Friday, October 29, 2004

Religion and Politics

Posted: October 28, 20041:00 a.m. Eastern
By Ron Strom© 2004
In a letter of clarification requested by a traveling minister, the Internal Revenue Service has declared people gathered in tax-exempt churches can't pray for President Bush to win the election on Tuesday.

Posted on Sun, Oct. 24, 2004
DAVID B. CARUSOAssociated Press
PHILADELPHIA - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy swayed Sunday as a gospel choir thundered praise to God in one of Philadelphia's largest black churches, then took the lectern to sing the praises of John Kerry. ..."I can't tell you who to vote for," E.C. Morris Sr. told his congregation after Kennedy finished speaking Sunday. "But I can tell you what my mamma told me last week: Stay out the Bushes."

Looks like a double standard to me...

Disenfranchised Voters

I must say. This talk about not being able to vote on a certain day because one is at work is made by the Democrats. This from the same people who claim that the economy is not good and too many people are out of work. Go figure.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The REAL Big Brother

...and I'm not talking about spying on billions of people and knowing everything they're thinking.

No, I'm talking about that big brother that shows up at school and runs the bully off. I'm talking about that big brother that catches you doing something you shouldn't and taking you out behind the shed himself so Dad doesn't have to find out. I'm talking about the big brother who breaks up the fight at the sand lot ball game and making everyone make up so we can get on with the game. Sometimes he's the big brother you love to hate, but he kinda keeps things on an even keel. Okay, he's the kind of big brother you might find in the 1950's, but this kind of big brother is the kind of big brother the US is today.

Throughout history there have been empire after empire. One empire falls and another rises to take its place. In Asian history, there have been such as the Chinese and Japanese Dynasties and Empires. In Middle Eastern history there have been such as the Babalonian, Assyrian and Persian Empires. In Western history, there have been the likes of the Roman and British empires. Two hundred years ago the super-nation of the United States of America was in formation. Last centrury another super-nation, the Soviet Union, had a relatively brief life. As the turn of the century has approached, the old nations of the Roman Empire have been trying to re-form as the European Union.

The effect of the empire or super-nation is that of the big brother. It's a stablizing force. Not everyone is going to like it and no one every has. But such imposed peace is generally necessary. The fall of the Soviet Union released hundreds of socialist operatives (You don't think they just all decided to turn ove a new leaf, did you?) with the purpose of infiltrating the ideologies of the remaining key nations. They have somewhat established the EU and have focused more on the US. McCarthy was on to something, but his approach was all wrong.

The point is, while there are powerful ideologies and a couple of other large nations left, the US is yet the big brother. We shouldn't expect anyone else to like us all the time, but notice how they flock here to take advantage of the benefits of being in the US? We are the stablizing force and if we shirk the responsibility, millions of people pay with their lives.

Better us than than the EU.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Two Parties

There is a misconception that people are basically good. Raise kids and you'll know better. The little darlings find ways on their own to test the limits. In all reality, all people tend toward evil. Social strictures keep us from acting on them. When the social strictures are relaxed or we are able to interact anonymously with others, our inherent evil can be seen. Drive on any interstate and you'll see that predators abound. Just get in front of someone who wants to go 20 MPH over the speed limit and you'll likely see a real jerk. Let someone going 5 MPH slower than you want to go and you'll see what kind of jerk you can be. Another example is the internet. See how offensive people can get. They'll call you names they normally wouldn't if they met you face-to-face. Their true nature comes out.

There is truth to the axiom that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Look at the evidence:

In single party (read: socialist) countries, the government becomes controlling and intrusive. As a result, the quality of life becomes poor for the population in general. Paranoia grips the party and people are controlled by lies, closed borders and government terror. Examples are Nazi Germany, the old Soviet Union, China (until recently), Cuba, and most Muslim law countries.

In countries where several small parties vie for control, there tends to be cycles of coups. With too many parties, no one candidate can have very many popular votes. Frustration causes frequent political upheavals. The government consequently never accomplishes much and the perpetual quasi-anarchy stifles economic growth. Therefore, much of the population lives in dire poverty. Examples include several countries in South America and Africa.

In countries where a very few parties have any significant power, a candidate of one party can still hold enough popular votes to maintain viability. For example, President Clinton never won a popular vote, but he had enough for the rest of the voters to put up with him while he was in.

