Arizona Republicans: get rid of McCain!

Before John McCain can ask Arizona voters to send him back to Washington for another 6 years, he will need to fend off a credible conservative challenge in the Republican Party primary. He brought in Sarah Palin, who is popular with the conservative base and Tea Party activists, to stump for him. Arizona Republicans should dump him.

John McCain is weak on abortion, supports amnesty for illegal aliens, has opposed tax cuts, and was the leader of an anti-American attack on free speech in the U.S. Senate. Because of McCain’s record, I voted against the Republican nominee for President for the first time in my life. (I supported Bill Clinton in 1992, but did not vote in that election.) I voted for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. For more, see articles here, here, here, and here.

When Barack Obama was elected, some “conservative” intellectuals were claiming that “the era of Reagan is over.” As the American people increasingly oppose Barack Obama’s agenda and the Republican Party finally found the backbone to oppose and obstruct Obama’s agenda, it is true that an era is over. The era of McCain is over.

If McCain is thrown out by Arizona Republicans, it would be an important victory for the conservative movement. It would be a shot across the bow to the Republican Party, letting the GOP establishment know we will not support someone simply because that candidate has an “R” next to his or her name. Instead, we want someone who will stand firm for limited government and individual liberty, two principles that McCain has actively opposed.

While I am disappointed that Palin is supporting McCain instead of his more conservative opponent, I can see why she is doing it and I do not hold that against her. No one would know who Palin is had McCain not picked her in 2008, and it is proper to be loyal to him. It would also make Palin look like a hypocrite to oppose McCain now.

Other Republicans, such as Mitt Romney, do not get a pass for supporting McCain. After a slugfest of a primary campaign in 2008, Romney owes McCain no loyalty now. Romney is attempting to position himself for 2012 as a solid conservative, but he is doing himself no favors with the conservative base by endorsing exactly the kind of RINO who led the GOP to historic losses in 2006 and 2008.

McCain needs to go. He has openly opposed conservative principles, attacked the Constitution, and seems to enjoy giving the finger to the conservative movement. Like I said before, a McCain loss would be a huge development politically. Derailing Leftist RINO Dede Scozzafava in New York’s 23rd District last year was one thing, but that can be brushed aside due to some special circumstances. A McCain loss could not be brushed aside. Removing the GOP’s 2008 nominee for President would send a message that is badly needed.

Outside fire runs a concern for City of Bloomington and Bloomington Township fire departments.

Note: I am taking a journalism class this semester. This is my third article for that class.

After a sprinkler was vandalized in Eigenmann Hall, residents of the dormitory were forced into evacuate the building and wait outside in negative-degree temperatures after 11 p.m. while the matter was investigated, according to a Jan. 21, 2009 article in the Indiana Daily Student. Some students lost possessions due to flooding caused by the vandalism.

This is one of many instances of false fire alarms at Indiana University, which places a burden on the city of Bloomington’s Fire Department.

In 2008, the City of Bloomington’s Fire Department made 532 fire runs to the IU campus, according Todd Easton, deputy chief of administration. Of those, 321 of those fire runs were for false alarms. The city fire department made 581 runs to the IU campus in 2009. Of those, 318 were false alarms.

Both the City of Bloomington’s fire department and the Bloomington Township Fire Department provide fire protection for areas that do not pay property taxes to them. Critics say that both Bloomington Township and the City of Bloomington are not getting enough compensation for the fire protection they provide.

In an e-mail, Bloomington City Council member Steve Volan said fire runs to IU account for an average of about 20 to 25 percent of all fire runs. He argued that the amount IU pays to the city is not adequate.

“The amount IU has paid to the Fire Department in lieu of taxes — a little more than $2.5M — represents barely a third of the total expense the BFD has incurred in serving IU,” Volan said

As a state entity, IU does not pay property taxes to the city, but the university contracts with the city for fire protection. From July of 2007 through June of 2008, IU contracted to pay $617,957 for fire protection, according to city attorney Michael Rouker. From July of 2008 through June of 2009, that number increased to $655,333.

