Friday, September 30, 2011

Losing approval among many, but not Muslim-Americans

Investor Business Daily points out that since inauguration day 2009 Obama has lost the approval of eight (percentage) points among blacks, 27 points among Hispanics and 25 points among whites. However, he enjoys an approval rating of 76% among Muslim-Americans, according to Pew Research. IBD points out that
He's appointed a record number of Muslims to his administration — including at least three radical Muslim Brotherhood agents to White House jobs, according to Muslim reformer Tarek Fatah. And he's killed Justice Department probes of Muslim Brotherhood front groups at home, while paving the way for Brotherhood-run theocracies abroad.

Read the whole thing here:

29-year-old woman born deaf hears for the first time

"Never let the ugly truth get in the way of a good political narrative."

In a blog post entitled Not Exactly Shovel Ready the blogger at In From the Cold points out some more embarrassing gaffes and misleading claims by Obama. The first has to do with a bridge that will not be built for 48 months. The second has to do with the Intercontinental Railroad" Obama says America built. From Obama's speech at the bridge:
"Now, we used to have the best infrastructure in the world here in America. We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad, the Interstate Highway System. (Applause.) We built the Hoover Dam. We built the Grand Central Station. (Applause.)

So how can we now sit back and let China build the best railroads? And let Europe build the best highways? And have Singapore build a nicer airport? At a time when we've got millions of unemployed construction workers out there just ready to get on the job, ready to do the work to rebuilding America."

The blogger notes:
"The Intercontinental Railroad? Is that the one that connects San Francisco and Tokyo, or New York and London? Obviously, they don't exist. We assume President Obama was referring to the transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869. It remains a marvel of engineering and speed, largely because immigrant work crews didn't have an OSHA inspector demanding hearing protection for everyone, or the EPA trying to protect every bug, bird and snake that lived along the railroad's right-of-way."

Read the Whole thing at

Why Herman Cain is resonating with voters

The Daily Caller features a post explaining why Herman Cain is resonating with voters. He is now leading the field of Republican challengers to Obama, according to the latest Zogby poll.
"I have had the honor of speaking with Herman Cain in person and interviewed him recently. I was impressed on both occasions by his refusal to tell me what he thought I wanted to hear, and to instead simply tell me what he thought. There is a refreshing honesty with which he delivers his message, one that is void of the arrogance and elitist condescension that characterize our current commander-in-chief."

Read the whole thing at

Update: Also, there is this excellent post on the sad realities of race in America.
"That Herman Cain can only predict garnering one third of the the black vote in next year’s election speaks to the sad state of race in America. That there is even one black family in this country who would not want a son or daughter to emulate this man’s work ethic, level of self-made success, and amazing courage is not only a travesty; it’s a stark reminder of how deluded the majority of blacks in America have become.

That two thirds of black Americans would dutifully vote for a different black man – not simply because he is black, but because he preaches the politics of deceit and division; because he tells them what they want to hear, (and have heard from liberal politicians for more than 50 years); because desperately seeks to maintain their support through fear and deception – that too, speaks to the sad reality of race in America."

Read the whole thing at

Killing al-Awlaki

Obama has announced the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the New Mexico born al-Qaida terrorist. al-Awlaki had inspired other terrorist murderers, like Major Hasan, the killer of thirteen Americans in Texas. I applaud this action by our military and civilian leaders.

However, a commenter at The Hill blog reminds us: "So now we have the Obama double standard. Bush lost his moral compass because he waterboarded Zawahiri and didn't give him constitutional protection, an attorney and a civilian trial. But Obama can assasinate Alawki without so much as a writ of habeus corpus or an ACLU attorney within a thousand miles?"

Here is a link to a discussion of the legality of killing a U.S. citizen without due process.

Cells, vaccines, and immortality

Cells. Fifty trillion of them in my body and yours! They are in the news, because of the Republican debates. Texas Governor Rick Perry tried to vaccinate sixth grade girls to prevent them from getting HPV, a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. There are more than 100 strains of HPV in existence; thirteen of which cause cervical, anal, penile, and oral cancer. Over 90 percent of sexually active adults become infected with at least one strain during their lifetimes!

This month I have written a couple of brief posts about Rebecca Skloot's book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Ms. Lacks died in 1951 because she was infected with particularly virulent strains of HPV. But, her cells lived on, after her surgeon scraped some off one of her tumors without her consent. Using her cells and others, scientists discovered how her cancer started and why her cells never died. HPV inserts its DNA into the DNA of the host cell, where it produces proteins that lead to cancer. A German scientist earned the Nobel Prize because of his discoveries about HPV and the development of the vaccine, using Ms. Lacks' cells. When HPV inserted its DNA into Ms. Lacks' Chromosome 11, it essentially turned off the genes that suppress tumors, according to Ms. Skloots.

Normal cells are preprogrammed to live only so long. Cells that have been infected by a virus or cancer have the potential to divide indefinitely in cultures.

Remember how I used to write about Jill Bolte Taylor's book My Stroke of Insight? That is where I learned that we have 50 trillion cells in our bodies. Dr. Taylor writes about how she thanks her cells many times daily for their healing powers.

But, it is God who created us and all other life. It is God Whom we should be thanking for the miraculous bodies we live in. It is God Who makes available to us the opportunity to live eternally.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why not?

Daniel Henninger wonders in the Wall Street Journal if maybe it is time to take seriously the candidacy of Herman Cain.
"Put it this way: The GOP nominee is running against the incumbent president. Unlike the incumbent, Herman Cain has at least twice identified the causes of a large failing enterprise, designed goals, achieved them, and by all accounts inspired the people he was supposed to lead. Not least, Mr. Cain's life experience suggests that, unlike the incumbent, he will adjust his ideas to reality."

What do you think? Is there any valid reason not to take a serious look at the Cain candidacy?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When the border is not secure...

Did you know that 2,900 illegal immigrants with prior criminal records were arrested in the U.S. in the last week? This blog post gives more details: "More than 1,600 of those arrested had felony convictions including manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors, aggravated assault. Of the total 2,901 criminal illegal immigrants arrested, 42 were gang members and 151 were convicted sex offenders.

