April 18, 2014

NY Times Steps in it Again

Jack Kemp

Recently, the NY Times found a graduate student from Northwestern to write a hit piece on military veterans claiming they are likely to become members of the KKK, such as the Democrat who killed those Jews in Kansas City recently. This brought a heated response from Oliver North
and also the president of a veterans' organization.
http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/04/18/ny-times-kathleen-belew-links-returning-vets-kkk-white-supremacists

BEGIN QUOTE

  On The Kelly File last night, Megyn talked to Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He said immediately after the op-ed was published, he started hearing "complete and total outrage" from veterans across the board.

Rieckhoff said Belew's argument is "garbage."

"It isn't supported by the facts and it's really folding into this stereotypical narrative that veterans are either homicidal maniacs or victims, which we have to fight back against every single day," he said, noting that "veterans are unfortunately one of the few minority groups that it's still OK to stereotype apparently."Rieckhoff said he'd love to sit down with Belew so he can hear her try to defend what she has written.

Watch that interview (at the FoxNews story link above).

END OF QUOTE

I just sent the IAVA  the following background information about past editors and the writers for the New York Times. I hope it is of some value to them, although in seeing Mr. Reickhoff speak in the FoxNews video, he really doesn't need any help from me.

My Letter to IAVA:

Two members of the family that owns the NY Times were veterans of WWII (Army and Marines). Were they "crazy?"

From Wikipedia listing for John Bertram Oakes:

His uncle was Adolph Ochs, the publisher of the New York Times...

When the USA joined World War II in 1941, Oakes entered the Army as a private in the infantry. He was recruited to join the O.S.S. (the Office of Strategic Services), and served two years in Europe capturing and "turning" enemy agents still in communication with the Nazis. In recognition of his service there he received the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre, the Medaille de Reconnaissance and the Order of the British Empire. He ended the war with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Immediately after his discharge in 1946, he joined the "family paper" as editor of the Sunday New York Times "Review of the Week." Three years later, he became a member of the editorial board.

END QUOTE

The father of the current publisher was a mixed up kid that he himself admits the Marines straightened him out as he became a WWII radioman.

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/ny_times_tell_it_to_the_marines

January 20, 2008

NY Times, Tell it to the Marines
By Jack Kemp

It seems like an appropriate time for "Pinch" Sulzberger to listen to some fatherly advice on how the US Military builds character, a week or so after the Times featured a Sunday article on murders by some former servicemen, with the implication that the military made them violent and deranged.

From "Behind the Times" by "New York Magazine" writer and NYU Journalism professor Edwin Diamond, viewed within the Amazon Online Reader:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0226144720/ref=sib_dp_pop_ex?ie=UTF8&p=S012#   pages 34-35, from the chapter entitled "Punch and his Times," a quote about Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger, the father of the current head of the NY Times:

'...in 1943, at age seventeen, he left the Loomis School in Connecticut to join the Marines, with his father's written permission. He did well enough, serving in the South Pacific toward the end of the war as a radio man and driver in rear echelons. "Before I entered the Marines, I was a lazy good-for-nothiing. The Marines woke me up," Punch would later say. After his discharge he attended Columbia University, enrolling in a general studies program (his father was a trustee, and that helped with the admissions office). In 1951, a year after the start of the Korean war, Sulzberger was recalled to active duty, to be a public information officer in Japan and Korea.'

END OF QUOTE

This is what happens when some wealthy Boomer liberal spends their whole life isolated from the realities of life. Years ago, the Times used to have a military analyst/columnist who was quite good, even though he wasn't a veteran. He learned much by spending time with people in the military, so he could write realistic articles about military matters and the behavior of veterans as a whole. Today, the New York Times has no such columnist with that type of experience. I'd venture to quess that a majority of the Times staff were against the 1990s US Navy Home Port plan to station warships on Staten Island, the New York City borough south of Manhattan. "Sophisticated" New Yorkers got their wish - and thus had no warships in port on September 11th capable of using an onboard missile to shoot down an airliner approaching the World Trade Center.

And, as Ralph Peters  and others have pointed out, the New York Times also flunked Journalism 101 by not doing basic research to compare the veteran population's murder rate to the general population of young adult men. A scientific comparison would have lead the Times to the conclusion that the murder rate among veterans was much lower than that of the comparible civilian population. Once again, the Times disgraces themselves - and seems totally unable to do their journalistic job professionally.

The late Anne Richards once said of President George H.W. Bush (41)'s privileged family that he was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple. Well, "Pinch" Sulzberger believes that the New York Times, every time they step up to the plate, has already hit a home run and can merely circle the bases as an afterthought. Just because "post-modernist educators" give gold stars to everyone, that doesn't mean they earned them.
 
The New York Times, in its' one dimensional and unfair attack on American Armed Forces veterans, could arguably be said to take an elitist position, myopically believing "their crowd" were the only type of people who deserved fair treatment, while rationalizing a self-delusional excuse.

In 1990, a white, Wellesley and Yale educated female investment banker was raped and beaten unconscious in New York's Central Park. The suspects were poor black and Hispanic youths. This became a national story and the Times chose not to publish the victim's name. A year later, a college dropout woman accused William Kennedy Smith of raping her at his family's Florida mansion. In this case, the Times chose to print her name, details of her personal sexual history, and the some details of her mother's social and sexual history. The Times used the excuse that NBC had broadcast her name the night before. To quote page 14 of "Behind the Times" by Edwin Diamond,

' "When have we ever given a shit about what NBC said before," I was told by a reporter who attended the (Times) staff meeting.'

END OF QUOTE

In fact, a famous NY Times female columnist accused her employer of prejudice. On pages 14-15 of "Behind the Times," it states:

'Times columnist Anna Quindlen made just such a charge in her Sunday Op-Ed page space two days after the staff meeting: as far as the editors of the Times were concerned, Quindlen wrote, women who have prestigious jobs will be treated more fairly than "women who have 'below average' high school grades [and] are well known at bars and dance clubs." Others who wanted to know why the Times hadn't produced a similar investigative profile of the well-connected man in the case, William Kennedy Smith. They were told, "one is in the works." (When it eventually appeared, there were new outcries. A Washington Post profile of Kennedy Smith quoted several women, most of them anonymously, who described his loutish and sometimes violent sexual behavior; the Time's Kennedy Smith article, produced by the Washington bureau, didn't include these alleged episodes. Bureau people later said they were unable to confirm the accounts to the editors' "satisfaction." '

END OF QUOTE

Does this story remind you of a later prominent politically connected family's scandals involving attacks on less prominent women and statements such as "drag a hundred dollars through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find?" But I digress - into that which the Times, for all its' "high minded liberalness," has enabled and de facto encouraged.

So it appears the Times has a history of writing hit pieces on the non-rich, particularly when the well-heeled are involved in some way. In contrast, the tabloids also write about the failures of the poor - but they also highlight the successes of the sons and daughters of the non-privileged, often as a result of their serving in the military. Frankly, I don't believe the Times understands that it has a problem with covering the news fairly and perceptively. It will take some even greater criticisms and financial upheavals before The Gray Lady "gets
it."

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The Passion of the Lord Jesus Christ

Timothy Birdnow

Today is Good Friday, the day celebrating the passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel, according to Matthew:


30And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

35Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

36Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

40And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.

51And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.

52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

58But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

59Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

60But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

61And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

63But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

64Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

66What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

67Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

69Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.

70But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.

71And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.

72And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

73And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.

74Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

75And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

3Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.

8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

9Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

10And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.

11And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

12And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

13Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

14And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

15Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

16And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

17Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

19When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

26Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

33And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36And sitting down they watched him there;

37And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

48And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

50Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

55And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

56Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.

57When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

58He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:00 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1

Tim,

A blessed Resurrection Season to you!

Posted by: Always On Watch at March 21, 2008 05:46 PM (bHxmI)
2 Thank you, AOW! I wish a blessed and happy Ressurection Season to you and yours, too!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:51 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The Passover

This Passover blessing to all those of the Jewish faith:

Passover

Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, ``Go and procure lambs for your families, and slaughter them as Passover victims. Then take a bunch of hyssop, and dipping it in the blood that is in the basin, sprinkle the lintel and two doorposts with this blood. But none of you shall go outdoors until morning. For the LORD will go by, striking down the Egyptians. Seeing the blood on the lintel and two doorposts, the LORD will pass over that door and not let the destroyer come into that house and strike you down.
``You shall observe this as a perpetual ordinance for yourselves and your descendents. Thus you must also observe this rite when you have entered the land which the LORD will give you as promised. When your children ask you ``what does this rite of yours mean?`` you shall reply ``this is the Passover Sacrifice of the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt; when He struck down the Egyptians He spared our houses.``
Then the people bowed down in worship, and the people went and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.

At midnight the LORD slew every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharoah on the throne to the firstborn of prisoners in the dungeon, as well as all the firstborn of the animals...

(Exodus11;21-29)

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Kepler 186f

The artist's concept depicts Kepler-186f , the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone

Timothy Birdnow

Nasa, the Muslim outreach organization and matlhusian economists, have announced the discovery of a planet that is about the size of the Earth and in the liquid water band around it's parent star.
http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/nasas-kepler-discovers-first-earth-size-planet-in-the-habitable-zone-of-another-star/

Kepler 186 is a red dwarf (class M) star, small, red, and cool. About 500 light years from Earth, Kepler has been a bonanza for the Hubble telescope; four "super Earths" have been discovered in close orbit around the star, and this fifth, Earthlike world has now been found. Quite a lively system! The four, larger worlds are in closer orbits to Kepler 1861 and are thought to be too hot to support life as we know it, but Kepler 186f is at the edge of the habitable zone, and could possess liquid water. Bear in mind that the liquid water zone is much closer to Kep than ours is to Sol.

