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Monday, September 26, 2011

Obama Doesn’t Know a Damn Thing about Bridges

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt” — John Adams 1826

Last week President Obama made one of his political stump speeches with the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River connecting Covington, Kentucky with Cincinnati, Ohio as a backdrop. He claimed his jobs bill would create millions of jobs for construction workers, cement and steel manufactures and others connected with the construction industry.

Obama picked this bridge for political reasons as Speaker of the House6a00d8341c630a53ef014e8bbce173970d-600wi Boehner’s district is in Cincinnati and Minority Leader McConnell is from Kentucky. He made one on Obamaesque speeches about shovel-ready jobs and how we needed to pass his phony jobs NOW! It appears that while focusing on his reelection and putting down his Republican opponents he or his White House staff picked the wrong bridge. The problem is that the bridge is in fine condition, according to The Los Angeles Times:

“It's the Brent Spence Bridge. It doesn't really need repairs. It's got decades of good life left in its steel spans. It's just overloaded. The bridge was built to handle 85,000 cars and trucks a day, which seemed like a lot back during construction in the Nixon era.

Today, the bridge sort of handles more than 150,000 vehicles a day with frequent jam-ups.

So, plans are not to repair or replace the Brent Spence Bridge. But to build another bridge nearby to ease the loads.

But here's the problem, as John Merline graphically notes here, that could screw up all those envisioned photo op shots of the Democrat and the traffic:

The president's jobs bill is designed for "immediate" highway spending.

And the new $2.3 billion Cincy bridge is not scheduled to even start construction for probably four years, long after Republicans have scheduled the Obama presidency for completion.

And without delays, it wouldn't be finished until 2022, when no one will be counting Obama's rounds of golf.

Politicians hate these kinds of messy distractions when they pick a place to make a symbolic statement. But Brent Spence was so tempting linking, as it does, the home states of GOP House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

“The Brent Spence Bridge is technically not a shovel-ready project,” Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) told Fox News:

"President says the stimulus bill will rebuild 'this bridge.' Someone6a00d8341c630a53ef015391c95857970b-300wi missed the front page of the (Cincinnati) paper," tweeted McConnell spokesman Don Stewart. He was referring to the front page of The Cincinnati Enquirer, which has several articles suggesting the president's visit and jobs bill would not guarantee repairs to the bridge. One headline called it a "prop."

GOP lawmakers noted the project is at least four years from being shovel-ready. They also questioned why the president was holding his event on the Ohio side since the bridge is owned by Kentucky.

"But I respect his decision in a presidential year to do it on the Cincinnati side of the river considering the Ohio electoral votes," Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., quipped.

Davis and other Republicans acknowledged the importance of the bridge for people traveling between Ohio and Covington, Ky. But they said the stimulus bill won't necessarily help the project along in the near-term.”

The proposed project would need more than $500 million from State and local authorities, on top of the $1.9 billion from the Federal government. Republican leaders have mocked Obama due to the fact that only $90 million has been generated so far, according to the news outlet.

But environmentalists and others are opposed to the bill. Earth Justice said in a statement that the bill would erode Clean Air Act protections against some of the nation's "worst polluters" by stripping restrictions on emissions from cement companies. The group said the bill would encourage the companies "to burn tires, plastics and other wastes without controlling or monitoring the resulting pollution."

“Obama’s stimulus rhetoric fails to span the gap to Realityville,” the Republican National Committee said in a memo concerning the lack of practical planning.

How Obama gets away with these crazy and unfounded statements is beyond me. It seems that the main stream media is just not interested in reporting anything that would make this community organizer look bad. Obama runs about the country making these outrageous claims about jobs, especially green jobs, and it seems as though he gets a one day shot at getting his face on the TV and then moves on to his next mistake. He was wrong about green jobs in Seattle. He was wrong about Solyndra’s solar panels and LightSquared broadband. He is wrong about high speed rail and now he is wrong about bridges and infrastructure. The nest time Obama wants to talk about bridges and roads I suggest he go to his home state of Illinois where the condition of the bridges and infrastructure is deplorable. If you doubt me just take a drive in I-90.

On another note this will probably be my last political blog for a while. Beginning next Saturday my wife and I will be embarking on a 8,000 mile road trip across the United States and Canada. Our trip will begin in Southern California where we will travel north on historic US 395 (the Three Flags Highway) through California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to the Canadian border. We will then venture east via the Trans-Canada Highway through Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario where we will swing down to the U.S. border in upstate New York. After a brief stop in Syracuse to visit relatives we will continue south to York, Pennsylvania where we will join with the Historic Lincoln Highway.

From York we will travel west along the Lincoln Highway, our first trans-continental highway, through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada to Sacramento, California. From Sacramento we will head for home on I-5 through California’s San Joaquin Valley.


Two years ago we made a westward trip along Historic Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. It was quite an adventure along the “Mother Road” where we passed through many historic towns and points of interest.

I plan to post a blog everyday as we travel along. I will focus on the terrain, scenery, culture, and historic significance of the route. My main focus, as a highway junkie, will be on the Lincoln Highway. Of course I will take hundreds of geo-tagged photos that I will eventually post to Google Earth. Once we return home I plan to publish several newsletters, as I did with the Route 66 adventure, about the history, significance, and culture of America along the Lincoln Highway.

If you enjoy reading about travel, especially road trips, keep watching my blog. I hope you will be informed and entertained by the blogs and the photos.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Winners, the Losers and the Also-Rans

My next door neighbors’ two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration.” — Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson

As I muddled through last night’s Fox News/Google sponsored Republican debate I was having a difficult time picking the winners and losers. There were just too many candidates on the stage to make any real choices as to who I could support. It was more like a Jerry Springer show than a presidential debate.

There are several ways to watch a debate like the one last night. One way isAPTOPIX Republican Debate to watch it like an academic giving a grade for debating points and style. If you watch the debate with this in mind I think Mitt Romney scored the most debating points with his style, presence, and ability to give his well-prepared answers. Conversely Rick Perry scored the least points with his confusing responses and weak position on illegal immigration and his willing to allow in-state tuition rates for the children of illegal immigrants. His “you don’t have a heart” statement bombed with the audience and probably most people watching the debate on TV.

Another way to watch the debate is to see which candidate’s philosophy, record and positions most agree with yours. To do this you have to ignore the one line quips and look for the meat in what they say. This is difficult with so many people on the stage and the limited time to respond to the questions posed by the moderators. This is how I watched the debate. With this in mind here is my take on who the winners, losers and also-rans were.

Let’s begin with the apparent front-runner, Mitt Romney. At times, Romney seemed determined to show that he could be as aggressive as anyone in the GOP field. He fired a powerful broadside at Perry over his granting of in-state tuition to illegal residents in Texas, for example. “It’s an argument I just can’t follow,” said Romney. “If you’re a United States citizen from any other of the 49 states, you have to pay $100,000 more. That doesn’t make sense to me. That kind of magnet draws people into this county to get that education, to get that $100,000 break. It makes no sense.”