Here's my point:
There is a level of technology that's available for production whether or not it's marketable. We know that "Big Brother" has the potential to listen in on our telephone calls, read our e-mail, listen in on us in our homes "see" us inside and out from outer space. The known technology is there. What we don't know is the level of secret technology our federal intelligence and investigative services currently employ. This is the stuff that makes a lot of people paranoid. However, look at the 9/11 discussions and the failing of our government to piece it together. They're no big privacy threat...yet.

As long as Democrats and Republicans are battling for the predominant ideology, we should be okay. When one succeeds in effectively ousting the other, we'll be doomed to the fate of the one-party states. I'm a conservative Republican, but I recognize that true conservatism would be lost in the Republican party if there were no party to challenge it. This is the key principle to remember.

What I fear today is not the Democratic party. There are some fine Democrats out there. I don't agree with them ideologically, but they are honorable people. (Likewise, there are some Republicans I wouldn't trust for anything.) But the greatest fear is the subversive liberal ideology that crosses borders and would seek to sell us out to the global community, i.e. the UN. This is the same ideology that has subverted the Democratic party. If it succeeds in subordinating our government to the UN, we would effectively have a one-party world order. We would cease to be the world stabalizing force and "Big Brother" would turn out to be international.

That's scary.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Election Antics

Kerry's campaign is already filing suits around the country claiming that there is something wrong with local election processes.

The voting hasn't even begun.

Kerry is taking his cue from The 2000 Gore campaign which falsely charged Florida with voter disenfranchisement while simultaneously attempting to discount the absentee votes of men and women in the Armed Forces. It just goes to show that they don't belive they can win legitimately. While legal action is a legitimate method for correcting a wrong, subversion of the judicial system amounts to justifying wrong. Kerry wants to relegate the election to the courtroom, taking out of the hands of the voters. That's cause for great alarm.

If he would do this to get elected, what would he do as president?

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I Don't Believe

In the previous post, I said I didn't believe in Socialism. I also gave a brief reason why. There's something else I don't believe in: I don't believe that there are such people as atheists.

Oh, sure: I believe there are people who claim to be atheists. I just don't believe they really are.

For one thing, if the relativist tells me that I am the source of all truth for myself, then I am well within my rights to not believe in atheists. If you happen to be an atheist, judge for yourself, is what I believe true? If you want to believe you're atheist, then you have a quandary. If there is absolute truth, then you must believe (teleologically, ontologically or otherwise) that there is an absolute source of truth. This is God. You are not an atheist. If you believe that I can have my truth and you can have your truth, and the two can disagree, then you must gladly tolerate my claim. Otherwise, you will live a life of angry frustration with an internal conflict you cannot resolve.

For another thing: we each have a central tenet that defines a set of principles that govern our actions - otherwise, we would know people who didn't have a clue as to how to react to any situation. Even a lazy couch potato has a central tenet: that all things must feed his desire to relax and numb his mind before the cathode ray god. Many have the central tenet that they have to believe in anything that allows them to do what they want - even at the expense of others (although most deny it). My central tenet is that the Creator came to earth to pay the price for my rebellion against Him because I couldn't pay it myself. Therefore, I serve His purpose out of gratitude. The point is: whatever one's central tenet, that is his god. Therefore, even an atheist has a God though he deny it.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Missions Update

A missionary family from our church returned from Uganda a month or so ago. Last night they gave a presentation at church of their activities in Uganda. Unfortunately, I missed it:

I performed at another church last night where another missionary couple was on furlough. They were English teachers in China and were telling us about the peple in China. They are primarily in contact with urban Chinese. Interestingly, they noted that the Chinese public, in genera, has a great admiration of, and interest in, the US. Althought the Chinese government can be very threatening, it is important to understand that the socialist party is a very small segment of the Chinese population.

As a parenthetical, I don't believe there is such thing as socialism. That is to say, the ideology is sold to the public in order to obtain their initial compliance. In due course, the Party takes over and the government becomes the ruling class of a practical oligarchy with a dicatatorial leader.

Back in China, there are North Koreans who have been risking death to escape to China. Many are captured, tortured and returned to North Korea. According to the relativly few accounts of North korean refugees who have experienced the tortue, an estimated 90% of re-captured North Koreans do not survive the torture. So closed is the country that any contact with a non-North Korean is punishable by torture. Posession of even one page of a Bible is punishable by death. The South Korean Christian Church has managed to cross the 3-mile-wide dividing line and minister to thousands of North Koreans - although it is not disclosed how they do this lest they be stopped. The North Koreans are extremely poor because of the rule of the North Korean Socialist Party. The Bible is smuggled into North Korea by memory.

