Friday, July 20, 2007

A Time for Choosing

A discussion in another forum brought me to seek out and listen to Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech A Time For Choosing:

It was Reagan's attempt to put a burner under Goldwater's lead balloon of a campaign. Goldwater clearly deserved to do better, but it wasn't within his capabilities to really demonstrate that to anyone. Reagan had the skills to tickle peoples' minds, though, and here, and in many later years, we got to see him put these very themes to work -- themes espoused by few other visionaries than Goldwater and Reagan.

If you've never watched or listened to the speech, it's definitely worth hearing how clear his thinking was, even back then. If you skip the first couple of minutes, you'll miss Reagan's railing against Johnson for his national debt! The one, brief, and unfortunately ironic uncomfortable spot.

I'd be curious to hear what you think!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

World War Five?

When the War on Terror was first declared, many knowledgable military people referred to it as "World War IV" (World War III having been the long hot/cold struggle of the Cold War).

Each of the World Wars the United States has been involved in were necessary, "just" wars. We won World War I, World War II, World War III, and we're trying very hard to win World War IV, though "loyalty issues" back home are making this more of a struggle than it should be.

And, just to establish -- Iraq is a just and necessary part of the War on Terror. They were clearly our enemies, we had every reason to believe they still had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and they had proven willing to use terrorism against the United States (if you doubt this, see specific citations in a previous post).

We should have won in Iraq some time ago, but domestic opposition sufficiently delayed and obstructed the US military effort to have caused delays which eventually turned into a tug of war with what would otherwise have been a lackluster enemy.

But, largely because of the troubles back home, the War on Terror in mid-2007 seems like it could potentially spiral out of control due to a variety of worrisome geopolitical considerations.

First, if you think most of the major powers of the world do anything for altruistic reasons, or because they respect some theoretical international law as sacred, quit kidding yourself. The US and Britain, with a scattered few other examples, are the only countries which have ever done that, and even those exceptions are inconsistent.

Consider that France, Germany (pre-Merkel) and Russia all opposed the United States action against Iraq not because they preferred an international response. They did so because they profited from having Saddam Hussein in power AND -- of key importance -- they saw an opportunity to use the situation to weaken the United States' position on the world stage, and thereby improve their own power standing.

If you doubt this, notice that anytime the US wished to force anybody -- Iraq, Iran, North Korea, etc. -- into compliance with international conventions, key countries like Russia, France, China, etc. all dragged their feet and did anything they could to stymie the US efforts. These countries -- some call them "friends" -- enjoy seeing the US squirm.

Because the US has been obstructed (by these powers and by liberals at home) from winning in Iraq, a certain confluence of worrisome factors has come to be:

1) Sunni, Shia and al-Qaeda terrorists have us hopping from foot to foot in parts of Iraq.

2) They are being aided by Iran (and probably Syria), and Iran's nuclear ambitions threaten to draw either the US or Israel or both into either a limited or massive airstrike which will open a broader war with Iran.

3) As realistically described in the World Tribune Monday, unrest in Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Iran could escalate to a multi-front Arab-Israeli war this summer between a nuclear-armed Israel and a potentially nuclear-armed Iran and its surrogates in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza.

4) Any war involving Israel would certainly draw the majority of the Middle East, including the United States and allied troops in Iraq (and Afghanistan) into a regional conflict with nuclear potential (although the nuclear aspect isn't especially likely until/unless a capable country becomes desperate).

5) Even the Iranian aid to terrorists against US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan has the potential to blow up into a regional conflict involving war between the US and Iran and possibly including Syria and Israel.

I am a student of history, and in my opinion the most fascinating period of modern history is the 1930s -- just prior to the conflagration of World War II, when the scene was being set with countless contributing factors feeding on each other and driving the world inexorably to war.

The mood today, in mid-2007, feels much like the late 1930s must have felt.

And that's just World War Four! But, just like World War II started with regional conflicts in China, Spain & Finland, today's conflict in the Middle East could easily widen into a broader, literally worldwide war. In fact, it's almost certain, once a regional conflict develops, that these countries will take whatever opportunities they have. Or, they may just wait for other players to exhaust us, then reap the benefits against us later.

Competing superpowers -- the US, Russia, China -- must watch for advantage. They wait and scheme so that opportunities arise, and the time is right to strike and achieve dominance over their enemies.

As has become quite clear in recent years, both Russia and China consider the United States to be a rival, at best. An enemy, at worst. We stand in the way of their geopolitical aspirations, and they want out of the box they were left in after the Cold War.

Both Russia and China, our nuclear-armed rivals, have been employing proxies and "gaming" other conflicts to undermine the US' world situation.

The Middle East is rife with examples, from Chinese arms sales to Iran (recently confirmed in a Bill Gertz article in the Washington Times) to Russian arms shipments to Fatah (the Palestinian Authority, which ironically is our more MODERATE enemy in the Mideast!).

But China and Russia have both been playing for time with North Korea, drawing out US negotiations with Kim Jong Il to tie us down there, too.

