NBC says no to pro-life ad

>> Friday, January 30, 2009

Hello all!

An interesting story has come out today involving the upcoming Super Bowl (go Cardinals!!!).   NBC has backed out on its agreement to run an extraordinarily excellent and tear jerking pro-life Super Bowl ad for CatholicVote.org and The Fidelis Center for Law & Policy (the ad was financed by produced by CV.org and financed by TFCLP).  I have imbedded the video at the end of this post, so be sure to watch it.  

NBC has cited the ad’s “political advocacy and issues” as their reason for nixing the ad.    The following is taken from an AFA piece on the development.

“Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, explains there is nothing objectionable in its "life-affirming" message, which features ultrasound pictures of a baby in a mother's womb.
"The ad actually sparked so much interest, and we started getting e-mails and calls from people who saw the ad [and] wanted to try to put it on the air," says Burch. "And given the time of year that we're at, there began a campaign to put it on the Super Bowl."
Burch says his organization signed a contract with NBC to air the spot, and they were extremely happy -- "Until we were informed that NBC, in conjunction with the NFL, was rejecting our ad because it was a political or issue ad," Burch states, "and they said they have a policy against it."

The CatholicVote.org spokesman points out in a press statement that NBC appears to be inconsistent in applying its "no advocacy ads" policy. He notes the network rejected an ad produced by PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- because of its suggestive sexual content.
"There's no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group," argues Burch. "NBC rejected PETA's ad for another reason altogether. Our ad is far less provocative and hardly controversial by comparison."
He respects NBC's decision but says his group's pro-life ad is not divisive or confrontational and is not really political. It simply asks people to imagine the potential of every human life.
"And particularly one person's human life -- which I won't give it away. You'll have to watch the ad," he says.”

This to me is an interesting situation.  On the one hand, I understand and support NBC’s decision to avoid political advocacy ads, especially during an event as huge as the Super Bowl, but Mr. Burch is correct in pointing out the apparent inconsistency.  It smacks of political correctness to me, and I am hard pressed to believe that NBC would turn down an ad from PETA if it was clean.   On the other hand (how’s that for a little Tevye?) there are two considerations from NBC’s point of view that need to be mentioned.    

1)      With the dreadful recent history of sexually charged Super Bowl ads and halftime shows (Janet Jackson + Justin Timberlake at half time and Nicolette Sheridan + Terrell Owens Commercial) NBC has rightfully tightened their standard for sexuality in their ads, so the biggest problem with the PETA ad may have been its sexual suggestiveness (it sounds very racy to me).  That just means, its political connotations may have been overshadowed by its raciness, thus no inconsistency in not citing its possible political message as the reason for nixing it.   

2)      It could be the ad’s sexual suggestiveness may not be bad enough to bother NBC, but they are using it as an excuse to avoid ruffling feathers as a result of running the ad.   Most years running politically motivated ads wouldn’t a big problem, but with the heightened political tensions and sensitivities we are currently experiencing it would be risky to run a political ad.   If this is true, then NBC’s nixing of both ads seems fair and reasonable enough.

You may be asking, “Why wouldn’t NBC just say they aren’t running PETA’s ad because of the political advocacy angle?”   The obvious answer, to me, is to do so would really anger PETA and their many supporters who likely comprise a large portion of NBC’s viewers.  It’s an incredibly sad testimony to our society (and media) when we place ads celebrating life on the same level as advocacy for the ethical treatment of animals, but that seems to be where we are.

At the end of the day I would encourage CatholicVote.org to not get too upset about this, which it would seem is thankfully not the case. Yes, there is some inconsistency in NBC’s actions, and there might be a lot of inconsistencies in NBC’s past.   I don’t have television and don’t believe in spending too much time watching it besides, so I am no expert on NBC.  But, CV.org’s case doesn’t seem strong enough to warrant dying on this hill.  Maybe there will be further developments lending weight to their case, but I doubt it. 

The ad may not run during the Super Bowl, but it is still an excellent to perfect ad, and they need to concentrate on using it elsewhere to spread the message.  

Of course, I would be elated if NBC ran the ad, but I realize that there are several valid, albeit sad reasons contributing to their decision to not run it.

As usual I welcome all thoughts my viewers might wish to share. :-)  

God bless and veritas supra omnis!      

P.S. If possible, send a link to the ad (or even this blog post! ;-) to your friends so they can see it.   This has to be the best pro-life ad ever when all factors are considered.   Don’t be discouraged by NBC’s refusal to run it…it can still be used to powerfully to influence millions of we utilize the internet to spread it around.



Drugs: the core issue

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I have been thinking a lot recently about drug policy and my position on it, and while I am not prepared to address the broad range of issues inherent to the totality of the discussion, I would like to state my position on one point of contention in the debate.

