We Win, They Lose
The Wit and Wisdom of Three Guys Named Brent, Mark and Mike
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
No alternative?
Yesterday's article in the Washington Times speaks of discontent among the party faithful, stating: "President Bush is beginning to anger certain hard-line conservatives, particularly over fiscal issues, the way his father did in the year before he lost to Bill Clinton in 1992." I agree with the anger 100%, but not with the link to defeat.

As W. James Antle III points out

to say that there is any real risk of electoral abandonment is just wishful thinking on the part of a few activists. And conservatives wouldn't really benefit if it was more than wishful thinking.

I strongly disagree with Bush's spending, and feel that he must be more forceful on moral issues. But I also recognize that for conservatives, there really is no alternative to voting for Bush. Is there any alternative?

More to the point, what can be gained by voting 3rd party, or staying home? While I agree that eventually, one can reach the "tipping point" where the frustration causes one to vote for the other party, or a third party, or merely not vote at all. But what is really accomplished by doing so?

This merely cedes control of the "apparatus" to those whose agenda is even worse, and makes it much harder to effectuate change. Not only that, but judicial appointments have become such an important aspect of the presidency, it is crucial to maintain control over this. If one votes third party and Bush wins anyway, nothing is accomplished. If one votes third party and Bush loses it is far worse.

Believe me, I wish there were an alternative to being held hostage to compassionate conservatism, but I don't think there is. I hope others have something to say about this, I am truly looking for suggestions.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003
"If ye will wrest [the scriptures] it shall be to your own destruction."
In their drive to obtain societal approval for their "alternative" lifestyle, homosexual rights advocates are now claiming that Jesus Christ was homosexual. This article here begins:

"As Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus few of them will be told in their churches and Cathedrals anything about the sexuality of Jesus, yet a growing group of Biblical scholars believe that Christ may have had at least one sexual relationship with another male."

Unbelievable! This is historical wishful thinking in its most vile form. It is so repugnant to Christ's purpose and message that I am even reticent to post this. However, I think it is helpful to know the extent to which this movement will attempt to push its agenda, even in the religious setting.

I do not know if I commented here or elsewhere, but the article linked above highlights what I think is a terrible tragedy in modern Christianity. (Fortunately, this problem is not widespread, yet). Christ is being written and reasoned out of His role as Savior and Redeemer. Remember, He came to save us and redeem us from our sins, if we will but repent and follow Him. Many, however, would rather not put away their sins, or class of sins (i.e. sexual immorality). Instead, they wrest or avoid Christ's teachings that call into question their particular pet sin(s). (See, e.g. Gene Robinson). Or, in perhaps what may be a new trend, as noted above, they desecrate and debase Christ himself in an attempt to justify their lifestyle. In either case, the effect is to eliminate the need for Christ and His redeeming grace.

(Note, this was originally posted on Southern Appeal, here)

Monday, December 29, 2003
Sin and Natural Disasters: A Correlation?
John P. Pratt asks whether there is a correlation between so-called "natural disasters" and breaking the commandments of God in this article here. He states that the purpose of his article is "not to prove that there is a direct correlation between sin and natural disasters." Indeed, he notes that "that would be very difficult to prove scientifically, and besides, the Lord has told us that at least in some cases there is definitely a correlation." Instead, Dr. Pratt suggests that there may be enough coincidences to consider doing a study to see if indeed there is a correlation. Undoubtedly, many will consider the very asking of the question to be controversial, but one wonders whether there is a link between the increasing debasement of society and the apparent proliferation of natural disasters (e.g. floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.). I remember reading back in 1993 that there had already been as many severe earthquakes from 1990-1993 than the entire prior decade. It certainly seems that the prevalence of natural disasters could be a "sign of the times" warned about in the scriptures.

Kill your own child, constitutional right. Kill someone else's child, murder charges.
In Oklahoma, a woman killed an acquaintance and cut her unborn child from her womb. I can imagine her defense now: "my good friend could not afford an abortion, and asked me to perform one for her -- who am I to deny a woman her constitutional right to choose?"

Dean's Candidacy
George Will discusses Howard Dean's presidential campaign here. He also discusses the presidential race itself. Will remarks that:

"Dean is why there is both good and bad news for Democrats in Newsweek's latest presidential poll. The good news is that George W. Bush is in a 46-46 dead heat when matched against an unnamed Democrat. The bad news is that the Democratic nominee will have, among other problematic attributes, a name, probably Dean's."

