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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list


FRIDAY, October 31, 2008

Folks, is this what you want from a Democratically controlled government? If you do not act to prevent it, you are complicit in it and in its effects.  GS

> ==================================================
> ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
> News Agency
> ==================================================
>
> US Headed Beyond Roe. Vs. Wade, Prelate Warns
>
> Bill Could Make Abortion an Entitlement
>
> ST. PAUL, Minnesota, OCT. 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- When U.S.
> Congress debates the Freedom of Choice Act in January, it will be
> considering going even beyond the Supreme Court decision legalizing
> abortion, says a Minnesota prelate.
>
>
> Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis affirmed this in a
> Wednesday article in the Catholic Spirit newspaper.
>
> "If enacted, this would become the first time in our nation's history
> that abortion is established as an 'entitlement,'" the archbishop
> warned.
> "This, in effect, would move our country beyond even the Supreme
> Court's decision of Roe v. Wade.
>
> "It would also do away with a large number of existing state laws on
> abortion, substantially impede the ability of states to regulate
> abortion, and override nearly 40 years of jurisprudential experience
> on the subject of abortion.
>
> "Legal experts say it would likely invalidate informed consent laws,
> parental notification laws, laws promoting maternal health -- if they
> result in an increased cost for abortions, abortion clinic regulations
> -- even those designed to make abortion safer for women, laws
> prohibiting a particular abortion procedure -- such as partial-birth
> abortion, and laws requiring that abortions only be performed by a
> licensed physician."
>
> More radical?
>
> The Minnesota prelate said it "is hard to imagine a more radical piece
> of pro-abortion legislation. FOCA would have a devastatingly
> destructive impact on the government's ability to regulate abortion."
>
> Archbishop Nienstedt urged the faithful to contact Congressional
> representatives and tell them to vote against the bill.
>
> "In effect, FOCA would certainly be a boon to the abortion industry
> with the government forced to condone and promote such procedures,"
> the archbishop concluded.
> "Now is the time to reduce, not increase, the incidence of abortion.
> Now is the time to work for the defeat of the Freedom of Choice Act."


WEDNESDAY through THURSDAY, October 29 through 30, 2008

Some random thoughts about the election.

Obama. What you see is NOT WHAT YOU GET!  But he is the personification of ultra-liberal Democrats: Articulate, Arrogant, Asinine, in the mold of Barney Frank and the "Reverend" Sharpton.  

Today's Republicans.  Just Asinine.  People like Rush Limbaugh are still saying that, while esentially holding their noses, they "must save the country from Obama and then save the country" from the inclinations of John McCain. What a ringing endorsement, from McCain's "supporters".  If Conservatives don't come out enthusiastically and in force, McCain loses...and it will be their fault.  It has been reported that, on another occasion, in the 1948 election, Truman won because between one and two million of Dewey's Conservatives - then so sure of his win, did not bother to vote.  WAKE UP, YOU JERKS. 

And what is this "Hope" that Obama is huckstering?  His is a "hope" born out of fear: fear of the outside world; fear of competition; fear of the future; even fear of fellow Americans who do not buy into his socialist philosophies.  It is not the hope offered by John McCain and Sarah Palin: hope born of confidence in Americans' ability to deal with the future, with the entire world, with stiff competition, with whatever the future brings.  Without accusing anyone of being un-American, which message is more American and more hopeful? 

And remember: the Truth is never "negative".  What is negative is lying, misrepresenting and ridiculeing.  And who's doing that? 

I'M PRAYING.

GS


TUESDAY, October 28, 2008

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
 
My confession:
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees..  I don't feel threatened.  I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are:  Christmas trees.
 
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.  I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto.  In fact, I kind of like it  It shows that we are all brothers and sisters
celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in   Malibu  .  If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
 
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.  I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.  I have no idea where the concept came from that   America  is an explicitly atheist country.  I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
 
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him?  I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.  But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the   America  we knew went to..
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different:  This is not intended to be a joke;  it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
 
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.  She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.  And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out.  How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
 
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.  I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.  Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.  The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.  And we said OK.
 
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide).  We said an expert should know what he's talking about.  And we said OK.
 
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out.  I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
 
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell  Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.  Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.  Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
 
Are you laughing yet?
 
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
 
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.  Pass it on if you think it has merit.  If not then just discard it... no one will know you did.  But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.  
 