This phenomenon is not unique to the city. It is also present in township government.

The Bloomington Township Fire Department provides fire protection to neighboring townships that do not pay property taxes directly to Bloomington Township. In 2008, 24 percent of fire runs by the fire department were to Benton Township and 19 percent of fire runs were to Washington Township, according to the annual report posted on the fire department’s Web site.

Benton Township gave $46,400 to Bloomington Township for fire protection in 2008. Washington Township gave $53,300 to Bloomington Township for fire protection in 2008. The budget for the fire department’s fire fund for 2008 was $1.276 million, according to township trustee Linda Sievers.

“I think we are very good neighbors and I would like to see the contract amounts increase,” Sievers said. “I feel like they could contribute more.”

She will be looking into this issue as she and the fire chief work on the strategic plan. Washington and Benton townships “have a residual benefit because we are a very good fire department and they benefit form that,” she said.

A candidate for Bloomington Township Board also expressed concern.

“That looks a little shy,” Dave Shuee said about the payments from neighboring townships. “It sounds like the problem is not necessarily with the runs being done but the proportion of payment.”

Shuee wonders how the numbers of the contracts are derived.

“It sounds like there’s been a flaw in the biding process,” Shuee said. “Whether the board was diligent or negligent is certainly a good question but how can you tell without having seen the process?”

Volan asked a question via e-mail regarding the city’s subsidy to IU.

“IU has sovereignty enough to have a police force; how much would it cost them to have their own FD?”

Be a parent!

From the Associated Press:

Young boys who receive their first video game system don’t progress as quickly in school as boys who don’t own such devices, a new study found.

The average reading and writing scores of the young gamers don’t go down, but they don’t improve either, said Robert Weis of Denison University in Ohio, co-author of the study.

“For children without games, scores go up over time,” Weis said. “For boys with games, scores remain relatively stable. You don’t see the typical development in reading and writing.”

These kinds of stories drive me up a wall.

As is so often the case, the blame is placed on an inanimate object (in this case, a video game system) so we can have a scapegoat instead of dealing with the real problem. Is it the video game system that causes grades to stagnate, or is it because parents are not disciplining their children and teaching them to manage time effectively? Are people truly so stupid that they do not know the answer?

Here is the reality: most children do not want to do their schoolwork. If they can find something entertaining to do, they would prefer to do that instead. This is where parents need to step in and limit the amount of time children are permitted to spend on their chosen leisure activity, forcing them to study and do homework instead. The problem is not playing video games, watching television, surfing the Internet, playing outside with friends or playing a favorite board game. The problem is a lack of discipline.

A video game console will never, in and of itself, stifle academic progress. It simply is not possible. While I agree that children spend too much time in front of electronic gadgets instead of using their imagination, the problem is that electronic entertainment is not properly limited. The television, the video game and the computer become babysitters instead of occupying the proper place. If you want your child to excel academically to the best of his or her ability (recognizing that natural talent differs from person to person) then you need to be a parent.

Sexually degrading insults aimed at the Tea Party Patriots

We’re approaching one year since the beginnings of the Tea Party movement, a name chosen to remind people of colonists who dumped tea into the Boston harbor to protest a British tax on tea. Leftists love to call Tea Party activists “teabaggers.”

For those who don’t know what it means (and forgive me for the graphic description) “Teabagging” is the act of a man putting his scrotum into someone else’s face or mouth. “Teabagging” is a common way for players in online video games to taunt players who were “killed” in the game. Anderson Cooper of CNN certainly knew exactly what he was saying when he said during last year’s protests that “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea-bagging.”

So why are Leftists determined to use a sexually degrading and homophobic insult to describe Tea Party activists? It lowers the level of discourse and is unworthy of inclusion in civil discourse. It is one thing for a broadcast “journalist” like Cooper to use the insult in an off-the-cuff manner on live television, but print media should filter it out. Bob Zaltsberg should have known better when he printed columns by Deke Hager and Kevin Haggerty and an “instant message” response calling the protesters “teabaggers.”