In addition to being convicted criminals, 681 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country but failed to depart. Additionally, 386 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country multiple times."

What was he thinking?

Anyone want to speculate what Obama was thinking about when he said "Jew" when speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus? All of us misspeak from time to time, but this guy seems to do it quite often.

Update: In the White House map distributed to reporters on Obama's trip out west this week, Colorado was misidentified as being in Wyoming. Michelle Malkin summarizes the gaffes from the guy who campaigned in 57 states.

The U.S. Justice Department used our (taxpayer) money to sell guns to criminals!

Ramirez cartoon found here, which is the blog that broke the original story..
"Not only did U.S. officials approve, allow and assist in the sale of more than 2,000 guns to the Sinaloa cartel — the federal government used taxpayer money to buy semi-automatic weapons, sold them to criminals and then watched as the guns disappeared." So begins a post at this blog.

Is this the Watergate of 2011? No one died in Watergate.

You did not hear about this case from Obama or the U.N.

An Iranian pastor faces execution because he refuses to renounce his Christian faith.

Because the border is not secure...

From Patrick Poole at Pajamas Media:
Two Bangladeshis who were caught by Customs and Border Protection illegally crossing the border in June 2010 admitted under questioning that they were members of a designated terrorist organization that signed on to a fatwa by Osama bin Laden pledging to wage war against Americans.

But amazingly, after one of the men requested asylum, he was released on bond. And now one Homeland Security official tells me, concerning the released terror operative, “We don’t have the slightest idea where he is now.”

The two men, Muhammad Nazmul Hasan and Mirza Muhammad Saifuddin, were intercepted near Naco, Arizona, not long after they had crossed the border on June 25, 2010. During their interrogation, one of the men admitted that they were members of Harakat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), which was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in February 2008. Earlier this month the group claimed responsibility for a bombing a courthouse in New Delhi. That attack killed 11 and wounded at least 45 others.

Then there is this commentary at the Sister Toldjah blog:
More than ten years after 9/11, it’s way past the time that our laws were updated to reflect a time of war and potentially catastrophic terrorism. At a minimum, people who admit to belonging to organizations allied to our deadly enemy should be held without bail; more properly, since we’re dealing with terrorist operatives, they should be transferred to military custody and their cases decided by a military commission. We’re not talking about people sneaking into America looking for a better life; these are people sneaking into America to take lives.

As Poole points out, the southern border is the preferred route for people seeking illegal entry into the United States, and, regardless of what President Obama claims, that border is not secure. It’s clear Obama and the Democrats won’t do a thing to genuinely control it, in spite of the obvious threat to national security (1), so it will be up to the next, hopefully adult, administration.

Meanwhile, don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll find the missing Bangladeshi jihadi… right after the car-bomb goes off.

$23 million per job!

This post tells us that the U.S. Energy Department is expected to announce this week its final decision on loan guarantees amounting to $6.5 billion to green energy companies. The number of full-time, permanent jobs they would create? 283, according to the Dept of Energy's own figures. That is nearly $23 million per job!

Let's see now, where is there a federal agency whose budget we could cut?

Stay on that plantation, or else!

Found here

Only the Truth will set us free

Here is a blog post asserting that the media killed the truth in its coverage of the Troy Davis execution in Georgia.

A winning strategy

I am not one to listen to long speeches, but I did listen to this one by Chris Christie, who spoke last night at the Reagan Library. I liked what he said. I think he could give Obama a real run for his money. He asks Obama what changed him from the 2004 speech he gave at the Democrat convention. When did he decide to become a divider?

Like Ronald Reagan, Christie has earned a reputation as a man who says what he means, and means what he says. He has achieved bi-partisan support in New Jersey to right that ship financially. How?
1. We identified the problems.
2. We proposed solutions.
3. We educated the public.
4. We took action, including compromising with the opposition.

The speech included much praise for the best of Ronald Reagan, a leader we sorely miss today. It is a winning strategy.

"If you're a Tea Partyer, I'm a ballet dancer!"

Jennifer Rubin is a columnist who has captured my attention more and more. In this column she imagines Chris Christie at home with his wife and four kids watching a Republican debate and yelling at the t.v.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Would you recognize mussel beds?

Lucy is a blogger in France, who has wonderful photography on her blog. I bet you've never seen photos from the air of mussels growing in shallow waters. Lucy writes: "This went a stage further on looking down at the mussel beds from the air. We must have been quite lucky with the state of the tide, so that their serried rows hovered visible just below the surface in the aqua- and ultramarine of the bay, their graphic, human-ordered geometry offsetting the random figuring and curves of the rocks and shoreline." There are many more photos at her blog.

No excuses

I found this image here.

Some cheered; most didn't.

We have four interstate highways here in the Denver metro area. Barack Obama managed to tie up three of them today, in the morning, then again in the afternoon! He was here to tout Son of Stimulus to a predominantly Hispanic high school in an area of high unemployment. His audience cheered his plan for the federal government to confiscate money from people earning higher than average incomes, and give it to bureaucrats to dispense to people earning less than average incomes. After all, he said, "You didn't do it (make a good living) by yourself!"

Meanwhile, back on the interstate highways the audience was far larger, and no one was heard to be cheering.

Wound around tightly?

Found it here

Where the Klan got their idea of white sheets

In her book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, author Rebecca Skloot tells us how the Ku Klux Klan got the idea of hooded white sheets. African oral history believed that ghosts caused disease. To discourage slaves from leaving plantations, some plantation owners, aware of these beliefs, conjured up tales of gruesome research done on black bodies by night doctors who kidnapped blacks found outside at night. These night doctors supposedly covered themselves in white sheets and crept around at night, posing as spirits come to infect black people with disease or steal them for research.