My Best Regards,  Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein


MONDAY, October 27, 2008

Talk about "scary"...and I don't mean in fifty years!   Let us pray.  GS

THIS IS AN INTERESTING ANALYSIS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN EUROPE. IN THE LAST PARAGRAPHS, THE WRITER MENTIONS THAT SOME 'BACKLASH, IN THE FORM  OF NEW POLITICAL PARTIES ARE FORMING TO CHALLENGE THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPPE. I THINK THAT SOCIALIST EUROPE HAS LET THIS GO TOO FAR AND THEY WILL BE UNABLE TO STOP WHAT IS HAPPENEING.
HERE IN THE USA WITH SOCIALISM AND LIBRALISM READY TO LEAP FORWARD SO VERY FAST, WE WILL BE IN A SIMILAR POSITION SOON. THE DIFFERENCE IS GEOGRAPHY WHERE IT IS HARDER FOR THE ISLAMISTS TO COME HERE IN MASS.

America...as the last man standing

"In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe ?"

<>Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, chairman Party for Freedom, the Netherlands, at the Four Seasons, New York , introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem.

The speech was sponsored by the Hudson Institute on September 25.

Dear friends,
Thank you very much for inviting me. Great to be at the Four Seasons. I come from a country that has one season only: a rainy season that starts January 1st and ends December 31st. When we have three sunny days in a row, the government declares a national emergency. So Four Seasons, that's new to me. 
It's great to be in New York . When I see the skyscrapers and office buildings, I think of what Ayn Rand said: "The sky over New York and the will of man made visible." Of course. Without the Dutch you would have been nowhere, still figuring out how to buy this island from the Indians. But we are glad we did it for you. And, frankly, you did a far better job than we possibly could have done. 
I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man standing. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe ? Patriots from around Europe risk their lives every day to prevent precisely this scenario form becoming a reality. 
My short lecture consists of 4 parts. 
First I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe . Then, I will say a few things about Islam. Thirdly, if you are still here, I will talk a little bit about the movie you just saw. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem . 
The Europe you know is changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. The Eiffel Tower and Trafalgar Square and Rome 's ancient buildings and maybe the canals of Amsterdam . They are still there. And they still look very much the same as they did a hundred years ago. 
But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world, a world very few visitors see - and one that does not appear in your tourist guidebook. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration. All throughout Europe a new reality is rising:entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It's the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to       find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These areMuslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe , street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city. 
There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe . With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there areplans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.
Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam , Marseille and Malmo in Sweden . In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighbourhoods.Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities. In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear "%@*!#, %@*!#". Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin. In  Franceschool teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin . The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity. In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women w ithout head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels , because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya , Israel . I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.
A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century. 
Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France. One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide caliphate. A Dutch study reported that half of Dutch Muslims admit they "understand" the 9/11 attacks. 
Muslims demand what they call 'respect'. And this is how we give them respect. Our elites are willing to give in. To give up. In my own country we have gone from calls by one cabinet member to turn Muslim holidays into official state holidays, to statements by another cabinet member, that Islam is part of Dutch culture, to an affirmation by the Christian-Democratic attorney general that he is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey . 
Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behaviour, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. Some prefer to see these as isolated incidents, but I call it a Muslim intifada. I call the perpetrators "settlers". Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies, they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers. 
Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighbourhoods, their cities, their countries. 
Politicians shy away from taking a stand against this creeping sharia. They believe in the equality of all cultures. Moreover, on a mundane level, Muslims are       now a swing vote not to be ignored. 
Our many problems with Islam cannot be explained by poverty, repression or the European colonial past, as the Left claims. Nor does it have anything to do with Palestinians or American troops in Iraq . The problem is Islam itself. 
Allow me to give you a brief Islam 101. The first thing you need to know about Islam is the importance of the book of the Quran. The Quran is Allah's personal word, revealed by an angel to Mohammed, the prophet. This is where the trouble       starts. Every word in the Quran is Allah's word and therefore not open to discussion or interpretation. It is valid for every Muslim and for all times. Therefore, there is no such a thing as moderate Islam. Sure, there are a lot of moderate Muslims. But a moderate Islam is non-existent. 
The Quran calls for hatred, violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil their duty to wage war: violent jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world - by the sword. The Quran is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys and pigs. 
The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized.Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages - at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza. He advised on matters of slavery, but never advised to liberate slaves. Islam has no other morality than the advancement of Islam. If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad. There is no gray area or other side. 
Quran as Allah's own word and Mohammed as the perfect man are the two most important facets of Islam. Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means 'submission'. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies. 