Let there be no doubt that this is intended to insult based on sexual orientation. It is meant to degrade male Tea Party activists by implying they are engaged in homosexual activity. It is both ironic and hypocritical that the very same people who screech endlessly about equal treatment for and acceptance of homosexuals would use homosexuality as an insult. Would these Leftists dare insult Tea Party activists by suggesting they are partially black? Why are homosexual-rights activists not denouncing these homophobic insults?

Leftists have been known to infiltrate Tea Party rallies with intentionally inflammatory (and sometimes outright racist) signs meant to make the Tea Party movement look bad. One Bloomington Leftist bragged about doing just that last year. While some of the inflammatory signs at various protests were carried by legitimate Tea Party activists, many of the worst signs you see scattered about the Internet are scams. Because Tea Party rallies and protests are loosely-organized events where the leadership has little control over the content of the message, it is especially vulnerable to this kind of monkeywrenching. I fully expect more of the same in a couple weeks.

If Leftists think the Tea Party activists are stupid or that they are simply wrong, they could engage on the field of ideas and honestly debate the merits of Obama’s public policies. By using sexually degrading insults and monkeywrenching opposition rallies, they say much more about themselves than about their opponents. What they really know is there is a lot of anger at the unprecedented deficit spending by Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress elected two years before he took office. That’s why Leftists are trying to personally discredit the Tea Party instead of engaging in a legitimate discussion of issues.

It is not working. Obama’s poll numbers are plummeting and the Republicans are on a clear path to reclaiming the House of Representatives in November. Leftists can only blame themselves and their arrogance for that.

Baron Hill: Aggressively Pro-Abortion

In Duncan Currie’s article at National Review Online, he describes Baron Hill as “avowedly pro-life.” This is simply not true. It is nowhere close to true.

Baron Hill was pro-life when he was a state legislator, but then he ran for U.S. Senate. He knew that the Democratic Party establishment would not support him if he continued to hold his pro-life views, so he sold his soul, and traded the lives of the unborn for political gain. To this day, Baron Hill proudly campaigns as a supporter of abortion rights.

Baron Hill voted to force pro-life medical professionals to participate in abortion when he opposed HR 4691 in September 2002. This bill, passed by the House, bars the federal government, or any state or local government that receives federal assistance, from discriminating against a health care provider for refusing to participate in abortion. Hill’s vote was not only not pro-life, it was aggressively pro-abortion.

How could anyone who is “pro-life” support radical pro-abortion extremist Barack Obama, who defended infanticide on the floor of the Illinois state legislature? Baron Hill did just that. When I challenged Baron Hill on the radio to defend his endorsement of Obama, he said that he would never endorse or not endorse based on “one issue.” That’s right – defending infanticide is just “one issue” to Baron Hill.

National Review is generally an excellent news source. But on this issue, the author simply got his facts wrong, and NRO needs to retract this egregious factual error.

Governing against the will of the people

They finally did it. Barack Obama and the Democrats have finally passed health care “reform” after decades of trying. In doing so, they are telling the American people that what we believe does not matter and they will do what they want.

For over a year now, polls have consistently shown that the American people do not want a massive government takeover of health care. There have been Tea Party protests, people showed up in droves at town hall meetings, and Capitol Hill phone lines and e-mail boxes have been filled with people opposing this bill. The Democrats don’t care what you think. Democrats have made it clear that they will ram this down your throat whether you want it or not, and they are willing to lose their seats in November to get this passed.

This opens the door for government to regulate every aspect of your life. After all, if the government is paying for your health care, the government has a reason to control what you can eat, how much exercise you get and whether your overall lifestyle meets their whims. If you don’t think this is true, consider how many of the arguments against things like smoking and trans fats are based on how much they cost the government. If the government does not like your diet and lifestyle, they will move to force you to change it. That may not happen right away or even in the next decade, but rest assured it will happen.

Democrats have been squealing that this will reduce the deficit. That is just silly. We took a huge step to making access to health care a national entitlement. You simply cannot create that kind of an entitlement without costs starting to spiral far beyond what was predicted. It has been well established that the cost of Medicare is many times greater than what was estimated when it was passed in the 1960’s. We are going to face a crushing tax burden to pay for this disaster.