On the western Chinese border, Chinese Christians are poised to risk their lives to take the gospel into the closed Muslim nations all the way back to Jerusalem where the gospel started 2000 years ago.

In other nations:

There are indigenous people in Venezuela who make their living off the waste from Maracaibo. Their communities surround the dump there. My family is planning to join a group that goes annually to minister to their material needs as well as teach them of the hope that only comes from Christ. We bring construction teams to build houses, wells, septic systems, etc. We also bring food, medicine, medical and dental teams. Last year we started cutting hair. We also bring a carnival team that allows us to interact one-on-one with the Venezuelan people.

We are sending two men into Southern Sudan this year for a couple of weeks. They will take school supplies into the mountainous area where Christians have fled from the persecution of the Muslims in the north. They will do focused discipleship to build up church leaders in the area.

Our church supports a lady who teaches in an Iraqi missionary school. The school has been opened up to local Iraqis. While the school is in a northern city that serves as a supply depot for terrorist troops, the school is protected by the terrorists because they want the US to leave the town alone. In other words, they don't want to attract attention by killing a bunch of missionary teachers.

There are many other missionary endeavors our church is involved with. As more events happen in other parts of the world, I'll post updates.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Two Films

There are two films:

1) Fahrenheit 9/11
Michael Moore's controversial documentary which I have addressed in the previous post. Moore's expressed goal for making the movie is to campaign against President Bush.

2) Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal
This documentary is an account of Vietnam POWs who suffered torture at the hands of their captors as a result of Kerry's public accusations of war crimes. It is scheduled to air on Sinclair Broadcasting's stations between October 21 and 24, 2004. Sinclair Broadcasting reaches about 24% of U.S. households.

There has been much outrage from the left about Stolen Honor. That seems fair. There's been much outrage from the right about Fahrenheit. It remains to be seen how honest Stolen Honor is. I suspect it is mostly honest. My point here is that we should have the right to see it and analyze its veracity for ourselves. The left can complain to the FCC all they want. They should wait to see it before judging it. If it's a matter of campaign money, they should've complained about that when Fahrenheit came out.

Truth and Lies in Fahrenheit 9/11

Truths told in Fahrenheit 9/11:

  1. The Bush administration suppressed data from its own Department of Health and Human Services which showed that the cost of the new Prescription Drug Benefit would be much larger than the administration claimed.
  2. Bush's characterization of his immigration proposal as not granting "amnesty" to illegal aliens is quite misleading; although the Bush proposal does not formally grant amnesty, the net result is the same as widespread amnesty.
  3. Some of the material in the USA PATRIOT Act had nothing to do with 9/11, and instead involved long-sought items on the FBI agenda which had previously been unable to pass Congress, but which were enacted by Congress under Bush administration assurances that they were essential to fighting terrorism.
  4. Moore's stated intention of using the movie is to defeat George Bush in November.

Lies told in Fahrenheit 911:

