Monday, June 30, 2008

Credit and Scorn to the Chicago Tribune

Reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision holding that the Second Amendment to the Constitution actually means what it says, today's editorial in the Chicago Tribune calls for a repeal of that portion of the Bill of Rights.

This call to action must not be heeded.  If the people are not allowed arms, there is one less check on tyrannical government.  The Tribune (no surprise) is wrong on the issue.

But they also deserve some credit.  An amendment to the Constitution is the right way to change what you don't like about it.  Unfortunately, we live in a country that allows unelected judges to "interpret" the Constitution and morph its clear language into whatever they want it to say.  In this way, the cornerstone document of our nation has been twisted so much that it now hardly resembles what was enacted by our founding fathers.

Maybe the Tribune will start a trend . . . instead of enacting policy by judicial fiat, maybe we'll go back to the people - or at least our elected representatives - having a voice.  (Just wishful thinking?)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Difficult Problems Open Pandora's Box

Breast cancer is a horrible disease.  It has hit my own family, hard.  Apparently it hit a woman in England and her family hard also.  According to this story in The Sunday Times, her sister, mother, grandmother and cousin all had breast cancer.  Apparently members of the woman's family carried a gene that, if inherited, would leave a child with a greater than 50-50 chance of developing breast cancer.  In addition, her husband also carried the gene.

Because of the high likelihood that a child born to this couple would carry this gene, they decided to produce multiple embryos through in vitro fertilization and screen out those found to be carrying the offending gene.  Another way to say that - without all the euphemisms - is that the couple, with the help of science, created multiple children (or, at the very least - even my pro-choice readers would have to agree - potential children) and destroy the ones that they didn't like.

The couple is now pregnant and expecting a baby "guaranteed to be free from hereditary breast cancer."  The scientific community is abuzz with this wonderful development.  "Doctors say thousands of cases of breast cancer could be avoided by screening embryos."  What those doctors are really saying is quite clear . . . the world would be a better place if all of you with breast cancer (not to mention your children and grandchildren) had never been born.  You should have been eliminated before we ever got the chance to know you.

The expectant mother in this case thinks that she has done a good thing.  She is quoted as saying that because of the history of breast cancer in their families, she and her husband chose this route.  "It has been successful for us which," she said, "means we are eliminating the gene from our line.  We had been through this with [my husband's] sister being ill, so it was something we had seen first hand.  I thought this was something I had to try because, if we had a daughter with the gene, and she was ill, I couldn't look her in the face and say I didn't try."

I didn't try to do what????  Kill you before you were born!  The irony is that if this couple's family had been able to do what they have now done, their anscestors would have been eliminated and neither of them would have been born.

If this practice becomes accepted, what else will we screen for and eliminate from the gene pool?  Mental retardation?  Birth defects?  Those who might become obese?  Or bald?  What if parents really want a boy or girl, should embryos of the "wrong" gender be destroyed?  Maybe I really want a strong, fast child who can excel in athletics.  Should I be able to screen out and eliminate those who don't, or probably won't, measure up?

It is a truly horrible thing to say that you would rather your children have no life than to have a life with potential difficulties.  Facing the hardship of breast cancer in your family is difficult and tragic.  But it is no reason to revert to eugenics.

Thanks Tim Man - Your Host is Back!

Vacation, unfortunately, has come to an end.  I enjoyed my time away and thought very little about work, or politics, or even this blog.  But now it is back to both the real world and the blogosphere.

Big thanks to The Tim Man for his willingness to guest host in my absence - and for the good job that you did.  I appreciate your assistance my friend.  An apocalypse story every now and then is a small price to pay.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Which is a Bigger Story: That the Supreme Court Upheld the Right to Bear Arms or That Four Law-School Graduates Disagreed?

From the Wall Street Journal comes the news that the bare majority of the Supreme Court is able to find a right in the Constitution that is expressly stated, in English. This shouldn't have been difficult, in light of the fact that 7 Justices found a right to kill one's unborn child that is nowhere mentioned, or even hinted at.

Four dissenters? I wonder whom Obama will name to replace some of the current majority.

From the full story:

Court Strikes Down D.C. Gun Ban, Affirms Second Amendment Rights

June 26, 2008 2:11 p.m

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday, in a 5-4 ruling, for the first time in U.S. history declared the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains a specific right to individual gun ownership and rejected Washington, D.C., handgun restrictions, which were the strictest in the nation.

"There seems to us no doubt on the basis of both text and history that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the 64-page majority ruling. "This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Life in Suburbs Becoming "Untenable"

From the International Herald Tribune:

Life on the fringes of U.S. suburbia becomes untenable with rising gas costs
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ELIZABETH, Colorado: Suddenly, the economics of American suburban life are under assault as skyrocketing energy prices inflate the costs of reaching, heating and cooling homes on the outer edges of metropolitan areas.

Just off Singing Hills Road, in one of hundreds of two-story homes dotting a former cattle ranch beyond the southern fringes of Denver, Phil Boyle and his family openly wonder if they will have to move close to town to get some relief.

They still revel in the space and quiet that has drawn a steady exodus from U.S. cities toward places like this for more than half a century. Their living room ceiling soars two stories high. A swing-set sways in the breeze in their backyard. Their wrap-around porch looks out over the flat scrub of the high plains to the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

But life on the distant fringes of suburbia is beginning to feel untenable. Boyle and his wife must drive nearly an hour to their jobs in the high-tech corridor of southern Denver. With gasoline at more than $4 a gallon, Boyle recently paid $121 to fill his pickup truck with diesel. The price of propane to heat their spacious house has more than doubled in recent years.

Though Boyle finds city life unappealing, it's now up for reconsideration.

"Living closer in, in a smaller space, where you don't have that commute," he said. "It's definitely something we talk about. Before it was, 'We spend too much time driving.' Now, it's, 'We spend too much time and money driving."'

As the realization takes hold that rising energy prices are less a momentary blip than a restructuring with lasting consequences, the high cost of fuel is threatening to slow the decades-old migration away from cities, while exacerbating the housing downturn by diminishing the appeal of larger homes set far from urban jobs.

In Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Minneapolis, homes beyond the urban core have been falling in value faster than those within, according to analysis by Moody's

In Denver, housing prices in the urban core rose steadily from 2003 until late last year compared with previous years, before dipping nearly 5 percent in the past three months of last year, according to But house prices in the suburbs began falling earlier, in the middle of 2006, and then accelerated, dropping by 7 percent the past three months of the year.


More than three-fourths of prospective homebuyers are more inclined to live in an urban area because of fuel prices, according to a recent survey of 903 real estate agents with Coldwell Banker, a national brokerage.

Some proclaim the unfolding demise of suburbia.

"Many low-density suburbs and McMansion subdivisions, including some that are lovely and affluent today, may become what inner cities became in the 1960s and '70s - slums characterized by poverty, crime and decay," said Christopher Leinberger, an urban land use expert, in a recent essay in the Atlantic Monthly.


Basic household arithmetic appears to be furthering the trend: In 2003, the average suburban household spent $1,422 a year on gasoline, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By April of this year - when gas prices were about $3.60 a gallon - the same household was buying gas at a rate of $3,196 a year, more than doubling consumption in dollar terms in less than five years.

In March, Americans drove 11 billion fewer miles on public roads than in the same month the previous year, a 4.3 percent decrease. It was the sharpest one-month drop since the Federal Highway Administration began keeping records in 1942.


For others, though, new math is altering the choice of where to live. Houses are sitting on the market longer than years past. "The pool of buyers is diminishing," said Jace Glick, a realtor with Re/Max Alliance in Parker, next to Elizabeth.

Juanita Johnson and her husband, both retired Denver school teachers, moved here last August, after three decades in the city and a few years in the mountains. They bought a four-bedroom house for $415,000.

Last winter, they spent $3,000 just on propane to heat the place, she said. Suddenly, this seems like a place to flee.

"We'd sell if we could, but we'd lose our shirt," Johnson said. On a recent walk, she counted 15 "For Sale" signs. A similar home nearby is listed below $400,000.

"I was so glad to get out of the city, the pollution the traffic, the crime," she said. Now, the suburbs seem mean. "I wouldn't do this again."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dutch Prepare for the Apocalypse

I couldn't let this guest assignment go by without at least one apocalypse story:

Many Dutch prepare for 2012 apocalypse
Published: June 23, 2008 at 7:25 PM

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, June 23 (UPI) -- Thousands of people in the Netherlands say they expect the world to end in 2012, and many say they are taking precautions to prepare for the apocalypse.

The Dutch-language de Volkskrant newspaper said it spoke to thousands of believers in the impending end of civilization, and while theories on the supposed catastrophe varied, most tied the 2012 date to the end of the Mayan calendar, Radio Netherlands reported Monday.
De Volkskrant said many of those interviewed are stocking up on emergency supplies, including life rafts and other equipment.

Some who spoke to the newspaper were optimistic about the end of civilization.

"You know, maybe it's really not that bad that the Netherlands will be destroyed," Petra Faile said. "I don't like it here anymore. Take immigration, for example. They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here It Comes

Can you or can you not be prohibited from purchasing a gun for self-defense? Decision will come soon. From Yahoo!News:

Supreme Court meets Monday morning
Mon Jun 23, 6:28 AM ET

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court begins what almost certainly is its final week of work before its summer break with 10 cases left to decide. Among the big issues are gun rights and the death penalty for rape of a child.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Chinese Communists Look to Hitler and Brezhnev for Olympic Hosting Style Points

Hard on the heels of the comforting news that China will have 100,000 troops to "protect" the Olympic Games this summer, comes this story from

China tightens screws against dissidents ahead of Olympics

Chinese authorities have stepped up efforts to censor dissenting voices in the run-up to the Olympic Games, a report by two human rights groups charged Thursday.

"The context related to the run-up to the Olympic Games in August 2008 has continuously strengthened an environment already hostile to human rights and their defenders," said the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in its annual report.

The observatory is a joint project by the Geneva-based World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH).

It cited four people who were arrested after making protests in relation to the Olympic Games.
Among them was Hu Jia, who was taken into custody last December 27 after publicly criticising the Chinese government's failure to keep its promise to promote and protect human rights, a promise that was make when it was awarded the Games.

Hu, 34, was found guilty at a Beijing court of "incitement to subvert state power" following a one-day trial in March, and sentenced to three-and-a-half years behind bars in early April.
In a foreword to the report, writer Wei Jingsheng wrote: "In particular, last year the Chinese Government's repression has rapidly upgraded, in an effort to make sure there is no dissident voices from the people during the 2008 Olympics."


Other human rights repression in China had included the forced evictions of citizens from their homes as well as censorship of the media and Internet, said the NGO.

Press freedom in China is now among the lowest in the world, and commentaries are tailored to meet "the propaganda standard(s) of the Chinese Communist Party," said the report.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Vacation Time

Yours truly is headed for vacation tomorrow, but the blog is in good hands.  The Tim Man has agreed to hold down the fort and guest host once again.
As always, the views expressed by anybody but me are not necessarily representative of my views.

I will take credit for anything good that T.T.M. writes in my absence and blame him for anything that isn't so good.

I'll be back on June 30.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Democrat Shows His True Color - Red

In a move straight out of a communist playbook, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today called for a government takeover of oil refineries.  

Fox News is reporting that in a press briefing today, Hinchey said, "We [the government] should own the refineries.  Then we can control how much gets out on the market."

Hugo Chavez would be proud.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Grammar Ain't Important to MO DOR

Beginning this week, Missouri's license plates have a new design, shown above.

Do you notice what's missing?  (The Associated Press did.)

The hyphen in Missouri's nickname is missing.  This is an admitted grammatical error but the Department of Revenue won't fix it.

Apparently, the DOR believes that advertising Missouri ignorance is a good idea.  

If we're not careful, Arkansans will soon be telling Missouri jokes. 

Does Al Gore practice what he preaches?

Nope.  He's a Democrat and an elitist.  He wants the government (national or international) to require the common folks to cut back to save the planet.  But what about the energy use at his Tennessee home?

The answers in this press release from the "independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan" Tennessee Center for Policy Research:

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month 
Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations 

NASHVILLE - In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. 

“A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.” 

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month. 

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gore’s Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household. 

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use, the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul. 

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration. 

In the wake of becoming the most well-known global warming alarmist, Gore won an Oscar, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gore saw his personal wealth increase by an estimated $100 million thanks largely to speaking fees and investments related to global warming hysteria. 

“Actions speak louder than words, and Gore’s actions prove that he views climate change not as a serious problem, but as a money-making opportunity,” Johnson said. “Gore is exploiting the public’s concern about the environment to line his pockets and enhance his profile.” 

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a Nashville-based free market think tank and watchdog organization, obtained information about Gore’s home energy use through a public records request to the Nashville Electric Service.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Big Surprise - Gore Endorses Obama

NBC News this evening reported the "news" that Barack Obama had received a "major endorsement."  

Who could it be?  Someone surprising?

Heck no.  It was Al Gore.  

Imagine that - a Democrat endorsed his party's nominee for president.  It would have been newsworthy if Gore had endorsed John McCain.  Or if George W. Bush endorsed Obama.

Al Gore endorsing Barack Obama is about as newsworthy as Jared Fogle endorsing Subway.


Today Kenny Hulshof and Sarah Steelman are in the paper AGAIN sniping at one another.  Now they are accusing each other of supporting taxpayer funding for Viagra (Hulshof) or even Medicaid-funded Viagra for sex offenders (Steelman).  Again, it looks like Steelman started it and Hulshof is fighting back in kind.  But, in reality, neither GOP candidate really backs taxpayer-funded Viagra for sex offenders or anybody else.  

I would expect out-of-context politically-motivated attacks from the opposing party but these two Republicans can't seem to keep from attacking one another.

Enough is enough!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hulshof and Steelman fight each other. Jay Nixon laughing all the way to the governor's mansion.

Take a look at this article from yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

This is why Jay Nixon looks to be the safest bet of anybody who will be on the November ballot to win his or her election.  

The Republican candidates for governor are still too busy fighting one another with negative attacks to focus their attention on Nixon.  And their fights are costing time and money.  The fights are also generating all kinds of negative publicity for both GOP candidates.  Negative publicity that is turning Nixon - who is beatable - into a shoe-in.

It looks like Sarah Steelman may be picking the fight and Kenny Hulshof merely defending himself.  But, whoever started it, both candidates should end it now.

If you want to go negative - go negative on Nixon.  If you want to say that you're more qualified that your opponent in the primary, tell us about your strengths and accomplishments rather than your opponent's weaknesses and failures.

Both Republican candidates should should realize that they might lose the primary and then ask themselves this question . . . 

If you lose, would you rather another Republican or Jay Nixon win in November?

If you would rather Nixon win, then you are despicable and petty political animal.  Hopefully, the people will see through you and you'll never hold a position of trust again.

On the other hand, if you would rather your Republican primary opponent win in November, please stop making that less and less likely.  And stop attacking each other while Nixon stands back watching in glee.  Please wipe the smile off his face.

If Prospect Bend Doesn't Work Out

Back in March I suggested that current congressional candidate and - hopefully - future voter Brock Olivo run for mayor of Prospect Bend, a Florida community where they held an election and nobody voted.  Brock would fit right in.

Apparently such a move wasn't in the plans.  But, ever watchful, I've found a new spot that's just perfect for Olivo . . . Pillsbury, North Dakota.

According to the Associated Press, that small community held an election for mayor and the board of aldermen and nobody showed up to vote there either.  Not even the folks running for election.

Brock, it seems like there are several communities all around the country who are looking for your kind of leadership.

In all seriousness, Brock Olivo may be a good man and a good conservative.  In fact, he might even make a good congressman someday.  I just think that he's aiming too high for his first run for public office.  This self-described recovering apathetic should gain a little experience of involvement before taking this leap.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Worst Mistake George H.W. Bush Ever Made?

David Souter

The Worst Mistake Ronald Reagan Ever Made?

Anthony Kennedy

The Worst Mistake Gerald Ford Ever Made?

John Paul Stevens

What Passes for News In 2008

Today ABC "News" announced that this September they will broadcast a "dramatic" two hour program, "Earth 2100," to tell us all what - according to ABC - we must do by 2015 for human civilization to survive this century.

I thought news was "a report of recent events."  Merriam-Webster still defines it as such.  A program planned months in advance doesn't strike me as something a true news division would be broadcasting.

Earth 2100 won't be a report of any actual "events" either.  Instead, "ABC is inviting people from around the world to bring the future to life.  We are asking you to use your imagination to create short videos about what it would be like to live through the next century if we stay on our current path."  (Emphasis added.)  These imagined images will be used with projections of ABC's selected experts to create their program.

Fiction reported as "news."  Up is down.  Black is white.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

America - Standing Alone on Free Speech

The International Herald Tribune, commenting on a hearing of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, today contrasted Americans' First Amendment right to free speech with the surprising lack of similar freedom in the rest of the world.  The piece specifically focused on Canada's hate speech laws as they are being applied to a Maclean's magazine article titled "The Future Belongs to Islam."  Muslim plaintiff's have sued Maclean's for subjecting them to "hatred and ridicule."  They want compensation and a published rebuttal in the magazine.

That couldn't happen in the United States of America, at least not now, thanks to the First Amendment.  This constitutional protection extends to all speech, including politically incorrect speech and especially to speech critical of public policy and not well liked by government officials.

Unfortunately for those not fortunate enough to live here, the United States seems to stand alone.  As the article points out, "Canada, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Australia and India all have laws or have signed international conventions banning hate speech."

Though such bans may sound good to some on the surface, the devil is in the details and, specifically, the definitions.  Who gets to decide what "hate speech" is or is not?  That's right, the government.  Doesn't the ability to suppress speech it doesn't like by calling it hate-filled leave governments a short step from totalitarianism?  Of course.

It doesn't seem like Canadians see it this way, though, a lawyer for the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is quoted by the IHT as saying that "Canadians do not have a cast-iron stomach for offensive speech."  (Offensive to whom, I must ask.)  The lawyer continued, "[Canadians] don't subscribe to a marketplace of ideas.  Americans as a whole are more tough-minded and more prepared for verbal combat."  Thankfully so!  It is difficult to imagine a free society lasting long without a marketplace of ideas.

Mark Steyn, who wrote the Maclean's article in question, is quoted to conclude IHT's piece today:  "Western governments are becoming increasingly comfortable with the regulation of opinion.  The First Amendment really does distinguish the U.S., not just from Canada but from the rest of the Western world."

Despite all of our problems, when it comes to freedom of speech at least, America remains a lonely but shining city on a hill.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Welcome to the World Wide Web

Back in April, I asked the two contenders for the Republican nomination for governor, "Where are your websites?"

At the time, I criticized both candidates for not having their campaign sites up and running.  Following that post, I checked back regularly hoping for activity.  But it took too long and I got tired of checking.

Today, for some reason, I decided to check again and I have good news . . .

Kenny Hulshof's site is active at

And . . .

Sarah Steelman's site is active at

Welcome to the web Kenny and Sarah!

Respect for Life in China

Today comes the story of a funeral held in China for a nine year old victim of the May earthquake.  The victim was Mao Mao - a panda.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm no panda-hater and I have no problem mourning the loss of an endangered species.  But a little perspective is needed.

China has a government policy allowing married couples to have one, and only one, child.  To maintain this rigid policy, China forces women to have abort their babies as late as nine months into the pregnancy.  And the aborted babies are discarded like trash.  (If you think I'm exaggerating, take a look at this story from National Public Radio.)

Wouldn't it be nice if China showed as much respect for human life as they did today for an unfortunate panda?

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Why couldn't this have been me?"

A good friend of mine blogs at St. Louis Catholic.  His post on the "failed abortion" of Finley Percival (shown here again with his mother Jodie) received the comment copied below from an anonymous woman.  Her words brought tears to my eyes.  And her story should be shared with any woman contemplating abortion and with any person calling themselves "Pro-Choice."

Here is that story:

Why couldn't this have been me!? Her stupidity and selfishness was blessed with a miracle!!!!!!

I aborted my first child at the urging of my urologist and first husband. I was on a new antibiotic at the time of conception that was thought to cause lack of main extremities to unborn babies. (now they know it is cautiously safe to take)

For months after the abortion, I literally had to pull over every time I drove to let out my animal sounding cries of agony. I contemplated suicide.

I now have a wonderful husband and am blessed with several children, but will NEVER stop longing for my first. 

I have been forgiven by God through the beautiful sacrament of confession. But the pain will be with me for the rest of my life. 

All women contemplating abortion should talk to someone like me who regrets it every single day of her life.

My baby did not dance again in my womb. . .

Heartbroken Mama

08 June, 2008 10:53

Missouri Chamber of Commerce Endorses Hulshof For Governor

Today in St. Louis, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce's PAC announced its endorsement of Congressman Kenny Hulshof for governor.  Is it time for the rest of us to throw our support behind one candidate so that we can focus on defeating Jay Nixon in November?

Here's the announcement from the chamber's website:

ST. LOUIS — Missouri’s largest and strongest business coalition is supporting U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof for governor.

Hulshof has earned the backing of the Missouri Chamber Political Action Committee, affiliated with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, through his outstanding support of business during his career as a public servant.

The Missouri Chamber PAC’s endorsement was announced this afternoon at the Hunter Engineering Company in St. Louis.

“With the nation currently weathering a difficult economy, Missouri needs a governor who recognizes that a thriving business community is the starting point to the state’s overall success,” said Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. “As a farmer and small businessman, Kenny Hulshof intimately understands the challenges that companies are facing today. Through his vocal support of business and his vote record during his six terms in Congress, Kenny Hulshof has proven his commitment to helping Missouri’s economy prosper, which benefits everyone in the state.”

Hulshof’s work in Congress includes cutting taxes, striving to repeal the death tax, helping reduce stifling federal small business requirements, working toward stopping lawsuit abuse, as well as reforming tort and class action litigation. His efforts have earned him a 95 percent cumulative rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a 100 percent rating from the National Association of Manufacturers over the last four years, putting him among the nation’s finest pro-business lawmakers.

In his campaign for governor, Hulshof has pledged to not raise taxes as well as protect Missouri’s hard-fought tort reform and workers’ compensation legislation passed in 2005. He has also discussed his desire to create greater collaboration between the state’s local leaders and colleges and universities toward Missouri’s economic development efforts.

“In recent years, Missouri has made tremendous strides toward improving its business climate. But whoever becomes governor will set the course for our economic future,” Mehan said. “Electing Kenny Hulshof would keep our state on this positive trajectory.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( was founded in 1923 and is the largest business association in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers that provide more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lies, Statistics and Predictions of the Future

Credit goes to Deirdre Shesgreen and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for today's article, "Global Warming:  Numbers game confounds debate."  The article begins by quoting Lincoln Moses who said "there are no facts about the future."  Such an admission in the context of global warming from liberals or from big media is rare but welcome.  

The meat of Shesgreen's article looks at the vastly different predictions of the future included in two think tank studies of the potential effects of the recently defeated global warming will in the senate.  One of those studies, conducted by the American Council for Capital Formation, predicted doom and gloom while the other, produced by the International Resources Group for the Natural Resources Defense Council, predicted sunshine and light.  That study, for example, predicted that demand for oil would drop and the country would get 50-60% of its electricity needs from "renewable" sources.  Yeah, right.  Kit Bond (R-Mo.) laughed off this dubious claim telling fellow senators that, "no one in their right mind believes we will go to generating 50 percent of our power from wind and solar."

Shesgreen characterized both studies as spin.  And "such spin," she wrote "is nothing new in Washington, where consultants earn fat fees to come up with talking points, strategy memos and 'facts' to fit any partisan viewpoint."

This analysis put brought Benjamin Disraeli's words to mind . . . "There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies and statistics."

Don't trust what any politician tells you about what will happen in the future.  Most of them probably had money on Big Brown yesterday.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Life Triumphant

As a parent and an expectant parent too, I cannot comprehend a thought process that would lead anyone to a decision to abort a child.  Even before I was an expectant parent for the first time I could not understand such thoughts.

Today, courtesy of Drudge Report, I came across this story of a failed abortion in England.  Finley Percival, shown here with his mother, Jodie, was born in November.

Finley's life nearly ended eight weeks after conception.  Jodie had been on birth control.  She and her husband did not want have another baby because their first child died of an inherited kidney disease and their second child suffered from it, though he lived.  Jodie said that the decision to abort this Finley "was just utterly horrible but I couldn't cope with the anguish of losing another baby."  (Sidebar question -- how did she think Finley would cope with that decision?)

At eight weeks, Jodie had an abortion.  But sometime thereafter, she felt Finley move.  She went to the doctor again and discovered that she was nineteen weeks pregnant.  Thankfully, even with the risk of kidney problems still in place, the Percivals decided to give their son another chance at life.

It sickens me to know that this baby's parents tried to end his life - and could still have done so even after he survived the first attempt.

It sickens me even more to know that in the U.S. alone, the parents of over 1.2 million Finleys "successfully" abort their children each and every year.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Call to Oneness

Recognizing that something must be done about crime in the City of St. Louis, a grass roots organization arose and marched this weekend through the streets of the city.  According to the associated press, tens of thousands of people participated.  But the march seems only to have been the beginning.

According to an AP story in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, A Call to Oneness is now organizing teams of men, including former gang members, to go into high crime areas of the City to talk to youth, serve as role models and "encourage residents to report crimes and suspicious behavior to police."

The organization's mission statement reads:

"We will create a moral climate in which we will reclaim respect for one another and the sanctity of life through the vehicle of reconciliation."

A Call to Oneness and its Executive Director, Rev. Dr. F. James Clark deserve all the support we can muster.  As their web-site points out, "when you lead the nation in homicides, you don't have many options in terms of thinking about doing something."

Is Sanity Winning the Biofuel Debate?

Thanks to regular reader Dameon for posting this link in a comment.  It is nice to see that while the environmentalists may still be winning in the court of public opinion, sanity is making a comeback.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Three Cheers for Mitch McConnell

Today Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the U.S. Senate - and its debate on the ill-advised global warming bill - to a screeching halt.  He used a Senate rule to require the chamber's clerk to read the entire bill, all 491 pages, word for word.  (Link to Washington Times story.)  Because it took forever to do that, the Senate was prevented from moving forward on the debate and from conducting any other business.

I'm not a big fan of time wasting (my own lunch "hour" is the exception that proves the rule) but McConnell's tactics today served two laudable purposes.  First, grinding the Senate to a halt slowed down global warming bill itself.  It doesn't seem likely to pass this session but any delay on it is welcome news.

Second, McConnell fulfilled his promise to retaliate against Senate Democrats for their failure to confirm - or even vote on - many of President Bush's judicial nominees.  With a lame duck president, Democrats in the Senate are sitting on those nominees, waiting for Bush to leave office.  McConnell seems to have determined that if the Democrats want to play games, he'll play too.

So here's to Mitch McConnell . . . hip, hip . . . 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Will McCain Battle Obama or Concede?

Today Barack Obama accumulated the delegates he needs to gain the Democrats' presidential nomination.  (scorecard)  Unfortunately, that means that Hillary Clinton and the Clinton machine are likely to call off the dogs and stop the criticism of Obama.  And that's too bad.  (Special thanks to Rush Limbaugh and Operation Chaos for propping Hillary up as long as possible.)  Without Hillary would we have heard of Jeremiah Wright?  I doubt it.  I don't think that the Republican nominee would have the guts to raise the issue.

John McCain seems obsessed with running a "clean" campaign.  If clean simply meant ethical I would agree with him.  But McCain and his camp seem to be defining "clean" as never criticizing your opponent at any time for any reason.  In reality, McCain must take the gloves off and start telling the American people exactly who the Democrats have nominated - - the most liberal senator they could find.

President Obama?  Start planning the inauguration unless McCain is willing to fight.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Danforth Wrong On Fetal Tissue Research

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the formation of a new campaign committee misleadingly named "Republicans To Protect Medical Advances."  The "advances" to be "protected" are not specified, and non-existent.  The committee's real goal is to prohibit regulation of the use of aborted fetal tissue in medical research - research that has so far been successful at doing, well, nothing.  But it is research that includes human cloning and the destruction of unborn children.  

One of the state's GOP patriarchs, John Danforth, is a founding member.  That's too bad.  I've been a supporter of Senator Danforth since he was still Senator Danforth.  I stand with him on his efforts to revitalize downtown St. Louis and I stood with him when he marshaled Clarence Thomas through the Senate on his way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  By and large, Danforth has done the right thing.  But he's doing the wrong thing now.  

The Missouri Republican Party deserves credit for adopting a platform continuing its opposition to fetal tissue research.  The platform deserves our support.  And Senator Danforth no longer does.

Return of the Evil Empire?

Josef Stalin is known for revisionist history - deleting his political opponents from photographs - after he deleted many of them from the planet, of course.  It now seems that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has brought Stalin's tactics into the 21st century.  Not the killing - but how would anybody know?  You certainly wouldn't see it on television.

According to an article in today's International Herald Tribune, Putin and the Kremlin control the nations television networks and officially prohibit all members of opposing parties from appearing.  Furthermore, they've gone so far as to digitally delete criticism of the government and even the people speaking critical words from programming before airing it.

Free speech doesn't exist in Russia.  So much for glasnost.

There's still a bear in the woods.  Don't forget it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Why the November Presidential Election Doesn't Matter - Part 1

Keep your eyes on the U.S. Senate this week as "our" elected representatives debate a global warming bill sharply limiting emissions of greenhouse gasses.  The bill, according to an article in today's Christian Science Monitor, would require emissions to be cut 19% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 71% by 2050.  It would create carbon-emission credits and a huge new federal bureaucracy to administer it.  If only the technology existed to meet these goals - but it doesn't.

This is a gorgeous example of politicians legislating the impossible in order to make themselves look good.  They can claim to be combating the villain of the era - global warming - without actually having to do anything.  At least not anything productive.

What the bill would actually do is stick it to you and me.  According to Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the bill would cost each family of four in his state an additional $3,298.00 per year in household costs and raise taxes by $1 trillion over the next ten years.  Brilliant!  Just what our economy needs, don't you think?

We do have a temporary reprieve in place . . . President Bush opposes this piece of junk but guess what . . . Barack Obama doesn't . . . Hillary Clinton doesn't . . . and John McCain doesn't.  So when it comes to global warming, it really doesn't matter which of them wins in November.