The Republicans will probably take the House in November, and they may take the Senate as well. Do not expect this can be repealed or even repaired, other than minor tinkering at the edges. This is the law of the land and will continue to be so. This also creates another third rail, as inevitable cost overruns will make it necessary to reform this “reform” and cut the cost of it, but will there be statesmen with the courage to make the hard choices and make the cuts in the face of accusations that we are taking away people’s health care?

A year ago, Rush Limbaugh had for words about Obama: “I hope he fails.” Obama has succeeded, and now the country will fail. We’re entering a very dangerous time that will impact our economic prosperity, our liberty and our political system for decades. We don’t know what it will look like in 20 years, but we will be much worse off than we are today.

A week in the nation’s capital

We spent a week in the nation’s capital last week. It was an incredible trip, and it was my first chance to visit Washington DC. It was well worth the wait.

On Sunday, we visited the National Air and Space museum annex near Washington Dulles International Airport. Probably the most sobering sight was the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. It was surreal to see the plane that dropped a single bomb that incinerated so many. While I believe the Hiroshima bombing was justified and ultimately saved more lives than it took, it was still a great tragedy.

Monday, we visited another sobering place: the Holocaust memorial. It is amazing how inhumane and barbaric people can be. While we look down on the Nazis with good reason, is the USA itself morally superior? We have plenty of blood on our hands, and our treatment of American Indians can be viewed only as genocide. The Holocaust memorial was a reminder of how easily hatred can take over and lead to terrible atrocities, and of the need for good people to stand against hate – whether it be against Jews, against Blacks or against Hispanics.

Visiting Arlington National Cemetery was sobering as well. It is a grim reminder of the cost many have paid for freedom. The Eternal Flame that burns in memorial to John F. Kennedy was moving. The tour guides reminded us of the underhanded manner in which the cemetery was created, after Yankee soldiers looted Robert E. Lee’s mansion and a Yankee general decided to confiscate Lee’s property for buying slain soldiers. Lee holds the unique place of being the only person who fought against the United States who has been honored by the federal government.

The Smithsonian museums are a great treasure of knowledge and history, and are a must-see for anyone visiting Washington DC. The air and space museum was especially interesting, with displays of the V-1 and V-2 rockets, the Tomahawk cruise missile and intermediate-range nuclear missiles. We saw the war memorials as well. The Vietnam Veterans memorial is elegant and simple, another must-see.

I was very impressed with the Metro subway system. It was clean, well-maintained and well-organized. There are plenty of stations and maps available of the downtown DC area for people to get where they want to go. The routes are easy to understand and well-marked. I certainly would not want to use the Metro for daily travel, though. There are benefits to living in a small city that is drivable.

Wiping out STD’s

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. — 1 Corinthians 6:18

A March 10 letter to the editor encourages students to “protect themselves and their partner’s health by being responsible when engaging in sexual activity.” The author then goes on to advertise STD screenings at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s most prolific baby-killing organization that brings in over $1 billion in annual revenue.

Of course, there is an easy way to deal with the problem of sexually transmitted diseases. If sexual activity is confined to a lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual marriage STD’s would vanish within a generation. But then Planned Parenthood would be out of business. We can’t have that, can we?

The dirty little secret is that if you do not have sex until you are married and you choose a spouse who has done the same, you have no need to worry about getting a sexually transmitted disease. There will be no need to be tested by a government-funded organization like Planned Parenthood because you will not have been exposed to any diseases.

God designed sex for both enjoyment and procreation, but only within a specific context. Outside of marriage, sex becomes a perversion of God’s gift and a violation of His commandments. This has been devastating for the family, for society and for individuals, and has created a public health nightmare.

It should not be a surprise that children born out of wedlock are statistically much more likely to live in poverty than children born to married parents. A stable marriage is and will always be a much more effective means of preventing children from living in poverty than any government welfare program.