What a great quote. I hope a Dean nomination does in fact result in as large a problem for the Democrat party as Will and others think it will.

Mitch Albom has penned an excellent commentary about the loss of "childhood" in American society. Some of the stories he recounts are quite sad. The things my eight year old has learned at school at her young age (from other students) are frightening. We want our children to grow and learn but we should protect their innocence and virtue. Let them enjoy childhood. Let them have a childhood. They only get one shot at it. Make it count.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Planned Parenthood update
Planned Parenthood has tried its best to not shine the spotlight on the success of a group opposed to the building of an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas. Here is the latest update on their site.

I have commented previously on this effort here.

The Power of Profanity
Here is an editorial in the Chicago Tribune with the above title. It seems they just can't quite get themselves to condemn the use of profanity. Indeed, after mentioning Senator Kerry's recent expletive against President Bush's Iraq policy, it states:

Relax. This isn't a diatribe against profanity or a screed preaching abstinence from foul language. You don't have to be a priggish school marm to occasionally be offended by America's decades-long slide into gratuitous profanity. But we appreciate a choice expletive now and then.

Oh! Thank heavens! I thought for a moment they would actually do something controversial, like condemn the use by a candidate for president of the United States of language more commonly associated with rap artists and prisons. I guess I'm a "priggish school marm." The editorial goes on to state:

In the right place and at the right time, profanity can be satisfying, even cathartic. Done with a certain aplomb, it can even be creative. But only if used sparingly and in the right settings.

Interestingly, the editorial fails to give a single example of "the right place" and "the right time" to use profanity. Nor did they curse in their editorial. Guess it wasn't the right setting. I wonder what exactly was the point in writing this editorial?

Update: The Washington Times also carries an article that touches on this subject.

Update, part II: Here is an article about Governor Pataki's pardon of Lenny Bruce, who was convicted of obscenity in the 1960's. Too bad he isn't alive today, he could run for the Democrat nomination.

Kente Claus?
The Chicago Tribune carries this article about diversity in mall Santas. In the print edition, there was a picture which showed a "Kente Claus." I don't mind changing Santa's color, but do you have to change his name, too? And is it really a good idea to separate children by race for the Santa line? Or confuse them by having two (or more) different Santas?

Personal Responsibility Fanatics?
NRO has another good article here, this one by Dave Shiflett about a new book to held trial lawyers in their selection of jurors. Mr. Shiflett writes that:

"According to a new guidebook for the plaintiff's bar, trial lawyers are advised to be wary of potential jurors with "extreme attitudes about personal responsibility." These jurors, the guidebook counsels, often reveal themselves by chatting up "traditional family values" — values that reflect "strong religious beliefs."

Of course, the guidebook author says he is not proposing a religious litmus test, but instead "he excludes religious jurors for their own good. 'You are now asking that person to make a choice between their religious beliefs and the laws that exist in your specific state. Why should they have to be put in that position?'"

But Shiflett notes that there may something more nefarious at work:

"This is intolerance posing as compassion. It is also a reminder of the steady marginalizing of religious belief and believers, be they candidates for judicial nomination or, apparently, ordinary jurors. Potential justices are excluded over fears they will not support abortion rights or will consider various "lifestyle" questions through a religious filter. For jurors, the offending belief is that humans should be held responsible for their actions and not attempt to shift blame to innocent parties in the pursuit of a fat jury award."

"Marginalizing of religious belief and believers." "Excessive attitudes about personal responsibilty." Don't trial lawyers typically support the Democrat party? Need I even ask?

Money for your alma mater?
NRO has a good essay on this topic. (via Musings-EnterStageRight)

Abortion Bias? No, just a simple mistake....
The editor of the Dayton Daily News inserted into a "news" article an entire paragraph from a blatantly pro-abortion editorial that called unborn children "parasites" and said pro-life laws turn women into "breeding mare[s]." Read about it here and here, find the correction here. LifeNews.com notes that:

The Dayton newspaper's chief editor, Jeff Bruce, told the Washington Post, "It was an effort to make the story better that went awry. It was simply bungled."

