The fact that the remains of 9/11 victims wound up in a landfill is shocking and disgusting. But we throw the mutilated corpses of over 3,200 babies in landfills every day. Where is the outrage about that? Why does the abortion industry get a pass?
The whole "controversy" over Korans that were burned by American troops in Afghanistan is political theater for the weak-minded. It is a manufactured outrage created by enemies of America to whip up crowds against U.S. troops and blame America, while ignoring the facts of the case.
Let's deal with some reality here. The Korans would never have been disposed of if the Islamic terrorists in our custody had not desecrated the Koran themselves (a blasphemy in Islam) by writing notes in the pages. The Korans were confiscated from the detainees and accidentally included with items for incineration by U.S. troops. (See articles from National Review and Fox News.)
The response has been telling. Rioting and mass murder is simply not an appropriate response to burning a book. That is the act of a savage barbarian, not a devout person of any faith. But the Islamic terrorists are not rioting and murdering over fellow Islamic terrorists intentionally desecrating the Koran, or demanding that the detainees be executed. They are rioting and murdering because Americans unintentionally desecrated the Koran.
Does any of this mean we should not treat the Koran with respect? No. Does any of this mean that we should not respect the faith and religious practices of Muslims? Again, the answer is no.
But the fact of the matter is this was a mistake, not an intentional desecration of Islam's holy book. Furthermore, rioting and murdering over the unintentional destruction of a book is a wildly disproportionate response - especially when it was the detainees who intentionally desecrated it.
Burning the Koran was a mistake, and mistakes happen. It is a mistake that should have been avoided, and care needs to be taken so that this mistake does not happen again. Just out of respect for the people of Afghanistan, we should respect their culture and religion. But it was a mistake nonetheless, not an act of malice or aggression. Rioting and murdering in response is wildly disproportionate and barbaric.
It could be argued that nuclear weapons were the world's greatest force for peace in the 20th Century.
Because nuclear weapons are so terrible, the fear of using them prevented a third World War between the USA and USSR. Imagine how destructive that would have been had each side not feared the other's nuclear arsenal.
"It is well that war is so terrible, lest we should grow too fond of it." -- Robert E. Lee
"Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse. But there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex." - from a Planned Parenthood pamphlet distributed at a panel conducted by the Girl Scouts, after "all non-Scout adults were kicked out of the room, which was packed with adolescent girls."
Does that sound shocking? It should. Nancy Pelosi, minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, said that Planned Parenthood's relationship with the Girl Scouts was "very valuable" at a reception to honor the Girl Scouts, yet when a Republican state representative from Fort Wayne criticizes the Girl Scouts' relationship with Planned Parenthood, he is labeled a wacko and accused of lying. Was Pelosi lying?
But it doesn't end there. Girl Scouts' CEO Cathy Cloninger admitted that the Girl Scouts works with many organizations, including Planned Parenthood, "to bring information-based sex education programs to girls." The connections between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood were in the news back in 2004, when LifeNews.com reported that of 315 councils surveyed, "17 councils reported having a relationship with Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and 49 reported they do not. The other 249 refused to disclose any relationship."
State Representative Bob Morris of Fort Wayne was exactly right to raise serious concerns about the partnership between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, and the efforts by Planned Parenthood to sexualize young girls.
The relationship between the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood becomes more ominous when you consider that Planned Parenthood used tax money given to them by the Bloomington City Council and Monroe County Council to distribute birth control to girls as young as 13 years old. It is a felony in the state of Indiana for anyone to have sexual contact with someone 13 or younger, and pregnancy is prima facie evidence that a felony has taken place. Planned Parenthood and the Monroe County Democratic Party, then, are helping cover up felony sexual abuse.
It isn't surprising that Leftists have jumped on the controversy. Senator Vi Simpson (D-Bloomington) whined in a fundraising email last week that Morris' criticism will not create a single job for Hoosiers. Let's not forget that Morris was reacting to a meaningless resolution, and that resolution will not create a single job either. Why not criticize spending time on a resolution that could be spent on efforts to stimulate the economy?
Attacks from the Left should be expected. Morris should not expect to be betrayed by his own caucus, including House Speaker Brian Bosma, who passed out Girl Scout cookies and mocked Morris. This is simply unacceptable. Bosma could have privately rebuked Morris if he disagreed, or Bosma could have publicly expressed disagreement in a rational manner. The Republican Speaker of the House should not be openly mocking and ridiculing a Republican legislator to curry favor with Democrats. Bosma should apologize for his behavior.
Morris took a courageous and unpopular stand that drew a cascade of attacks from the news media, Democrats, Planned Parenthood and even his fellow "Republicans" in the legislature. He should be praised for taking this stand and bringing the Girl Scouts' disturbing alliance with Planned Parenthood to the attention of Hoosiers.
I addressed this foolishness last Monday, but given the absurd comments made in the Herald-Times comments section this past week, it is useful to repeat what I said three years ago:
By not engaging in terrorism to stop abortion, an abortion opponent is immoral for allowing murder to take place. However, the second someone actually does commit an act of terrorism to stop abortion, the exact same people harshly condemn the terrorist and the people who supposedly "incited" the violence. This is an incredibly dishonest argument that deserves nothing but scorn and ridicule.
CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio woman who likened freeing lab animals to liberating Holocaust survivors was being held in custody Wednesday on charges she used Facebook to try to hire a hit man to kill a person at random for wearing fur, prosecutors said.
