Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - 2011

Auckland, New Zealand started the 2011 celebrations.

Fireworks in Darling Harbour Sydney, Australia

London, England

Brandenburg Gate. Berlin, Germany

Big Ben. London, England.

Click here to see more spectacular pictures of New Year's celebrations around the world.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shadegg warns House GOP newcomers: Don’t ‘betray’ grassroots like we did

If the Tea Party movement had come along four years ago, John Shadegg might now be the incoming Speaker of the House.

The Arizona Republican ran for majority leader in 2006 but was beaten by John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who has been minority leader since the fall of 2006 and is now set to take the gavel from Democrat Nancy Pelosi in one week’s time.

Shadegg, who in 2006 was the choice of National Review magazine and the conservative blog Redstate, is going home to Arizona. He decided to retire after 16 years in office.

Shadegg, 61, has a unique perspective on conservative Republican politics. He came to Washington as part of the Republican Revolution of 1994 that swept the GOP into control of the House for the first time since 1954.

He also has a connection to the first 20th century wave of conservatism. Shadegg’s father, Stephen Shadegg, was a close aide and political adviser to former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president in 1964. Stephen Shadegg ran Goldwater’s 1952 and 1958 Senate campaigns, but played a lesser role in Goldwater’s presidential run.

The Daily Caller sat down with Shadegg recently to glean any clues on how the Tea Party is different than past conservative waves.

Shadegg talked at length about the fact that the new Republican majority in the House is “on probation,” and said the reason that there is no leader of the Tea Party is because grassroots conservatives are gun shy after being “betrayed” by the House Republicans who took office in 1994.

“When the Gingrich revolution happened, the Gingrich revolution collapsed. It had betrayed its supporters,” Shadegg said. “So now I think there’s a reticence for a movement to arise under the Tea Party with a leader because nobody trusts a leader.”

Below is a partial transcript of the interview:

TheDC: Your father was involved with Goldwater – what’s similar between then and now in your mind?

REP. JOHN SHADEGG: Well, let me just make some comments. If my dad were alive and sitting here today, he would tell you that John Kennedy’s assassination essentially ended the Goldwater campaign. He wrote a book called “What Happened to Goldwater?” Basically, I think Sen. Goldwater concluded, many thoughtful conservatives concluded, and my dad concluded, that the nation was not going to change presidents three times in the span of less than a year. So when Kennedy was assassinated and Johnson became president, while Goldwater could not not run, they knew they weren’t going to win. And I think there’s a fair amount in “What happened to Goldwater?” about the fact that Barry was looking forward to running against John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a philosophical liberal of the day, and Goldwater was the conservative, and they were admired and respected each other. And I think they thought they were going to have substantive debates. I think there were actually even preliminary discussions, at least I had heard there were preliminary discussions – this is probably in the book and I’ve just forgotten it – of them taking the same plane and going to places and debating, Goldwater and Kennedy. So when Kennedy was assassinated, although the movement went forward and the campaign went forward, the tone and the tenor of everything changed dramatically and there was a belief that it wasn’t going to be a debate on the issues, which they had thought was going to occur with Kennedy. As for the parallels,…

The arrogance of the atheists: They batter believers in religion with smug certainty

S.E. Cupp

Writers Christopher Hitchens (left, 'God is not Great') and Sam Harris (center, 'The End of Faith') embody modern atheism, says S.E. Cupp. Bill Maher (right) rips religion in his film 'Religulous.'
Witkin/Bloomberg; via Reuters; Caulfield/Getty
Writers Christopher Hitchens (left, 'God is not Great') and Sam Harris (center, 'The End of Faith') embody modern atheism, says S.E. Cupp. Bill Maher (right) rips religion in his film 'Religulous.'
Back in college, while I was busy pretending that a blottoed discussion of Nietzsche over $1 beers made me an intellectual giant, my fiftysomething father, who'd worked so hard to send me there, was quietly being saved. Having long eschewed any ties to his Southern Baptist upbringing, he suddenly found himself born again and on a quest to know God better.

As a longtime atheist, I was a little surprised. But eventually I came to be relieved by this development. While my friends' fathers were buying flashy sports cars and exchanging their wives for models, my own father was turning inward and asking: Is there more to life than this?