Romney was, as usual, polished and well groomed. His suit fit well and he listened respectfully to the responses of the other candidates. There were several issues, like abolishing the Department of Education and his support of Arnie Duncan, I did not like. Of all of the candidates on the stage he is the one who could probably beat Obama, but he will be going against a one billion dollar campaign and a sitting president. If the economy remains in the state it is in today Romney may win, if the economy improves Obama wins. Of course his Achilles heel is RomneyCare. This issue is big with the GOP and conservatives, but in the general election I don’t think it will be a big deal.

Rick Perry looked disheveled and unsure in his answers. As I stated above his response on the Texas DREAM act and allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants does not wash well with GOP voters, but again it will not be an issue the general election if he can get a better story together to defend it. Perry has to get away from his attacks on Romney and get a better story to tell if he wants to garner the GOP nomination, something I think he will not be able to accomplish. All in all I think Perry lost points last night.

Perry’s performance may disappoint conservatives who wanted to see an improved performance from him. Before the debate, National Review editor and columnist Ramesh Ponnuru had said on MSNBC that Perry needed to step up his game. “In the previous debates Gov. Perry has come across as unprepared. He hasn’t had crisp, convincing responses to predictable lines of attack,” Ponnuru said on MSNBC Thursday. “And I think, not just my colleagues at National Review, but a lot of Republican voters who are interested in electability and like a lot about Gov. Perry’s record, are going to want to see him step up.”

Michelle Bachmann, while demonstrating passion on her support of the Constitution and reducing the size of government, did nothing to improve or decrease her standing with GOP voters. She was stuck on the HPV vaccine thing with Perry and is just not gaining with the voters. She sounds like a broken record with her constant claim of 23 foster children and her ability as a tax attorney. People, while admiring her willingness to take on 23 foster children, do not really care about that issue and are more concerned about her ability to take on Barack Obama’s billion dollar machine.

She didn’t get a lot of time, she was desperate to get her answers in, and they had a tepid reception for the most part. Michele Bachmann’s 15 minutes are over. She really needs to fold her tent. It’s just not going anywhere,

Herman Cain was the most enjoyable candidate to watch.. The audience loved him. Other than his question on Israel, Cain’s answers really were out of the park awesome. He provided the most uplifting moments and the most memorable lines, with substance included. His answers were crisp and his delivery was sharp. He smiled and showed humor in his responses. His 9-9-9 plan makes sense and the audience responded with great rounds of applause. He did not play the “gotcha” game as did Romney, Perry and Santorum. He stuck to his principles and previously stated positions. Of all the candidates on the stage I like Cain the most. My wish is that he could catch on with the rest of the GOP and it would fun to see him go against Obama. Just think, half black against black. How would the African-American community respond to that? I can’t recall who said it but I liked the thought of combining Cain’s philosophy, demure, and business acumen with Gingrich’s knowledge of government and history. It would be awesome.

Rep. Ron Paul got some of the loudest applause early in the evening when he pledged to veto any bill that violated 10th Amendment constraints on big government. I am extremely conflicted with Ron Paul. I know his Libertarian supporters are extremely passionate over his positions on government, taxes, the Federal Reserve and foreign policy. I like his positions on government, taxes, education, immigration, and states’ rights, but I cannot get on board with his foreign policy and isolationist positions. Also he comes across as mean and dictatorial. I just can’t see him catching on with more than his core of loyalists.

Santorum, while having some good answers, did not come across well. He appeared to be mean and frustrated and for the most part he was ignored most of the night. He played gotcha with Perry and Romney and his stance on sex in the military won’t play well in a general election. He seems to want to play on the social issue too much. These issues, while important to some voters like me will just not play a major part in a general election.

Gingrich, as usual, was Gingrich. Always with the big picture answers and promise of a plan. I liked his position on unemployment insurance and business training. Like Paul, Gringirch has is cadre of loyal supporters but is not moving in the polls.

The laugh line of the night went to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Commenting on the Obama administration’s efforts to stimulate the economy, he remarked: “My next door neighbors’ two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration.” That was about it for the former governor. Oh, he wants a balanced budget, don’t we all.

Jon Huntsman with his yellow tie is still the most liberal of the GOP candidates. When will he, like Bachmann and Johnson, do us a favor and drop out.

This business of having the media attempt to generate “good TV” by constantly trying to figure out how to generate clash between Perry and Romney id getting a bit old. It is not doing the voters well. I don’t care if Bachmann has a problem with Perry’s HPV vaccine program, a program he has admitted he would do differently today. I don’t give a damn what Romney thinks of Perry’s book and what Perry thinks of Romney’s health care bill in Massachusetts. What I want to hear are straight answers to questions we all care about; jobs, the debt, the size of government, our Constitutional rights, the obscene abundance of federal regulations, the wasteful and coercive spending of the departments of education, agriculture, and energy. What are their stances on the pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico? What will they do about Iraq and Afghanistan? How will they secure the border and guard against the military buildup in China. These are the answers we are looking for not the Jerry Springer gotcha and sniping sideshow. It’s time for these candidates to get serious and begin skirting the media and talking to the American voters and not each other.

When Losing the Debate Invoke Godwin’s Law

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” — Samuel Adams

Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 that has become an Internet adage. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches In other words, Godwin observed that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

Godwin's law is often cited in online discussions as a deterrent against the use of arguments in the widespread Reductio ad Hitlerum form. The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses. In other words people of small minds and without facts to support their position will eventually call their opponents Nazis in hope of discrediting them and thus believing they will win the debate.

A perfect example of Godwin’s Law can be seen in the video shown below.

On Tuesday, the San Antonio Tea Party was part of a panel supported by a local public radio station – 89.1 KSTX. The topic of discussion – the DREAM Act and the problem of illegal immigration. Jonathon Bryant, a Government Studies teacher from John F. Kennedy High School attended the event along with some of his students (who, according to Bryant, may be illegals). Mr. Bryant asked a question of the panel about students that were illegal aliens and what should be done with them. After the president of the group affirmed his support for the laws governing illegal aliens in the schools, Mr. Bryant just couldn’t contain himself. He decided to invoke Godwin’s Law and levy a “Nazi” charge.

Note the smugness of this twenty something teacher as he walks away from the microphone to the cheering of his personal peanut gallery thinking he has won the debate. What a genius he is. This is a government studies teacher. What is this “cool” teacher teaching his class? What nonsense will they learn from this progressive left-wing teacher with an obvious agenda?

This is just one more example of the state of our government schools today. Not only do these union teachers have an agenda they are also mentally challenged.

