Sunday, March 29, 2009

Quick Notes: Dad, the Dow, and more Tea Parties

A couple of quick hits that I wanted to share with the readers. I thought this was a perfect time for another issue of "Quick Notes"

My Dad
. My Dad has entered the world of blogging. He has written a very detailed piece examining the rhetoric used by Adolf Hilter prior to taking over Germany, and President Obama's rhetoric on the campaign trail, and as President. Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs has posted it and I encourage people to stop by her blog and read the piece. It is an interesting site, so look around for a bit.

The Dow. I was reading my copy of The American Patriot's Almanac: Daily Readings on America, and came across an interesting entry for today. On this date in 1999, the Dow closed above 10,000 for the first time. I believe it closed on Friday at just over 7776.

Tea Parties. A number of my readers are interested in Tea Parties, and especially the ones held in Atlanta. Jenny Beth Martin is one of the organizers of the ones here in Atlanta. She also has a link to other tea parties across the nation. I found one on Maui I am going to visit on my vacation. It was also from Jenny that I found out Sean Hannity is going to be at the April 15th Tea Party held in Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Review: A Slobbering Love Affair

A new book by Bernard Goldberg is worth bringing back the book review feature of this site. Mr. Goldberg's book, A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media, is a very critical look at the way the media covered the 2008 Presidential campaign. Mr. Goldberg does not blame the media for McCain's loss, nor does he attack President Obama. He does ask a few critical questions of Barack Obama, but this book is more a critique of the media, and not any one person. A sentence from the inside book flap really sums up the major theme of this book. Talking about the media's coverage of the 2008 presidential race, "…the media crossed an important line…moving from their usual unthinking liberal bias to crass partisanship of the crudest kind, practically acting as spin doctors for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama." Mr. Goldberg argues that some of it was intentional, but worse, some of it was done with the best of intentions. Many in the media honestly believed (and probably still believe) Barack Obama was a better candidate that McCain, and that by electing Obama, the United States would be brought into a new golden age. I have no problem with that belief. However, the media crossed the line by acting on it. By not reporting on stories that were critical of Obama or Biden, while digging through dumpsters in Alaska looking for any controversy regarding Sarah Palin, the media ditched their role as observer and instead became an active participant.

A Slobbering Love Affair does point out some concerns the author had for candidate Obama. The author provides a list of interview questions he would have asked the candidate that no one in the press thought of. For example, Mr. Goldberg would have asked:

  1. "How willing are you to disappoint liberals?"

  2. "Name two or three conservative ideas you find useful and would be central to your 'post-partisan' political philosophy."

  3. "Some people believe that the reason so many young black people are behind the eight-ball in this country is not because of old-fashioned racism, but because of dysfunctional behavior: fifteen-year old girls having babies, teenagers dropping out of high school for example. You spoke forcefully and eloquently on Father's Day about this kind of behavior. But then you dropped the subject. As someone who enjoys tremendous support in the black community, you might have had some positive impact on the lives of these kids if you made it a recurring theme of your campaign. Why didn't you?" {emphasis in the original}

These questions appear in Chapter Eighteen, Ten Questions for Barack Obama. I would have liked to have heard the answers to these questions, but there were few in the media willing to ask them. Mr. Goldberg points out that the media is protected by the First Amendment because, "…the press has constitutional protections for one main reason: to keep watch over a powerful government." When that press becomes active players in one campaign or another, their credibility is lowered, or destroyed. Want to know why Democratic Senators are trying to bail out newspapers? Because the American public no longer trusts print media.

A Slobbering Love Affair is a very quick read. I would encourage everyone to read it regardless of your political leanings. If you believe the mainstream media is fair and unbiased, Mr. Goldberg has done some homework for you that just might open your eyes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Support AIG Employees

“The vote by Congress to tax Wall Street bonuses out of existence was economic populism run amok. This was legislating by rage, fear, and panic.”