I was also proud of him for becoming a student again. As I watched him pore over C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel and even neoatheist thinkers such as Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, I thought it amazing that he still wanted to learn something new.

It was a revelation I'd experience over and over again - meeting faithful believers and discovering that, no matter how long they'd been in the fold, many were still on a dogged quest for spiritual knowledge.

And it's why I decided to go back to school as well and study religion in a more meaningful way. It wasn't necessarily an acknowledgment of a higher power, but a realization that I knew little about the beliefs I had railed so arrogantly against.

Which brings me to the problem with modern atheism, embodied by the likes of Harris and Hitchens, authors of "The End of Faith" and "God Is Not Great," respectively. So often it seems like a conversation ender, not a conversation starter. And the loudest voices of today's militant atheism, for all their talk of rational thought, don't seem to want to do too much thinking at all. As James Wood wrote in The New Yorker, "The new atheists do not speak to the millions of people whose form of religion is far from the embodied certainties of contemporary literalism. Indeed, it is a settled assumption of this kind of atheism that there are no intelligent religious believers."

What spiritual quest are they on, except to put an abrupt end to those like my father's? For them, the science is settled, the data are conclusive and the book (no, not the Good Book) has been written. Time for everyone else to pack up and move on to other business, like, presumably, accumulating wealth and fulminating at the sight of the nearest Christmas tree.

The militant atheist wants nothing more than to spoil the believer's spiritual journey. That's both meanspirited and radically unenlightened.

The Daily News: December 28 & 29, 2010

Since the Glenn Beck show is still repeating or compiling past shows, I decided to post last night's and tonight's shows together. - Reggie

This was today's show as well as December 10th.

Walid Shoebat Discusses 'End Times' Events

These two videos are worth watching. I am aware of no other person that has the courage or insight to teach these truths. - Reggie

h/t The Right Scoop

Snowblind mayor admits: 'Probably could have done better'

He woke up and smelled the catastrophe.

Mayor Bloomberg finally joined his 8.4 million irate constituents yesterday in their fury at painfully slow efforts to clean up the snow-clogged streets that have brought New York to a standstill.

"I'm angry, too," Bloomberg said at the Office of Emergency Management in Brooklyn, where he was peppered with questions about sluggish snowplows, stuck buses and ambulances, and thousands of impassable roadways.

"You can expect another 24 hours before we will get to everyone, and even then I'm not so sure."

Net Neutrality Is Theft

The Internet is not a natural resource. It does not grow on trees, or appear on the ground like dew on a spring morning. Nor does it operate by magic. The Internet exists only to the extent it is built, and then maintained and operated.

That requires big bucks, especially for broadband access. Broadband requires hundreds of billions if not trillions in investment to lay cables under streets, or to build and then launch satellites into orbit.

Where does that money come from? It comes from private investors. And when they put their money into the ground, or in orbit, to deliver to the people the new world of Cyberspace, those delivery vehicles are their property, just like the FedEx delivery trucks and planes that deliver your packages overnight are the property of FedEx.

Just as the government is not needed to tell FedEx what delivery routes to use, or how to get the packages to their destination overnight, it is not needed to tell Internet Service Providers and broadband operators how to deliver their access to Cyberspace. Those ISPs and broadband operators are subject to fierce market competition, and are driven by market incentives to get a return on all that investment money they put into the ground or into orbit. These factors force them to serve the people, far, far better than politics forces government to serve the people. That is why the Internet works so well.

As the Wall Street Journal explained on December 22, "There is no compelling reason to subject the Internet to more regulation. New devices and applications proliferate. Competition among broadband providers is robust, barriers to market entry low, and evidence of market failure non-existent."

FCC Pirates Board the Ship

Yet, without compelling reason, law or even politics on their side, on December 21, on a 3-2 party line vote, the FCC voted to impose its "net neutrality" rules on the Internet. What net neutrality means is that the government now has the power to decide how ISPs and broadband operators manage the access they provide to the Internet. It is as if the government decided to regulate how FedEx delivers its overnight mail, and what routes and what vehicles they use.

The FCC starts out by proclaiming that its net neutrality rules are just meant to ensure equal access by all to the Web. But as George Orwell showed us, that is how socialism started out too, until we later discovered that some were more equal than others. Once the founding principle is laid for government regulation and control, then that power can be used to regulate and control access to the Internet "in the public interest." In English translation, that means in the special interest of the Ruling Class. There are precedents in China and Iran for how that has worked out in practice.

