Truth is the beginning of wisdom…

Archive for January, 2009


Posted by straight shooter on January 19, 2009 under Political, Social Concerns, Theological Concerns

It’s ironic that Barack Obama chooses to infuse these opening days of his presidency with the imagery of Abraham Lincoln.

I don’t think there could be two more different men. Understanding why may help us think about what to expect in the days ahead.

Beyond his trademark “change we can believe in,” Obama’s defining theme has been unity and inclusiveness. “…There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America …. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States … and have gay friends in the Red States … I value life but I vote for abortion …”

Obama does not suggest that we don’t have differences. His point is that those differences are not critically important and they’re getting in our way. Let’s put differences aside, get practical, and solve our problems. Everything is negotiable … right and wrong … good and bad… WHAT? No it isn’t!

The inaugural ceremonies have pastors for everyone. A white evangelical that opposes same-sex marriage, a white homosexual sinner, a left-wing black male, and a left-wing black female. Oh, and don’t forget the Islamic prayer representative. Yes, and we see what their prayers do.

His economic stimulus plan has large government expenditures to please Democrats, tax benefits to please Republicans, bailouts for everyone and their dog, and of course don’t forget the pork.

Lincoln, too, sought unity … a very different type of unity. Lincoln’s notion of where national unity would lie was a far cry from Obama’s because its focus and philisophy was totally different.

Lincoln prophetically stated this challenge after accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1858. “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure half slave and half free. I do not expect the union to be dissolved. I do not expect the House to fall. But I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

As historian Harry Jaffa points out, “For Lincoln, as for Jefferson and for all genuine supporters of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the distinction between right and wrong is antecedent [the forerunner] to any form of government and is independent of any man’s or any majority’s will.”

Lincoln knew that some principles are so fundamental they cannot be compromised. He knew that we couldn’t ignore our key differences. Unity could only come from facing them and making the hard choices keeping in mind a biblical right and wrong.

We have many Americans today who read the same Bible but edit the truth of its principles, directives, context, and content to make claims to support their desires, instead of taking the intent of what it says as it is, as it was meant to be. Now we have Americans as well who do not see the Bible as relevant and would claim that there are no truths.

Our future will reflect today’s choices.

On the hardest moral dilemma of his day, Abraham Lincoln stepped up to the plate and took a stand. He did not say that it was above his pay grade. This is what makes Abraham Lincoln very different from Barack Obama … Lincoln stood on the moral high ground. The ground on which this countries forefathers stood.

Americans are constantly being betrayed by unethical behavior in American business and in Washington … the behaviors of greed, lies and dishonesty for the love of money and power. Moral problems are what lie at the root of our faltering economy.

The sanctity of life and sanctity of property are cut from the same cloth of eternal law. It’s this law that defines our free country. Our new president, who sanctions both abortion and massive government intrusion into our economic lives, sees things very differently.

These fundamental differences matter immensely and what is chosen will define our future. As Lincoln said, the nation “will become all one thing, or all the other.” I’m not looking forward to what it will become unless there are some major changes and departures from the direction Obama has stated.

Bottom line … Obama has little in common with Lincoln! Lincoln was willing to do what was right.


Posted by straight shooter on January 19, 2009 under Abortion, Political, Social Concerns, Theological Concerns

Physician-assisted suicide is legal now in Montana, although the court ruling legalizing it is under appeal.

Doctor-assisted suicide has been legal in Oregon and recently in Washington, but Rita Marker of the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide says what sets the situation apart in Montana is that the ruling has no boundaries or safeguards.

“So you have a situation where even the flimsiest, and really pretty useless, safeguards that are in the Oregon law, and in the Washington law when it goes into effect next month – those aren’t even in place in Montana,” she explains. “So you pretty much have something wide open.”

This law will be used frequently in Montana. “Of all the states, [Montana] has the highest suicide rate in the entire nation,” Marker notes.

The court’s decision here obviously makes it too easy on terminally ill residents who want to die. All they have to do is phone in their request, and then a prescription for a lethal overdose could be mailed to them. Wow, what a concept “Death By Mail!”

The court’s action could be considered judicial activism among other things, according to Marker. “It’s judicial activism, judicial malpractice, judicial arrogance – all of those things,” she concludes. “Without question.”

I having a bad day and want to die … btw could you mail it to me?  IDIOTS

A senior policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation says the federal government shouldn’t be bailing out the public school system. It is reported that federal aid for public education could grow as much as $140 billion under a stimulus plan being crafted by the Obama administration.