This is what you need to know about Islam, in order to understand what is going on in Europe . For millions of Muslims the Quran and the live of Mohammed are not 14 centuries old, but are an everyday reality, an ideal, that guide every aspect of their lives. Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam "the most retrograde force in the world", and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran. 
Which brings me to my movie, Fitna. 
I am a lawmaker, and not a movie maker. But I felt I had the moral duty to educate about Islam. The duty to make clear that the Quran stands at the heart of what some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad. I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam, and do not belong to its fringes. 
Now, from the day the plan for my movie was made public, it caused quite a stir, in the Netherlands and throughout Europe . First, there was a political storm, with government leaders, across the continent in sheer panic. The Netherlands was put under a heightened terror alert, because of possible attacks or a revolt by our Muslim population. The Dutch branch of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally, there was a series of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks against Dutch troops in Afghanistan , and a website linked to Al Qaeda published the message that I ought to be killed, while various muftis in the Middle East stated that I would be responsible for all the bloodshed after the screening of the movie. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me were also burned. The Indonesian President announced that I will never be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and the European Union issued cowardly statements in the same vein as those made by the Dutch Government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute disgrace, a sell-out. 
A plethora of legal troubles also followed, and have not ended yet. Currently the state of Jordan is litigating against me. Only last week there were renewed security agency reports about a heightened terror alert for the Netherlands because of Fitna. 
Now, I would like to say a few things about Israel . Because, very soon, we will get together in its capital. The best way for a politician in Europe to lose votes is to say something positive about Israel. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I, however, will continue to speak up for Israel . I see defending Israel as a matter of principle. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel . First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense. 
Samuel Huntington writes it so aptly: "Islam has bloody borders". Israel is located precisely on that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines , Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan , Lebanon , and Aceh in Indonesia . Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War. 
The war against Israel is not a war against Israel . It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel , Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming. 
Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities       would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel , they can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in Israel . It is Israel . 
It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographicallythe momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to thesuicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a 'right-wing extremists' or 'racists'. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and       Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam. 
This is the most painful thing to see: the betrayal by our elites. At this moment in Europe 's history, our elites are supposed to lead us. To stand up for centuries of civilization. To defend our heritage. To honour our eternal Judeo-Christian values that made Europe what it is today. But there are very few signs of hope to be seen at the governmental level. Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi; in private, they probably know how grave the situation is. But when the little red light goes on, they stare into the camera and tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, and we should all try to get along nicely and sing Kumbaya. They willingly participate in, what President Reagan so aptly called: "the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom." 
If there is hope in Europe , it comes from the people, not from the elites. Change can only come from a grass-roots level. It has to come from the citizens themselves. Yet these patriots will have to take on the entire political, legal and media establishment. 
Over the past years there have been some small, but encouraging, signs of a rebirth of the original European spirit. Maybe the elites turn their backs on freedom, the public does not. In my country, the  Netherlands, 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity. I don't think the public opinion in Holland is very different from other European countries. 
Patriotic parties that oppose jihad are growing, against all odds. My own party debuted two years ago, with five percent of the vote. Now it stands at ten percent in the polls. The same is true of all smililary-minded parties in Europe . They are fighting the liberal establishment, and are gaining footholds on the political arena, one voter at the time. 
Now, for the first time, these patriotic parties will come together and exchange experiences. It may be the start of something big. Something that might change the map of Europe for decades to come. It might also be Europe 's last chance. 
This December a conference will take place in Jerusalem. Thanks to Professor Aryeh Eldad, a member of Knesset, we will be able to watch Fitna in the Knesset building and discuss the jihad. We are organizing this event in Israel to emphasize the fact that we are all in the same boat together, and that Israel is part of our common heritage. Those attending will be a select audience. No racist organizations will be allowed. And we will only admit parties that are solidly democratic. 
This conference will be the start of an Alliance of European patriots. This Alliance will serve as the backbone for all organizations and political parties that oppose jihad and Islamization. For this Alliance I seek your support. 
This endeavor may be crucial to America and to the West. America may hold fast to the dream that, thanks to its location, it is safe from jihad and shaira. But seven years ago to the day, there was still smoke rising from ground zero, following the attacks that forever shattered that dream. Yet there is a danger even greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome , Athens and Jerusalem . 
Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can       only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe 's children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so. 
This is not the first time our civilization is under threat. We have seen dangers before. We have been betrayed by our elites before. They have sided with our enemies before. And yet, then, freedom prevailed. 
These are not times in which to take lessons from appeasement, capitulation, giving away, giving up or giving in. These are not times in which to draw lessons from Mr. Chamberlain. These are times calling us to draw lessons from Mr. Churchill and the words he spoke in 1942: 
"Never give in, never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy".