Meredith Marie Lowell, 27, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was arrested Tuesday at her home by federal agents and has been charged with solicitation to commit murder for offering to pay someone who turned out to be an FBI agent $850 for the killing.
Lowell said the person should die in less than two minutes and needed to be, "older than 12 -- preferably older than 14 years old," FBI documents said. The person also "should not be anyone I currently know and definitely should not be anyone my family knows," Lowell wrote in one exchange.
A woman records police officers in an attempt to strengthen her claim of sexual harassment. Most people would see this as a smart way to protect herself and ensure justice is done. In the state of Illinois, she is committing a felony that could cause her to spend 15 years in prison for this action, which harmed no one.
This law protects corrupt government officials in addition to being unconstitutional, immoral and anti-democratic.
The violation of the First Amendment's protections for free speech is obvious. Government simply does not have the legal authority to criminalize the action of documenting abuse of power by agents of the state.
This law also violates the 14th amendment's requirement of equal protection under the law, because of the exception for radio and television recordings. The "logic" here is an outdated perception of what the press is. In an age where someone can post a video on YouTube and get a million hits, distinguishing between the traditional news media and an average citizen is increasingly meaningless. Furthermore, carving out an exception for radio and television broadcasts grants special rights to the media that average citizens do not have, which is anathema to our constitutional republic.
The best way to ensure government operates in a legal and ethical manner, to say nothing of being efficient and reliable, is by exposing government to the disinfectant of sunshine. By making it illegal to record agents of the state in the context of their employment, Illinois is protecting bad actors and denying citizens the opportunity to seek justice when wronged.
Think about the case of Rodney King, who was beaten by Los Angeles police officers while another citizen captured the beating on film. Had George Holliday not recorded the beating, would the officers have ever been charged and tried for the beating? Would the officers have been convicted in federal court of violating King's civil rights? Or would this have been swept under the rug? It is certainly possible that nothing would have ever come of this case of not for Holliday's video camera.
There should not be a court battle over this law. It is a waste of time and taxpayer dollars to litigate the constitutionality of this law. Instead, the Illinois state legislature should unanimously vote to reform it, at least providing an exception for recording government employees in the context of doing their jobs. Any legislator who votes against reform should be thrown out of office in a landslide.
Leftists were furious with the Citizens United decision two years ago, and Barack Obama disgraced himself and his office with his political attack on the Supreme Court during the State of the Union shortly after the case was decided. Now, Leftists are working to amend the Constitution to deny free speech rights to corporations.
Here's the problem: They don't get it.
The First Amendment was never intended to grant the five freedoms it protects. The Declaration of Independence made it clear that the founders believed that men are "endowed by their Creator" with inalienable rights. Those rights exist independent of government and cannot be granted or taken away by government. That's why when you read the text of the First Amendment, it is a limitation on government, not a guarantee of rights.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The reason why government may not restrict the free speech rights of corporations is not because corporations are people. (Corporations are made up of people, though. This is not Skynet, folks.) The reason why government may not restrict the free speech rights of corporations is because the First Amendment is a limitation on government. There are no exceptions in the First Amendment for unions or corporations - it is a protection for all free speech.
The reason "Move to Amend" is so dangerous is because it seeks to take away the right to free speech for some Americans. Once you write into the Constitution that certain groups of people do not have the protection of the First Amendment, you set a dangerous precedent that empowers government at the expense of individual liberty.
I would point out that most churches are technically 501(c)3 corporations, so this could be incredibly destructive for religious freedom. After all, since "corporations are not people" and do not have free speech rights, what legal justification is there to stop the government from regulating the content of sermons?
The First Amendment has served America well for over 235 years, and there is no need to tinker with it. Furthermore, we live in a time where the power of individual people to impact public discourse has never been greater. The internet in general and social media in particular has leveled the playing field in a way the founders could have never imagined. We should not abandon the wisdom of the men who created the greatest system of government in human history.
The Obama regime's efforts to force Christian organizations (including hospitals and charities) to provide birth control illustrates this President's hostility toward both Christians and individual liberty.
Obama and his allies have couched this debate in terms of "women's rights" - that women should not lose the "right" to birth control simply because of who their employer happens to be. But this indicates a fundamental misunderstanding with what rights actually are.
In order for something to be a right, it must exist without anyone else needing to sacrifice. For example, I have the right to free speech, the right to freedom of religion, the right to be secure in my person and papers from unreasonable searches by government. No one has to sacrifice in order for me to have those rights. No one has to give up any liberty in order for me to have those rights.
In order for someone to have the "right" to have any drug covered by their insurance plan, that "right" must be imposed on someone else. Either the Christian groups will need to pay for it directly or their insurance company will have to cover it. (This means that the Christian groups will pay indirectly through their premiums. Insurance companies don't have a money tree.) The government is using force to mandate that one entity pay for the drugs of someone else. That is not a representation of "rights." That is redistribution of wealth.
The reality is that there is not one single woman who has had her "right" to birth control denied. The women who want birth control are free to pay for it themselves. What this represents is an entitlement mentality - that people expect someone else to pay for what they want.
It is inconceivable that this nation's founding fathers would have ever agreed to force any Christian charity, university, or hospital to violate their religious beliefs or face action against them by government. Obama's ruling is a direct violation of the First Amendment's prohibition on government interference with the free exercise of religion. Obama's arrogant power grab and lawless behavior is another reason why he must be fired from his job in November.
