"No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders." --Samuel Adams

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Cultural Analysis: Michael Medved Lends Perspective on "The Passion of The Christ"
with Pat Robertson
...there has been an increasingly strong coalition between committed Jews and committed Christians, to defend the United States, to defend the values that we care about, to defend the traditional family, and to defend Israel. And there are people in this country, particularly on the Left, who don't like that, who are very suspicious of it. And so this has been used, it seems to me in a very political way, by certain people on the Left to try to drive Jews and Christians apart. And it is our job, particularly those of us in the Jewish community, to not allow that to happen. This movie is an affirmation of Christian faith, and I am one of those Jews who believes that the more Christian America there is, the better it is for America, and the better it is for America’s Jews, and for Jews around the world...
Jim Caviezel Talks About Playing Christ in 'The Passion'
Miracles on the Set: Behind the Scenes of 'The Passion' with Jim Caviezel
with Scott Ross
Read transcripts of a moving interview with actor Jim Caviezel or see the interview videos. Caviezel discusses his own faith and the struggles he had, including being struck by lightning during filming, in playing the role of Jesus in the Mel Gibson film.
Gibson's Passion: Awe and Shock
by John A. Nixon
After reading and hearing all the controversy, it was with great anticipation that I saw Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ." I was awed by James Caviezel in portraying the most convincing and Semitic Jesus that I have seen on the screen. He played the Man more believably than actors in other Jesus movies. He took on the role in a way that conveyed divinity and humanity in a very real way. Of course, these portrayals were most evident in the flashback scenes; for the most part, however, he's busy reacting to the beatings. It's therefore no coincidence, I think, that Caviezel is a believer and found he had to pray a great deal to execute his role...

Friday, February 27, 2004

Moral Absolutes Not Open to Negotiation
by Shaunti Feldhahn
...our intense concern arises from the struggle over objective morality. Because if nothing is "immoral" (a word that sounds quaintly judgmental today), much of our social and legal framework unravels. If morality does change over time, can we still say any personal, consensual choices are wrong? Why not allow prostitution, drug use or polygamy?...
What Goes Around. . .
by Thomas L. Friedman
...So when I came to the 24/7 Customer call center in Bangalore to observe hundreds of Indian young people doing service jobs via long distance — answering the phones for U.S. firms, providing technical support for U.S. computer giants or selling credit cards for global banks — I was prepared to denounce the whole thing. "How can it be good for America to have all these Indians doing our white-collar jobs?"...

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Why Young Women are Exposing Themselves: Part One   Part Two
by Dennis Prager
You may have noticed that many young women wear less, and more sexually provocative, clothing in public than they did a generation, or even 10 years, ago. It is easier to notice, however, than to explain. But explaining it is crucial to understanding what has happened to men and women in the last 40 years and where male-female relations are headed. Women exposing their bodies in public is a big deal. Playing with the sex drive, the most powerful force in nature, is far more dangerous than playing with fire. Even if one welcomes this development -- and for the record, as a male I am turned on, while as a man I am turned off -- it begs for explanation...
The Culture War Explodes
by Bill O'Reilly
...And this is really what the culture war is all about, secularists who want few judgments made about personal behavior and traditionalists who believe judgments are necessary in a disciplined society. Enter Mel Gibson and his movie about Jesus. As "Talking Points" mentioned last week, it's not anti-Semitic, but it is offensive to people who don't want the philosophy of Jesus incorporated into the public discourse. The secularists reject Judeo-Christian philosophy outright and believes our constitution should be devoid of it. The attacks on Gibson have now become cartoonish. Listen to Andy Rooney...

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Do You Recognize This Jesus?
by Kenneth L. Woodward
...More than 60 years ago, H. Richard Neibuhr summarized the creed of an easygoing American Christianity that has in our time triumphantly come to pass: "A God without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment though the ministrations of a Christ without a cross." Despite its muscular excess, Mr. Gibson's symbol-laden film is a welcome repudiation of all that....

"The Passion of the Christ" opens today in theaters. What makes this movie so controversial?...

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

When Relativism Becomes Theology: The demise of Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien
by Andrew Peyton Thomas
...How could somebody so self-serving and corrupt ascend to such a position of prominence in the largest church on earth? Surely the human condition is an important part of the answer...But O'Brien also exemplified and perpetuated the moral relativism that has taken hold of so many of the other upper reaches of U.S. society, including many quarters of organized religion...
The Hispanic Challenge
by Samuel P. Huntington
The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have not assimilated into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own political and linguistic enclaves—from Los Angeles to Miami—and rejecting the Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream. The United States ignores this challenge at its peril...

Monday, February 23, 2004

Few Hurrahs for Al-Hurra
by Arnaud de Borchgrave
There have been so many half-truths and shadings of the truth as well as disinformation about Iraq, one is tempted to conclude officials who lie to journalists and then believe what they read in the newspapers, or see and hear on TV and radio news, can now cause wars. Credibility was America's most precious asset. But that has now been swept aside in a blizzard of palpably fraudulent stories...

Sunday, February 22, 2004

'Idol' Fantasies: Take Off the Kid Gloves
by Alexandra Wolfe
...After decades of upper-middle-class parenting designed to shield Junior from all possible failure, and from any honest judgment of his talents, it's no wonder we need television shows like "American Idol" and its fellow showcase for Too Much Positive Reinforcement victims, "The Apprentice." These shows are delivering the spanking -- sorry, the time-out -- that our culture of bloated self- evaluation is subconsciously craving. Their success signals that we may be reaching the end of a long national delusion. There is simply not room enough at the top these days for everyone raised to believe they belong there -- and, deep down, we all know it...
Where Are Protesters Now as Iraq Body Count Rises?
by Jonathan Gurwitz
...Where is the outrage against the suicide bombers killing Iraqis? Where are the human shields who were so willing to sacrifice their lives to stop an attack on Saddam's regime? Where are the protesters demanding to stop the killing now that the usual suspects are doing the killing and the victims are American soldiers and Iraqis dedicated to building a free country?...

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Ahmad Chalabi and His Iranian Connection
The Stratfor Weekly
The United States is struggling over the question of how U.S. intelligence was so deeply mistaken about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. One of the points that is consistently brought up is that much of the intelligence flowed through the Iraqi National Council, an opposition group led by Ahmad Chalabi. It is now well known that Chalabi's sources were not ideal. What is less well known is the close, long-term relationship that Chalabi, a favorite of Washington's, had with Iran. Chalabi, an Iraqi Shiite, was and remains in constant contact with Tehran. We have assumed he was a channel between Washington and Tehran. Given the erroneous intelligence he gave the United States, his relationship with Iran requires careful examination...
'Deficit of Decency' in America
Floor Speech of Senator Zell Miller
...Arnold Toynbee who wrote the acclaimed 12 volume A Study of History, once declared, 'Of the 22 civilizations that have appeared in history, 19 of them collapsed when they reached the moral state America is in today'...
Washington Considers "Clone and Kill" Bill
Family Research Council
A crucial decision will be made in the state of Washington in the next few weeks when the state legislature votes on whether to approve human cloning. If this bill becomes law, Washington would authorize human cloning and fetal harvesting...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Kengor's New Book Explores Reagan's Faith
By Matthew Sitman
...[Q] What part of Reagan’s political career was most influenced by his faith? What was the most significant political manifestation of his faith?
[A] Surely his attack on communism was among the most significant. He said that he was enjoined by Scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose sin and evil with all his might. That’s a phrase right out of the evil empire speech. Probably the thing that was most important was what he learned from a book his mother gave him as an 11-year-old, “That Printer of Udell’s,” where he learned practical Christianity, in other words, Christianity to be used, not put on a shelf. And he always, constantly lived up to that...
Another Attempt to Circumvent the Law in San Francisco
by Bill O'Reilly
...Remember, the Boy Scouts have been thrown out of San Diego, the word "God" may very well be taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance, gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts, drug laws are under pressure, and some judges are doing everything they can to destroy the congressional ban signed by President Bush on partial birth abortion. All of these things are happening against the will of the people, according to all the polls. The gay marriage exposition of San Francisco is a clear signal sent by the progressive community. If we don't like a law, we're not going to obey it. Anarchy.
No Politician Left Behind: Lack of money isn't the problem with education
OpinionJournal
...Federal spending on K-12 education will top $41 billion in 2004. Add in state and local spending, and the figure rises to a record half-trillion dollars. That's double the amount spent in 1990 and a third more than the $375 billion the U.S. will spend on defense this year. The negligible impact of this ever-increasing cash infusion on reading scores is illustrated ...
The Equality Dogma
by Thomas Sowell
...Recognizing the equal humanity of all peoples, and a need to treat everyone with decency and compassion, is very different from insisting on a dogma that their performances are all equal. It is not just a few readers but government agencies and the highest courts in the land that dogmatize against any recognition of differences in behavior or performances among groups. Statistical differences in outcomes automatically fall under suspicion of discrimination, as if the groups themselves could not possibly be any different in behavior or performance...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

So It Has Come to This: A Choice of Scandals
by Mark Steyn
There are two "scandals" in American politics at the moment: the first features George W Bush and whether he was a "deserter"...[and] the Kerry scandal: If you read the British newspapers, you'll know all about it....If character is the issue, Bush can relax. And, if doing your bit for national security is the issue, then John Kerry's been Awol for two decades.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

How 'Rich-World' Enviros are Hurting Rest of Globe
by Linda Seebach
..."We must put humanity back into the environmental debate," said CORE national spokesman Niger Innis..."The green movement imposes the views of mostly wealthy, comfortable Americans and Europeans on mostly poor, desperate Africans, Asians and Latin Americans. It violates their most basic human rights," he said....Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore said that when he helped create Greenpeace in 1971, "I had no idea it would evolve into a band of scientific illiterates who use Gestapo tactics to silence people who wish to express their views in a civilized forum. I had no idea the movement would oppose genetic engineering and other programs that could benefit mankind - and adopt zero-tolerance policies that so clearly expose its intellectual and moral bankruptcy"...
Bush, Kerry Both Served Honorably
by Bob Ewegen
...The fact is that both George Bush and John Kerry discharged their military obligations in an honorable manner. Kerry, a decorated combat veteran, was entirely within his rights to protest the war after his release from active duty. Bush is no deserter. Kerry is no traitor. Now, can we stop the filth-flinging and talk about the economy, America's role in the world, and the other real issues of this election year?
Faith, Hope, Love and Forgiveness
ABC News
Diane Sawyer interviews Mel Gibson on ABC News' Primetime, airing Monday at 10 p.m. ET, about his upcoming movie, The Passion of the Christ, opening nationwide on Wednesday, February 25. Gibson tells Sawyer that ultimately he was moved to depict Jesus' sacrifice on film after reaching "the height of spiritual bankruptcy" himself more than a decade ago.

Friday, February 13, 2004

About the Kerry Infidelity Allegations
by Hugh Hewitt
...Whenever you see a reporter or a commentator bring up the Bush ANG story, though, listen to see if the Kerry infidelity story is covered in the same segment or even on the same program. Each have the same predicate -- allegations by media ruffians embraced by retired generals with intriguing bits of info like the parents quoted in The Sun and both were subject to complete denials by the candidates -- and each should get the same coverage.
Teens in Sweatshops
by Victor Landauro
...Erica worked in a garment factory in Los Angeles, California, that supplied shirts to Forever 21, a teen-fashion company. Earning $250 dollars or less for a 50-hour workweek meant that survival was a struggle. She was later fired from her job after working 60-hour weeks during the Christmas shopping season. There are sweatshops for shoes, toys, jewelry, sporting goods, fruits and vegetables, and just about any kind of product...Erica was later fired from her job after working 60-hour weeks during the Christmas shopping season. She says she was dismissed for complaining that she did not receive her overtime pay...

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Scientists Get Sought-After Cells from Human Clone
Reuters
South Korean and U.S. researchers said on Wednesday they had cloned a human embryo and extracted from it sought-after cells called embryonic stem cells.The experiment, the first published report of cloned human stem cells, means so-called therapeutic cloning is no longer a theory but a reality...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

A Republican Surrender
by Robert Novak
...By a stroke of luck, Republicans had found a trail of e-mail messages by Democrats that exposed a coolly crafted plan to reject President Bush's federal judges. But Democrats managed to turn their own corruption of Senate confirmations into bipartisan outrage over a staffer leaking a senator's sacrosanct communications...
Kerry, Edwards and Company: Have They Forgotten?
by David Limbaugh
If Democrats are going to continue to beat up President Bush over the WMD question, don't you think it's time for their leading contenders, Senator Kerry and Edwards, to give an accounting on this matter as well?...
Queer Eye for Fast Fashion
by Roberto Rivera
...While the expression “style over substance” has been part of our cultural lexicon for decades, this [Queer Eye for the Straight Guy] is something else. It’s more like “style is substance.” It’s the belief that all there is to a person--and to some extent, to human institutions as well--are surfaces...

Monday, February 09, 2004

Sen. John Kerry: Vietnam Stance Irks Veterans
by Terry Garlock
Like [Jane Fonda]'s infamous visit to Hanoi in 1972, [JOHN KERRY]'s public actions encouraged our enemy at a time they were killing America's sons. Decades after the war was done, interviews with our former enemy's leaders confirmed that public protests in the United States, like Kerry's, played a significant role in their strategy. Now that it serves his ambition to be president, Kerry reminds the public of his war record daily. But the dark side of that record is not being told. Many Vietnam veterans have taken notice, and many of us will vigorously oppose Kerry's election to any office...
The Return Of The Giant Sucking Sound
by Adam Sparks
...We need to be sounding an alarm bell and make sure our politicians know that while free trade sounds good, a high-paying job sounds better. A frog will leap out of a pot of hot water but will stay to die if put in a pot of cold water that is slowly heated to boiling. Americans need to get out of the cold pot of water now; the temperature is warming up a bit too quickly.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Ask the White House
This is an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Bush administration officials. Since its launch in April 2003, citizens have interacted with Cabinet Secretaries, Senior White House Officials and behind-the-scenes professionals at the White House. Transcripts of every live chat session are available on the page.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

A Vote That Matters
by Paul Jacob
Oh, great and mighty Federal Communications Commission, save us from the evils of our culture. Police the airwaves so that 280 million Americans see and hear only what we want to see and hear...You have more power in your TV remote and the dollars in your pocket than you do with your vote for candidate A or B—or by calling your congressman, for heaven’s sake. Use your power. Not next November at the polls, but now, today, and every day...

Friday, February 06, 2004

Weapons of Mass Hysteria
by Victor Davis Hanson
The United States has lost less than 350 American dead in actual combat in Iraq, deposed the worst tyrant on the planet, and offered the first real hope of a humane government in the recent history of the Middle East — and is being roundly condemned rather than praised for one of the most remarkable occurrences of our age. Yet a careful postbellum anatomy of the recent WMD controversy makes the original case for the war stronger rather weaker...
Ordeal Finally Ends for Family
By Juyissa McKinnon
After surviving a head-on collision in Mexico, three members of a Waterford family were eager to end their three-week-stay in a foreign hospital and get home...Only after a $15,000 cash payment was sent to the hospital by the Saldivars' relatives in California were the mother and two teenagers released...the hospital refused to accept reimbursement from the family's insurance company. They wanted the cash up front...
The Pig Book
Citizens Against Government Waste
You've heard that Congress is "spending money like drunden sailors," but how are they spending it? This report with searchable database details 2003, the biggest year in pork spending, as well as previous years. I'm particularly fond of the "Pig Book 'Oinkers' of 2003" which names and their pet projects.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Seattle Schools Learn Money Doesn't Buy Grades
Fox News
Seattle school officials are learning a valuable but surprising lesson — throwing money at schools doesn't always help kids achieve. And spending more money on some students rather than others does little more than cause trouble...Amazingly, two other school boards in the country have adopted the weighted model, and about 20 more cities are thinking about following their lead.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Viacom's Porn Channel
The Wall Street Journal
...The truth is that [MTV President] Ms. McGrath makes her living as an impresario of soft-core (albeit legal) kiddy porn. MTV has very consciously decided to make stars out of such scantily clad nymphettes as Ms. Spears and Christina Aguilera. The network that is a favorite of pre-teens is also home to an ever-growing array of shows with more ("Undressed") or less ("The Real World") sexually explicit themes...
Liu's Deals With Chung: An Intercontinental Puzzle
by David Jackson and Lena H. Sun
This Washington Post article from 1998 details how monies passed from Chinese military intelligence to the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Kerry Took Cash From Chinese Military Intelligence
Newsmax.com
Democrats are counting on Sen. John Kerry's military credentials to convince voters that he can be trusted with America's national security. But documents that surfaced over the weekend raise serious questions about whether Kerry was duped in the 1990s into helping the Chinese military perfect its ability to strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons...

Monday, February 02, 2004

Mainstreaming the Extreme
by John Nixon
Extreme behavior, the staple of an MTV diet, has been encroaching on mainstream American television. The half-time show for Super Bowl XXXVIII was produced by MTV. They promised “shocking moments,” and Janet Jackson delivered...What can we do? Here's what I did...
No Abortion Left Behind
by Joseph Bottum
...UNICEF has decided its job is not to save sick and hungry children, but to join the great march toward universal sex freedom--agitating for minors' access to condoms, requiring that refugee camps provide abortion services, and handing out sex-education manuals to grade-school students in the third world. "We, a group of concerned scientists and public health managers, call on . . . UNICEF . . . to act on behalf of children," the authors in the Lancet pleaded. "Child survival must be put back on the agenda"...

Sunday, February 01, 2004

How Safe Is Light Rail?
by Gary J. Green
The Federal Transit Administration’s State Safety Oversight Program Annual Report for 1999 is reviewed, as Phoenix and other cities are considering light rail options for mass transit. The author's conclusion is that ...from a safety perspective, poor public policy is being promoted, with the greater public not being made aware of just how dangerous Light Rail will be and how it represents an unnecessary increased safety risk...