Mar 22 2009

Bailouts needed everywhere

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 11:25 am

In Germany, the legalized prostitution industry has fallen on hard times.

Hoping for more success, many women are driven from the clubs to the kerbs to sell their bodies on their own terms.

An increasing number of men on a tight budget are also picking up prostitutes on street corners rather than in pricey brothels or “Eros Centres.”

Some places have been forced to shut their doors and in January, sex-shop owners and porn producers pushed for state aid, taking their lead from the crisis-hit auto and banking industries.

Erotic trade federation official Uwe Kaltenberg, said that “economic aid would be judicious.”

Heitmann is now afraid that waning turnover could damage the industry’s reputation even more and that back-street prostitution could escalate.

Barbara Kavemann, professor at the Berlin Research Institute for Social Science and Women Studies, said the full impact of the financial crisis could not be determined because there was no concrete data.

“Firstly, prostitutes don’t legally have to be registered, and secondly, who defines who is a prostitute?” said Kavemann.

But Isabelle and other brothel owners do not need empirical data or definitions to confirm the impact of the credit crunch on the sex industry has been hard.

“The only thing we can do now is keep our fingers crossed and hope for better times,” she said, “and obviously I wouldn’t say no to a state-funded cash injection.”

I’ll bet. One thing about it: I’m sure they have some leverage with local government officials.

Mar 22 2009

What hatred sounds like

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 9:22 am

Just read this.

Mar 21 2009

Get along with this: the limits to hopey-changey rhetoric

Category: Iran,Obamaharmonicminer @ 1:30 pm

The Supreme Leader of Iran, the one who really runs the nation, sees right through Obama.  Iran’s supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures

“They chant the slogan of change but no change is seen in practice. We haven’t seen any change,” Khamenei said in a speech before a crowd of tens of thousands in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad.

In his video message, Obama said the United States wants to engage Iran, but he also warned that a right place for Iran in the international community “cannot be reached through terror or arms, but rather through peaceful actions that demonstrate the true greatness of the Iranian people and civilization.”

Khamenei asked how Obama could congratulate Iranians on the new year and accuse the country of supporting terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons in the same message.

Khamenei said there has been no change even in Obama’s language compared to that of his predecessor.

“He (Obama) insulted the Islamic Republic of Iran from the first day. If you are right that change has come, where is that change? What is the sign of that change? Make it clear for us what has changed.”

Obama simply cannot produce any of the changes that Iran’s leaders insist are prerequisites for “improved relations” with the USA. All of his talk of “improving relations” with Iran sinks upon collision with the Iranian iceberg, 90% of whose activities to destabilize the Middle East are “hidden” in the sense that Iran will not acknowledge them, and will certainly not stop them.  It is simply not possible for Obama to give Iran’s grand poobah anything he wants in the way of lifting sanctions.  There is no little irony here.

That’s because the Supreme Leader’s definition of “getting along better with the USA” is remarkably parallel to the Democrat Party’s definition of “bipartisanship” and “cooperation.” The Ayatollah offers no concession, no reduction of any of his aims, no slowing down of nuclear armament (which he simply denies, of course), no reduction in support of terrorism around the world (which he also denies), in short, no behavior change for the sake of international amity.  Similarly, when the Democrats urge “bipartisanship”, they offer no concession, no reduction of any of their aims, no slowing down of the march towards socialism (which they simply deny, of course), no reduction of policies that surely will lead to more abortion, illegal immigration, more terrorisim, and higher crime (which they also deny), in short, no behavior change for the sake of bipartisan amity.

Both Khamenei and the Democrats say, in essence, “Let’s get along….  on MY terms.”

There is another similarity.  Khamenei knows he only has to survive the near future, and stay in power long enough to bring Iran into the nuclear club, and everything will change.  He knows that a nuclear Iran will have political and military options (non-nuclear ones) that it now lacks.  Similarly, the Democrats know that once they get nationalized health care, federal ownership of significant portions of the economy, amnesty for illegal aliens,  a “built-down” national defense establishment, etc., it will be impossible or very, very difficult to undo the changes, even if Republicans regain power for a time.