Yeah... bungled. Oops, we put our bias on display, sorry about that.

Monday, December 22, 2003
Cigarettes behind the counter
I was in a grocery store the other day, and got to thinking about why tobacco products are kept behind special counters. I don't think that was always the case. But now in most grocery stores and gas stations, cigarettes and other tobacco products are usually kept behind the counter, where in order to purchase them you have to ask for them. I asked the clerk why this was the case, and he replied that it was done to prevent theft. That was my first guess, too, but it prompted other thought. Why is it that tobacco products are locked up to prevent theft, but not food? Presumably, a hungry person has much more incentive to steal food than a smoker does to steal cigarettes, but that must not be the case. I suppose that the addiction to tobacco is quite strong, and prompts many to steal the items. This was probably quite easy when cigarettes were on open display, and in small packs. Surely, the stores noticed that their stock was getting stolen and made the decision to lock them up. Another possibility is that young persons (too young to purchase tobacco) had to steal cigarettes to get them. (But alcohol is usually not locked up -- I wonder why?) I have other thoughts on this, too, but I'd like to hear what others think of this practice -- why is it done, and what do you think about it?

Interesting Essay
At First Things, Vincent Philip Munoz has an interesting essay titled "Establishing Free Exercise."

Heroes and the Lord of the Rings
Interesting commentary here on Peter Jackson's portrayal of Tolkein's characters, particularly Frodo, in the Lord of the Rings.

Friday, December 19, 2003
Calling Good Evil and Evil Good
That is the title of a post I made over at Southern Appeal. Check it out.

"We have to fight harder, be a little dirtier."
So says a leaked pro-abortion memo from the Center for Reproductive Rights. This really is an unbelievable story. Several groups, including the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and LifeNews.com have been threatened with lawsuits by the Center for making public the leaked memo.

On December 8, 2003, Representative Chris Smith had the documents placed into the Congressional Record (pdf file here, html digest here). The documents establish the radical nature of these abortion zealots.

Just one example of many -- the memo notes (Congressional Record, p. E2540) that CRR wishes to work "to secure the fundamental right of minors right to access all reproductive health services confidentially."

What this effort entails is then laid out:

This includes:

(1) undoing the notion that parental rights are an adequate justification for imposing additional burdens on minors seeking abortions or other reproductive health care;

(2) staving off efforts to require parental involvement for minors seeking contraception and abortion;

(3) undoing child abuse reporting requirements with respect to non-abusive sexual relations;

(4) ensuring minors' ability to consent to all reproductive health services;

(5) establishing minors' right to comprehensive information about reproductive and sexual health.

The memo then notes that:

We will likely have to confront the politically difficult issue of whether minors have a right to have sex (and more generally, whether minors should be treated as adults).

As I have previously noted, these radically pro-abortion groups (such as CRR and Planned Parenthood) are WAY outside the mainstream. What percentage of the population do you think supports this sexualization of children? These people are sick -- why on earth would they promote the sexualization of children? Children, for crying out loud!!!! And why are they trying to cut the parents out of the child's life?

This is just one tiny portion of the memo -- there is much, much more. This should be front-page news ... hmmm, I wonder why no newspapers are covering it? In fact, when was the last time you saw any media coverage which portrayed an abortion advocate as outside the mainstream?

Thursday, December 18, 2003
Religion and Politics II
As a follow up to Brent's post below, I was reminded of my post from a few weeks ago on SA. I linked to this article which states, in part:

Want to know how Americans will vote next Election Day? Watch what they do the weekend before.

If they attend religious services regularly, they probably will vote Republican by a 2-1 margin. If they never go, they likely will vote Democratic by a 2-1 margin.
"We now have the widest gap we have ever had between Republicans and Democrats," said Andy Kohut, the director of the Pew survey.

"It's THE most powerful predictor of party ID and partisan voting intention," said Thomas Mann, a political scholar at the Brookings Institution, a center-left Washington research center. "And in a society that values religion as much as (this one), when there are high levels of religious belief and commitment and practice, that's significant."

Religion and Politics
Foxnews reports here on what they call "a growing body of polling" which suggest that the more one regularly attend church, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican. I find this interesting, given the number of Democrat candidates who give campaign speeches in churches, but not surprising. Several theories for this are mentioned in the article. Feel free to comment on your own ideas as to why those who are "more religious" tend to vote more regularly for Republicans.