It may well be that this is where the similarity ends. (After all, Venus appears quite similar to Earth from the most casual of glances, and is also in the liquid water zone but is horrendously hot and dry.) Being on the edge of the liquid water band (and the asteroids are in a similar position - farther out than Mars) it may be too cold, especially given the lilliputian amount of energy put out by this red dwarf sun. Atmospheric composition is critical to determining the planetary temperature. Also, is the planet heavily volcanic? Venus is, which is why the atmosphere is so dense. or is it geologically dead like Mars, hard pressed to replace lost atmosphere?

Red dwarf stars are generally flare suns, much more active than our own rather stolid G2 barely variable yellow star. Flares could strip away the atmosphere, and if it is not renewed regularly (and I suspect Kepler 186 is an older star system than our own, since most red dwarves are generally older and last much longer) it may be the atmosphere has sheered away over the eons. It could be a "heavy Mars" rather than another Earth.

A year on Kepler 186f lasts 130 days, more than a Mercurian year (88) but less than a Venusian (which lasts 229 days.) I would be well over a hundred years old there; not my favorite notion!

Is the planet tidally locked? Many worlds that close to their primaries are, and a lack of rotation would have a profound impact on conditions on the surface. It would always be dark on the night side, and cold. There would be a hurricane jet stream moving from day to night side. It would be a strange existence.

Then again it could rotate. Neither Mercury nor Venus are completely locked in this fashion; Mercury rotates a little faster than her year and Venus a little slower. The Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, as are most of the satellites of the gas giants.

Those solar flares are going to be important to life; a major solar flare from such a star could be catestrophic, especially in a thin atmosphere and/or a planet with a weak magnetic field. On Earth the magnetic field pushes a lot of those energetic particles away, and the thick atmosphere protects us. Also, we don't get hit by many flares. On a red dwarf world you could be buffetted by major flares on a regular basis. It could well be lethal.

But not if life started in an ocean. It may be that we will find a dead land with an ocean teaming with life.

At any rate, it was a nice Easter present for us; the discovery of a world that could maybe hold life as we know it.

The diagram compares the planets of our inner solar system to Kepler-186, a five-planet star system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The five planets of Kepler-186 orbit an M dwarf, a star that is is half the size and mass of the sun.


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Police Block Parents at Schoolhouse Door

A.J. Cameron

Isn't it a tad ironic that GA is deploying jackbooted thuggery in imposing
Common Core testing upon all students, while it is reported that in IL, only the gifted students are taking the test, so as to skew the results?

Tyranny is tyranny, and, as Kay said in 'The Godfather Part II', 'This all must end'.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/17/Police-Meet-Georgia-Parents-Outside-Public-School-Told-They-Cannot-Opt-Children-Out-of-State-Test

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Pray for President Obama? An Atheist Reader's Response

Jack Kemp

No, I am not the atheist mentioned, as I believe in G-d.

Erick Erickson of Red State recently penned an article entitled "Pray for the President." http://www.redstate.com/2014/04/17/pray-for-the-president/  I won't go into much detail, just saying here that he wishes we would pray for Obama to "see the light" and reform his ways - or some of his ways. Erickson acknowledges that many of his readers pray for The Republic or pray for Obama's demise, either politically or otherwise. Erickson also states that "
The President is our leader and, in our democracy, a fellow citizen and neighbor." Actually, we are a representative republic. The Founding Fathers warned us against a simple democracy which is nothing more than a formalized mob rule where the passions of the moment outweigh any considered thought on how to manage the political affairs of the Nation.

Personally, I cannot bring myself to pray for Obama. A man with similar background to my own (but he also worked on Capital Hill), someone with a Jewish name and stating that he is an atheist, wrote a great response that is a close proxy for my own thoughts on this matter. Here is his response/comment to Erick Erickson:

 

I often mention that I am an atheist, because I think that people who read my comments are entitled to know what may or may not influence my thinking in a very fundamental way. But I rarely follow the lead of most atheists (for one thing, I'm a conservative, not a raging loony left progressive filled with hatred for people of faith) in trumpeting how much more brilliant and insightful I must be than believers; I don;t think that at all. When I read columns and comments by Christians about certain hot-button subjects, sometimes I get the impression that I know more about some aspects of science than my Christian compatriots, but that's not a big deal, either - I was not a scientist, and pretty much any scientist knows more than I do. But I do know that on average, the people of faith that I know are nicer, kinder, more patient, more generous, more open-hearted, better parents (I'm not a parent myself, but I know a lot of atheist parents), better children, siblings, friends, neighbors, citizens, than the atheists I know, including myself. So I claim no greater knowledge and I certainly claim no greater virtue because I am not a believer.

But sometimes the difference in my worldview from that of a believer just slaps me like the proverbial fish in the face. I try to be a decent human being. I may despise President Obama and everything he stands for, but I do not despise the man and I don't really wish him ill on a personal basis, regardless of the occasional tasteless jokes I may tell in private. But the notion of praying for Obama simply boggles my mind. People of faith quite rightly mistrust atheists and question their notions of morality - the atheists' biggest stumbling block, in my opinion - and so I am usually very conscious of the need to act with consistency according to my own moral standards, to be through speech and deeds the kind of moral man a believer could trust, albeit not as automatically as they can trust another Godly man or woman.

I am NOT at all hostile to religion and religious faith, and I am more ready to trust a believer than a fellow atheist, too, because I have confidence in and affection for the morals of the Bible, and I respect the moral strength that believers have. But every once in while, there's that fish across the face again. When Reginald Denny not only forgives but embraces Damian Williams and the rest of his vicious, subhuman attackers, I feel like I am witnessing a morality that not only do I not understand, but one that I CANNOT understand.

I'm 57 years old. I've moved across the political spectrum in the course of my life; I've seen my country move to the left on many issues, and I've seen the periodic backlashes from such changes, too. I've seen the political pendulum swing back and forth many times, and I have tried, most of the time, not to hate. I am always reminded of the line from Lorraine Hansberry's political morality play, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, where the title character exclaims, "I care! I care! I care about it all! It takes too much energy NOT to care. Yesterday I counted twenty-six new gray hairs in my head, all from trying not to care. I can't NOT care." I feel the same way, and I am also aware that if you spend a lot of time hating, you are also stealing the energy you need to care about it all. So I try not to hate, but I cannot in conscience renounce the beliefs I have and the morals I try to practice by pretzeling myself enough to engage in an act like praying for President Obama.

I think that it has become much more difficult for a person of morals and standards NOT to hate, because the progressives have not only engaged in so much horrific vilification of those who disagree with them, they have also co-opted the mainstream media and all of academia, and have destroyed the concepts of truth and falsehood so thoroughly that intelligent discourse is nearly impossible. I never dreamed I would see a president ignore the Constitution so cavalierly and so consistently. I remember feeling that Richard Nixon - that odd, awkward, stunted, guarded, paranoid but very smart and hard-working man - simply did not comprehend people of my generation, but I never felt that he wasn't my president, or that he didn't want to be my president. I never expected I would see a president whose hatred and contempt for such a large part of his constituency was so freely and frequently expressed. I am proud of the strides that our country has made in ending racism during my lifetime, and as appalled as I may have been at the election of Obama, I also relished the symbolic meaning of America electing a black president. And I never dreamed that a black president who was elected and re-elected would so constantly feel the need to claim that opposition to his policies was rooted in racism.

I worked on Capitol Hill for the better part of three years; I met a lot of members of Congress whose character I thought was despicable, and I heard them say things in private that I think would have appalled their constituents if said in public. But I never dreamed that there could ever be congressional leaders like Pelosi and Reid, cabinet members like Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, senior White House officials like Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, Jay Carney, Dan Pfeiffer, John Holdren. All of these people absolutely make my stomach turn; I disagree with their policies - which is fine! I expected to! But I also expected to respect them, as I respected people who held similar positions in Republican and Democratic administrations alike. Instead, I think they act like vicious children, the kind you suspect had no parents. They lie like they breathe. They hate like they breathe. I could no more pray for them than I could pray for the vicious anti-Semitic killer who gunned down innocents the other day in Overland Park, or the Muslim terrorists who plot and threaten the destruction of Western civilization every day.

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April 17, 2014

CDC Initiative Promotes U.N. Agenda 21

http://hopegallery.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/cdc.jpg

Timothy Birdnow

The Center for Disease Control, at the behest of Barack Obama, implemented a program starting in 2010 to reduce teen pregnancy. http://www.cdc.gov/TeenPregnancy/PreventTeenPreg.htm But it is a strange program, one that seems to have ulterior motives. For example:

"As part of the President's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI), CDC is partnering with the federal Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) to reduce teenage pregnancy and address disparities in teen pregnancy and birth rates."

What exactly does that mean, reduce disparities in pregnancy?

They mean reducing minority pregnancies:

"The purpose of this program is to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative, multicomponent, communitywide initiatives in reducing rates of teen pregnancy and births in communities with the highest rates, with a focus on reaching African American and Latino/Hispanic youth aged 15–19 years."

What "innovative" initiatives are we talking about? As this involves the CDC, a medical organization, one must assume it means contraception and abortion. It seems doubtful that this initiative will focus on the moral, cultural, and spiritual rot which is at the root of teen pregnancy, but rather that it will focus primarily on the material aspects i.e. preventing impregnation or terminating pregnancy.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood and abortion advocate, would have approved. In Pivot of Civilization she refered to blacks and Hispanics as:

"...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born."

And no doubt Margaret would have found great eugenic appeal in the CDC plan. Certainly this program implements many of the eugenicists more cherished ideals. Abortion is one of the top killers of black children, after all.

Here are the program goals:

1. Reduce the rates of pregnancies and births to youth in the target areas.
2. Increase youth access to evidence-based and evidence-informed programs to prevent teen pregnancy.
3. Increase linkages between teen pregnancy prevention programs and community-based clinical services.
4. Educate stakeholders about relevant evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies to reduce teen pregnancy and data on needs and resources in target communities.

