Mar 31 2009

Pro-life democrat voters: read this

Category: abortion,Obamaharmonicminer @ 9:41 am

An Open Letter to President Obama’s Pro-Life Supporters

We share with you a commitment to the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every member of the human family. It is for this reason that we oppose abortion, embryo-destructive research, euthanasia, and every other form of direct killing of innocent human beings. We believe that these practices are grave injustices that no society should promote, facilitate, or even permit.

Despite Barack Obama’s record of support for legal abortion and its public funding, and his pledge to lift President Bush’s limitations on the federal funding of embryo-destructive research, you felt that Obama would, all things considered, make a better president than John McCain, and you encouraged your fellow pro-life citizens to join you in voting for him. Some of you argued that Senator Obama, despite his vocal support for legal abortion and equally vocal opposition to pro-life legislative initiatives, was actually the superior candidate from the pro-life point of view. His economic and social policies, many of you said, would strike at the causes of abortion and reduce its incidence. You predicted that lives would be saved.
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On March 9, however, the verdict came in on the issue of embryo-destructive research, and the news is very bad. It would have been bad enough had Obama done what McCain likely would have done, that is, incentivize embryo destruction by authorizing the federal funding of research that involves destroying so-called “spare” embryos left in assisted reproduction clinics. But Obama’s executive order goes farther. It instructs the Director of the National Institutes of Health to promote and fund all forms of embryonic stem cell research that are not banned by law. In other words, Obama has removed all impediments to the funding of research in which human beings are created (whether by cloning or other procedures) specifically for the purpose of being destroyed to produce stem cells. True, under the Dickey-Wicker amendment, the actual embryo killing must be done with private funds. But once the embryos are destroyed, federal taxpayer money will now freely flow to pay for research using cell lines derived from those embryos. President Obama has incentivized the creation of embryos in unlimited numbers for research in which they are killed. Moreover, he has revoked the 2007 executive order instructing the Director of the National Institutes of Health to promote and fund research aimed at developing non-embryo-destructive sources of pluripotent stem cells. This was a baldly ideological move that can have no point other than to appease the embryo-research lobby at the expense of lives and possibly scientific advancement.

…..

Recently Professor Douglas Kmiec told an interviewer that President Obama opposes human cloning. This is not true. By his own account, the President opposes only “reproductive cloning.” This misleading term is used to mask his support for the creation of human embryos by somatic cell nuclear transfer for purposes of research in which they are destroyed-what is no less misleadingly called “therapeutic cloning.” The truth is that under the Obama policy human cloning-somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) to create embryonic human beings-will be legally permitted and funded by the federal government. The restriction the President has supported is a ban on the implantation of cloned human embryos once the cloning has already occurred and the new human embryo has been created. It is, in effect, the mandatory destruction of embryonic humans. We respectfully ask Professor Kmiec to correct the record on this profoundly important issue.

Even if one supposes that Barack Obama’s policies will result in fewer abortions despite relaxed legal restrictions, the number of human lives saved-even on the most optimistic reading-will be offset by the lives taken as a result of what President Obama did. This misguided and profoundly unjust policy alone wipes out any case for regarding Barack Obama’s election as a boon to the cause of defending nascent human life. And if Senator Obama’s campaign promises to the abortion lobby are to be believed, this may be only the beginning.

We know how deeply disappointed truly pro-life Obama supporters must be by the radicalism of the President’s decision. Democrats for Life (DFL), to its credit, has forcefully condemned the decision, making no secret of feeling betrayed by a president that it had gone the extra mile to work with in an effort to find “common ground.” A few days after the decision was announced, prominent Obama supporter Dr. David Gushee, a distinguished Evangelical theologian, publicly rebuked the President for “a series of disappointingly typical Democratic abortion-related moves.” We hope that you, too, will speak out against what can only be described as a moral atrocity against the weakest and most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. On this, pro-lifers like you who supported Obama can find common ground with pro-lifers like us who found his denial of the full and equal dignity of unborn members of the human family to be disqualifying. Let us speak out with one voice against this grave and shocking injustice.