But Dan Lips of The Heritage Foundation says despite state budget deficits, the burden should not be shifted to federal taxpayers. “It’s simply fiscally irresponsible to be passing this buck to Washington, especially considering the ballooning federal deficit,” he contends. “And there are alternatives that can be done.”

Lips says one of those alternatives is expanding school choice. “School-choice programs have been shown to improve efficiency and actually save states and districts money over time,” he points out.

Wouldn’t that be a great alternative to looking to Washington for a bailout?

Another alternative is for Congress to remove some of the red tape in how federal money is currently spent on education at the local level so as to free up money that is wasted on bureaucrats.

Firing the teachers who can’t teach, and actually educating the students instead of socially engineering them would be a couple of other excellent ideas. Unfortunately almost all the democrats and a number of republicans are tied up at the Teacher’s Union feeding trough.


Posted by straight shooter on January 19, 2009 under Political

Karl Rove was asked on Fox and Friends this morning about his memories of his first day at work in the Bush White House. He described finding some unidentifiable foul-smelling goop all over his computer keyboard. He then walked down the hall to find another staffer’s office with the desk literally turned upside-down and papers everywhere looking like a hurricane had blown through. Then there was the case of the missing “W’s” from the computer keyboards. This certainly showed the vindictiveness, childishness, irresponsibility, and lack of respect of the Clinton administration staffers … not only for the new administration that would be coming in but to the governmental system and the White House itself.

It’s amazing how quickly that was all forgotten, and how little the media made of it. Looking back for articles about it and you will find there weren’t many. Part of the reason may be that, according to Rove on Fox and Friends today, and press reports quoting Ari Fleischer at the time, the Bush White House decided not to play it up, and certainly not to seek prosecutions for the destruction of government property. President Bush didn’t have to do that but he was a bigger man than rodeo Bill Clinton and staff.

But at the request of Bob Barr, the General Accounting Office looked into the reports and found that the Clinton team did about $15,000 in damage before vacating the White House. The GAO concluded that “damage, theft, vandalism, and pranks did occur in the White House during the 2001 presidential transition.”

I doubt the Obama team has anything to worry about along those lines … the different between having integrity and not!


Posted by straight shooter on January 19, 2009 under Political

Obama’s Inauguration Has Been Financed Partially By Bailed-Out Wall Street Executives

The country is in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which isn’t stopping rich donors and the government from spending a minimum of $170 million, or more, on the inauguration of Barack Obama.

The actual swearing-in ceremony will cost $1.24 million.

The federal government estimates that it will spend roughly $49 million. Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland have requested another $75 million from the federal government to help pay for their share of police, fire and medical services.

And then there is the party bill. “We have a budget of roughly $45 million, maybe a little bit more,” said Linda Douglas, spokeswoman for the inaugural committee.

Among the expenses: multiple concerts, the parade, large-screen TV rentals for all-free viewing on the national Mall, $700,000 to the Smithsonian Institution to stay open (for whatever reason other than pork) and, of course, the balls, including three that are being pitched as free or low cost for the public.

But there are plenty of rich donors willing to pick up the tab. These are people giving mostly $50,000 apiece. They tend to be corporate executives, celebrities, the elite of the elite.

Best Seats in the House

The biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed-out Wall Street executives and employees. Seems the finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles they still managed to pull together nearly $7 million for the inauguration.

The donors will get some of the best seats in the house (another reward for bad behavior) for the inauguration, as well as admittance to some of the best balls and other events. Of course this is to establish themselves from day one as his biggest financial supporters. And if there’s something they need or to tell him down the road, they will have an easier time doing that than everyone else.

Besides Wall Street firms, a large chunk of the money came from liberal supporting employees at companies such as Microsoft, Google and DreamWorks Animation.

  • According to the Center for Responsive Politics Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer and his wife, Connie, each gave $50,000. So did Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda.
  • DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife, Marilyn, each gave $50,000. Filmmaker and DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate, both also gave $50,000. And DreamWorks employees gave a total of $275,000.
  • Of course billionaire investor George Soros and his family contributed $250,000 to the inauguration, and Google co-founder Larry Page and CEO Eric Schmidt each donated $25,000.
  • Other big-name donors who gave $50,000 include filmmaker George Lucas, artist Dale Chihuly, Los Angeles Dodgers President Jamie McCourt. Citigroup managing director Raymond J. McGuire; Oracle President Charles E. Phillips Jr.; actresses Halle Berry and Sharon Stone; and Melvin Simon, co-founder of Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the United States.


Posted by straight shooter on January 17, 2009 under Abortion, Political, Social Concerns, Theological Concerns

Barack Obama emphatically promised more than a year ago, “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” Will he keep his word?