Can someone please explain what "evidence-based and evidence-informed programs" are? It sounds to me like this is a way of saying religious strategies or strategies that stress moral self-restraint are not to be considered. Just say no apparently is not acceptable to the CDC.

Of course, "increased youth access" to these "evidence based programs" can only mean one thing; more condoms, more pills, more IUD's, more RU483 (the abortion pill) and more womb ripping clinics.

Here are the ways this will be implemented:

"# Component 1: Community Mobilization and Sustainability

Engaging all sectors of the population in a communitywide effort to address teen pregnancy prevention. Community mobilization supports the sustainability of teen pregnancy prevention efforts by empowering community members and groups to take action to facilitate change. This component includes mobilizing necessary resources, disseminating information, generating support, and fostering cooperation across public and private sectors in the community.

# Component 2: Evidence-Based Programs

Providing teens with evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs, including youth development and curriculum-based programs that reduce teen pregnancy and associated risk factors.

# Component 3: Increasing Youth Access to Contraceptive and Reproductive Health Care Services

Ensuring clinical partners are providing teen friendly, culturally competent reproductive health care services that are easily accessible to all youth in the community, and establishing linkages between teen pregnancy prevention program partners and clinics that serve at risk youth from the target community.

# Component 4: Stakeholder Education

Educating civic leaders, parents, and other community members about evidence-based strategies to reduce teen pregnancy and improve adolescent reproductive health, including needs and available resources in the target community.

# Component 5: Working with Diverse Communities

Raising awareness of community partners about the link between teen pregnancy and social determinants of health, and ensuring culturally and linguistically appropriate programs and reproductive health care services are available to youth."

End excerpt.

So, essentially the CDC is calling for 1.sex education 2.easy contraception and abortion 3.propoganda campaigns to draw citizens and civic leaders to the cause. This is a social engineering scheme.

Oh, and notice the "culturally competent" business; that is just one more way of splintering the American family. Multiculturalism was one of the causes of this problem and it will not be the solution.

They do mention abstainance later in the document, but it appears as an afterthought.

While many involved in this type of program likely mean well, they simply do not understand that a materialistic approach to this problem will not work; teen sexuality is a result of increasing materialism in the American culture. It is the CAUSE, and it will not be possible to address the results with more of that cause. Teen pregnancy stems from a materialistic view of our bodies, a worldview that says we are animals, just intelligent meat, slaves to our basic biological urges. When looked at in that way there is no reason to deny onesself gratification, especially since, as our society now teaches, we are gone when we die. One must grab as much of life as quickly as possible for the time is very short, and teenagers - fueled by peaking harmones - have no good material reason not to indulge. Discussions of possible consequences are not going to sway these kids. They have to fear larger things. If they do not fear God then at least they must fear the condemnation of their society, of their peers, of those they respect. But we have told them there is no God, or if He exists he is indifferent, and we have made the voices of restraint objects of ridicule, old fuddy-dud prudes who want to steal everyone's joy. And we have dismantled respect for elders to the point where elders are seen as buffoons. Of course, broken families beget broken families, and single parents cannot properly teach and discipline their children, leading those kids to grow according to their physical lusts and the pressures of a society that sees twerking as "cool". What do we expect to happen?

As with every liberal solution to our problems, this ultimately involves intimate government regulation of society. Instead of self-government we must have "the community" telling us how to behave. This is precisely what Mussolini meant by "totalitarian" - society being intimately involved in all aspects of life. America was supposed to be different than that.

I find this approach to reducing minority pregnancy interesting in another way; it bears a striking resemblence to the approach taken by the United Nations and Agenda 21. http://www.unep.org/documents.multilingual/default.asp?DocumentID=52&ArticleID=76&l=en

Community organizing is a big part of the Agenda 21 approach. For instance:

"Objectives

28.2. The following objectives are proposed for this programme area:

(a) By 1996, most local authorities in each country should have undertaken a consultative process with their populations and achieved a consensus on "a local Agenda 21" for the community;

(b) By 1993, the international community should have initiated a consultative process aimed at increasing cooperation between local authorities;

(c) By 1994, representatives of associations of cities and other local authorities should have increased levels of cooperation and coordination with the goal of enhancing the exchange of information and experience among local authorities;

(d) All local authorities in each country should be encouraged to implement and monitor programmes which aim at ensuring that women and youth are represented in decision-making, planning and implementation processes."

End excerpt.

Please note the similarity between this "consultative process", this "cooperation between local authorities" and what the CDC proposes to reduce teen pregnancy.

Also:

"28.4. Partnerships should be fostered among relevant organs and organizations such as UNDP, the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) and UNEP, the World Bank, regional banks, the International Union of Local Authorities, the World Association of the Major Metropolises, Summit of Great Cities of the World, the United Towns Organization and other relevant partners, with a view to mobilizing increased international support for local authority programmes. An important goal would be to support, extend and improve existing institutions working in the field of local authority capacity-building and local environment management. For this purpose:

(a) Habitat and other relevant organs and organizations of the United Nations system are called upon to strengthen services in collecting information on strategies of local authorities, in particular for those that need international support"

End

sound familiar?

In section four of the Agenda 21 document we learn:

"4.3. Poverty and environmental degradation are closely interrelated. While poverty results in certain kinds of environmental stress, the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, which is a matter of grave concern, aggravating poverty and imbalances.

5.12. Awareness should be increased of the fundamental linkages between improving the status of women and demographic dynamics, particularly through women's access to education, primary and reproductive health care programmes, economic independence and their effective, equitable participation in all levels of decision-making.

5.17. Full integration of population concerns into national planning, policy and decision-making processes should continue. Population policies and programmes should be considered, with full recognition of women's rights."

End

So what does this mean? Using the environment as justification, we must reduce poverty - and to do that we must reduce the numbers of the poor.

See where this is going?

Check this out. https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.unep.org/training/programmes/Instructor%2520Version/Part_2/Activities/Human_Societies/Population/Supplemental/Poverty_and_Population_Growth.pdf&sa=U&ei=UM5PU56KGpSoyASi54KACA&ved=0CAYQFjAB&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNFWUDy0IjPcOVbLe86gwS8uR8Z58g

"A potentially powerful macro-level argument linking population growth and
poverty derives from the assertion that demographic forces can undermine the
social order-and in the limiting case, lead to outright state failure. Political
disorder and consequent erosion of social capital can drastically impede routine
economic activity. If it persists, it may destroy the institutional-and material-base
of production and distribution..."

[...]

"Dasgupta (1993: 351) describes how enmeshed custom can create a social
equilibrium that gives rise to significant externalities:

'In many societies, there are practices encouraging high fertility
rates that no household desires unilaterally to break.... So long as
all others follow the practice and aim at large family sizes, no
household on its own will wish to deviate from the practice;
however, if all other households were to restrict their fertility rates,
each would desire to restrict its own fertility rate as well. Thus,
there can be multiple social equilibria, each sustained by its own
bootstraps, so to speak, and a society can get stuck in one which,
while it may have had a collective rationale in the past, does not
have one any more.'

This picture, novel as it may be to modern economists, is close to the perception
of classical theorists like Malthus and J. Stuart Mill who saw education as the
input that could shake a society out of a poverty equilibrium."

End excerpt.

And here is what Agenda 21 says about health:

http://www.unep.org/Documents.multilingual/Default.asp?DocumentID=52&ArticleID=54&l=en

"6.26. Governments should take active steps to implement programmes to establish and strengthen preventive and curative health facilities which include women-centred, women-managed, safe and effective reproductive health care and affordable, accessible services, as appropriate, for the responsible planning of family size, in keeping with freedom, dignity and personally held values and taking into account ethical and cultural considerations. Programmes should focus on providing comprehensive health care, including pre-natal care, education and information on health and responsible parenthood and should provide the opportunity for all women to breast-feed fully, at least during the first four months post-partum. Programmes should fully support women's productive and reproductive roles and well being, with special attention to the need for providing equal and improved health care for all children and the need to reduce the risk of maternal and child mortality and sickness."

End excerpt.

U.N. Agenda 21 can be seen in all aspects of government policy, be it the establishment of the White River Scenic Blueway http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/the_white_river_national_blueway_and_agenda_21 or in the actions of the Bureau of Land Management in trying to force Ranchers out of Nevada. We see it in "sustainability", in community organizing, everywhere. This effort by the CDC is little more than another effort to harmonize U.S. policy with the embryonic world government.

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University Wants Fewer Whites — Fears “Mediocrity”

By Selwyn Duke

If you thought the "educator” who saw "racist” intent behind offering someone a peanut-butter sandwich was a loon, consider Western Washington University (WWU) president Bruce Shepard. Always on the lookout for ways to improve his institution’s academic integrity, he recently circulated a school-wide questionnaire and asked, "How do we make sure that in future years ‘we are not as white as we are today?’”

Apparently, Shepard has been gnashing his teeth over this problem for quite a while. As Kaitlyn Schallhorn at Campus Reform  HYPERLINK "http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=5549" reports, el presidente said in a 2012 speech, "Every year, from this stage and at this time, you have heard me say that, if in decades ahead, we are as white as we are today, we will have failed as university.”

Hey, forget the old measures of academic success, such as if students know what’s in the Constitution, have a grasp of basic history and civics, can perform rudimentary mathematical calculations and properly use the language (for Shep’s benefit, I refer to English). It’s now all about melanin content.
And if you disagree with this thesis, then hope you’re just an ignorant rube. Because the alternative, according to el presidente, is far worse. As he wrote in a January  HYPERLINK "http://www.wwu.edu/president/blog/posts/24.shtml" blog post, if you disagree, you "have not thought through the implications of what is ahead for us or, more perniciously, assume we can continue unchanged.” Lions and tigers and pernicious! Oh, my! For graduates of WWU, in calling those who’ve thought things through but nonetheless cling to their misbegotten notions "pernicious,” Shep is accusing them of  HYPERLINK "http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pernicious?s=t" being "ruinous; injurious; hurtful.” Well, off to the re-education camp with you.