-New York Daily News Editorial

Yesterday was a dark day in the history of the U. S. Congress. Our Congress voted to write a law that would retro-actively attack a small group of private citizens. These are the very tactics our country fought against in the Revolutionary War. Our Founding Fathers specifically outlawed this behavior in the U. S. Constitution. The thugs in Congress have decided they don’t have to play by the rules of the Constitution (assuming any of them still know where to find it to read). Our Congress has ignored the example of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, and instead have chosen the example of King George during the 1700’s. One Republican even joked that these employees should kill themselves. Every single Republican and Democrat that voted to tax AIG employees at 90% yesterday should be forced to leave in disgrace.

According to varying news accounts, AIG paid out some $165 million in bonuses to between 73 and 463 employees. Most stories report the 73 number; I have seen one that reported the 463 employees. Pelosi, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd want these people burned at the stake in the public square. Why? Because they had a contract with AIG, and they were arrogant enough to believe their employer would honor it. The employees fulfilled their end of the bargain, and expected AIG to pay them for it. I don’t know how many of you go to work and give your employer the option of paying you. I expect to be paid when I go to work and I know Congress expects the taxpayer to pay them.

Pelosi and other Democrats have stoked popular anger to the point that AIG employees are receiving death threats. According to the International Herald Tribune, “The Connecticut Working Families party, which has support from organized labor, was planning a bus tour Saturday of A.I.G. executives’ homes, with a stop at the company’s Wilton office.” The Democratically controlled Congress and Senate, in conjunction with some Republicans, and with the approval of President Obama are trying to steal money from private citizens simply because they have stoked public opinion against these people. Our elected representatives should be ashamed of what they have done, and we as citizens should be embarrassed by their behavior. Should anything ill happen to these employees, the blood will be squarely on the hands of Pelosi, Frank, President Obama, and their partners in this, “…populism run amok.”

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Is Gibbs in Over His Head?

This weekend former Vice President Dick Cheney attack President Obama's policy decisions since entering office. The Vice President attacked decisions to close Guantanamo, stop waterboarding, and close down secret detention camps. These are all policy decisions with pro's and cons. As expected, current White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about these comments. Here is a partial transcript from U.S.A Today:

Question: "One quick followup: Former Vice President Cheney was on State of the Union yesterday. He had a lot -- a lot of criticism of this White House...[h]ow do you respond to those kind of allegations from the former vice president?"

Gibbs: "Well, I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy ... so they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal...

After Gibbs went on to explain his answer, another reporter asked this follow up question:

Question: "It was a really hard-hitting, kind of sarcastic, response you had. This is a former vice president of the United States. Is that the attitude? Is that the sanctioned tone for the former vice president of the United States from this White House?"{emphasis mine}

Gibbs: "Sometimes I ask forgiveness, rather than for permission ... but no, I hope my sarcasm didn't mask the seriousness of the answer ... that for seven-plus years the very perpetrators that the vice president says he's concerned about weren't brought to justice.

Mr. Gibbs responses to both of these questions are entirely fair and appropriate for a private citizen, a talk show host (such as Mr. Limbaugh), or even a Democratic politician. However, this attitude is entirely inappropriate for the White House, and the White House Press Secretary to use when describing a former Vice President of the United States. I would expect this kind of rehtoric coming from the campaign trail. Mr. Gibbs now speaks for President Obama and the White House any time he opens his mouth. To refer to the Vice President as a member of the "Republican Cabal" is not a new age of bipartisianship as President Obama has pledged.

Mr. Gibbs tries to recover by saying he has to ask forgiveness rather than permission. Again, this isn't acceptable from the voice of the White House. What happens when Mr. Gibbs makes this same type of flippant remark when refering to on of our allies? Will a foregin leader excuse this type of "sarcasm"?

President Obama promised us "Hope", "Change", "Accountablity", and "Bipartisianship". With a Press Secretary like Gibbs, the best we can do is keep hoping...

Update for Georgia Readers

I have a number of readers in the Georgia area. For those of you out there, Freedomworks is advertising two events in Georgia on March 21st. Go to the link for more details, but I have taken everything below directly from their site:

Georgia -

FreedomWorks Georgia is going strong with two important events this weekend, Saturday, March 21 in Duluth and Albany. We hope you can attend one!