There have been many on the pro-legalized-drugs side of things that offer up an argument or train of thought in regards to law enforcement that I would like to address.  The argument goes, “If drugs weren’t illegal people wouldn’t spend so much money on them (thus creating a lucrative market for suppliers and distributors), and there wouldn’t be so much drug related crime.  There wouldn’t be drug wars between violent gangs, there wouldn’t be theft to support drug addictions, wouldn’t be so many consumers in prison on the tax payer’s dime, etc.”    

To this train of thought and its variations (the above is my own wording but I believe it accurately frames the logic behind it) I would say…we wouldn’t have so much murder related crime if we made murder legal.  There wouldn’t be an opportunity for evil people to benefit from murder (professional hit men) if murder was legal.  For that matter, we wouldn’t have much theft related crime if we legalized theft, or at least petty theft.  There wouldn’t be professional thieves…wouldn’t be vibrant black markets, etc.

Obviously, those are fairly extreme examples, but do you see what I am saying?   This train of logic, to my mind, is an unacceptable approach to the issue logically and is blatantly un-biblical besides.   Where does the Bible say that the government should reward evil and not reward good?  In what way does logic decree that a completely unrestrained society can be just or functional?  Regardless of what you believe to be the proper function of government, in order for you to believe in government itself you must believe in some sort of basic order…order that allows society to function.  Whether enforcing this established order is challenging or whether this established order presents an opportunity for ingenious criminals and evil people to profit by circumventing and breaking laws  is also beside the point.  The point is, “What is right?”

The issue properly at the center of the drug debate is not “Would legalization cut down on crime (by taking away the opportunity for crime) and expensive law enforcement?”   The issue is whether the regulation of drugs is a proper function of the government.   To that specific point I will say nothing in this post.   All I want to say is that laws by their very nature create a positive and a negative, crime as the negative and law abiding as the positive.  We don’t eliminate the positive because it creates a negative if we believe that there is such a thing as right and wrong. 

If one believes in no laws then by all means they should say so…only a free, open and honest exchange of ideas and beliefs can lead to intellectual sharpening, moral stimulation and steeling strength.  But, if you believe in having some structure of society then it seems you must agree with me that the above outlined argument (to which I am responding) is quite wrong, unproductive, and blatantly un-biblical.

I am of course open to being proven wrong or hearing any insight and wisdom others might have to offer.   I probably don’t know fully the limits of my knowledge and wisdom (such as it is) thanks to the curse called pride, but I do know that I have somewhat easily reached limits. :-)

As a closing note to explain a little where I am coming from…I don’t believe this nation is a theocracy in the vein of the Old Testament, nor do I believe I am called to advocate an Old Testament type theocracy.   I believe the Bible speaks to the issue of civil governance in limited quantities.  But I also believe that, as a Christian, I must advocate a God honoring basic social structure when and how I can with the understanding that my influence on the actual making of law (thus creating the positive of law abiding and the negative of law breaking) may be limited.  Not all answers can be found or goals achieved through the government, thankfully.   However, there is a minimum that we must fight for fiercely…because if that minimum is not met not only will we no longer be under the blessing of God as a nation, which is curse enough itself…we will be under His wrath…a truly frightful thing to think of.


God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Steve Sailer's "Track and Battlefield": Men and Women are Different

Howdy folks!  

I trust this post finds each of you having a glorious day!   I am looking at the somewhat annoying glare in my computer screen at the steamy outdoors.   We received a bit of ice over the last couple of days, but the sun came out a short while ago, resulting in a steamy but still chilly afternoon. It’s quite lovely, especially when you are only looking at it! :-)  But, I didn’t sit down to blog about the weather. :-)   I would like to share an article I found while perusing a newly discovered and rather interesting blog.  

The authors, in an article originally published in a 12/31/97 edition of National Review, deal with the issue of the natural differences in men and women, focusing in on the sport of track to examine the issue and at the end tying it in to the question of women’s service in the military.   He (Steve Sailer, the writing half of the duo) probably doesn’t come from the same perspective I do theologically and I disagree strongly with some of his more secondary points (he seems to have a pretty different view of gender roles), but overall the authors reasoning and research are both compelling and logical.  It’s a fairly long article, so I’ll post some of its more key passages and if you are interested you can read it yourself in its entirety. Unfortunately, I can't pare it down too much because it is already pretty succinct (in my opinion) and contains a lot of information that all builds on the rest. I'll do my best though, right down to editing out sentences in some places.  I’m guessing about 60% of the article is essential though. 