And China and Russia have been actively encouraging Hugo Chavez, in Venezuela, in his demagoguery against the US. Major Russian arms sales to Venezuela make them a regional player in the American hemisphere, and they will likely have support from radicalized populations nearby as well as from Cuba and other frightened governments who are nevertheless happy to feel some form of status in being associated with him.

If any of these conflicts outside of Iraq go hot, there is an opportunity presented to Russia and China where they must decide if it's "their hour" or not. Likely, they will wait to see how things go, play an aloof, two-faced game, and if they see the United States in a particularly vulnerable position, then they will feel compelled by geopolitical realities to strike.

As in World War II, "interested" countries in tense situations are likely to decide that their best interests are served by military conflict on their terms.

Ironically, the stupid Democrat assaults upon the Bush Administration for the past several years -- claiming that we can't afford to be tied down in Iraq because there are more important conflicts to be ready for -- have become a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Now we DO have other major conflicts looming, and because of what I believe qualifies as treason in the ranks of the "loyal opposition" in the USA, the United States may be poised to be in a fight for its very existance in a World War V that will pit the US against the World.

Pray hard.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Incrementalism Incrementally Fails Unborn Children

Jill Stanek's article in WorldNetDaily made me mad, so I wrote a not-so-well written, rambling reply which I hope still makes sense:

Incrementalists try to maintain some moral ground even as they undermine it, and partly they do this by unfairly denegrating the intelligence or sensibilities of their opponents, who they mischaracterize as unrealistic purists.

You've mischaracterized the "purist" (we call it "uncompromised") position. We do not oppose all incrementalism -- if a law prevents some abortions without compromising with abortionists and lending some credence to their legal standing or public support, then we support those laws.

A law which says "abortion clinics must abide by these regulations before they're allowed to perform abortions" is evil because it says "abortion is okay if...". But a law which says "all clinics where medical procedures are performed must abide by these regulations" then that's okay!

If you have a law which accedes, in part, to the arguments of the abortionists, then we oppose it, and so should you. Parental notification is fine if carefully crafted -- basically, "you must inform the parent that an abortion is scheduled". But if you include the parent in the "approval" process (i.e. a parental CONSENT law), then you've just added one or two parents to the pro-abortion camp, because they feel guilty and will in the future defend their decision to support their daughter's abortion. That's a loss for pro-life causes.

Any law which makes some abortions illegal, but which say "it is okay to kill the baby if..." is evil. It's not pro-life at all. Not only do the people who vote for it support those abortions (rape, incest, etc.) in a legal sense, but by arguing in favor of these laws they lend credence to the arguments of the other side that SOME abortions are okay.

Yes, Michael New (I think it is, from Heritage) published a study "proving" (through the use of debatable evidence and predictive assumptions with that scattered data) a 10-15% decrease in abortions "as a result of" incremental legislation. This is the basis of incrementalists' claim that "incrementalism is working." But we cannot logically use his study to establish that incrementalism will eventually result in 40% or 80% reductions in abortion. There's no logical basis to make that assumption, though we may WANT to make that leap in logic.

In fact, I believe incremental legislation is guaranteed to have diminishing returns, because advocates of that legislation split the difference -- they compromise with abortionists to arrive at a poorly defined "point at which abortion is permissible." In fact, I believe it's natural to assume that incremental laws will have a 10% to 20% effect. Maybe as high as 30%.

But that lack of moral clarity is bound to have a push-back effect, where as we approach a 20% "success" rate with incremental legislation, a 40% or 80% reduction becomes all the more impossible. At that rate, with that strategy, a 100% end to abortion becomes totally impossible.

Arriving at "personhood" -- the Human Life Amendment -- becomes harder every time one of these compromised incremental laws is passed, because in the minds of the public you're splitting the difference. You're saying some abortions are worse than others, so most people subconsciously see a corrolary to that -- that some abortions are better than others! Some abortions are permissible -- so much so, that even the pro-lifers aren't arguing that they're as serious as the others.

Splitting differences on abortion denies the moral power of the personhood argument. If a baby at any stage of development is a person, then it's always wrong to kill them. Always!

But if we go out there and say "abortion is bad, but partial birth abortion is the worst!" then it's not very far, morally, from saying, "it's wrong to kill even a handicapped child, but these people even want to kill healthy children!" -- it's establishing a value difference between handicapped and "healthy" children. It's wrong -- it's arguing on the basis of secular, amoral logic, rather than on the basis of absolute, non-relative truth.

The public WILL accept non-relative truth if it's properly framed! People are hard-wired to acknowledge moral standards. Your average high school student will say abortion is okay most of the time, but not at full term -- they see a value difference between a 1st and 3rd trimester baby, because secular society tells them there is one (and many pro-lifers tell them so, too, by arguing that ending some abortions is more important than others!). But if you ask that same student when slavery is okay, they'll say "slavery is NEVER okay -- that's a human being, you can't enslave them!" That's the power of moral clarity which we must enlist for the abortion fight.

