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February 09, 2009

Daily roundup

February 03, 2009

Daily roundup

January 28, 2009

Stimulus? Please. Try ’Generational Theft Act.’

Credit to Andy McCarthy for thinking up that alias. It's perfect.

Of the many things that I find disturbing about these bogus stimulus efforts is that they really are a theft by the generational majority from the smaller generations. Ditto expansion of entitlements with bankrupt trajectories under Bush. Ditto the annoying fact that nine out of every ten bond initiatives that show up on your annual voting ballot get passed.

Having expanded the "general welfare" clause of the Constitution to mean "do whatever feels good," American democracy has turned into a massive credit card that AARP and their constituents swipe at every opportunity and pass on to the young to pay. With interest galore.

Gee, thanks. Don't worry about us. We're just your children and grandchildren.

January 26, 2009

Grotesque

Perhaps you thought it couldn't get worse for the cause of life after President Obama reversed President Bush's pro-life position on the Mexico City policy. But never to be outdone in the eyes of the Margaret Sanger wing of the pro-choice movement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called and raised Obama's bet with this oddity on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopolous this weekend:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those -- one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. We have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

Continue reading "Grotesque" »

January 22, 2009

Hard questions

Mosteller2b Here I am at Blogs4Life, where Reverend Samuel Mosteller of Pro-Life Unity just delivered a sobering talk about some of the internal discussions and questions the pro-life movement needs to be raising. Among other things, we need to figure out why we're not reaching the black community with our message -- leaving them unaware of the "invisible . . . black genocide" within their own communities -- and how we can more effectively do that.

The subject came up of an ostensibly pro-life Georgia legislator who was heard saying that without abortion, "we will be overrun by black babies," an account confirmed by another conference attendee and also by a quick Google search. (The same search also turned up reactions by some who thought the timing of that revelation, and possibly the revelation itself, ill-advised. Perhaps it's not so surprising that we're having trouble reaching the black community.)

Obviously, that's an extreme example. But all of us need to be asking ourselves some of the questions that Rev. Mosteller raised. Not just the question about how to reach the black community, but also this one: If abortion were to end today, how many of us would reach out and help the mothers and families in need? And this one: "Are we going to be ideologues for one party or another, or are we going to stand for righteousness and justice?"

(Image © Pro-Life Unity

January 20, 2009

The Faces

Inauguration I saved the front page of the Washington Post from November 5, 2008, because I loved the below-the-fold picture. It features African Americans at an Obama victory party looking up at a television screen as Obama goes over the top, electorally speaking. One young man is laughing with joy; an older man looks as if he doesn't quite believe his eyes; two women, both close to tears, are embracing while a smiling young man behind them is holding his hands over his ears.

When I saw the picture the day after the election, I thought: "If Norman Rockwell were alive today, and decided to paint a picture illustrating this moment in history, this is what he would have painted: Black faces, young and old, laughing and crying with joy."

I'm thinking of those faces today, and I wonder if they're somewhere downtown, along the parade route, cheering the Obamas as they slowly make their way down Pennsylvania Avenue. But I'm also thinking about other African American faces--faces of those who volunteered with me at McCain headquarters, grimly making call after call after call to get out the vote for the other candidate, who happened to be white.

A lot of people voted for Barack Obama mainly because he was black. A lot of people voted for Hillary Clinton simply because she was female. And, undoubtedly, a lot of people voted for John McCain because he was white--that is, the non-black candidate. And eight years ago, probably a lot of people voted for, or against, Al Gore because his running mate was Jewish.

I can't help feeling it's a wonderful day when a largely white country elects its first black president. But I also look forward to the day when every American votes for a candidate based on his or her views, character, and abilities, not his skin color, gender, or religion--just like those African Americans who sat beside me at McCain headquarters last fall, doing their darnedest to elect John McCain.

(Image © The Washington Post)

January 16, 2009

’Cultural chasm’

Loewer Articles like this always make me think of my grandfather, a lifelong Democrat who clung, in the parlance of the president-elect, to both his Catholic faith and his guns (even though he was one of the least "bitter" people I've ever known). Grandpa died fifteen years ago this March. I still miss him terribly, but there are times I'm almost grateful that he isn't here to see the way his party has marginalized people like him.