The Freedom of Choice Act is a sweeping bill that would abolish all pro-life regulations across the nation, from parental notification laws to bans on federal funding of abortions. The Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified 13 categories of pro-life laws that would be stampeded and nullified by FOCA. As far-reaching as the decision of Roe v. Wade is into the states’ jurisdictions and our lives, even it, for example, showed certain respect for state laws and limits on infringing regulations in the medical field. FOCA shows no such restraints; it nails shut the coffin on pro-life choices and safeguards.

And why has Obama pledged his allegiance to pass FOCA? Not only because he has the most passionately liberal pro-choice record of nearly any politician but also because, as he told a meeting of Planned Parenthood during his campaign, “it is time to turn the page” to a new day, when pro-life views and laws and debate on abortion are passé. And if he and the Democratic majority have their way, America will have that new day, one in which hundreds of thousands more abortions will be performed annually. (It is utterly hypocritical that a president and a political party who pride themselves on providing and protecting minorities don’t include the unborn among those minorities.)

The fight to pass FOCA is being waged despite a new nationwide survey revealing that about 4 in 5 U.S. adults would limit abortion’s legality. These statistics are in stark contrast to the goals and objectives of FOCA, which would close the culture debate on abortion in an unprecedented way for any piece of legislation.

America doesn’t need to “turn the page” on culture battles, such as abortion; it needs to reopen the pages of its history to our Founders’ heightened views about the rights of all human beings in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. And we need to revive and re-instill that value of humanity back into society, our children and our children’s children.

Under our Constitution, the federal government should protect that right to life. But besides affirming that foundational human right, the details and debates of the laws governing abortion should be left to the states. Despite the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional striking down of abortion laws nationwide in 1973 and instituting a completely unconstitutional federal right to abortion, there is still much we can do at the state level to protect human life by promoting pro-life legislation and education. That is, unless FOCA is enacted into law.

After 35 years of ceaseless controversy since the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, some people think that abortion is an “old” issue better dropped. But as author Randy Alcorn wrote in his book “Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers”: “Abortion has set us on a dangerous course. We may come to our senses and back away from the slippery slope. Or we may follow it to its inescapable conclusion – a society in which the powerful, for their self-interest, determine which human beings will live and which will die.”

Abortion is not about a woman’s “right to choose”; it is about a more fundamental “right to life,” which is one of three specifically identified unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence (and the Constitution, through Article VII and the Bill of Rights). And it is a violation of government’s primary purpose: to protect innocent life.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1809, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.” He was not, of course, writing about the America of today, with state-sanctioned and even subsidized abortion and a movement to promote the killing of the elderly through euthanasia. His belief in what should be “the first and only legitimate object of government” still should stand, and that includes for the president of the United States of America. But if he and his administration won’t protect the rights of the living (even in the womb), then who will? Pelosi? Reid? A left-leaning Congress?

All of our elected officials should uphold that pre-eminent objective of government and strive to get us back to the view of humanity that emphasizes the immortal worth of every human being. Without that, we never can believe that all people (including those in the womb) are created equal, that they have inherent, unalienable rights and that the protection of those rights is “the first and only legitimate object of good government.”

And if our politicians won’t protect unborn human life, then we must. With Sanctity of Life Sunday on Jan. 18, Obama’s inauguration Jan. 20, the annual March for Life pro-life rally in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22 (the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision), and FOCA looming on the legislative precipice of Congress and the White House, now is the time to march and take action again to defend the unborn.

Please, before FOCA flies onto the congressional floor in the upcoming days, sign the online petition to fight FOCA (, and then contact your representatives and senators to tell them how you expect them to vote on the bill.


Posted by straight shooter on January 17, 2009 under Political, Religion, Terrorism

Al Jazeera Signs Deal To Air Throughout U.S.

The Al Jazeera Network plans to announce on January 22 that it has signed a deal to run its news on Worldfocus, a syndicated nightly news program produced in New York and distributed throughout the United States.  The deal would help the international news network, one of the top services in the Arabic-speaking world, broaden its reach in the United States, where it so far has been available to only a limited audience.


Worldfocus, hosted by former NBC News correspondent Martin Savidge, is produced by New York City public broadcaster WLIW and syndicated to a number of Public Broadcasting Service affiliates (supported with taxpayer’s dollars), as well as other stations in 60 U.S. markets, including 27 of the top 30.  Al Jazeera declined to disclose terms of the deal.

The service’s Arabic-language network is available in the United States through the DISH Network Corp.  It has been trying to increase the distribution of its English- language network through cable television, but so far is available only in Washington, D.C., Toledo, Ohio and Burlington, Vermont.