Only the establishment of the concept of universal freedom for all persons did slavery disappear in this country. Only with the establishment of personhood in the mind of the American public will abortion 100% disappear.

Incrementalists think they'll compromise and split the difference for now, and then later -- "when we're near our goal" -- they'll switch to a no-compromise personhood strategy that will achieve the full victory. But when (if!) that day comes, abortionists and even the general public will say "but wait, didn't you say 10 years ago that it was okay to abort rape babies, so long as we didn't abort other babies?"

Until we change strategies, pro-life resources are working at cross purposes, with some resources directed toward a policy -- incrementalism -- that does not have the power to totally end abortion at any time.

The time to make that change is now, not 10 or 20 years from now, because no matter when we make the choice to switch to a new strategy, we're going to have to start from the very beginning, convincing the American public we were wrong back when we said some abortions were worse than others.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Partial Birth Abortion Ruling

News Flash!:
7 of 9 US Supreme Court Justices UPHOLD Roe v. Wade!

I've not had alot of time to write recently, but just so I can help get this out there, here's a preview of what may become a "feature-length" column soon -- either here, or on .

The US Supreme Court's upholding of the Partial Birth Abortion "ban" is NOT a victory for pro-lifers who want to actually end abortion.

It's only a victory for "pro-lifers" who want to FEEL GOOD about what's being done to end abortion, regardless of the truth.

In fact, it's a resounding defeat not just for those of us who hold that a child is a human life from the moment of conception, but also for those more "moderate" souls who only oppose 1) late term abortions or 2) abortion as birth control.

The ruling, signed by 5 justices, 4 of whom are renowned in Republican circles as "pro-life heroes," specifically upholds both -- abortion as birth control, and late term abortions -- as a "right".

In fact, two justices -- Scalia and Thomas -- were disturbed enough by the ruling to issue a "reservation" against the ruling (which they nevertheless signed on to, failing to stand on principle by dissociating themselves with this pro-abortion ruling in its entirety), specifically noting that they did not believe Roe v. Wade was based on Constitutional principles.

By issuing their reservation, Scalia and Thomas separated themselves philosophically from the other 7 Justices (including both of Bush's appointments) who had no problem affirming easily-available late term abortions as a "Constitutional right."

In fact, the ruling itself notes that the Partial Birth Abortion ban in question is Constitutional ONLY because it "does not on its face impose a substantial obstacle" to a late term abortion.

That specific language, by the way -- the "substantial obstacle" part -- is derived directly from "pro-life" Justice Alito's prior ruling as a District Court Judge that a Nebraska Partial Birth Abortion ban WAS unconstitutional BECAUSE it imposed a substantial obstacle to a woman's "right" to a late term abortion.

More later... This is a tragic ruling.

It's also tragic that so many pro-life leaders are telling pro-life activists that this is some kind of significant victory for our side.

The fact is, besides the fact that 7 of 9 US Supreme Court Justices just telegraphed that they would rule to UPHOLD Roe v. Wade, this will not save the life of even one unborn baby. The ruling itself notes that there are other commonly used means to abort late-term babies (and recommends that they be used!).


Friday, February 9, 2007

Pragmatism is Bankrupt

A post I made on the Life Training Institute blog (, where I am trying to convince a set of pro-lifers who are dedicated to "compromised incrementalism" that we need to change our pro-life strategy -- aiming for success, rather than compromise:

If there existed a law (or proposed legislation) that made 95% of abortions illegal without affirming a "right" to abortion 5% of the time, I would be for it -- that is an uncompromising win for us.

But those examples are hard to find.

What we do see -- compromised incrementalism -- is a bill that makes 95% of abortions illegal while also explicitly defending 5% of abortions. In these cases, I think pro-lifers do ourselves no favors by supporting it. Why?

Because any bill that favors or otherwise upholds a "right" to 5% of abortions is arguing against the principle of a right to life.

Principle doesn't use percentages. Any departure from 0% or 100% is compromise, and it reduces our arguments to 100% pragmatism, 0% principle.

Arguing on the terms of our opponents -- as if there is some line to be drawn, some abstract judgment of when it's okay to kill a baby and when it's not -- is detrimental to our overall cause of getting rid of all abortions, because we're admitting there ARE lines to be drawn. Pragmatism wholly rejects the principle -- they are fundamentally inconsistent strategies. In order to regain the principle, we actually have to convince the voters and citizens we've been talking to that we were wrong when we supported a bill that favored 5% of abortions. We would be rightly accused of hypocrisy.

Would you support a law which said slavery should be legal in New Jersey, but in no other state of the union? If you're a pragmatist, you'll ask "that depends -- is this 1800 or 2000? -- does this increase or reduce slavery?" The response would dictate your answer.

But if you are relying upon moral authority -- principle -- then you would consider the law absurd. Slavery should be legal nowhere under any circumstances, no matter where it is or is not already legal.