As with terrorists, creaters of grand new social spending programs only have to win once.  Whether it’s blowing up a city, or creating a new entitlement to buy votes, once it’s done, it’s done.

Odd though it may seem, divergent as their aims may be, Khamenei and Obama are reading the same playbook for getting what they want, and the rhetorical parallels are….  scary.

In the meantime, the ayatollah seems to have a clearer eyed view than our own media establishment of the truth behind the rhetoric of hope and change.

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Mar 21 2009

Russian missiles in Iran

Category: Iran,Israel,national security,Obama,Russiaharmonicminer @ 9:05 am

While Russia complains that the USA is being provocative in moving to install anti-missile defenses in Europe, defenses designed to intercept Iranian nuclear-tipped missiles, but certainly unable to counter a full-scale Russian attack, Russia is selling missiles to iran, supposedly for “air-defense.”

Russia confirms Iran missile contract

Russian news agencies cited a top defense official Wednesday as confirming that a contract to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.

We’re certainly happy to hear that.

Russian officials have consistently denied claims the country already has provided some of the S-300 missiles to Iran. They have not said whether a contract existed.

Except now they have apparently confirmed that it does.

The state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies and the independent Interfax quoted an unnamed top official in the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service as saying the contract was signed two years ago. Service spokesman Andrei Tarabrin told The Associated Press he could not immediately comment.

What would he say?  Nyah Nyah Nyah?

Supplying S-300s to Iran would change the military balance in the Middle East and the issue has been the subject of intense speculation and diplomatic wrangling for months.

That’s an understatement.  If Iran is able to easily defend itself from any Israeli attack to defang its nuclear weapons production program, there will be no remaining barrier to full development and deployment of nuclear weapons.  No one wants this in the Middle East, except Iran and Russia, apparently.

Israel and the United States fear that, were Iran to possess S-300 missiles, it would use them to protect its nuclear facilities — including the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz or the country’s first atomic power plant, which is now being built by Russian contractors at Bushehr.

Of course, Obama can just talk to the Russians and make them see reason.  They’re really all just good, internationally spirited statesmen who want world peace.  And Iran is just misunderstood and aggrieved over the vicious US incursions in the Middle East, and just needs to feel safe from the Great Satan.

And Joe Biden is the tooth fairy.

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Mar 20 2009

The AIG bonuses: how it really happened

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 6:26 pm

Mar 20 2009

Yes, young adult Christians, it’s your fault

Category: McCain,Uncategorizedsardonicwhiner @ 9:41 am

Mark Steyn seems to be feeling humorously guilty and desperate that the boomers now running the world are building up a huge tab that will be paid by today’s 18-25 yr olds, and maybe younger, as they attempt to bail out everyone for everything. (At the link, lots of funny stuff, and some scary stuff, as always with Steyn.):

The Bailout and the TARP and the Stimulus and the Multi-Trillion Budget and TARP 2 and Stimulus 2 and TARP And Stimulus Meet Frankenstein and the Wolf Man are like the old Saturday-morning cliffhanger serials your grandpa used to enjoy. But now he doesn’t have to grab his walker and totter down to the Rialto, because he can just switch on the news and every week there’s his plucky little hero Big Government facing the same old crisis: Why, there’s yet another exciting spending bill with twelve zeroes on the end, but unfortunately there seems to be some question about whether they have the votes to pass it. Oh, no! And then, just as the fate of another gazillion dollars of pork and waste hangs in the balance, Arlen Specter or one of those lady-senators from Maine dashes to the cliff edge and gives a helping hand, and phew, this week’s spendapalooza sails through. But don’t worry, there’ll be another exciting episode of Trillion-Buck Rogers of the 21st Century next week!