  1. Moore creates the impression that Gore was celebrating his victory in Florida. Actually, the rally took place in the early hours of election day, before polls had even opened. Gore did campaign in Florida on election day, but went home to Tennessee to await the results. The "Florida Victory" sign reflected Gore’s hopes, not any actual election results.
  2. Moore creates the false impression that the networks withdrew their claim about Gore winning Florida when they heard that Fox said that Bush won Florida. In fact, the networks which called Florida for Gore did so early in the evening—the effect was to reduce Republican votes significantly, because the Florida panhandle is a Republican stronghold.
  3. Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (who was Bush's Florida co-chair, not "the chairman") was not the "vote count woman." Vote counting in Florida is performed by the election commissioners in each of Florida's counties.
  4. What Fahrenheit does not show is that Jeffrey Toobin admitted on CNN that the only scenarios for a Gore victory involved a type of recount which Gore had never requested in his lawsuits, and which would have been in violation of Florida law.
  5. Moore amplifies the deceit with a montage of newspaper headlines, purporting to show that Gore really won. For example, a large headline reading, "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won Election," supposedly comes from The Pantagraph, a daily newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois. But actually, the headline is merely for a letter to the editor--not a news article.
  6. According to Fahrenheit, Bush cronies hired Data Base Technologies to purge Florida voters who might vote for Gore, and these potential voters were purged from the voting rolls on the basis of race. As explained by the Palm Beach Post, Moore's suggestion is extremely incomplete, and on at least one fact – namely the idea that voters were singled out according to race - plainly false.
  7. The movie lauds an anti-Bush riot that took place in Washington, D.C., on the day of Bush’s inauguration. He claims that protestors "pelted Bush's limo with eggs." Actually, it was just one egg. to Moore, "No President had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day. According to USA Today, the anti-Bush organizers claimed that they expected 20,000 protesters to show up, whereas the anti-Nixon protest in 1973 drew 60,000 people. (USA Today, Jan. 20, 2001).
  8. Bush is quoted as saying, "A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there's no question about it." What Moore fails to note, though, is that the quote, from July 26, 2001, is a facetious joke.
  9. Near the end of the movie, Bush speaks to a tuxedoed audience. He says, "I call you the haves and the have-mores. Some call you the elite; I call you my base." The joke follows several segments in which Bush is accused of having started the Iraq war in order to enrich business. The speech actually comes from the October 19, 2000, Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. The 2000 event was the 55th annual dinner, which raises money for Catholic hospital charities in New York City. Candidates Bush and Gore were the co-guests of honor at the event, where speakers traditionally make fun of themselves.
  10. Fahrenheit 9/11 states, "In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time." Many of those days are weekends, and the Camp David stays have included working visits with foreign leaders. Since the Eisenhower administration, Presidents have usually spent many weekends at Camp David, which is fully equipped for Presidential work. Once the Camp David time is excluded, Bush's "vacation" time drops to 13 percent. Scott Marquardt looked into a random week of Bush's August 2001 "vacation." Using public documents from, he found that it was anything but a vacation.
  11. Moore's first public comment about the September 11 attacks was to complain that too many Democrats rather than Republicans had been killed: "If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who did not vote for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination of California--these were places that voted against Bush!" (The quote was originally posted as a "Mike's Message" on Moore's website on September 12, but was removed not long after. Among the many places where Moore's quote has been repeated is The New Statesman, a leftist British political magazine.)
  12. Fahrenheit mocks President Bush for continuing to read the book My Pet Goat to a classroom of elementary school children after he was told about the September 11 attacks. Actually, as reported inThe New Yorker, the book was Reading Mastery 2, which contains an exercise called "The Pet Goat." The title of the book is not very important in itself, but the invented title of My Pet Goat makes it easier to ridicule Bush.
  13. Moore does not tell you that Gwendolyn Tose’-Rigell, the principal of Emma E. Booker Elementary School, praised Bush’s action: "I don’t think anyone could have handled it better." "What would it have served if he had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?” She said the video doesn’t convey all that was going on in the classroom, but Bush’s presence had a calming effect and "helped us get through a very difficult day."
  14. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is shown surreptitiously licking his comb in preparation for Congressional testimony under the cameras. Moore's point is that this proves Wolfowitz is a low life, a sleazy guy whose policy opinions should be devalued accordingly. Moore knows that Wolfowitz's desperate act in attempting to tame unruly hair for a public appearance will look much worse on movie screen than it really is, and he must know that periodic hygiene failings are not any kind of proof of depravity. To Moore's likely retort that Wolfowitz deserves to be gratuitously ridiculed for doing nothing worse than any member of his audience could easily recall doing himself, the answer is that nobody deserves to be treated this way. It is cruel and hypocritical, and violates basic ethical reciprocity. Doing so is wrong, and far more wrong, and infinitely more harmful to others, than licking one's own comb.
  15. Moore says, "Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001 that said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes." However, no-one (except Moore) has ever claimed that Bush did not read the Briefing.
  16. Moore smirks that perhaps President Bush did not read the Briefing because its title was so vague. Rather, Condoleezza Rice had told the press conference that the information in the Briefing was "very vague."
