"A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take away everything you have."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Too Late to Apologize

I can't remember if I've shared this before or not, but it's ok if I have.

I like the "no tea" in the first verse...

Friday, March 23, 2012

October Baby and the NY Times

I thought I'd share this brilliant movie "review" from the New York Times for October Baby.

Priceless, isn't it?

The movie opens today. Go see it.

Friday, March 16, 2012

October Baby

NateDawg and I were blessed to see a pre-screening of a new movie coming out on March 23, October Baby. We were part of a group of bloggers chosen specially for this honor. Just kidding. I won the tickets through 95.1 Shine FM. The DJs were handing out tissues as we entered the theater, and they were right. It isn't all tears. There are many funny and beautiful moments. It was a wonderful, moving, emotional story of forgiveness and love, of the miracle of life, and adoption. I think I will try to go again when it opens next weekend.

And a hint for when you go see it (opening weekend!): be sure to stay for at least the beginning of the credits.

"Seaweed in Your Gas Tank"

Great article from Charles Krauthammer this morning about the idiocy of Obama's energy policies. Read it here.

Krauthammer's conclusion is that high gas prices "are a constant reminder of three years of a rigid, fatuous, fantasy-driven energy policy that has rendered us scandalously dependent and excessively vulnerable."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"In questions of power...

...let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."
~Thomas Jefferson in the Kentucky Resolution, 1798

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reggie for President

My parents' dog, Reggie, overheard me saying that I would vote for him over Obama this November and has asked me to announce his candidacy for president here on Common Cents.  -- S.D.

Reggie, Labertarian for President

My fellow Americans, both human and canine:

In 2008, we elected Barack Obama as the President of the United States, and for the first time in my life, I was proud of my country.   This year, I ask you to elect me as the second brown president of the United States.  Here is my vision for the future of our country:

  • Over the course of obedience school, female dogs can spend over $3000 on birth control, creating an undue hardship for these bright young pups.  There are some who would block access to these vital services, and by doing so, doom dogs around the country to be punished with a litter of puppies.  As president, I will require all providers of health insurance to include coverage of spaying and neutering with no increase in premiums or copays.  
  • Too many dogs are overweight from eating unhealthy food from the table.  Obesity, whether in humans or dogs, raises insurance premiums for everyone.  As president, I will promote taxes on bacon and cheese in order to persuade dogs and owners to make the right food choices.  
  • We must punish the 1%, who dine on expensive canned foods, such as Alpo, while the less privileged among us are forced to eat Old Roy (and in doing so, fund our corporate overlords at Wal-Mart).  
  • Some people say that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.  However, I believe that all dogs are capable of learning if provided with the opportunities that they deserve.  As president, I will introduce the K9 Bill, which will provide grants to dogs to attend college after retiring from the police force.
  • There are some intolerant people in government who rail against earmarks.  As president, I will end discrimination on the basis of breed and provide opportunities to all dogs of all ear colors.  (This is what they are talking about when they refer to "earmarks", right?  My campaign manager said that it means something else, but I think he's confused.)  
  • As president, I will show solidarity with my fellow flea-ridden housepets in the Occupy movement by instituting a student loan forgiveness program.
  • As president, I will stimulate the economy by creating numerous shovel-ready projects.  In fact, my shovel-ready projects have already created jobs for my owners at home.
  • There are millions of people in our country who, by no fault of their own, are not entitled to vote under our Constitution or who lack the energy or motivation (I can relate to that, as I enjoy lying around) to acquire a photo ID.  There are some who would discriminate on the basis of citizenship or laziness by enacting laws which would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls.  As president, I will propose a new odor-based program where voters identify themselves based on their unique scent.  (This policy would especially benefit the deliciously-fragrant members of the Occupy movement.)
  • As president, I will work to improve our strained relations with other nations by showing them the proper level of respect.  If I see another dog who is bigger than I am, like the king of Saudi Arabia for example, I will approach with my belly on the ground and my tail between my legs.
Some of these ideas may sound a little harebrained, but what do I know?  I'm just a dog.

