Thursday, July 31, 2008

Minnesota receives a D- for its welfare reform efforts

The Heartland Institute has released a very interesting study on welfare reform in the states, "Welfare Reform after Ten Years: A State-by-State Analysis." It's a state by state analysis of welfare since groundbreaking welfare reform was passed by Congress in 1996.

Minnesota received an overall grade of D- and an overall ranking of 40 among all states and DC. The grade is based on two components -- success at reducing poverty and welfare reform policies instituted.

Reducing poverty success is based on "percentage decline in the number of persons receiving Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), change in poverty rate, TANF work participation rate, change in unemployment rate, and change in teenage birth rate." In regards to anti-poverty success, Minnesota received a F grade, and a ranking of 46.

Here, Minnesota received a ranking of 46 for teen birthrates, 42 for unemployment, 33 for work participation rate, 36 for poverty and 29 for TANF recipient decline. Thus 46 out of 51. Not a pretty picture.

In welfare reform policies, the factors considered were "service integration, increasing filing for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), work requirements, cash diversion programs, family cap provisions, lifetime limits on aid and sanctions." Here Minnesota received a C grade and a ranking of 26.

Here, Minnesota received a A for work requirements, A- for cash diversion, F for family cap provisions, D for time limits, and F for sanctions. Overall was a C.

One factor not considered but viewed by many as a critical element in future welfare reform is the status of marriage in a state. There's a bias against encouraging marriage, especially on the left but almost by some on the right. Marriage is an absolutely vital institution for reducing poverty not only in the present but also the future. Marriage is the foundation of the family and the family is the institution God has designed for forming character in the lives of not only children but adults. And character is an indispensable element for staying married, getting an education, working and staying out of poverty.

Heartland Institute has provided a valuable resource for people and policy makers to consider when deciding whether our state welfare programs are actually working.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Homosexual marriage supporters will stop at nothing, it seems, to get their way in California

Homosexual marriage supporters in California will stop at nothing, it seems, to see homosexual marriage foisted on that state. From using four liberal judges of their Supreme Court to impose a radical redefinition of marriage on that state to now playing games with the voter initiated constitutional marriage amendment.

The latter example is Attorney General Jerry Brown's decision to change Prop 8's original ballot title from "Amends the California Constitution to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." to "Changes California Constitution to eliminate right of same-sex couples to marry. Provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. Fiscal Impact: Over the next few years, potential revenue loss, mainly sales taxes, totaling in the several tens of millions of dollars, to state and local governments. In the long run, likely little fiscal impact to state and local governments."

Talk about bias and blatant efforts to mislead voters.

For one there is no right to homosexual marriage. Marriage is rooted in the created order, in our nature. As the founder's said in the Declaration of Independence, our Creator endows us with rights not the judiciary or legislature.

And the assertion that the fiscal impact of not allowing homosexual marriage means losing tens of millions of dollars is totally unsubstantiated. The opposite is more likely true if people are less likely to visit California, because they sanction homosexual marriage, or people and businesses start leaving the state because of the presence of homosexual marriage.

If the Prop 8 title description isn't reversed then pro-marriage amendment advocates will just have to redouble their efforts. Much more is at stake than simply allowing a few homosexual couples to say they are married. The moral and social welfare of California is at stake.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obama isn't friendly to faith-based groups contra all the rhetoric

In efforts to appeal to evangelicals and appear more centralist, Barak Obama came out a few weeks ago saying he supported faith-based organizations receiving federal funds to address social issues.

A closer examination of his position suggest he's not actually friendly to religious organizations which participate in federal social programs. In fact, his position would only work to undermine what often makes them effective -- their commitment to deeply held religious principles. How so? By forcing them to hire individuals who don't subscribe to their particular religious convictions. In other words, a Jewish organization can't have an expectation that employees of the organization subscribe to the Jewish faith of the organization.

The result? Merely another attempt to pressure religious organizations to secularize.

I would argue he is in fact encouraging discrimination against religious organizations which seek to abide by sincerely held religious convictions. If you want to maintain the integrity of your religious organizations forget about participating in government social service activities.