(Image © Michael Williamson for the Washington Post)

January 15, 2009

Chinese winter

Many people worry that China will "'dominate the 21st century.'" As Roberto argues in this BreakPoint WorldView article, they might be right to worry -- if the Chinese government weren't so busy undermining their nation by creating a "Demographic Winter" through forced abortion.

(For a free e-mail subscription to BreakPoint WorldView, click here.)

January 13, 2009

Daily roundup

January 12, 2009

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January 09, 2009

Daily roundup

Fire in the belly

Chuck Colson has a quote in this Christianity Today article about the abortion "battle fatigue" that many evangelicals are feeling:

Younger evangelicals remain pro-life, but I don't think they have the same fire in the belly about the issue that older evangelicals have had.

Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

January 08, 2009

Daily roundup

January 05, 2009

Daily roundup

December 22, 2008

Church attendance in Britain: Thriving or dying?

Brompton_alpha_1124 Depends on whom you ask.

(Image courtesy of Time)

December 02, 2008

Daily roundup

Change That 5th-Century Rome Believed In

In just a couple of national election cycles, the U.S. has managed to place its future fully in the hands of the European Admiration Society. The Continent's frou frou sophisticates are just so bloody chic, I can't help myself, baby; we just gotta be like them, you understand.

Evidently.

I wonder if our electorate actually reads the news (no, Us Weekly doesn't count) about Europe. Or knows anything beyond NPR's daily public health care hustle and an Epcot visit.

Well, I guess we'll find out since we've just voted to do everything but switch to the Euro.  Mark Steyn's excellent America Alone is an eye-opener as to what we can expect if we don't suppress our Inner Amsterdam. And a weekend post of his caught my eye:

In formerly Catholic Spain, meanwhile, the land of the upside-down family tree (four grandparents, two children, one grandchild), they're still going forth but they're not multiplying:

Abortion Now Number One Cause Of Death In Spain

Under Spain's practically nonexistent restrictions, abortions have more than doubled since the mid 1990s, climbing from 51,006 in 1996 to over 120,000 in 2007.  The abortion rate is now approaching one in five pregnancies (18.3%), according to the report...

The IPF report also notes that the proportion of women having their second or later abortion has risen substantially since 2000, from 23% that year to 31% in 2006...

Spain's abortion rate is a major contributor to the country's worsening demographic problems.

They've still got a ways to go to catch up with Russia, where two-thirds of pregnancies are terminated.

Repeat after me: Roe was progress. Repeat until conviction or ruin.

Go figure

I was flipping through the North American Mission Board's On Mission magazine today (Winter edition) and spotted some interesting statistics. I've summarized a few of them here. Take a look:

  • In 1900 there were 29 churches for every 10,000 Americans. In 2004, there were 11 churches for every 10,000 Americans. (Source: North American Mission Board)
  • Almost 40% of new immigrants to the U.S. bypass the cities and move straight to the suburbs. That means that many of us have the nations living in our backyard. (Source: New York Times and The Week, November 2, 2007.)
  • Young adults are more likely today to say they are atheists. One in four 18 to 22 year olds doesn't believe in God, while only 6% of the population over 60 will say the same. (Source: Washington Post, October 5, 2007.)
  • According to the Heritage Foundation, men are 57% less likely to attend church if they aren't married and single women are 41% less likeley to attend church than their married counterparts. (Source: CitizenLink)
  • Some 78% of adults 30 years and older reported they would like to have an honest discussion with a friend about religious beliefs, even if they disagreed with the friend. (Facts and Trends, Mar/Apr 2008)

December 01, 2008

Daily roundup

November 26, 2008

Pot Calling Kettle, Russian Edition

Over at the Drudge Report, they (he?) are (is?) breathlessly hyping a story about a "leading Russian political analyst" predicting that the U.S.A. is "heading for collapse, and will divide into separate parts."

Writing in Izvestia, Igor Panarin, "a professor at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian foreign affairs ministry," laid out "how the US would divide along ethnic and cultural lines."

They are: the Pacific coast with its growing Chinese population; the increasingly Hispanic South; independence-minded Texas; the Atlantic Coast; a central state with a large Native American population; and the northern states where - he maintains - Canadian influence is strong.

Alaska could be claimed by Russia, he said, claiming that the region was "only granted on lease, after all."

