Month Archives: August 2007

Right Matters on “A Judge’s Marriage Decree”

by Joe Carter

August 31, 2007

The Washington Post recently launched a new Discussion Groups section where readers can join WP staffer and others in talking about politics, culture and other topics. Our friend Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review, is the moderator for Right Matters, a section devoted to “Talking About the Future of Conservatism.”

Today’s discussion is on a ruling by Judge Robert Hanson’s ruling that declared Iowa’s marriage laws unconstitutional, and ordered the county recorder in Des Moines to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Judge Hanson is utterly dismissive of the concerns of opponents of same-sex marriage, which he treats as irrational and illegitimate.

The decision is a gross act of judicial activism. Advocates of same-sex marriage make a serious case: but that case should be made to voters and legislators, not to judges. When the people of Iowa adopted their constitution, they surely did not mean to embrace principles that would lead to same-sex marriage. If they want to do so now, they can; but courts should not pretend that they already have.

If judges can rewrite our most fundamental laws, are we still a self-governing country?

This is a great forum for conservatives to explain our rational and legitimate reasons for opposing same-sex marriage, so drop by and present our case.

Update alsorans

by Tom McClusky

August 23, 2007

Stories that if they ran we would all get fired

Boy in court for hurling sausage

Zoo rhino killed by sand blockage

Whither ‘Spot’? Whither ‘Puff’?

For the fifth year in a row, the most popular dog and cat name in the United States is Max.

Firefighters Save 6 Cats From Milford Blaze

Texas Rangers 30: Baltimore Orioles 3

Toddler Taser

The commitment to protect your baby, is more than something rational. It is innate. What is rational is taking steps to reconcile the instinct to protect, to always be there when needed. To this end the Toddler Taser is a wise choice for any parent.

SpongeBob SquarePants Journals Recalled For Lead

The government says an Ohio importer has recalled nearly 250,000 SpongeBob SquarePants address books and journals manufactured in China.

Because I know you really miss the Update . . .

by Tom McClusky

August 23, 2007

Group To Out Signers Of Anti-Gay Oregon Petition

People who sign petitions seeking to put measures repealing two LGBT civil rights laws on next November’s ballot are about to be outed. This is similar to intimidation tactics used in Massachusetts and elsewhere. They call you up and lie to you that you broke the law, are vulnerable to identity theft, etc. I guess when you cant win on the merits you resort to dirty tricks.

Getting Real About Chavez by Jeb Koogler

For a long time, Ive defended Hugo Chavez. I thought that he was fighting a worthy battle against greed and corruption, against years of foreign domination and cronyism. I thought he was trying to improve the lives of poor people, while establishing a strong economy, an independent and self-respecting nation, and a vibrant democracy.

But now, after watching events unfold in the past few months, Im ready to admit that I was mistaken.

Playboy Enterprises Launches College Social Network; Says ‘Non-Nude’

Scientists Drug-Test Whole Cities

One urban area with a gambling industry had meth levels more than five times higher than other cities.

A Test Case for Abolishing Family by Terence Jeffrey

As odd is it might seem, the next to last day of 2003 may someday be seen as a fateful moment for the traditional family. That is the when the United States Drug Enforcement Agency busted a pair of methamphetamine dealers in Philadelphia.

In a remarkable example of the corrosive force liberalism exerts on our society, the arrest of these drug dealers led to an opinion issued July 31 by U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz that — if sustained by the Supreme Court — could erase the special status marriage and the traditional family enjoy in American law.

Education field donating more in presidential race

Of the more than $7 million that academics donated in the first half of this year, more than $4.1 million went to presidential campaigns, particularly Barack Obama’s, according to a study released this month by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The Illinois senator brought in almost $1.5 million, while Hillary Clinton received nearly $940,000. Republican Mitt Romney was in third place, with about $448,000, but overall, three-quarters of contributions went to Democrats.

Update Schmupdate: Stories to read during the hiatus

by Tom McClusky

August 22, 2007

Fla. Governor Crist may bet state budget on gambling

A deal with the Seminole Tribe could offer relief, he says.

As the political odds increasingly favor Las Vegas-style gambling on Florida tribal lands, the Seminole Tribe sees big dollar signs, and so does Gov. Charlie Crist.

La. Democrats sink to new low

The Louisiana Democratic Party sunk to a new low earlier this week when the party unveiled a round of negative campaign advertising on television attacking Republican Congressman Bobby Jindal’s faith in Jesus Christ.” The offending commercial can be seen here.

Why the U.S. Ranks Low on WHO’s Health-Care Study by John Stossel

The New York Times recently declared “the disturbing truth … that … the United States is a laggard not a leader in providing good medical care.”

As usual, the Times editors get it wrong.

Ministry Sues to Keep Same-Sex Ceremonies Out of Its Facility

(CNSNews.com) - A Methodist group that refuses to let homosexuals hold civil union ceremonies at one of its retreat facilities is suing New Jersey officials to prevent the state from forcing the church to violate its religious beliefs.