Moral Accountability is a site you should check often. They are faithfully holding the feet of our confused brethren to the fire, and doing so more temperately than I could manage.

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Mar 31 2009

Watch this

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 7:30 am

How to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.


Mar 30 2009

Can you believe this?

Category: media,terrorismharmonicminer @ 9:41 am

Simply unbelievable.

If these were “white Christian militia groups,” and video of this nature existed, do you think someone besides FOX would have run the story? It’s tempting to wonder if the Left media is suicidal, or just naive.

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Mar 29 2009

Pro-choice, or pro-abortion?

Category: abortionharmonicminer @ 9:36 am

Most of us in the “pro-life” community do not mind the label “anti-abortion,” although in fact pro-life also means we are against euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the like.

On the other hand, lots of people who call themselves “pro-choice” are offended at being called “pro-abortion.”   This is illogical, of course: people who have no firearms, and no intention of ever buying one, are still called “pro-gun” if they simply believe that other people should have the right to keep and bear arms.  And political associations being what they are, a fair number of the very people who resent the term “pro-abortion” are likely to use the term “pro-gun” in exactly the same way.

There’s a reason for this, of course.  Even “pro-choice” people know there is something inherently wrong with abortion (for reasons other than saving the life of the mother), and so they don’t want to be thought “pro-abortion,” since that’s like being called “pro-evil-thing.”  I understand their reluctance.  If I was all for unfettered freedom on the part of some humans to take away the right of other humans to live, I’d want to hide it, too.

Nevertheless, pro-lifers, cheerfully anti-abortion, should deny the use of the term pro-choice as cover for people who want to deny the right to life.  It is simply a “term of art” created by clever public relations people, not a descriptive term of the actual position.  When someone tells me they are “pro-choice” I usually say, “You mean, pro-abortion?”  And the discussion that ensues allows me to make the obvious point above.

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Mar 28 2009

John Locke and Thomas Paine, where are you today?

Category: governmentharmonicminer @ 9:20 am

Lately I’ve reviewed John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.  You may be tempted to skip Locke’s first Treatise, believing it to be a now-irrelevant attack on the “divine right of kings”, but don’t.  It has some essential background to help you understand the second treatise, both of which are getting more and more applicable to our current predicament, as over-reaching as our federal government has gotten in recent decades (and it’s about to get a great deal worse).  After you finish those, read The Federalist Papers, all of which will give you essential background to understand this.

Our Colonial ancestors petitioned and pleaded with King George III to get his boot off their necks. He ignored their pleas, and in 1776, they rightfully declared unilateral independence and went to war. Today it’s the same story except Congress is the one usurping the rights of the people and the states, making King George’s actions look mild in comparison. Our constitutional ignorance — perhaps contempt, coupled with the fact that we’ve become a nation of wimps, sissies and supplicants — has made us easy prey for Washington’s tyrannical forces. But that might be changing a bit. There are rumblings of a long overdue re-emergence of Americans’ characteristic spirit of rebellion.

Eight state legislatures have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution; they include Arizona, Hawaii, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington. There’s speculation that they will be joined by Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania.

You might ask, “Isn’t the 10th Amendment that no-good states’ rights amendment that Dixie governors, such as George Wallace and Orval Faubus, used to thwart school desegregation and black civil rights?” That’s the kind of constitutional disrespect and ignorance that big-government proponents, whether they’re liberals or conservatives, want you to have. The reason is that they want Washington to have total control over our lives. The Founders tried to limit that power with the 10th Amendment, which reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

New Hampshire’s 10th Amendment resolution typifies others and, in part, reads: “That the several States composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their General (federal) Government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a General Government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.” Put simply, these 10th Amendment resolutions insist that the states and their people are the masters and that Congress and the White House are the servants. Put yet another way, Washington is a creature of the states, not the other way around.

