the rhetoric of the Democrats. I'd say it's time to MoveOn and get the job done.

Posted by Doug at 01:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Political Fallout for Opposing Alito

Robert Novak has an excellent column today outlining the political consequences for Democratic Senators who oppose Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court:

Democratic senators from six red states returned home over the weekend for the Thanksgiving recess to confront television ads connecting critics of Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court with left-wing special interests. A simultaneous message intended ultimately to reach 10 million Americans made this same point.

The counterattack on Alito's behalf was triggered by the new TV advertisement of the liberal coalition opposing Alito's confirmation by the Senate. The ad claimed Alito, as a federal appellate judge, "even voted to approve the strip search of a 10-year-old girl." This distorts a case where a suspected drug dealer's daughter was searched, visibly not manually, by a female police officer in the presence of the child's mother. Alito's defenders make the legitimate argument that the assault against him ends up as a defense of drug dealers.

Red state Democratic senators, especially those up for re-election next year, face a dilemma in deciding how to vote on confirmation. The liberal pressure groups orchestrating the attack on Alito are central to the political health of the Democratic Party. But identification with them could be fatal in closely contested Senate races.

It will be interesting to see whether the six red-state Democrats decide to oppose Alito and to what degree, if any, they make their opposition known beyond simply casting a vote against confirmation. My guess is that they may vote against confirmation but not call any attention to their votes in order to minimize Republican opposition next year.

Posted by Tom at 11:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2005

African-Americans and the GOP; Changes Coming?

We may have a sign that the tide of African-American voting patterns may indeed be changing. But first, a look at where we are now.

Bush's poll numbers among blacks have plummeted. Dan Froomkin noted in October:

In what may turn out to be one of the biggest free-falls in the history of presidential polling, President Bush's job-approval rating among African Americans has dropped to 2 percent, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll.

However, Froomkin himself, likely unwittingly, demonstrates why I think very little of polls. Too many of them are simply a measure of emotion, not philosophy or policy.
A few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found Bush's approval rating among blacks at 51 percent. As recently as six months ago, it was at 19 percent.

But Bush's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina -- seen by many blacks as evidence that he didn't care about them (see my September 13 column ) -- may have brought support for the president in the African American community down to nearly negligible levels.

Polls after 9/11 were as much or more a measure of personal patriotism than support for the President's policies. Similarly, polls after Katrina reflect emotion and horrible circumstances. A big reason many blacks saw the Katrina response as "evidence" was because that's how the media portrayed it. When all local and state officials (primarily Democrat) focused on Washington, the media followed along. Froomkin himself is still apparently considering Bush the prime bungler, and thus perpetuating the meme that FEMA is somehow a first-responder. So again, the polls are measuring feeling and emotion (often related to how news stories are couched) more so than philosophy or policy

Which brings us to today's Orlando Sentinel. Scott Maxwell's column has this startling revelation.

For decades, Republicans have struggled to reach out to black Americans. But now in Orange County, the GOP has to reach no further than the NAACP.

As of this week, Derrick Wallace, head of Orange County's NAACP, has switched parties -- to become a Republican.

"I've thought about this for two years," Wallace said Tuesday afternoon, just a few hours after returning from the elections office. "This is not a decision I made yesterday."

It is, however, a decision that rang out like a shot among political circles.

This is not a measure of emotion, this is a carefully considered switch made over the course of two years. In those 2 years we've had the Iraq war issues, the "BUSH LIED" meme, and Katrina, and still this leader of the African-American community in Orange County has decided to cast his lot with the Republicans. According to the article, this change is partially business-related and partially image-related. But part of it is policy related. Wallace has supported Republicans for Mayor of Orlando the last two times.

Is this a sign of a turnaround, or a just a historic one-off? Hard to say. But just a word of advice to Mr. Wallace; according to some, you're now a fair target of racist remarks. Hang in there.

Posted by Doug at 10:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 16, 2005

Setting the Record Straight

Don Sensing says "enough is enough". He's tried not to get political about the war, but when the Democrats call for investigations into whether the pre-war intelligence was doctored, that was too much.

I don’t have a problem with inquiring whether the intelligence was “bent” by the administration. But it’s been done. The Senate Intelligence Committee addressed at this issue in its “Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq.”
The Committee found no evidence that the IC’s [Intelligence Community’s] mischaracterization or exaggeration of the intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capbilities [sic] was the result of political pressure.

The Committee detailed the many failures of the intelligence community, but there was no misuse of the intelligence assessments by the administration.

(UPDATE: The White House makes some of the same points, and some additional ones, in what amounts to a fisking of a NY Times editorial. How "new media" of them!)