In fact, there was some truth to the oral history. Many doctors and researchers did conduct experiments on blacks without their consent. One victim of these practices was Henrietta Lacks, whose cells have been dividing since surgery was performed on her in 1951. Her cells have been bought and sold thousands of times, with her impoverished family receiving not one penny.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Proposed new regulations for our kids' school lunches

Have you heard of the latest proposed regulations from the USDA for our kids' school lunches? No more than one cup per week of "starchy vegetables." That includes peas, lima beans, corn, and potatoes!

Let's see now...which federal agency's budget can we cut?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Immortal cells

Do you know the name Henrietta Lacks? Rebecca Skloot has written a wonderful book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. After a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital operated on Ms. Lacks in the "colored" ward in 1951, without her consent he scraped one of her cancer tumors and put her cells in a petrie dish. The cells have never stopped dividing, becoming the first known immortal cells. Ms. Skloot does a meticulous job of exploring every possible facet of the life of this woman, her cells, her extended family, and the medical, scientific, and journalism communities. It is a fabulous book!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Opportunities to show love and kindness

When you are kind to someone, do you let them know that God loves them? Do you say that? I don't, except sometimes to my kids. I know that when I am kind to someone, I am pleasing God; but I am not comfortable adding those additional words to people I do not know well.

I am so thankful that, even though I surely am most undeserving, God still makes available to me opportunities to show love and kindness to others. In fact, at times it seems that the more aware I am of my own shortcomings, the more likely it is that He will give me opportunities to be kind and helpful to others.

How is it with you?

Drugs now the number one killer

Drugs, not traffic accidents, are now the biggest cause of death in the United States. This post points out that "What's really scary is we don't know a lot about how to reduce prescription deaths." A young friend of mine where I work gives me a report each week on how he is doing. He told me yesterday that he has not smoked marijuana in two weeks, and also cut back on another drug. He just comes up to me and blurts out his progress or lack thereof. Maybe he suspects I am praying for him. He has a great personality, and if drugs win the battle for his mind and soul, it will be a tragic loss.

Speedy neutrinos

Has the world of physics been shaken up? This image from the Wall Street Journal accompanies a story about the speed of ghostlike subatomic particles called neutrinos, which can pass through ordinary matter unaffected. Are they faster than the speed of light? They were in a six month experiment recently conducted from Switzerland to Italy. If backed up by future experiments, it could change the way scientists think about how the universe evolved, as well as the assumptions behind many of their calculations.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Every person a universe

"We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead, we must see in every person a universe, with its own secrets, its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish, and with some measure of triumph." Elie Weisel, from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Four wheeling is for everyone!

I don't think this is what my sons have in mind when they constantly talk about wanting to go four-wheeling.
Found at Maggie's Farm

Making our nation's debt understandable

The small dead animals blog linked to a post that makes our national debt understandable. Why S&P Downgraded the US:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent [April] budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Budget cuts: $385

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Counter myths with facts!

Where do our rulers want us to live? "Affordable and high density housing." "Compact mixed-use development." "The Built Environment." Here is a blog post urging us to fight back.

The environmental whackos "tsk, tsk" at people who like to live in the suburbs, or, gasp, even further out into rural areas. You would be amazed at how much money people living in these areas spend on feeding birds, growing vegetables and flowers, building open space parks, feeding chickens and other livestock, fishing, and hiking trails, just to mention a few amenities not easily available to people living in urban areas.

A true hero: Captain Travis Patriquin

The Mudville Gazette is a blog that does a superb job of telling us about what our heroes in the military are doing. This post tells about an American who was determined to help us win the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and lost his life after making hugely significant impacts in both war fronts.

An "only-in-America Judeo-Christian moment"

Sarah Palin was frustrated. Her "handlers" in the McCain campaign were frustrated; they turned to McCain's friend Joe Lieberman, because both Palin and Lieberman were "religious," (and they weren't?) Lieberman tells about it here. Lieberman: "She doesn't know every detail, all the questions senators deal with, but, frankly, that's her strength.”

“I think the point is, who is she as a person? I think that's what people are ultimately looking for,” Lieberman said.

James Meredith, by Jon Agard

James Meredith was born on the same date in July as my brother's birthday, except James Meredith was born in 1933, and Greg was born in 2001. James Meredith was the first black guy to enter the University of Alabama. At first, they would not let him in, because he is black. The judge ordered them to let him in. He later went into the war, serving in the U.S. military. He now lives in Mississippi.

When I am Jon Agard, age 11 (actually, he wrote this last year, at age ten)

When I am 35 my reign as King of the World will be remembered as the longest and the most sufficiently awesome ever. Slavery will be overthrown throughout the world. Thugs and criminals will be brought to justice. There will no longer be a need for taxes. World peace will be accomplished. Technology to the highest extent will be available at the world's fingertips. With our technology, outer universes will be taken over and conquered. A reasonable sum of $200,000.00 per every two weeks would, of course, go to me.

My four sons, Mitchell, Isaac, Falco, and Cojack will not be snotty or have a "better than thou" attitude or character.

Yes, I will have done this in the short period of fifteen years - starting when I was twenty. I truly will be the best King of the World ever!

My top three expectations of sixth grade, by Jon Agard

One of the expectations I have for sixth grade is harder work. Teachers most of the time probably won't give you a second chance. There will probably only be algebra and hard essays. No more, "Fine, I'll let you slide this time."

There will probably be more bullies.

Popular will be more and more eccentric. Most people in middle school lose their minds.

Editor's note: Jon wrote this last year, before we decided to home school him this year in the sixth grade.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oliver, the Burmese cat

Hi! My name is Sara. I am seven years old. I want to tell you about my cat, whose name is Oliver. He is a Burmese cat, which is pretty much the goodest cat. He is cute looking, and he also is good to play with. Take him on walks sometimes, but don't let him near dogs! Oliver is such a nice cat, if you train him to be nice. If you don't, he'll be sort of mean. That's the way cats are.

Burmese cats are weird at night, because their eyes glow. It is because he wants to sleep with you. He'll want you to tuck him in; then he'll want to sleep on your arm and make your arm warm. Burmese cats will protect you from mean bugs, and he'll kill the mice in your house. If you get another cat, make sure it's another boy, because if it is a girl cat, that is all he is going to pay attention to; he won't listen to you any more.

