Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jobs Americans Won't Do

The Washington Post has a story up about some more jobs Americans won't do. Behold the great and morally superior unions! My first reaction on reading this was that it must be some kind of joke. Is everyone blind to hypocrisy these days?!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bush Abolishes the Fifth Amendment? Not Quite.

Browsing through Digg today (increasingly a major waste of time), I am struck by TWO stories in the top ten about Bush supposedly repealing the Fifth Amendment all by himself. That's right--due process is a thing of the past. Let the Evil Bush Empire begin! Really, what are these people smoking?

Bush did issue an executive order authorizing the Secretary of the Treasury to seize the property of any person who undermines efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq. So of course you are guaranteed to lose your house and be thrown into prison for protesting the war here in the states. These liberal digg-olescents need to cut back on whatever designer drug they currently use and switch over to chill pills. The liberal Guardian has a much more realistic account of Bush's "scheme," i.e., fighting terrorists in Iraq.

Low approval ratings

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Economist: The riddle of Iran

The cover story of this week's Economist asks how Iran's leaders--who think a nuclear weapon could rejuvenate their tired revolution--can be stopped.

“THE Iranian regime is basically a messianic apocalyptic cult.” So says Israel's once and perhaps future prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. If he is right the world is teetering on the edge of a terrifying crisis.


The article describes three possible outcomes of this nasty situation.

This story could have at least three unhappy endings. In one, Iran ends up with nuclear weapons, bringing new instability and a hair-trigger face-off with nuclear Israel into one of the world's least-safe neighbourhoods. In another, America or Israel take pre-emptive military action and manage to stop it, even though such an attack would almost certainly have very dangerous consequences of its own. In the third ending, Iran is attacked, and enraged, and retaliates—and still ends up with a bomb anyway.

It is vital to understand that this third finale is not a nightmare dreamt up by editorial writers. After the false intelligence that led America into Iraq, and the mayhem that followed, it may seem hard to believe that America or Israel are pondering an attack on a much bigger Muslim country. But they are—and they are not mad.


When The Economist begins kicking around the idea of a pre-emptive strike, you can be assured the Iran situation is getting very serious.

WSJ: The Left's 'Inequality' Obsession

A commentary in today's WSJ suggests that the left's obsession with economic 'inequality' in America is misplaced.

The U.S. is a rich nation getting richer. According to Census figures, the average inflation-adjusted income in the top quintile of American earners increased 22% between 1993 and 2003. Incomes in the middle quintile rose 17% on average, while the incomes in the bottom quintile increased 13%. Over the 30 years prior to 2003, top-quintile earners saw their real incomes increase by two-thirds, versus a quarter for those in the middle quintile and a fifth among the bottom earners.

Reason to celebrate? Not according to those worried that the rich are getting richer faster than the poor are getting richer.


Mr. Brooks asserts that the way to improve economic happiness is to promote economic mobility.

An accurate and constructive vision of America sees a land of both inequality and opportunity, in which hard work and perseverance are the keys to jumping from the ranks of the have-nots to those of the haves. This vision promotes policies focused not on wiping out economic inequality, but rather on enhancing economic mobility. These policies include improving educational opportunities, addressing cultural impediments to success, enhancing the fluidity of labor markets, searching for ways to include all citizens in America's investing revolution, and protecting the climate for entrepreneurship.

WSJ: The Other Iran Crisis

This opinion piece from today's WSJ describes Iran's continuing crackdown on dissent.

While the world focuses on Iran's centrifuges, the regime in Tehran appears to be in the midst of one of its most ferocious crackdowns on dissent in years. The government has focused on labor leaders, universities, the press, women's rights advocates, a former nuclear negotiator, Iranian-Americans and even civil servants who demanded higher salaries. Iran's cruel treatment of its own citizens is yet another sign that it can't be trusted to respect the welfare of other nations.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Response to Live Earth Pledge

Recently, my Dad got hit up to sign the Live Earth Pledge by some of our relatives. Here is his response:
I received your email requesting my help by signing on to the Live Earth Pledge. First of all, although I wouldn't classify myself as an environmentalist per se, I am whole-heartedly in favor of humans not polluting the air, land, and water of the earth. I like clean air and water. I am all for it.