And WWU’s got that covered: Campus Reform also tells us that el presidente has already junked "standard performance reviews” in favor of "sensitivity trainingand hosts workshops” to better serve illegal aliens. Hey, doubleplusgood for you, Shep.

But Shep is just looking to the future. He also warned on his blog, "In the decades ahead, should we be as white as we are today, we will be relentlessly driven toward mediocrity; or, become a sad shadow of our current self.” Would that be a  HYPERLINK "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CeSUluBWrE" White Shadow?

But I’m hip. We certainly wouldn’t want to be mediocre like the white guys who forged Western civilization, founded the US, created the modern world and gave us most of what makes our lives better.
Now, given that WWU was founded in 1886 and originally called the Northwest Normal School, I have a feeling it’s already a shadow of its former self. But, question: if WWU became what it is today while being intolerably white, how could remaining so make it a shadow of its current self? I know, I know, our strength lies in our diversity, our smartness lies in our stupidity, and academics lie constantly.
But I have a couple more questions. Does Shep still want the mediocre white alumni’s money? And since WWU has printed information on how to more effectively "recruit and retain faculty and staff of color,” will the colorless Shepard lead by example and give his presidency to a member of the color replete? Or is this where, as with Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Warren, we suddenly learn that Shep is really a Cherokee named Peddling Bull.

Anyway, it’s not hard to figure out how to reduce the number of whites at WWU: just eliminate the affirmative action for whites.
Oh, wait….

Alas, mediocrity may not remain restricted to WWU’s presidency after all.

HYPERLINK "mailto:selwynduke@optonline.net"Contact Selwyn Duke, HYPERLINK "https://twitter.com/SelwynDuke"follow him on Twitter or log on to HYPERLINK "http://selwynduke.com"SelwynDuke.com

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April 16, 2014

U.S. Post Office to Purchase Ammo

Timothy Birdnow

Now the United States Post Office is buying up large quantaties of ammunition.
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/04/15/U-S-Postal-Service-Joins-DHS-Social-Security-Admin-And-NOAA-In-Ammo-Purchases

Breitbart News is reporting that the USPS has solicited ammunition, joining the Social Security Administration, NOAA, DHS, NASA, the Department of Agriculture, and a host of other bureacratic agencies in a quest for large quantaties of small arms munitions.

Here is the USPS request:
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=bc222ffef75536f044a0e0353788683b&tab=core&tabmode=list&print_preview=1

"Added: Jan 31, 2014 4:54 pm
The United States Postal Service intends to solicit proposals for assorted small arms ammunition.
If your organization wishes to participate, you must pre-register at https://uspsesourcing.emptoris.com, the Postal Service's eSourcing tool. From the login page, click on the "Register Supplier Organization" hyperlink and provide all required information. Organizations are encouraged to have each participating representative registered individually. When registering, include 332992 as one of your NAICS selections.


Registered organizations will receive log-in credentials to the USPS eSourcing application. A separate electronic message will be sent notifying registrants when the event is opened and inviting them to participate in the solicitation.


Organizations may register at any time during the event; however, it is recommended prospective offerors complete their registration early.


This message is only a notification of our intent to solicit proposals."

End

Our government seems intent on waging war, and in using non military personelle to do it. Who are all these bullets for, anyway?

Sort of gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'going postal".


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Are Climate Emissions Dropping Because it's Warm?

Timothy Birdnow

Here is an interesting tidbit; greenhouse gas emissions have declined in the United States by 19% since 2005. http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/04/10_drop_in_greenhouse_gas_emissions_since_2005.html

Declining coal usage and rising natural gas technology is credited with this. Rick Moran rightly points out the weak economy als9 contributes to the decline.

Here is a table by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre illustrating a decline that closely matches the U.S. figures for America. http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=CO2ts1990-2011&sort=des6

Please note the methodology employed:

"The 2009-2011 trends were estimated for energy-related sectors based on fossil fuel consumption for 2009-2011 from the BP Review of World Energy 2011 (BP, 2012), for cement production based on preliminary data from the US Geological Survey (USGS, 2012), except for China for which use was made of National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) (2009, 2010, 2011)."

End excerpt.

So carbon emissions were computed based on fuel usage. What does this mean?

Well, fuel usage spiked these last two years because it was so cold. While the 200's were generally at the top of the temperature curve since 1978 they saw a reduction in fuel usage, and now that it is cooling we are seeing another increase.

When it gets cold people throw another log on the fire.

So which came first, the chicken or the egg? If global warming driving temperature we should see declining emissions, which should stabilize the climate. Negative feedback.

That is assuming emissions drive the climate. Strangely it is getting colder.

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John E. Dunsford RIP

http://www.slu.edu/colleges/law/slulaw/sites/default/files/images/profiles/dunsfoje.jpg

Timothy Birdnow

Monday night my father-in-law, John E. Dunsford, passed away. He died peacefully in his bed, and now joins his wife in Heaven.

It was not unexpected; the man had been on a feeding tube for the better part of a year and a half, and stuck in a wheel chair. He was a shut-in, living in his home with the help of some private duty nurses (who were wonderful) and my wife, who spent afternoons at his house (until her recent illness put a stop to that.) Cathy's brother Mark was his main caregiver, and he did a wonderful job of caring for both Jack and my mother-in-law who passed about a year and a half ago.

His life revolved around commercial television at the end. He did still enjoy the occasional televised baseball or football game, but could no longer concentrate well enough to read. That was tough; he had been a brilliant man, a law professor and labor arbitrator with a razor sharp mind. But age and sickness caught up with him, and he reached the point where he just couldn't do those things he had done.

I suspect he was more than ready to go.

He was a good man, a devout Catholic and a solidly orthodox Conservative. He loved his family, and was very good to Cathy and me over the years. He was always solicitous of me when she visited him, worrying more about us than about himself. He was a true father in so many regards, taking care to provide for all of his children - even those by marriage. I loved the man.

And he knew his own mind. In his last days he was watching Dr. Phil and the good doctor gave away gifts to his audience. Jack shook his head and declared that, since he was not included in the giveaway, he was not going to watch anymore. He never did! Turned old Phil right off. It may have been a small gesture, a rather endearing act, but it illustrated the man's committment to what he thought right. (Plus he probably decided Dr. Phil wasn't worth watching.) He was a man of that type of character; strong willed and steady in his course.

And he had a hearty sense of humor, enjoying teasing his wife and kidding his grandchildren, who called him Duke because he loved the old John Wayne movies.

Jack had had an interesting life, too; he served in the Navy but was just short of time and then was drafted into the Army, where he served honorably in Korea. Like most combat veterans he rarely mentioned his service; the memory was too painful. He went on to become a lawyer and taught labor law for many years at the law school at St. Louis University. He was a most distinguished legal scholar. He was a Chester A. Myers Professor of Law Emeritus.

Here is an excerpt from the SLU Law School website:

http://www.slu.edu/colleges/law/slulaw/faculty/dunsfoje

"John Dunsford is one of the nation's foremost arbitrators and labor law scholars. For more than four decades, labor unions and companies have entrusted him to settle their differences."

[...]


"Professor Dunsford has held several leadership positions with the prestigious National Academy of Arbitrators, including serving as president in 1984-1985. In 2000, he was named a fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. From 1987-1994, he directed the School's Wefel Center for Employment Law and remains a senior consultant. He was the McDonnell Professor of Justice in American Society from 1982-1987.

Except for a two-year break in the late 1970s when he practiced arbitration full time, Professor Dunsford has been teaching labor law at the School of Law since the early 1960s. In addition to a book, individuals and Unions, he has written numerous articles and chapters on labor law, arbitration, and the U.S. Constitution and personal freedom. Currently, his research interest is in the area of church-state relations, specifically tuition vouchers that allow parents the option of using state money to send their children to the schools of their choice."

End excerpts.

I will sorely miss Jack. He was very kind to me, and encouraged me very much. He was always proud and excited when I had an article published, and he would brag about me to anyone who would listen. Not many fathers-in-law would be so encouraging. And he was always willing to help when the need arose. Losing Jack is like losing the cornerstone of a building.

Godspeed Duke! We'll all miss you here!

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Action Needed on Common Core

A.J. Cameron forwards this from Freedom Builders:

Your Action is Needed: "Dear Colleague's" are being circulated on the Common Core State Standards

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) are circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter in their respective chambers to the leaders of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education in the Senate/House Appropriations Committee.

This letter emphasizes the need to include language in the next Fiscal Year 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bills to ensure parents are able to keep accountable those who are making decisions for their child's education. Language is also needed to ensure that those decisions are made at the state and local level, not the federal level or by the U.S. Department of Education.

The letter also clarifies that funds appropriated will not be used to develop or implement the Common Core State Standards developed under the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

For more information on Common Core, click here. http://cl.publicaster.com/ClickThru.aspx?pubids=7218%7c60240%7c692637%7c42636&digest=oHHO9jQaNfDwwIplnNEBuA&sysid=1

To find your senators, click http://cl.publicaster.com/ClickThru.aspx?pubids=7218%7c60241%7c692637%7c42636&digest=rxraaHEh%2bPDVJu%2b7ArGtFw&sysid=1

To find your representative, click here.
http://cl.publicaster.com/ClickThru.aspx?pubids=7218%7c60241%7c692637%7c42636&digest=rxraaHEh%2bPDVJu%2b7ArGtFw&sysid=1

Weinstein complained to Air Force Academy Superintendent Michelle Johnson, the Bible verse was erased from the leader's whiteboard ... and an American soldier's religious liberty was blatantly denied.