This is the biggest generational transfer of wealth in the history of the world. If you’re an 18-year old middle-class hopeychanger, look at the way your parents and grandparents live: It’s not going to be like that for you. You’re going to have a smaller house, and a smaller car — if not a basement flat and a bus ticket. You didn’t get us into this catastrophe. But you’re going to be stuck with the tab, just like the Germans got stuck with paying reparations for the catastrophe of the First World War. True, the Germans were actually in the war, whereas in the current crisis you guys were just goofing around at school, dozing through Diversity Studies and hoping to ace Anger Management class. But tough. That’s the way it goes.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of this gigantic multi-generational wealth transfer, borrowing money as we are from people too young to enter into a legal contract, without getting their consent (which some of them aren’t old enough to give in any case).

When I point out to young people of my acquaintance how grateful I am for their volunteering to support me in style during my retirement, with benefits they won’t be able to afford for themselves, the conservatives among them are likely to say, “But I didn’t vote for Obama!”

Tough beans, kids.  The same standard that applied to us now applies to you.  It happened on your watch.  I don’t care merely whom you voted for.  I care as much whom you really, strongly advocated for.  Did you accept half-baked post-modern arguments from your friends who voted for Obama?    Did you let them get away with claiming that Obama’s policies might reduce abortion (even though he’s the most radically pro-abortion president we have had), or make the world safer for freedom loving people (how many “peace studies” students voted for Obama?), or “save the poor” in our troubled economy, or improve the environment and save us from global warming, or???

I have a simple observation:  even conservative young people seem unwilling, or unable, to strongly make the positive cases for the legal protection of life, capitalism, freedom, less intrusive government, etc.  I suppose you can blame the older folks for not teaching you how.  On the other hand, some of us blame you for being very slow learners.  You’re old enough to have chosen, and you chose to “get along” with your left-leaning Christian friends more than you chose to challenge them, in way too many cases.   Way too many Evangelical Christian young adults voted for Obama.  Way too many more who didn’t vote for him seem to have been shy about sharing their opinions.  It seems that in this post-modern age, it is somehow gauche to clearly state your opinions, along with the facts, historical context and logic that underlies them.

I know, many post-modern young adult Christians say something like, “It’s about relationship, not about being right.”  And they use this line to justify not strongly arguing their perspective when it really needs to be done.  That’s fabulous.  But what it’s going to mean is that the “relationship” you will have to my generation is that we’ll think we have a “right” to a big fat check from you, every month.  Since you’re having babies at a slower rate than we did, there are going to be a LOT less young folk for you to pass the burden on to, when you want to retire.  But that’s your problem.  Somehow, I have the feeling that in about 40-50 years, when it’s time for you to collect from the younger generation, the new version of “hope and change” will be, “Let the geezers take care of themselves.”  Which just means that they’ll be smarter than you were at the same age.  You’ll have cooperated in making sure your generation gets the shaft both from the one older than it (mine, which you will be supporting), and the one younger than it (which is likely not to want to support you).

There really aren’t “two reasonable sides” to some of these debates, despite the post-modern tendency to reject any strong claim of truth, and to find it offensive when other people claim to be “right” about something.   Do the reading.  Read the blogs and foundation/think-tanks linked at this site, regularly, for a matter of months.  Especially the Claremont Institute, the Hoover Institution, CATO, FEE (Foundation for Economic Education), Powerline, Hugh Hewitt,, PajamasTV, Moral Accountability, and so on.  Find out what’s really going on in the world.  There is a side based on “hope and change” and very few facts, and fewer coherent theories to connect them, and there is a side based on an understanding of the human condition, how incentives work, and the facts of natural moral law.

You can link up with fellow young conservatives and libertarians on Twitter, on Facebook, and lots of other places accessible from the blogs and thinktanks listed here.  Get on their daily email lists.  Get yourself educated.  Learn to make the case convincingly, and then have the guts to do it within your social group.  Along the way, you may make some enemies.   That may bother you.  It may feel “unChristian” or something.  But better to have a few enemies than friends who steal you blind.  Talk about “unChristian.”