Congress and the White House will laugh off these state resolutions. State legislatures must take measures that put some teeth into their 10th Amendment resolutions. Congress will simply threaten a state, for example, with a cutoff of highway construction funds if it doesn’t obey a congressional mandate, such as those that require seat belt laws or that lower the legal blood-alcohol level to .08 for drivers. States might take a lead explored by Colorado.

In 1994, the Colorado Legislature passed a 10th Amendment resolution and later introduced a bill titled “State Sovereignty Act.” Had the State Sovereignty Act passed both houses of the legislature, it would have required all people liable for any federal tax that’s a component of the highway users fund, such as a gasoline tax, to remit those taxes directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The money would have been deposited in an escrow account called the “Federal Tax Fund” and remitted monthly to the IRS, along with a list of payees and respective amounts paid. If Congress imposed sanctions on Colorado for failure to obey an unconstitutional mandate and penalized the state by withholding funds due, say $5 million for highway construction, the State Sovereignty Act would have prohibited the state treasurer from remitting any funds in the escrow account to the IRS. Instead, Colorado would have imposed a $5 million surcharge on the Federal Tax Fund account to continue the highway construction.

The eight state legislatures that have enacted 10th Amendment resolutions deserve our praise, but their next step is to give them teeth.

The short story: not one, single federal dime comes back to the states or “the people” without having strings attached to it. Notwithstanding that that dime probably started out as a quarter sent TO the federal government FROM the states or the people, the simplest way for states to regain their proper consitutional status, and to make the Tenth Amendment mean something again, is to simply put the brakes on money sent to the federal government. It’s an interesting notion; will any states have the nerve to stand up to the federal government’s VAST over-reaching of its constitutional mandate?

I’m not holding my breath.  On the other hand, if a state did grow a spine and do this, I can’t see the White House sending in the Marines to enforce its will on the states, and the Governors are the commanders of the state’s National Guard.  It could be very, very interesting.  Washington DC takes much more than it gives back.  And I suspect that if, say, a retaliatory attempt was made to stop social security checks or medicare reimbursement to medical providers of an offending state (which are direct federal-to-individual payments that bypass the states, mostly), the outcry would hurt the federal agency that did it more than the state government whose action led to the federal retaliation.

What’s clear is this: the founders simply did not intend, envision, or even think possible a federal government that would or could regulate every conceivable economic transaction under the guise of the interstate commerce clause.  The idea of national speed limits would have seemed as silly as national horse shoe standards.  The idea of federal education regulations would have been laughable to them.

It’s laughable to me, too, when I’m not crying.

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Mar 27 2009

Acronyms for killing the bad guys

Category: terrorismharmonicminer @ 9:56 am

The End of the Global War on Terror

The end of the Global War on Terror — or at least the use of that phrase — has been codified at the Pentagon. Reports that the phrase was being retired have been circulating for some time amongst senior administration officials, and this morning speechwriters and other staff were notified via this e-mail to use “Overseas Contingency Operation” instead.

“Recently, in a LtGen [John] Bergman, USMC, statement for the 25 March [congressional] hearing, OMB required that the following change be made before going to the Hill,” Dave Riedel, of the Office of Security Review, wrote in an e-mail.

“OMB says: ‘This Administration prefers to avoid using the term “Long War” or “Global War on Terror” [GWOT]. Please use “Overseas Contingency Operation.’”

Riedel asked recipients to “Please pass on to your speech writers and try to catch this change before the statements make it to OMB.”

An OMB spokesman took issue with the interpretation of OMB’s wishes. “There was no memo, no guidance,” said Kenneth Baer. “This is the opinion of a career civil servant.”

Referring to the phrase “global war on terror,” Baer said, “I have no reason to believe that would be stricken” from Hill testimony.

By way of history, senior Bush administration officials several years ago wanted to stop using the phrase and switch to something many felt might better reflect the realities of the fight against international terrorism.