Action:

1. Call your senators and ask them to sign on to Sen. Grassley's Dear Colleague:
* Sample Phone Script for Senate: Hello I am a constituent of Senator _________. I'd like to request that he/she sign onto Sen. Grassley's Dear Colleague regarding the Common Core. Please get in contact with Sen. Grassley's staffer, James Rice, for further details. Thank you.

2. Call your representative and ask him/her to sign on to Rep. King's Dear Colleague:
* Sample Phone Script for House: Hello, I am a constituent of Representative _________. I'd like to request that he/she sign onto Rep. King's Dear Colleague regarding the Common Core. Please get in contact with Rep. King's staffer, Alex Curry, for further details.

Sincerely,

Penny Nance
Chief Executive Officer and President
Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

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April 15, 2014

KC Jew killer was MO Dem Gov. candidate

Jack Kemp forwards this:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/04/kansas_jewish_center_gunman_didnt_just_appear_out_of_nowhere.html
April 15, 2014

Kansas Jewish Center Gunman didn't just Appear out of Nowhere
Stu Tarlowe

He’s not "unknown”, and he didn’t just pop up on the horizon.
The alleged killer of three at the Overland Park (Kansas) Jewish Community Center and a nearby Jewish retirement home didn’t just "appear out of nowhere”; he’s a man who has been in the public eye before, right here in the Kansas City area and elsewhere, along with his foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Jewish and white supremacist views.

The suspect, identified as Frazier Glenn Cross of Aurora, Missouri, is also known as Frazier Glenn Miller or simply Glenn Miller.

As Glenn Miller, he ran for the U.S. Senate from Missouri in 2010. His radio ads caused quite a stir in the Kansas City area; you can watch local news coverage of his candidacy and his ads here:
And, if you search YouTube under "Glenn Miller” (and winnow out all the videos dealing with Glenn Miller the big band musician, composer, arranger and orchestra leader of the swing era) you’ll find quite a few videos of Glenn Miller the white supremacist, including numerous interviews; he was even interviewed extensively by Howard Stern!

Frazier Glenn Cross/Glenn Miller ran as a Democrat for Governor of North Carolina in 1984. He also served three years in Federal prison on convictions for weapons charges and white supremacist militia activities.

In addition to his avowed anti-Semitic and white supremacist views, Miller is on record as being vehemently opposed to homosexuality and to immigration from the Third World.

Now, do I really need to point out how this reprehensible individual, and his (alleged) cowardly and murderous acts on Sunday, will be exploited and spun by the Obama regime?

The masters of propaganda in the Obama regime will make Glenn Miller the poster boy for everyone who dares to oppose or criticize it. We’ve already seen anyone who dares to criticize Barack Obama or Eric Holder labeled a "racist”; Glenn Miller will be paraded as "proof” of that.

Further, Glenn Miller will be used to support the government’s already all-but-successful vilification of militias (Surprise! Our Founders intended for Americans to be organized into militias – "…Being necessary to the security of a free State…” – and despite what the propagandists would have you believe, militias are not automatically or presumptively racist).

Miller’s alleged crimes have successfully bumped from the news the story of militias successfully (and peaceably) convincing Federal regulatory agency snipers and SWAT teams to back down from their heavy-handed overreach against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

Soon, Miller will be presented as the "face” of the Tea Parties, which the regime has, since the Tea Parties’ inception, tried to paint as "racist”. I have no doubt that Miller will also become the "face” of anyone who dares to oppose unrestricted immigration or the homosexual agenda.We’ve already seen such folks branded as "haters”.

For a regime more and more at odds with its own citizens (and one which seems to be actively, and more and more brazenly, seeking to undermine the very notion of "citizenship”), a person like Glenn Miller plays right into its own nefarious designs. As if his cowardly acts weren’t tragic enough, they will now be cynically exploited by those who "never let a crisis go to waste”.

Stu Tarlowe lives in the Kansas City area. He has written over 65 pieces for AT. Among his heroes and role models are Barry Farber, Jean Shepherd, Long John Nebel, Aristide Bruant, Col. Jeff Cooper, Rabbi Meir Kahane and G. Gordon Liddy.

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Dionne & the Liberals? LBJ, Obama, and the Washington Post

Brian Birdnow

In the Washington Post last week E.J. Dionne penned an Op-Ed piece noting the "changing” historical image of former President Lyndon Johnson and feted this development by labeling it as "…a thoroughly justified revival of Lyndon B. Johnson’s standing.” This work is not, however, a simple nostalgic tribute to the 1960s. Dionne argues that this supposed LBJ revival shows that America is experiencing what he calls a "leftward tilt” and he hopes that our current President will, like Johnson, strike while the iron is hot to force irrevocable liberal change on the USA.

In his piece Dionne sings the praises of President Johnson, the Lone Star Machiavelli. He views LBJ and his legacy through the lens of a celebration last week at the Jonson Presidential Library, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mr. Dionne uses this introduction as a means of discussing Johnson’s great legislative achievements, and, of course, his revived historical standing, as exemplified in a 2008 historical work entitled "The Liberal Hour” by Professors G. Calvin Mackenzie and Robert Weisbrot. This particular volume, for which Dionne wrote an effusive dust jacket blurb, presents the political history of the Great Society era in a highly positive light. It also suggests the possibility, as Dionne passionately hopes that the country might be able and ready to engineer a similar left-liberal reform today.

Mr. Dionne waxes rhapsodic over the Johnson Administration reforms and claims that the LBJ revival "brings with it a new appreciation of the durability of the reforms enacted on his watch. It turns out that these were irreversible social reforms…that future generations came to take for granted and refused to wipe off the books.” He goes on to suggest that the American public is growing ever more liberal, and that this generation will cement the Affordable Care Act as the new normal, the way that the 60s generation gave us the Civil Rights Act, HUD, VISTA, and federal aid to education, among other things.

An alternate reading of the triumphalist history of the 1960s that Dionne sketches out reveals a more complex picture. First of all, Dionne is on very shaky ground when he cites a minor historical work and credits the tome for spurring this supposed Johnson revival and concurrent liberal revival. The publication of this particular work, and the enthusiasm with which it was received, does not prove that the American people are now liberals; it simply proves that most of the academic historians are still liberals. Furthermore, many of the "achievements” of the Great Society were marginal, at best. The vaunted War on Poverty cost trillions of dollars, but failed to end, or even noticeably reduce poverty. It did, however, place a permanent and ever-growing strain on the federal budget, was financed by massive deficits, and is forcing a complete breakdown of the government’s fiscal house in the near future. The Great Society also set in motion welfare dependency, and the corresponding collapse of the black family structure. This unfortunate phenomenon is now spreading to all of the races, in nearly equal proportion.

Finally, by 1968, Johnson’s last full year in office, the Treasury Department declared that, in the wake of the Great Society and the conflict in Vietnam, the nation (the richest in world history) was bumping up against the limits of her financial resources. The government began replacing silver coins with ones made of base metals, setting the stage for the inflation of the 1970s. Government efforts to help the poor, well-intentioned though they were, had the effect of wrecking the economy and throwing the country into a decade of economic distress. Yet, E.J. Dionne looks back fondly on this era.

Dionne ends his praiseful ode by stating that "…the deeper LBJ legacy is of a consensual period when a large and confident majority believed that national action could expand opportunities and alleviate needless suffering. The earthily practical Johnson showed that these were not empty dreams.” In fact, Johnson won his 1964 landslide by invoking the memory of his martyred predecessor. When Johnson moved sharply to the Left, his support dropped exponentially. In the 1966 mid-term elections the Republican won 47 House seats and a startling 12 Senate seats, as well. The electorate pronounced their final judgment on Johnsonian liberalism in 1968 when GOP candidate Richard M. Nixon, running somewhat deceptively as a conservative, won the Presidency, defeating Jonson’s Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, who was proud to be known as an unabashed liberal.

The Op-Ed piece that Dionne wrote is not, of course, primarily a historical review. E.J. Dionne is not a historian; he is a commentator and editorial writer for the Washington Post. He segues into the real purpose of his piece when he remarks "There is …a devout wish that President Obama had the inclination to match LBJ as the Harry Potter of legislative wizardry.” Here Dionne drops the History Professor pose entirely and reverts to form as an Obama cheerleader. He does compare Obama unfavorably with LBJ by saying that Obama, aloof and condescending, will not play the game of "schmoozing legislators” as Johnson did very well. It is unknown whether Obama has blackmailed legislators, which is something else that Johnson did well, but that is another story.

Dionne then launches into his favorite refrain, namely the idea that mindless Republican obstructionism is the one thing poisoning the political waters today. As Dionne states "The problem is that Obama could spend hours sharing beer and bourbon with our elected representatives and still not overcome the sharp ideological turn in contemporary conservatism that has moved Republicans behind resolute opposition to everything he does.” Our favorite commentator then goes on to contrast this state of affairs with the 60s, when some Republicans worked with LBJ to help implement his agenda after the Great Society bills were signed into law.

Here we see E. J. Dionne’s true lament. He longs for the good old days when the Democrats ran the entire show in Washington. They controlled the Presidency, both chambers of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the permanent government, the bureaucracy by name. Most importantly, the prestige media framed all debate in terms favorable to the Democratic Party, and worked to advance their agenda. Dionne, of course, believes that there is a role for the Republicans to play in the two-party system, but this role should be to slow the Democrats down, without stopping them. He would take the country back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when sensible and "moderate” Republicans like Charles Halleck, Jerry Ford, Everett Dirksen, and Bob Dole questioned program costs, recommended spending a little less money, but usually split the difference, thereby giving the Democrats 75-80% of what they wanted. This "80% Solution” is what constitutes good government to E.J. Dionne and the rest of the gang at the Washington Post, all of whom conveniently forget that Obama and his Party had complete control of the government in 2009-2011, and promptly lost credibility.