In another example a 14-year-old honors student in Fort Worth, Texas, was sent to the principal’s office and punished for telling a classmate that he believes homosexuality is wrong. Fox News reported:

Holly Pope said she was “absolutely stunned” when she received a telephone call from an assistant principal at Western Hills High School informing her that her son, Dakota Ary, had been sent to in-school suspension.

“Dakota is a very well-grounded 14-year-old,” she told Fox News Radio noting that her son is an honors student, plays on the football team and is active in his church youth group. “He’s been in church his whole life and he’s been taught to stand up for what he believes.”

And that’s what got him in trouble.

Dakota was in a German class at the high school when the conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany. At some point during the conversation, he turned to a friend and said that he was a Christian and “being a homosexual is wrong.”

“It wasn’t directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me,” Dakota told Fox. “I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office.”

Dakota was sentenced to one day in-school suspension – and two days of full suspension. His mother was flabbergasted, noting that her son had a spotless record, was an honor student, volunteered at his church and played on the school football team.

Officials at the high school did not return calls for comment. However, the Fort Worth Independent School District issued a statement that read:

“As a matter of course, Fort Worth ISD does not comment on specific employee or student-related issues. Suffice it to say that we are following district policy in our review of the circumstances and any resolution will likewise be in accordance with district policy.”

After a meeting with Pope and her attorney, the school rescinded the two-day suspension so Dakota would be allowed to play in an upcoming football game. Obviously they were fearful of a First Amendment lawsuit along with the adverse publicity it would bring.

“They’ve righted all the wrongs,” said Matt Krause, an attorney with the Liberty Counsel. “This should have no lasting effect on his academic or personal record going forward.”

Pope contacted the Liberty Counsel immediately after her son was punished.

“I told the school that he should never have been suspended for exercising his Constitutional rights,” Krause told Fox News Radio. “The principal is sincere in trying to do the right thing and hopefully they will tell the teacher, ‘Do not do that anymore.’ He won’t be pushing his agenda.”

Krause called the incident “mind blowing” and said the teacher had frequently brought homosexuality into ninth grade classroom discussions.

“There has been a history with this teacher in the class regarding homosexual topics,” Krause said. “The teacher had posted a picture of two men kissing on a wall that offended some of the students.”

Krause said the picture was posted on the teacher’s “world wall.”

“He told the students this is happening all over the world and you need to accept the fact that homosexuality is just part of our culture now,” Krause said.

The school district would not comment on why a teacher was discussing homosexuality in a ninth grade German class.

“In German class there should be no talk of being pro-Gay or homosexual topics,” Krause said.

Dakota’s mother said she believes the teacher should apologize.

“He should never have been punished,” Pope said. “He didn’t disrupt the class. He wasn’t threatening. He wasn’t hostile. He made a comment to his friend and the teacher overheard it.”

“My son knows people that are homosexual,” she said. “He’s not saying, ‘I don’t like you.’ He’s saying, ‘I’m a Christian and I believe that being that way is wrong.”

Students don’t lose their first amendment rights just because they go in the schoolhouse door,” Krause said.

Krause said school leaders told Dakota that in the future he should be careful when and where he talks about his opposition to homosexuality – suggesting that he talk about such matters in the hallway instead of the classroom.

He said Liberty Counsel will monitor the situation to make sure there is no future retaliation. Meantime, Pope said her son will return to the teacher’s classroom.

How much of this nonsense are we willing to accept? A union leader introducing the President of the United States at a political rally can call Tea Party members sons of bitches and the President did not blink an eye responding that he is not the “speech police.” Yet Christians and conservatives have to talk in whispers in dark places so as not to be overheard and sanctioned by the thought police. Where was the ACLU, that bastion of civil liberties, in this case? Without Christian-based legal organizations such as Liberty Counsel Dakota Ary would have been deprived of his First Amendment rights by vindictive, homosexual teacher and a weak school board.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The War Against Christians Heats Up

“It is not religion but atheism that requires a Darwinian explanation. It seems perplexing why nature would breed a group of people who see no purpose to life or the universe, indeed whose only moral drive seems to be sneering at their fellow human beings who do have a sense of purpose.” — Dinesh D’Souza

Remember when Rev Terry Jones burned a Quran and the Taliban went crazy by attacking a UN facility in Afghanistan and slaughtering 10 innocent aid workers? Remember the outcry from politicians such as Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham calling for restrictions of free speech. Even General Petraeus imposed similar restrictions on the U.S. Military in Afghanistan? Do you recall the outcry from the Muslim community and its mouthpiece CAIR over the opposition to the proposed mosque at Ground Zero?

There was no such outcry or even a mention in the main stream media when last Saturday a group of atheists tore up pages of the Bible on the Huntington Beach pier in Orange County, California. The Orange County Register posted a video report on its web site and stated:

“Members of a grassroots atheist group say they will tear out pages of the Bible at the Huntington Beach pier Saturday to point out what they say is immorality in the book many Christians base their faith on.”

Over the years, believers and atheists have had their fair share of spats. But, as time progresses, it seems that the tit for tat arguments that often season debates between the two parties are increasing in their ferocity.

Over the weekend, Backyard Skeptics, an atheist group out in Orange County, California, decided to rip apart photocopied pages of the Christian Bible in an effort to rail against the book’s “immoral” teachings. Beliefnet’s Rob Kerby has more:

“[The group] says the demonstration is based loosely on Thomas Jefferson’s Bible – an 86-page book that omits huge chunks of the New Testament, according the Religion News Service. Jefferson’s Bible, which the Smithsonian National Museum of American History is restoring, chronicles Jesus’ life but leaves out the Resurrection and all miracles the Bible says Jesus performed.”

Bruce Gleason, the group’s director, explained the Backyard Skeptics’ opposition to the holy book. “We’re not there to burn the Bible or desecrate,” he said. “But there are plenty verses in the Bible that if you did any of those things today, you’d be thrown in jail immediately.” He continued:

“We want to make this a better world for secular and humanistic values. We don’t believe prayer works. We don’t believe religion adds anything except a sense of false hope.”

In actions that the Washington Post’s Brad Hirschfield called “hypocritical” (after all, these are “free thinkers” who are purposely destroying something they disagree with), these non-believers decided to hold the very public demonstration to showcase their disrespect for Christian scriptures.

To make sure that people would see the event regardless of their location, Backyard Skeptics even aired it live on Below, find a report from an atheist involved in the event as well as some raw footage from the demonstration:

Hirschfield responds to all of this, writing:

“Fanatical atheism is no worse and no better than fanatical religion, though it may be more bitterly ironic. There is something pretty odd, dare I say hypocritical, about a bunch of people who call themselves “freethinkers” and “humanists” not only verbally abusing people of faith, but actually tearing up verses from the Bible as an act of protest.”