Suck it up.  It’s not too late.  Start NOW educating those around you, especially the lefties and mushy middles, the ones of your cohort who, well-meaning, are simply fooled by nice sounding platitudes on the Left.  Help them to understand that if they don’t quickly help to reverse the current Democrat majority in Congress, in the upcoming 2010 elections, then they will pay, and pay, and pay, in blood and treasure.

And worse, they still won’t get what they now think they’ll be paying for, because there will still be poverty, people getting inadequate medical care, and kids getting poor educations.   And the world “out there” will be an even more dangerous place, for them and their children.

And, of course, you and your kids will also have to become awesome bicycle mechanics.  So you can come visit me at my retirement villa, I mean, since you won’t be able to afford gas.  I’ll be waiting on the golf course.  That hip replacement you will buy for me will be just perfect.  And I didn’t even have to touch my savings.  Thanks.  Really, I mean it.

Mar 19 2009

The Next Great Awakening, part 6: Biblical inerrancy and science

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 7:42 pm

The previous post in this series is here.

A long lost high school friend (recently rediscovered on the internet) and I have been having an amiable conversation about the Creation, particularly the age of the universe.  This is especially fun since in high school I was mostly an atheist or agnostic, I suppose, and I was unaware of any religious leanings in my friend.    But these days, I am probably best described as an “old earth Creationist” who finds “progressive Creation” a coherent explanation of the facts of scripture and science.  He appears to be a “young earth Creationist” who thinks the universe is maybe 6,000-10,000 years old.

Both of us would say we “believe the Bible”, yet we disagree.  The nub of the conversation is what is meant by “Biblical inerrancy.”  Historical Christians, including the early church fathers in the Patristic period, have had various points of view on that.  I think almost anyone will have to agree that no definition of “Biblical inerrancy” can remove from us the responsibility to understand what the Bible is really saying, and what it was intended to say by those who wrote it, though I think sometimes God found ways to say things in the scripture that the writers themselves didn’t fully understand, and whose meaning would not become clear until later generations.  We see that happen in the Old Testament, especially in prophecy, though not necessarily only that, and we certainly see it happen in the New Testament, as well.

But to get a flavor:

The medieval church clearly believed that its commitment to scripture required it to embrace a geocentric universe, instead of a heliocentric solar system.  In the end, it didn’t matter what the church thought the scripture meant; the facts were the facts.

It is clear that what was errant was not scripture itself, but the interpretation of it.  That sorry episode has been used by a good many would-be scripture-debunkers down through the centuries.

We see some verses in the NT that very clearly suggest that the writers believed the end-times were quite near.  Even Jesus seems to be suggesting this.  I find those to be interesting passages, because I think God wanted to tell us something in them, but it clearly was not what the writers thought.  There is evidence that some in the first and second generation of readers of those scriptures (the first generation after they were written) believed they were saying the end was quite near, within their lifetimes.  But it didn’t happen that way.  So what are we to do?  Throw up our hands (as the skeptics do) and say that proves the Bible is sometimes wrong?  Or do we seek ways to harmonize the plain facts (we’re still here, aren’t we?) with the scripture in a way that does justice to both scripture and the facts, denies the truth of neither, and seeks a way of understanding each in the light of the other?

But historical truth isn’t the only kind of truth.  There really IS such a thing as scientific truth.  In fact, historical truth and scientific truth are two sides of the same thing, in many ways.  If there isn’t such a thing as historical and scientific truth, then there is no such thing as Biblical truth, because we have no means other than essentially historical and scientific ones to determine if a particular manuscript is reliable or fake, to determine if we have translated it correctly, to determine the cultural (archaeological, too) facts surrounding the scripture, etc.  We know that the Gospel of Judas is not a reliable guide to much of anything for basically scientific and historical reasons that locate it outside of the early, reliable revelation.  There is no scripture that says, “Ignore the Gospel of Judas,” for very good reasons; it didn’t exist yet, a fact we know from history and science, not scripture.