I want to be in that number!

And I'm not the only one!
I found this at The New Editor

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some thoughts about God, by Greg Agard

I was reading the Bible last night, and I came across something that I can't get out of my head: the universe is infinity, yet it only took God seven days to make! Just think about it: all those stars and planets and asteroids...and life! God created life!
It's the kind of thing that makes you wonder, "How does He do it?" I'll have to wait a lifetime to know the answer to that.

Editor's note: I got home from work late last night, and Greg, unable to sleep, was sitting on the couch reading the Bible, while everyone else was asleep. I sat down next to this precious ten-year-old boy and read a little with him, pleased to know that he is thinking about the awesome power of God. This morning I asked him to write something for the blog about what he was reading last night.

A short story by Jon Agard

Many people believe that there is something else out there. One of those believers is me, Scott 'bubo' Sandolofberg. For many years I sat in my office preparing for the day I would leave on the mission. On the day of December 12, 2900, a rocket ship would fly straight out of NASA and into space. After the preparations were set and the team was ready, we bravely stepped onto the ship. All 7 of us strapped in and breathed out. BLAST OFF IN 5-4-3-2-1 ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffBLAMMMM!

The ship zoomed out through the atmosphere and into space. Our ship landed on a big planet just out of the Milky Way 59 days later. We landed on a planet with immense trees and jungles. We put our American flag in the ground, and the ground started to shake. The layer on which we landed was apparently very thin. Lava spurted from the hole and started growing and spreading around us. I jumped into the ship and helped a man in. Another man jumped in. The rest of the men got swallowed up by the fire. The rest of us who remained alive flew back to Earth to tell you this story.

Editor's note: Eleven-year-old Jon complained to me recently that this blog has too much politics, and not enough input from my kids. I told him to put his money where his mouth is, so to speak, and start writing for the blog. This, hopefully, will be the first of many blog posts by Jon and other family members.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Do Not Cripple Our Defense!

I don't think I have ever read a George Will column without having to look up the meaning of one of the words he used in his column. I certainly have heard of the term sequester, as it relates to juries, for example. But in his most recent column Will talks about a sequester of the defense budget that would "take from military budgets nearly $500 billion, in addition to a minimum of $350 billion in cuts already scheduled." Will adds:
The 1.5 million active-duty members of the armed services and 700,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department depend on an industrial base of more than 3.8 million persons. According to the Pentagon, a sequester would substantially shrink those three numbers, perhaps adding a point to the nation’s unemployment rate. The cuts would leave the smallest Army and Marine Corps in more than a decade and the smallest tactical Air Force since this service became independent of the Army in 1947. The Navy has already shrunk almost to its smallest fleet size since World War I.

I agree with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told Will, "That can't happen!" but so-called Tea Partiers "live to slow spending, period. They are constitutionalists but insufficiently attentive to the fact that defense is something the federal government does that it actually should do."

Panetta says that the Pentagon is already under 24 hour a day cyber-seige.
There constantly are thousands of what he calls “exploitive” cyber probes from nations “pulsing the system,” trying to devise tools to disrupt the control systems without which complex societies such as ours cannot function. Panetta, a seasoned Washingtonian who laughs easily and a temperate Californian who frets about the San Francisco Giants’ bats, is not given to hyperbole. But he says any cyber attack that “crippled our [electricity] grid or took down our financial system would make Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined look mild” in terms of social disruption.

Other worries?
Although a cyber attack “is moving up” on his list of his worries, it ranks only “third or fourth,” behind North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear weapons programs; what he calls terrorism “nodes” in places such as Yemen, Somalia and North Africa; and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq, the mission of the remnant of U.S. forces — the number 3,000 has been bruited — will, Panetta says, include counterterrorism actions “working with the Iraqis.” Which leaves a lot of room for danger.

What matters in primaries: who is the most anti-Obama?

Readers of this blog know I am not usually a fan of Denver Post political columnist Mike Littwin. But, today he has written an interesting column about Romney versus Perry. He points out that at this point in the race between Hillary and Obama, Hillary, like Romney now, was much better prepared and more knowledgeable. In the end, it didn't help her, because Obama was the most anti-Bush! Likewise, Perry seems to be the most anti-Obama now, and Littwin says that is the main way to win primaries in America nowadays: be the one who is most anti-the-incumbent.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"It's not a good day to die."

We should not forget how difficult the job of a cop can be. Confederate Yankee posts this riveting account of a rescue a cop made of a man who was contemplating suicide. It is entitled "It's not a good day to die."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Some day he might just get lucky

This report says that North Korea forced down a U.S. military plane on March 4 by electronically jamming the plane's systems.
Story and photo found at Blue Star Chronicles

Facing off

I have been reading The Journey, which was written in 2006 by Billy Graham. As one might expect, it is powerful. Over and over again he urges the reader to turn away from sin and turn to God, to make it our purpose in life to please God. In his section on emotions, he has some powerful words about not letting emotions control us or lead us away from our purpose of pleasing God with our thoughts, words, and actions. When I saw this photo at boingboing of two rhinos facing off, I thought of the section in Graham's book where he writes about anger. Do you have someone with whom you are facing off?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Coulter hits back at Wolf Blitzer and Brian Williams

Ann Coulter has some comments about who benefits when "whenever liberals start loftily insisting on our obligation to our fellow man." You know some heinous public policy is coming. As soon as the dust settles, you won't see any innocent victims being helped, only trial lawyers, government employees and other Democratic constituencies." For Brian Williams she has this to say:
"As for Brian Williams' grandstandy question to Gov. Rick Perry about Texas' execution rate ("Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent?"): There is no credible evidence that a single innocent person has been executed in this country since at least 1950.

There is, however, a lot of evidence that innocent people have been killed when murderers were not executed.

Indeed, one of the most infamous cases of a former death row inmate being released and then killing again comes from Texas. Kenneth McDuff had been given three death sentences for kidnapping and murdering three teenagers, repeatedly raping one.