No one is suggesting that groups directly receiving federal funds should be able to pick and choose who they serve. But that's a world of difference from protecting the right of the organization to decide who they hire to uphold the organization's values and principles. In essence, his position would serve to destroy the religious integrity and identity of the participating organizations. Can a Christian, Jewish or Muslim organization actually remain Christian, Jewish or Muslim if it's forced to hire nonmembers of their particular faith? I don't think so.

This is another example of the need to closely examine Obama's positions rather than just relying on general media reports or his own speeches.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cohabitation as "Trial Divorce"

One of those dangerous, damaging social phenomena which rarely gets much press or public attention, yet is enormously detrimental to society is cohabitation. Many view it as a trial marriage. A way to see if the relationship will work out. But Mike McManus, marriage expert and author of Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers, refers to it as "Trial Divorce" because 85% of the time they don't last.

In an interview McManus said:
Couples who live together are gambling and losing in 85 percent of the cases. Many believe the myth that they are in a “trial marriage.” Actually it is more like a “trial divorce,” in which more than eight out of ten couples will break up either before the wedding or afterwards in divorce. First, about 45 percent of those who begin cohabiting, do not marry. Those who undergo “premarital divorce” often discover it is as painful as the real thing. Another 5-10 percent continue living together and do not marry. These two trends are the major reason the marriage rate has plunged 50 percent since 1970. Couples who cohabit are likely to find that it is a paltry substitute for the real thing, marriage. Of the 45 percent or so who do marry after living together, they are 50 percent more likely to divorce than those who remained separate before the wedding. So instead of 22 of the 45 couples divorcing (the 50 percent divorce rate) about 33 will divorce. That leaves just 12 couples who have begun their relationship with cohabitation who end up with a marriage lasting 10 years.
This points out that cohabitation does just the opposite of encouraging folks to stay together. It increases the likelihood that they won't stay married once they do get married.

McManus calls marriage disintegration the "central domestic problem of our time... not the recession." Of course children suffers as does society. McManus points out that
"Children of cohabiting parents are perhaps ten times more likely to be sexually abused by a stepparent than by a parent. They are three times as likely to be expelled from school or to get pregnant as teenagers than children from an intact home with married parents. And they are five times more apt to live in poverty, and 22 times more likely to incarcerated."
While so much time and attention is focused on the symptoms of the problem, e.g. poverty, welfare, crime, juvenile delinquency, STDs, the major source of the problem is hardly even looked at -- breakdown of marriages and/or the failure to raise children in a marriage relationship.

Of course, the answer doesn't primarily lie with government, yet there are things government can and should do to improve the situation. For instance, move away from the no fault, unilateral divorce regime and establish joint custody/mutual parenting if couples do decide to get divorced.

Absolutely critical is for churches to honor the marriage commitment by giving moral clarity to the covenant of marriage both in its teaching and preaching and how they prepare people for marriage.

Cohabitation coupled with a 38% of out wedlock birth rate will only deepen the social crisis facing our nation. If we as a society don't get a handle on this we will only see greater and more serious social deterioration.

Friday, July 25, 2008

More evidence for liberal media bias - members of media overwhelmingly support liberal political candidates

There's always talk among conservatives about liberal media bias, with the latest example being the highly favorable and extensive coverage of Obama's trip to Europe and Middle East. Well, Investor's Business Daily reports a recent analysis of which political candidates members of the media are donating to. The beneficiaries? Overwhelmingly liberal political candidates. They are giving money to Democrat candidates by a 15 to 1 margin.

An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money journalists contributed so far this election cycle favors Democrats by a 15:1 ratio over Republicans, with $225,563 going to Democrats, only $16,298 to Republicans .

Two-hundred thirty-five journalists donated to Democrats, just 20 gave to Republicans — a margin greater than 10-to-1. An even greater disparity, 20-to-1, exists between the number of journalists who donated to Barack Obama and John McCain.

Searches for other newsroom categories (reporters, correspondents, news editors, anchors, newspaper editors and publishers) produces 311 donors to Democrats to 30 donors to Republicans, a ratio of just over 10-to-1. In terms of money, $279,266 went to Dems, $20,709 to Republicans, a 14-to-1 ratio.