Duluth Event:

Rep. Tom Price will be speaking to us March 21st, 8:30 am at Golden Corral in Duluth. Off 85, Pleasant Hill Road Exit. 3270 Satellite Blvd, Duluth, GA 30096 (770)495-7999.

Rep. Price is Chairman of the Republican Study Committee and will be giving us an update on upcoming bills and will speak to us about the “Card Check” Bill. Everyone is invited.

Albany Event:

John Oxendine Georgia Commissioner of Insurance will be speaking to us March 21, 3-4:30pm at the Albany Government Building at 222 Pine Avenue. During his tenure as Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Oxendine has consistently put taxpayers and small businesses first, increasing the efficiency of his department to better serve constituents and saving taxpayer funds.

In addition to remarks by Mr. Oxendine, attendees will learn how to organize the grassroots in their community and get updates on current issues on the local, state, and federal level. If you are interested in attending the Albany event, please call Donna Driskell at (229) 881-0717.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Stem Cell Debate

The science behind stem cell research is very confusing. It is a subject I have struggled with for some time, and one I have followed since President Bush authorized some federal funding of Embryonic Stem cell research in 2001. Monday's decision by President Obama was a terrible decision, but you may not realize just how terrible. To help illustrate the point, here is my quick primer on Stem Cell research and my own thoughts on the debate.

The Stem Cell Debate 101

The first fact you should know is that there are currently no treatments and no cures that were created from Embryonic Stem Cells. None. Secondly, there are many, many treatments available from adult stem cells. These include treatments for cirrhosis, Crohn's disease, lupus, sickle-cell anemia, urinary incontinence and many other benefits including for cancer patients, the blind, and restoring bone marrow. There have been zero treatments created from Embryonic Stem Cells. Zero.

Embryonic stem cells are no longer necessary for scientific research. In November of 2007 a team was able to produce the equivalent of embryonic cells without creating or destroying an embryo. This method has continued to improve. When this breakthrough was announced, many cited it as proof that President Bush was correct in instituting restrictions in 2001. Some even suggested this would put an end to embryonic stem cell research. Why destroy an embryo if you don't need too?

President Bush did not ban embryonic stem cell research. He limited federal funding to research involving any line that was in existence prior to August of 2001. In so doing, he became the first President to actually authorize tax payer funding for embryonic stem cell research. Look here for a more detailed history of what previous Presidents have and haven't done. The public is very divided on this issue. President Bush felt it was therefore inappropriate for the federal government to force taxpayers to subsidize what many believe is the destruction of human life.

The Debate

President Obama stated that this (and future executive orders) is about, "…letting scientists…do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient…" That is the wrong approach to take on this or any scientific subject that involves testing on humans. You may not believe life starts in the womb. However, everyone reading this was once an embryo. We are talking about destroying a "pre-birth" human in the name of medicine or science. This isn't a scientific decision, it is a moral decision. If scientists want to experiment on any creature, whether it is an embryo, an inmate, a senior citizen, a monkey, or a dog, politicians need to weigh very carefully the benefit and the morality of such behavior. The scientist says, " I want to run this test on people in jail, or medical patients in a hospital because I think I might one day cure blindness." Policy makers must decide if we are willing to sacrifice those people for such experiments. This decision is not based purely on science, but on what we will accept, morally, as a society. Is it acceptable to destroy life to try and make future generations healthier? As Ryan Anderson wrote this week for The Weekly Standard, "Listening to scientists who tell us what they want to do doesn't mean we should give them a blank check; we need to determine if what they're proposing …is what they should be doing." From the movie Jurassic Park, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

As with other scientific issues, there are scientists on both sides of this argument. Some believe we should take whatever chances we can in the hopes of saving lives down the road. Others argue that there is very little difference in an embryo and a newborn baby. We can't destroy life simply to perform science.