But he was sprung from prison after the Supreme Court invalidated the death penalty in 1972 and then Texas began releasing inmates to relieve prison overcrowding. McDuff went on to kill more than a dozen people, provably eight more. He was finally executed by Gov. George Bush in 1998, two decades after his post-death row rape and murder spree began."

For Wolf Blitzer she has this to say:
"Following up on Brian Williams' showboating questions at last week's Republican debate about the execution of the innocent and starving children with distended stomachs, this week, CNN's Wolf Blitzer launched his question about an imaginary comatose man without health insurance.

As Rep. Ron Paul began to discuss the pitfalls of collectivism, Blitzer kept interrupting him, concluding with, "But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?"

That's when an audience member yelled out "Yes!" -- allowing liberals to luxuriate in self-righteousness, the likes of which we have not seen since the Jersey Girls​ demanded a Homeland Security Department be created because their husbands died.

Normal people are sick of liberals' emotional stories that play to soccer moms, but always seem to pave the way for disastrous social policies that benefit only left-wing special-interest groups."

Thank you, Sarah!

Sarah Palin posted this excellent piece on Facebook yesterday about crony capitalism.

Romney versus Perry

This blog has an interesting analysis that concludes that Rick Perry is more likely than Romney to become the nominee of the Republican Party.
In the last 40 years, conservative dominance has been the way of the world in Republican presidential politics. The party has nominated some relatively moderate candidates, like Nixon, George Bush, and Bob Dole, but it was only after they had convinced enough Republican voters that they were sufficiently conservative.

In other words, a candidate aligned with the Northeastern, moderate wing of the party has not won a nomination since 1960, and there is no reason to expect that to change, barring some kind of once-in-a-century realignment of the two political parties. Northeastern Republicans are now junior partners in the party coalition. They cannot deliver their own states anymore, as the Democrats dominate them all except New Hampshire and Pennsylvania; meanwhile, conservatives in the Midwest, South, and West can deliver their states, and so they now basically run the show.

Unemployment claims are going back up

This graph from the excellent business blog Bizzy Blog shows that unemployment claims are going back up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A doctor supports Perry's efforts to vaccinate girls

Here is strong support for Rick Perry's proposal to vaccinate girls before entering the sixth grade:
Merck’s Gardasil, prevents infection with the most common strains of human papilloma virus. Once established, these viruses can ultimately cause genital warts as well as cervical, anal, vulvar, and vaginal cancers. Thus, by preventing the infection, the vaccine prevents all those sequelae.

How effective, and how safe is it?
In the extensive clinical studies (on more than 20,000 girls and women) that were performed prior to the FDA’s licensing of the vaccine, the vaccine was 100 percent effective, a virtually unprecedented result. How safe is the vaccine? No serious side effects were detected; the most common side effect is soreness, redness and swelling in the arm at the site of the injection.

Who is the author of these statements above? "Henry I. Miller, M.D., is Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy & Public Policy Hoover Institution."

I still do not have one!

Via TigerHawk

Will the charlatan be exposed?

We are having fewer cyclones in the North Atlantic. How can that be true, Al Gore? Oh, and here are some more thoughts for you from this superb blogger, Mr. Gore:
Climate change and extreme weather have always happened and always will no matter what we do. Therefore, instead of futilely trying to stop them from occurring, we need to harden our societies to these inevitable events by burying electrical cables underground, reinforcing buildings and other infrastructure, and ensuring reliable energy sources so that we have the power to heat and cool our dwellings as needed.

Gore tells us that his program will “reveal the deniers.” If by “deniers” he means those of us who do not support his belief in an impending human-caused climate catastrophe, then we certainly hope he does reveal us. Gore and Ban alone have had many times the mainstream media coverage of all the skeptics combined. It is time to listen to reputable experts who understand that predicting, let alone controlling, climate decades from now will remain science fiction for the foreseeable future.

That may not be a comforting thought to climate crusaders, but that, Mr. Gore, is the true “climate reality.”

Perry is still leading

According to this blogger, the outcome of last night's debate was "Perry and the Seven Dwarfs." I agree that Romney was foolish to cry, "Oh look, he is scaring seniors!"

A fun test

I think it is fun to take tests to show where I am on various issues. This one tells where we stand on left/right, authoritarian/libertarian issues. The red dot shows I came out a little right of center and more toward the libertarian side of things than the authoritarian side. Are you surprised? I'm not. Some of the questions were frustrating, but I guess it is best just to answer quickly and move on to the next question.

Take the test and tell me where you came out. I found this at neo-neocon.

Romney and Perry get important endorsements

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has endorsed Romney, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has endorsed Perry. Both cited job creation as the most important consideration.

Update: reports that on the Hugh Hewitt radio program Jindal admitted that he disagreed with Perry over the HPV vaccination policy, the border fence with Mexico and the free tuition policy for illegal immigrants. He also reiterated his full endorsement for Gov. Perry for President

How many planets?

Remember when we were in school and were taught that there are nine planets? I guess that is still true, but only of our solar system. No, wait, I just read that Pluto is no longer considered a planet! What has been discovered is that there are many, many solar systems, each with many, many planets. How many have they found now? This article says scientists have found a super-Earth which is near the right distance from its star to hold water. It is one of over fifty new planets found this month alone. There was another one of these "super-Earths found in 2007.

Update: This article
says there may be 16 "super-Earths!"

"Saving" jobs while actually losing them: media spin

While I am sharing wisdom from Ace of Spades, let's not overlook this dazzling piece of writing from him about media bias:
If Obama can "save" 1.4 to 3.3 million jobs while actually losing 2.5 million jobs, think how many more Romney "saved" while creating 100,000, or how very many Perry "saved" while creating 450,000 over just two years!

And yet, no one thinks to do these calculations at AP or CNN. One special soft-bigotry-of-low-expectations standard for Obama; a much tougher standard -- the normal, conventional one used for every other office holder in American history -- for everyone else.

"I never want to say the words: "I should have..."

"Not how many people are you allowed; how many can you fit?"
"It was the largest sea evacuation in history: nearly 500,000 civilians rescued in less than 9 hours."
"I never want to say the words, "I should have..."