Crystal Wright's February 17 editorial is just slimy and unworthy of Townhall. I have no problem with criticizing the political activity of candidates' spouses, as that is relevant to a campaign. Going after Mrs. Santorum personally, however, shows how desperate some of Santorum's enemies are.
The idea that Santorum is a "hypocrite" for marrying his wife is just silly and demonstrates a complete ignorance of Christian doctrine. Santorum is a Christian, meaning he believes in forgiveness. There isn't a single married Christian on the planet who can say his or her spouse was sinless before they married. Christians are forgiven for the wicked sins we have committed and pardoned so we do not face the eternal damnation in Hell we richly deserve.
For crying out loud, take a look at the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Judah's widowed daughter-in-law tricked him into having sex with her by posing as a prostitute. Rahab was a prostitute who was spared at Jericho. King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband to cover it up. Wicked king Manasseh sacrificed his own son to a pagan god by burning him alive. (See 2 Kings 21.) Would Crystal Wright argue that God is a hypocrite for allowing these people to be in His Son's genealogy?
Forgiveness is the heart of Christian faith. In Colossians 3:5-7, the Apostle Paul warns against sin which will bring God's wrath, pointing out that some of the believers in Colosse walked in those sins before they became Christians. Look at the Apostle Paul himself, who persecuted the church and participated in the murder of the deacon Stephen before he was personally recruited by Jesus Christ. Do I need to go on?
Now, does this mean all prenatal testing is bad? No. After all, spina bifida can be diagnosed and treated in utero. Santorum recognizes this and thinks that some prenatal testing is good.
So let's be honest and stop hyperventilating. Let's not pretend that prenatal testing does not lead to abortion in a lot of cases when we know for a fact that it does. Santorum is right, and the fact that Leftists are having a fit about what he said demonstrates that he hit the bullseye.
The following post in the comments for my letter to the editor was written by Monroe County Economic Development Commission member Greg Travis. His wife, Sophia Travis, is running for an at-large seat on the Monroe County Council in the Democratic primary on May 8. She previously served on the council from 2005-2008, after being elected in 2004. In 2008, she ran for County Commissioner and lost.
A screenshot is below the quoted text.
It is clear that Tibbs doesn't believe his own inflammatory rhetoric that babies are being killed regularly at Planned Parenthood. After all, who among us would sit by and do nothing while children were being murdered in front of our very eyes?
When Scott steps up to save these children, with deadly force if necessary, I'll believe his concern is sincere. Until then he's just a moralizng fraud.
The flaw in the reasoning is obvious. Travis is setting up a fantasy world where no one who believes abortion is murder can ever be moral. In this fantasy world, simply believing that abortion is murder makes you morally depraved no matter what you do. Travis pretends to believe that I am immoral because I oppose violent means to stop abortion. But if I were to ever act violently against an abortion clinic or the people who work there, Travis would be the first one to damn me for being a terrorist.
In Travis' fantasy world, moral standards morph and change based on what is politically convenient at the moment. If someone believes abortion is murder yet does not engage in terrorism to stop it, that person is morally depraved for allowing murder to take place. If that person engages in terrorism, that person is morally depraved for being a terrorist. This way, Travis always occupies the moral high ground while his opponents are automatically immoral no matter what they do.
Of course, this is silly. Moral standards do not morph and change based on who can gain a partisan advantage.
Here is why this is important. GRT (Greg Travis) is not just another Internet crank. As I mentioned above, he is a member of the Monroe County Economic Development Commission, appointed by the Monroe County Council. (The website has not been updated recently, but The Herald-Times reports that Travis is the president of the commission.) GRT's wife (Sophia Travis) is running for Monroe County Council in the Democratic primary. These two are major players in local politics and local government.
This is a major political scandal, folks. The husband of a candidate seeking countywide elective office is arguing that abortion opponents must commit murder in order to prove they are "sincere" in their opposition to abortion. The Herald-Times has repeatedly and enthusiastically deleted any post in HTO comments that reveals GRT's real name. The H-T is engaged in a cover-up of extreme statements that would damage Travis' standing on the EDC as well as his wife's chances of being elected to the Monroe County Council.
It is long past time for the H-T to end this charade and stop covering for Greg Travis and his wife. The people of Monroe County deserve to know this information as they step into the voting booth, first in the Democratic primary on May 8 and (if Sophia Travis wins the primary) in the general election on November 6.
There are arguments that can be made to support abortion rights that can generate civil discussion. When abortion rights advocates counter-protest the Rally for Life with signs like "free vasectomies for pro-lifers" and "fun ends at conception" they demonstrate they are not interested in legitimate discussion.
Abortion rights advocates attempted to deny abortion opponents' free speech by trying to shout down our speakers. These tactics discredit abortion rights activists and show their "arguments" are not worthy of respect.
But it got much worse four days later, when pro-abortion extremists wearing bandannas over their faces (a common street gang tactic) hurled water balloons and chunks of ice melt at abortion opponents peacefully picketing Planned Parenthood. This is far from the first time this has happened, as abortion opponents have been subject to physical assault, death threats, and objects thrown from moving cars.
This was an act of terrorism, plain and simple. The use of violence to intimidate political opponents from expressing their views is the dictionary definition of terrorism. Does Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal (who voted to fund Planned Parenthood every year between 2000 and 2006) have the integrity to prosecute these terrorists to the fullest extent of the law?
There are competing interests in the Republican primary field: Republicans want someone who will carry the conservative banner and they want someone who can defeat Barack Obama. The Republican establishment has attempted to paint Mitt Romney as the best choice for the second qualification, but they're wrong. That candidate is Rick Santorum.