There are other kinds of science, of course, and the question is always how reliable are the conclusions of a particular scientist, or the implications of a particular theory.

There is a point (and believers will locate that point differently, depending on what they know of science, and on the degree of their commitment to a particular interpretation of scripture) where a scientific “theory” is so validated, so supported by every conceivable piece of evidence, that it cannot be gainsaid by anyone who has enough faith in science to use it for any other purpose.  No modern Christian believes it is an article of scripturally required faith that the Earth is the center of the solar system.  And similarly, there are many of us who are utterly convinced that the universe is indeed very, very old, that the Earth has been around a very long time, and that there have indeed been billions of years of life on Earth.

We are no smarter, nor more faithful, than the scientifically and hermeneutically confused medieval clergy who persecuted Galileo.  We simply have access to information they did not.  Indeed, I think it safe to say that if any of those worthies could be brought forward in a time machine to review modern evidence on the matter at hand, they would be likely to agree that the Sun is the center of the solar system.

Some of us are pretty sure that the tipping point has been well-passed, similarly, in the matter of the age of the universe.  I find the astronomical evidence utterly convincing.  That’s probably partly because I find it easier to understand than the geological evidence for the age of the Earth, not that I doubt either.  On the other hand, I have very large doubts about macro-evolution, finding it highly unsatisfactory both in its own terms and in scriptural terms, requiring as it does a God who “cheats at solitaire” by using a “random” process to “create” us, if that randomness is understood as a process that didn’t HAVE to lead to us (the standard understanding among evolutionists).   That’s why I continue to find “theistic evolution” such a stretch.  But I am always entertained by the efforts of materialist scientists to explain the origin of life, concerning which many have adopted the X-Files explanation.

But my central point is that I am not impervious to evidence that my interpretation of scripture may be awry.  So, I try to “keep an open mind” about what scriptural passages might mean when they appear susceptible of multiple interpretations (especially when those interpretations are all equally capable of supporting historical understandings of “salvation history”).  I don’t think it is evidence of lack of faith or distrust of the Bible to look for extra-Biblical sources to aid my understanding of scripture, including science.  Indeed, Paul tells us to test everything, and hold to what is true.

It is said by some that, “God’s word is inerrant and sufficient.”  The question is, inerrant with what interpretation, and sufficient for what?  The answers, I think:  it is inerrant when we understand how to interpret it (i.e., there seems to be no “fixed target” for peripheral matters, but plenty of clarity for central teachings), and it is sufficient for us to know enough about God for His purpose of salvation.

But there can be no such thing as inerrancy without correct interpretation (and there will be things we simply do not and cannot know), and there is little sense in claiming the Bible has all we need to know to live our lives, if that is what is meant by “sufficiency.”  Most of us have jobs that require us to know something beyond the Bible, just to take the simplest example.

And it is completely clear that in the history of the church, the most influential strands have always been among the best educated in disciplines outside the study of the scripture.  In fact, the church was the preserver of such studies when others had forgotten them.

The final irony, for me: there is an awfully high proportion of Ph.D.s among the people most often quoted by “young earth creationists,” who are the ones likely to assert that scripture is “inerrant and sufficient” without the qualifications I listed above.  And those Ph.D.s usually aren’t in Biblical studies, implying that some kinds of knowledge and study other than the Bible are important, even to those making the “inerrant and sufficient” claim.

One of the things I pray for is a rapproachment between believers, so that those who believe in a “young earth” (which I believe places an unnecessarily large road block to believing the Bible for many modern, educated people) and those who embrace the findings of science regarding the age of Creation can just “get along.”  Some of the ad hominem attacks and imputations of ill motives made in the discussions do not serve the King.  To quote one writer, responding to the assertion that old-earth creationism is heretical:

Of course, there are Christians on both sides of age-of-the-earth debate who are guilty of poor behavior. To this end, we must always be mindful that it is love that builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1) and our conversations should always [be] full of grace (Colossians 4:6).