Innominatus posted this video he found at Ace's blog in the comments section. It is narrated by Tom Hanks. Like Innominatus, it is a part of the story of 9-11 I had never been aware of.

Give specific examples!

Over at Ace of Spades, Drew M. makes a good suggestion to the Republican candidates: when you are criticizing governmental regulations, give specific examples that show the results in actual job losses. Like Bank of America laying off 40,000 people who were involved in collecting money from retailers whose customers purchased items using debit cards.

Relax, we are in good hands

IMAO posted this photo of Soros, Obama, and Napolitano. It is a little rough, but if there is some truth creeping out from the exaggerated depiction, then it is good satire.

A botched revolution

Michael J. Totten writes here about Egypt's Botched Revolution. By that he means that the military regime that has been in power since 1952 remains in power, with a growing collusion with the Muslim Brotherhood. The government is anti-Western and anti-Israel.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A lot said in two paragraphs

Betsy Newmark likes these two paragraphs from economics writer Robert Samuelson:
Start with Obama. He has run two parallel administrations, pretending he could pursue separate jobs and social agendas as if they were unrelated. His health-care "reform," by requiring employer-paid insurance, will raise employment costs. Did he really think this wouldn't affect the profitability of hiring? (See Condition Two above.) Many Obama policies frustrate job creation.

Switch to Capitol Hill. It's more of the same. Republicans and Democrats exult in vitriolic attacks on each other. Their pleasure from mutual vilification comes at the public cost of lower confidence. By contributing to this, the disarray over long-term deficits also undermines employment.

I like Betsy's Blog. She accomplishes what I only try to do in this blog: bring to readers the best thinking and writing on important issues of the day.

A different world now

Cassy Fiano is a mom of a young child born into a post 9-11 world. The child's father is a Marine fighting now in hopes that his son will not have to. Children raised in the post 9-11 world cannot have the innocence of the generation brought up in the pre 9-11 world.

"Chrome-rimmed poverty" and "More federal cash to the rescue"

If you read the latest thoughts of Victor Davis Hanson, you will be reduced just to saying, "Wow!" I think it is a toss-up between him and Mark Steyn as to whom is the best commentator on modern life. If Steyn or Hanson cannot make you think, no one can.

"You have to see reality as it is!"

The above quote is from the CEO of Proctor and Gamble. Today's Wall Street Journal has an in-depth article about America's shrinking middle class, and what companies are doing about that reality. Interestingly, companies that market to the low and high ends of the "hour glass" are having the best results. In fact, Citigroup has even devised an index of stocks, some of which are devoting product marketing to the highest end of the income spectrum, and some of which are going for the lowest end. Examples are Tiffany and Neiman Marcus on the high end, and Family Dollar Stores and Dollar General on the low end. If you would have invested in that index on December 10, 2009 and cashed in on September 1, 2011, you would have made 56% on your investment, as opposed to only 11% over the same period in the Dow Jones Industrial average.

There has been a 20% rise in income disparity in America over the last 40 years. Our graphs now look like the populations of the Phillipines and Mexico! Who would have imagined that?

Here is an observation that I think may be related to this discussion. The other day I had a couple hours to kill, so I decided to make my semi-annual visit to the Goodwill to stock up on "new" winter clothes. Goodwill has all the fancy brands that you would find in upscale department stores, and I can usually find a couple shirts and several pairs of pants in my size (I did so, and the bill came to $16!)

But here is the observation I wanted to make: I saw four or five women dressed in expensive-looking clothes perusing the racks. I think they were trying to find unique accessories without having to go to the trendy malls.

Friday, September 09, 2011

"No easy way to disprove the promise of eternal life"

Roger L. Simon of Pajamas Media writes about how, because of 9-11, "a large number of people banded together online then, realizing that a war of civilizations had been joined."
This Islamic ideology has a major advantage in durability over the totalitarian ideologies that pervaded the twentieth century — Nazism and communism. It promises eternal life. There is no easy way to disprove that.

Steyn on leftist media, Nanny Bloomberg, 9-11, and the Islamic threat

Here is a transcript of Hugh Hewitt interviewing Mark Steyn on 9-11 and the Republican debate on MSNBC and Politico. Steyn on Brian Williams: "They should have whacked that ace back down his gullet until these guys realize that if they’re going to ask these stupid questions again, they’re just going to make themselves look fools in front of the American people."

Steyn on no clergy being allowed at Nanny Bloomberg's 9-11 ceremonies: There will be "eunuch celebrations." "They will be equivalist and mired in a kind of cultural relativism that says the real lesson we need to learn from 9/11 is that we need far more multicultural outreach."

Is it the goat herder in Pakistan we need to worry about, or the guy who has been educated in the West? Steyn: "But it’s the most Western, the most educated Muslims who’ve been exposed, very often, to Western higher education, like Mohammed Atta, like Osama bin Laden at summer school at Oxford, like the guy from the London School of Economics, who was involved in the Daniel Pearl beheading. It’s the most Westernized, middle class Muslims – the Panty Bomber, he basically lived in a mansion. And that’s, I think that’s the real challenge here, that it’s the intersection of the Western Islam, and we’re still not on top of that ten years after 9/11."

Barack Obama: King of crony capitalism?

Ed Lasky writes here about Obama's crony capitalism.

"The post-9/11 problem isn’t whether we’ll forget. The problem is: Will we ever learn? "

Michelle Malkin writes here about the lessons of 9-11, and what our children are being taught.

Fixing entitlement spending

Yuval Levin posts here about Social Security and Medicare. Both need to be put on a sounder fiscal footing, but Medicare is on track to be much more of a problem, as the author's graph predicts.

Rush: He didn't hear it!

Rush Limbaugh says Obama did not hear Jimmy Hoffa's remarks about "taking out" the "son-of-a-bitches" at the Tea Party, when introducing Obama at a Labor Day rally, just like he never heard Reverend Wright badmouth America in twenty plus years of attending Wright's church.

Romney and Perry go at it.