Santorum has a solid fiscally and socially conservative record - he is the one who pushed welfare reform through the U.S. Senate, implementing a major policy shift by ending the federal entitlement to welfare. He sponsored the balanced budget amendment. His record on fiscal conservatism isn't perfect, but he has arguably the strongest record of the three top candidates.
What gives the establishment fits is the perception that Santorum is a crazy right winger on social issues, but the reality is that his positions on social issues are not substantially different from Romney or Gingrich - all three favor prohibiting government from recognizing same-sex marriage and all three favor banning abortion. Santorum is more vocal about it and has a record of advancing on those issues, which would motivate the Republican Party's conservative base to campaign for him.
What freaks out the establishment the most is the things Santorum has said about contraception, but as I pointed out last month his position is the classic libertarian position on the issue.
Santorum represents the exact package we need to win the White House: A fiscal and social conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan. In fact, we stand a better chance with Santorum than either Romney or Gingrich.
While the base will still have anti-Obama motivation for the Presidential race, we need a positive motivation as well as a negative motivation. Romney's flip-flopping on major issues like abortion will not motivate the Republican base as much as we need them to be motivated and Romney does not provide enough contrast on health care. If Romney is the nominee, we risk negating (or at best minimizing) our advantage on health care.
While I believe Gingrich has sincerely repented, he does have a lot of personal baggage. We need an aggressively conservative candidate willing to take the fight to Obama, but Gingrich's tendency to be aggressively partisan may turn off some swing voters that we need. Santorum has proven with his U.S. Senate campaigns that he can win those swing voters. Gingrich is also prone to engaging his mouth before he engages his brain, such as his silly proposal to put a colony on the moon that brought derision rather than serious discussion of the space program. Santorum provides the debating skills and consistent conservatism of Gingrich without the baggage and lack of discipline.
I will vote for Romney, Gingrich or Santorum no matter which one of them wins the nomination. (And let's be honest here. Ron Paul is not going to be the Republican nominee for President.) But while I will vote for any of the remaining candidates, we need to choose the candidate with the best conservative record and the best chance of defeating Barack Obama. We do not need to choose between those two primary qualifications, because Rick Santorum meets both of them.
While I understand that the similarities between RomneyCare and ObamaCare presents a political problem should Romney be the GOP nominee for President, I do not see this as a policy problem. Romney needs to articulate that, whatever problems conservatives have with RomneyCare, it was a state program rather than an overreaching nationwide mandate. By drawing a clear line between state sovereignty and federal mandates, Romney can maintain his commitment to repeal ObamaCare and have that position be believable to conservatives.
Nonetheless, the political problem remains and Romney's health care baggage hurts. This is why Rick Santorum is the most electable Republican in the field. More on that tomorrow.
Three years ago, there was much fanfare about the inauguration of our first black President. It was seen as evidence that we are moving beyond racial tensions and much was said and written about the historic nature of Barack Obama becoming President. What is sad is that this President campaigned on a platform of oppressing black people and has governed as he campaigned. Not only has Obama failed to stand for oppressed blacks, he has supported that oppression.
During Black History Month, it is appropriate to note that according to the US Census Bureau, white women had 668,000 abortions in 2007 while black women had 448,000 abortions that same year. There were 13.8 abortions per 1000 white women and 48.2 abortions per 1000 black women that year. Abortion has devastated the black community.
Barack Obama had a unique opportunity to stand against this injustice. He could have stood in defense of the millions of black babies that are brutally slaughtered by the abortion industry each year. However, he instead chose the politically convenient route and abandoned millions of black babies to the cruel instruments of the abortionist. He has supported an industry that has depleted the black population in a way that white supremacists could only dream of accomplishing.
Obama knows the numbers. The numbers I cited above, as well as the numbers I cited during Black History Month in 2010 and 2011 are not a secret - they are well known. Abortion's tragic impact on blacks is why Jesse Jackson once opposed abortion, before he sold his soul and abandoned his race for political gain.
Obama claims to be a Christian. But as someone who has been given the sword to protect the innocent, he should read and prayerfully consider Matthew 25:31-46. Not only has Obama refused to stand for the oppressed, he has joined in this oppression. Obama may be shocked to hear the words "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:23)
This was a good movie. Four Paparazzi photographers try to murder a movie star and he takes them down vigilante style. There are some plot holes, but it's not too bad and they're not so big as to distract too much. My only criticism is that the Paparazzi are so over-the-top enthusiastically evil (more like PapaNazi than Paparazzi) that it would have been a better movie had the bad guys been toned down.
Final grade: B+
(On a related note, Princess Diana was murdered by Paparazzi. See here and here for more.)
As pro-lifers, we have been speaking against the shedding of innocent blood in America's abortion clinics for decades. We have used pictures to demonstrate the horror of surgical abortions and we have protested outside the buildings (such as the one at 421 South College Avenue) where the abortionist kills babies by dismemberment for profit. But we are leaving out a huge number of lives snuffed out by chemical birth control, and many sincere opponents of surgical abortion are completely ignorant of the prevalence of chemical abortion.
The Catholic church gets it, while most Protestants do not - and I am speaking as a Protestant. There is a conspiracy of silence in the church, where Christians are willingly ignorant of how the birth control pill (much less "emergency contraception") operates.
Meanwhile, pastors and church officers (if they even know the truth) carefully avoid preaching on the issue. These church leaders are complicit in the deaths of untold numbers and given the position of authority they possess over God's flock they should be terrified of the warning God gives us in Proverbs 24:11-12 as He warns us to rescue those being led away to death: "Will He not repay everyone according to what they have done?"