One leading option was to change the name to GSAVE, or Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. This was not as catchy an acronym as GWOT, but officials felt it more accurately described the battle.Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld even used the GSAVE abbreviation publicly.

But, in a White House meeting, President Bush ruled that it was still a war for him, and Rumsfeld and everyone else went back to GWOT.

GWOT, GSAVE, OCO… what’s in an acronym?  Since we can’t call it what it is, namely the Global War on Islamo-Fascism (or GWIF), we need something else, please oh please something better than “Overseas Contingency Operation”, which sounds like someone in Teheran needs an appendectomy.  (Can I be the anaesthesiologist for Ahmendinejad?  I want to hear him talk after breathing helium…)

So, the floor is open; do you have any good acronyms for killing fanatical creeps who want to kill us, and convincing wannabe fanatical creeps that maybe they should take up dentistry or something?

CLUB –  Combatting Loony Unbathed Barbarians
SMACK –  Siccing Marines At Clever Killers
IMBROGLIOS –  Impelling Mohammed’s Brutish Reprobates On Great Leap Into Outer Space

LEFT –  Liberals Eviscerating Freaky Taliban

KISS — Killing Insurgent Sunni Sickos

and last, but not least,

OBAMA  –  Organized Brigades Attacking Muhammeds’s Acolytes

Ok, I admit it, I’m reaching here.  Help me out.  Winning submission will be submitted to the Obama White House.

In the meantime:  if you’re a terrorist shot by a US Marine in an “Overseas Contingency Operation”, are you still dead?  We can only hope.

Do you suppose the Left will try to have Obama impeached for not getting Congress to “declare an Overseas Contingency Operation,” as required by the US Constitution, before sending more troops to Afghanistan?  Funny thing: I haven’t gotten any email lately from peaceniks who voted for Obama.  Given that he’s adding forces to Afghanistan, he is about to be the owner of that war.  I wonder if the Lefties who voted for him, because they thought McCain was a war mongerer in the Bushitler tradition, will now repent.

Nah.

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Mar 26 2009

White Male Privilege?

Category: militaryharmonicminer @ 9:48 am

Marine Freed after Rape Conviction Overturned

Amazingly enough, it took Marine Sergeant Brian Foster 10 years to get his conviction heard by an appellate tribunal. That’s 10 years behind bars for allegedly raping his wife, a crime he has always denied committing.

The appellate court noted that, at the trial of the case, there was no forensic evidence of rape, Foster and his wife continued to have intercourse for years after the alleged attack and the allegations came in the middle of a contentious divorce and custody case.

The Marine Corps blamed a large backlog of cases and “judicial negligence” for the long delay in hearing Foster’s appeal. Military prosecutor Col. Tom Umberg said, “This injustice should have been resolved in 18 months.”

Interestingly, this article about Foster’s case refers to his wife Heather Foster living in the Denver area with “her” two sons (San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/14/09). Those would appear to be “his” two sons as well.

The article says Foster intends to continue in the Corps until his retirement. What he plans to do regarding his sons is not mentioned.

Sergeant Foster should get reparations, not just easy time until retirement. I continue to be dismayed at the way our military sometimes unjustly accuses its own, with a suspicious smell of PC assumptions that they are guilty until proven innocent.

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Mar 25 2009

Seven Contradictions of Diversity

Category: diversity,higher educationharmonicminer @ 9:55 am

In the traditions of Six Contradictions of Marxism, I present Seven Contradictions of Diversity, because Marxism was invented by dead white men, and what’s so special about the number “six”?  Herewith:

Seven Contradictions of Diversity

*  Your college has an Office of Diversity — yet it isn’t diverse enough

*  It isn’t diverse enough –  yet it celebrates diversity constantly

*  It celebrates diversity constantly –  yet faculty of color are oppressed

*  Faculty of color are oppressed  –  yet they are constantly invited to speak their mind

*  They are constantly invited to speak their mind  –  yet they are marginalized and ignored

*  They are marginalized and ignored –  yet many are hired as faculty and promoted to important administrative positions to develop “diversity weeks”, “diversity courses”, and “faculty diversity committees” in order to promote people of color.