Now some might argue that simply giving money to particular candidates doesn't mean these media folks are biased. "They're professionals and can separate out their personal views from their media work." This of course is the myth of neutrality. Bias isn't just a deliberate effort to slant the news but which and how a story is reported. Their political leanings point to an underlying worldview which is no doubt more liberal and secular. Everything they, and everybody for that matter, do and say is filtered through a worldview. That's where the bias comes in to play. I know many journalists who strive to be fair and even handed but they'll still have blind spots and internal predispositions.

Despite the bias evidenced by the Obama overseas trip coverage, the American people don't seem to be taken in by it. Polls show the race with McCain tightening rather than moving the other direction.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain gaining ground on Obama in Minnesota and Coleman widening lead on Franken.

A recent poll by Quinnipiac University shows Obama leading McCain by only two percentage points, 46% to 44% among likely voters in Minnesota. Other polls say Obama leads by at least five points. Last month the same poll showed Obama with a 17 point lead. In the Senate race, Quinnipiac had Coleman ahead of Franken by 53% to 38%.

The results seem to be somewhat off given the dramatic change from the previous month, yet it suggests things are tightening rather than going the opposite direction. Even with all the favorable press coverage Obama is receiving on his international tour, more weaknesses are showing up in Obama. Once one gets away from the grandiose, visionary talk and onto the actual issues problems increase for Obama. His treatment of the surge (It's working but he still wouldn't support it if he knew it would be successful.) is just one example. There will be more. I've mentioned his contradictory actions and words on homosexual marriage. And his radical position on abortion, notwithstanding a failed attempt to moderate the perception of his position, will only get more attention as time progresses.

I think the uncertainty over the economy actually helps McCain. He's not flashy, but what people want is a steady hand in a time of instability. Obama youth and inexperience will work against him as time progresses.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Homosexual marriage and the very real threat of persecution.

I just came across a great article by Jennifer Roback Morse on the the persecution which will result from legalizing homosexual marriage.

She points out that legally recognizing same sex marriage won't just affect the few homosexual couples who wanted to be married in the eyes of the state, but will lead to the persecution of those don't agreement with or support the practice.

She points out that recognition of homosexual marriage in Massachusetts forced Catholic Charities in Boston to close down their adoption program. A Methodist group in New Jersey lost part of it's tax-exempt status because it refused to sanction a civil union ceremony. A photography in New Mexico, who didn't want to take pictures of a lesbian marriage-type ceremony, was hauled before the state's human rights commission. And in Quebec, a Mennonite school was told they had to teach that homosexuality is merely another acceptable lifestyle.

I'm sure there are lots of other examples that can be found.

As I and others have said, the militant homosexual movement is the biggest threat to religious liberties in our nation. It's also an enormous threat to the foundational institution of our society -- marriage, because it actively seeks to define it out of existence. While divorce and cohabitation are enormous threats to the institution of marriage, there's no organized effort seeking to promote and encourage divorce and cohabitation. Homosexual marriage is a different story.

Monday, July 21, 2008

McCain, Obama, Evangelicals and Poverty, Environment, AIDS and Human Rights

Presidential candidates' John McCain and Barak Obama have both agreed to speak at a forum sponsored by Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, a megachurch in southern California. The forum is intended to discuss faith, leadership convictions, values and character. Pressing issues mentioned include poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate and human rights.

It will be interesting to see how aggressive he is with the candidates and how he delves into their character and leadership convictions. Because these areas can be so general, I think it will be difficult to gleam a lot of insights from the candidates. Frankly, character and leadership are better ascertained by actions than words.

Regarding the issues mentioned, these are certainly important issues which need to be addressed. How one addresses them is critical. Everybody wants to address poverty but what is the most effective way to do so. By simply expanding government and raising taxes or engaging private groups, providing incentives through tax policies and not rewarding destructive behavior. Or HIV/AIDS. One approach says condoms is the answer, however, that's a shortsighted, disastrous approach because it fails to address the underlying destructive behaviors which treat sex or drug use as recreational activities. And then regarding climate, understanding what is the problem and deciding how it can best be addressed, re global warming, is important. One approach says shut down economic development through strict regulations and the other is encouraging conservation through market incentives. Or human rights. Do we let economics trump the dignity and protection of the individual or do we hold other countries accountable for how they treat people.