Before we go farther, we have to establish some basic biological facts. Human life begins at fertilization. There is simply no other point where this can happen. When the sperm and egg join, a new person is created with a completely new DNA code distinct from the mother and father. What is added from that point onward is nutrition and shelter, as the new baby grows and develops. (In the case of human cloning, an embryo created by mad scientists in a laboratory should also be considered a person.)
But one of the actions of the birth control pill is to make the wall of the uterus inhospitable to the embryo, preventing implantation and starving the new human being to death. This is much more common in the case of so-called "emergency contraception." But EC is not contraception at all: It is birth control and the two are not the same. If we want to be honest, so-called "emergency contraception" is really a form of chemical abortion.
So where do we go from here? As with other social reform movements to get justice for the oppressed, this must start in the church and in the pulpit. Christians must be taught that chemical birth control can act as an abortifacient and should be avoided by Christians. After all, once a human being is created, that boy or girl bears the image of God and we dishonor our Father in Heaven by knowingly preventing that life from growing.
Then, we need to move beyond and protect those lives that are created by non-Christians. Just as we do not exempt non-Christians from murder laws, we should not exempt the pagan world from our efforts to save those lives eradicated by chemical birth control.
While they will occasionally be honest about how chemical birth control works, Planned Parenthood and their allies have in the past attempted to deny the abortifacient effects of chemical birth control. One of the wonderful things about the "personhood" amendment that unfortunately failed in Mississippi in 2011 was that abortion-rights activists were finally forced to admit that chemical birth control can kill babies in the very first stages of life by preventing implantation, so they screeched loudly that the law could actually ban the birth control pill. This created a wonderful opportunity to educate people, but we have failed to take that opportunity.
The enemies of God are marching in the other direction. President Barack Obama is working to force explicitly Christian organizations to provide chemical birth control to their employees through his health care "reform" law. They are attempting to force their own religion on us and make us accept chemical birth control as moral. We must resist this by all non-violent means necessary, including simply refusing to comply with the law. After all, the Apostles gave us an example when they said we ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)
This will not be easy. Fighting for justice and protecting the innocent has never been easy. Our enemies will scoff, mock and ridicule us. They will call us extremists and insane. They may become violent against us, and they have. They will use every legal tool available to silence and stop our efforts to protect the innocent.
Mitt Romney has waged a scorched earth campaign against his Republican opponents and he needs to be very careful about keeping this going. If he continues to alienate the supporters of other candidates by ripping those candidates to shreds, he may see the supporters of those candidates abandon him in the general election. I will vote for Romney in November if he wins the nomination, but others may not.
One of Rachel Maddow's favorite targets on her TV program is Rick Santorum, and her dislike for him was on display again last week when she complained about his defense of drug companies.
Maddow cut to a clip of Santorum explaining that if drug companies are not allowed to get a return on their investment, it would freeze innovation. Santorum explained to a woman with a sick child that the child is probably alive today because drug companies thought they would make money from the drug he is using. If there is no profit motive, Santorum said, that drug might not exist.
Maddow replied with her usual snark that Santorum is saying drug companies should be able to charge whatever they want on his faith, family and freedom tour.
Santorum was not saying that we should not have compassion on people who are having difficulty with medical bills. He was explaining that, from a public policy standpoint, the most effective way to encourage the innovation that leads to new drugs and the best way to lower prices is to encourage market forces and competition.
One of two things is going on here. Either Maddow genuinely did not understand what Santorum was saying or this "journalist" did understand Santorum's argument and chose to dishonestly ignore the explanation and instead take a veiled shot at Santorum's Christian faith. I find it very difficult to believe that an intelligent woman like Maddow did not understand the argument, so dishonesty is the most logical explanation for the disconnect between what Santorum actually said and Maddow's "interpretation" of what Santorum said.
We can have a discussion about what is the most effective method of encouraging lower prices and more innovation. In order to have that discussion, we need to honestly deal with the positions taken by our opponents rather than go directly to a veiled personal attack. Maddow's uncivil dishonesty does not encourage discussion.
Maddow followed up by bringing in EJ Dionne to discuss Christianity as a social justice movement instead of dealing with things like abortion and same-sex marriage. Dionne made the laughable argument that "Jesus didn't talk about abortion. He talked a lot about the poor."
That argument only works if you assume the red letter text in the New Testament is the only part of the Bible that is the Word of God. This idea is directly opposed to orthodox Christianity's position for two thousand years. Christians have always considered the entire Bible to be the inerrant and inspired Word of God.
There are many examples of protecting the innocent in God's Word, and it doesn't get any more innocent than the unborn. Job 29:16-17 describes Job's righteousness by his statement that he broke the jaws of the wicked and snatched the prey from his teeth. Proverbs 24:11-12 commands us to rescue those being led away to death.
But when it comes to abortion, Jeremiah 32:35 is one of the best verses in Scripture. God rebukes the nation of Israel in the strongest terms, saying that their practice of infant sacrifice was so terribly wicked that it did not even enter into His mind that they would do such a horrible thing. What would God say about the fifty million unborn children that we have killed for our own economic security and convenience?
It is true that God commands Christians to care for the poor, and the church must take this responsibility seriously. (Notice this command is to us directly, not for us to outsource it to government.) But to dismiss protection of the unborn because we do not have a record of Jesus mentioning it is an incredibly intellectually dishonest argument, given the plethora of Scriptures about protecting the innocent.