One of its English-language programs, “Witness,” reaches viewers through the LINK TV network, which is distributed by DISH Network and others.

Al Jazeera also is expanding its presence on the Internet, with a YouTube channel, a Twitter feed on the Gaza war and a free broadcast at an online service called Livestation.

The network, whose English broadcasts appear all over the world through deals with companies such as Singapore’s SingTel and Hong Kong’s PCCW, has started running ads in papers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, advertising its Web presence with the slogan, “Find out what you’re missing.”


Al Jazeera has increased its marketing campaign, particularly during Israel’s air-and-ground offensive into Gaza that began about three weeks ago.  It also plans to begin running ads in several weeks that a spokesman said will address misconceptions about the network in the United States. The U.S. government criticized the network for irresponsible and biased news reporting when the United States launched the 2003 war in Iraq.




Posted by straight shooter on January 13, 2009 under Political, Religion, Terrorism, War

By Cal Thomas

Hamas, a group designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, are the Nazis of modern times.  Israel is right to pound military targets inside Gaza, but much of the violence Israel brought on itself by giving up land it had to know would be used to reign down death on its civilians.  That is always the pattern.

Why is anyone surprised that after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the vacuum created was quickly filled by Hamas, whose sole purpose is the destruction of the “Zionist entity,” as it likes to call Israel, and the killing of as many Jews as possible?  The fiction, which is greater than a belief in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, is that Israel, or the United States, or anyone else, can do anything that will deter Hamas from its objective.  What did anyone expect when Israel pulled out of Gaza?  The establishment of a Disney theme park, perhaps?

Jews are vermin and less than human, Hamas says.  Oh, wait.  Wasn’t the same said of the Jews by the Nazis?  The only difference is that today’s killers don’t speak German.

The Year 2008 marked the 60th anniversary of Israel’s re-establishment in its ancient homeland.  It also marked the 60th anniversary of the first violent response to the formation of the State of Israel.  The violence hasn’t stopped despite the efforts of diplomats and politicians.

The incoming Obama administration has announced it will make a Middle East peace agreement a high priority.  It might as well announce plans to defy gravity.  Peace can only come once Israel’s enemies are defeated. No “infidel” diplomat is going to stop Palestinian schools from teaching a new generation of children to hate the Jews and to regard all of Israel as occupied Arab land.

Hamas and its terrorist cousins know how to play the public relations game.  Most recently we saw it in Lebanon with Hezbollah, as we have seen it in so many other places.  The terrorists operate within civilian areas so that when Israel strikes and unintentionally kills civilians, the bodies are paraded before Western media.  In some cases, in order to embellish the drama, bodies have been planted in rubble, along with a child’s toy.

Most of the big media don’t focus on the occasional rocket attacks inside Israel; only on Israel’s attempts to stop them.  So much of Western thinking continues along the delusional line that only “adjustments” by Israel have a chance of bringing peace by diminishing the passions of her enemies.  If that were so, given all of Israel’s concessions, shouldn’t those passions have diminished by now and serious negotiations begun?

Instead, the more Israel concedes, the more violence it gets.  At some point you would think people would say, “this isn’t working” and try another approach, such as striking back in a manner that would not simply stop the present threat, but persuade Hamas and the others that there is no benefit in their continued aggression.

Iran is behind Hamas, supplying it with rockets, some of which are made in Russia, and with other weapons.  The goal of the Obama administration ought not to be “peace,” per se.  Peace is like happiness: a byproduct of something else.  Israel’s goal should be peace through strength.  The U.S. should commit to building up Israel, militarily and diplomatically, as a deterrent to Israel’s enemies, many of whom also hate and wish to destroy America.

Israel already has given up too much.  Every concession has been met with more war.  It is time to finish the job.  No more delays; no more cease-fires or truces, which merely allow Hamas now (and Hezbollah before) to dig new tunnels and smuggle in reinforcements and more weapons with which they kill more Israeli civilians.

Total victory or death should be Israel’s slogan and goal.  It is the slogan and goal of Israel’s enemies.  Is there an Arabic equivalent of “Seig (SIEG) Heil”?

What Do You Do When The Guy Across the Negotiating Table Wants to Destroy You?

Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearings are underway in the Senate today.  A good question for any senator who is interested in being honest about the real problem in the Middle East is this:

“Senator Clinton, imagine that you’re the Israeli Foreign Minister:  What do you do when the other party at the ‘peace table’ is openly committed to your destruction?”