SUNDAY, October 26, 2008

==================================================
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency
==================================================

US Bishops Decry Falsifying of Church Teaching
Put Voters on Guard Against Faulty Information

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Both opposing evil and doing good are moral requirements in the abortion issue, and the "Catholic approach" does not allow for choosing just one or the other, clarified two U.S. bishops' officials.

Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, respectively the chair of the episcopal conference's Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, clarified Church teaching on fighting abortion in a Tuesday statement.

"Unfortunately, there seem to be efforts and voter education materials designed to persuade Catholics that they need only choose one approach: either opposing evil or doing good. This is not an authentically Catholic approach," the prelates affirmed.

They clarified: "Some argue that we should not focus on policies that provide help for pregnant women, but just focus on the essential task of establishing legal protections for children in the womb. Others argue that providing life affirming support for pregnant women should be our only focus and this should take the place of efforts to establish legal protections for unborn children. We want to be clear that neither argument is consistent with Catholic teaching. Our faith requires us to oppose abortion on demand and to provide help to mothers facing challenging pregnancies."

Fighting Roe vs. Wade

Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Murphy noted that some have recently encouraged the Church to abandon efforts to overturn the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

"They say we should accept Roe as a permanent fixture of constitutional law, stop trying to restore recognition for the unborn child's human rights, and confine our public advocacy to efforts to 'reduce abortions' through improved economic and social support for women and families," the bishops recounted.

And though the Catholic community is "second to no one in providing and advocating for support for women and families facing problems during pregnancy," these efforts "are not an adequate or complete response to the injustice of Roe v. Wade for several important reasons," Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Murphy wrote.

They explained: "First, the Court's decision in Roe denied an entire class of innocent human beings the most fundamental human right, the right to life. In fact, the act of killing these fellow human beings was transformed from a crime into a 'right,' turning the structure of human rights on its head. []

"Second, the many challenges to the Court's error since 1973 have borne fruit, leading to significant modifications of Roe. []

"Third, Roe itself enormously increased the annual number of abortions in our society. The law is a teacher, and Roe taught many women, physicians and others that abortion is an acceptable answer to a wide range of problems. By the same token, even the limited pro-life laws allowed by the Court since Roe have been shown to reduce abortions substantially, leading to a steady decline in the abortion rate since 1980."

The bishops again reiterated that passage of a current proposal in Congress, the "Freedom of Choice Act" could cause the loss of all this progress.

Double approach

"Providing support for pregnant women so they choose to have their babies is a necessary but not sufficient response to abortion," the prelates repeated. "Similarly, reversal of Roe is a necessary but not sufficient condition for restoring an order of justice in our society's treatment of defenseless human life. This act by itself would not automatically grant legal protection to the unborn.

"It would remove an enormous obstacle to such protection, so the people of the United States and their elected representatives in every state could engage in a genuine discussion of how to save unborn children and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion.

"Both approaches to opposing abortion are essential. By protecting the child's life to the maximum degree possible, improving life-affirming support for pregnant women, and changing the attitudes and prejudices imposed on many women to make them see abortion as an acceptable or necessary solution, we will truly help build a culture of life."


SATURDAY, October 25, 2008

Things Never Change...

The  budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should  be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and  the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become  bankrupt.  People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.

Cicero - 55 BC

THURSDAY and FRIDAY, October 23 and 24, 2008

BUSH'S RESIGNATION SPEECH

The following 'speech' was written recently by an ordinary Maine-iac (a resident of the People's Republic of Maine). While satirical in nature, all satire must have a basis in fact to be effective. This is an excellent piece by a person who does not write for a living.

The speech George W. Bush might give:

Normally, I start these things out by saying 'My Fellow Americans.' Not doing it this time.If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: There's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people. I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media.

Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this 'blood for oil' thing. If I were trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq 's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell.

And don't give me this 'Bush Lied...People Died' crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' In stead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.

Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named 'Clinton' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that , did you?

Now some of you morons want to be led by a junior senator with no understanding of foreign policy or economics, and this nitwit says we should attack Pakistan, a nuclear ally. And then he wants to go to Iran and make peace with a terrorist who says he's going to destroy us. While he's doing that, he wants to give Iraq to al Qaeda, Afghanistan to the Taliban, Israel to the Palestinians, and your money to the IRS so the government can give welfare to illegal aliens, who he will make into citizens, so they can vote to re-elect him. He also thinks it's okay for Iran to have nuclear weapons, and we should stop our foreign aid to Israel . Did you sleep through high school?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, j ust as we do. We were simply able to out spend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you, and the bastards are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11.  But you're not.  ; ; That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'

Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dang it, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet . It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times, USA Today, or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter.  Most of you would rather watch American Idol or Dancing with Stars.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a hurricane approaching.