E.J. Dionne continues to insist that he sees a liberal groundswell building in the country, and he hopes that soon we’re going to party like its 1969. Mr. Dionne is making a mistake by expressing a wish as a scientific certainty. 2014 is shaping up for Obama the way 1966 shaped up for Lyndon Baines Johnson. The losers will be the Democrats, specifically the liberals. The winners will be the American people.

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Two Good Articles

Wil Wirtanen forwards these from Newsmax:

Former NASA Scientist: Global Warming Is 'Nonsense'

A prominent scientist and former NASA researcher has added his voice to those who challenge the "scientific fact" that manmade carbon emissions are causing global warming.

Dr. Leslie Woodcock is a professor emeritus of chemical thermodynamics at the University of Manchester in England, with a Ph.D. from the University of London, and served as a senior research consultant at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Laboratory in Ohio.

In an interview with Britain's Yorkshire Evening Post, Woodcock declared: "The theory of 'manmade climate change' is an unsubstantiated hypothesis.

"The theory is that CO2 emitted by burning fossil fuel causes 'global warming.' In fact, water is a much more powerful greenhouse gas and there is 20 times more of it in our atmosphere [than carbon dioxide].

"Carbon dioxide has been made out to be some kind of toxic gas but the truth is it's the gas of life. We breathe it out, plants breathe it in. The green lobby has created a do-good industry and it becomes a way of life, like a religion. I understand why people defend it when they have spent so long believing in it."

Woodcock is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a founding editor of the journal Molecular Simulation, a recipient of a Max Planck Society Visiting Fellowship, and a former guest scientist at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.

He went on to say: "If you talk to real scientists who have no political interest, they will tell you there is nothing in global warming. It's an industry which creates vast amounts of money for some people.

"The temperature of the earth has been going up and down for millions of years. If there are extremes, it's nothing to do with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it's not permanent and it's not caused by us. Global warming is nonsense.

"It's become almost an industry, as a consequence of this professional misconduct by government advisers around the world."

But he added: "You can't blame ordinary people with little or no science education for wanting to be seen to be good citizens who care about their grandchildren's future and the environment."





Republican 'Red States' Are the Most Free

A new report assesses the freedom enjoyed by Americans in each state — and reveals that Democratic "blue states" are the least free.

The latest edition of "Freedom in the 50 States" has been released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. It presents an updated ranking of American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.

The report "examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of policy categories — from tax burden to court systems, from eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and from home schooling regulations to drug policy," Mercatus states.

The three basic categories examined are:

· Fiscal policy, including the tax burden, government spending, and government debt.

· Regulatory policy, including freedom from tort abuse, property rights protection, labor market freedom, and cable and telecom freedom.

· Personal freedom, including gun control freedom, alcohol freedom, marriage freedom, gambling freedom, civil liberties, education policy, and campaign finance freedom.

Mercatus also considers dozens of "variables," including freedom from nanny laws, seatbelt enforcement, local rent control, motorcycle helmet laws, fireworks laws, trans-fat bans, and tobacco restrictions.

Taking all these factors into consideration, the report finds that New York is the least free state, ranking at No. 50.

"New York is by far the least free state in the Union," the report discloses. "It is therefore no surprise that New York residents have been heading for the exits: 9 percent of the state's 2000 population, on net, left the state for another state between 2000 and 2011, the highest such figure in the nation.

"New York has, by a wide margin, the highest taxes in the country: 14.0 percent of income."

The second least free state is California, followed in order by New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Illinois, and Maryland.

All of these states voted to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012.

The freest state is North Dakota, according to the Mercatus analysis. "The state scores exceptionally well on regulatory and fiscal policy. Moreover, North Dakota scores slightly above average on personal freedom. It is also the state that improved the most over the last decade," and "has very low taxes and government debt."

North Dakota is followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Idaho, and Missouri. All these states except New Hampshire voted for Republican Mitt Romney in the last presidential election.

Among the larger states, red state Texas ranks No. 14 and blue state Florida, 23.

"Measuring freedom is important because freedom is valuable to people," the report states. "At the very least, it is valuable to those whose choices are restricted by public policy."

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April 13, 2014

Lying to Ourselves about Pope Francis

Timothy Birdnow

In yet another in a long line of apologist articles, Robin Rohr ignores all the evidence that Pope Francis I suffers from Socialism on the brain. http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/62386

Robin opens with this:

"Those who argue that Pope Francis is advocating socialism focus on the economic section of his apostolic exhortation Evangellii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), which in part states, "In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion…expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

Taken at face value, one can see their cause for concern, but perhaps they are reacting to buzzwords like "trickle-down” and "free market” without considering the context referenced by Francis, in effect sacralizing the prevailing system. In the preceding passages he references that people are subject to increasing inequality, violence, and facing a life devoid of dignity. The Pontiff then states, "We are in an age of knowledge and information, which has led to new and often anonymous kinds of power.”

End excerpt.

First, the Pope is hardly a stranger to public speaking and even more so to writing. Generally writing necessitates careful planning and word choice, so these "buzzwords" are not acciental, are not slips of the tongue. Il Papa meant to use those exact words. I find it incredible that defenders of the Pope continue to use this argument. Even the most ardent defenders have stopped using the mistranslation argument (and our contributor Daren Jonescu has confirmed the translation from the official Vatican website is accurate.) So now we must assume that the Pope misspoke in a written document, one undoubtedly reviewed by assistants - right.

The Pope never mentions socializing the system; that is simply a projection, a hope.

Robin argues that the Pope is opposing the fascistic economics of our current world system:

"This theme is continued by Francis, "Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

End excerpt.

?????

How does the author think this is a slap at George Soros or the other international financial titans? It more logically is interpreted as an attack on capitalism.

Occam's Razor; the simplest answer is probably the best. Too many people -including good conservatives - twist around to find an explanation for what the Pontiff is saying. The simplest answer is probably the correct one - and the simplest answer is the Duck Test. Pope Francis certainly quacks like one.

Francis stated in his encyclical:

"earnings of a minority are growing exponentially [but] so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation."

Which makes one wonder what world the good Pontiff inhabits. And it clearly illustrates that Robin is wrong here; the Pope is clearly blaming free markets and not regulated, crony capitalist systems.

Il Papa also states that free market people:

"reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control."

End excerpt.

??????

Government does nothing BUT control. The world's economy is nostril deep in regulation, in command and control.

I see our Pope web footing it here.

Thomas Hemphill scoffs at this at Real clear Markets. http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2013/12/31/pope_franciss_economics_hurt_the_poor_he_aims_to_help_100824.html

Robin sees an exaltation in private endeavor by the Pope:

"The dignity of work, whether humble or exalted, supports and engenders the dignity of the person. Francis also reminds us that, "Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.”

End quote.

But does not the Marxist always speak about the dignity of the worker? Did not they give out "hero of labor" medals? And the existence of private businesses - carefully regulated and run for the goals set by central planners - is the very definition of fascist economics.

Robin concludes:

"n Evangellii Gaudium Pope Francis is calling for the world to resolve the structural causes of poverty that are weakening the good order of society. He observes, "Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses.” He rightly identifies that long-term dependence upon the government to meet basic needs robs the poor of their right to self-determination and states clearly, "The dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies.” He is urging us out of our complacency and to embrace the radical teachings of Christ in the Gospel. All life is precious and equal in the sight of God.

Is Pope Francis a socialist? No. He is a Christian."

End excerpt.

One cannot be Christian and Marxist? Of course there has always been a Christian strain of Marxism. In fact, it was huge in Latin America, and when Francis was a Bishop in Buenos Aires he was quite friendly with proponents of Liberation Theology, a Christian Marxism. He met with Fr. (sic) Gustavo Gutierez, one of the leading proponents of Liberation Theology AFTER Francis was elected Pope. Liberation Theology was condemned by both John Paul II and Benedict.

While Francis has never officially embraced LT he is certainly cozy with those who have.

Here is a very good essay illustrating the Pope's connection to LT. http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/09/pope-francis-and-liberation-theology/

Looks like a duck!

I suspect Francis is not a pure Marxist but I instead suspect he's a Peronista in terms of his thinking. Peron was a fascist dictator and the movement he founded was called a "third way" between capitalism and communism. The reality is it was just another version of fascist economics, one that left private corporations in tact but regulated them to the point where there was ownership no longer mattered. I suspect this is what our Pope is doing.

And I say our Pope; I am a good, devout Catholic.

So, why are so many catholics desperate to defend the Pope? Well, some do not understand Papal Infallability. The Pope is only infallible under very rare circumstances. He must speak Ex Cathedra. That happens generally less than one time a century.

The last time it happened was in 1950 when Pope Pius XII declared the Immaculate Conception - the birth of Jesus' mother Mary without sin - to be infallibly correct.

So there is no reason to respect the thinking of the Pope any more than anyone else in this regard.

But, but, but, Catholics believe that God Himself chooses the Pope, which means that God wants to move in this direction!

Well, maybe He does and maybe He doesn't. God looks long term. He also punishes with poor leadership. Perhaps Francis is a punishment to the Church? Perhaps God is trying to turn us away from socialism by giving us someone who will advocate for it?

I do not presume to know the mind of God, but I do know that we as Christians are to fight the good fight, and if that fight means resisting the leadership of the Catholic Church on certain temporal issues then so be it! I would never presume to dismiss the Immaculate Conception, but I have a right, nay, a duty to oppose Liberation Theology, just as I have a duty to oppose pedophilia in the rectory.

This Pope is profoundly wrong. We have to admit this to ourselves, otherwise we are lying to ourselves, and lying is still a sin.