I think it boils down to a few issues which I discuss below (note that the order in which these are discussed does not necessarily reflect the relative role each may play):

First, separation of church and state. Democrats are increasingly hostile to any public recognition or expression in the public sphere. As our society has become increasingly public (i.e. government has become more involved in our lives), limiting public expression of religion has caused intense frustration among our nation's most religious. I think related to this, is the Democrat tendency to pander to special interest groups which include Muslim and Jewish groups. Thus, you have defense of the Muslim crescent in schools and Mennorahs, but rejection of Nativity scenes. As most religious individuals in this country are Christian, they also feel slighted by such discrimination and the pandering to the minority groups.

Second, same-sex marriage and homosexual rights. The "most religious" in this country value traditional marriage and sexual morality. The Democrat party caters to the homosexual "rights" lobby. This doesn't leave much room for the views of the religious, views, which, I might add, are generally very strongly held. Thus, there is little incentive for such people to support Democrats.

Third, abortion. Similar to my comments above about homosexuality, the "most religious" are staunchly pro-life. (In fact, people generally are becoming more pro-life as noted here.) Probably, the single biggest litmus test applied by the Democratic party to candidates for national office, and certainly to Federal judicial appointees, is where such individuals favor abortion-on-demand. Again, pro-lifers feel very strongly about this issue. I would imagine that there is also a strong correlation between religiosity and being pro-life. Thus, it becomes increasingly difficult to support a party that is so beholden to the pro-abortion movement.

There are likely other contributing factors, but I do not believe the Democratic party can simply "pay more attention" to religious individuals by pandering. People expect results. You have to do more than simply sound pious and religious, you actually have to uphold the belief system of the religious. I don't believe the Democrat party is willing to do this, even if some individual Democrats do refuse to tow the party line on some or all of these issues.

What are we going to do about it?
"It" refers to the unbelievable increase in Federal spending under the Republican watch. Jane Chastian raises the poignant question above in this Worldnetdaily article about Congressional spending. Ms. Chastian states that not a single member of the 107th Congress voted to reduce government expenditures. Even taking out spending associated with national defense as result of September 11th and expenditures are still out of control. This is scandalous.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Everything is Politics
As I note over at Southern Appeal, Madeline Albright theorizes that Bush knows where Bin Laden is, but is awaiting a politically expedient moment to capture him. This kind of thinking clearly can be attributed to the Democrat Party's irrational hatred of Bush and his administration. However, upon further reflection, I think that this type of cyncism also may be part of Clinton's legacy.

Every action Clinton took was based on polls and how it would play politically. Everyone knew it, Democrat and Republican alike. Of course, many politicians act in a political manner, but Clinton was the politician's politician. He was completely driven by the results his actions would achieve (e.g. sexual and/or political gratification). Thus, it is understandable that those who were close to, part of or sympathetic to Clinton's administration would now assume that Bush acts only in a self-serving politically expedient manner. Clinton destroyed the idea that our political leaders may actually take actions that they believe are in our nation's best interest; that they act at times independent of the political consequences. What a shame.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
"The Campaign of Hate and Fear"
This WSJ Online editorial is linked to over at Southern Appeal, but I wanted to provide a link here, because I think this article is a must read for everyone. Orson Scott Card does not pull any punches as he warns about what is at stake with the war in Iraq. Whether or not you supported our invasion or not, patriotism and our nation's successful defense against terrorism demands a certain amount of resolve and unity on the part of all Americans. We have to do what is necessary to win. I would encourage everyone to read Card's comments. (Note, he is a Democrat, not a Republican spinner.)

Christian Tax Reform?
Gordon Smith over at Times and Seasons made an interesting post today about taxes and Christianity. Check it out and follow the comments.

Democrat Conspiracy Theorists
Howard Dean thinks that Bush may have been tipped off about September 11 by the Saudis. Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott thinks we only captured Saddam now so that the Bush administration could make some good news. These people are unbelievable. I am truly astonished at the level of distrust and hatred they exhibit toward President Bush and his administration.