I strongly believe that the more we rely on pragmatism to "curtail" abortions when and where we can, we postpone the day when we can achieve our goal and implement the principle of no abortions anytime anywhere, because we then have to undo the damage we did when we talked someone into voting for the 95% solution by saying "it's okay, because it allows for an exception in 5% of the cases."


Thursday, February 8, 2007

In Memory - Ronald Reagan

I know I'm a couple days late. Laura Ingrahm had her beautiful tribute 2 days ago. But to commemorate the birthday of Ronald Reagan, which was this week, I want to re-post a tribute that I wrote in his honor 2 years ago, in my old newspaper, The Front Range Rampart:

On the occasion of Ronald Reagan’s birthday, it is worth reflecting on the enormous positive impact this remarkable President and man had on the United States and the world.

The issue on which most Americans agree – the praise that even liberals will allow – is that Reagan made us proud to be Americans again. After the dark days of Vietnam and Jimmy Carter’s stagflation, Reagan brought us a new day, filled with vitality and optimism.

Renewing the American spirit was the immediate benefit of the Presidency of Ronald Reagan. But Americans have much more than that to be thankful for. Reagan strengthened America’s military, to the point of staring down the Soviets and ultimately bringing an end to a long, tense, and costly Cold War confrontation.

Reagan gave hope to the forces of freedom around the world – from Latin American citizens, almost all of whom would have the right to vote for their leaders by the time Reagan left office, to Soviet dissidents who would tap out coded messages about Reagan’s speeches on their jail cell bars.

And Reagan lastingly changed – perhaps forever – the environment in Washington. No longer would government grow simply because it always had and no one knew another way. He inspired and gave voice to those Republicans who understood that the People are more important than the Government. Great things followed from this change in thinking, from the Contract With America to some – a few – of President Bush’s proposals today.

Reagan introduced a new paradigm into government policy – one that has struggled to be heard since, but which is unlikely to go away. In the stead of a history of fiscally moderate Republicans – leaders who would spend less, but not a little – Reagan introduced into practice the concept of fiscal conservatism.

Fiscal conservatives, who were first forcefully, if not as ably, led by Barry Goldwater, were energized by Reagan’s leadership. He dared to suggest that government was doing too much, rather than not enough, was spending more than it should, and even that there were government programs that were perpetuating the social problems they were ostensibly meant to solve.

America is a better place today because of Ronald Reagan and the vision that he gave us for America – the bright, shining city on a hill that we can all aspire to, and which we still have hopes of approaching.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Sacrificing Babies to Save Babies!


South Dakota failed to pass a virtual total ban on abortion in 2006 by just a few percentage points. Rather than gather encouragement from their near-success, pro-life legislators have now given up and are supporting language that would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, health of the mother, etc. It remains "close" to what they tried to pass in 2006, but this version is fatally flawed because it will sacrifice some babies to save others.

Operation Rescue, led by Troy Newman, issued a press release not only supporting the South Dakota language, but also saying that anybody who doesn't support it is "pro-abortion". That was a pre-emptive swipe at Brian Rohrbough of Colorado Right to Life, who he knew would not support the SD language because of its exceptions. See (and sign!) the Colorado Right to Life no-compromise pledge at

Several people (probably a flood, but the no-compromise folks aren't YET all networked -- joining Colorado Right to Life, no matter where you live, would be a start!) sent complaint e-mails to Operation Rescue, and one of them was my wife.

We got a response back from a lady at Operation Rescue who seemed to be the official responder to the complaints. I don't have permission to use her name, so I'll just say this is what appears to be an official response from Operation Rescue. Following their response is my reaction to the response:

Dear _________,

We so appreciated you coming to Wichita for the Cry
for Justice event. That meant a lot to us.
Hopefully, in that time, you got to know us and know
we have dedicated our lives to obedience to God in
working to protect the innocent and stop abortion. We
came out hard on this issue of the South Dakota bill
because we knew there would be a knee-jerk reaction to
it that would cost lives. I hope after reading this
letter, you better understand our thinking and why we
did what we did.

Here is the bottom line: Without intervention, about
870 babies will die in South Dakota next year. We
have the ability to save ALL of them. In fact, in the
next four years, ONE baby might succumb to abortion,
if this law is passed. That is a tragedy, but we
cannot save that baby now. We tried to pass a law
that would protect that baby, too, but it failed. So
should we give up on trying to save the others?

According to your thinking, you would rather that the
870 per year continue to die than pass a law that may
not meet your standard of perfection. Remember, we
still oppose the one death and will continue to work
until that one baby is protected as well, but we are
not willing to sacrifice the 870, year after year on
the distant hope that someday we might get a perfect

This should not be about some lofty ideology of
perfection as much as it is about saving lives. Those
babies are ALL doomed to die. We have not condemned
them to death. They are already condemned. We oppose
every single death from abortion, but if we can do
something to save even some of them, we will do it,
while continuing to save the rest.