This is the question that all our political and foreign policy elites who are demanding that Israel immediately agree to a “cease fire” with Hamas in Gaza should be asking.

And this is the fact that the anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic mobs that are taking to the streets in London, Edinburgh, Berlin and Washington, DC should know: (This is a negotiating partner?)

Hamas is openly, publicly and proudly committed to the destruction of the state of Israel:

“There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except through jihad”

These are the words of the Hamas charter:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

And here is how the founding document of how Hamas treats the concept of “negotiations”:

“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.  Initiatives,

proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Two Facts of Violence in Mid-East: Hamas and Iran

There are two main facts of the violence in the Middle East that all Americans – and particularly our leaders – have to be aware of:

1.  Hamas exists to destroy Israel.  Its leaders wake up every morning with one goal – to eliminate what they call the “Zionist entity.”  They do not care about the civilians they shield themselves with.

2.  The fact of violence in the Middle East is the ongoing effort by Iran (using Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas as its proxies) to undermine pro-American governments in the region.

“A New Emphasis on Respect” in Relations with Iran?

On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, President-elect Obama repeated his campaign pledge to negotiate with Iran.  He also promised that there would be a “new emphasis on respect” in his administration’s dealings with Tehran.

President-elect Obama may want respect but Iran’s theocratic rulers want victory. This is a dangerous mismatch of goals for America and a potentially nuclear, aggressor regime to have.

The Policy of the United States Must Be That Israel’s Right to Survive is Unequivocal

There are no easy solutions in Gaza.  But there are a few milestones that Israel should achieve – and the United States should support before any ceasefire with Hamas is granted:

1.  Hamas’ capacity to inflict violence on the state of Israel must be destroyed, or at least significantly reduced.

2.  No missiles – period – must be fired from Gaza into the sovereign state of Israel.

3.  The border between Gaza and Egypt must be sealed and verified by an Israeli and/or independent verifier.

The policy of the United States of America has been and must be that Israel’s right to survive is unequivocal.  Therefore, the greatest danger to Israel in the long run is for it to experience violence followed by a false truce which allows its enemies time to rearm and initiate yet another cycle of violence.

Iran and Hamas will not voluntarily end this cycle of violence.  They must be brought to the point where they have no choice.


Posted by straight shooter on January 13, 2009 under Abortion, Religion, Social Concerns

Those who have embraced the culture of death had much to celebrate during 2008. Culture of death is referring to those movements which would advance euthanasia, assisted suicide, abortion, fetal experimentation, and even population control. These movements unlike the people they affect are ironically alive and well.

Let’s take a quick look at the year gone by for a recap and you will see.

In the U.S. voters in Washington state approved the grotesquely named “Death with Dignity Act,” which now allows physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to their terminally ill patients. Washington has joined Oregon as the only states that have legalized assisted suicide for now.

Of course there was other significant news in the other Washington, Washington, DC, where the new administration began to set up shop in the White House – an administration that promised during the campaign to enact the “Freedom of Choice Act,” or FOCA. FOCA in essence will eliminate most restrictions on abortion. Parental notification, informed consent, conscientious objection on behalf of healthcare providers, restrictions on late-term abortions (including partial birth), will soon be things of the past. The Catholic Bishops describe FOCA as “the most radical and extreme abortion legislation ever considered in the United States.”

Of course, the new administration will do all that it can to promote the use of human embryos for stem cell research.

On the other side of the pond, legislators in the small nation of Luxembourg decided that the “right to death” was so important, that they stripped Grand Duke Henri of his constitutional right to veto legislation. Why? Because he dared to oppose a new euthanasia law. Well, I guess that’s better than what Europeans used to do when they didn’t like their monarch.

But it’s not enough that individuals can now legally find ways to kill themselves. No, now people can share their final moments with millions of onlookers. Britain’s Sky Network aired a documentary that showed the final minutes of the life of Craig Ewert, an American who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Ewert paid the Swiss assisted suicide group Dignitas 3,000 pounds (4,358.80 USD) to help him die. He had to travel to the little Alpine nation because Switzerland is the only country that opens the jaws of death arms to foreigners who want to kill themselves.

And then there’s the horrible case of the 19-year-old Florida man who committed suicide while some 1,500 viewers watched online. The video spread all over the Web like wildfire. This is the new entertainment to a desensitized world? What have we become?

As we embark on 2009, the Church must renew its commitment to protecting the life and true dignity of every human … from natural conception until natural death.

But despite the euphemisms of euthanasia law and suicide organizations, true human dignity is not found in death … except when you sacrifice your life for another for their protection or safety. Human dignity is found in life! And in Him who is the Author of all life.