Dissenting FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell explained further in the Wall Street Journal on December 20 why the FCC's net neutrality regulation makes no sense:
Nothing is broken and needs fixing, however. The Internet has been open and freedom-enhancing since it was spun off from a government research project in the early 1990s. Its nature as a diffuse and dynamic global network of networks defies top-down authority. Ample laws to protect consumers already exist. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department and the European Commission both decided this year that net neutrality regulation was unnecessary and might deter investment in next-generation Internet technology and infrastructure.
But what I have learned in life is that when something doesn't make sense, that means there is something else behind it that people are trying to hide.

And that is exactly what we have here. For what is behind the FCC's net neutrality crusade is reflected by an organization calling itself Free Press. That is an Orwellian title in this case, because what Free Press is for is the opposite of a free press. Free Press is one of those pseudo-Marxist front groups that Barack Obama has always traveled with so easily throughout his life. It is a grown-up, slick, sophisticated version of those campus radicals who shout down college speakers with whom they don't agree.

That is what Free Press is after with its "net neutrality" regulation. It is laying the groundwork for government control of the Internet. Once that it is established, it will be able to shout down websites with which it doesn't agree, if not shut them out altogether.

The entering wedge for net neutrality so far is not public freedom to access and navigate the Internet, which no one can credibly claim is not currently as free as could be. The entering wedge for now is use of Internet access and broadband services by competing commercial concerns like Netflix and YouTube, which consume huge proportions of bandwidth that can consequently interfere with use by consumers and others.
The problem has not become unmanageable yet, but threatens to be. The concern is that broadband operators will limit use of their service by other commercial operations that are effectively bandwidth hogs, to preserve the viability of their service for the general public, which is exactly what they should do. The supposed purpose of net neutrality regulation so far is to prevent broadband operators from doing this.

Is the Republican Party Finished?

The lame-duck session of the 111th Congress proved one thing beyond a doubt: the Republican Party does not represent the interests of conservatives. Despite the midterm election tidal wave, in which the Republican Party gained 63 House seats (eclipsing its historic1994 success against Clinton), congressional Republicans failed to leverage their victory into political clout and collapsed like a house of cards in the lame-duck session.

The last two weeks ought to have sickened conservatives. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spectacularly failed to hold his caucus together to even delay ratification of the START treaty until the 112th Congress is seated in January. Republican leftists Olympia Snowe and Lisa Murkowski sided with Democrats to end the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, forcing the gay agenda from the streets of San Francisco right into the U.S. Marine Corps. Congressional Republicans agreed to cut FICA taxes for Social Security (which is underfunded already) and expand the Democratic Party's welfare state constituency by extending unemployment benefits -- in exchange for maintaining current tax rates for a paltry two years. The deal will add billions to the deficit. Tea Party darling Scott Brown, mocked by Obama for driving a truck in his insurgent 2009 campaign in which he stole "Ted Kennedy's seat" from the Democrats, voted for Obama's agenda on all of these issues.

EPA global warming regulations no ‘end run’ around Congress

The Environmental Protection Agency’s pending global warming regulations are no “end run” around Congress, as many conservatives are charging. This time, Congress is being held hostage by its own laws.

The real story is the decades-long campaign by environmentalists to weave a legal web all but compelling the government to enact strict new climate change rules.

In 1970, before global warming was even on the radar map, Congress in the Clean Air Act gave the EPA the power to regulate air pollutants that damage “weather” and “climate” from automobiles and other moving pollution sources.

Members of Congress debating the law barely mentioned this language, according to a book about the law by environmental law professor Arnold Reitze. Meanwhile, a government report discussed the possibility that pollution could lead to another ice age.

It wasn’t until 1990 that the issue came to the forefront again, this time when Congress enacted a major update to the Clean Air Act. Then, some liberals in the Senate fought to require controls under the law on “greenhouse gases” thought to cause global warming. The provision was stripped from the bill in Conference Committee.

But in the last few years of the Clinton administration, the Carol Browner-led EPA issued a legal memo laying the groundwork for regulating global warming under the Clean Air Act’s existing language.

Years later, completely stymied by the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress, environmentalists took the memo and ran with it – in court.