Also making appearances in his extensive post are Hans Blix, Sen. Jay "I'm not responsible for my votes" Rockefeller, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and the Duelfer Report. Rev. Sensing lays it all out quite plainly. In spite of all this, Democrats are demanding still more investigations in order to keep the whole "Bush LIED" meme from falling apart altogether. Bush puts forth evidence that everybody had the same intelligence and everyone came to the same conclusion, and Chuck Hagel calls that "demonizing". What it really is is setting the record straight.

Posted by Doug at 10:48 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

November 14, 2005

Newdow's Latest Target

Michael Newdow has a new target.

"I am about to file to get 'In God We Trust' off the front of our currency," he told the Oklahoman. "I plan to do that this week."

Newdow, of Sacramento, Calif., made the remarks Saturday night shortly before addressing the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation Bill of Rights Celebration.

"The key principle is that we're supposed to treat everybody equally especially in terms of religious belief," Newdow told KWTV in Oklahoma City. "Clearly it's not treating atheists equal with people who believe in God when you say 'In God We Trust' or we are a 'nation under God.'"

Newdow's claim is that a government that says "In God We Trust" cannot, by his definition, still treat people equally. Is it then also true that a Christian employer cannot ever treat all his or her employees equally regardless of their religious beliefs? Are all Hindus prejudiced by definition? Indeed, are all atheists predisposed to favor those without religious belief over those with it in all their daily dealings?

If this were so, then Mr. Newdow might have a point. But, of course, it isn't true. And if it's not generally true for individuals, then it is even less true of a government that is filled with people of all religious and nonreligious stripes. Further, a national motto mentioning God is a far, far cry from what the First Amendment prohibits; an officially-sanctioned national religion that politicians must pledge to. To suggest otherwise is to not understand what the Pilgrims and others were fleeing; the official entanglement of religion and government (not religion and politics, by the way).

Michael Newdow has no idea what an established religion looks like. And he can thank those mostly Christian Founding Fathers for that.

Posted by Doug at 12:45 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

Final Salute

Jim Sheeler and Todd Heisler at the Rocky Mountain News have published an incredible article entitled "Final Salute" that gives a close-up look at the task of the Marines' casualty assistance calls officer. This is a moving account well worth reading. Thanks to Tony in Boulder for the tip.

Posted by Tom at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 11, 2005

A Class Act

Tomorrow afternoon, at 2:30 pm central time, the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide takes on Josh Britton's LSU Tigers.

Win or lose, you're likely to see Alabama star linebacker DeMeco Ryans all over the field. (I'm hoping I see him dismantle LSU quarterback Jamarcus Russell, but that's just me). As it turns out, DeMeco is a pretty great guy.

Read this Ivan Maisel piece from ESPN.com for more.

Posted by Matt at 01:43 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Zarqawi's Aim is Off

Zarqawi really missed the mark in the Jordanian hotel bombings. He may have been gunning for the West and Israel, but his aim is way off.

Calling the al Qaeda in Iraq leader a "lowlife," Jordanians on Thursday flooded the nation's capital in bitter protest of the triple suicide bombings that shook the city a day earlier and killed at least 56 people, most of Arab descent.

"Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" hundreds of protesters shouted, denouncing the terrorist network's leader -- a Jordan native -- after an Internet posting stated his group was responsible for the attacks.

Zarqawi has killed his countrymen and people of his own religious group in this bombing. He now has those people protesting in the streets against him. On Anderson Cooper last night, the Queen of Jordan noted that he killed innocent Muslims, and thus this was a sin against Islam.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a real quagmire, and al-Zarqawi is the one up to his armpits in it.

Posted by Doug at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

Derb on Torture

This pretty much sums up my thoughts. Liberal readers, fire away.

Posted by Matt at 11:32 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 09, 2005

Judge Alito's Conservative Credentials

The Washington Post has a front page article today that tries to ease liberals fears about the possibility of Roe vs. Wade being overturned. But in fact the article only reinforces Judge Alito's conservative credentials. First, here's the misleading lead paragraph of the article:

Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. has signaled he would be highly reluctant to overturn long-standing precedents such as the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling, a move that has helped to silence some of his critics and may resolve a key problem early in the Senate confirmation process, several senators said yesterday.

At first glance, it would seem that Alito supports Roe. Reading further, it's clear that Alito is merely showing respect for the rule of law:

In private meetings with senators who support abortion rights, Alito has said the Supreme Court should be quite wary of reversing decisions that have been repeatedly upheld, according to the senators who said it was clear that the context was abortion.