I think it's also important that Warren call on the candidates to discuss their views of government and taxes along with marriage and the life issues. These issues weren't mentioned in the above article.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Anonymous hate

What's happened to all the name-calling, "anonymous" ideologues?

Valley Fair, Youth Violence, Race, Moral Breakdown, and Disintegration of the Family

The vicious attack by a group of primarily black youths on a white teenage girl and her father at ValleyFair has spiked the race issue and generated a good bit of discussion in the Twin Cities. Several of the youths charged are members of a notorious Minneapolis based gang/family heavily involved in criminal activity. Some convicted of aggravated assault and prostitution.

The race issue often tends to cloud the picture either causing some to make prejudicial comments and others to go out of their way to assert they're not racist. What's lost is examining the root cause of the problem.

The Star Tribune editorial response, other than saying let's not be racist, which of course we shouldn't be, is primarily recommending more government and nongovernment programs. They and the liberal mindset miss the fundamental issue.

The fundamental problem is a moral problem. For one, we're raising up a generation of young people who have no moral compass. (What should we expect when our public education system promotes the moral relativist view that kids should decide what's right for themselves, and they've evolved from a blob of goo which means they have no intrinsic value.)

And second, closely related, is the disintegration of the family. Kids raised without a dad is closely tied to criminal problems. Heritage Foundation and hosts of other groups have documented the linkage.

Concerning the crime problem, the reason more black youths are in trouble per capita is simply because they are much more likely to come from broken homes. In fact, Minneapolis, the home base of the attackers at ValleyFair, has one of, if not, the highest out of wedlock birth rates of an African American community in the nation. In 2005, it was 86.6% in the African American community in Hennepin County. Nationally, it's around 70%. The rate for the entire nation is around 38%. This means lack of dads in kids' lives and the resulting lack of positive male role models and authority figures. These kids, unfortunately, often obtain their role models through their gang involvement.

I don't know if the liberal mind will be able to fundamentally address the problem, because for most liberals promoting marriage is a bridge too far. It would mean saying living together is not a good thing and that's "moralizing".

From the results at ValleyFair, we could use some more moralizing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Key Democrat Strategist is Nervous about Obama in November.

There's an interesting article by Susan Estrich, Democrat strategist and campaign manager for Dukakis in 1988, on why Barak Obama isn't ahead more in the race for president. She's nervous he' not doing better in a year when Democrats, generally, should do very well. Why is that? Race, inexperience, liberalness are some she mentions.

With an uncertain international world and now domestic scene, the poor economy, I think people are going to look for their next president to be a stable force. Some one with experience. Who's been tested. Despite his weaknesses, McCain has been through it. Usually when the economy goes sour, the party in power is in trouble. So one would expect that to benefit Obama. However, the uncertainly will make character and leadership a bigger concern than simply voting for change.

I've always viewed Obama as either a rising star or a shooting star. I think he maybe the latter when the rubber meets the road of an intense presidential campaign. He's already been playing both sides on a number of issues. He's been wrong on critical issues like the surge in Iraq. And he's very liberal, which will make him less appealing when the American people get a closer look at him. That doesn't mean he'll won't win in November, but I wouldn't bet on it if I was a betting man.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who will McCain choose as his running mate? I think Romney.

There's a lot of conjecture and speculation on who the presidential candidates will choose as their running mates. On the Republican side, I think it will probably be Mitt Romney. While McCain had a hard fought primary battle in which McCain felt some of Romney's attacks were unfair, the general election is always another thing. In politics, a fierce rival can quickly become your political ally in short order. Witness Ronald Reagan and George Bush in 1980.

Why Romney? Initially, I didn't think it would be Romney. I thought it might be Governor Pawlenty, but now I've changed my mind. There are a few things Romney brings to the ticket that other people don't. He's tested, widely known commodity, mega fundraiser, could help win a critical state like Michigan and would be acceptable to most conservatives. On the first four Pawlenty doesn't have that advantage.

If McCain selects Romney and wins, I think Pawlenty would probably be offered a cabinet position. Personally, I hope Pawlenty remains in Minnesota rather than serve as VP or a cabinet member.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There's a Liberal Colorado Model but what about a Minnesota Model?

There's an interesting, Weekly Standard article by Fred Barnes about efforts by Colorado liberals to take over that state politically. It's touted as The Colorado Model and is viewed by some as the model for a liberal takeover of other states. Funded by mega donors who are willing to spend lots of money to defeat conservative, especially social conservative candidates, they've had quite a bit of success -- winning the governor's office, the state legislature and a US Senate seat.

They've not just targeted political offices but are also building the political infrastructure to sustain their efforts. Barnes, notes after talking with Eric O'Keefe, of the conservative Sam Adams Alliance in Chicago, that there are seven "capacities" necessary for political success...."the capacity to generate intellectual ammunition, to pursue investigations, to mobilize for elections, to fight media bias, to pursue strategic litigation, to train new leaders, and to sustain a presence in the new media." He then goes on to point out organizations and initiatives started to address these capacity needs in Colorado.

Some say that Colorado will serve as model for other states if successful. I think that sort of model is already being instituted here in Minnesota. Liberal think tanks, media mouthpieces, grassroots training organizations, grassroots mobilization efforts and tons of money being poured into local legislative seat races are happening. (Liberal interest groups outspent conservative ones by almost five to one in 2006 in Minnesota; lots of that money came from out of state.) In the last two election cycles, state House Republicans lost a couple dozen seats. Some of that was due to a changing political environment, e.g. the war and frustration with the party in power in Washington, but some was due to massive grassroots and political efforts.

I think conservatives are waking up to the realities of what's happening and responding accordingly, meaning putting more effort into grassroots efforts. I doubt they can match the money of the left but what they have going for them are ideas and the sensibilities of a majority of the people are with them. The left is made up of the extreme social ends of society -- liberal elites and the poor who are often dependent on government. The right appeals to those in between. The left believes that government is the answer to society's problems and accordingly supports high taxes to support their efforts. The right believes that government has a more limited role and the needs of people are best met by individuals and private groups. I believe the right has a more accurate picture of reality because it's rooted in an accurate view of human nature. As always the struggle politically speaking is effectively articulating that vision and moving people to act on it.

The challenges liberals face in Minnesota in a political environment favorable to their party, the Democrats, are an unattractive candidate at the top, e.g. Al Franken and the beginning of a record they'll need to run on -- they've raised taxes by billions of dollars and have aggressively been pushing liberal social policies. Those will start to turn the pendulum in the other direction.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Golden Arches' spokesman says Christian boycotters "hate" homosexuals -- Not the way to make customers happy.

McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman basically accused conservative Christians, boycotting McDonald's for it's support of homosexual social and political causes, of promoting hate according to story by Whitman told the Washington Post, "Hatred has no place in our culture." He goes on to say "...we stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment."

The boycott is sponsored by the American Family Association (AFA) which responded, "Throwing out any pretense of being neutral in the culture war, McDonald's has taken up the rhetoric of gay activists, suggesting those who oppose same-sex marriage (SSM) are motivated by hate."

McDonald's is supportive of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to which McDonald's donates money and sits on their board of directors. NGLCC lobbies Congress on a number of pro-homosexual issues including the promotion of same-sex marriage.

According to

AFA said McDonald's donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership in the NGLCC and a seat on the group's board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues, including the promotion of same-sex marriage.

AFA had asked the corporation to remove its name and logo from the NGLCC website, where it is listed as a "corporate partner and organization ally." AFA also requested that McDonald's remove the endorsement of NGLCC by Richard Ellis, vice president of communications for McDonald's USA, from the website.

They also note that AFA says the issue isn't about hiring homosexual employees but putting corporate support behind a radical social and political agenda.

AFA has encouraged successful boycotts of a number of large corporations. The most recent and noteworthy was Ford Motors Co. That boycott lasted for two years during which time Ford's sales dropped 8% a month for the two year period.

McDonald's corporate response will only further upset folks. If they think this will simply blow over, I think they are mistaken.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Opposing state marriage amendments politically harmful to Obama.

A poll commissioned by the Family Research Council points out the potential political problems for presidential candidate Barak Obama who opposes state amendments protecting traditional marriage.

The poll found that by a margin of 58% to 29%, voters would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who supports state marriage amendments than one who doesn't. The intensity level was even strong
er for the pro-marriage amendment supporters. 49% said they were much more likely to support such a candidate while only 20% said they were much less likely.

Support for pro-marriage amendment candidates won out over amendment opponents among Republicans 75% to 12%, Independents 54% to 32%, and Democrats 47% to 41%.

Obama can't hide behind his statement that he "personally" supports marriage between one man and one woman while publicly supporting pro-homosexual marriage positions. I'm sure his position will receive more attention as the campaign progresses.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Washington Post Tells the Truth about ‘Safe Sex’ -- Then Ignores It
A guest columnist exposes PC ideologues jeopardizing an effective morality-based AIDS prevention program in Uganda, while a house editorial calls for more of the failed condom approach here.

Also at Townhall:

By Robert Knight
Culture and Media Institute
July 2, 2008

“We understand that casual sex is dear to you, but staying alive is dear to us.”

The Washington Post provided a rare service on Monday, shining light on an unfolding scandal of deadly political correctness in Uganda.

The quote above is from
“Let My People Go, AIDS Profiteers,” an op-ed column in the Post by the Rev. Sam L. Ruteikara, co-chair of Uganda’s National AIDS-Prevention Committee.

Ruteikara details how Uganda’s successful ABC campaign (Abstinence, Be Faithful, Condoms as a last resort) recorded huge advances in reducing infections from 1991 through 2002, but was subverted by an AIDS establishment that dislikes Uganda’s emphasis on marriage and faithfulness.

HIV rates plunged from 21 percent in 1991 to 6 percent in 2002 in Uganda during the stricken nation’s campaign to restore traditional morality. Meanwhile, as Western nations dropped more than 2 billion condoms on Africa, other nations suffered an unabated epidemic. Uganda stuck out as the grand exception.

While the media largely ignored this singular success story, AIDS bureaucrats, furious at this living rebuke to their condom-based campaigns, worked to bring Uganda into the “safe-sex” fold.

In March 2007, Washington Post writer Craig Timberg in
“Uganda’s Early Gains Against HIV Eroding” described how the initial, “fear”-based approach, which yielded impressive results in the early ’90s, gave way to the more typical condom-based approach in Uganda. He quotes Sam Okware, “a top Ugandan health official who designed early, frightening anti-AIDS campaigns. ‘It has adapted too much to international guidelines instead of sticking to our own methods, which were very controversial at first but which worked.’”

In his June 30 column, Ruteikara relates, “I have seen the process sabotaged. Repeatedly, our 25-member prevention committee put faithfulness and abstinence into the National Strategic Plan that guides how PEPFAR [President’s Emergency Plan for HIV-AIDS Relief] money for our country will be spent. Repeatedly, foreign advisers erased our recommendations. When the document draft was published, fidelity and abstinence were missing.”

It gets worse: “And somehow, a suspicious statistic attacking marriage appeared. The plan states that the HIV infection rate among married couples is 42 percent, twice as high as the rate among prostitutes. …in fact, the 2004-05 Ugandan HIV/AIDS Sero-Behaviorial Survey found that HIV prevalence among married couples is only 6.3 percent…. As fidelity and abstinence have been subverted, Uganda’s HIV rates have begun to tick back up.”
Now, shouldn’t this be a major news story? Billions of dollars, not to mention millions of lives, are at stake, and someone is committing outright fraud?

But you’ll search in vain for a media story about this. In fact, directly opposite the column, over on the editorial page, a Post editorial peddles the same old “safe-sex” medicine to young, homosexual men in America.

“A Persistent Scourge: HIV-AIDS continues to ensnare young gay men,” the Post sounds the alarm with recent CDC stats showing a 12 percent rise in HIV infections among 13-to-24-year-old males, and between 2001 and 2006, a 22 percent increase among black men who have sex with men. The Post says these grim stats are “a reminder that the work of keeping people HIV-negative and getting those who are HIV-positive into treatment is never done.”
The editorial then lists “a variety of efforts” to stem the tide: “condom giveaways, in-clinic counseling and needle exchange programs,” to making “voluntary testing in emergency rooms and storefront clinics.”

The editorial concludes by advocating “continuous education. An informed populace is the best defense against this ferocious epidemic.”