I love to discuss, and, I admit, to argue. But I hope always to do so in a spirit of love and fellow believer-ship, and to “keep it in the family”, i.e., keep it from becoming a stumbling block to those we want to attract to the Faith.

The next post in this series is here.

Mar 18 2009

An anchor around CBS’s neck

Category: election 2008,media,Palinharmonicminer @ 9:32 am

The “most trusted man in America” has had his name used to shower kudos on surely one of the least trustworthy news anchors in America, Katie Couric, who has fewer daily viewers than Rush Limbaugh has listeners, if I’m reading the chart here correctly.

Don’t you know, it’s always profound journalism to attack anyone from the Right.   The simplest way to get professional recognition in academia and journalism is simply to be very left.  Advocate for the, uh, “right” stuff, and you’re a cinch to receive some award from somebody for something.

So you thought Katie Couric did the tough job of revealing “the real Sarah Palin” by demonstrating that she doesn’t read, and is incoherent?

In Media Malpractice, John Ziegler tells the truth about Katie Couric’s deliberate hit-job on Sarah Palin, proving with complete interview excerpts that:

1)  A widely circulated “incoherent answer” from Palin was actually her attempt to answer an incoherent question from Couric, which was always conveniently removed from the replay that “went viral”.  When you see the question, suddenly Palin’s answer makes sense, though everyone from CNN to SNL focused only on the answer without providing the context of what the question was.

2)  Palin’s refusal to list the exact things she reads for Couric,  which was nothing more than Palin’s refusal to be a good little schoolgirl and recite for the schoolmarm, was widely and deceitfully used by Couric and others to imply that Palin doesn’t read anything.

3)  Couric deliberately phrased questions to attempt to remove the best answers from the table before Palin could reply.  “Other than trying to reform Fannie and Freddie, what’s the most important thing John McCain has done to improve regulation?”  That’s about like asking, “Other than Social Security, what’s the most important thing FDR did for old people?”    And then, insanely, when Palin answered that fixing Fannie and Freddie WAS the most important thing McCain had tried to do in the regulation arena, other reporters (like Major Garrett, still impersonating an officer) said she hadn’t even given THAT answer, to Couric’s great joy, of course.  Garrett appears not even to have the grace to be embarrassed about it.

Sure, I wish Palin had mentioned something else just to show she knew McCain’s record, like campaign finance reform, but maybe she thought (justifiably) that “campaign finance reform” was actually a bad idea, and didn’t want to put a positive spin on it.  In any case, the entire episode was among the LEAST revealing bits of journalism around, other than showing very clearly the agenda that motivates let’s-pretend-journalism at CBS.

Media Malpractice has much more, including all the real gaffes committed by Joe Biden when he was interviewed by Couric, which were conveniently downplayed, or totally deepsixed, and to which no follow up questions were asked.

For example, Ed Morrisey reports here:

I guess the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center never saw Katie’s crack journalistic work with Joe Biden. CBS crabbed at YouTube and got the video taken down, but the flavor remains:

Joe Biden’s denunciation of his own campaign’s ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” Biden told Couric. “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’”

FDR wasn’t President when the stock market crashed, and he didn’t get on TV until a decade later — but Couric never seems to notice either gaffe. Why? She wasn’t out to get Joe Biden.

And that’s pretty much about the size of it for most of what passes as journalism these days. When the Left flubs, it isn’t even news, but creating news by misrepresenting the Right is always fair game.

The schadenfreud of watching CBS News’ ratings in free-fall is delicious.  Keep up the great work, Katie.  I’m sure you can land a nice sinecure teaching journalism somewhere to wide-eyed graduate students who want nothing more than to learn how “the pros” do it.  On the other hand, cheer up:  maybe the clowns you helped elect will send a nice bailout to CBS.