Last things first, it was a sale, not a lease, Igor. Middle things second: he obviously knows even less about the current U.S.A. than he does about the 19th-century version. Native Americans dominating the Midwest?

More to the point, does the term "projection" mean anything to you, Igor? If it doesn't, here's why you may want to familiarize yourself with the concept:

Continue reading "Pot Calling Kettle, Russian Edition" »

November 25, 2008

Cognitive dissonance

Voting2 At first, I thought Sophia A. Nelson's article about the tense relationship between the black community and the Republican party was a very good, thoughtful piece. But she lost me with "that [party's] message . . . 'has gotten swallowed up by a social conservative agenda that seems obsessed with religion, guns and abortion.'"

Especially when she then went on to advocate that Republicans reach out to black churches. With a religion-free message? Talk about cognitive dissonance! The Republican party's problem with minority outreach isn't that its social policies are unacceptable to the majority of African Americans. (Remember this statistic?) It's that the Republican party has failed to connect with those voters and help them see just how much the two groups have in common on social issues. It's a matter of communication, not substance.

And yet somehow Ms. Nelson has the odd idea that a party can reach new voters by jettisoning stances, priorities, and ideas that matter to those very voters. She ends her article with "The Republican Party has to find its soul again." But you don't gain a new soul by selling the soul you already have.

November 19, 2008

Daily roundup

November 14, 2008

Teach your children well

Vogt I may be stretching it a bit here. But it seems to me all too likely that kids who bully and insult a classmate for wearing a "McCain Girl" T-shirt -- kids who were backed up by at least one teacher -- are the kind of people who grow up to help spread the "Republicans are stoooopid!" meme throughout the culture. (First link via Hot Air.)

(I'm not objecting to anyone's pointing out that McCain did best with less educated voters. That's just a fact. What I'm objecting to is the refusal to look beyond the T-shirts and slogans -- which political groupies of all stripes tend to use -- and examine conservative policy positions to see if there are just might be an intelligent philosophy behind them. Not to mention the use of terms like "white trash" and "idiocy" to describe a group of voters that Democrats once relied on, now that they're not quite as reliably Democratic anymore.)

I'm not yet a parent, and therefore can't speak from experience, but I have to say I think James Lileks has the right idea about teaching children respect and tolerance:

. . . Natalie had to write an apology letter for laughing in class. She was driven to the edge of . . . hilarity by a classmate’s decision to embellish his art project – a turkey – with the head of Obama. He got in trouble, too. I explained to her that this was disrespectful to the teacher and the President-Elect, and she understood. I have this ridiculous hope that if we always speak of her teacher and the President with respect in the house, that’ll build some sort of innate respect for the institutions that survive and transcend the transitory occupants. It was always President Bush in our house, and it will always be President Obama.

I wish there were more parents like him, on both sides. Our cultural climate might be very different.

(Image © Nuccio DiNuzzo for the Chicago Tribune)

November 07, 2008

Daily roundup

November 03, 2008

Daily roundup

A ’God gap’ for Obama?

With so many polls swinging wildly back and forth, it's almost impossible to know what to believe these days in regard to politics. But if this one is accurate, or even close to accurate, it's a rather remarkable piece of data.

Barack Obama has courted white weekly churchgoers as avidly as any Republican-leaning bloc of voters, though now it appears his efforts may fall flat on Election Day.

The Gallup Poll now shows Obama backed by 28 percent of white voters who attend church at least once a week -- a group that makes up roughly a third of all voters -- which would be no improvement from the 29 percent of those voters who, according to exit polls, backed Democrats John Kerry and Al Gore in the previous two presidential elections.

Do you think this statistic is true, and if so, what do you think accounts for it?

October 27, 2008

Daily roundup

October 20, 2008

Daily roundup

October 17, 2008

Go Forth And Multiply--It Works!

Demographic_winter It surprises me how long it can take a secularist to recognize that faith works. I just watched Demographic Winter, a documentary on population decrease and the decline of the family. In June, Chuck delivered a series of critiques of the film here, here, and here.

Here's the reality, folks: contrary to hype, we're not overcrowding, but de-crowding. If things continue as they are, we could be facing a depopulation of extreme and disastrous proportions. The birthrate in Europe is only 1.38 children per woman (2.1 is needed to sustain the population). Since 1989, the population in eastern Europe has decreased by 13 percent. And, in the U.S., younger generations are looking at going broke to pay for older generations' Social Security.