In 2007, the Supreme Court sided with them, 5-4, in Massachusetts v. EPA. “Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of ‘air pollutant,’ we hold that EPA has the statutory authority to regulate the emission of such gases,” the court ruled.

That court battle was the real fight, and environmentalists already won, three years ago.

But the problem for the environmental community, President Obama, and, most importantly, the economy is this: using the Clean Air Act was only supposed to be a threat. The idea was, using the Clean Air Act for climate change was so heinously bad it would force industry and Republicans to come to the negotiating table.

“I’m the first person to say this is not a very effective means of addressing the problem,” said the Sierra Club’s David Bookbinder, a leading environmental strategist, in 2007, according to Environmental Health Perspectives.

“Our larger strategy is, we want legislation to curb emissions. No one is hiding the ball here,” said the Natural Resource Defense Council’s David Doniger, another top enviro lawyer, according to Inside EPA.

Well, that didn’t work. Obama tanked on a cap-and-trade climate change bill, and now the regulations are actually going forward.

The change in plans has environmentalists changing their tune. They launched a major campaign in past months to defend EPA regulations of global warming.

“Every line of evidence points to the same conclusion. Allowing EPA to do what it is legally required to do,” regulate climate change under the Clean Air Act, “will not cost us jobs or damage the economy. In fact, there’s every reason to believe the opposite,” said the NRDC’s Laurie Johnson in a blog post.

“Fears of agency ‘overreach’ are misplaced,” said the World Resources Institute in a report detailing how harmless the Clean Air Act regulations will be.

Pelosi Fundraising to ‘Protect the Progress We Have Made’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has an outgoing New Year’s Eve wish, asking House campaign supporters to give money to fight back against “shameful attack ads” that use her to target vulnerable Democrats.

In a new fundraising letter for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Californian thanks donors for their “dedication to making change a reality for millions of our fellow Americans,” without mentioning that Democrats lost control of the House in November and that in less than two weeks, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) will become Speaker.

Instead, Pelosi asks donors to “chip in $10” to combat “shadowy special interest front groups [that] are already up on radio and television with shameful attack ads aimed at reversing the progress we’ve made.”

Obama Administration Bypassing Congress to Institute Death Panel ‘Discussions’

On Monday, I wrote here of how President Barack Obama would pretend to work in bipartisan cooperation with the new Congress in deference to the shellacking he received in the November election – while behind the scenes dictatorially ramming through as many rules and regulations, directives and orders as he possibly can – and with which he can get away:

(Obama) will do his best to put on a public show, but his Big-Government-At-All-Costs agenda will continue unabated.  It will just be done behind the scenes via rampant, abusive expansion of the vast regulatory authority at his disposal.

Every Commission, every Agency, every Board in the federal pantheon will ratchet up their orders, rules and directives.  To impose via executive branch regulatory fiat what President Obama can no longer get done in Congress.  In other words, bypass the obviously expressed will of the American people for smaller, more accountable government – so as to continue jamming through his on-all-fronts Titanic Government plan.  And do so without the People’s representatives at all involved in the process.

The federal Cap & Tax on – I mean Trade – energy bill didn’t pass?  No problem, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will enforce large swaths of it just as if it did.  The union vote secret-ballot-abolishing Card Check didn’t pass?  No sweat, the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will just pretend it did and move forward implementing it.

As if on cue, we have Monday night’s announcement by the Administration’s Dr. Donald M. Berwick – administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  In fact, the Christian Science Monitor article cited is entitled:

‘Death panels’ controversy: Is Obama avoiding Congress?

Berwick’s only in his post as a result of – President Obama avoiding Congress.  Berwick was never confirmed – President Obama chose to bypass the Senate and instead recess appoint him.
And there’s a reason President Obama did that – Berwick is a ghoulish dude who advocates health care rationing and is “romantic” about the death panel-enforcing British National Health Service.

Read the rest of the story

111th Congress Added More Debt Than First 100 Congresses Combined

( - The federal government has accumulated more new debt--$3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29)—during the tenure of the 111th Congress than it did during the first 100 Congresses combined, according to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.

That equals $10,429.64 in new debt for each and every one of the 308,745,538 people counted in the United States by the 2010 Census.