"He basically said . . . that Roe was precedent on which people -- a lot of people -- relied, and been precedent now for decades and therefore deserved great respect," Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.) told reporters after meeting with Alito yesterday. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she had a similar conversation about an hour later with Alito, who has made clear that he personally opposes abortion.

"I asked him whether it made a difference to him if he disagreed with the initial decision but it had been reaffirmed several times since then," Collins told reporters. "I was obviously referring to Roe in that question. He assured me that he has tremendous respect for precedent and that his approach is to not overturn cases due to a disagreement with how they were originally decided."

Collins, Lieberman and others cautioned that they did not directly ask Alito if he would vote to overturn Roe, and that his comments should not be seen as a guarantee of how he may rule. But the conversations appear to be building Alito's resistance to what might be the biggest impediment to his confirmation: liberals' claims that he is a threat to legalized abortion, which most Americans support, according to opinion polls.

One of the hallmarks of conservative jurisprudence is the respect for precedent. This does not mean that every case decided by the Supreme Court is set in stone and can never be overturned. However, it also does not mean that cases can be overturned based on the whims of the judge, either.

Liberal judges are notorious for ignoring precendents and deciding cases based on their own agenda rather than on the facts and the law. Ironically, it's liberals who are making the case that precendents need to be respected especially when it fits their political agenda. Once again, the hypocrisy of the Left is apparent.

But conservatives, especially pro-lifers, didn't help their cause during the debate over Harriet Miers' by insisting on a judge that would state they would overturn Roe. Judicial activism that ignores precedent is never justified even if the goal is admirable.

Respect for the rule of law is what helps maintain an orderly society. Judge Alito clearly respects the rule of law. He should make a terrific Supreme Court Justice.

Posted by Tom at 10:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 08, 2005

Evangelicals and the Pill

Thought-provoking piece at Mere Comments by Russ Moore.

Posted by Matt at 07:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Evangelicals and the Environment

Scroll down to the second point of this post. Fr. Neuhaus is none too happy about the National Association of Evangelicals joining up with certain environmental groups.

Neither am I.

Posted by Matt at 10:44 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

"God or Not" #2

A recent addition to the blog "carnivals" is called "God or Not". The second installment, which covers the topic of Proof, is up at Eternal Revolutions.

Posted by Doug at 09:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Election Day 2005 - Virginia Governor's Race

Much is being made of today's gubernatorial election here in Virginia as a bellwhether of the 2006 and 2008 elections. The Virginia electorate is almost evenly divided between urban and rural areas and as a result is thought by many to be a good predictor of national electoral trends. Since the state went for President Bush last year by nine points there is a feeling that this election will be a referendum on his presidency. Whether that's really the case is at best debatable.

If Democrat Tim Kaine wins today, it will be in part because of help he has received from popular Governor Mark Warner. Warner is himself a possible 2008 Presidential candidate. And while he is on the surface an attractive candidate, his popularity is in part due to a Republican-controlled General Assembly that worked closely with him to get his legislative agenda enacted. That will likely allow him to portray himself as somone who can work with both parties in the general election. Given these factors, Kaine should have been able to build a large lead. However, the race remains a statistical dead heat.

Whoever wins today will claim that this result will somehow show how next year's congressional elections should play out. I wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by Tom at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Rebuilding a Seminary in New Orleans

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary is one of the largest seminaries in the world (about 2200 on campus and 1800 by extension), and by some accounts the largest Southern Baptist seminary. But none of that counted for much when Hurricane Katrina made the urban seminary campus part of Lake Pontchartrain. When the waters receded, the NOBPTS was facing some $20 million in damage, and many thought it was time to move to a more comfortable and safer setting. But the trustees voted to rebuild and return. Posted today is my story from the new issue of Christianity Today on the seminary's struggle to recover from Katrina.

Posted by Jim at 07:55 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Terrell Owens

In this entire mess, Owens has proven clearly and finally that he is a selfish brat. ESPN analyst and former Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin has demonstrated himself to be a clueless imbecile, incapable of distinguishing between day-to-day problems and the general problems with Owens' selfishness.

Posted by Matt at 06:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Muslim Riots in France

For a good understanding of why Islamic youths are rioting in Paris, read this 2002 article by Theodore Dalrymple in City Journal.

(HT: Douglas Burtt a la BHT)

Posted by Matt at 06:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Pearce Lectures on Tolkien

Follow this link for mp3s of Joseph Pearce's lectures on Tolkien and myth at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This is absolutely fantastic stuff if you love J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Download it and burn it. This is a wonderful listen.