Have you not considered the tremendous loss of life
your principle would cost? Do you seriously have the
ability to justify not intervening to save the 870,
when it is within our power to save them? Can you
really rationalize away standing idly by while those
babies die simply because we cannot save them all?
Doesn't that diminish life?

Take for example that you are aboard the Titanic and
it is sinking. You have within your ability to get
870 onto lifeboats, but one person is trapped in a
cabin and you cannot save him. Would you sacrifice
the lives of the 870 in a vain effort to save one?
Most people would do everything to save the 870 while
continuing to work to save the one until there was no
other hope. That does not mean they approve of the
death of the one or that somehow that life had less
value. It is just that under the circumstances,
saving that one was beyond their ability.

We tried to save them all in South Dakota, and that
bill was rejected. Now we are trying to save the 870.
Would you rather they die? How can a position that
would sacrifice so many – needlessly – be classified
as anything other than irresponsible?

I will stand on the principle of saving as many lives
as we possibly can, and reject the notion of allowing
needless death and human suffering because the legal
method does not meet up to my standard of perfection.

Sidewalk counselors have to face this conundrum day
after day as women reject their help and go into the
mills to kill their babies. There is nothing the
sidewalk counselor can to but watch, and rejoice when
a rare woman does in fact change her mind. Should
sidewalk counselors stop trying to save any lives
simply because conditions exist that make is
impossible for them to save them all? Would we say
that the sidewalk counselor is "unprincipled" or that
she "approved" of the deaths she could not prevent?

Try to think rationally about this situation. I think
pro-lifers have a knee-jerk reaction to “exceptions”
and often do not consider the reality of the
situation. I would say those attempting to save lives
NOW are probably more in line with Biblical teachings
than those who are willing to allow the bloodletting
to continue until such time, if ever, they get the
perfect bill.

You may want to consider whose side you are on here.
Planned Parenthood is fighting this bill tooth and
nail because it will close them down in South Dakota
and virtually stop abortion in its tracks. (Would you
rather the legislature withdraw the bill and allow
them to say open?) When we look around and find the
abortionists are our allies, then maybe we should stop
and think about where ideology is taking us.

Signed (name of official removed)

My response to Operation Rescue:

(name of official removed}

I hope you will excuse me for stepping into a conversation based on your reply to my wife.

I find your argument unconvincing. And I shall tell you why, but first I want to point something out:

Quoting (name removed): "Try to think rationally about this situation. I think pro-lifers have a knee-jerk reaction to “exceptions” and often do not consider the reality of the situation."

I find that to be one of the most thoroughly condescending things I've seen in any argument in some time. You presume we are responding emotionally, rather than "thinking rationally". We're the "knee-jerkers".

I consider it more emotional to knuckle under for believers in false compassion for raped mothers (which "compassion" is manifested by killing their children and saddling them with the guilt of having killed them). But you speak more, perhaps, than you meant to -- you refer not to "some pro-lifers" but to "pro-lifers" in general as if you are separating yourself from that group of people. Now, I believe that you are sincere, and that your heart is in the right place. But, rhetorically and subconsciously, in your language you are stepping AWAY from "pro-lifers" and calling them crazy, even as you move closer to the world's ideal adherence to "reason and rationality" over what's truly and absolutely right and wrong.

Your Titanic analogy is a false one. A true analogy using the Titanic metaphor would be this -- rather than saying "We want to save all of you, but women and children first", you are instead saying, "Only women and children have a right to be saved. If you are a man, even if we have the ability to save you, even if we find you in the freezing water and have room in the lifeboat, you are still not allowed in the lifeboat because you do not have a right to life."

You may say that this analogy still supports you -- that historically, the Titanic did not have enough lifeboats to save everybody. But it did in fact have more than enough lifeboats to save some of the men. And there were some men pulled out of the icy water after the lifeboats left the ship. Besides this, the crew discriminated against third class passengers, which is perhaps a better analogy -- you are saving "first and second class passengers first", and leaving the third class passengers (offspring from rape, offspring from incest, etc.) to die, moreover saying in the wording of the legislation that it's okay that they do.

What you are really doing is asking... nay, demanding... nay, intimidating pro-life legislators and/or voters to vote for a measure which says "it is okay to kill babies if their father is a criminal (i.e. rapist)". You are forcing legislators (upon penalty of being called a "pro-abort"!!!) to stand up and speak with their vote: "I am willing to sacrifice this one baby and put it to death in order to save 870, because I recognize that there are mitigating factors which cause it to not have the same degree of right to life as the other 870." I understand the emotion behind wanting to save 870, even if you must sacrifice one, but telling the deathcamp guards that you will support them in killing all the gypsies if they will allow you to save all the Jews thoroughly eviscerates the principle of a "right to life". Yours is the emotional, not the rational, position.

The very act of making the statement evidenced in the new, compromised, S. Dakota legislation undermines the whole principle, and even the concept, of a "right to life", which is truly the most powerful tool we have to eventually end all abortions. In fact, by establishing and continuing to support that false division between the rights of some and the rights of others (some are more equal than others), you play into the hands of the abortionists and enable them to argue that even YOU -- the pro-lifers -- support abortion in cases of rape and incest. And they have the votes to prove that you did!