Here are a few of the proposed causes:

  • Selfishness--we want to keep more of our money for ourselves and not share it with children.
  • Sexual perversion--we want lots of sex, but without the "consequences" of children and the responsibility they bring.
  • Promiscuousness--we cohabitate, but don't want the commitment that marriage brings. This leads to higher divorce rates, and tons of wasted energy and resources to fund all the duplicate households.

So, what are scientists scratching their heads about? One commentator on the documentary said that what's happening on the demographic plain doesn't match up with his Darwinist upbringing that says that humans always strive to reproduce to their fullest potential. So, why aren't we having more children, if we're evolving?

From this perspective, maybe only people of faith are evolving.

Continue reading "Go Forth And Multiply--It Works!" »

October 13, 2008

Daily roundup

October 04, 2008

Daily roundup

October 03, 2008

A Day without a Mexican?

According to a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center, "fewer people are trying to enter the United States illegally and that the number living here illegally has declined" and "for the first time in nearly a decade, the number of people entering the country illegally was lower than the number arriving through legal channels."

The New York Times story offers up some speculation as to why this may have happened: "Border Patrol officials and groups advocating tougher immigration controls attributed the trend to crackdowns that include record numbers of workplace raids and deportations across the United States."

Other possible reasons are not as comforting, even if you're not a Mexican: "a weakening economy and rising rates of unemployment in the construction and service industries" make the risks inherent to an illegal crossing less acceptable and/or attractive. That kind of suggests that illegal aliens may be the proverbial canaries in the American economic coal mine, no? Something to think about.

What neither Pew nor the experts interviewed by the Times suggested is my favorite possible explanation: the prospect of another Maunder Minimum. As Dave the Swede (not his real name) and Point commenter extraordinaire "labrialumn" can tell you, in the common Little Ice Age, the traffic will be flowing south, baby! As labrialumn put it

We could even be looking at Volkswanderung. I wonder if the Mexican government will have an open border policy *the other way*?

Only if you say por favor. Is it possible that the Mexican government is warning its citizens that it's about to get a lot colder in El Norte? This story says quizás.

In the meantime, there's this possible crisis to worry about.

September 24, 2008

Daily roundup

September 15, 2008

Daily roundup

September 11, 2008

Daily roundup

September 09, 2008

Daily roundup

Buffy slays church attendance?

Buffyvampireslaye_794997c Okay, the headline is a bit of a stretch. But the article is worth a read. The researcher and reporter actually can't quite seem to put their finger on why "'women are abandoning the church'" and how it should "adapt to the needs of modern women." If their premise is true, what do you think? How can the church continue to attract women as well as men while staying faithful to biblical teachings?

(Via Fox News; image courtesy of the BBC)

’Population Control’ by Steven Mosher

Population_control In case you missed the series, Chuck Colson and Mark Earley commented recently on "BreakPoint" about Steven Mosher's newest book, Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits.

Read them here, and share your thoughts.

(Image © Transaction Publishers)

August 29, 2008

Daily roundup

Posting will be light on Monday because of Labor Day. Have a great holiday weekend!

August 28, 2008

Daily roundup

August 22, 2008

Atrocity of the Day: August 22-24

Olympicflagcuffs Mistreating and abusing laborers—including those who created the Olympic image for our viewing pleasure—as well as oppressing the poor. And speaking of labor, sending protesters and others exercising free speech to forced labor camps and covering up what goes on there.

That concludes our “Atrocity of the Day” posts for the Olympic season. (Read past posts here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Thanks again to Anne for the great idea of highlighting the atrocities committed by China during these past two weeks.

This has not been an exercise in sneering at the Chinese people, nor in taking any moral superiority. It has also not been an exercise in pouring water on the celebration of our U.S. athletes—nor any of the world’s other amazing athletes (did you see those Jamaicans run? Wow!)—as their accomplishments do, intentionally or not, give witness to the Creator.

And, hopefully, this hasn’t been an exercise in futility (“Look at all these horrible things China’s government has done . . . sigh—ah well, on to the new school year”): to acknowledge the atrocities and then just move on, feeling unempowered.