There is a lot of fascinating history (to me) in this article and that in-and-of-itself makes it a worthy read.  The entire article can be read here.  http://www.isteve.com/gendrgap.htm

Here are some key excerpts:

Excerpt 1: Everybody knows that the "gender gap" in physical performance between male and female athletes is rapidly narrowing. Moreover, in an opinion poll just before the 1996 Olympics, 66% claimed "the day is coming when top female athletes will beat top males at the highest competitive levels." The most publicized scientific study supporting this belief appeared in Nature in 1992: "Will Women Soon Outrun Men?" Physiologists Susan Ward and Brian Whipp pointed out that since the Twenties women's world records in running had been falling faster than men's. Assuming these trends continued, men's and women's marathon records would equalize by 1998, and during the early 21st Century for the shorter races.

This is not sports trivia. Whether the gender gap in athletic performance stems from biological differences between men and women, or is simply a social construct imposed by the Male Power Structure, is highly relevant both to fundamental debates about the malleability of human nature, as well as to current political controversies such as the role of women in the military.

When everybody is so sure of something, it's time to update the numbers. So, I began an in-depth study with my research partner, Dr. Stephen Seiler, an American sports physiologist teaching at Agder College in Norway.  

The conclusion: Although the 1998 outdoor running season isn't even here yet, we can already discard Ward and Whipp's forecast: women will not catch up to men in the marathon this year. The gender gap between the best marathon times remains the equivalent of the woman record holder losing by over 2.6 miles. In fact, we can now be certain that in fair competition the fastest women will never equal the fastest men at any standard length race. Why? Contrary to all expectations, the overall gender gap has been widening throughout the Nineties. While men's times have continued to get faster, world class women are now running noticeably slower than in the Eighties. How come? It's a fascinating tale of sex discrimination, ethnic superiority, hormones, and the fall of the Berlin Wall that reconfirms the unpopular fact that biological differences between the sexes and the races will continue to play a large, perhaps even a growing, role in human affairs.

Excerpt 2: …the current climate of opinion demands that we analyze a "major" (i.e., traditionally male) sport.

Fortunately for our analytical purposes, men and women currently compete under identical conditions in ten Olympic running events, making their times directly comparable. In general, track is ideal for statistical study because it's such a simple sport: all that matters are the times. Another advantage to focusing on running is that it's probably the most universal sport. Track medalists in the 1996 Olympics included an Australian aborigine as well as runners from Burundi, Trinidad & Tobago, South Korea, Mozambique, Norway, and Namibia. Running is so fundamental to life and so cheap that most children on Earth compete at it enough to reveal whether they possess any talent for it.

Excerpt 3: Let's focus upon those ten directly comparable races. Way back in 1970, women's world record times averaged 21.3% higher (worse) than men's. But during the Seventies women broke or equaled world records 79 times, compared to only 18 times by men, lowering the average gender gap in world records to 13.3%. In the Eighties, women set 47 records compared to only 23 by men, and the gender gap shrank to just 10.2%. Further narrowing seemed inevitable in the Nineties.

Yet, male runners are now pulling away from female runners. Women's performances have collapsed, with only five record-setting efforts so far in this decade, compared to 30 by men. (The growth of the gender gap has even been accelerating. Men broke or tied records seven times in 1997, the most in any year since 1968.) The average gender gap for WR's has increased from 10.2% to 11.0%. And since four of the five women's "records" set in the Nineties occurred at extremely questionable Chinese meets (as we shall see later), it's probably more accurate to say that for relatively legitimate records in the Nineties, men are ahead of women 30 to 1, and the average world record gender gap has grown from 10.2% to 11.5%.

Despite all the hype about 1996 being the "Women's Olympics," in the Atlanta Games' central events -- the footraces -- female medalists performed worse relative to male medalists than in any Olympics since 1972. In the 1988 Games the gender gap for medalists was 10.9%, but it grew to 12.2% in 1996. Even stranger is the trend in absolute times. Track fans expect slow but steady progress; thus, nobody is surprised that male medalists became 0.5% faster from the 1988 to the 1996 Olympics. Remarkably, though, women medalists became 0.6% slower over the same period.

Why is the gender gap growing?

1. In the Longer Races. From 800m to the marathon, but especially in the 5,000m and 10,000m races, the main reason women are falling further behind men is discrimination, society forcing women to stay home and have six babies. Of course, I'm not talking about the industrialized world, but about a few polygamous, high-birth rate African nations. All 17 male distance record-settings in the Nineties belong to Kenyans (9), Ethiopians (5), Algerians (2), or Moroccans (1). A culture can encourage all women to pursue glory in athletics or to have a half-dozen kids, but not both. Thus, Kenya's high birth rate (not long ago it was more than five times West Germany's) has contributed to an ever-swelling torrent of brilliant male runners, but has kept any Kenyan woman from winning Olympic gold.