Jacksonville Jaguars Gives Planned Parenthood Abortion Business $30K Grant

Hate Crimes Law Defy Testimony of Experience

by Tony Perkins

Subverting Rights You Relish Will Catch Up With You

Right about now, Christian fundamentalists are shouting, “Told you so!” And gay-rights advocates have nobody but themselves to blame. Social conservatives long have maintained that laws and constitutional amendments defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman were needed because if gay marriage gained a foothold, then religious freedom would soon be under fire. As Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC) put it last year, “When we look at what has happened with same-sex marriage … we’ve seen in its wake the loss of religious freedoms and the ability to speak out based upon one’s moral convictions.”

Group launches anti-embryonic stem cell initiative

A group called Cures Without Cloning filed ballot language with the Missouri Secretary of States office for a state Constitutional amendment that would prohibit funding for any type of research, including SCNT, that involves human cloning, said Curt Mercadante, a spokesman for the group.

Kids First…Then everyone else follows onto government health care! By David Freddoso

Late last week, the Bush administration announced plans to curb the practice of states putting already-insured and non-needy children on the rolls of a federal program that subsidizes health insurance for uninsured and needy children.

Beltway Brat Packers: Bipartisan pushers and shovers and VIP linecutters.

By Michelle Malkin

Everything you hate about the culture of Washington is symbolized in two recent altercations involving two obnoxious Beltway buttinskis, one Democrat and one Republican.

Stories not quite ready for the Update

by Tom McClusky

August 22, 2007

What scarecrow? Bartlett has its scare-gators

City puts the fright in geese with visions of alligators and coyotes

Bartlett has new tools for bird abatement: coyotes on sticks and alligator heads.

Not real coyotes or alligators, mind you, but fake ones that look mean enough to scare flocks of wildfowl from parks and ponds.

Now dirty chopsticks picked up in China scare

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Beijing factory recycled used chopsticks and sold up to 100,000 pairs a day without any form of disinfection, a newspaper said on Wednesday, the latest is a string of food and product safety scares.

Norway’s Moose Population in Trouble for Belching

The poor old Scandinavian moose is now being blamed for climate change, with researchers in Norway claiming that a grown moose can produce 2,100 kilos of methane a year — equivalent to the CO2 output resulting from a 13,000 kilometer car journey.

Big Mac Museum Restaurant opens in North Huntingdon

Rejected Update story submissions

by Tom McClusky

August 21, 2007

Missing body parts of famous people

Duathlon organisers insure against Loch Ness monster attack

Organisers of a duathlon in Scotland have taken out a one-million-pound (1.46-million-euro, 1.97-million-dollar) insurance policy against attack by or sighting of the fabled Loch Ness monster.

Man rides mule from Minnesota to Wyoming

Women really do prefer pink, researchers say

Boys like blue, girls like pink and there isn’t much anybody can do about it, researchers said on Monday in one of the first studies to show scientifically that there are gender-based color preferences.

Filner disputes assault and battery charges

United employee claims congressman pushed him at baggage claim area

Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., has been summoned to court on assault and battery charges after an incident at Dulles Airport on Sunday night where he allegedly pushed a United Airlines bag claim employee.

Any way you slice it, you’ll pay more for pizza

Eateries feeling pinch of increased dairy prices

Things to read while pining for the Update to return

by Tom McClusky

August 21, 2007

Gay Marriage On Agenda As Calif. Lawmakers Return To Work

Ireland Amnesty International Affiliate Won’t Promote Pro-Abortion View

An Unjust Judge by Nan Aron (The Washington Post must have felt bad they actually endorsed a fair process in the judicial nomination system and immediately let the liberal Alliance for Justice respond - I’m so sure they would grant us equal time on other issues.) Ed Whelan has a good response to Mr. Arons response here.

Faceoff looms at new Planned Parenthood

Abortion foes vow to launch protests and urge boycotts when the organization begins building the $4.2 million center at Stapleton, a site previously kept secret.

The 109th Congress: An Old Political Era Ends Will the New Era Steer the Nation to Rougher Fiscal Waters or a Brighter Horizon? By Demian Brady

Congress Approval Rating Matches Historical Low

Just 18% approve of job Congress is doing

Update stories you won’t see today

by Tom McClusky

August 20, 2007

With the Update on hiatus this week here are a few stories and op-eds worth reading:

A big role in a fight to help gays wed

Activist Tim Gill and allies of his funded 38% of the opposition to same-sex marriage bans.

Qualified to Serve

The opponents of appeals court nominee Leslie H. Southwick haven’t made their case. (Even the Washington Post is supporting Judge Southwick what is Senator Reids and Leahys problem now? What is more important justice or kowtowing to the loony left?)