A Slippery Slope

One of the problems with this research is, "Where do you draw the line?" If we start with embryos that "were going to be destroyed anyway" is it that big of a step to start cloning a few in the hopes of saving millions? Any treatment that results from embryonic stem cells will require cloning to be effective, so why not start now? If you are ok with destroying clones and embryos, what about the elderly? What about the disabled who might have a reduced quality of life? Surely the sacrifice of an 84 year old vegetative person is acceptable if it will save lives down the road…

This is a very tough topic. Smart and well meaning people can arrive at different conclusions. However, we need to remember we are destroying unborn humans in this research. Also, this is not a scientific decision. Science tells you there is a potential for a beneficial outcome from these experiments. It does not guarantee any result, and it does not rule on what is right and what is wrong.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Democrats Kill D.C. Scholarship Program

There is a school choice program in D.C. that Democrats in Congress are doing everything in their power to kill. The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program allows parents in the District of Columbia to move their children out of dangerous and failing schools and send them to better performing, safer schools with some federal help. By "dangerous and failing" , Dan Lips and Robert Enlow write:

"One out of every eight D.C. students reported being assaulted or injured with a deadly weapon during a recent school year. That’s equal to the percentage of D.C. eighth-graders who scored “proficient” in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress."

Currently there are some 1,700 children enrolled in the program. At a cost of $14 million, these children are able to attend schools that help them prepare for college, and keep them safe. In an age of multibillion dollar bailouts to banks and auto companies, this program is on the cutting board because Democrats believe in teachers unions more than they believe in families, children, or freedom. Freedom of choice is o.k if Democrats are talking about killing an unborn child, but it is unacceptable when discussing getting a good education for a student in a bad neighborhood.

The current spending bill as passed in the House kills the D.C. scholarship program after the 2009 -2010 school year. Any students still going to private schools will be forced to go back to their zoned public school. Yesterday, Natasha Shannon wrote in the New York Daily News defending the DC program. Ms. Shannon is able to send her two daughters to a better school than she was able to attend as a kid. She graduated valedictorian of her class in Harlem and began attending a community college. In college she had to attend remedial classes in order to stay in school because her high school hadn't prepared the valedictorian to attend a community college.

Democrats have not argued that the D C public school system is working. Instead, Democrats in Congress are dumping money into the D. C. system, and expressly forbidding it be used for any school choice program like the one currently in place. Without authorizing any study on the success of the current DC program, they are killing its funding. Democrats are showing they care more for teachers unions than for parents and children. I thought it was Democrats who fought for minorities and not big business.

For once there is a government program that appears to be working, and is providing families with freedom. Surely we can fund it at the same time we are trying to save badly managed auto companies and banks.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Atlanta Tea Party Update II

This if for those of you interested in what the Atlanta Tea Party looked like on Friday. Michelle Malkin has a number of videos from other cities on her site. I found this clip there.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Quick Notes: The Stock Market, Maryland, and Twitte

Time for another issue of quick notes. In this issue we look at the stock market, religious freedom, and a new way to keep up with yours truly.

Wall Street Votes on President Obama. Today's market closed down almost three hundred points. By almost three hundred I mean 299.64. Wall Street continues to vote on what it thinks about the future. The votes aren't good. You may believe Obama is the new messiah, but Wall Street doesn't. If President Obama's spending policies don't change, we may one day wish for a 7,000 stock market.

The Maryland Constitution. I am reading Enough is Enough by Rick Scarborough. Mr. Scarborough traces some of the religious origins of our country and quotes the Maryland Constitution. While founded by Catholics, their constitution tried to protect the religious freedom of all Christians. It said:

All persons, professing the Christian religion,are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no person ought be any law to be molested in his person or his estate on account of his religious persuasion or profession, or for this religious practice; unless, under colour of religion, any man shall disturb the good order, peace and safety of the State.

This passage comes very close to how I believe the founders viewed religious freedom. So long as your beliefs didn't harm the rest of the society, you should be left to your own beliefs.

Twitter. Last night I signed up for a twitter account. You can now follow me on in addition to this site. There are a number of times I would like to post a very short thought. I will now do that on Twitter. If you aren't familiar with Twitter, it takes about 3 minutes to create an account. I am still an infant on their, but I have found it really easy to post there, and to find others there.