These facts, though, raise a disturbing question: Why is women's distance running so debilitated by sexism in these obscure African countries? Because, as bankrobber Willie Sutton might say, that's where the talent is. You can't understand women's running without comparing it to men's running, and that has become incomprehensible unless you grasp how, as equality of opportunity has improved in men's track, ethnic inequality of result has skyrocketed. The African tidal wave culminated on August 13, 1997 when Wilson Kipketer, a Kenyan running for Denmark, broke the great Sebastian Coe's 800m mark, erasing the last major record held by any man not of African descent. African superiority is now so manifest that even Burundi, a small East African hell-hole, drubbed the U.S. in the men's distance races at our own Atlanta Games.

Yet, there are striking systematic differences between even African ethnic groups. This can best be seen by graphing each population's bell curve for running. The Olympic events from 100 meters to the marathon run along the horizontal axis, and the percentage of the 100 best times in history go along the vertical axis. For Kenyan men, for example, a lovely bell curve appears showing which distances they are best suited for. These East Africans are outclassed in the 100m and 200m, but become competitive in the 400m, then are outstanding from 800m to 10,000m, before tailing off slightly in the marathon (42,000m). Not surprisingly, the Kenyan's peak is in the middle of their range -- the 3,000m steeplechase -- where Kenyans own the 53 fastest times ever.

In contrast, for the black men of the West African Diaspora (e.g., U.S., Nigeria, Cuba, Brazil, Canada, Britain, and France), only the right half of their bell curve is visible. They absolutely monopolize the 100m. Men of West African descent have broken the 10 second barrier 134 times; nobody else has ever done it. They remain almost as overwhelming in the 200m and 400m, then drop off to being merely quite competitive in the 800m. They are last sighted in the 1500m, and then are absolutely not a factor in the long distance events.

While there are the usual nature vs. nurture arguments over why African runners win so much, there is no possibility that culture alone can account for how much West African and East African runners differ in power vs. endurance. Track is ultracompetitive: Coaches test all their runners at different distances until they find their best lengths. Even in the unlikely event that Kenya's coaches were too self-defeating to exploit their 100m talent, and Jamaica's leadership was ignoring their 10,000m prodigies, American and European coaches and agents would swoop in and poach them. No, what's infinitely more plausible is that both West Africans and East Africans are performing relatively close to their highly distinct biological limits.

None of this conforms to American obsessions about race. First, we dread empirical studies of human biodiversity, worrying that they will uncover the intolerable reality of racial supremacy. Is this fear realistic? Consider merely running: are West Africans generally better runners than whites? In sprints, absolutely. In distance races, absolutely not. Overall racial supremacy is nonsense; specific ethnic superiorities are a manifold reality.

These ethnic patterns among male runners are crucial to understanding the causes of the growth in the gender gap, because it appears that women runners possess the same natural strengths and weaknesses as their menfolk. For example, the bell curves for men and women runners of West African descent are both equally sprint-focused. Therefore, if a nation's women perform very differently than its men, something is peculiar. With high-birthrate African countries like Kenya and Morocco, it's clear the social systems restrain marriage-aged women from competing. This offers hope that the distance gender gap will someday stop widening. Indeed, since the Kenyan birthrate began dropping a few years back, we have begun to see a few outstanding Kenyan women.

Excerpt 4: 2. In the Shorter Races. The gender gap is widening not just because men (especially African distance runners) are running faster today, but also because women (especially East European sprinters) are now running slower.

From 1970-1989, white women from communist countries accounted for 71 of the 84 records set at 100m-1500m. In contrast, white men from communist countries accounted for exactly zero of the 23 male records. Those memorable East German frauleins alone set records 49 times in just the sprints and relays (100m-400m). This was especially bizarre because men of West African descent have utterly dominated white men in sprinting. Another oddity of that era is that communist women set only seven (and East Germans none) of the 48 female records in the 5k, 10k, and the marathon. 

The crash of women's running was brought about by two seemingly irrelevant events in the late Eighties: Ben Johnson got caught, and the Berlin Wall fell. At the 1988 Olympics, in the most anticipated 100m race of all time, Johnson, the surly Jamaican-Canadian sprinter who could benchpress 396 pounds, demolished Carl Lewis with a jaw-dropping world record of 9.79 seconds. Two days later Johnson was stripped of his medal and record because his urine contained steroids -- muscle-building artificial male hormones. Embarrassed that it had let a man called "Benoid" by other runners (because his massively muscled body was so flooded with steroids that his eyeballs had turned yellow) become the biggest star in the sport, track officialdom finally got fairly serious about testing for steroids in 1989.  