*  They attain unprecedented political clout focused on a single issue –  yet they’re still “speaking truth to power”

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Mar 24 2009

Faculty Pain Assessment Tool: Don’t try this at home

Category: higher education,humorharmonicminer @ 9:34 am

While I generally try to avoid making too many “inside references,” I recently witnessed a health professional trying to get a feel for how much pain someone was in, and they brought out the Universal Pain Assessment Tool.  It didn’t take long to realize the universal applicability of such an assessment instrument, and so, herewith:

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Mar 23 2009

The Deteriorating State of Mexican National Security

Category: Mexico,national securityharmonicminer @ 9:11 am

In the last year, 150,000 men have deserted the Mexican military forces.  Read that number again.  What do you suppose they’re doing now?   If even 10% are now using their military training for other purposes, we have a big problem, and indications are that the percentage is much higher.  Mexico is in the midst of an insurgency, not just a crime wave.  It’s safer in Baghdad right now.  Is Mexico about to become the failed state on our border, our Pakistan-style “no go” area, providing a safe haven for gangs preying on the US population?  Well, no, it’s not about to become that…  it’s already happening.

American Sentry

Three sources underscore the severity of the situation in Mexico and its potential near term and far reaching effects to US National Security

As our operations wind down from the successes in Iraq, and the National Command Authority is ramping up our presence in Afghanistan with an additional 17000 combat forces, little has been addressed in the mainstream policy wonkery about Mexico’s instability and brush with Civil War between the brave, but by all measures ineffectual, Mexican security and law enforcement forces, and the ruthless, well funded, well equipped, and increasingly brash Drug Cartels. I have been monitoring this for several weeks, and there are those within the periphery of National Strategy and Policy that recognize this as a serious emerging problem, but is just now getting some greater play within the Mainstream Media. What coverage it does get focuses on the crime and corruption aspects and doesn’t link the severity and scope as a National Security issue for the US. I am more and more convinced that this is in fact a serious challenge to US national security, and three recent reports substantiate my position.

The first of these predictions that got considerable play back in January came from the outgoing Director of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden. He commented in numerous interviews that the CIA concluded that after a potential development of a nuclear weapon from Iran, the possibility and ramifications of Mexico failing as a state as a result of the inability of the Federal government quelling the violence perpetrated by the Cartels in their continued fight for smuggling routes and market share was the second most threatening issue to US National Security. With Al Qaeda lurking around, having found proof of their desire to weaponize a biological or chemical agent to unleash on innocent Americans, let alone a dirty bomb, that is quite a statement on Hayden’s part…and ominous.

The second such report was from the Department of Defense in the form of the 2008 Joint Operating Environment Report, or JOE. It concluded that a failed state in Pakistan, the chance of nuclear technology or weapons falling into the hands of terrorists, was most disconcerting. The JOE, however, listed Mexico as a failed state was also the number two threat to US National Security. (http://www.jfcom.mil/newslink/storyarchive/2008/JOE2008.pdf)

The third, and in my assessment, the most concise and telling (at least in an unclassified venue) was a recent trip to Mexico and a report conducted by retired Army General, Barry McCaffery in December 2008 while he attended the International Forum of Intelligence and Security Specialists which acts as an advisory board to the Mexican Federal Law Enforcement leadership. ( http://www.mccaffreyassociates.com/pdfs/Mexico_AAR_-_December_2008.pdf) Though McCaffery’s report goes beyond the standard USG reporting that is swaddled in a law enforcement perspective, it has some stark and convincing statistics and conclusions that highlight this issue, for me anyways, as a national Security challenge, and beyond the single scope approach as a law enforcement challenge specifically relating to the drug trade.

Much more at the link.

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