I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient for years. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enou gh to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that's i t. God bless what's left of America .

Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you, kiss
 off.

PS - You might want to start learning Farsi, and buy a Koran


SUNDAY through WEDNESDAY, October 19 through 22,
2008

ANY LINGERING QUESTIONS?  GS

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Voting Pro-Abortion Called Cooperating in Evil
Texas Bishops Resolve Doubts for Faithful Citizens

DALLAS, Texas, OCT. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Voting for a pro-abortion candidate
when there is an alternative option is to cooperate in evil, and therefore
morally impermissible, clarified two Texas bishops.

In a message made available to the faithful during this Respect Life month,
bishops Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Kevin Vann of Fort Worth seek to
"dispel any confusion or misunderstanding that may be present among you
concerning the teaching contained in" the U.S. bishops document on faithful
citizenship.

"'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship' clearly teaches
that not all issues have the same moral equivalence," the bishops
explained. "Some issues involve 'intrinsic evils'; that is, they
can never under any circumstance or condition be morally justified. Preeminent
among these intrinsic evils are legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex
unions and 'marriages,' repression of religious liberty, as well as
public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive
human embryonic stem cell research."

Thus, bishops Farrell and Vann stated, "we cannot make more clear the
seriousness of the overriding issue of abortion -- while not the 'only
issue'-- it is the defining moral issue, not only today, but of the last 35
years. [] This electoral cycle affords us an opportunity to promote the culture
of life in our nation.

"As Catholics we are morally obligated to pray, to act and to vote to
abolish the evil of abortion in America, limiting it as much as we can until it
is finally abolished."

Not enough

The prelates acknowledged that there are a number of important issues voters
must consider "such as immigration reform, health care, the economy and its
solvency, care and concern for the poor, and the war on terror."

"As Catholics we must be concerned about these issues and work to see that
just solutions are brought about," they wrote. "There are many
possible solutions to these issues and there can be reasonable debate among
Catholics on how to best approach and solve them. These are matters of
'prudential judgment.'"

"But," the prelates emphasized, "let us be clear: Issues of
prudential judgment are not morally equivalent to issues involving intrinsic
evils. No matter how right a given candidate is on any of these issues, it does
not outweigh a candidate's unacceptable position in favor of an intrinsic
evil such as abortion or the protection of 'abortion rights.'"

Salvation at stake

The Texas bishops, citing the U.S. episcopal conference document, addressed the
question of if it is "permissible for a Catholic to vote for a candidate
who supports an intrinsic evil -- even when the voter does not agree with the
candidate's position on that evil."

They said there are only two conditions when voting for a pro-abortion
candidate is permissible: "A. If both candidates running for office support
abortion or 'abortion rights,' a Catholic would be forced to then look
at the other important issues and through their vote try to limit the evil done;
or,

"B. If another intrinsic evil outweighs the evil of abortion. While this
is sound moral reasoning, there are no 'truly grave moral' or
'proportionate' reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the
millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal abortion each
year.

"To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or
'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would
be to cooperate in the evil -- and, therefore, morally impermissible."

The bishops concluded affirming that the decisions made on such political and
moral issues "may affect each individual's salvation."

"As Catholics, we must treat our political choices with appropriate moral
gravity," they wrote, "and in doing so, realize our continuing and
unavoidable obligation to be a voice for the voiceless unborn, whose destruction
by legal abortion is the preeminent intrinsic evil of our day."

SATURDAY, October 18, 2008

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Archbishop Chaput Says He's No Kmiec

Affirms Defense of Life as Top Church Priority

DENVER, Colorado, OCT. 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Charles Chaput says
Catholic legal scholar Douglas Kmiec "couldn't be more mistaken"
in comparing his own moral reasoning regarding the 2008 presidential election to
that of the archbishop.


Archbishop Chaput said this tonight at a dinner sponsored by ENDOW (Educating
on the Nature and Dignity of Women). The talk, which he said reflects his own
opinion as a private citizen, is titled "Little Murders."The prelate
spoke at length of Douglas Kmiec's book "Can a Catholic Support Him?
Asking the Big Question about Barack Obama," in which the Pepperdine law
professor argues why Catholics should cast their vote in November's
presidential election for Senator Barack Obama.

Kmiec publicly endorsed the Democratic candidate earlier this year, stating in
an article for Slate that Obama is a "natural" for Catholic voters.