Okay. Then why continue to promote failed approaches from the “safe-sex” lobby, whose hostility to teaching traditional sexual morality and whose dependence on condoms has doomed countless souls to a future full of handfuls of daily, anti-HIV drugs and premature death? The “safe-sex” approach has also doomed millions of women to a lifetime with incurable STDs such as human papillomavirus, against which condoms provide virtually no protection.

And what about that spike in HIV among young men who have homosexual sex? Could it have something to do with the fact that the media, pop culture and educational establishments are openly promoting homosexuality and that more kids are experimenting—with deadly consequences? The stat for “young gay men” begins with 13-year-olds. Think about that for a moment. But we are not supposed to be concerned about the aggressive gay movement that has persuaded the larger media culture to embrace homosexuality and to condemn anyone alarmed by the trend as “hateful” or “bigoted.”

If an informed populace is the best defense, then why aren’t the media, including the Washington Post, telling kids the truth about the huge number of consequences from homosexual behavior and promiscuous sex? Why is gay sex, in the absence of conclusive genetic science, being presented as a biological imperative, and a benign one at that?
Rev. Ruteikara has it right: the people promoting the “safe-sex” agenda in the face of massive evidence that it doesn’t work must be more interested in preserving casual sex than in saving lives.

How else to explain it?

Robert Knight is director of the
Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ventura's back! At least it sounds like it.

In an NPR interview, Jesse Ventura sounds like he's in the US Senate race against Al Franken and Norm Coleman though he hasn't formally announced yet.

He's already coming out with vintage Jesse comments. He calls himself a statesman in an interview with The Midwest Wine Connection. "I'm not a politician, I'm a statesman. I do one term, and then I go back to the private sector. If I get back into the fray again this year, it's only because I've been gone five years back to the private sector. That's what I did when I was mayor. That's a statesman. That's not a career politician."

He criticises Coleman for not working in the private sector and calls Franken an opportunist and a carpetbagger.

And when saying who Minnesotans should vote for he says, "And all you Minnesotans take a good hard look at all three of us and you decide if you were in a dark alley which one of three of us would you want with you."

That last comment makes me wonder what qualities Jesse believes a US Senator should have -- wisdom and good judgment or the ability to win a street fight.

A poll already show Ventura with 23% of the vote in three way race. With Coleman polling 41% and Franken polling 31%. In a two way race between Coleman and Franken the numbers are 52% to 40% respectively.

I think Jesse hurts Franken more than Coleman. Coleman's a known commodity while Franken isn't. Some say Ventura would be a big threat to Coleman because he's polling at 23% support versus 7% before he started to run for governor in 1998. I think the analogy breaks down because Ventura is definitely a known quantity when in 1998 he wasn't. I think some people who supported him previously won't do it again after our experience with him as governor for four years. I do think Coleman has to take him seriously and can't underestimate him which he probably did when running for governor in 1998. Anything could happen in today's turbulent political environment.

It will certainly prove to be an interesting and and entertaining race with a former comedian and a former professional wrestling in the ring with our incumbent US Senator.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Conservatives for Obama?

Conservatives for Obama? is the title of a new column by Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution. He points out that there are stories of conservatives who say they are going to vote for Obama over McCain. For some this is due to general frustration over the failure of Republicans to adhere to conservative goals of limited government and lower spending and individual frustration with McCain when he broke ranks with conservative on such issues as immigration and campaign finance.

For true conservatives who are seriously considering supporting Obama, they would need to realize that Obama will only take them further away from whatever they want to see accomplish politically.

The fact is Obama is an extremely liberal politician. In 2007, National Journal rated him the most liberal senator in the US Senate. From same sex marriage to abortion to energy/environment to health care to taxes to judges, Obama subscribes to very liberal positions. All one has to do is look at his voting record and public statements which aren't often highlighted in the media.

Obama has used his rhetorical skills to trumpet "change" while downplaying his radical positions and exactly what constitutes "change."

The problem for Obama, if he continues in his stealth mode and actually gets elected, is the public won't be as accepting of his radical policy positions. And there will be deep embarrassment for those conservatives who stuck their necks out for him.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Obama and homosexual marriage: Can he really say he doesn't support it with a straight face?

Barak Obama has stated, as many liberal politicians do, that he doesn't support same sex marriage but he does support giving homosexual couples all the benefits of marriage. That way, I presume, he can avoid offending the sensibilities of a lot of voters for whom that issue is very important.