I do not disbelieve the fact that you desire to save all babies from abortion, including the "one" (another false figure) who will be a product of rape or incest. But that's not what the legislation says, so you should not be supporting it. If you really want to save the 870, you should change the law so that it does not confer a "right to an abortion" in any case -- that it does not explicitly defend any conditions under which a baby may legally be put to death. It may be possible to change the legislation so that it does not explicitly permit any abortions, but I think it would be hard to do.

By saving 870 babies today, you may literally uphold the "principle" of allowing abortion, and condemn "870 exceptions" to abortion over the next several decades, because you would not stand firm on the principle of a "right to life", and actually supported abortion in cases of rape or incest.\

You know Dr. Tiller. Would he allow something as simple as a prohibition against abortion "except in cases of rape and incest" to stop him? No! He's already violated the late-term ban. If he were in the situation of the S. Dakota abortionists (who probably look up to him and his methods), he would simply claim that "rape has made an amazing comeback!" And suddenly you have not 1, but 100 or 870 abortions a year in case of "rape or incest."

I, and others who oppose compromising on principle, will wait to see if you will push for that, or if you will continue to support a bill which upholds the "right to abortion" in some cases. I will remain very disappointed in you and Operation Rescue if you do not try to either fix this legislation, or publicly disavow your support.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A follow-on post regarding Tancredo's "alarmism" on immigration... (poster's name excised)

p.s. The "ragging on Mexicans", etc. is directed at someone else, not at anything I said.

Anyone who thinks that Mexico is a threat to the United States, aside from their deliciously artery-clogging food, is living in fantasy land. If anything, without the US, the Mexican economy would collapse. And these Mexicanos who cross the border, their kids speak both languages, and their grand kids speak English. This is the way it's always, always been in the U.S. Little Joey Guiterrez is going to be American as apple pie. Assimilation, integration. Don't believe me? Why don't you speak German, or whatever language your folks got off the boat speaking?

And um, hello? [B]THAT'S WHY ANYONE COMES TO AMERICA TO BEGIN WITH![/B] To find a job and be safe from the dangers of your home country. You think the Constitution means boo when your family is hungry and threatened by the Tzar/Nazis/Mexican Druglords? America is a golden land (built by immigrants, whites and slaves altogether). You come here first for a better life. That's why my mother's people came here from Germany at the end of WW1. And my father's people ILLEGALLY IMMIGRATED in the friggin' Mayflower, STOLE Indian jobs in Massachusetts by farming on their land, and built this great damn country.
People come to America as IMMIGRANTS. They become Americans when they accept and defend the values of the Constitution. And as I said before, Latinos - and yes, even illegal ones - play a HUGE role in the United States military nowadays.

You think your grandparents came to this country with lofty ideals? You think your spit don't stink? 80-150 years ago, all the white folks on this board were their generation's Mexican. Uneducated, poor and desperate for a better life. Especially you damn Italians and Irish. Came off the boat like locusts. Took 50 years to weed out the mafiosos from the pissanos. Please. And you want to rag on Mexicans? Please.

First, ****, let me say that I agree with a great deal of what you say. And I would venture to guess -- from what I know about him -- that Tom Tancredo would agree with you as well. But I think sometimes it's possible to believe one rational thing so strongly that it blinds any consideration of other rational points of view.

Secondly, let me say that I know many Mexican immigrants -- as well as many Vietnamese, Korean, Cuban, etc. -- who are some of the hardest working people I know. We should be proud to have them in this country, provided they are here legally and are law-abiding citizens, which many of them are.

But as someone (probably Tancredo) recently summed up about as well as anyone can, why should we welcome people to this country whose very first act on entering this country was to break the law? They have right up front demonstrated an unwillingness to live by the rules, laws and customs of the United States of America.

******, your relatives did not break any laws getting into this country. They came for jobs. They contrast stunningly with the illegal immigrants of today, simply by the fact that they entered this country legally, meaning to start a new life and to INVEST their hearts and souls in this country.

When I watched a pro-immigrant march through Denver recently -- thousands of marchers -- I saw 100 Mexican flags for every American flag they had. That shows that they are more proud of their former heritage than they are of their new country, and it demonstrates just how committed they are to the US -- not at all (as you say!).

I recently saw video footage on one of those "extreme videos" shows of a boatloat of Haitian immigrants the Coast Guard intercepted before they reached Florida. They were also overloaded and in danger of sinking, and knew it. When the USCG pulled up alongside, there was a stampede of people wanting to get onto the boat. They were so desperate that they actually capsized their own boat because there were too many people and they weren't following the rules. This can be a metaphor for what is happening in America today, and for why there need to be rules for immigration, and those rules need to be followed.