Then the Berlin Wall fell, and we learned exactly how East German coaches enabled white women to outsprint black women: by chemically masculinizing them. It turns out that masculinity -- in its lowest common denominator definition of muscularity and aggressiveness -- is not a social construct at all: East German biochemists simply mass-produced masculinity. Obviously, the communists weren't the only dopers, but they were the best organized. Newsweek reported, "Under East Germany's notorious State Plan 14.25, more than 1,000 scientists, trainers and physicians spent much of the 1980's developing better ways to drug the nation's athletes." East German coaches are now finally going on trial for forcing enormous doses of steroids on uninformed teenagers. The Soviet Union, although less brilliant in the laboratory, also engaged in cheating on an impressively industrial scale.

Excerpt 5: Exemplifying the differences in drug testing between the Eighties and Nineties are the contrasting fates of two Eastern European women: Jarmila Kraticholivova and Katrin Krabbe. The extremely muscular Miss Kraticholivova, described by Track & Field News as a "Mack truck," won the 400m and the 800m at the 1983 World Championships, and her 800m record still stands. Runner Rosalyn Bryant commented, "I'm still not envious of the 'Wonder Woman' of Czechoslovakia. I could have chosen the same way, but I didn't want to change my body, given to me by God, into a new shape. ... Five years ago she was a normal woman. Now she is all muscles and runs World Records." Her rival Gaby Bussmann called her, flatly, "a man." Miss K. replied, "One day, if [Ms. Bussman] produces performances like mine, she will have to have sacrificed some of her good looks. In athletics, one has to decide how much to sacrifice. The women of the West don't work as hard as we do." Miss K. was never caught by the drug tests of her day.

In contrast, Katrin Krabbe, a product of the old East German training system, won the 100m and 200m at the 1991 World Championships to rave reviews. Track & Field News called her "beautiful" and "sleek," and pointedly contrasted her to the "masculine" Miss Kraticholivova. Even before her victories, young Ms. Krabbe had signed a million dollars in modeling and product endorsement contracts. Although she couldn't have been very heavily doped by Eighties' standards, in 1992 she was disqualified because of tampering with her urine sample. Thus, East German women won eight medals at the 1988 Olympics, but during the 1992 and 1996 Games combined, reunited Germany's women could garner only a single bronze.

Since men average 10 times more natural testosterone than women, they need dangerously large, Ben Johnson-sized doses to make huge improvements, while women can bulk-up significantly on smaller, less-easily detected amounts. The primitive testing at the 1988 Olympics did succeed in catching Benoid; yet the female star of those Games, America's Florence Griffith-Joyner, passed every urinalysis she ever faced. The naturally lissome Flo-Jo may have been the world's fastest clean 200 meter woman from 1984-1987, but she kept finishing second in big races to suspiciously brawny women. She then asked Ben Johnson for training advice, and emerged from a winter in the weight room looking like a Saturday morning cartoon superheroine. She made a magnificent joke out of women's track in 1988, setting records in the 100m and 200m that few had expected to see before the middle of the 21st Century. Then, she retired before random drug testing began in 1989, having passed every drug test she ever took.

Excerpt 6: In conclusion, studying sports' gender gaps offers new perspectives on a host of contemporary issues seemingly far removed from athletics, such as women in the military. Ironically, feminists in sports have successfully campaigned for the funding of thousands of sexually segregated, female-only teams, while feminists in the media and Congress have compelled the Armed Forces (outside of the defiant Marines) to sexually integrate basic training and many operating units, even including some combat teams.

Excerpt 7: Who's right? Female college coaches have some powerful reasons for believing that coed competition would badly damage their mission of turning girls into strong, take-charge women. For example, they fear that female athletes would inevitably be sexually harassed. Even more distracting to their mission than the unwanted sexual advances from male teammates, however, would be the wanted ones. This opinion is based on more than just lesbian jealousy: research on single sex vs. coed schools shows that teenage girls are more likely to develop into leaders in all-female groups, whereas in coed settings young females tend to compete with each other in coyly deferring to good-looking guys. Any hard-headed female basketball coach could tell you that merging her team with the school's men's team would simply turn two dedicated squads now focused on beating their respective opponents into one all-consuming soap opera of lust, betrayal, jealousy, and revenge. (Does this remind you of the current state of any superpower's military?) Yet, feminists utterly forget to apply their own hard-earned wisdom to the armed forces: on the whole, deploying young women in cramped quarters alongside young fighting men does not make the women into better warriors, it make them into moms. For example, the Washington Times reports that for every year a coed warship is at sea, the Navy has to airlift out 16% of the female sailors as their pregnancies become advanced.