I frankly believe that stance is a false facade for many politicians who give lip service to opposing homosexual marriage when in reality, they actually support it.

In Obama's case, I believe he's blown his cover on the issue in a recent letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, where Obama wrote:
As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law. That is why I support extending fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples under both state and federal law. That is why I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the passage of laws to protect LGBT Americans from hate crimes and employment discrimination. And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states.
In the course of his letter he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage for purposes of federal law as the legal union of one man and one woman and protects the rights of states not to be forced to recognize same sex marriages from other states. He supports extending "fully equal rights and benefits to same sex couples". And he opposes the California Constitutional Marriage Amendment which is the only thing preventing that state from being forced by the California Supreme Court to recognize homosexual marriage.

Given these statements I don't see how Obama can with a straight face say he doesn't support homosexual marriage. His only recourse would be reverting to the postmodern, linguistic gymnastics of saying, "Personally, in my heart of hearts I think marriage is between one man and one woman but I wouldn't want to impose my personal beliefs on others." Of course, do so would draw into question his personal integrity and character.

For purposes of truth in advertising Obama is, I believe, de facto in favor of homosexual marriage and more than willing to see it imposed, by judicial fiat if need be, on every state and thus every citizen in our nation.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ideology ripe with denial and blame

Many recent comments reflect an ideology ripe with denial and blame. For instance, trying to deflect attention away from the gay community regarding AIDS/HIV. Below is an excerpt from a previous post quoting Matt Foreman.

"Recently, Matt Foreman, outgoing Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task force said, 'Internally, when these numbers come out, the established gay community seems to have a collective shrug as if this isn’t our problem. Folks, with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi, we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own that and face up to that.'”

Other comments seem to justify unhealthy sexual behavior because others are doing it. For the record, MFC is opposed to unhealthy sexual behavior gay or straight.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Conservative Christians pushing Bush to fight HIV/AIDS epidemic says Benkof

Interesting article in today's Star Tribune by gay activist David Benkof.

Benkof highlights the irony of conservative Christians leading the charge to fight the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. His column is a good example of how conservative Christians can work to protect society against unhealthy homosexual behavior without being "hateful." It's a good example of being able to love someone while disagreeing with their sexual behavior.

He adds that abstinence is a more effective way of preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy than condoms. I believe he speaks from experience. Heed what he says because we will not fix the problem of pregnancy and disease amongst our children with condoms, creams, vaccines, pills and abortions. We have to change behavior.

David Benkof: The best president on AIDS? It's W.
On an issue gays and lesbians used to care about most (and still should), Republicans are doing a much better job than Democrats.


"It is unquestionable that George W. Bush has done more to fight HIV/AIDS than any president in American history, including Clinton. The people pushing Bush to fight the epidemic at home and abroad are overwhelmingly conservative Christians -- the same people we keep hearing gay leaders tar as narrow-minded and bigoted. Well, those narrow-minded bigots (who never had the president's ear during the Clinton administration) deserve far more credit for relieving suffering from HIV in this decade than gay men and lesbians did in the previous two decades combined."

"It is undeniable that abstinence is a more effective way of preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy than condoms. I know a gay man who was sexually active for more than a decade. He used a condom every time, yet contracted several STDs. Subsequently, in seven years of abstaining from sex, he did not suffer from a single crab louse, herpes sore or genital wart."

"I imagine an argument can be made for teaching proper condom use to high school juniors and seniors. But opponents of abstinence education advocate starting condom instruction to junior-high students or younger. Why? By definition, the overwhelming majority of sixth- through 10th-graders are beneath the age of consent. All sex without consent is rape. So Bush's opponents are promoting, essentially, "safe rape" education in public schools. Instead of focusing on making sure that girls aren't impregnated and that boys don't get HIV from their rapists, shouldn't we do our best to stop nonconsensual sex altogether?"

"In my eyes, "marriage equality" is a far less important gay and lesbian issue than the fight against HIV/AIDS. Virtually the entire gay community felt that way when I first became a gay activist. After all, what lesbian ever died a horrible, painful death because the government called her relationship a domestic partnership instead of a marriage?"