You earlier said that illegal immigrants pay for their stay by paying sales tax. In my opinion, that's a vastly distorted argument. First, many Mexican immigrants come here to work, make lots of money under the table, and send most of it to their families back home in Mexico. Then, many of them return to Mexico, stay, and return again later to repeat the process. They pay very little in the way of sales taxes -- just enough to keep themselves fed -- they pay no income taxes (some do, but very few), no social security taxes (again, some do, but not many), no payroll taxes, etc. They may end up costing the US very little also, except for forgone taxes for the minor services they consume, but if they ever get sick or injured, they are 100% on the taxpayer to be taken care of. The high cost of uncompensated Medicare treatment for a few illegals in this category far outweighs any benefits from those who never get injured.

Next, there are the illegals whose entire families are here. Generally, the man will work, producing none of the paycheck taxes, but then the needs of the family pay for some of that in sales taxes. But this in no way makes up for the fact that the man isn't paying income tax, SSI, payroll tax, etc., because a legal American citizen also pays those same sales taxes PLUS all of the others. Furthermore, in most cities every child here from these families receives a public education (about $5,000 a year), plus free lunch (another couple thousand or more a year) -- this burden is entirely upon the backs of the taxpayers, and in many communities it means that working parents are paying for not only their own childrens' education, but for a large share of the education of the illegal students in their school (this issue alone is breaking America's public school systems). Some of these illegal families receive public assistance for housing, utilities, or other needs (depending on which state and city). And, like the single worker mentioned above, these families -- grandmother, mom, dad, kids, etc. -- are mostly on Medicare for any illnesses or injuries. And these costs often run into the tens of thousands of dollars for each individual.

There is no way at all that an illegal immigrant individual or family is more of a resource for this country than a liability. The millions of illegal immigrants in the US today cost the taxpayers tens or hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

In Defense of Tancredo

This is a post I made to a public politics forum I often post to -- I came upon a bunch of Europeans and liberal Americans making fun of and abusing Congressman Tom Tancredo, and I couldn't let it go. Please note that this is not an endorsement of Tancredo's potential Presidential bid -- I'm currently supporting a different Tancredo-style conservative named John Cox ( But I couldn't let them get away with maligning Tancredo as if he were some kind of nutcase.

I would personally rather Tancredo run for Wayne Allard's seat in the US Senate (or Bob Schaffer). The Denver Post claimed Tancredo today suggested Scott McInnis would be good for that seat, but I have trouble believing that -- McInnis isn't my kind of conservative, and isn't Tancredo's kind of conservative either.

Anyway... The Post:

Tancredo himself has said that he doesn't think he could win, and so he probably won't run. But he might run for the purpose of getting the immigration issue before the public. Mere noise, rather than action, is partially effective in doing that.

I know Tancredo personally -- not as a friend, but as someone who I've spoken to on numerous occasions, who I've watched closely, and who spent 20 minutes with me and my wife on a boat (with others, but the conversation was just us) chatting about personal stuff -- stuff you could never imagine talking with a US Congressman about, because you generally assume they're arrogant, guarded and busy with other things (and you'd generally be right!).

Tancredo is not like that. He's one of the coolest people I know -- one of the most open, most honest, most intelligent, most sincere, and most humble people I know in all of politics. He's intelligently conversant on a wide variety of issues, including education (that's his background -- he was a public school teacher), fiscal policy (taxes, spending, budgets, etc.), foreign affairs, foreign trade, etc.

Has he said outrageous things? Yes -- that's how he gets people's attention. As he's said himself, he likes to raise the red banner of revolution, in hopes of getting a reasonable modification in the government's policies. He's good at getting attention! Perhaps a dozen members of the US House have better name recognition than he does -- out of hundreds!

He picked immigration as his main issue because it's something important to him, and because no one else really had the stomach to bring it to the forefront like he does. Why? Partly because they know that everyone who makes it a major issue is going to get tarred with the label "racist", whether they are or not. That's just how that issue is these days -- important issues like that cannot be discussed without names and accusations being brought out.

Is he a racist? No. His family came over with a lot of other Italians as immigrants, and were mistreated for it. He understands the plight of immigrants, but there is a fundamental difference between what his family did and what families today are doing -- the Tancredos got into the United States legally. That's a sound and realistic distinction. They didn't break laws to get here.

A Colorado Hispanic magazine interviewed Tancredo recently, and the interviewer admitted that his impression on meeting and speaking with Tancredo was exactly the opposite of his expectations from what he'd heard about him. Tancredo raised reasonable concerns, expressed sympathy with the plight of many of these immigrants, but maintained that the issue of jobs and the adherence to the rule of law are important. The Hispanic interviewer came away understanding the immigration issue very differently, and found some common ground with Tancredo, even on such a polarizing issue.

I also happen to know that a good many of Tom's supporters are Hispanics whose families came to the US legally, and who resent illegal immigration just the same as do most immigrants of other ethnicities.

Anyway... No one else is going to tell you these things, so I figured I'd better. You can believe me or not.