Archbishop Chaput noted that his own book, "Render Unto Caesar," was
heavily cited by Kmiec in his defense of Obama: "In fact, he suggests that
his reasoning and mine are 'not far distant on the moral inquiry necessary
in the election of 2008.'"

"Unfortunately, he either misunderstands or misuses my words, and he
couldn't be more mistaken," said the archbishop.

No regrets

"I believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most
committed 'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party
since the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973," he added. "Despite
what [...] Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this year is
not only aggressively 'pro-choice;' it has also removed any suggestion
that killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing."

The prelate affirmed that the platform of the Democratic Party that emerged
from its national convention in August "is clearly anti-life."

"Kmiec argues that there are defensible motives to support Senator
Obama," continued Archbishop Chaput. "Speaking for myself, I do not
know any proportionate reason that could outweigh more than 40 million unborn
children killed by abortion and the many millions of women deeply wounded by the
loss and regret abortion creates."

The prelate continued: "To suggest -- as some Catholics do -- that Senator
Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar
kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse.

"To portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred
'pro-life' option is to subvert what the word 'pro-life'
means."

Archbishop Chaput said he thought Kmiec's endorsement of Obama has
"done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of
Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and
provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of
fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn."

Uncomfortable

"The truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a
comfortable cause," said the Denver prelate. "It's embarrassing.
It's not the kind of social justice they like to talk about. It interferes
with their natural political alliances.

"And because the homicides involved in abortion are 'little
murders' -- the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill
conveniently unseen lives -- it's easy to look the other way."

The archbishop called it "wrong and often dishonest [...] to neutralize
the witness of bishops and the pro-life movement by offering a
'Catholic' alternative to the Church's priority on sanctity of life
issues."

"As I suggest throughout 'Render Unto Caesar,' it's important
for Catholics to be people of faith who pursue politics to achieve justice; not
people of politics who use and misuse faith to achieve power," he said.

Archbishop Chaput lamented that for 35 years he's watched the pro-abortion
lobby fight tooth-and-nail against the pro-life movement: "Apparently they
believe in their convictions more than some of us Catholics believe in ours. And
I think that's an indictment of an entire generation of American Catholic
leadership."

The prelate continued by affirming that being pro-life is much deeper than
looking to overturn Roe v. Wade, or being a "single issue" voter:
"The cornerstone of Catholic social teaching is protecting human life from
conception to natural death. [...] Every other human right depends on the right
to life."

He added: "So I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is
'lost' as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of
legal abortion is somehow 'pro-life,' are not just wrong; they're
betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the
unborn child.

"And I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they'll be
required to."


THURSDAY and FRIDAY, October 16 and 17, 2008

Obama and McCain trade wisecracks, not attacks

By John Whitesides and Jeff Mason John Whitesides And Jeff Mason Thu Oct 16, 10:24 pm ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain shared the same stage and microphone again on Thursday, but this time they traded wisecracks instead of campaign attacks.

One night after battling in their final debate, the rivals in the White House race donned white ties for a more genial political tradition -- a New York dinner that has attracted presidential candidates in every election but two since 1945.

McCain told the glittering Manhattan crowd at the annual Al Smith dinner, a fundraiser for area Catholic charities named after the four-term former New York governor, that he had an announcement -- he had dismissed all of his campaign advisers.

"All of their positions will now be held by a man named Joe the plumber," McCain said, citing the Ohio small business owner who McCain made an overnight sensation in Wednesday's debate.

The Arizona senator also poked fun at his reference to Obama as "that one" in an earlier debate.

"He doesn't mind at all. In fact he even has a pet name for me: George Bush," McCain said.

McCain saluted Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Obama's bitter rival in the Democratic primary whose level of enthusiasm for Obama's campaign for the November 4 election has been a subject of great media fascination.

"I can't shake the feeling that some people here are pulling for me," McCain said. "I'm delighted to see you here tonight Hillary."

When Obama took the microphone, he said he needed to correct some misconceptions since McCain had been asking "Who is Barack Obama?"

"I was not born in a manger," he said, adding the name Barack, given by his Kenyan father, was Swahili for "that one." He also had an explanation for his middle name, Hussein.

"I got my middle name from somebody who didn't think I would ever run for president," he said.

Obama listed his greatest strength as humility and his greatest weakness: "I'm a little too awesome."

Without naming her, he also made reference to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate. She has been touted by Republicans for her foreign policy expertise because of Alaska's proximity to Russia.

Obama noted the dinner was held at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

"I'm told from the doorstep you can see all the way to The Russian Tea Room," he said.