Governors Romney and Perry did come prepared to talk about their records and each others' records regarding employment. Best line: Perry taking credit for oil and gas in the ground, and other things like a Republican legislature, is like Al Gore taking credit for inventing the internet!

More graft and cronyism (beware of promises)

Instapundit links to a post by Veronique De Rugy, including a graph of Obama's unemployment predictions versus actual unemployment. Glenn then quotes a sentence from her post and makes a couple of assertions of his own:
“As the prospect of yet another increase in stimulus spending for the sake of job creation looms, we need to be reminded that sustainable job creation comes from the private sector.” We need a moratorium on new regulations and taxes, and actual rollbacks of job-killing policies like ObamaCare, if you want to see employment recover. The problem with that approach is that it offers insufficient opportunities for graft and cronyism. Thus, “stimulus” programs instead.

The jobs czar delivers!

Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, is President Obama's pick to be jobs czar. He is already delivering jobs. Unfortunately, the jobs are in China, and the company is General Electric!

Thinking of the innocents

House of Zathras posts this photo and a beautiful letter written by Laura Bush to the children of America on September 12, 2001.

Been there. Done that!

Victor Davis Hanson yawns that Obama's ideas are stale. Will "more soaring cadences do the trick?" "Why all that straw-man caricaturing ad nauseam, when after three years it is well beyond old and stale and, what’s more, Obama has a desperate need now for bipartisan support? Is Obama just politically dense, or he is so inured to the Chicago us/them confrontational mentality that he knows no politics other than polarization, even when appealing for help?"

"I clutched Roselle’s harness and with focus and confidence we headed down the 1,463 stairs to fresh air and freedom. "

Boinky linked to this story about a blind man and his guide dog, who walked down a whole lot of steps on 9-11, as courageous firemen were climbing up the stairs to save people who were trapped by the actions of Islamic terrorists.

Clarence Thomas may be our salvation from Obamacare

Webutante linked to this post by Michael Barone on the jurisprudance of Clarence Thomas, who is one of my favorite Americans.

Let's be more tolerant of intolerance!

I am so thankful Geckofeeder is back posting and linking to gems like this one!

For piano lovers

First, go here. Patiently wait for the charming woman in the low cut dress to stop talking. After the two men put down their microphones, you will see what appears to the naked eye to be an example of two men using their God-given body parts in highly creative ways!

Hated by all the right people!

Veteran journalist Paul Gigot reviews Dick Cheney's book In My Time in the Sept. 3-4 Wall Street Journal. Did you know that Cheney was once a media favorite when he was the Chief-of-Staff for President Ford? Condi Rice and Colin Powell do not come off well in Cheney's book. I love the last sentence of the book review:
Americans are safer because Dick Cheney was willing to be hated by all the right people.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mixed review

The Wall Street Journal gives Mitt Romney's plan for improving the economy a mixed review.

Ingraham and Coulter on Palin

What Laura Ingraham said about Mitt Romney in this exchange with Ann Coulter is exactly what attracted me to Romney. I am looking for someone who has been thoughtfully and thoroughly examining the issues that are needing presidential leadership for America, and isn't afraid to tell us where he stands and what he would do about them. Meanwhile, if Sarah loses Laura and Ann, she loses significant support.

Will we some day see things like this up close and personal?

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this infrared view of what's called a planetary nebula, which is a cloud of material expelled by a burnt out star. Found at this blog.

She's running.

Here is a link to a recent speech in Iowa by Sarah Palin. The full transcript is also printed there. There is just no way you can view or read this and not believe she is running for president.

Some thoughts about our military

Did you know that Ron Paul has taken in more money from active military duty officers than any other candidate by wide margins?. Did you know that since 2007 the military has canned all active personal blogs? I learned those facts by reading a blog post today by Daphne at Jaded Haven. She makes some really good points about our 2011 military.

The ever-increasing price of oil

A blog that provides detailed factual information on a regular basis is The Burning Platform. A September 4 post on the high price of oil is a case in point. As always, many graphs are used to illustrate the points the blogger is making. From where do we import our oil? Here are the eight largest exporters of oil to the U.S.:

1. Canada – 2.6 million barrels per day
2. Mexico – 1.3 million barrels per day
3. Saudi Arabia – 1.1 million barrels per day
4. Nigeria – 1.0 million barrels per day
5. Venezuela – 1.0 million barrels per day
6. Russia – 600,000 barrels per day
7. Algeria – 500,000 barrels per day
8. Iraq – 400,000 barrels per day (Iraq was exporting 795,000 barrels of oil per day to the U.S. in 2001 when Saddam Hussein was in charge).

How could our currency decline 20% against the Mexican peso in two years? The U.S. dollar has declined 30% versus the Canadian dollar since early 2009. The U.S. dollar has shockingly declined 20% versus the Mexican Peso since early 2009. The author blames the policies of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Did you know that U.S. oil consumption today is at the same level it was at in 1987?

The price of a barrel of oil in early 2009 was $40. Why are oil prices going up? The blogger lists three long term trends, and explains each in detail.

1. Dramatic increase in demand from China and other developing countries.
2. A plunging U.S. Dollar
3. Peak oil has arrived

Respect for hard work

When Mitt Romney campaigned for Governor of Massachusetts, he wanted to emphasize his respect for our cultural value of hard work. He had been a consultant, venture capitalist, and Olympics Manager. He worked one day each during his campaign stacking hay on a farm. collecting garbage, cooking sausages, child care assistant, served food in a nursing home, worked on an asphalt paving crew, and volunteered in an emergency room. Which job was the hardest? "Child care assistant, by far." He pokes fun at himself for a mistake he made as a garbage collector. He pulled the wrong hydraulic lever and dumped the trash into the street, rather than into the truck. His point is that one of our cultural values that has contributed most to our nation's success is our value we place on hard work. He notes that the people in "suits" completely ignored him when he was collecting garbage, and says that is wrong. All of us should show respect for anyone who is working hard, regardless of the job. I agree.

Do you ever change your mind?