Monday, December 15, 2003
Anti-war, Anti-Bush
Mark wonders about the extent to which the capture of Saddam Hussein will change the dynamics of the Democrat primaries. I have to say that I am not sure that it will change things all that much. Certainly some of the candidates are likely to attempt to appear less anti-Bush than they have in the past. Lieberman will probably attempt to distance himself from the rest of the pack by siding much more squarely with the administration in supporting the war in Iraq. (In fact, as reported here, he has already begun to do this. Note, you need to scroll down to see the transcript of Lieberman's comments.)

However, Dean leads the pack for the simple reason that he opposed and opposes the war and he opposes President Bush on nearly everything. Our capturing Saddam, therefore, is unlikely to change Dean's stances in any remarkable way. In fact, the New York Times reports here that in Dean's first public comments since Saddam was taken into custody, Dean made a point of contradicting President Bush's view of this important piece of good news in the war in Iraq. As a result, I think Dean will continue to garner the support of the "angry" masses who have vaulted him to his current status as the front runner. He is not likely to abandon his attitude or position until he earns the nomination. Therefore, he will keep the other candidates to the left, and the dynamic will largely remain the same as it has been.

Jumping to Conclusions
Stumbling through the blogosphere, I came across this good post. It begins:

Like a fat man who eats bowl after bowl of ice cream, legislators pass law after law after law. Probably because it feels good. Or perhaps simply because they can. Are all of them necessary? I highly doubt it.

Sunday, December 14, 2003
Wither (oops! -- whither) now, Howard?
The capture of Saddam Hussein means bad news for Democrats, particularly Howard Dean. Up to now, his whole shtick has been anti-war, Bush can't catch Saddam, this was a huge mistake, etc., etc. Joe Lieberman summed it up best this morning when he stated that if Dean "had his way, Saddam Hussein would still be in power today, not in prison."

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how this changes the dynamics of the Democrat primaries. All of a sudden, Dean appears quite vulnerable. Watch for his speech tomorrow, and see how he handles himself the next few days, it will be quite important.

Who does the capture help (on the Democrat side)? Probably Clark the most, then Kerry. Both will likely aim to position themselves as the rational ones, (Clark is more plausible here) as compared to Dean, and his knee-jerk anti-war stance.

Another possibility is that enough Democrats hate Bush so much, they don't want to see us do well in Iraq, and will support Dean anyway. In that case, he wins the nomination, and gets absolutely killed in the general election. Imagine if we now find WMD's, too.

In any event, Dean has seen what was looking to be perhaps a viable issue evaporate. Along with it may go his lead in the polls. At the very least, it makes it harder for any but the single-issue anti-war crowd to back him.

If he is looking for a hole to crawl into, I hear there's an empty one near Tikrit.

Nightmare for Democrats
Boy, the Democrats are gonna have a hard time spinning this one, huh? Imagine what a weird state our political parties are in when the capture of one of the world's worst tyrants will actually be rued by one of our political parties. Isn't that sad, that you know that those guys are quietly disappointed in this monumental news?

I especially enjoyed the shouts of joy from the Iraqi people. I think you'll see a big change in Iraq now, and Howard Dean, et al., are gonna regret ever being against the war. Perhaps they can time the trial for this fall, right before George W. Bush wins all 50 states.

Update: Just caught this item in the Greenville News. A quote from a Kurd living in Greenville:

Before, when they showed him on TV, he has his gun and you think he’s Rambo - like he’s a very, very strong man. But today, he’s shown on TV like Tom of ‘Tom and Jerry.’ ... His face is ugly and old.

Saturday, December 13, 2003
Ex-U.S. Senate aide probed in Va. murder
I wonder what will become of this.

Friday, December 12, 2003
Asylum Seekers
The Australian High Court has ruled that homosexuals are to be granted privileged treatment under the U.N. Convention on Refugees, as reported here. It really appears that homosexuality truly is shaping up to be the deciding issue in the culture war.

Thursday, December 11, 2003
Support Good TV Programs
The television networks continually try to one-up eachother in producing programs that appeal to the darker side of human nature. Fortunately, however, good programs are shown from time to time. This coming Saturday (December 14) NBC will be airing a movie called Secret Santa, as reported here. (Note, the article also provides a link to a review of the movie). My hope is we will support good programs like this both by watching them and then letting the network know that we like these types of programs. (Contact information for NBC is located here).

Thank you Sir, may we have another!
As noted by Ms. Morality, legislatures are such sissies these days.