Fortunately, there is a means of escape from sin, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the shed blood of Jesus Christ. In Mark 2:17, the Lord said, “they that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” If we confess our sins, he will forgive us and cleanse us of that sin. (1 John 1:9) Seek out a Bible-believing church, and you will be on your way to justification.

Local control, not federal mandates


The nation’s governors and state school chiefs will propose standards Wednesday for what students should learn in English and math, from kindergarten through high school, a crucial step in President Obama’s campaign to raise academic standards across the country.

The blueprint aims to replace a hodgepodge of state benchmarks with common standards.

I suppose we can “thank” President George W. Bush for this. After all, it was the Bush Administration that partnered with Ted Kennedy to significantly increase the role of the federal government in primary and secondary education. The “No Child Left Behind” act was a betrayal of conservative principles.

I reject the implicit assumption in these standards that the people of each state are not qualified to set standards for the schools in their states through their elected state legislatures. We have a “hodgepodge” of standards because each state, through their elected representatives, each have different priorities for what they believe is important.

Can someone please show me where in the Constitution the federal government is given the authority to set standards for schools in every city and town in a nation of 300 million that stretches across the continent? You will not be able to do that, because it does not exist. Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment is clear that the federal government has no authority to set a national education policy, including national standards.

We as a nation need to get away from this poisonous idea that the federal government holds the answer to our nation’s problems. The federal government needs to stick to the powers specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Allow the states to be laboratories of democracy in setting their own policies. This was one of our nation’s founding principles, and it will work much more efficiently than a large federal monolith setting policy from one city on the East Coast.

Leonard the Liar hits another low

In the fall of 2006, Herald-Times columnist Mike Leonard admitted that he fabricated a Congressional vote that never took place in order to take a partisan shot at incumbent Congressman Mike Sodrel. On February 28, Mike Leonard lied about funding for Ivy Tech, attempting to lead readers to believe that Ivy Tech’s operating budget is funded by property taxes. On March 7, Leonard hit another low.

In a column about a dispute between Union Board and Young Americans for Liberty at IU, Leonard asserted that YAL was denied funding for a speaker not because of bias, but because YAL did not follow the proper procedure and allow UB to help with planning the event.

Of course, Leonard contradicted himself by saying that UB “got the ‘cuckoo-cuckoo’ whistle” from faculty and rejected the request because the proposed speaker did not have “sufficient academic credibility.” So which is it, Mike? Was it bias against the speaker himself or was it because YAL did not follow procedure? You cannot have it both ways.

The issue of following proper procedure is a legitimate point, if we take a leap of faith and assume Leonard is being truthful. But Leonard just can’t leave well enough alone. He could not simply make the point about procedure. He felt the need to smear the group and defame the students involved in the group.

Leonard spewed that YAL represent “the same people who opposed civil rights in the 1960s.” Keep in mind that we are talking about college students who were born in the late 1980s, twenty years after the civil rights movement was at its peak. Unless YAL members have discovered the secret of time travel, it is simply not possible that they could have opposed something 20 years before they were born.

This is a typical smear tactic from Leftists like Leonard, who lack the emotional stability to engage a discussion on the merits of the issue and must instead hurl personal attacks at their political opponents. Instead of refuting the allegation of bias with an argument about procedure, Leonard was compelled to smear these young people and paint them as racist and homophobic.

Keep in mind that Leonard did not provide one single fact, one shred of evidence or the slightest hint of proof for his despicable mudslinging. Leonard did not even attempt to show where any member of YAL’s leadership has said or written anything against the civil rights movement, “programs for racial and ethnic minorities” or “fair treatment” of homosexuals. He simply applied the Left’s stereotype of “racist, sexist and homophobic” to discredit rather than engage.

In other words, he made it up. This is well below what should be expected of a newspaper in a university community, especially a university that boasts a well-respected school of journalism.

This is going to be a long year. Leonard is lashing out, and he is doing so without regard for facts and ethics. H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg should publish an apology for Leonard’s vile smear. I will not hold my breath for the H-T to show a shred of decency, however.