Here are some previous posts addressing many of these issues.

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/a_peronist_pope

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/why_pope_francis_is_wrong_about_capitalism

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/pope_francis_and_the_godfather_part_iii

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/pope_francis_taking_legion_to_tea

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/is_pope_francis_a_heretic

http://tbirdnow.mee.nu/pope_francis_the_apostate

And here are some quotes from Il Papa that bespeak the man's heart:

In his first encyclical Evangelii Gaudium he says;

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium_en.pdf

"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”"

[...]

Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless."

[...]

"Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a "throw away” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the "exploited” but the outcast, the "leftovers”

[...]

"In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule"

[...]

"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born,"

End excerpts.

He wrote in his book "On Heaven and Earth";

"a civilization of consumerism, of hedonism, of political arrangements between the powers or political sectors, [and] the reign of money.”

[,,,]

"There is no worse dispossession than not being able to earn one's own bread, than being denied the dignity of work."

[,,,]

"Someone who operates a business in a country and then takes that money to keep it outside of the country is sinning because he is not honoring with that money the country to which he owes his wealth, or the people that worked to generate it."

End excerpts.

And he complained about poor wages paid to Third World workers:

"Not paying a just [wage], not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God. People are less important than the things that give profit to those who have political, social, economic power."

I suppose he'd rather they not have these jobs available at all? People are filling them for a reason, FAther; it's better than what they have available to them from your socialist friends.

He also has stated that unemployment;

"very often caused by a purely economic view of society, which seeks self-centered profit, outside the bounds of social justice"

Again, who is it that holds the purely economic view? Socialists, that's who. Socialist countries certainly do have full employment - but nobody works, nobody makes anything, nobody has any material goods, and the people starve. Is that better?

(Quotes courtesy of the National Catholic Reporter http://ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/mind-francis-capitalism-jobs-globalization)


Oh, by the way, Cardinal Bergoglio has also called abortion a "scientific issue divorced "from any religious concept"! http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/15/pope-francis-book-radical-progressive

He is also alleged to have complained about Catholic opposition to condoms.

And he bemoaned the fact that some socialists leave the Church:

"Generally it is because they have conflicts with the church structure, with the way of life of some believers who, instead of being a bridge, become a wall."

Perhaps Pope Francis should read what his predecessors have had to say on the matter.

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The Customer is Always Right - Except Where Healthcare is Concerned

The Customer is Always Right; Consumers not the Problem with Healthcare

Timothy Birdnow

The Invisible Hand, Adam Smith called it. A free market, one truly free, presupposes no judgment upon the collective actions of the participants, since that market will necessarily discipline those who overstep their moral boundaries. Smith understood that the Market is actually an expression of Natural Law, and as such comes from God, and is not merely a construct of Man. The construct of Man is the regulated, guided, command market. Socialism is the final expression of an artificial economic construct.

A truly conservative approach to economics does not wield judgment on the participants. Liberals do that.

Judgment is rather reserved for those who warp the economy with unnatural interference; government bureaucrats, judges, international agencies, money manipulators like the Federal Reserve. We judge Congress. We judge the President. We judge the IMF. But traditionally we shy away from judging either consumers or providers in our economy (except where those same participants use these corrupt institutions to unfair advantage.) It is axiomatic that the customer is always right for a reason - he is the engine of the whole economic system and ultimately his choices are what drive all economic activity

Sadly, when it comes to health care, many good conservatives have fallen into the trap of blaming the customer for the problems that are evident in the industry.

Here is an example of a very sharp conservative falling into this particular trap. Derrick Wilburn, writing at American Thinker, argues that the problem with our healthcare system is a function of an over demanding consumer class. http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/the_real_problem_with_health_insurance.html

Wilburn states:

"Want to know the real problem with healthcare "insurance" in this nation? It’s not federal overbearance; not liberty-robbing purchase mandates; not unscrupulous doctors nor pill-pushing pharmaceutical companies. The fact is the real issue is your, mine and everybody's attitude towards health insurance. Or, put more accurately, our misconception of what healthcare insurance is truly supposed to be. The issue is one of mental conditioning. You and I have been conditioned to believe that healthcare insurance is something that it is not. Or at least that it was not intended to nor should it be. We have become conditioned to not be self-reliant but rather to depend upon the system to "take care of us."

While I would agree to a degree, I think this idea is overblown and the author fails to make the case. For instance:

"You smack your car into another and the repair bill comes in at $3,300. You file an insurance claim. You have a policy for the express reason of accidental, catastrophic loss. No one buys an auto insurance policy and then expects the insurance company to cover windshield wiper changes, tire rotation, air and oil filters. You pay for those things out of your own pocket. You are self-reliant for the more trivial, mundane expenses; are insured for the larger, non-routine unexpected ones.

Healthcare insurance, however, is the opposite. As is the case in so many other areas of our society, we’ve been conditioned to an entitlement mentality toward healthcare insurance; to believe that we are entitled to something at little or no cost to ourselves. Insurance should be a safety net. Something that’s there in the event the worst should happen; i.e. to cover catastrophic event(s). But instead of being the safety net it was intended to and should be, it has now become a sidewalk.

When the mechanic tells you it’s time for brakes and we may as well service your tranny while it's in, what's the first question you ask? When you go to the doctor and she says she'd like to send you to the lab or a clinic to draw some blood and have you pee in a cup so they can run a battery of tests you don't ask the doctor, "How much is that going to cost?" Why don't you ask? Because you don't care. Someone else is paying for it. You're just going to show up at the clinic, present an insurance card at the counter, pay your $20 co-pay and the balance -- how every many hundreds or thousands of dollars that is -- you don't have to worry about. Someone else is paying that."

Here he is demonstrably wrong. Go into any Walgreens and see the aisles upon aisles of over-the-counter healthcare products, the equivalent of an Autozone for your health. What are these other than the medical equivalent of wiper blades and tires? Americans self medicate on a regular basis; doctors and hospitals are for things that one cannot do for oneself or for medications restricted BY LAW. I cannot obtain insulin, for instance, without seeing a doctor no matter how cost conscious I am.

As to thinking we are entitled to something at little or no cost, think again. I pay a huge amount for my healthcare coverage. Not just what I pay but what my employer pays (which I then do not receive.) This is not a matter of expecting something for nothing but of expecting my money to be well spent. Under Wilburn’s line of reasoning you would pay your mechanic every month just in case you needed auto repairs but then not have anything done. Nobody is going to do that. This is not the fault of the consumer.

It should be pointed out, too, that people try to throw all manner of extras in when they DO make claims to their auto insurance. A friend who is an auto appraiser complains to me fairly regularly about people trying to toss in things that were obviously not caused by their accidents. Health care is no different.

As for people not asking the cost of body maintenance, he misses the point; people do not generally expect to keep their cars for 90 years, but they have to keep their bodies. Neglect of car maintenance at worst leads to replacement of some part, but it means death or terrible health if you neglect your body maintenance. And again, the basic maintenance is frequently done at home. If your transmission is grinding you will take the car in, and at worst buy a new one - something that cannot be done with your body.

The author continues:

"Right now the healthcare services consumer in American pays only about twelve cents per dollar spent on healthcare services. The other eighty-eight cents is paid by someone else. We see it as being paid ‘by insurance’ but of course the insurance company isn't just coughing that money up, they're paying for it via premiums charged our friends, family and neighbors – "someone else.”'

But that 12 cents on the dollar is probably much closer to what the cost of treatment would be anyway, as the hospitals and everyone else in the business jack up prices to cover the uninsured and the rest of the mandates government imposes, as well as malpractice insurance. The consumer is actually paying the cost of his own care to a large degree. Any time an uninsured person receives treatment his final bill is usually around what the insured person ends up paying out of pocket. And that extra cost is not paid by someone else; you have been paying into the system all along. . It is not free - a fundamental assumption the author is making here.

As a society we have to learn to say no, to tell those who choose not to insure themselves that they will not be treated - as we USED to do. Now the government requires hospitals to treat anyone, and the result is jammed ER's full of freeloaders. We have to start telling them tough luck. Nobody thinks it unfair that they have to pay for food, or for clothes, or for electricity. Why is health care different?

(Here’s an idea; let’s have hospitals run by charitable organizations for the poor! Oh wait…

The current system is monumentally idiotic, and it is a result of terrible government intervention over decades, as well as restraint of free trade by professional organizations and licensing bodies. For example, a friend of mine has been an RN for decades, and was recently required to go back to school because his undergraduate degree was not in nursing, although he received his RN and has been practicing for literally decades. This is done to enrich the schools and to empower professional organizations, which can keep some people out. But this drives up costs and offers no discernible benefit to anyone.

How long was chiropractic care not covered? To drive down costs we need to increase supply and shrink demand. Alternatives to the licensed medical profession should have been encouraged but it was not because it stepped on the professional licensing toes. The numbers of doctors and other care providers was purposely restricted to keep prices high.

Malpractice too leads to unnecessary testing which drives up cost. I was in the hospital for eye surgery and the doctor on staff ordered up heart tests for me - although I had just had a battery of them a few months prior. He wasn't going to risk accepting someone else's word about my condition for fear I would sue.

And of course insurance is very heavily regulated and there is no portability or across state line competition.

These are all examples of a command system, one that thwarts Adam Smith's invisible hand.

These things all add together to drive up costs, and insurance companies were never really upset with rising medical prices because it forced everyone to buy their products. Doctors and other medical people weren’t crying in their mocha latte's either.

Supply-side economics has always argued that economic problems are caused by imbalance at the supply end of the pipeline. Keynesians blame the consumer (too much consuming’ goin’ on! As Democrat Ernest "Fritz” Hollings once said. ) If we buy into the argument that health care consumption is what is driving prices then we accept the Keynesian belief system. We buy into the tired liberal notion of limits to growth, of "sustainability”, of an economics that believes in scarcity, rationing, in "fairness” as defined by how thinly one can cut the economic pie.