Say What?!?
Responding to numerous contractors' ongoing boycott to the building of an abortion clinic in Austin, Texas, Danielle Tierney, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood made this ridiculous comment:

[I] would say if abortion is something you deeply oppose or you have a problem with, then you should do everything you can to support Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood serves 20,000 people in the community every year.

Let me get this straight -- if you "deeply oppose" abortion you should support Planned Parenthood?

When would it be okay to oppose Planned Parenthood, then?

More importantly, is that the best they can do in the way of a spokesperson? For crying out loud, the best she can come up with is 'if you oppose everything we stand for, you should support us'?

Great Response to Silly Question
Seth Liebsohn of the Claremont Institute has a great post answering the common question put to those against same-sex marriage -- "If I am truly in love with and committed for life to someone, regardless of their gender, I do not think it is right for anyone to prevent me from creating a union with that person such as marriage. Why is it fair for anyone to deny me [the] same rights as those of heterosexuals?"

The entire answer is great, but one line, to me, stood out above the rest:

Marriage, among other things, is about changing behavior, not changing the institution to comport with behavior.


Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Diversity for me, but not for thee...
Front Page Magazine has an interesting item about a Republican student group denied recognition as an official campus organization at Wells College.

Said Wells Republican Treasurer Colleen Curry, a sophomore from Warren, Maine: "There seems to be a pattern emerging. Wells speaks often and loudly of its devotion to diversity. But when it comes to hiring faculty, somehow there is a glaring absence of conservatives. And when the few conservative students on campus want to organize themselves into a club, they are denied recognition."

When you're right, you're right...
Here is an article in the Daily News confirming my previous analysis -- Gore's endorsement of Dean means a big feud between the Clintons and Gores.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
President Hinckley's Christmas Message.
The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently spoke at a Christmas devotional. I listened to his talk on the internet and was struck by his directness in championing the traditional family, not typically the subject of Christmas messages. You can read a synopsis of his discourse here. I will try to put a link to the actual transcript of his talk later. The Deseret News reports that:

President Hinckley stated "It was Jehovah whose finger wrote on the tablets of stone the Ten Commandments which have become the foundation of much of the law which circumscribes our behavior and defines our relationships. The further teachings of the Old Testament become the safeguard of the traditional family" at a time when that institution is "under attack" and "seems to be falling apart all about us."
The biblical Sodom and Gomorrah "became examples of that which was evil and abominable in the sight of God," President Hinckley said. "It was Jehovah, speaking through his prophets, who decried evil and pleaded for righteousness. When there was no repentance, it was his withering hand that destroyed them."
Quoting Matthew from the New Testament, he said Christ prescribed marriage between a man and a woman, "and the twain shall be one flesh. . . . What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

How sad that this message is even necessary. This devotional will be rebroadcast on BYU-TV which can be accessed through Directv or Dish Network or online at www.byutv.org. Here is a link the dates of rebroadcast.

Monday, December 08, 2003
Mark Your Calendars.....
"No-Name Calling Week" is set for March 1-5, 2004 -- "join educators from across the nation as they work to end name-calling in their schools."

Good grief.

By the way, if these children don't call other children by their names, what shall they call them? :)

Yeah, this is "mainstream"....
Check out this quote from the Planned Parenthood website, in response to the question "When is a good time to start talking to my child about sex?":

Children age 9-13 should be aware that sex is a natural, pleasurable part of life. They should be familiar with birth control methods and sexually transmitted infections, the changes that will be happening to their bodies and emotions during puberty, and the dangers of sexual abuse.

Will someone please explain to me why on earth a nine year-old kid should know about "birth control methods"? How can these people claim to be mainstream?

Gore vs. Clinton?
I find several aspects of Al Gore's decision to endorse Howard Dean very interesting. For starters, this means he is not backing his own running mate, Joe Liberman. In fact, he did not even tell Joe about his endorsement of Dean. Second, the timing. It is interesting that the endorsement seems to go directly against the Clinton's efforts to maintain firm control over the Democrat party. It has been widely speculated that Wesley Clark's entire campaign is merely the Clinton effort to keep the nomination from going to Dean.