In the realm of human rights, the Church must lead in calling for justice. I hope you do take one or more of these issues (or another related issue not raised in these posts—even another human-rights issue unrelated to China), and do what you can in your corner of the world to call for justice. That could be donating money to a human-rights or humanitarian aid group; supporting a missionary; writing a letter-to-the-editor or writing your lawmakers and members of the U.S. State Department about a particular human-rights issue; and, of course, actively and collectively engaging in prayer. If you want more ideas about China, see BreakPoint’s list of resources.

Continue reading "Atrocity of the Day: August 22-24" »

August 20, 2008

Daily roundup

Atrocity of the Day: August 20

Olympicflagcuffs Compounding the devastation of the Sichuan earthquake with shoddily made schools and other government buildings which led to the death counts—and trying to shut up the victims. Then, the government puts on the façade of reaching out to and caring for the victims.

Kicking Grandma to the Curb

Assisted_living From NPR (HT Thunderstruck):

Cordelia Robertson turned 99 in May. Two days later, she got the eviction notice.

Her son, Gene Robertson, says even though his mother is confused and doesn't understand what's going on, she would be devastated if she had to leave the home outside Seattle she has lived in for nearly 10 years.

"I think it would kill her," he says. "This lady is probably 80 pounds. You could pick her up with one hand. You could put your fingers around her wrist. She is just a little, little, little, teeny, frail, frail person. She smiles and she's always happy. But she don't know what's going on."

What is going on is that Cordelia Robertson has run out of money. She went through her entire life savings. She spent it on the rent at the assisted living facility.

"My mother spent $350,000," Gene Robertson says. "It was her money. And she is now broke. I mean, she has zero money."

He says officials at the assisted living facility always promised him that if his mother ran out of money, she could use Medicaid, the government health insurance for the poor.

However, last year, when Cordelia Robertson finally did need Medicaid, Assisted Living Concepts changed its policy and said it would no longer accept Medicaid.

In May, the company, which has facilities in 20 states, sued Cordelia Robertson to get her to leave.

Read more and listen to the broadcast.

Continue reading "Kicking Grandma to the Curb" »

August 18, 2008

Daily roundup

A Bit of AIDS-Prevention Advice

Clintonaids_42646t Here's another one for the "you never know" file: Bill Clinton advocates monogamy to prevent AIDS.

"To pretend we can ever get hold of this without dealing with that – the idea of unprotected sexual relations with unlimited numbers of partners – I think would be naïve," he said.

(HT Thunderstruck)

(Image © Getty)

August 14, 2008

Between ’Fast Food’ and Good Food Made Fast

Franks Following up on a post Kim wrote previously about L.A. banning fast-food restaurants in its poorest neighborhoods:

Surprise, surprise (not really), there's an understandable backlash by restaurateurs (free registration required; HT Reveries). While the city's decision is about the health of its residents, and a companion measure "provides economic incentives for new grocery stores and restaurants with table service," nevertheless, as "Cool News of the Day" puts it,

This has upset people like Sue Moore of Let's Be Frank, "who sells . . . high-quality hot dogs from cattle raised on pasture, served with fresh grilled onions on top." Sue's partner, Larry Bain thinks the Council got it wrong: "Our policy makers abhor nuance and the subtle but distinct qualities that differentiate fast food from food that can be served fast," he said. Also objecting to the fast-food moratorium is radio talk show host Joe R. Hicks, who calls it a "crime," and says, "It's insulting and you could almost infer a racial insult out of the interference." Well, not so, says City Councilwoman Jan Parry, who says the issue isn't race, it's "better access to quality food."

Jan says limiting fast-food is no different than limiting the number of liquor stores, for instance. She adds that it's difficult for people to make good choices "when people have small incomes, the grocery store is five miles away and a $1 cheeseburger is right around the corner." Besides, the ban doesn't mean you won't still be able to get your burger and fries, as "more than 45 percent of the 900 restaurants" in the "affected 32-mile zone ... are fast-food chains." Nor does she think the new ordinance will singlehandedly solve the problem: "Anybody who believes fast food is the source of all dietary evil is of course, being naive," she says, suggesting that people ought to walk more, videogame less, and try thinking about something other than food.

Ok ... so ... why did they pass that ordinance again? Rather than, perhaps, pulling a Huckabee instead?

Continue reading "Between ’Fast Food’ and Good Food Made Fast" »

August 12, 2008

Daily roundup

August 08, 2008

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August 07, 2008

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