The total national debt of $13,858,529,371,601.09 (or $13.859 trillion), as recorded by the U.S. Treasury at the close of business on Dec. 22, now equals $44,886.57 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

In fact, the 111th Congress not only has set the record as the most debt-accumulating Congress in U.S. history, but also has out-stripped its nearest competitor, the 110th, by an astounding $1.262 trillion in new debt.

Read the full story

Death Panels Revisited

The left won't admit that Sarah Palin had a point about rationed care.

At a stroke, Medicare chief Donald Berwick has revived the "death panel" debate from two summers ago. Allow us to referee, because this topic has been badly distorted by the political process—and in a rational world, it wouldn't be a political question at all.

On Sunday, Robert Pear reported in the New York Times that Medicare will now pay for voluntary end-of-life counseling as part of seniors' annual physicals. A similar provision was originally included in ObamaCare, but Democrats stripped it out amid the death panel furor. Now Medicare will enact the same policy through regulation.

We hadn't heard about this development until Mr. Pear's story, but evidently Medicare tried to prevent the change from becoming public knowledge. The provision is buried in thousands of Federal Register pages setting Medicare's hospital and physician price controls for 2011 and concludes that such consultations count as a form of preventative care.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Welcome to the United Police State of America

We are becoming Nazi Germany. - Reggie

US to step up security at hotels and malls

The United States is stepping up security at "soft targets" like hotels and shopping malls, as well as trains and ports, as it counters the evolving Al-Qaeda threat, a top official said Sunday.

A year after a foiled plot to bomb a US-bound passenger plane, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN's "State of the Union" program that other places and modes of transportation must now be scrutinized.

"We look at so-called soft targets -- the hotels, shopping malls, for example -- all of which we have reached out to in the past year and have done a fair amount of training for their own employees," Napolitano said.

Since an attempted bombing on a packed Saturday night in Times Square in May, New York, for example, has installed hundreds of security cameras as part of a plan to triple the number of cameras to 3,000.

In September, the city activated some 500 new surveillance cameras at its three busiest subway stations -- Times Square, Penn Station and Grand Central.

"The overall message is everything is objectively better than it was a year ago, particularly in the aviation environment. But we're also looking at addressing other areas," Napolitano said.

The Daily News: December 27, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

For Unto Us, A Child Is Born

Luke 2:1-20

The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

I have decided to add one more video but the song is not associated with Christmas. I'm sure most of you have heard the song Awesome God sometime during your life. The song was written by Rich Mullins and his version was the first I ever heard of this song. In my opinion, no other version has ever equaled the original. Unfortunately, embedding is disabled on that version but you can listen to it on YouTube here. The version below is a live, low key version sung by Rich in concert. You may read about the life and death of Rich Mullins here.

Merry Christmas to all and I pray we all seek the Lord like our lives depend on it in the coming year. Rough times are coming and we are going to need our awesome God to guide us through the horrible storms ahead. - Reggie

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Does The Gov't Have a Right to Your Money?

'Whistleblower' Pilot Exposes Security Lapses

TSA and Homeland Security are going after this guy in a big way. Read about this case here: Sacramento-area pilot punished for YouTube video.

It's Christmas in Congress

After Consistently Losing Elections, Unions Ask Feds for Help

With public sentiment turning against organized labor, unions have enlisted obscure federal bureaucrats to help bolster their ranks. The Department of Labor has been busy rolling back transparency initiatives put in place during the last decade; the National Labor Relations Board is considering rules which would guarantee union organizers access to private property; the National Mediation Board (NMB) is easing union election rules for unions.

Of the three agencies charged with administering different facets of labor-employer relations, none has been more blatantly pro-union than the NMB over the past two years. Founded in 1934, the National Mediation Board is charged with overseeing labor-management disputes in the railroad and airline industries. The three member board—currently comprised of two former union officials and a Bush holdover—showed its true colors soon after its members were assembled. In its first major decision, the NMB ruled that transportation unions only needed to receive a majority of votes cast as oppose to a majority of all workers votes for the union to be certified.

From the union’s perspective, transportation workers are ideal union members. Workers are required to pay union dues if they want to keep their job—right to work laws are not applicable to this industry. Compounding workers’ problems, once a transportation union is elected it is virtually impossible to get rid of union representation. It is so difficult under the NMB’s rules that it has never been done in a group with more than 1000 employees. Coupled together, these policies make transportation workers a golden goose for unions—workers have to pony up hard earned cash, indefinitely.