Reggie, Labertarian for President
"A turd in every yard"

Saturday, March 10, 2012

War on Women?

I'm sorry to keep harping on the contraceptive mandate/Sandra Fluke issue, but the Democrats keep talking about it (I guess they don't feel like trying to defend Obama's economy) so it's important to respond to their false claims. Mark Steyn has a fantastic (as always) column out today pointing out the ridiculousness of this supposed "war on women" the Republicans are waging. I laughed out loud reading it.

Of course, the Washington Post is pushing this story line hard. They do whatever they can to smear Republicans. They tried to destroy Bob McDonnell over this very issue, publishing over a dozen front page articles claiming he was anti-woman because of some thesis he had written over a decade earlier. Fortunately, Virginia voters saw through this transparent smear, and I have hope that voters will once again be smart enough not to fall for the Post's distortions. Rasmussen has a new national poll out today that shows Romney leading Obama 48% to 43% (Santorum also leads Obama by one point). 43% is a TERRIBLE number for an incumbent. Perhaps the Democrats' tired old "war on women" strategy isn't working quite as well as they think. I hope it backfires on them, big time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Hypocrisy of the Left

Michelle Malkin has a great column out showing the mind-blowing double standard of the left-wing media when it comes to civility towards women. She lays out the case pretty compellingly, quote by quote. Kirsten Powers, a refreshingly honest Democratic consultant, has recently done the same thing.

There are some more worthwhile comments on this topic from Jim Geraghty's blog The Campaign Spot here and here. And James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal has some interesting thoughts on a broader related them -- the cultural contradictions of feminism.

The bottom line is, if you are a conservative, you should expect to be accused of hating women, gays, immigrants, blacks, Muslims, Mormons, and the poor. (Or even if you're not conservative - just ask Juan Williams.) You should expect to be accused of being racist, intolerant, and backward and of being against science and against the separation of church and state. The epithets will be much worse if you are an outspokenly conservative woman or an outspokenly conservative black, because such people break the mold in a way that threatens the Left.

That's not to say there isn't nastiness and hate on the Right as well. There certainly is. Nor is it to say all liberals are nasty and hateful, because they certainly aren't. Some of my nicest co-workers are liberal. But I believe that vulgarity and hate are far more prevalent on the institutional Left than the institutional Right. Part of this, I believe, is due to Leftist ideology that tends to divide people into different racial and demographic groups for the purpose of addressing grievances and promoting equality of outcome. I have found that Leftists often tend to assume things like all women are pro-choice or all blacks are in favor of affirmative-action, and if they are not then they are somehow betraying their niche group. (Conservatives generally prefer to think of people not as African-Americans, or gay Americans, or Latino Americans, or female Americans, but just Americans.) And of course, this strategy of dividing people along racial or demographic lines is an important part of the Democrats' political strategy, because they depend on overwhelming support from niche racial and demographic voting blocs for their overall success as a party.

But I think the primary reason for the prevalence of vulgarity and hate on the institutional Left compared with the Right is the simple fact that it is far easier to get away with it if you are on the Left. Pretty much all of the liberals cited by Michelle Malkin faced no public outcry or serious consequences for their comments due to media bias and selective reporting. Conservatives, even ones as powerful as Rush, cannot slide by so easily. If, in an alternative universe, the media was dominated by conservatives, I suspect we would see a greater predominance of hate on the Right. In a polarized political environment like the current one, people tend to say whatever they think they can get away with.

UPDATE: Kirsten Powers has written a follow-up column on the double-standard of the media when it comes to misogyny, and it is outstanding! Read it here. Among other things, she notes that Bill Maher is slated to have top Obama advisor David Axelrod appearing on his show in a week or two, and also that Maher donated $1 million to an Obama super-PAC run by a long-time Obama aide. (We found out today that the Obama super-PAC has no intention of returning that money. After all, Maher supports Obama, so his comments about women are no big deal.) Powers adds that Keith Olbermann, another liberal noted for his respect toward women, viciously attacked her for her column on his show, and his followers then contacted her en masse to tell her, among other things, that she was "just another brainless plastic doll Fox puts on camera to appease the horned up 60-year-old white dudes at home.” (These people cannot help themselves.) She notes in conclusion that "the uproar over Limbaugh is only because it fits into the Democratic narrative that the GOP is 'anti-woman.' It’s Democratic Party activism dressed up as feminism."