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Mar 17 2009

The Left At Christian Universities, part 9: the students’ parents are idiots

Category: diversity,higher education,leftharmonicminer @ 9:09 am

The previous post in this series is here.

As has been pointed out previously in this series, “diversity” is not in any sense politically neutral.  It always strongly favors the Left, and people who are big fans of “diversity” are almost always strongly committed to the Left in other ways.

Just to analyze one instance in a recent faculty discussion of diversity:  a professor of social ethics was disappointed that his students, having finished his course, had not come to the conclusion that the Iraq war is unjust.  Let’s unpack this.

First, he seems to believe that his comment is related to the discussion of diversity.  How would that be, exactly?  What relevance does the justice or injustice of a particular bit of foreign policy have to diversity at his university?  It’s clear that in his mind, diversity and general leftist thought are very much related, and since the discussion is about diversity, the floor is open to general leftist discussion.  He thinks he is at ideological home with his fellow travelers.   He has done this before, almost certainly, and been well-received.   This seems more and more common at too many Christian colleges and universities (especially the universities).

Second, he seems to believe that no other position on the matter of the Iraq war can possibly be held by a rational person, in possession of the facts, with a decent heart and Godly intent.  So his disappointment makes sense, in his very constricted world-view.

Third, he seems completely unaware that he has just hurled a deadly insult at the parents who pay his salary, because it is likely that his students reflect some of their parents’ perspectives on such matters, and he thinks those perspectives are morally and rationally indefensible.  To be blunt, he sees his job as taking parents’ money to teach their children to think that their parents are fools, or worse.

Yet there he is, in the middle of a discussion of diversity, knowing that heads around the table will nod sagely as he fires from the hip, without really having a target, other than those benighted souls of the world who do not subscribe wholesale to leftist thought.  Plenty of heads nodded, as if the comment were perfectly appropriate. He is a perfect example of what has been happening in Christian higher education, as we bring in more and more faculty who are so thoroughly indoctrinated by the Left in their graduate programs that they see themselves as being on a mission from God to disabuse undergraduates of their foolish traditional misconceptions.

Translation:  these kids’ parents have been doing a miserable job of preparing the kids for polite society, and we have to completely reorient them, as soon as possible.

The next post in this series is here.

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Mar 16 2009

Under Obama, doctors and nurses must shelve their consciences

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 12:12 pm

Obama’s Attack on Medical Civil Liberties

While the media remain fixated on a slumping economy that gets sicker with each punishing presidential prescription, a different set of defining and similarly freedom-diminishing policy directives emerging from the White House goes dissimilarly unnoticed.

Earlier this month, the President took the first step in rescinding a Bush administration moral conscience regulation which enforces existing legal protections against discrimination and intimidation for doctors and other healthcare professionals who invoke conscience by refusing to participate in medical procedures they believe immoral.

The rule, which was finalized last year placed no restriction upon any legal medical procedure; it simply brought the executive branch into compliance with several existing laws including:

# the 1973 “Church Amendments” which protect doctors and other healthcare professionals from discrimination due to religious belief or moral conviction;

# the 1996 “Public Health Service Act Amendment” which prohibits government from discriminating against individual and institutional healthcare providers who choose not to provide abortion services or receive abortion training; and

# the 2004 “Hyde-Weldon Amendment” which prohibits certain federal funds going to federal and state agencies and programs that discriminate against healthcare providers who decline to offer or refer abortion services.

Simply put, these three venerable laws passed by Congress and signed by former Presidents protect doctors and nurses from being professionally threatened because they allow their conscience to dictate their professional actions.

By eliminating the enforcement of these legal protections, the Obama Administration is signaling that it intends to ignore the law and refuse to protect the civil liberties of healthcare professionals based upon religious or moral conscience. Without enforcement, healthcare personnel will have scant legal recourse for intimidation and bigotry rendering the laws intended to protect them meaningless.

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