And in the Baptist Press, Kelly Boggs discusses the lack of media coverage the event has received:

“If the organization were Christian and ripping pages from the Quran or destroying the book “Heather Has Two Mommies,” it likely would have garnered media attention from sea to shining sea, with the Christians portrayed as insensitive bigots or intolerant censors.”

Considering the negative attention a Florida pastor brought upon himself over his Koran-burning exploits, it‘s a wonder this hasn’t warranted more media scrutiny.

In another related example and Orange County couple was fined $300 for hosting Bible study groups in their San Juan Capistrano home and could face another $500 files if they continue. (It should be noted that San Juan Capistrano is home to the second oldest mission in California.)

City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.

The Fromms appealed their citations but were denied and warned future sessions would carry heftier penalties. A statement from the Pacific Justice Institute, which is defending the couple in a lawsuit against the city, said Chuck Fromm was also told regular gatherings of three or more people require a conditional use permit, which can be costly and difficult to obtain as it requires a costly environmental impact statement.

“How dare they tell us we can’t have whatever we want in our home,” Stephanie Fromm told the Capistrano Dispatch. “We want to be able to use our home. We’ve paid a lot and invested a lot in our home and backyard I should be able to be hospitable in my home.”

According to the Dispatch, the Fromms live in a neighborhood with large homes and have a corral, barn, pool and huge back lawn on their property, so parking and noise aren’t a problem.

“There’s no singing or music,” Stephanie said. “It’s meditative.”

The Dispatch reported a code-enforcement officer gave the Fromms a verbal warning about the meetings in May, then returned to issue citations in June and July. According to the paper, the city’s code-enforcement department is reactive, meaning they only respond to complaints.

I am sure if the Fromms hosted a pool party with 20 attendees there would be no visit from the code enforcement people.

In my third example I go to a case in Virginia where the ACLU has filed suit against a high school for posting the Ten Commandments as a historical document.

Earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union defended students’ right to post the Ten Commandments to their lockers — and The Atlantic smugly said that proved “the right’s antipathy toward the organization is misplaced.” But the ACLU still fails to see that the Ten Commandments might have a legitimate educational purpose in schools, that it might make sense to display the biblical legal code as a part of the history of Western civilization. The organization recently sued Narrows High School in Giles County, Va., for featuring the Ten Commandments next to other historical documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact. As the blog of The Manhattan Declaration explains, it would seem ACLU barely has a case.

Claiming that a display of the Ten Commandments “promote a specific religious faith, but do not support a secular purpose,” the ACLU argument is weak on both counts. ACLU’s first argument, based on The Establishment Clause of the US Constitution, fails because the Establishment Clause merely states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor the free exercise thereof.

Somewhere along the line, this tiny phrase has been joined together with a private letter to a group of Baptist preachers, and now the ACLU is claiming that the mere posting of the Ten Commandments is the “establishment of a religion”. This line of thinking ignores the first tenet of interpreting law that the original intent of the law must be scrutinized and maintained. Anyone who has ever studied history and is even remotely aware of why the Colonies chose to unite and rebel against the most powerful nation in the world, could not even begin to make the leap that the forced acceptance of the king’s church is anywhere near the same thing as the mere posting of the Ten Commandments.

ACLU also argues that posting the Ten Commandments fails to promote a “secular purpose.” This is interesting in light of the rise in plagiarism, cheating on test scores and school violence. It would seem that a reminder to students of how to stay out trouble would certainly serve a “secular purpose.”

I question the efficacy of ignoring history. Nor do I think a school should have to display every moral, religious or legal code side by side to ensure it doesn’t inadvertently endorse the Ten Commandments over any other such code. Schools have limited display space, and, in fact, certain codes disproportionately influenced different cultures. It makes perfect sense for a school to focus on the history of the civilization and culture in which the school exists.

On some level, I can’t help but think the ACLU’s repeated protests of the Ten Commandments lend them special credence. By its objections, the organization implicitly acknowledges the compelling nature of the simple, time-tested formulations of right behavior.

At almost a daily rate there are reports of attacks by the courts and government policies against Christians. Christians are berated in the media for their beliefs on abortion and called right-wing fundamentalist. Christians are called stupid and mocked for their beliefs in Creationism. Christians are prohibited from demonstrating their traditions in the public square and public buildings. Christmas trees are and nativity scenes are banned in most municipalities. Christmas Carols are prohibited in public school Christmas pageants. Even the name Christmas has been stricken and replaced with holiday or winter celebration. To wish someone a Merry Christmas or exchange a Christmas card in a public school is an offense that can draw a suspension yet the same schools will allow celebrations of Ramadan and Christians will keep their mouths shut out of a sense of tolerance

No such attacks are permitted against Islam or even radical Islam. Even when talking about the attacks of 9-11 no mention is made of those who perpetrated the attacks.

Even Jews draw a pass in the media. When Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA 30) make a remark that the Jews are only protecting their wealth in regards to a recent Democratic defeat in New York’s 9th district, a heavily Jewish district, he draws no comment in the media for his blatantly anti-Semitic comment. It was Adolph Hitler who blamed Jewish wealth for Germany’s problems in the 1930s before he and his Nazi cohorts began confiscating that wealth and ultimately exterminating those Jews. Yet Waxman draws no criticism in the main stream media.

It is only the Christians who draw the fire of the media and the government. They are told to hide in the corner and keep their mouths shut. So what do these “militant” Christians do? They turn the other check as Jesus Christ commanded and pray for forgiveness for their detractors — a truly Christian thing to do.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Growing Corruption of the Obama Administration

“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.” — President James A. Garfield

As President Obama continues to drop in the polls more and more evidence of the corruption and crony capitalism of his administration are emerging on almost a daily basis. Not since Warren Harding’s administration’s Tea Pot Dome Scandal of 1922-1923 has an administration been so involved in using the taxpayer’s money to pay off their financial supporters. Not since Richard Nixon’s loyalists use of the government to establish an enemy’s list has an administration so blatantly attacked those who do not support Obama’s policies.

Obama’s green jobs policies have failed at every level and he continually pushes for more money to be poured into his favorite companies. He has picked winners and losers in the marketplace with his bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. He has requested a serving four star air force general and head of the U.S. Space Command to alter his testimony before a congressional committee regarding the dangers to our national security and economy from a company he has invested $90,000 in. He has continual brought his Chicago politics to the White House while telling Americans to pay their fair share and he promotes his politics of class warfare.

The latest developments in the case of the bankruptcy of Solyndra are emerging almost daily as the FBI and Congress begin to investigate the details surrounding the misuse of $530 million dollars of taxpayer’s money.

Fox News reports that Solyndra executives will plead the Fifth Amendment at Congressional hearings:

“Executives with the bankrupt solar energy firm at the heart of a widening federal controversy plan to plead the Fifth when they head to Capitol Hill for a hearing Friday.

A statement Tuesday from California-based Solyndra said CEO Brian Harrison and Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover have informed members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that they will not be able to provide "substantive answers" to lawmakers' questions due to the ongoing Justice Department probe.