Before a recent speech in New Hampshire, some people who were identified as members of the "Tea Party" criticized Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper. Does anyone know what they are referring to? Reading his book No Apology, one gets the impression that he thoroughly examines and explores solutions to our nation's problems, then takes a stand in favor of the option that is best supported by data. What's wrong with that? Do you ever change your mind, when data proves you were wrong in earlier decisions? (By the way, after listening to his speech, the Tea Party folks gave him an appreciative applause at the end).

In his book Romney advocates developing nuclear power. That was before the Japanese earthquake. I wonder if he is such a staunch advocate of nuclear power now. The same with off-shore drilling in shallower waters close to land. He might not be such an advocate now after the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Overall, he advocates a proactive energy policy, emphasizing exploration and utilization of the latest techniques to extract natural gas, but not forgetting other sources of energy. If exploration and research open up new possibilities for the United States, you can be sure that he will advocate their development. What's wrong with that?

He is a man who pays attention to data. For example, in education, he claims that the data shows that the most important factor is the quality of the teachers, not how much we spend or how small the class sizes are. Health insurance? Once again he is first and foremost about quality. Business? Remove government obstacles to enable entrepreneurs to achieve high productivity, innovation, providing the best quality products for the lowest prices. Military? Give our soldiers the most up-to-date equipment in the world, build the strongest navy and air force, and recruit the best and brightest to wear the uniform of the United States. Entitlements? Review all research to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to ensure the best quality and solid financial footing. Climate change? Spend money helping people cope with any real changes that occur, rather than spending billions trying to stop it. Immigration? Encourage policies that enable the best and brightest to stay in America, not be forced to return to the countries from which they came to America to study.

I don't know. Perhaps in his eagerness to tackle issues, Romney may jump on proposed solutions a little too fast (global warming, ethanol), then realize unforeseen consequences later and change his mind.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Palin still enjoys strong support

Sarah Palin drew twice the crowd in New Hampshire this week as the supposed New Hampshire front runner, Mitt Romney. Mitt, ever the gentleman, said, "There is always room for Governor Palin" in the Republican race for the nomination. While the press and pundits keep trying to write off Sarah Palin, her supporters are still very enthusiastic.
Bob at Camp of the Saints notes that Sarah showed up and ran (no one expected her to run) in a half-marathon in Storm Lake, Iowa, prior to making the trip to New Hampshire.

Monday, September 05, 2011

No Apology

I don't know if in recent years there has ever been a candidate more prepared to tackle the issues facing the U.S. presidency than Mitt Romney. While I may not agree with his positions on every subject, at least he has positions! You name the issue; he'll give you his in-depth analysis and clear recommendations as to what course of action he believes would best advance the interests of the people of the United States of America. It's all right there in his book, No Apology.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Reasons for not supporting the Romney candidacy

People make fun of Mitt Romney for being a Mormon, for being rich, for being a technocrat lacking the shoot-from-the-hip charisma of a Rick Perry or Sarah Palin, for proposing and implementing a health care plan in Massachusetts.

Actually, few admit to religious bigotry. Most of the religious bigots choose one of the other reasons to criticize Romney. Bigotry is just not "cool" these days, even though it may be the main real reason why some people will not vote for Romney. Romney openly talks about what he learned as a lay pastor (Mormons use lay pastors, instead of hiring professional pastors) for fourteen years in Massachusetts. He saw real issues people face when they have losses of one kind or another. He saw first-hand how job losses affect families. Being a lay pastor enabled him to practice empathy toward those in need, connect with them, and try to help them find solutions to their predicaments. Those of us who are not Mormons all too often just let our paid pastors, priests, or nuns be the ones who deal with life challenges faced by our fellow believers. Actually, my understanding of the Holy Scriptures is that all believers in Christ are called to be saints in this life, not wait until we die.

Big spending technocrat? Well, he does seem fascinated by examining and becoming knowledgeable about various schemes to improve our nation's productivity, strengthen our defense capabilities, reform our entitlement programs, and make government programs accountable for their successes or failures. Also, he does not want his grandchildren to be saddled with paying debts run up by the current politicians we have elected.

Was he a successful businessman? Yes! Would you rather have a president who has little understanding of what it takes to be productive in the business world, and how government can implement policies that create a climate in which entrepreneurship and innovation is encouraged, rather than obstructed?

"250,000 acres idled, 5,000 to 7,000 farmworkers laid off, and $350 million in annual agricultural revenue lost"

Victor Davis Hanson explains here about California water wars, and how Democratic politicians and environmental whackos are causing job losses in the Central Valley.

It is not what he says. It is what he does!

Doug Ross lays it out for us in this blog post. It started with this proclamation:
"I have moved quickly to work with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will immediately jump- start job creation and long-term growth ...this plan must begin today, a plan I am confident will save or create at least 3 million jobs over the next few years." --President-Elect Barack Obama, January 8, 2009

What actually happened? "6% of the money went to construction projects. Much of the rest redistributed wealth from the private sector to the public sector unions."

Read the whole thing.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

What jury will convict him?

A man in Idaho shot and killed a female bear who, along with her two cubs, entered into his yard, where his three children were playing. He then called Idaho Fish and Game to report the incident. Yep, you guessed it: he is now being prosecuted, charged with one count of killing a protected species. Go here to read the rest of the story.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Transmitting infectious germs

Isn't this obvious? I mean, did we really need this study? Researchers in Israel have found that the uniforms worn by doctors and nurses harbor infectious germs 63% of the time! Moreover, those uniforms washed every two days have more bacteria and germs than those washed daily. The authors pointed out, too, that bacteria can be transmitted to patients by other means, such as not washing hand frequently enough.

Clear articulation

One of the things I like about Mitt Romney's book No Apologies is his discussion of other countries and their leaders. He does not pull punches when discussing Vladimir Putin of Russia or the leaders of China, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran and all the other Jihadists. He is specific about our need to deter and/or compete with any and all other countries who attempt to harm America. When was the last time you heard a president of the United States articulate clearly and candidly the truth about those who would threaten us? This man has been doing his homework, and does not seem naive.