Reorganizing the military along the lines of the sexually segregated teams characteristic of contemporary college sports will do much both to more fully use the potential of women in uniform and to quell the endless sexual brouhahas currently bedeviling our coed military. Yet, the crucial issue remains: Should women fight? The main justification feminists give for a coed-izing the military is that lack of combat experience unfairly hampers female officers' chances for promotion.

We can again turn for guidance to female coaches. The main reason they favor sexual apartheid on the playing fields is that in open competition males would slaughter females. It seems reasonable to conclude the same would happen on the battlefields. This may sound alarmist. After all, running's gender gap is a rather marginal-sounding 1/8th; surely, many women are faster than the average man, and, by the same logic, many would make better soldiers.

First, though, as economists have long pointed out, competition occurs at the margins: runners don't race against the average Joe, but against other runners. And soldiers fight other soldiers. Second, while the moderate width of track's gender gap is representative of many simple sports that test primarily a single physical skill (the main exceptions are tests of upper body strength like shotputting, where the top men are as much as twice as strong as the top women), in free-flowing multidimensional sports like basketball where many skills must be combined, overall gender gaps tend to be so imposing that after puberty females almost never compete with males. Consider what traits help just in enabling you to dunk a basketball: height, vertical leaping ability, footspeed (to generate horizontal momentum that can be diverted into vertical liftoff), and hand size and hand strength (to dunk one-handed). Not one of these five individual gender gaps is enormous, but they combine to create a huge difference in results: almost everybody in the NBA can dunk compared to almost nobody in the WNBA. Basketball, however, is far more than slam and jam. Throw in the need for massiveness and upper body strength in rebounding and defense, wrist strength in jumpshooting, etc., and multiply all these male advantages together, and the resulting gender gap in basketball ability is so vast that despite the WNBA's state of the art marketing, it's actual product resembles an all white high school boys' game from a few decades ago.

While in theory it might be nice if we could accommodate ambitious female officers' need for combat experience by negotiating during wars with our enemies to set up separate all-female battles between our Amazon units and their Amazon units, this is where the analogy with sports finally breaks down: opponents in war don't have to play by the rules ... causing our women to be defeated, captured, raped, and killed. Still, if (as, in effect, so many feminists insist) female officers' right to equal promotion opportunities requires that they be furnished with female cannon fodder, there is one proven formula for narrowing the gender gap to give our enlisted women more of a fighting chance. Feminist logic implies that just as our military once imported ex-Nazi German rocket scientists, it should now import ex-Communist German steroid pushers.


God bless and veritas supra omnis!





Important Information: coffee = less Alzheimer’s

>> Sunday, January 18, 2009

Every now and then some bit of news comes along that brings a smile to my face and a smile to my heart.   Such a bit of news was received today by email from newsmax.com in their most recent newsmax.com health alert.   It reads:


“Drinking Coffee Slashes Risk of Alzheimer’s

Drinking coffee during midlife can slash your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A Finnish study found that those who drank coffee at midlife had a lower risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in late-life than those who drank no coffee at all. Those who drank three to five cups of coffee a day lowered their risk by 65 percent.

“We aimed to study the association between coffee and tea consumption at midlife and dementia/AD risk in late-life, because the long-term impact of caffeine on the central nervous system was still unknown, and as the pathologic processes leading to Alzheimer’s disease may start decades before the clinical manifestation of the disease,” says lead researcher, associate professor Miia Kivipelto from the University of Kuopio, Finland and Karloinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Coffee-drinking was categorized into three groups: low (0 to 2 cups daily), moderate (3 to 5 cups) and high (more than 5 cups). Tea-drinking was categorized into two groups: those not drinking tea and those who drank at least one cup daily. While all coffee drinkers had a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than non-drinkers, those who drank moderate amounts of coffee lowered their risk by a surprising 65 percent. Drinking tea had no impact on the risk of developing dementia.

“Given the large amount of coffee consumption globally, the results might have important implications for the prevention of or delaying the onset of dementia/AD. The finding needs to be confirmed by other studies, but it opens the possibility that dietary interventions could modify the risk of dementia/AD,” wrote Kivipelto. “Also, identification of mechanisms of how coffee exerts its protection against dementia/AD might help in the development of new therapies for these diseases.” “

For those of you reading who don’t know, I am very much a fan of coffee; a self described “connoisseur” though a relatively recent convert by no means an expert.  This news, though smile causing, is hardly surprising.   Coffee (good coffee) has been known to have substantial health benefits for quite some time as a quick Google search reveals.

I know this post might seem a bit random, but I hope that this news brings a smile to all coffee fans reading this is found to be informative by those who are not necessarily fans.  

I think I'll go brew me a cup or two in celebration of my reaffirmed knowledge!