"Present circumstances require both gentlemen to exercise their Fifth Amendment rights in the face of questioning that might occur," the company said.

Republican committee leaders blasted Solyndra executives for "breaking an agreement to voluntarily testify."

"Who exactly are Solyndra's executive trying to protect and what are they trying to hide?" said Reps. Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Cliff Stearns, chairman of the Investigations Subcommittee.

The company's statement said both executives were following the advice of counsel, but it also continued to defend the firm's actions. The company came under scrutiny after filing for bankruptcy despite receiving nearly $530 million in federal taxpayer-backed loans. “

In the second emerging example of Obama’s Chicago pay-for-play politics at report in the Daily Beast claims that a second government official was requested to alter his testimony regarding LightSquared’s attempt to develop a broadband network that would interfere with our space-based global positioning system:

“Anthony Russo, director of the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, told The Daily Beast he rejected “guidance” from the White House’s Office of Budget and Management suggesting he tell Congress that the government’s concerns about the project by the firm LightSquared could be resolved in 90 days, a timetable favorable to the company’s plans.

“They gave that to me and presumably the other witnesses,” Russo said. “There is one sentence I disagreed with, which said that I thought the testing could be resolved in 90 days. So I took it out.”

Russo said he objected to that language because “I have low confidence that we can complete all of the testing in 90 days.” He estimated that such testing would take at least six months. Russo called the White House efforts to alter his testimony “guidance rather than pressure.”

Russo’s comments come just days after four-star Air Force Gen. William Shelton, who heads U.S. Space Command, told Congress in a classified briefing that he felt pressured by the White House to change his testimony about the same project to make it more favorable to the company.”

In the LightSquared case, the billionaire backer of the company, Phillip Falcone, has rejected claims that he used White House connections to interfere with a Pentagon commander's testimony on Capitol Hill last week. He told Megyn Kelly of Fox News it was "absolutely false" to claim he obtained written testimony in advance.

Air Force Gen. William Shelton had told a House subcommittee that theGPS in flight network could interfere with critical GPS systems used by the military. But Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, later told Fox News that Shelton confided that he thought the testimony had been leaked, and that he rebuffed requests to soften it.

While the Solyndra scandal involves millions in taxpayer’s money going down the Obama’s rat hole of green jobs the blossoming LightSquared scandal can affect our national security and billions of dollars in our economy not to mention each of us on a personal basis.

LightSquared claims to have a 10-cent fix yet no one in the GPS industry has yet to see it. Fox News reports:

The billionaire backer of a controversial new wireless technology said a fix is in the works for the signal overlap issue that may effectively render GPS useless -- a possibility that the Air Force, police and others have called a dangerous threat to our nation's security.

LightSquared backer Philip Falcone told that issue lies in the GPS satellites themselves, which were designed to use a specific wedge of bandwidth but sloppily spill out and "listen in" on nearby signals. That wasn't an issue 20 years ago; today it limits LightSquared's ability to create a new high-speed wireless data network.

But a 10-cent filter can fix the 40,000 military devices at risk, Falcone said -- something that should be done whether or not LightSquared is the problem.

"Quite frankly, if we interfere with public security, we should be fixed. And quite frankly, we don't," Falcone told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

"That potential interference is down to a minimum, and that minimum is going to be fixed with some things we have done in the marketplace," Falcone said, promising to unveil this week a new solution to the GPS interference.

Will it be the 10-cent filters? Limited use of the available spectrum, another option LightSquared has suggested? A simple software patch? Falcone wouldn't say which it was, but offered a bit of clarity.

"These fixes are technology issues, not physics issues," Falcone told Fox News.”

But the GPS Industry and users disagree:

"It's a physics issue," said Ted Gartner, a spokesman for GPS manufacturing giant Garmin.

"LightSquared has been talking about the 10-cent filter ever since the issue came up," Gartner told "We've asked to see it. we've asked to test it. And lo and behold, it has never appeared."

"By all accounts, it does not exist," he said.”

In dramatic, eye-opening testimony before the House Armed Services Committee last week, General William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, detailed the results of tests from earlier this year intended to precisely quantify the effect of LightSquared's forthcoming network on GPS.

"Aviation receivers operating as far as 7.5 miles from LightSquared transmitters completely lost GPS and were degraded out to distances of more than 16.5 miles," Shelton said. "High precision GPS receivers such as those used for surveying and geological study requiring precise measurements were adversely affected out to 213 miles and totally lost GPS out to 4.8 miles."

Shelton noted that the State of New Mexico believes the LightSquared network could "jeopardize 911 and public safety."

As a practicing professional land surveyor for 55 years and a pioneer in the use of GPS for geodetic, land and construction surveying I am fearful that LightSquared broadband network will destroy the use of GPS in surveying and navigation.

Today the general public accepts GPS as a common utility. You have GPS navigation in your automobile and cell phones. Military and commercial aviation rely on GPS for air traffic control and safety. Ships entering our harbors and ports use GPS to navigate the ship channels saving millions of dollars in time and possible damage to the ships each year. Truckers use GPS not only for navigation but to track their shipments. GPS is used to monitor ground subsidence and geological activities. All of these uses require precision GPS that can determine geographic position and elevation to within centimeters.

As the person who co-authored the National Height Modernization Program for the National Geodetic Survey and Congress I know how important precision GPS is to our national security, safety and economy.

Robert D. Towery, the Chief City Surveyor for the City of Houston wrote:

“Part of my responsibility as the City Surveyor of Houston is the City's active CORS [Continuous Operating Reference Sations]. Houston is not a stable enough place that benchmarks don't move, so GPS is realistically our only reliable, cost effective method for providing control, referencing surveys, our basis for GIS, and relating to the flood plain. We could go back to our old system, hard point monuments that become unreliable after a few years, (the earth moves under us here), at a projected cost of more than $50 million, just to cover our current City Limits and an annual budget of $5 million, to re-observe and adjust monuments in high subsidence areas. When I came to work for the City, we had 53 different datum sources and adjustments. You literally could not get there from here, the adjustments were area-specific, crossing out of a specified area of adjustment into another caused never-ending sources of trouble for City projects. Going back to that nightmare is just too horrifying to think of.”

Marc Cheves, the editor of American Surveyor Magazine wrote in a recent editorial:

“The LightSquared issue refuses to go away. After the presentations by LightSquared and the Coalition to Save Our GPS at the Survey Summit in July, it seemed that if LightSquared stayed in the lower band of the two bands adjacent to GPS, its plan might work. Since then, it has become apparent that even that band is unacceptable. Here's the situation: the bands that LightSquared is seeking to use have always been reserved for space-based transmissions. Because LightSquared has convinced the FCC to allow it to make terrestrially-based transmissions, the problem becomes one of signal strength. Signals from space have been described as whispers, and the GPS manufacturers have done a marvelous job of extracting useable information from these weak signals, even being able to sort out GPS signals from signals that are millions of times stronger. LightSquared, with its terrestrial scheme, broadcasts signals that are billions of times stronger than GPS. The bottom line for us is that we simply cannot coexist with LightSquared in bands that are adjacent to the GPS signals.