The only times presidential candidates did not speak at the Al Smith dinner were 1996, when President Bill Clinton was not invited after he vetoed a late-term abortion ban, and 2004, when sponsors cited the divisive nature of the campaign and skipped the invitations.

Both candidates closed with warm words for each other, with Obama praising McCain's service to country in the Navy and as a Vietnam prisoner of war.

McCain noted Obama's history-making bid to be the first black U.S. president.

"I won't wish my opponent luck but I do wish him well," McCain said.


FRIDAY through WEDNESDAY, October 10 through 15, 2008

Here's a "Rapid Response" immediately following tonight's last Presidential debate.
GS


THURSDAY, October 9, 2008

Nearly all of the commentators I have heard or read describe the second Presidential debate as one or another version of DULL.  What was supposed to be a lively interchange among the candidates and the audience was choked to death by a set of forum rules that McCain should never have agreed to.  And Tom Brokaw, who could have made a difference, was unable or unwilling to do so.  Here's hoping John McCain overcomes his over-compensation for Democratic charges that he is a loose cannon.  Describe the issues and tell the truth about both of you.  And telling the truth is never "going negative". 
GS


SUNDAY through WEDNESDAY, October 5 through 8, 2008

"Just the facts, Ma'am."  GS

Did Biden Get It Wrong? You Betcha

Monday, October 06, 2008

By John R. Lott, Jr.

When you interview for a job, here is a hint: make sure you know what the job is. Joe Biden failed that test last Thursday. He couldn’t even get right what a vice president does, but the media didn’t notice.

The media is all over itself about how smart and experienced Biden is. Political analyst Charlie Cook is quoted in the Washington Post on Saturday as saying “Biden is clearly so much more knowledgeable, by a factor of about a million.” Saturday Night Live does a skit about Biden being smart, if slimy. Meanwhile, Governor Sarah Palin is treated as being nothing more than a simpleton.

Yet, take Biden’s statement from the debate on the role of the vice president:

Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that.

And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit.

The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a unitary executive, and look where it has gotten us. It has been very dangerous.

One should be careful when throwing around terms such as “most dangerous” and “bizarre.” But Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive Branch (it is Article II, not Article I). More importantly, the notion that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is a tie vote is simply wrong. Nor is it true that the only legislative involvement the vice president has is to break tie votes. The vice president is the president of the Senate, where he interprets the rules and can only be overridden by a vote of 60 senators.

Early vice presidents spent a lot of time in the Senate. Thomas Jefferson even spent his time writing “A Manual of Parliamentary Practice: for the Use of the Senate of the United States.” Modern vice presidents may show up only when they think tie votes will occur, but that is their choice.

This isn’t rocket science. The Constitution on this point is very straightforward: “The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”

Instead, it was Palin who got it right. Besides correctly stating that the vice president holds positions in both the executive and legislative branches, she also noted that:

Of course, we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and [I] will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chooses to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are.

But just as the vice president’s job includes more than simply being ready to assume the presidency if the president dies, the Constitution merely states what the vice president’s minimum responsibilities are.

Compare the uproar over Palin’s answer to Charlie Gibson about the “Bush Doctrine,” a doctrine that Gibson clearly didn’t understand and for which there apparently exist at least four different versions. Where is the outrage over Biden not understanding what vice presidents do? For Biden, his inability to correctly say what vice presidents do was surely his “gotcha” moment.

Yet, this mistake during the debate was hardly unique. Biden got a lot of things wrong in the debate that are going unnoticed by the fact-check media. Take just a few:

-- Will McCain's health care proposals raise taxes? Biden says that McCain’s proposal will cost people money. The Tax Foundation finds that could easily be "roughly deficit-neutral over ten years."

-- Under an Obama Administration the middle class will "pay no more than they did under Ronald Reagan"? No, the tax rates will be similar to the higher rates under Clinton.

-- Did "we spend more money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that country"? No, one year’s worth of spending in Iraq equaled five in Afghanistan.

-- France and the U.S. "kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon"? No, and it wouldn't have made much more sense if he had said "Syria" instead.

-- Is it really “simply not true” that Obama said that he would meet with the leader of countries such as Iran without preconditions? No, Obama said “I would.”

-- Did Obama warn against letting Hamas participate in Palestinian legislative elections in 2005? No.

-- Do “Iraqis have an $80 billion surplus”? No. If oil prices had remained high, it might have reached $50 billion by the end of this year.

-- Finally, an amusing point as evidence that Biden is just one of the people he pointed to, inviting anyone to have a beer with him at "Katie's Restaurant" in Wilmington, Del. Unfortunately, people will have a hard time taking him up on his offer, since the restaurant hasn't had that name for probably 15 years.