Oh yeah, and guess who is slated to speak at the upcoming Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner? Another left-wing "comedian" who has said unbelievably vile and disgusting things about women, including Sarah Palin. So all these self-important media types who are so exercised about Rush Limbaugh are apparently quite happy to go listen to Louis C.K., who is ten times worse than Rush. At least one journalist, Greta van Susteren, has the guts to speak out against this double standard. Here is her statement about boycotting this event. How many other journalists will do the same?

Today's Impromptus...

...by Jay Nordlinger of National Review is especially good, I think. Link here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yes, There Is Hope

This is probably one of the most personal blog posts I have written.

Last night, after posting about Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh, I got in bed. My mind began to be flooded with all the political and cultural headlines over the past few weeks that have made me angry and frustrated. Obama's contraception/abortion mandate...the outpouring of hate by the Left over Andrew Breitbart's death...the blatant media double standard, false accusations of sexism, and brazen attempt to silence Rush Limbaugh...the media's attempt to turn Sandra Fluke into a hero for "women's rights"...Susan G. Komen Foundation being bullied into continuing their support for Planned Parenthood, an organization that does not provide mammograms but is the largest abortion provider in the U.S....the lies told about the completely reasonable bill in Virginia to require an ultrasound of the doctor's choice prior to an abortion...the vicious attacks claiming that Rick Santorum wants to set up a theocracy in the U.S. and the blatant lies about him wanting to ban contraception...Obama's unconstitutional non-recess recess appointments that got no coverage from the media...the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland, and the prospect of a possible upcoming referendum battle on the topic which will likely get just as nasty as the one in California which led to newspapers releasing the names and addresses of supporters of traditional marriage and the subsequent hate and intimidation directed against them by gay activists...the recent scholarly article published advocating the murder of newborn babies if they are not wanted by their parents...the weakness of the Republican field and the bitterness and infighting among conservatives over this election...the rising poll numbers and electoral prospects for the most left-wing president we've ever had and the realization that we may be stuck with him another four years...Obama's latest big-spending budget, which includes more subsidies for rich liberals who buy Chevy Volts but which cuts benefits for our military personnel...the sad state of our country which is drowning in an ocean of debt and spiraling into a moral cesspool. The more I thought about all of these things, the angrier I became. I could feel my heart racing and I was having trouble catching my breath. I honestly wondered if I might be having a panic attack.

I turned on my bedside lamp and did the best thing I could have done. I opened up the Bible and started reading. I started with one of my favorite passages in the entire Old Testament. It is the story about when the king of Syria wanted to capture the prophet Elisha, so he sent an army after him. Here is how the passage goes from 2 Kings 6:14-17:

So he [the king of Syria] sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

This passage is a reminder to God's people that no matter how dark it seems and no matter how large the obstacles or how great the opposition appears, God's hand of protection will always be on us. Like Elisha's servant, I so often need God to open my eyes of faith to see those horses and chariots of fire. I could feel the tightness in my chest starting to subside as a I re-read those comforting words, "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." Or, as Romans 8 puts it, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Next, I turned to Psalm 46, the psalm that my pastor had preached on last Sunday:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
'Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!'
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Talk about an awesome refuge to have! No wonder the psalmist expresses such confidence...the same God who has done such mighty works in the past such as bringing his people through the Red Sea and feeding them in the desert with manna from heaven is now the God who is with us! The God who will rush to our aid when morning dawns! The God who sits enthroned and exalted over the entire world!

In the light of this confidence in God, David writes in Psalm 3, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." He adds in Psalm 121, "Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." We can sleep at night because God is our refuge and fortress, and He never sleeps!