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Planned Parenthood and LAF: Disturbing Undercover Video(s)

Hello all!

Live Action Films (www.liveactionfilms.org) has recently gone undercover to try and discover some of the workings of Planned Parenthood, and to put in mildly, their discoveries have been shocking to say the least.   I do not know how many Planned Parenthood centers they have checked out undercover, but the conduct of the Planned Parenthood counselors in the videos give me no reason to believe that the majority of Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics operate in a manner substantially different than the two featured in the videos.   These are not the first times evidence has shown Planned Parenthood to have violated state and federal laws, though these are probably the most shocking due to their nature.

Assuming you haven’t already, and I am sure some of you have, I would encourage all blog viewers to check out Live Action Films undercover films online.  The most recently released video can be found here and the other here or you can watch them right here on the blog.

The fact that these undercover findings have not been more prominently featured in the MSM strongly suggests bias (not necessarly a provable assertion), I believe, though I do recognize that these videos do not explore the issue from every angle though they do honestly present the crux of the matter.

I know I am very late covering these developments but you would be surprised at how many people have not heard even now about the latest discoveries.    An article that may be of interest for those of a curious mind can be found can be found here.  It deals with the legal questions concerning undercover investigations.    

As a final note...I suggest that you either watch these two undercover film projects following the above links to Live Actions Films site or watch them imbedded in this post below but do not watch them on youtube.   The related videos are very inappropriate, so be warned. 

 God bless and veritas and veritas supra omnis!


The first undercover video:

The second undercover video:


A Chilling Account and a Word of Warning

>> Friday, January 9, 2009

Al Mohler blogged this morning about a pivotal point in our political and cultural history and I think all would be well served by reading his post.  I won’t summarize what he said, his comments are better than mine, but I would encourage all to follow this link and read for yourselves.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!

P.S.  Dr. Mohler bases his post on this Anne Hendershott article from the Wall Street Journal, so, time permitting, you might want to read it.


Obama gears up with powerful advisory team

>> Thursday, January 8, 2009

Anyone entertaining doubts as to the force with which Barak Obama intends to hammer through his legacy building policies (health reform, the environment and urban affairs) should read this informative article from the Washington Post (online).

Mind you, I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with what he is doing (though, I haven’t researched the issue enough), it seems pretty smart to me from his perspective.   Republicans (and Conservatives) will have their work cut out for them in opposing such of Obama’s policies as need opposing. 

This advisory team is the stuff of history books; certainly, it is something the history books will note with interest, for the good it does or the bad.  

Let's see how it works.

God bless and veritas supra omnis!


Honoring God With Time

>> Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Recently, I have been thinking and studying about the practice of devoting time to be alone with God (through prayer, meditation, and study) and I have been amazed (sadly) at the ease with which Christians “lightly esteem” God and His Word by failing to devote any significant time to the study of His Word.  We come up with our reasonable sounding excuses (to us)…”Oh, I must first do such-and-such a chore; so-and-so needs my attention at this time; I can’t rise early because I work much and need my rest”…and our minds think in a manner that places ourselves and our needs at the center of our thoughts, instead of God.  But, since when are we to place ourselves foremost in our minds?   Since when has God been officially relegated to second place?   Since when are we to rely on us to meet our needs?  

We often deceive ourselves into thinking, for instance, we are placing God first in our lives just because we think we desire to honor Him by doing things like spending time in the study of His Word and prayer, or “desire” to meet the needs of our brother who needs help with a project, or “desire” to devote more time to the needs of our families.  We think that desiring is enough, but God demands that we place Him first in everything, heart, mind, and deed.   Anything less is dishonoring to Him. 

Measuring our commitment to God by our desire alone is dangerous in-and-of-itself.  If it is true that “the heart is above all deceitful” then it is folly to measure our “desire” only by our heart.  We must also measure ourselves against the written word of God, and the Word of God is very clear on the issue, saying…”faith without works is dead” (James 2:20)…and…”it is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself (Proverbs 20:11).”   Those commands present for us the absolute standard by which our devotion to God is measured; by our heart and our deeds…the internal and the external.  So desire is a dangerous measure.    No doubt some are sincere in their “desire”, but I doubt that most are.   Usually we “desire” but don’t do the things we know we should but don’t want to.   

God gives us all different tasks to do in life and some are called to do things that are seemingly more spiritual things then others, but that matters not.  We are all called to different tasks.   What matters is that we do our best and bloom where we are planted (give it the old college try, so to speak) and place God first in our life, doing what we can for His glory, as we can, when we can.  This is what God asks of us. 

If we truly desire to love and honor God (in our hearts) that desire will translate into good deeds (I Samuel 2:30).   Placing God at the center of our heart and mind instead of ourselves should produce a radical change in our lives, an internal change that, if true, will be evidenced externally.