This NMB’s move to facilitate union organizing was thought to have huge implications in looming union elections. One such showdown is between Delta’s flight attendants and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).

Read the rest of the story

The Daily News: December 23, 2010

I totally forgot to post The Daily News yesterday but, thankfully, all of the shows are repeats of earlier programs. Below are the links to yesterday and today's shows. - Reggie

The Daily News: December 22, 2010

The Daily News: December 23, 2010

NYT Gets Vapors Over Justice Scalia and Tea Party Seminar

The New York Times is all verklemmt over Justice Scalia’s involvement in a tea party seminar:
When the Tea Party holds its first Conservative Constitutional Seminar next month, Justice Antonin Scalia is set to be the speaker. It was a bad idea for him to accept this invitation. He should send his regrets.
The Tea Party epitomizes the kind of organization no justice should speak to — left, right or center — in the kind of seminar that has been described in the press. It has a well-known and extreme point of view about the Constitution and about cases and issues that will be decided by the Supreme Court.

Wait – a publication that has derided the movement is condescending to tell them who they are? The same publication that once called the movement a “minstrel show?” The movement they called racist? So were they purposefully ignorant this whole time so as to present a false characterization of the movement with the goal of persuading their readers to hate it? Or did they just now find the light? Hallelujah! It’s a Christmas miracle.

Now the NYT is terrified that somehow the tea party, so devoted to the Constitution, would influence a Supreme Court justice to be devoted … to … the Constitution. They leapfrog through reasons, trying them on, seeing which has the most affect.

Read the rest of the article

Daniel Hannan -- A Letter of Warning to America

Recorded on October 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010

Change usually happens slowly in the Church. But a review of the past year's research conducted by the Barna Group provides a time-lapse portrayal of how the religious environment in the U.S. is morphing into something new.

Analyzing insights drawn from more than 5,000 non-proprietary interviews conducted over the past 11 months, George Barna indicated that the following patterns were evident in the survey findings.

1. The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate.
2. Christians are becoming more ingrown and less outreach-oriented.
3. Growing numbers of people are less interested in spiritual principles and more desirous of learning pragmatic solutions for life.
4. Among Christians, interest in participating in community action is escalating.
5. The postmodern insistence on tolerance is winning over the Christian Church.
6. The influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives is largely invisible.

It's Christmas in America!

Soooo … Glenn Beck Was Sort of Right

I can’t wait to see the Soros elves at MMfA scramble to spin this:
Remember Glenn Beck’s fuzzy math, which calculated that 10% of Muslims are actually terrorists? Well, according to one of those WikiLeaked diplomatic cables, the man may have been wildly underestimating. At least when it comes to British Muslim students, one-third of whom “believe killing in the name of religion is justified,” according to a survey reported in the Daily Mail.
Read the rest of the article

Yes, Virginia, the Palestinian Arabs do have a deep connection to the Holocaust

The loquacious Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad likes to repeat certain rhetorical flourishes incessantly.

His favorite, of course, is that Israel, which he often endearingly refers to as the “Zionist entity,” will be “wiped off the map” — or, in some more literary translations, “eliminated from pages of history.” Perhaps his second favorite rhetorical flourish, though, is asking why Palestinian Arabs should have to suffer for what Europeans did during World War II?

Let’s assume (the Holocaust) happened, the extent of which everyone is speaking of,” Ahmadinejad said in one iteration of this favorite rhetorical styling. “If the crimes were committed in Europe, why should the Palestinian people be victimized as a result?”

This formulation, obviously, is wrong on many levels, not least of which because Israel’s legitimacy as a nation does not depend on the Holocaust. But since the Iranian president is determined to press this point, it seems only appropriate to point out, well, actually yes, the Palestinian Arabs do share a deep and sordid connection to the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews.

With a new report published by the National Archives incorporating thousands of newly declassified documents, some shedding new light on this connection, this little piece of not-so-well-known history seems relevant to address again.

The Palestinian Arab tie to the Holocaust comes primarily through Haj Amin al-Husseini, the recognized leader of the Arabs of Mandate Palestine from shortly after World I until well after World War II. Forced out of Mandate Palestine by the British in the late 1930s for inciting violence, al-Husseini found his way to Nazi Germany during World War II.