In no other industry do we blame the customers for rising prices, yet it has become fashionable to do so with medicine. Nobody said the housing bubble was the fault of homebuyers. We diagnosed the problem based on what was driving the home buying - government programs, regulations, and lending policy. Yes, there were plenty of people purchasing homes who had no business doing so, but we rightly blamed policy by Fannie and Freddie, not the purchaser, who was simply doing what customers do.

We do not blame drivers for high gasoline prices. We do not blame hipsters for high coffee prices (although it's tempting). The market is what it is and the fault is not in ourselves but in our stars, those luminaries in Washington and the other seats of power who interfere where they should not. Blame is the province of Liberals, who stand in self-righteous moral judgment over everything. Conservatives generally believe in taking reality as it is and working with that. And we believe in Natural Law. The Market has problems because of some imbalance, likely caused by government. It is not the fault of the consumer who is simply seeking to meet his own needs.

As conservatives we should not make the mistake of falling into the judgmental trap. And it is bad politics as well; how are we going to sell this to the voters? We should leave righteous indignation to the Liberals.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 07:33 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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The War within the GOP

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FqA9lZDMqoc/U0mC77y81eI/AAAAAAAANoI/rRTgmyUEUqI/s1600/GOP+-+No+More+RINOs.jpg

By Alan Caruba

I started out a Democrat because my parents were Democrats. When I was old enough to conclude that the Democratic Party was so socialist I could not remain one, I became a Republican. In her nineties, even my Mother registered as a Republican. Times change and people change. Now I am considering registering as an independent. I am waiting for the outcome of the November midterm elections.

My decision will depend on how many Tea Party movement candidates are elected and my hope is that it will be a wave election that rejects so many Democratic candidates that power in the Congress--particularly the Senate--returns to the GOP. Then I will watch to see how much action they take to reverse the damage of Obamacare and other programs in much need of reform, replacement and rejection.

According to Gallup, currently an estimated 42 percent of voters today self-identify as independents http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/self-identified-independents-hit-record-high-self-identified-republicans-hit-record-low/Those who identify themselves as Republicans fell to 25 percent. In 2013 Gallup reported that 41 percent regarded themselves to be conservative or very conservative, but that was the lowest since Obama took office in 2009.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59% of GOP voters say that Republicans in Congress are out of touch with the Party’s basehttp://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/april_2014/59_of_gop_voters_say_republicans_in_congress_out_of_touch_with_party_s_base. I suspect that’s because the base is more conservative than its elected representatives. Conversely, Democrats are quite happy with theirs.

The emergence of the Tea Party movement has dramatically demonstrated the unhappiness of voters with the direction the nation has taken since Obama was elected in 2008. At the heart of their displeasure are the dreadful state of the economy and the growing fear of a Big Government that extends more and more control over all aspects of their lives.

The internal debate within the GOP is showing up in commentaries among its pundits. It reflects to some degree the fears of its establishment elites who have managed to serve up John McCain and Mitt Romney, both of whom lost because they waged campaigns devoid of any serious criticism or confrontation with liberalism. The Party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.

They suffered as well from an incessant Democratic Party campaign to define Republicans as indifferent to the poor, aligned with large corporations, and hostile to illegal immigrants, homosexuals and women.

With the help of the mainstream media, these themes are constantly repeated. Meanwhile, cities and states run by Democrats are going bankrupt thanks to their devotion to spending and alliance with public service unions. You could line up the agendas of the Democratic Party and the Communist Party USA side by side and find very little difference.

Unfortunately, there are voices in the GOP that sound more like Democrats than Republicans. The most visible to emerge is Jeb Bush, a former Florida Governor, whose informal recent remarks sound like Democrat-light. He could have better articulated the need for immigration reform, but he did not. This is a common problem among too many Republicans in office or running for one, no matter what the issue may be.



Jeb Bush favors Common Core, a federal program of education standards that represent why education in America is failing and has been for a very long time. Regrettably, his brother, George W. Bush advocated "Leave No Child Behind” with its comparable standards. Parents today are clamoring for charter schools to save their children from the indoctrination imposed by teachers unions since the 1960s. Democrat demands for pre-kindergarten programs are just a further intrusion into their lives.

In a Wall Street Journal commentary, former Florida Governor, William W. Galston, characterizes the war within the GOP as being between "the social conservatives and defense hawks that Ronald Reagan created in the late 1970s” and the current GOP leadership who think those values should be abandoned to entice youth, women, and homosexuals. He expressed the war as a generational one between younger and older Republicans.

"The tea party offers nothing except nostalgia for a demography that is in retreat and a Constitution that never was,” said Galston. "By contrast Mr. Bush wants to run as a conservative unafraid of the future.” His wish for a campaign that avoids mud-slinging betrays a timidity that could cost the GOP another loss if he were to become its presidential candidate. My view is that Republicans, as per the Rasmussen poll, want a candidate and a Party that would more boldly fight Democratic Party and liberal lies.

In a March commentary by Karl Rove, the former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, had nice things to say about the party’s reformers such as Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and governors such as Bobby Jindal, Rick Snyder, Scott Walker, and John Kasich. He cited their efforts to help the poor, but left unsaid was that they are poor because they are either a permanent class of the poor or the result of Obama’s failure to turn the economy around.

Rove could well have mentioned Tea Party favorites such as Senators Cruz, Lee, and Paul who are reinvigorating Republican principles and giving voice to them.

The GOP is not about the poor. It is about the middle class and too many are sinking into poverty thanks to Democratic programs emphasizing spending, borrowing, and expanding programs such as food stamps, unemployment payments, and an increase in the minimum wage. All of Obama’s blather about income inequality is aimed at those who think such programs will help the economy, but all they do is undermine it.

"Conservative reformers seek to broaden opportunity, increase prosperity for every American, restore the value of work, and strengthen markets, competition and choice,” said Rove. "If successful, their efforts would help the GOP among middle class voters.” That could have been written by a member of the Tea Party movement.

"It is hard to overstate how much the Republican Party is hurt by the persistent belief of many voters that its candidates are out of touch and do not care about people like them,” said Rove. That's the message of the Democratic Party and always has been. It is a message that mainstream media repeats.

The Tea Party movement, however, is overcoming that message and the success of Republican governors and the popularity of its candidates suggests that many Americans see the movement as the salvation of the nation. The Republican Party too often looks pale by comparison and that must change.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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American Crossroads Group Portrait

Timothy Birdnow

I was discussing the eventual fate of Karl Rove and the other Republican Establishment types, and we were in agreement that they intended to retire together to a lovely little place - Antenora Meadows. I searched the web and found a group portrait from American Crossroads at this particular retirement community. See if you can spot Rove, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Danforth, Kit Bond, and all the rest


File:Gustave Dore Inferno34.jpg more...

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 06:45 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 12, 2014

Goccia Birdnow RIP


Cathy Birdnow
Timothy Birdnow

This morning I had the sad duty of euthanizing my beloved cat Goccia. He was 18 years old.

Always full of life, Goccia was inherited by us from the Humane Society, an 8 year old orphan. We had him for ten years and he was as happy as any cat could be. He was a true Bon Vivant, a foodie who demanded we set a plate for him when we ate. And he didn't want just a bite of meat; he made us put potatoes and vegetables on his plate as well!  He loved peas, chicken, carrot souffle. 

And he also liked to have a nip. There were several cocktails that could not be safely put within his reach. His favorites were margaritas and rum and seven up. I was once outside grilling some pork steaks  and set my drink down on a step. I heard a slurping sound and turned to see Goccia with his head buried in my drink, happily lapping away at the contents. (He showed no ill effects from it either!)  He was always eager to sniff almost anything, including martinis, whiskey, coffee. A true gourmet!  I suspect he would smoke an after-dinner cigar if he had the thumbs to hold it...

He never missed a meal!

He had other unique traits. He would race my wife anywhere she was trying to go. When she went to bed he would sneak up on her, climb onto the pillow with her head, and start gently pushing. I would find my wife curled up at the foot of the bed and Goccia triumphantly lounging there, king of his domain!

He also loved to drink out of the water tap, and I would have to run the water for him every morning and evening. It's going to be strange to be unaccompanied in the bathroom.

He was amazingly healthy for his whole life, and never really had any problems until last weekend when he became listless. The doctor said his kidneys were only operating at a third of capacity. He also had a bad heart murmur, was seriously dehydrated, and badly constipated. All week we took him to the vet in the morning where they pumped him full of water, then brought him home. He was doing much better although his numbers hadn't risen much and we knew the end was going to come sooner rather than later. Last night he was fine; we went out for a bite to eat and when we came home he was laying like one long dead. He had also lost control of his bowels and left a trail of feces to the litter box. He was still alive, but limp as a ragdoll. 

So this morning we took him on the walk along the green mile. I don't think he minded overmuch; he was suffering terribly. He's at peace now.

He joins my other beloved cat Blackberry, who died two years ago. While Blackberry annoyed Goccia quite a bit, he was like a brother to him. Now they are together.

Strange; Blackberry died of Congestive Heart Failure, and I developed the same malady just a few months later (luckily my wife couldn't put me down that way!) Goccie suffered kidney failure and heart problems, and both Cathy and me were hospitalized with kidney problems within the last few months - and my heart was acting up again, too. 

At any rate, I am heartbroken he's gone, but it was necessary. He is no longer suffering.

By the way, the name Goccia was given to him by his former owner who was likely an elderly woman. We got him on The Hill, the Italian neighborhood in St. Louis. I looked it up; Goccia means "drop of gold" in Italian. He was a beautiful cat, red and gold with a bullseye on his side. 

I will never forget you Goccie cat!




Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 03:23 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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