Towards the end of the second lecture, Pearce takes a question on the need for Christian literature. Pearce says that it is absolutely essential that Christians make good literature, but notes that in the present day he finds a lot of "good bad literature." This is literature that is morally good but artistically bad. Thank goodness that he is willing to speak truth in this matter; literature must not be forced. It must be natural; any theological merit must be the natural outgrowth of the artist's gift. It must not be a planned, programmed set of ideas to which the story must conform. Would that we had more voices like Pearce's noting that while there is a lot of morally good Christian art, literature, music and film, the majority of it is aesthetically repugnant. Our art must be something is appealling on its artistic merits, and we must let the theological chips fall where they may. Tolkien and Lewis understood this. So did Flannery O'Connor and Walkery Percy. Musicians like Sufjan Stevens, Over the Rhine, the Innocence Mission and Pedro the Lion get it. Let us pray that many others will come to do so, as well.

"When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God's business."
-Flannery O'Connor

Posted by Matt at 06:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

New Energy Source?

This sounds hopeful.

Randell Mills, a Harvard University medic who also studied electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims to have built a prototype power source that generates up to 1,000 times more heat than conventional fuel. Independent scientists claim to have verified the experiments and Dr Mills says that his company, Blacklight Power, has tens of millions of dollars in investment lined up to bring the idea to market. And he claims to be just months away from unveiling his creation.

There's just one small problem. Science says it's impossible.
The problem is that according to the rules of quantum mechanics, the physics that governs the behaviour of atoms, the idea is theoretically impossible. "Physicists are quite conservative. It's not easy to convince them to change a theory that is accepted for 50 to 60 years. I don't think [Mills's] theory should be supported," said Jan Naudts, a theoretical physicist at the University of Antwerp.

I heard a phrase once; "Those who say doing something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it." Hopefully, this can happen, and isn't just a "cold fusion" kind of thing.

Posted by Doug at 05:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 03, 2005

NFL Question

Is it just me or has Marty Schottenheimer been wearing the same pair of glasses for the last two decades?

Posted by Matt at 04:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Poverty in America

My friend Glenn Lucke at Common Grounds Online sent me this post several days back concerning the nature of poverty in America. The writer of the post, David Lumpkins, feels that the Church is capable of dealing with poverty on these grounds:

"The sad irony is that the Church is uniquely capable of addressing the root causes of poverty in ways that can make a difference. That is because at its core, poverty in Americais not due to a deficit of resources. Poverty in America stems from the moral, spiritual and behavioral deficits in the lives of those ensnared in it. And to the extent that the Gospel represents Truth - that is, the true reality; the way the world really works, and the way that individuals work in that world created by God – then the Church has the best answers for those for whom the world doesn’t work."

That is a terribly controversial remark in some quarters, but I must admit that there is a fair amount of truth to it. I hear a lot of talk about poverty these days, but the solution is usually suggested in the form of government aid. I won't say that aid is always and forever bad, but government solutions rarely address any root causes of poverty. I should mention hear that sometimes poverty just happens in ways that cannot be explained, but let us not kid ourselves. In this day, when people choose to be sexually promiscuous and have children out of wedlock, powerty often results. I'm not saying that the government force people to wear cast iron chastity belts, but it should be obvious to anyone that on some fundamental level, behaviors have results.

The problem here is that it is difficult to make people act in a certain way. I think it is imperative for Christians to acknowledge that until some behaviors change, in America or in the third world, it will be difficult to change poverty. To pretend otherwise is naive and, dare I say, negligent.

Posted by Matt at 04:04 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Culture Wars

Rod Dreher explains them pretty darn well.

Posted by Matt at 03:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nathason Lied, 40 Million Died

Please read "Confessions of an Ex-Abortionist". Yes it's 8 years old, but it's a fine look from a co-founder of NARAL into the playbook of those who seek to remove all taboos from society, and how powerful The Big Lie can be.

Posted by Doug at 02:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Why We Need Judicial Reform

Because of rulings like this:

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday against parents who sued their local school district after their elementary-age children were given a sexually charged survey, saying there is "no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children."

Here's a federal court telling parents that they are no longer the sole arbiters of how their own children will be taught a particular subject. The contention is that there is no "claim upon which relief could be granted" because there is no such fundamental right.

Unless there's some state law regarding this right, it's reserved for the people. Now, what the Ninth Circuit says essentially is that since it's not enumerated as a right, you don't have it. Talk about standing the Constitution on its head!

If you ever thought that you'd homeschool if not for all the time it takes, consider this; do you have the time to police the public schools?

Posted by Doug at 01:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack