Stop lying about Herman Cain’s position on abortion!

In an interview on CNN, Herman Cain reiterated his position that abortion is wrong and should be banned. He got a cheap shot “question” about what he would do if his daughter or granddaughter were raped, and whether abortion in that case should be illegal. Cain took the traditional Republican stance – that abortion should be illegal except for “hard cases” such as rape and incest. This is the same position taken by Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain.

In response, fellow GOP candidate Rick Santorum claimed that Cain’s position is “pro-choice.” Rachel Maddow claimed that Cain does not understand that abortion is not a choice if it is illegal. Both Santorum and Maddow are liars.

I disagree with Cain on exceptions. A child does not lose his/her humanity because of the crimes committed by his father and that child should not be executed for those crimes. But that is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that Herman Cain’s pro-life position covers 95% of all abortions in America.

I expect Rachel Maddow to lie about Cain’s position on abortion. After all, Maddow is infamous for intellectual dishonesty, such as “confusing” libertarianism with anarchism. It is especially disappointing, however, to see a good and honorable man such as Rick Santorum flagrantly lie about his opponent in the Republican primary. Republicans should be above spreading lies for political gain. That Santorum is a devoted Christian makes his disobedience of Exodus 20:16 even more disappointing.

It is true that Herman Cain was not as clear as he could have been on the question of rape and incest exceptions, and those who do not listen closely to what he said could misinterpret it. But that’s not what happened with Rick Santorum – he knows full well what Cain said and what he meant. Santorum has been lagging in the polls and he is getting desperate as we get closer to the primaries, so he is hoping to shave off some of Cain’s supporters for himself. But what Santorum is really doing is discrediting himself.

I do not like attacking Santorum, and (while I am supporting Rick Perry) I would be thrilled if Santorum was the Republican nominee for President. But lying about Cain’s position is a strike against Santorum’s qualifications to be President. Character matters, and these lies indicate a character defect. Santorum should repent, retract and apologize.

No corporate welfare for the merchants of death

Note: The following is an open letter to the Monroe County Council.

For over a month now, the “Occupy Wall Street” protest has been gaining media attention and has spread to cities around the nation. There is even a local version of the protest that has set up tents in People’s Park. So with all of this talk of corporate greed, don’t you think it is time to stop handing out corporate welfare to Planned Parenthood?

The economy continues to struggle and there are local social service agencies that could legitimately use the grants you will be distributing. These local charities do not have the backing of a nationwide network of “clinics” that enjoys a total of over one billion dollars in annual revenue. That’s right – one billion dollars.

Councilors, you know that this request has nothing to do with need. Planned Parenthood does not need the handout they are asking you to give them. This has nothing to do with serving people in need. This is about getting a political endorsement from county government. They have no respect for you, for the taxpayers, for the other social service organizations or for the process.

Planned Parenthood already got $5,000 from the city council in June. They need to step aside and allow the limited social service funds to go to a legitimate charity. Since they are without shame, you should emphatically reject their request. Planned Parenthood managed to survive for ten years only getting grants from the city. Why now do they now demand funding from county government? Does their greed know no end?

Testing for HIV is a good thing, but there is no reason this cannot be done through a less objectionable organization – one that does not murder unborn children at their “clinic” a few blocks south of the county courthouse every week. One possibility is having the county health department administer HIV tests. It is time for this charade to end.

Thoughts on the death of Moammar Gadhafi

It has been my position from the beginning that we have no business engaging in a military adventure in Libya. Nonetheless, the death of Moammar Gadhafi is a positive development for the world. He was a mass murderer, a terrorist and a war criminal. He’s responsible for the murder of American soldiers in a night club bombing and the Pan Am 103 bombing – plus many other acts of terrorism and mass murder.

The world would have been a much better place the last 25 years if we had not missed Gadhafi when President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya in 1986. Now, Gadhafi is suffering in horrible burning agony in Hell, where he will continue to suffer in horrible burning agony for all eternity.

That said, I do not agree with the way Gadhafi was killed. He deserved to die, but his execution should have taken place after a fair trial. Instead, he was captured and beaten by rebels before being summarily executed. The people of Libya deserved to see him stand trial. He deserved to be condemned publicly in a trial before he was killed.

He should have been shown that justice works. A lawless war criminal allowed a fair trial, then executed, would have shown the world that Gadhafi’s opponents are better than he is. It would have proved that the rule of law is stronger than the actions of terrorists and war criminals.

I shed no tears for that wicked mass murderer, because he was pure, undiluted evil. But if the rebels are serious about setting up a democratic society based on the rule of law (which is by no means certain, given that there are Al Qaeda terrorists in the group) then a trial for Gadhafi would have been the perfect start.

On one extreme is the death of Gadhafi, killed in an act of vigilantism and vengeance by his enemies. On the other extreme is the case of Pan Am 103 bomber Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, who was released by a thoroughly corrupt Scottish so-called “judge” on the grounds of a depraved, wicked and fraudulent “compassion.” Allowing a war criminal to escape punishment is not compassion.

This man should have been exterminated. We are not given permission to practice capital punishment. We are commanded to practice capital punishment. The Bible commands that al-Megrahi be killed. By saving him alive instead of killing him, the corrupt so-called “judge” is in direct rebellion against God. (See Ezekiel 13:19.)

And yes, Kenny MacAskill is completely corrupt. Releasing the Pan Am 103 bomber is prima facie evidence of that corruption. The next time there is a terrorist bombing in the UK, the blame should fall directly on this corrupt so-called “judge” for encouraging terrorism through weakness. It will be his fault.

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Herald-Times whines about challenge to Lugar

The Bloomington Herald-Times published a typically whiny editorial last week, warning that the attempt to unseat Senator Richard Lugar could “backfire” and make it easier for Joe Donnelly to win.

First things first. Donnelly is not going to win no matter who wins the Republican primary. It was a fluke when President Obama won Indiana in 2008, and he will almost certainly lose by the same margin Democrats traditionally lose by every four years. 2012 will not be a good year for Indiana Democrats with Obama leading the ticket.

Look at the 2010 election and the fact that Republicans hold 60 of 100 seats in the Indiana House (they were in the minority before that) and 37 of 50 seats in the Indiana Senate. Donnelly himself is only in Congress because the Indiana Democratic Party actually sent a mailer endorsing the Libertarian candidate in a desperate attempt to split the conservative vote. It worked. The Libertarian candidate got 5% and Donnelly won with a plurality of 48%.

The H-T again whined about the 1998 Republican primary for the District 60 state representative seat. But the heavily Republican District 60 is a poor example of how a conservative primary challenge can elect a Democrat. This is because the Democrat in question is Peggy Welch, who has not only voted for but sponsored legislation to restrict abortion and ban same-sex marriage. After Welch, the Democrats have no one who can win that seat.

It is amusing that the Herald-Times is whining about a Republican primary from 13 years ago. Why did the Herald-Times not bother to mention the challenge by Lucille Bertuccio against longtime County Council member David Hamilton? That is certainly more relevant than the 1998 primary. After all, the Republican Party has not been relevant in Monroe County since 2006. Why bother kicking the Republican Party over a long-dead race when the Democrats control all the levers of power in both city and county government?

It is absurd for the H-T to label the effort to unseat Lugar as a movement of “extremists.” Richard Mourdock got 60% of the vote in last November’s election. Did 60% of Hoosiers vote for an extremist? Does this mean that 60% of Hoosiers are extremists? By definition, 60% is not extremist – it is a majority. The Herald-Times – which called for one party rule over the summer – has been insulated in Bloomington for too long. It’s time to expand your horizons and learn something, H-T. You know, actually do your job.

Lugar the Liar distorts property tax issue

Richard Lugar has a reputation as a distinguished statesman. He’s knowledgeable about foreign policy and has done valuable work securing the former Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal. He’s respected by both Republicans and Democrats. He’s in danger of throwing all of that away with an underhanded, highly dishonest attack on his opponent. Lugar looks like a typical politician desperate to keep his seat.

At issue is the property tax exemption that Richard Mourdock got for his Indianapolis home. This is an issue that flared up over the summer, and was settled months ago. A property tax exemption had been mistakenly applied to Mourdock’s home by the Marion County Auditor’s Office. Channel 13 reported on June 23 that he “has a form from the Marion County auditor’s office admitting to the mix-up.” The Indianapolis Star reported a month ago that the auditor’s office said Mourdock would pay the back taxes due when his next statement is mailed.

Lugar’s campaign sent a particularly nasty e-mail last week bringing up the dead property tax issue, accusing Mourdock of illegal behavior and bashing his donation to his own campaign. Lugar’s campaign wrote:

Richard Mourdock had taken a homestead exemption on two homes, one in Indianapolis and one in Evansville, which is illegal under Indiana law.

This is simply shameful and well below what we should expect from someone like Lugar. Mourdock did not take two homestead exemptions, and Lugar knows it. It was a mistake by the Marion County Auditor’s Office. Lugar is claiming that Mourdock had intentionally broken the law. Lugar should be ashamed of himself for this deliberate distortion.

This is a dead issue. The error by the Auditor’s Office was discovered months ago, and the explanation is more than sufficient for anyone not looking to take a cynical cheap shot. Mourdock has already made arrangements with the Marion County Auditor to pay the back taxes and penalties he owes as a result of the Auditor’s mistake.

So why bring it up now? Despite his cash advantage, Lugar knows he is in trouble. He has been hoping for a second conservative to jump into the race and split the conservative vote, and that has not happened. Lugar knows that national Tea Party groups will likely move in to back Mourdock as we move closer to the primary.

Lugar also knows he cannot defend his record in a Republican primary. Lugar voted for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and both of Barack Obama’s nominees to the Supreme Court. Lugar has a long history of supporting gun control measures like the assault weapons ban and the Brady Law. Because he knows he cannot win the argument on substance, Lugar has decided to get nasty and personal, deliberately lying about his opponent four months before the filing deadline.

Lugar proved yesterday that it is time for him to retire. In the meantime, he should at least attempt to retain some of his dignity instead of basing his campaign on political dirty tricks.

Freedom preserved at University of North Carolina… for now

It is good news that the University of North Carolina declined to punish the Psalm 100 singing group for submitting to Scripture and removing a homosexual member of the group. But there are dark clouds on the horizon for freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The North Carolina state legislature should carefully monitor this controversy as it progresses and stand up for liberty.

The university had “investigated” Psalm 100 before deciding that the group was allowed to remove members who do not agree with their beliefs. In this case, this belief is submission to Scripture’s very clear teaching about the sinfulness of homosexuality. But it is not over because there are already calls for the university to amend its nondiscrimination policy to more strictly ban “discrimination” by student groups. (See this letter to the editor as well as editorials by the Daily Tar Heel and the Durham Herald-Sun.)

There is a wrinkle in this story, because Psalm 100 got $152.20 from student fees. Homosexual students and those who support homosexuals should not have to subsidize a student group that holds views in opposition to their own. The same principle should apply to Christians who do not want to pay for things like the Miss Gay IU event every year. This is why universities should not give any funds to any student groups. Let them raise their own money.

Clearly, student groups should have the right to remove members for serious violations of the group’s beliefs. Freedom of association necessarily includes the freedom to not associate. Should the UNC Young Democrats be forced to keep a member who donates to and campaigns for Herman Cain or Rick Santorum? Should a campus abortion rights group be banned from removing a member who regularly pickets the nearest abortion clinic?

Since UNC is a public university, they cannot legally force a Christian student group to accept members who are in rebellion against Christian doctrine as established by Scripture. If UNC caves to pressure from militant homosexuals and makes the “nondiscrimination” policy more onerous, the North Carolina state legislature should use the power of the purse strings to “persuade” UNC to follow the Constitution.

Time to eliminate subsidies for pro sports teams

Bob Zaltsberg actually raises a good point about whether “Occupy Wall Street” should “occupy Madison Square Garden” where the New York Knicks play.

I said back in July that I have little sympathy for NBA owners in the labor dispute: These teams sign bad contracts and then complain that they cannot be profitable because of the heavy load of those contracts. One of those players is Eddy Curry, who has shown that he simply does not care about earning his pay. But even in 2005, the New York Knicks should have known he was overrated (as many fans and his former team did) and that it was foolish to sign him to a huge deal. They signed him to a stupid contract and suffered the consequences.

The NBA should think seriously about the anger at Wall Street, especially given the TARP bailouts that have greatly irritated both the Occupy Wall Street activists on the left and Tea Party activists on the right. This is because the NBA is in a similar situation. (The same could be said of the NFL and Major League Baseball.)

For decades, local and sometimes even state governments have spent millions of dollars confiscated by force from taxpayers to provide arenas for billionaire owners. If we don’t get what we want, the owners say, we will take our ball and go to another city that is willing to put us on the dole. Pro sports owners are some of the most extravagant welfare queens around, even including the hated banks.

Government, fearful of losing the economic activity stimulated by the pro sports teams, shell out truckloads of cash to give the billionaires what they want. (Never mind that the economic impact of pro sports is overblown.)

But in an economy that has been unable to break out of the deep recession (can we call it a depression now?) that started with the crash of the financial sector three years ago, should we really be spending so much taxpayer money to subsidize billionaire owners and millionaire players – especially when local sports bars, restaurants and others that rely on the economic activity stimulated by the Indiana Pacers will now go without the money that would be generated in the first two weeks of the NBA season?

It is understandable that people would be frustrated that, after all the taxpayers have poured into professional sports over the decades, local businesses that rely on those teams to stimulate business will now go without as players and owners squabble over how to split billions of dollars in revenue – especially when much of the economic difficulties that NBA teams are facing is a direct result of stupid deals signed by owners that even casual fans know are foolish.

The answer is to let the pro sports teams – in the NBA, NFL and MLB – take care of themselves. Don’t put a gun in the face of the taxpayers and force us to subsidize these spoiled brats.

The overuse and abuse of paramilitrary SWAT teams

Printed in the Herald-Times, October 19, 2011

To the editor:

The trial of a Detroit police officer for shooting and killing a 7 year old child is a sobering reminder of why we need to have stronger oversight of and regulations on the use of paramilitary SWAT teams.

The Detroit police needed to apprehend a murder suspect. But was it really necessary to use a dangerous flash bang grenade and go charging into a home in the middle of the night wielding assault rifles? Could the suspect have been apprehended without using overwhelming force? Keep in mind that reports that flash bang grenades – technically “less lethal” weapons – can cause fatalities.

When you hear about police using military-style weaponry raiding homes in the middle of the night, you would think this happened in the former Soviet Union, not the United States.

There are occasions where SWAT teams are appropriate. But as I pointed out in my August 2010 letter to the editor, they are overused, and the overuse of SWAT teams creates unnecessarily confrontational and dangerous situations.

There is no reason that Aiyana Stanley-Jones should be dead. Aiyana might be alive today if the police served a warrant for the arrest of Chauncey Owens through traditional means.