Tancredo is one of my very favorite people -- he's earned my respect, and there aren't very many politicians at all (even among those who I support!) who can claim that.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Free Speech

Sen. Salazar,

Surely you are aware of a new bill -- I believe it's SB 1 -- which would restrict lobbyists. There is a provision within it -- Sec. 220 -- which would drastically and negatively impact grassroots organizations.

Certain groups speak for me, and I am a private citizen who otherwise doesn't have much of a voice. Please do not lock me out of the political process by putting grassroots organizations into a box with Sec. 220.

Thank you!


Monday, January 1, 2007

The Case for the War On Terror

I post comments in many different fora, and sometimes I will re-post here things I have posted elsewhere. This particular post is a response to criticism of the War on Terror and, specifically, a response to someone else's contention that Iraq had nothing to do with the War on Terror. I apologize if it is somewhat rambling -- I'm responding to several contentions at once -- but I believe it is reasonably comprehensive, which is a good way to lead into what I'm sure will be further discussion of Iraq and the War on Terror on this blog.

My Post:

The evidence supports increasing connections between terrorists and state governments.

Implicated by the evidence include: Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, N.Korea, Pakistan, Libya and Saudi Arabia to one degree or another.

Someone earlier mentioned the ISI -- that's the Pakistani intelligence service which basically set up the Taliban puppet government in Afghanistan which was later suborned and more or less taken over by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda operatives. The ISI had a life of its own to the extent which Pres. Musharraf allowed up until the point sometime in September 2001 when US diplomats approached him and said either you can be our enemy and we will dismantle your government or you can desist in all support of terrorists, collar and manage the ISI, and become an ally in the US-led War on Terror. Given this choice, Musharraf "chose wisely."

We have seen terrorist groups exist for decades, without much accomplishing anything but a few dead soldiers and/or civilians. But with the advent of state supported terrorism, the terrorists have vastly increased their capabilities. Part of it is the funding. But more importantly, is bases. The terrorists get protected havens from which to plan and train for attacks, and then to retreat to when the deeds were done.

For this, Sudan, Somalia (whose government didn't really exist for a decade-or-two until last week), and Afghanistan were particularly useful, and northern Iraq also played a part. Osama bin Laden basically moved into anarchic situations with little or no operating governments, and took over the existing infrastructure -- trading chaos for order on his terms. He used these shell-governments like the Taliban to mask and support his buildup of terrorist schemes, several of which succeeded in being more successful than any previous terrorist attacks, a few of which were defeated, but which culminated in 9/11.

While bin Laden used these geographic locations as his base, the "state support" for his operations came from a loosely defined cabal which included several of the aforementioned governments. Proving which ones is difficult. Of these governments supporting anti-US terrorism, one of the most active was Iran. There is also some evidence that Iraq either directly or tacitly supported and or tolerated the terrorists who were working to undermine Saddam's declared enemy the United States.

We know from the UN that Iraq had WMDs at some point. There was never ay evidence that they were destroyed en masse. Inspectors believed that they still existed as late as 2003, but their efforts to prove this were foiled by constant interference by the Iraqi government (in direct violation of several UN resolutions).

There was also an attempted attack, in 2004 or 2005, made by terrorists coming out of Syria launched against Amman, Jordan, which was comprised of WMDs which the Syrians have never been known to have in their possession. The Iraqis DID have these WMDs (as catalogued and quantified by the UN inspectors before they were kicked out and/or played with by Saddam's government), which leads one to an obvious assumption that they were originally Iraqi WMDs which were transferred to Syria, and from there to terrorists.

This scenario -- the transfer of WMDs from Iraq to Syria -- is admitted as a possibility by the Duelfer Report, with some evidence cited, and is seemingly borne out by the Amman attack (which was intercepted and defeated en-route, before they could kill an estimated 1,000-10,000 Jordanians).

The whole list of connections between and with terrorist groups, as well as the presumed transfer of WMDs mentioned above all provide a framework for believing there is/was a fairly sophisticated cabalist network of anti-US and/or rogue governments supporting anti-US terrorism.

The Bush Doctrine is basically to treat these governments which support terrorism against the US as if they were responsible for the actions of the terrorists, which -- let's be real -- they are!

Therefore, Iraq, if it had any connections with terrorists (and I and many others believe they had plenty), then they were a valid target in the War on Terror. So, too, are other governments listed here. If we went into Iran tomorrow I'd be all for it. Or Syria.

Afghanistan was the obvious first target in this war against states who support terrorism, and Iraq was the second, primarily because they were the weakest of these states. If internal support had existed to continue the War on Terror, perhaps further steps would have been taken. However, support for the War on Terror today is questionable.

I believe the primary reason the American Public is not behind the War is that these things have not been adequately explained to them. One could blame the Bush Administration for this, and it would be valid to do so, but as responsible is the fact that the American news media drowns out the President's voice with its incessant antiwar drumbeat which crows over and over again about the deaths and risks and despair, and allows no room for hope that something could be accomplished through this war (which, of course, would be much easier without the active participation of the American media in the anti-war effort).