Giuliani ducks queries about faith and family

The NY State Senate & The Future of Congress

PORKERSPASS: CONGRESSEARMARK REFORM CHANGES LITTLE

If a pickpocket becomes a mugger, he becomes more open and honest, but that doesn’t make him more admirable.

The Man Behind the Plate

After Loss of Majority, Several Republicans Head for Exits

Cleansing the ACLU : Michigan and the case of Muslim footbaths.

Monkeying with man

Recess Homework

by Tom McClusky

August 13, 2007

Usually when one thinks of recess you think of schoolchildren getting a break to play during the school day. Recess is also the word Congress uses when they take a long time period off (usually traveling on the taxpayers dime!) Dictionary.com defines recess as temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity. Considering the type of activity currently going on in our Nations Capitol, I can think of a whole host of Members of Congress who deserve Detention when they return to Washington, D.C.!

Here is a list of pending topics that your Representative and Senators need to hear from you about:

Hate crimes: The House of Representatives voted favorably for the bill and currently it sits in the Senate. Additionally Sen. Kennedy has his own bill and Sens. Kennedy and Smith introduced an amendment (which included full text of their hate crimes bill) to the Defense Bill. The Defense Bill and any amendments to it will be debated when the Senate returns in September.

Judges: Judge Southwick has been voted out successfully from committee but now awaits a floor vote - still tied up in committee or on the floor is over a dozen qualified candidates. Senators need to hear from you that these candidates deserve a fair up or down vote. Judicial nominees should be judged on their ability to judge not be lost to partisan politics.

Abstinence: The S-Chip bill in the House gutted one of the largest abstinence funding streams and the other large funding stream expires this fall. Contact your Representatives and Senators to protect this vital educational tool for children and to not let the money go to abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood!

Embryonic stem-cells experimentation: After passing both the Senate and the House and then rightly vetoed by President Bush, the Senate now plans to vote to override the President veto - as it stands right now we have enough votes in the Senate to protect the veto but it is close. Additionally, Senator Specter and Harkin attached ESC expansion to the Labor Appropriations bill. Contact your Senator to vote against this deadly experimentation and for actual life saving ethical research like stem cell and cord blood stem cell research.

ENDA: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is misleadingly referred to as a logical extension of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. H.R. 2015 is a radical transformation of workplace discrimination law. It would grant special consideration on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity that would not be extended to other employees in the workplace. ENDA is a one size fits all solution to alleged discrimination that erases all marriage-based distinctions. It grants special rights to homosexuals while ignoring those of employers. The federal government should not force private businesses to abandon their moral principles. Contact your Representatives and Senators to vote against this legislation when it comes up for a vote.

Fake pro-life bills: The Democratic Leadership will start pushing these more in an attempt to co-opt the strong pro-life tendencies of the American people. Supporters of these bills say that they will reduce abortions but instead they increase funding to Planned Parenthood and seek to get government funding for Plan B (which the manufacturer agrees is a “sometimes abortifacient”)

Education: No Child Left Behind is up for re-authorization, within that bill we will seek to continue and expand protections for home schooled and private schooled kids and to return power locally where it belongs. We also support the alternative by Sen. Jim DeMint and John Cornyn that removes federal control from education

Pro-Life Riders: The House and Senate Foreign Operations spending bills undermine the pro-life Mexico City policy, which prevents funding for international groups that perform abortions. The Senate bill also gives money to international groups that support coercive abortion and sterilization programs.

Find out how to contact your Member of Congress here.

Embyonic Stem Cell Reseach, Cloning, and the L.A. Times

by Jared Bridges

August 1, 2007

When I read Los Angeles Times staff reporter Stephanie Simon’s report this morning on the continuing fight in the states against embryonic stem cell research (even in states which have passed initiatives to support such research), my jaw nearly dropped when I read these lines:

Embryonic stem cell research typically begins with cloning. Scientists insert the genetic material from an adult human cell into a human egg that’s been emptied of its own DNA. The cloned cell is then nurtured in the lab for several days, until it grows into a blastocyst, a microscopic clump of cells that could theoretically develop into a fetus if attached to a uterine wall.

As I reread the article, I noticed this rather peculiar correction:

FOR THE RECORD:

Stem cell research: An article in Wednesday’s section A on embryonic stem cell research incorrectly stated that such research typically begins with cloning. The cloning method is under investigation, but researchers generally obtain stem cells by extracting them from embryos produced during in-vitro fertilization.

First of all, it is rather strange to see cloning so plainly put in relation to embryonic stem cell research in a paper like the L.A. Times, even though there is a very real and present connection. While I’m not sure of the the exact ratio of embryonic stem cells obtained from embryos produced during in-vitro fertilization to embryos produced by cloning, it’s clear by the very legislation passed in states like Missouri that cloning is needed for ESCR to have even a chance of success.

Whether or not Ms. Simon was in error, I don’t know, but it’s refreshing to see a reporter even acknowledge that a connection exists.

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