I could go on, but I am learning that shorter is better for blogging and this post is getting to be too long, so I had better wind things up.

I would encourage you to read Malachi 1:6-8, and verse 14 of the same chapter.  The context is God speaking to Israel concerning their putting other things before Him, ultimately resulting in Israel offering defiled sacrifices on His altar, among other things.  Frequently, the things we place ahead of God and the way in which we place them are more subtle and less terrible seeming then what we see in Malachi, but the result is still that our sacrifices are defiled and God is dishonored.   “May it never be!” (Romans 6)

Please, never allow the pursuit of God to be less important than anything, even sleep if it comes to that.   God will provide for us in ways that surpass our human understanding if only we honor Him as our Lord and Savior.  Let us never forget the words of Matthew 6:33:

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

May our sacrifices to God never be second best, but always true and pure.


Heritage Foundation Warns Republicans

I received an email from the Heritage Foundation this morning (one of their "Morning Bell" emails that I receive every morning) and I thought the information was worth passing on.  So, that is what I am doing. :-)   If you would like informative daily emails from The Heritage Foundation you can subscribe here on their homepage.  I have personally been greatly benefited by their daily emails (in particular) so I would recommend them highly.


"Don't take the bait for Obama's trillion dollar spending trap"

Across the country today, President-elect Barack Obama got exactly the headlines he wanted from his supporters in the establishment media. “Obama Pitches Stimulus Plan: GOP Asked to Help Design” says the Washington Post. “Obama Sweetens Stimulus for GOP” reports the Los Angeles Times. Obama Finds Lovefest on Capitol Hill blares the San Francisco Chronicle. Obama’s strategy is clear: make as big a show of bipartisanship as possible to provide the most amount of conservative cover for what all signs point to being at least a $1 trillion stimulus package. Hence the New York Times reports, “Mr. Obama pledged to help advance the legislation in any way he could, participants said, including inviting skeptical members of Congress to meet with him at his transition headquarters or at his temporary residence, the Hay-Adams Hotel.” Hopefully Republican votes in Congress are more expensive then a lunch at the luxurious Hay-Adams Hotel.


But the bigger worry is that conservatives in Congress will sign their names to almost $1 trillion in new federal government spending in exchange for a measly $300 billion in temporary tax cuts. Rugters University professor Ross Baker told the LAT: “That’s Republican bait. It’s difficult for many Republicans to vote against a large tax cut. ” Baker is right. Generally, Republicans ought to favor large tax cuts. But not all tax cuts are created equal. Short term tax cuts (like rebates, holidays, etc.) simply do not work. Both the Bush 2001 tax rebates and the Bush 2008 tax rebates failed to stimulate the economy. Only long-term tax rate reductions trigger the important economic decisions that a real recovery depends on like more investment in new factories and new equipment.

And what is the price for conservatives if they accept $300 billion in temporary tax cuts? Hundreds of billions of dollars in new entitlement spending on benefits like unemployment insurance for part-time workers and Medicaid eligibility for laid-off workers. Hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts for profligate states like California, New York, and New Jersey. Hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure projects which will do nothing to stimulate the economy.

As Sen. Everett Dirksen (D-IL) quipped during the Great Society spending boom of the 1960s, “A billion here, a billion there — pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” The Wall Street Journal adds:
How quaint. In modern Washington, trillion is the new billion. … The human mind is not well equipped to fathom a number that large. A check for $1 trillion — a million million dollars — would have 12 zeros to the left of the decimal point. Homo sapiens hadn’t evolved a trillion seconds ago: 31,546 years in the past, Neanderthals were still trying to make fire. More immediately, $1 trillion is about one-third of annual U.S. government spending and 13% of the U.S. economy. It is more than the GDP of all but 12 countries in 2007 (America, Japan, Germany, China, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Russia and India, in that order).

Obama likes to say, “We are being guided by what works, not by ideology.” But if that is true, then he should listen closely to his Council of Economic Advisers chairman Christina Romer, who has published economic studies concluding that: 1) tax increases harm economic growth; 2) permanent tax cuts lead to greater economic activity; and, most importantly, 3) increased government spending has at best a small effect on stimulating economic activity."


I firmly believe that the greatest long term danger of an Obama presidency is the expansion of programs that promote government dependency (welfare and the like).   Once a dependency has been formed on a large scale it won't be done away with; at least, that has been the case in our history.   This new stimulus plan clearly increases dependency on a large scale and it will be interesting to see how Republicans handle the situation as a whole.   I don't have much faith in Republicans on Capitol Hill as a group, but you never know...maybe they'll stick to their guns this time.


God bless and veritas supra omnis!


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