Recently, the entire Clinton apparatus has gone full bore against Dean. Leon Panetta, Harold Ickes, Bruce Lindsey, et al, have all made recent attacks on Dean. And just this past weekend, Hillary herself appeared on several Sunday shows and contradicted Dean's call for us to leave Iraq, specifically saying we need "more troops on the ground from other countries[.]"

As I have noted elsewhere (see here and here), the Clinton's are trying to maintain control over party funds, specifically the DNC (through Terry McAuliffe). This will not be possible once Dean wins the nomination, as he will fire McAuliffe post haste.

Thus, it seems that Gore's endorsement of Dean, especially at this time, is a not-so-subtle shot at his former boss and his "wife," Hillary. Could it be that Gore has finally broken free of the Clintons, and is even attempting to stick it to them? Why else endorse Dean?

Gore is even planning on making the announcement in Harlem -- otherwise known as Bill Clinton's backyard. I'm telling you, this is a complete break with the Clintons.

A Federal Judge Gets One Right
It was reported today that a federal judge has ruled that a school district violated the rights of one of its students when it refused to allow her viewpoint to be presented during the school's "Diversity Week." Here is how the Judge began his 70 page ruling.

"This case presents the ironic, and unfortunate, paradox of a public high school celebrating 'diversity' by refusing to permit the presentation to students of an 'unwelcomed' viewpoint on the topic of homosexuality and religion, while actively promoting the competing view. This practice of 'one-way diversity,' unsettling in itself, was rendered still more troubling – both constitutionally and ethically – by the fact that the approved viewpoint was, in one manifestation, presented to students as religious doctrine by six clerics (some in full garb) quoting from religious scripture. In its other manifestation, it resulted in the censorship by school administrators of a student's speech about "what diversity means to me," removing that portion of the speech in which the student described the unapproved viewpoint.''

We need more judges like this one. You can read the rest of the decision here.

Sunday, December 07, 2003
The only way to stay alive in dodgeball is to kill.
You have absolutely got to read this. It is a letter to the editor of the Greenville News about the dangers of dodgeball. It has to be a joke. An example:

Dodgeball is a sport that models a war battle with balls instead of guns. A group of kids is divided in two for no particular reason and told to use whatever means necessary to kill as many of the opposing forces as possible. This includes hurling balls, lightning speed, at other students' bodies, heads and even at sensitive or private areas. While one person is in excruciating pain and limps to the sidelines, the others, especially the teachers, whoop with laughter.

1. "divided in two for no particular reason"? -- umm, ever heard of 'teams'?
2. "Kill as many of the opposing forces as possible"? -- what planet are you living on?
3. "lightning speed"? -- from a grade-schooler? what planet are you living on?
4. "excruciating pain and limps"? -- what planet are you living on?

I don't know about you, but I am certainly whooping with laughter. This is a real gem. That she managed to pack so much idiocy in such a short piece shows true talent. Really.

Dean/Graham Duo?
At cq.com, Craig Crawford has an interesting column (as always). He notes the following:

No matter how strong the President might look in Florida, the Dean camp is determined to mount a major effort here if he is the Democratic nominee. Dean strategists say winning Florida's 27 electoral votes is central to their Dixie campaign as a backstop in case they lose smaller Southern states to Bush.

Dean hoped to prove this determination at the state convention by cutting a $50,000 check for the state Democratic Party. In exchange, his campaign team got prime placement at the convention hotel for receptions, rallies, information tables and training seminars. His rivals could not come up with the cash for such preferential treatment.

In another boost for Dean's Florida hopes, the state's premier Democratic family now has a berth on the Dean team. Bob Graham's daughter, Gwen Graham Logan, recently joined the campaign as southern coordinator. The deal was struck just a few weeks after her father abandoned his own presidential campaign.

While careful not to make any ironclad promises, the Dean camp did little to quell buzz among convention delegates about Graham as a potential running mate.

People Consumed With Historical Guilt
Yesterday CNN's "In the Money" had an interview (it's about midway through the program) with the author of "Hitting the Jackpot: The Inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History," Brett Fromson. Here is an excerpt:

CAFFERTY: When this whole thing began, there was only one Pequot Indian, right? And his heritage could have been considered marginal?

FROMSON: Well, yes. There was an older lady who lived alone on this 200-acre reservation that was not federally recognized. She died. And then her descendants essentially re-invented a tribe.