To support this, the National Space-based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Advisory Board finally weighed in with the following: We strongly recommend that the Commission rescind its conditional wavier and not allow a change in the structure of the MSS band that abuts GPS to allow transmissions that interfere with GPS. Another frequency band must be found, well away from GPS that allows LightSquared to compete with the other broadband suppliers and does not jeopardize US infrastructure, imposing unnecessary costs to the many millions of current GPS users.

To make matters worse, collusion in the highest places seems to be the order of the day according to an Inside GNSS article which states "...political influences, driven by Harbinger's billions and the president's desire to lift up expansion of wireless broadband as a feature of his re-election campaign..." This is not the first time the FCC—an agency that apparently answers to no one—has been accused of being susceptible to undue influence. Once again, it appears that the FCC has been co-opted by political and financial interests.”

In a statement issued by the Coalition to Save Our GPS it is stated:

We are astonished to hear that Phil Falcone, head of the New York hedge fund that controls LightSquared, believes that LightSquared is being “stonewalled,” apparently by the “GPS industry.” It seems that Mr. Falcone gives no credence to a four star general of our armed forces, the commander of the Air Force Space Command, when he testifies under oath before Congress that, ‘In summary, based on the test results and analysis today, the LightSquared network would effectively jam vital GPS receivers. And to our knowledge thus far, there are no mitigation options that would be effective in eliminating interference to essential GPS services in the United States.’ When questioned about costs, the general responded, ‘We have not estimated cost. However, I think it'd be very safe to say that the cost would be in the b's – billions of dollars.’

“At this point, there is apparently nothing that can convince Mr. Falcone that there are legitimate concerns over interference from GPS – even though every major government agency and every affected company other than LightSquared is on record that its proposal will cause substantial and harmful interference to critical uses of GPS. How LightSquared didn’t know this all along, and how it can continue to suggest that it is simply stonewalling to raise these concerns, is beyond comprehension.

“In fact, LightSquared said at the outset of this process that it had a plan that would not interfere with GPS signals. Comprehensive testing organized by the FCC showed that its first plan would cause devastating interference to GPS. A second plan was discarded for the same reason. LightSquared is now on its third plan and just last week both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the president’s principal adviser on spectrum policies, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), concluded that more testing is needed to determine whether that third plan adequately addresses interference issues.

“It’s time for LightSquared to stop its glossy ads, irresponsible rhetoric, revisionist history and finger pointing, and provide genuine, fully- tested solutions to the GPS interference problem. LightSquared has always been prohibited from interfering with GPS, and it should have done its homework on this critical issue before spending its investors’ money. It is not the fault of government GPS users or the GPS industry that LightSquared has failed to offer proposals that actually solve the problem. LightSquared must accept the responsibility to provide technical proposals that do resolve the problem, as well as its financial responsibility to address any interference issues that it cannot resolve by technical proposals.”

The general public does not know how much the use GPS plays in our national security and economy today. From the guidance system in a smart bomb launched from a Predator Drone at a terrorist hideout to a fisherman marking the location of his favorite fishing spot GPS is used every day by millions of Americans in their daily lives. It is used by trucking companies to track the location of the item you purchased online and by construction firms to control their earth moving equipment. GPS is used by the aviation industry for navigation and to insure safe all weather landings at airports where the cost of ground-based radar and ILS equipment is too expensive. It is used by emergency first responders to get an ambulance to the house of a person suffering a heart attack as quickly as possible. GPS is used by land surveyors to survey roads, bridges, damns, sewer systems, and land development projects as half the cost of traditional methods. GPS is even used by photographers to mark the locations of their travel photos for Google Earth and Flicker. GPS is a national utility.

As Marc Cheves said; “What a sad legacy if high precision GPS works everywhere else in the world except in the United States. Didn't we pioneer, design, build, pay for, and continue to operate this wonderful system? There will be high precision GPS in Syria, Libya, Iran, Pakistan, etc. — everywhere but here.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Obama’s Neighborhood Watch

Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." — Ayn Rand

Most of us live in a community (as I do) where we have something called a neighborhood watch. The purpose of the neighborhood watch is to learn, through periodic meetings, from the local police how to protect the security of you home and watch out for suspicious persons who may have malicious intents against your neighbors. A neighborhood watch is a good program as it allows citizens to watch out for their fellow citizens — something that is truly American.

There have been other neighborhood watches throughout history. There was Woodrow Wilson’s neighborhood watch during the First World War where citizens were asked to turn in people, especially German-Americans, who expressed dissenting views towards the war. This was most prevalent in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois where German-Americans were lynched simply because they spoke German. German language newspapers were required print English translations of their articles next to the German language versions. No one ate sauerkraut; instead it renamed “liberty cabbage”. It was forbidden to speak German on the telephone and Wilson’s justice department would investigate anonymous tips about German-Americans from their envious neighbors. All of this was done under a so called progressive administration.

There have been more malevolent neighborhood watches in the totalitarian regimes Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, East Germany, and Castro. In these regimes person loyal to the government were assigned neighborhoods or apartment blocks with the charge of reporting people who made anti-government remarks regarding the lack of food or other necessities of life. These little snitches were usually people of low character who were given power to turn in those whom they did not like or had a personal grudge against. This is one of the tactics a totalitarian state used to maintain their hold over he populous. They use fear to keep people in line.

Today our First Amendment rights of free speech are being threatened by the Obama administration by something called “Attach Watch.”

Attack Watch, website started by President Obama's campaign organization, was intended to be a repository for supporters to report "attacks" on Obama's record and get the facts. But its rollout has been met with scathing mockery by conservatives, who call it a second-rate version of previous Big Brother sites created by Team Obama.

The onslaught of hilarity was fed first by a brutal parody created by an outfit called Misfit Politics. The mock ad repeats the name "Attack Watch" in a voice mimicking the Budweiser "Whassup" ad of Super Bowl yore and then goes on to offer examples of the types of misinformation readers can report.

Conservative critic Mark Steyn, a native of the U.K., then cheered that he was the only foreigner with a designation on

Both were met with comment after comment from readers offering the type of "attacks" they were going to report to the Obama re-election site. The #attackwatch Twitter page was immediately spammed with tweet after tweet heavy on sarcasm regarding the president's stimulus and jobs creation plans.

"hey #AttackWatch I heard the only good 'Cash For Clunkers' did was get all the obama stickers off the roads, thank you," tweeted @speedyjerry.

"Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM's in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!" wrote @thorninaz.

Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told the Washington Post that 100,000 people had signed up for the site in the first 24 hours.

"This site is a tool providing our supporters with the facts they need to fight back against lies and distortions about the president's record," she told the newspaper.

But syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin said this site, the fourth one launched in three years attempting to respond to political attacks, has backfired on the Obama team.

"What this is really about is some sort of campaign against their opponents, and it's not working anymore," she said.

"Back in 2008, the Obama campaign had claimed this mantle as the tech savvy geniuses, and what's happened is that conservatives on Twitter and on YouTube and all the social networks have been able to strike back, and humor is always the best revenge," she said.

In an opinion article published in the International Business Times, Nadine DeNinno argues the site is pointless, saying it is counterproductive and has become a laughingstock.

"The website has become simply an instrument used by opponents to rail the president by conservatives, using it as their personal punching bag," she wrote. "The people who monitor the site will be quite busy, as Attack Watch only warrants more attacking."

She also wondered how many jobs the site created, "or how long it took to conceive, in which case jobs could have been created instead?" She then quoted @BradThor who tweeted, "If only the #Obama administration could create an atmosphere where jobs materialized as quickly as #attackwatch jokes!"

Not only are major papers running headlines about the site becoming a laughingstock, even respected liberals are admitting that they would have flipped out had Bush tried something similar. Place your bets: How much longer can the PR beating go on before someone throws in the towel?

Compare and contrast. We’re more than a year away from election day and it’s already axiomatic that this will be the nastiest campaign in recent memory — and the worse the economy is, the nastier it’ll be on the White House’s end. Why pretend otherwise by adding rainbows and unicorns to now? They should keep the site as is and embrace the new scorched-earth vision of “Hope” and “Change.” Or better yet, embellish the motif. How about a grainy photo of Joe Biden in a balaclava to add “atmosphere”?

While the initiative is reminiscent of a similar online effort launched during the 2008 campaign, called Fight the Smears, the intimidating design and language of the new site seems to be what’s causing a bigger ruckus.

Fight the Smears looked and felt far less scary, quoting Obama at the top of its page in a classic hope-change statement: “What you won’t hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon — that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge but enemies to demonize.”

Robert Gelinas writes in American Thinker about Obama’s None-Too-Devine Comedy:

The decision of who will become the next president of the United States will be made long before November of 2012. After the current president's most recent tour de farce before a joint session of Congress, it is rapidly becoming a foregone conclusion who it's not going to be.

The Obama-adoring New York Times concedes that their manufactured politician may be in deep trouble as his own base begins to abandon him.  Independents have already done so. The right was never on his side.  Even the Washington Post doesn't flinch from using the word "laughingstock" when referring to the petty political antics of Obama.  And then a Catholic Republican wins a pivotal bellwether election against a Jewish Democrat in a liberal, heavily Jewish New York City congressional district, running on the theme of an Obama referendum!

One could reasonably conclude that a toxic Obama is now rapidly becoming, if not already is, "unelectable."

What?  How could the great and powerful Obama ever be considered unelectable? Many mistakenly believed that in 2008, but somehow Obama miraculously proved them all wrong (just ask Hillary). But that was then, when he was largely a blank slate and wore the halo of a saint (Google: "Obama halo pics"). Obama even saw himself as a divine being of superlative stature: "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America."  (His own words!)

Admittedly, his fall from grace didn't happen overnight, but happen it did, as his profound failures and incompetency have culminated into what will surely be seen by future historians as his seminal "Jobs Bill Speech." This was the moment when the "real" Obama was on grand display -- an all-too-mortal man, showcasing how little substance and value he has to offer.

Obama's political irrelevance has now become so obvious that on the night of his infamous jobs speech the GOP didn't even feel the need to offer a rebuttal to his political theater masquerading as a major policy speech. Even the scheduling of his all-important imperial oration had to take a backseat to a football game and a GOP primary debate on MSNBC.

But far worse than enduring those indignities, during his grand pontification, a unique sound was heard in abundance. Even the Washington Post's Dana Milbank heard it: laughter.”

I can’t recall any presidential campaign in our history where people have been requested to report so called lies and disparaging remarks about the president to the White House. This is just another example of his radical ideas of class warfare — turning Americans against Americans.

I heard an interview with Doug Schoen today on the Sean Hannity radio show833936 where Schoen said Obama was losing it. Schoen, a Democrat pollster and member of the Clinton White House, said Obama was no longer competent to be president. He has made so many bad decisions based on his socialist ideology that have gone wrong he no longer knows what to do and it is showing in his last two speeches. He is becoming a laughing stock ala Jimmy Carter.

While Attack Watch may be viewed as a laughing stock and not as sinister as Wilson’s anti-German-American policies it still must be viewed as a potential violation of our liberties. It is not so much the program as it is an indictment of the people in the White House who are advising the president and Obama himself.

It is a step along a slippery slope of government becoming more powerful and onerous in our lives.

The Moral Decay of Today’s Youth

"[Tyrannical] power is absolute, minute, regular, provident and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?" — French historian Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

The Joe McGinniss Sarah Palin book The Rogue is the left's latest hate letter to God-fearing patriotic Americans. Make no mistake about it, folks. The McGinniss attack along with the other numerous attacks on Sarah Palin are really about attacking you — mainstream Americans with traditional values.

Lloyd Marcus writes in the American Thinker:

“How dare Palin praise traditional marriage, motherhood, Christianity, and American exceptionalism, all of which are anathema to the left? Thus, the left's hatred of Palin is really hatred of mainstream America -- particularly Tea Party patriots.

That is it in a nutshell and explains why the left so desperately seeks to destroy Palin. They hate America and all who love our extraordinary country.

The left is indoctrinating our kids into believing America is the greatest source of all evil in the world; all other religions are superior to Christianity, and homosexuality is superior to heterosexuality. During the Gay Pride Day Celebration at a middle school, kids were taught to give things a try before deciding whether they like it or not. Apparently, Obama agrees.

Palin in the White House would be a major fly-in-the-ointment toward furthering the left's secular/progressive agenda.

In typical left-wing fashion, McGinniss attacks Palin for her Christian faith and then accuses her of not being Christian enough. Thus, trying to portray Palin to be a hypocrite. It is pretty obnoxious when godless liberal progressive zealots accuse godly people of falling short of Christ's standards. This tactic is satanic.”

Mr. Marcus continues:

“As I have stated on numerous occasions, the political battle in America today goes beyond Republican vs Democrat. It is a spiritual battle of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong.

The left is repulsed by all things decent, godly, and patriotic. Palin, like all of us, is far from perfect. However, she still symbolizes goodness and embodies wholesome traditional American principles and values. Thus, the light which emanates from this American icon is as repulsive to the left as the cross is to Dracula.”