Unfortunately, voters who are trying to get an accurate count on whether the candidates are telling the truth can’t rely on the media. FactCheck.org mentions only one of these points, the size of the Iraqi surplus. The Washington Post mentioned Biden’s misstatement on Hamas and Katie’s restaurant. AOL’s coverage of the errors in the vice presidential debate was by far the worst, though that might not be too surprising given that Tommy Christopher, who wrote their news analysis, also blogs on the Obama Web site. None of these checkers mentioned Biden's statements about the role of the vice president.

Compare this to the attacks on Sarah Palin:

-- FactCheck.org criticizes Palin for claiming that McCain’s health care tax credits will be "budget neutral" – they argue that the tax credit will be larger than the new taxes that the program will impose. Fine, but if the people at FactCheck.org believe that is true and that the Tax Foundation is wrong, Biden’s claim about increased taxes is even more inaccurate. But FactCheck.org doesn't even mention Biden’s statement from the debate.

-- From AOL's news analysis piece. “Palin: Said that it is untrue that the U.S. is killing civilians in Afghanistan. According to an analysis by the AP, however, the U.S. is killing more civilians than insurgents are.”

What Palin actually said was: “Now, Barack Obama had said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and killing civilians.” Whether one believes the AP estimate or not, the question is whether she was accurately characterizing Obama’s statement of the job that our forces were doing. And Obama said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians” (emphasis added).

-- FactCheck.org’s first critique claims that Palin was wrong to claim that troop levels in Iraq are down to their pre-surge levels. They are correct that after the recently announced drawdown, 6,000 more troops will be in Iraq than immediately before the surge. But why not mention that 84 percent of the 38,000 troops in the surge are home or are in the process of coming home?

The media seems to have been covering for Biden for some time. While news stories still talk about Dan Quayle’s spelling mistake 18 years later, there has been almost no news coverage of Biden’s numerous wacky statements. What if Quayle had said something similar to Biden’s recent statement that, "When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'" A neat trick given that Herbert Hoover was president in 1929 and no one was watching television.

It might not fit the simple template for a 36-year veteran of the Senate to not understand what vice presidents do (after all, eight vice presidents have served with him), but Biden knew less about this than the political outsider, Sarah Palin. Given that they are running to be vice president, why didn’t that story dominate the news coverage after the debate?

John Lott is the author of Freedomnomics and a senior research scholar at the University of Maryland.


FRIDAY and SATURDAY, October 3 and 4, 2008

Governor Sarah Palin did a nice job the other evening, presenting herself as a viable Vice Presidential candidate...and also as a potential President.  In fact, the electorate has three viable Presidential candidates, excluding Barack Obama.  Although he is no longer an "empty suit", he continues to remind me of Elmer Gantry (on Prozak).  "The Manchurian Candidate" also comes to mind in troublesome fashion.  His unbelieveable assertion that none of his chickens will have to be taken out of some pots despite the on-going meltdown of our economy also doesn't help.  And then there is his "health care plan" and his attacks on the reasonable McCain plan.  Talk about a "great leap backward" instead of "change".  Much more on this subject has been available for years on this web site under the Categories: Health Law Topics, and Managed Care Information...and is even more relevant today.

GS


WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY, October 1 and 2, 2008

Now, why would Wall Street and its governmental lackeys be wanting us to think that things are so bad?  GS

Free Market: Death of US Economy Greatly Exagerated, by Terry Jones


MONDAY and TUESDAY, September 29 and 30, 2008

What a spectacle in Washington and on Wall Street these days...culminating today in the greatest demonstration by John Q Public of abiding distrust in our political and business leaders.  And well deserved on the part of all of those participants, regardless of Party affiliation.  This is the result of at least a decade of inslder self-dealing with no regard for the public interest.  :It was not helped by the initial arrogant three-page proposal of Secretary Paulson and President Bush...literally a massive blank check to be drawn on the pockets of every American, and with any oversight to be prohibited by law.  It was certainly not helped by the ham-handed comments by Speaker Pelosi, just before the House vote was taken, blaming the Republicans for the whole mess.  It is fueled by a basic suspicion that the "crisis" is being hyped by "the usual suspects" in order to stampede a gigantic citizen bail-out of all the greedy and stupid participants in this spectacle.  And the greatest insult is the recurring comment that this would not have happened in other than an election year.  As always, a cynical - and too often accurate- reliance on the studied ignorance and apathy of that same John Q. Public.  Well, you finally got our attention - which is the only way that a democracy can function.  Will we remember that after this "30 second sound-bite"?

GS


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