However, in my view, this current "man-made" global warming/climate change promotion is a left-wing political stunt ultimately meant to further anti-capitalist socialism in our country. I would define it as part of the religion of the far left alongside evolution and abortion. "Man-made" global warming is not a scientific consensus by any means (just as evolution is not). On the other hand, climate change is a proven fact occurring naturally with some scientists believing it may be caused by none other than varying levels of solar activity. It has been scientifically proven (through annual temperature records through the years) that our climate continues to go through cooler and warmer periods of varying lengths and has throughout the earth's existence. I believe that is what's happening now. Emissions caused by man and his inventions no doubt contribute to the total of greenhouse gases, just as each of us do every time we exhale. However, the sum of all the man-made gases from all human sources are a miniscule fraction of the total of all greenhouse gases, water vapor from the oceans making up by far the largest part of it.

Natural climate change? Sure. Man-made global warming affecting the climate? No thank you.

Mankind cannot (never have and never will) control the climate, one way or the other, any more than they can alter the speed of the earth's rotation. It is far too massive for specks of clay like us to comprehend, much less control. Our Great Creator superintends the universe He built.

Psalms 135:5-7 "For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pottermania

In just a few days, Americans of all ages will be treated to the seventh and final Harry Potter book. For an intriguing critique of this decidedly odd cultural phenomenon, check out this opinion piece from the Washington Post.

As a member of a thriving community of Baptists, I occasionally find myself confronted with the religion question: Is Happy Potter an evil book? Inevitably, we compare the Potter books to those of Tolkien and Lewis, as they all deal in fantasy. However, I must admit that Rowling's tales tend to blur the line between good and evil, and her books' link to the occult cannot be easily overlooked. On the other hand, I can't see the books as producing any more real-life witches than pirate novels have produced pirates.

What really concerns me (and Karen) is the cultural question: Is Harry Potter a good book? Having read them all (and seen the dreadful movies), we conclude that they are of only an average quality. They are mildly entertaining, rather like eating a snickers bar--junk food for your brain. The sad truth is that the emperor has no clothes. But how could millions of Potter fans be wrong? As the article points out, they have bought not a book, but an experience. Millions will read the book at the same time (and, in a few years, watch the horrid movie version). They are not becoming readers--they are only participating in pop culture.

So where does this leave us? I advise caution in exposing your children to the later volumes, as they tend to diverge from the playful, childish innocence found at the beginning. Yet, I doubt your teenager will start dressing in black and brewing potions in her bedroom simply because she read through the series. If you feel you must avoid them completely, I can fully respect your conviction. If you do decide to read the Potter books (or finish the series with book seven), try not to stop there. Read other books--maybe even some of those "classics" from your high school English class you skipped through, or ones you heard about in college. Will I be reading the new Harry Potter book? You bet.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Stinkin' Europe

This story just tickled me for some reason. A garbage crisis?! Ah, socialistic societies - the great hope for humanity...

WSJ: Blame It on Mr. Rogers: Why Young Adults Feel So Entitled

Here's a short commentary from the WSJ on the possible downsides of Mr. Rogers' suggestions to children that they are "special" just they way they are.

For some Fred-Rogers-related humor, here's one of my many favorite Simpsons moments.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Silence

Dems: 300 Investigations in 100 Days

Plagued by infighting and lack-luster leadership, the Democrats have at least managed to devote some quality time to one important project: investigating the socks off Republicans! Administration spokesman Scott Stanzel says to the AP:

"They've launched over 300 investigations, had over 350 requests for documents and interviews and they have had over 600 oversight hearings in just about 100 days."

Forget Al-Qaeda, third-world dictators or even illegal immigrants; public enemy number one is none other than George W. Bush (and anyone who knows him). Each new day's Democrat rhetoric only makes the situation that much clearer. Like the teenager-ridden Digg.com crowd, who spent the Fourth of July digging up "Impeach Bush Now" stories, the Democrats continue their triumphant march over the cliffs of irrelevancy.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Simon the Zealot

My pastor, David Pitman, recently preached about Simon Zelotes (mentioned in Acts 1:13), an apostle in the early church. This title identifies Simon as having formerly been a part of the Zealots, a Jewish political faction most famous for acts of terror against the Roman occupation forces and for defending the remote fortress of Masada. Simon, a disciple of Jesus Christ, was a terrorist! Of course, he left this life behind him after Jesus called him, just as the other disciples left fishing and tax collecting.