Hitler’s Mufti, as some would later not so affectionately call him, spent the war years in Germany aiding the Nazis and plotting to bring the Final Solution to the Jews of the Middle East.

“Hitler himself signaled his intention to eliminate the Jews of Palestine,” the National Archives new report, “Hitler’s Shadow,” reads. “In a November 29, 1941, conversation in Berlin with the Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hitler said that the outcome of the war in Europe would also decide the fate of the Arab world. … Hitler said that Germany’s only objective there would be the destruction of the Jews.”

This was a cause that al-Husseini was more than ready to sign on to.

The newly declassified documents also show just how lavishly al-Husseini lived in Berlin during the war years – thanks to the generosity of his benefactor, Adolph Hitler. As the report reads:
The CIA file on Husseini includes a document indicating that he had a staff of 20-30 men in Berlin. A separate source indicates that he lived in a villa in the Krumme Lanke neighborhood of Berlin. From spring 1943 to spring 1944, Husseini personally received 50,000 marks monthly … for operational expenses. In addition, they [al-Husseini and another Arab leader living in Berlin] received living expenses averaging 80,000 marks per month, an absolute fortune. A German field marshal received a base salary of 26,500 marks per year.
Despite some of the new details the National Archives report brings to light, the extent of al-Husseini’s connection to Nazi Germany has been known for some time. In their book “Icon of Evil” (which I reviewed for the Weekly Standard in 2008), David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann do an excellent job of cataloguing al-Husseini’s perfidy.

During his time in Berlin, al-Husseini broadcast messages to the Arab world, urging Arabs to join the Nazi cause. He also supposedly became close friends of Heinrich Himmler and Adolph Eichmann, though this would be denied by al-Husseini after the war. Most notoriously, al-Husseini personally recruited Muslims to help the Nazis exterminate Jews, most successfully in Bosnia.

“With (al-Husseini’s) encouragement and incitement,” Dalin and Rothmann write, “the Bosnian Muslim Waffen-SS company that he recruited, the notorious ‘Handschar troopers,’ slaughtered 90 percent – 12,600 – of Bosnia’s 14,000 Jews.”

Obama, EPA to expand regulatory regime for climate change

After initially appearing to retreat in the face of the midterm onslaught, Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have decided to pursue an end-run strategy to impose regulation on energy producers regarding greenhouse-gas emissions.  The move sets up a confrontation between the White House and Congress, which has already signaled a willingness to play hardball with Obama on regulatory innovation:
The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy for power plants and refineries as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won’t back off its push to fight climate change in the face of mounting opposition on Capitol Hill.
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a schedule for setting greenhouse gas emission limits, known as “performance standards,” for the nation’s two biggest carbon-emitting industries, POLITICO has learned.
Under the schedule agreed to by EPA, states and environmental groups, the agency will issue a draft greenhouse gas performance standard for power plants by July 2011 and a final rule by May 2012. The agreement – which comes after states and environmentalists challenged the George W. Bush administration’s failure to set the standards – requires EPA to issue a draft limit for refineries by Dec. 2011 and a final rule by Nov. 2012.
The White House Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the schedule, according to a litigant in the legal fight.

The Net Neutrality Coup

The campaign to regulate the Internet was funded by a who's who of left-liberal foundations.

The Federal Communications Commission's new "net neutrality" rules, passed on a partisan 3-2 vote yesterday, represent a huge win for a slick lobbying campaign run by liberal activist groups and foundations. The losers are likely to be consumers who will see innovation and investment chilled by regulations that treat the Internet like a public utility.

There's little evidence the public is demanding these rules, which purport to stop the non-problem of phone and cable companies blocking access to websites and interfering with Internet traffic. Over 300 House and Senate members have signed a letter opposing FCC Internet regulation, and there will undoubtedly be even less support in the next Congress.

Yet President Obama, long an ardent backer of net neutrality, is ignoring both Congress and adverse court rulings, especially by a federal appeals court in April that the agency doesn't have the power to enforce net neutrality. He is seeking to impose his will on the Internet through the executive branch. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a former law school friend of Mr. Obama, has worked closely with the White House on the issue. Official visitor logs show he's had at least 11 personal meetings with the president.