Richard Mourdock plans to win the 2012 Republican primary for U.S. Senate by telling voters he knows better than they do and their choices in elections should be limited by the U.S. Constitution. Mourdock supports a rare change to the Constitution, one that would take away choices from the American people rather than expanding liberty, as has been the path of history.
Now, let me be clear. I support Mourdock and I am looking forward to voting for him in May and November. It is long past time to replace Richard Lugar with a genuine conservative, and Mourdock's dominating statewide win in 2010 proves he is more than credible as a general election candidate. On the vast majority of issues, conservatives know they can count on Mourdock to advance our values.
But on the issue of term limits, Mourdock is advancing an anti-conservative position.
It is true that there are a lot of elected officials who have been in office for a long time, and Mourdock is trying to draw a distinction between himself and Lugar, who was elected in 1976, before many of the voters in this May's primary were even born. But Indiana voters have had a chance to limit Lugar's term themselves, and have chosen not to do so for over three decades. Republicans have also passed on multiple opportunities to offer a credible primary challenger to Lugar.
If the voters of Indiana or any other state want to keep sending the same person back to Washington for 36 years, why should we take that choice away from them? Why are we saying we need to amend the Constitution to override the will of the voters? Does Mourdock not trust the voters' judgment, and if not how does he expect to get their votes campaigning on a platform that he knows better than they do?
It is rare for the Constitution to be amended to take liberties away from the American people. That was done with Prohibition and it was a miserable failure. But Mourdock proposes to do just that by having it written into the Constitution that voters' choices should be more limited.
The 2010 Tea Party wave produced a number of candidates who are committed to making Washington less relevant in the lives of the American people, allowing us to keep more of our hard-earned income and allowing us more freedom to manage our lives and our businesses without interference from Washington. The 2010 election also sought to allow states to have greater sovereignty over of their own affairs. How does a constitutional amendment limiting the choice of voters advance this federalist, limited government ideology.
The answer is simple - it doesn't. Mourdock should not have signed this pledge, and he should seriously consider revoking it in advance of the May primary.
Sometimes I think the Republican Party should change their mascot from an elephant to a donkey, but not just any donkey. Specifically, Republicans should choose Eeyore as their mascot. That would be a perfect representation of many Republicans who always seem to have a thundercloud following them everywhere.
I simply do not get why Republicans are so pessimistic, especially given the overwhelming victory Republicans had nationwide in the 2010 elections. It seemed like as soon as the results were in showing huge Republican gains not only in the U.S. House, but in state legislatures all over the country, Republicans were immediately back to moaning, "Woe is me, woe is me, we cannot beat Barack Obama."
This after a national election where the Republicans didn't present much of a case for electing them. The 2010 election was basically an anti-Obama tide, and Democrats suffered from their association with him just as they did in 1994 by being associated with Bill Clinton. And while Clinton won re-election in 1996, he did it in an election where the anti-Clinton vote was split. Clinton was re-elected with a plurality; a majority of voters actually voted against the incumbent President. We will not have that in 2012, and Obama is not as skillful of a politician as Clinton.
Even in Indiana, we see Republicans wanting to be Eeyore. While pessimism about whether Richard Mourdock can defeat Richard Lugar in the primary is understandable, I simply cannot see why anyone would be pessimistic of a match up between Mourdock and Joe Donnelly.
The 2012 landscape heavily favors Republicans. Mike Pence is raising significantly more money than his presumed Democratic opponent, and is expected to run away with the election. It would be an accomplishment to match Mitch Daniels' 2008 margin of victory, but it can be done. The Republican nominee for President will likely win Indiana handily, learning from the incredible incompetence of John McCain - who became the first Republican to lose Indiana since 1964 even while the Republican governor was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote.
Then there is the match up itself. While Mourdock won a statewide election in 2010 with 60% of the vote, Donnelly barely squeaked by his opponent and won with a plurality. A majority actually voted against the two-term incumbent, but because the anti-Donnelly vote was split he managed to barely win. This was also a campaign where Donnelly was such a poor candidate that the Indiana Democratic Party actually sent a mailing endorsing one of Donnelly's opponents. How can we be afraid of this paper tiger?
Republicans had a pair of bad elections in 2006 and 2008, because the party had abandoned the conservative principles that helped us win in the past. It is true that Republicans have an uncanny talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but the GOP is re-energized and re-committed to conservatism, and there is no reason for us to walk around like we have a thundercloud following us around. Let's leave Eeyore to the Winnie the Pooh stories where he belongs, as we march toward victory in 2012.
It is useful to examine the flaws in conservative efforts to limit lawsuits. When the Washington Posttook a shot at Rick Santorum for seeking a higher payout in a personal injury lawsuit than would have been allowed by his tort "reform" proposal to limit damages, it provided that opportunity.
Santorum isn't unique among conservatives in their desire to limit lawsuits, as the perception that "lawsuit lottery" is doing damage to business and costing people jobs. But there are problems with the idea of tort "reform," especially at the federal level.
When the states limit the right to sue, that is one thing. Advocating federal limits on awards and so forth is anti-conservative. The federal government should not be setting limits on lawsuits in state courts. That should be handled by the states under the Tenth Amendment. Especially as the Tea Party movement is pushing for more state sovereignty and less federal control, conservatives should be very wary of tort "reform."