Next, I found myself reading these awesome words from Isaiah 40:

To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.
Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
'My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God'?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

How can we think for a minute that our way is hidden from the Lord when He calls each of the stars by name? How can the Creator of the ends of the earth, with unsearchable understanding and inexhaustible strength, be unable to give us the help we need for our trials? He is the one in control of everything happening in this world, including all the depressing things happening in this country. He will give His people strength to soar like eagles and endure the long race without fainting.

But what about beyond this world? Do we have a hope that endures beyond the grave into eternity? Yes, according to Revelation 6!

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, 'Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?' I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, 'These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.'

Yes, we have to come through the great tribulation of this life first. Yes, the cross precedes the crown. But if we belong to the Lord, these afflictions are but light and momentary compared to the awesome weight of the glory that awaits us in heaven with God. The worst it will ever get for us is right now. We have nothing but pure joy ahead of us, if we press on and endure to the end!

After I read these passages, I went to sleep and slept like a baby. I hope you do too!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Couple of Links

I just wanted to make a few brief follow up comments on the topic that Some Dude broached below regarding Sandra Fluke. It is so bizarre to me that the media, with a little help from Rush Limbaugh, has succeeded in turning Sandra Fluke into a sympathetic victim. Remember, this woman is a 30-year-old activist who chose to put herself in the spotlight and has been trying publicly for years to force a Catholic university to pay for her birth control, against the Catholic Church's beliefs. Why should the university (and the public in the form of higher premiums) be forced to foot her and her friends' >$3,000/year contraceptive bill for a purely elective activity? I have posted recently on the widespread availability of cheap -- or even free -- contraceptive devices. In what twisted alternative universe does this woman qualify for hero status? Or merit attention and lavish praise from the President of the United States? (Does he really have no other priorities?)

And don't even get me started on the media double standard on crude speech toward women. Rush's comment doesn't even come close to the vile things said about prominent conservative women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann by the Left. Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann make Rush Limbaugh sound like Mr. Rogers, but the feminists and the media have never conspired to try to remove them from the air. And unlike Maher and Olbermann, Rush apologized. He should have known better. No apology from Rush will ever be enough to satisfy this crowd. He might as well have saved his breath, because they will never rest until he is silenced for good. The Left's outrage about civility and the treatment of women and racism is always highly selective. It is a tool to promote their political agenda, nothing more. I was going to include a link to a Daily Caller article that collected some of the unbelievably nastiness from the Left (including some very well-known writers from Slate and Rolling Stone) in response to the death of conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who died at 43 and left behind a widow and four young children, but the article apparently included so much foul language that my home computer's filter would not allow me to access it. (I will add a link to it later.) Brent Bozell III from the Media Research Center gives some specific examples of this incredible double standard from the media here. At some point in the future, I hope to do a post giving more specific examples of the prevalence of this kind of hate-filled rhetoric on the Left.

I want to include a couple other links as well. One is an interesting take on Rick Santorum's candidacy from a fantastic Christian blogger named Albert Mohler. The other is an anonymous article from the American Thinker that I found to be extremely provocative called "The New Scar on My Soul."

UPDATE: I stand by my initial comments about Sandra Fluke. Her claims were preposterous and I believe she is very far from a hero. I also stand by my comments about the ridiculous double standard of the Left and the media, which is crucifying Rush but ignoring similar comments from leftists. But having read a little more about what Rush actually said about her, including demanding that she post videos of her sex online, it does sound like he crossed a line of basic respect and decency. I think the personal insults went too far, and his attacks have not only hurt him but also undermined the cause he was trying to champion. Here's a pretty good article from a conservative, Jeff Jacoby, who says that Rush needs to make a real apology.

On birth control and role-playing games

I never thought I would read a sentence which combines these two seemingly-disparate things.

"If insurance companies are mandated to start providing the accessories for our hobbies than [sic*] shouldn’t they pay for my D&D [Dungeons and Dragons] supplies as part of a men’s health initiative?" -- Brian Cherry  (link)
*Latin for "He made the mistake.  Not me."