CAFFERTY: And then went on to build this billion-dollar-a-year gambling empire. You refer to the Pequots as a Monty Python tribe. What does that mean, exactly?

FROMSON: Well, you remember the old Monty Python skit about the dead parrot?


FROMSON: And the guy goes in and he's -- the shopkeepers say -- he sold him a stuffed parrot and he says, "It's not dead, it's just sleeping." Well, the Pequots are a dead parrot, but they somehow convinced basically the people in Connecticut -- and this is the late '70s, early '80s, when gambling wasn't on the map, no one really cared. It was completely -- you know, people consumed with historical guilt.

No one wanted to check their bona fides, no due diligence. And so they basically got it on -- they just got it off the radar screen. They got federal recognition, and then were off to the races.

Saturday, December 06, 2003
"There is a stealth quality to the work..."
Lifenews.com has an interesting story about a 60-page leaked document detailing the radical nature of the Center for Reproductive Rights' push for global abortion. A quote:

The document states that CRR’s "overarching goal is to ensure that governments worldwide guarantee reproductive rights out of an understanding that they are bound to do so." This goal includes the international establishment of the "inalienable nature" of "sexual rights," including "sexual autonomy" for girls, specifically "reproductive information and services, such as abortion, without parental notification or consent," according to [Douglas Sylvia, Vice President of The Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute]. Such policies and international laws could be enforced on governments, nullifying their sovereignty over such issues.

The leaked memo notes:

"There is a stealth quality to the work: we are achieving incremental recognition of values without a huge amount of scrutiny from the opposition."

Thursday, December 04, 2003
"Choice on Earth"
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, the controversial "Choice on Earth" holiday cards are back.

One other item about Planned Parenthood: check out the home page for their website -- notice the quote at the top?

We believe in acting courageously, especially as allies with those who have little or no voice and little or no power.


Yeah, they're fighting for the little guy.

Abortion can "remedy most of society's ills."
So says the architect of the abortion facility currently not being built in Austin Texas due to a contractor boycott. Yeah, I suppose we could kill everyone -- as there would be no society left, I guess that would remedy society's ills. (I have posted on the boycott previously here , here and here.)

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood responds. Quoth PP:

We must support those businesspeople who stand up for what they believe in, despite this outrageous intimidation campaign.

What if those businesspeople believe in protecting innocent human life? Hmmmm?

"Borders Kill People"
That's the message on a sign held by a protesting graduate student at the University of Illinois. The student was protesting Daniel Pipes speech. You need to read the article, the students are so darn earnest, one can almost overlook the fact that they are complete idiots. Almost.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Receives Award
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir received the nation's highest artistic honor from President Bush recently as reported here. Unfortunately, this puts them in the same category as Barbara Streisand.

NY Times and Abortion
When I have more time, I will post about the numerous errors and shadings of truth in this recent editorial by the NY Times. For now, suffice it to say it is a joke.

Well, I can't help it. I gotta comment on this accusation:

Through political harassment and the imposition of various restrictions, [pro-lifers] have made it increasingly difficult for women who are young or poor, or who live in rural areas, to obtain access to abortion services in the first weeks of pregnancy, thereby needlessly delaying procedures until the fetus is further along.

Can you believe that? They blame pro-lifers for forcing women to have late-term abortions because early-term abortions aren't available on every street corner. And passing a law is now "political harassment"? Give me a break.

This is hilarious...
The Wall Street Journal notes:

Humming Along: Normally you wouldn't think you'd have trouble rustling up a decent protest in uber-liberal Marin County, Calif. But the Marin Independent Journal reports that when Mike Sandler tried to organize some action for the National Day of Protest Against the Hummer outside a local dealer, his total draw amounted to only "10 protestors, two Chihuahuas and a poodle." The paper explains: "In Marin, where a Ford Expedition might sport a Greenpeace sticker, the environmentally minded aren't immune to the conservation message. They just can't hear it behind all the glass, the leather and the chrome combat bumper."

You gotta read the whole article from the Marin Independent Journal. It's hilarious.

Monday, December 01, 2003
Attacking the LDS Church
As reported here, there are likely to be a larger number and more intense attacks on the LDS church during the Church's next general conference in April. It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation that this sort of thing goes on in this day and age.

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