A few months ago, I watched Hot Coffee, a documentary about lawsuits and attempts to limit those lawsuits. Despite the description on Netflix, it covers a lot more ground that the infamous McDonald's case, including a horrifying case of a woman who was brutally gang raped by fellow employees while in Iraq and was then prohibited from filing a lawsuit against her former employer. If nothing else, the photographs of the burns caused by the dangerously hot McDonald's coffee should be seen by anyone looking to inform himself about it.
Hot Coffee brings up a number of issues, and one of the most important is limiting access to the judicial system. We should be very careful about second-guessing the judgment of juries, especially with arbitrary caps on damages. We ran into that here in Indiana last year when a stage collapsed at the State Fair. The state legislature considered a special exception for this case because of the total cap on damages, which is a direct violation of the 14th Amendment's promise of equal protection under the law. But if there was no cap on damages, this would not be a problem. Furthermore, our court system allows for an appeals process that can pull back excessive awards.
Business groups have been brilliant in marketing their side of the tort "reform" debate, and the news media often picks up on sensational details without actually doing their jobs and investigating the facts. (The McDonald's case is probably the best example of this incompetence and laziness.) Senator Santorum found through personal experience that his proposal may be too restrictive in the real world. All members of the House and Senate should similarly educate themselves about tort "reform" and the dangers of top-down government restrictions at the expense of justice and judgment in individual cases.
For Christians, there is a Biblical precedent for punitive damages, as God commands that someone who steals an ox or a sheep pay back several animals as restitution. (See Exodus 22:1-6.) The concept of restitution beyond the damages caused is based in Scripture, so conservative Christians should carefully consider God's wisdom and why our Lord put this in the Law that He gave to the Israelites.
I saw a horrific picture of an abused dog on Facebook this past week with the following caption:
"If you are against animal abuse, hit the share button. I bet most will see this and just keep scrolling. Horrible!"
I resent being guilt tripped into sharing something on Facebook. If I share a photo of an abused animal, that will do (drum roll please) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop animal abuse. The only purpose it serve is to make me feel morally superior - like wearing a red ribbon or a pink ribbon. I am not interested in that.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a fun movie, but it would have been a lot better if not for the completely nonsensical plot and the series of villainous actions by the human characters that made it natural to root for the apes that will eventually take over the world and oppress humanity. With one lonely exception, every human character in the movie is a villain to some degree or another.
We start off with a chimp captured in the wild and sent to a research lab. When it is time for the chimp to be presented to the board as an example of the successful experiments to increase brain function, she becomes infuriated and goes on a rampage through the lab and the public area before being shot to death by security.
These have got to be the worst scientists ever. Do you mean to tell me that there is no safe manner of restraining the captive chimp other than two scientists trying to put it on a leash? Do you expect me to believe that there are not multiple layers of security to bring a chimp under control if she becomes angry and lashes out? Having the chimp crash through the window into the board of directors meeting was completely forced and strains believability.
When all of the chimps are ordered to be put down, lead researcher Will Rodman smuggles a baby chimp out in a cardboard box to care for at home. No, you can't do that. There is not one single reputable research laboratory in the world that would not have multiple layers of security that would prevent the theft of one of the animals, especially a primate. There is no way in any realistic setting that this happens, and is another example of lazy writing to set up the next scene.
As Rodman's father gets worse, he steals samples of the highly experimental anti-Alzheimer's drug to treat his father at home. This is stupid. This makes Rodman a mad scientist on the level of Dr. Wily in the Mega Man games, not a reputable researcher for a major pharmaceutical company. In addition to the incredible lack of ethics Rodman displays here, there is no way in any realistic setting that a scientist can smuggle highly experimental drugs out of the lab in his pocket past multiple layers of security.
After Rodman raises Ceasar the chimp as a "son" for several years, Ceasar attacks a neighbor who is assaulting Rodman's father. Ceasar is taken to a primate sanctuary. This is also stupid. Even if we are to believe that Rodman is so unethical he would steal a research animal and take it home, no reasonable person would allow a super-intelligent research animal to live unsupervised in an uncontrolled environment without exposing the truth to prevent harm.
As Ceasar languishes in the primate sanctuary, Rodman tells his boss that he is illegally treating his father with the experimental drug that has not even been cleared for human trials, and it is working. Any reasonable person would not only immediately terminate this mad scientist, he would call the police. But that's not what Steven Jacobs does, because every human in this movie is a villain and/or stupid and/or certifiably insane. Jacobs orders the tests to continue. Again, that is just stupid and another example of lazy writing.
The highly experimental anti-Alzheimer's drug is actually a virus that spurs the brain to repair itself, but when the virus is modified to become more aggressive, it becomes lethal to humans while it drastically increases the intelligence of non-human primates. So this leads to yet another example of a stupid and/or evil character behaving in a way no normal person would behave.
A lab worker becomes exposed to the virus and gets sick, and instead of immediately notifying the lab of the situation and seeking treatment, he seeks out Rodman at home to ask for help. Again, this is lazy writing. You have been exposed to a highly experimental virus that has not been cleared for human trials, and you are sick and getting worse. A normal person's reaction is not to go back to your apartment and wait for death.
Ceasar the chimp escapes from the primate sanctuary and steals samples of the aerosolized drug which are being kept in Rodman's refrigerator in his home. Again, who does that? I know I am repeating myself, but there is not one respectable research lab in the world that would allow this kind of behavior. How is this company still in business? How have they not been shut down by the government for their sloppiness and complete lack of ethics? I am repeating myself again, but this is lazy writing to set up the next scene as opposed to coming up with a plausible explanation.