This bears directly on our view of terrorists today. It's easy to read the headlines and forget that terrorists might also come to know the Lord as Savior. Indeed, such a thing seems unlikely. After all, Simon was at least a Jew and, as such, would have been expecting a Messiah. Muslims possess no such predisposition. They seek only to "convert," enslave or kill all infidels on the face of the earth. From a human standpoint, this appears to be an insurmountable wall. Yet, it is God who brings salvation to the hearts of men, and with God all things are possible.

Ultimately, the only answer to the current political crisis of militant Islam is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some might call this assessment "simplistic." A look at history will press my point. What overturned British tyranny in the American colonies? Military force, yes...but the real battle was fought ideologically, in the hearts of patriots. Freedom beat tyranny. What about our victory over the Nazis? Freedom triumphed over the hatred of a madman. Look even to the collapse of Soviet Russia. Freedom outlasted the bankruptcy of communism. Freedom always wins. It springs from the idea that our rights come not from any human institution, but rather, from God Almighty. And how can men truly know God apart from His Son, Jesus Christ?

The hope for Muslim nations, enthralled by hate, is the same hope that fell upon Simon. It is the only hope for our great nation today and for all the world. We must give our all to plant the gospel truth into the hearts and minds of both those who would destroy us and those who strive to defend us. The love of Christ can save our nation and all others besides. Let us celebrate this Fourth of July by reclaiming the greatest American dream: to spread hope and freedom to all corners of the globe.

Daily Mail: I was a fanatic

This little article from the Daily Mail back in January provides an interesting perspective on the Muslim issue. In it, a former Islamic extremist explains that the "real engine" of Muslim violence is not Western foreign policy--it's Islamic theology.

Libby Pardon

Hugh Hewitt believes that President Bush made the right decision in the Lewis (Scooter) Libby case. Libby still has an appeal with the D.C. Circut which should be heard. A full pardon would stop that process. Personally I wish Bush would have granted Libby a pardon and required Valerie Plame Wilson, Joe Wilson, Richard Armitage, & Robert Novak to pay the ridiculous fine, but that ain't gonna happen.

Read Hewitt's analysis at Townhall. Still, for all the flack the president is taking over this he might as well have granted the pardon.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Libby's Sentence Commuted

President Bush commuted Scooter Libby's sentence today! Libby will no longer have to serve a two and a half year prison sentence. He will, however, still have to pay the enormous $250,000 fine. His life has been utterly ruined by Fitzgerald's vindictive assault.

John R. Lott notes in his book, Freedomnomics, that sentences for white-collar crimes often fail to account for the life-altering impact of a conviction. Common blue-collar criminals can usually return to a similar standard of living and employment. White-collar criminals, however, find they can no longer practice in their area of expertise (law, medicine, accounting, upper-management, etc.) because firms cannot afford to hire someone of questionable reputation. Furthermore, these white-collar felons cannot get blue-collar jobs, either; since employers deem them vastly over-qualified (an employee who would be bored and likely to leave at the first opportunity).

Bush tried to find the middle ground, but he should have given Libby a FULL PARDON. This scenario is the only one in which Libby's professional life can be reconstructed. Sparing only the jail, while allowing him some dignity, ultimately will not help Libby get another job. Democrats will be (and are) angry with Bush no matter what he does in Libby's favor. What has Bush really got to lose?

And just for a little perspective: let's all think back to the Clinton impeachment saga or the Mark Rich pardon... What were the Democrat talking points again?

New Poll

Check out our new poll on the sidebar. The current question concerns your preference for the Republican nomination for president. It will remain active for the next two weeks.

UK Airport Rammers...What Religion?

It's official. Two Muslims (the religion of peace) were responsible for the UK airport car-ramming incident. Fortunately, the anti-car barriers kept them from killing and wounding many innocents. The perpetrators where heard shouting "Allah! Allah!" as they wrestled with police.

I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for liberals who were, no doubt, hoping the attackers were disgruntled Anglicans or even Scientologists...ANYTHING but Muslims. Unfortunately for them, reality has a nasty habit of turning up at the most inopportune times. The further liberals sink into denial, the less relevant they become (and they didn't have much relevance to begin with)!