During the summer of 2008, the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith led a research team that conducted in-depth interviews with 230 young adults from across America. The interviews were part of a larger study that Smith, Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, Patricia Snell Herzog and others have been conducting on the state of America’s youth.

Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing.

It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18- to 23-year-olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.

David Brooks writes in the New York Times that American youth have been taught, If it feels right, do it:

The interviewers asked open-ended questions about right and wrong, moral dilemmas and the meaning of life. In the rambling answers, which Smith and company recount in a new book, “Lost in Transition,” you see the young people groping to say anything sensible on these matters. But they just don’t have the categories or vocabulary to do so.

When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all, like whether they could afford to rent a certain apartment or whether they had enough quarters to feed the meter at a parking spot.

“Not many of them have previously given much or any thought to many of the kinds of questions about morality that we asked,” Smith and his co-authors write. When asked about wrong or evil, they could generally agree that rape and murder are wrong. But, aside from these extreme cases, moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner. “I don’t really deal with right and wrong that often,” is how one interviewee put it.

The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste. “It’s personal,” the respondents typically said. “It’s up to the individual. Who am I to say?”

The decline of moral values among today’s youth is the expected consequence of a government education system that has been taken over by the progressive left, academic elitists (many who profess atheism), teachers unions, and the ACLU. Schools no longer teach moral values. The Ten Commandments are banned in all government schools. Students wishing to study the Bible are forbidden from having Bible study classes on school property due to some fantasy about separation of church and state. No mention of God is allowed and school prayer was abolished years ago. Abortion, homosexuality, and sexual techniques are taught, but creationism is a taboo subject. It’s no wonder we are graduating a generation of youth that have no roots in morality.

People who profess a belief in creationism are considered stupid because they do not agree with the theories of Charles Darwin. Even physicists and astronomers will fail to explain what came before the so called “Big Bang” and will turn to the hand of a creator for an explanation. The Bible was written for a people who were enslaved and uneducated by and there is no explanation of how long a day was. It is sequence in Genesis that is important not the definition of the word “day”

George Washington stated in his farewell address as he left the Presidency in 1796 and retired to his farm:

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?”

This misconception of the so called separation of church and state stems from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, to the Danbury Baptist Association in response to their letter to Jefferson where they complained that in their state, the religious liberties they enjoyed were not seen as immutable rights, but as privileges granted by the legislature — as "favors granted." Jefferson replied:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorized only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.”

You can view Jefferson’s original letter stored at the Library of Congress by clicking here.

This letter from Thomas Jefferson has been used by the United States Supreme Court to set president for case law that has led to the banning of the Ten Commandments form public buildings and the banning of nativity scenes in the public square. Like the Court’s ruling in Roe v Wade a decision made of whole cloth.

Is it any wonder today’s youth are lacking in moral values and are addicted to moral relevance. Unless you send your child to a parochial school or home school them they will learn more about the homosexual life style than the Ten Commandments. They will learn more about feelings than morality. They will learn to sympathize with the perpetrator rather than the victim.

Not only are our government schools trashing morality they are failing in the basic subjects of reading, math, history, English, and science. After trillions of dollars being dumped down the rat hole of public education by federal, state and local governments test scores have declined.

John Stossel writes in an opinion piece for Fox News entitled Stupid in America:

School spending has gone through the roof and test scores are flat.

While most every other service in life has gotten faster, better, and cheaper, one of the most important things we buy -- education -- has remained completely stagnant, unchanged since we started measuring it in 1970.

Why no improvement?

Because K-12 education is a government monopoly and monopolies don't improve.

The government-school monopoly claims: Education is too important to leave to the free market. At a teachers' union rally, even actor Matt Damon showed up to deride market competition as "MBA style thinking."

"Competition may be okay for selling movies and cell phones, but education is different," says the establishment. Learning is complex. Parents aren't real "customers" because they don't have the expertise to know which school is best. They don't know enough about curricula, teachers' credentials, etc. That's why public education must be centrally planned by government "experts".

Those experts have been in charge for years. They are what school reformers call the "Blob." Jeanne Allen from the Center for Education Reform says for years attempts at reform have run, "smack into federations, alliances, departments, councils, boards, commissions, panels, herds, flocks and convoys, that make up the education industrial complex, or the Blob.

Taken individually they were frustrating enough, each with its own bureaucracy, but taken as a whole they were (and are) maddening in their resistance to change. Not really a wall -- they always talk about change -- but more like quicksand, or a tar pit where ideas slowly sink.

And the most powerful part of the Blob is the teachers' union.

This Saturday, I interview Nathan Saunders, the President of the Washington, D.C. Teachers' Union, and Joseph Del Grosso, President of the Newark Teachers' Union. They say things like, "the unions have a pretty strong history of advocating for high-quality public education... We have progress as a result of unions."

Their predecessors were more candid. When the Washington Post asked George Parker, when he headed the Washington, D.C. teachers union, why he fought a voucher program that let some kids escape failing government schools, he said, "As kids continue leaving the system, we will lose teachers. Our very survival depends on having kids in D.C. schools so we'll have teachers to represent."

Albert Shanker, the teachers' union president who, years ago, first turned teachers unions into a national political force, was even more honest. Shanker callously said, "When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."

One of the ten pillars of Communism as proposed by Karl Marx is:

“Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.”

The operative words in Marx’s thinking is “government schools” What this really means is people are being taxed to support what we call “public” schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA, Outcome Based Education, and No Child Left Behind.

Brooks concludes:

Allan Bloom and Gertrude Himmelfarb warned that sturdy virtues are being diluted into shallow values. Alasdair MacIntyre has written about emotivism, the idea that it’s impossible to secure moral agreement in our culture because all judgments are based on how we feel at the moment.

Charles Taylor has argued that morals have become separated from moral sources. People are less likely to feel embedded on a moral landscape that transcends self. James Davison Hunter wrote a book called “The Death of Character.” Smith’s interviewees are living, breathing examples of the trends these writers have described.

In most times and in most places, the group was seen to be the essential moral unit. A shared religion defined rules and practices. Cultures structured people’s imaginations and imposed moral disciplines. But now more people are led to assume that the free-floating individual is the essential moral unit. Morality was once revealed, inherited and shared, but now it’s thought of as something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.”

Our founding fathers were men who believed in a God and his commandments. They were Deists, Christians, and Jews. While not subscribing to any official religion as was the case in England and Europe they did, however, subscribe to a moral code based on the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

John Adams praised Jews on many occasions in his personal correspondence.

America’s second president called the Jews “the most glorious nation that ever inhabited the earth.”

Adams, challenging the anti-Semitism of French Enlightenment luminaries like Voltaire, argued that Jews “have influenced the affairs of mankind more and happily than any other nation, ancient or modern.”

God, Adams exclaimed in a letter of 1809, had “ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing nations.”

Our founders knew that without a firm base in a moral code based on religious principles this nation would be doomed.