I can suspend my disbelief and accept the premise of science fiction for the purpose of enjoying a movie. What I have a problem with is completely nonsensical behavior by characters and a series of coincidences that would never take place in any kind of realistic setting. It is as if the writers of this script simply did not care about the story making any kind of sense, rushing through the setup to get to the payoff in the final scene. This could have been so much better.
"With Timeline, Facebook has once again taken control over the user's data from the user and has now made information that was essentially archived and inaccessible widely available without the consent of the user."
I'm amused that people complain about "privacy" regarding things they post to the Internet. The solution to this problem is obvious. Never post anything to Facebook you would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper.
There is no question that the Muslim terrorists who perpetrated 9/11 are evil. This was not simply an act of war against the United States that requires a military response, it was a war crime because the war criminals specifically targeted civilians for death. This was not collateral damage that is often and unfortunately unavoidable in war. This was a targeted assault on noncombatants. It was murder, and Jesus Christ commands that we execute murderers in Genesis 9:6. (Remember, Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament.)
But the reality is that Fea does raise a good point. In the book of Jonah, God commands His prophet to go to the city of Nineveh to call upon the Ninevites to repent of their wicked ways. Jonah flees from God. Why? Because Jonah was a patriot and Nineveh was a major city in the evil Assyrian Empire. When the Assyrians would lay siege to a city, the entire population of the city would often commit mass suicide rather than be captured by a wicked nation that took great pleasure in inflicting terrible tortures on the people they take prisoner.
When the Ninevites repented and God forgave them, Jonah pouted and whined. He wanted to see Nineveh destroyed, and who could blame him. But God reminded Jonah of the number of children in the city, not to mention the animals that would be killed in God's wrath.
So what is the lesson we are to take from this?
Government has been given the sword to protect the innocent. The government bears the sword through the criminal justice system to punish criminals. and government bears the sword through the military to defend against a nation's enemies. The use of that sword is not an option that governments may use; it is commandment directly from Jesus Christ that governments must follow.
We have seen historical examples of nations that have paid the price for weakness. Our failure to exterminate the warlords who committed war crimes against our troops in the Mogadishu Massacre encouraged Osama bin Laden that we were weak and was one of the factors that led to 9/11. The best known example of weakness was the Allies' refusal to stop Nazi Germany as they were getting stronger, leading to a much more costly war.
But what we cannot forget is that even when our enemies commit terrible atrocities against us, and no matter how just our response may be to hunt down and bring lethal justice to those responsible, our enemies are still created in the image of God and we should never take it lightly when we kill people. The humanity of our enemies should never be lost even as we wage war against them, and we must always wage war in a manner that honors our Father in Heaven.
As I reflect on the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to an unimaginable bloodshed, it is ironic that a so-called "Christian nation" (what a joke) would allow the killing of fifty million unborn children.
Some of the more childish proponents of abortion whine that God "kills" children through miscarriage. But according to that same "logic" every single person who has ever lived and who ever will live has been or will be "killed" by God though things like cancer, heart disease and viruses.
Cancer does not justify drive by shootings any more than natural spontaneous miscarriages justify intentionally killing a child in the womb. The people who make this "argument" are hypocrites, because they clearly do not believe their own words or they would carry it to its logical conclusion.
"But we cannot legislate morality!" That is a childish argument. All laws legislate morality, from laws against murder to laws against pollution.
In Jeremiah 19:5, God rebukes the nation of Israel for infant sacrifice by saying it is so wicked it never even entered His mind that they would do this. But with the blood of 50 million innocents on our hands, America is far worse.
When a representative from Hillsdale College spoke to the recently reactivated Friday Lunch Bunch on January 20, he said that Hillsdale does not take any government grants and is therefore not subject to government regulations. In fact, Hillsdale does not even allow students to use government loans to pay tuition because the Supreme Court ruled that subjects the school to government regulations.
Of course, this reminded me of my opposition to vouchers for private schools, something I have been vocal about for many years now. I have warned that with government money comes government strings, and I was proven right when a silly bill to regulate performances of the National Anthem contained an ominous provision:
SB 122 sets specific performance standards for any individual or group performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at public schools — including schools that receive state vouchers — and state universities.
This is how it starts. First, there will be piddly regulations tied to government strings, and then it will get much worse. Eventually, and those strings will become a noose used to strangle religious liberty. "Separation of church and state" will require schools taking vouchers to eliminate Bible classes and chapel services, and will require that all textbooks be from a secular perspective. This will probably happen after the schools become dependent on the government funds.
I've written a lot about this subject. See a random sampling of articles:
Below is an e-mail I sent to the author of that bill:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: With government money comes government strings
Date: Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:32:32 -0800 (PST)
From: Scott Tibbs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: S40@IN.gov, H61@IN.gov
I am sure you have gotten a large number of comments on your proposed legislation to regulate the performance of the national anthem. I wanted to bring to your attention another issue raised by your legislation: the fact that it applies to private schools that take vouchers.
In a way, you have provided a valuable service in demonstrating the fact that with government money comes government strings. But if this becomes law with the regulations on private schools intact, you will be setting a frightening precedent that has ominous implications for religious liberty in the state of Indiana.
I am convinced that vouchers will eventually become a tool to regulate what private schools can teach, as well as their hiring practices. I am positive that "separation of church and state" will eventually be invoked to limit things like Bible classes, and that there will be further restrictions on the freedom of Christian schools to operate as they wish.
I would strongly urge you to be careful with these precedents.