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

Excellent video from William Castleman

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

I bought this book today with Christmas money I received from a family member. Eric Metaxas was a guest on The Daily News a couple of weeks ago and I heard Dr. Michael Brown interview him last week on his radio show. The two interviews convinced me to buy the book. It would be a great Christmas gift for last minute shoppers to buy. - Reggie

The Valley Forge Encampment began December 19, 1777

Read the history of Valley Forge here and here.

Alternet: Soros-Funded Study Says Fox Viewers Are “Stupid”

No! A Soros-funded study says that Fox viewers are stupid? I AM SHOCKED.

Does Alternet actually research things for conflict of interest before they skip to their keyboards? Says Alternet:
Yet another study has been released proving that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.
The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day.
The first thing I do when I see one of these outfits release a study like is to go and see who bankrolls them. This study was too comical not to, and lo, it took all of two clicks to see this:


Fox Adding Music to NFL Games... Huh?

Are Evangelicals Obsessed with Homosexuality?

A little change of pace this morning. Since our government has repealed Don't Ask, Don't Tell I thought it would be appropriate to post an article about the supposed evangelical obsession with homosexuality.

Truly, I believe it is the left that is obsessed with forcing our society to accept homosexuality as normal. It is not. - Reggie

by Dr. Michael L. Brown

Writing in the On Faith blog for the Washington Post, Orthodox rabbi Shmuley Boteach claimed that evangelical Christians have "utterly marginalized themselves with their obsession over homosexuality." Is this true? To be sure, in the aftermath of the elections, a lively debate is taking place as to whether evangelicals have been marginalized politically or, to the contrary, have actually increased in influence. But what about our alleged obsession with homosexuality?

When Rabbi Shmuley made this accusation in a November 1st debate we had on the subject of homosexuality, I conducted an impromptu survey of the audience, which was almost exclusively evangelical, asking them to respond to four questions: How many of them heard a sermon in the last year on the importance of marriage? Virtually every hand went up. The importance of devoting time and energy to the raising of their children? Same response. The dangers of sexual sin (and/or pornography)? The same response again. A sermon about gay activism? Not a single hand.

This, however, did not impress psychologist and professor Warren Throckmorton, who wrote on his blog, "While I mean no disrespect to his audience, I am not going to trust that they are a representative sample. I certainly disagree with Brown about the obsession of some evangelicals with homosexuality," citing other examples that allegedly backed his claim.

Are the rabbi and the psychologist correct? Was my audience not representative of evangelicals as a whole? (Bear in mind that the audience consisted of people who were interested enough in the subject of homosexuality to come to the debate, yet somehow, if Throckmorton is correct, they were less exposed to the subject than those who were not there. Go figure.)

Let's step back and think about this in terms of day to day, evangelical life. Every year, there are hundreds of thousands of sermons preached in evangelical pulpits across America, and there are thousands of evangelical books that are published, from novels to devotionals to commentaries to sermon collections to testimonies to books on doctrine, theology, prayer, discipleship, marriage, family, childrearing, worship, education, politics, missions, abortion, social action, and more. There is an almost endless stream of evangelical radio and TV shows, with millions of hours of programming, and there are hundreds of evangelical Bible schools, ministry training centers, colleges, universities and seminaries, offering thousands of courses between them.

Of all those sermons, books, radio and TV shows, and college and seminary classes, how many are focused on homosexual issues? Less than 1% would be a fairly good estimate; less than 10% could be absolutely guaranteed. (I invite Rabbi Shmuley or Prof. Throckmorton to challenge this estimate based on a survey of any of the data just mentioned, some of which is readily available.)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Allen West Talks About Tax Deal

The Daily News: December 17, 2010

Ken Cuccinelli on Obamacare

via The Heritage Foundation

House GOP considers constitutional test for all new legislation

I hope and pray they actually do this! - Reggie

House GOP transition team leaders will recommend a change to the lower chamber's rules that would require all members to prove that their legislation is constitutional.

GOP members who are leading the party's transition to the majority unveiled a series of changes they will implement in the 112th Congress on Thursday, with many mirroring promises made in the GOP's "Pledge to America."

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), the head of the House Rules Working Group, on Thursday said the GOP transition team will recommend the adoption of a rule requiring lawmakers to provide constitutional authority for every bill.

“The Constitution is not that long. The operating manual for a Toyota Camry is more than five times longer, so it should not be that difficult,” Bishop said.