  17. Moore’s assertion that the Briefing "said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes." The actual Briefing was highly equivocal: “We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a [deleted text] service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" ‘Umar’ Abd aI-Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists”
  18. Moore and others in the film state that 142 Saudis, including 24 members of the bin Laden family, were allowed to leave the country after Sept. 13. But the movie fails to mention that the FBI interviewed about 30 of the Saudis before they left. And the independent 9/11 commission has reported that "each of the flights we have studied was investigated by the FBI and dealt with in a professional manner prior to its departure."
  19. Some Saudis left the U.S. by charter flight on September 14, a day when commercial flights had resumed, but when ordinary charter planes were still grounded. When did the bin Ladens actually leave? Not until the next week, as the the 9/11 Commission staff report explains.
  20. Moore's line, "But really, who wanted to fly? No one. Except the bin Ladens," happens to be a personal lie. Stranded in California on September 11, Michael Moore ended up driving home to New York City. On September 14, he wrote to his fans "Our daughter is fine, mostly frightened by my desire to fly home to her rather than drive." Moore acceded to the wishes of his wife and daughter, and drove back to New York. It is pretty hypocritical for Moore to slam the Saudis (who had very legitimate fears of being attacked by angry people) just because they wanted to fly home, at the same time when Moore himself wanted to fly home.
  21. Moore mentions that Bush’s old National Guard buddy and personal friend James Bath had become the money manager for the bin Laden family, saying, [that after the bin Ladens invested in James Bath,] "James Bath himself in turn invested in George W. Bush." The implication is that Bath invested the bin Laden family’s money in Bush’s failed energy company, Arbusto. He doesn’t mention that Bath has said that he had invested his own money, not the bin Ladens’, in Bush’s company.
  22. Moore makes a big point about the name of James Bath being blacked out from Bush National Guard records which were released by the White House. The blackout might appear less sinister if Moore revealed that federal law (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA) required the National Guard to black out the names any Guardsmen whose medical information was on the same pages as the records which the Guard released regarding George Bush's health records.
  23. Moore points out the distressingly close relationship between Saudi Arabia’s ambassador, Prince Bandar, and the Bush family. But Moore does not explain that Bandar has been a bipartisan Washington power broker for decades, and that Bill Clinton repeatedly relied on Bandar to advance Clinton’s own Middle East agenda.
  24. “In 1990 when M. Bush was a director of Harken Energy he received this memo from company lawyers warning directors not to sell stock if they had unfavorable information about the company. One week later he sold $848,000 worth of Harken stock. Two months later, Harken announced losses of more than $23 million dollars.” What Moore left out: Bush sold the stock long after he checked with those same "company lawyers" who had provided the cautionary memo, and they told him that the sale was all right. Almost all of the information that caused Harken’s large quarterly loss developed only after Bush had sold the stock.
  25. Moore’s film suggests that Bush has close family ties to the bin Laden family. However, Bush Sr. and the bin Ladens have since severed ties with the Carlyle Group, which in any case has a bipartisan roster of partners, including Bill Clinton’s former SEC chairman Arthur Levitt.
  26. The movie quotes author Dan Briody claiming that the Carlyle Group "gained" from September 11 because it owned United Defense, a military contractor that developed the Crusader weapon system. However, the firm’s $11 billion Crusader artillery rocket system developed for the U.S. Army is one of the only weapons systems canceled by the Bush administration.
  27. Moore tells us that when Carlyle took United Defense public, they made a one-day profit of $237 million, but under all the public scrutiny, the bin Laden family eventually had to withdraw (Moore doesn’t tell us that they withdrew before the public offering, not after it).
  28. There is another famous investor in Carlyle whom Moore does not reveal: George Soros. (Oliver Burkeman & Julian Borger, "The Ex-Presidents’ Club," The Guardian (London), Oct. 31, 2000.) But the fact that the anti-Bush billionaire has invested in Carlyle would detract from Moore’s simplistic conspiracy theory. That Bush hurt the company by canceling the Crudader system may have upset George Soros beyond his typical left-leaning bias.
  29. Moore alleges that the Saudis have given 1.4 billion dollars to the Bushes and their associates. 90 percent of that amount comes from just one source: contracts in the early to mid-1990’s that the Saudi Arabian government awarded to a U.S. defense contractor, BDM, at the time was owned by the Carlyle Group. The main problem with this figure is that former president Bush didn’t join the Carlyle advisory board until April, 1998—five months after Carlyle had already sold BDM to another defense firm.
  30. Craig Unger claims that the Saudis have roughly $860 billion invested in America. He cites two sources: The Saudi Ambassador's 1996 speech to the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council and a February 11, 2002, Washington Post story, titled "Enormous Wealth Spilled Into American Coffers." However, Unger's cited sources do not support his $860 billion figure.
  31. Craig Unger claims that the $860 billion is roughly six or seven percent of America. However, According the Census Bureau, the top countries which own U.S. stocks and bonds are the United Kingdom and Japan. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, total foreign investment in the United States in 2003 was $10,515 billion dollars. This means that even if the figure that Unger "heard" about Saudis having $860 billion is correct, then the Saudis would only have about 8 percent of total foreign investment in the United States. Unless you believe that almost all American assets are owned by foreigners, then it cannot possibly be true that Saudis "own seven percent of America."
  32. Moore shows a Secret Service agent saying that the Secret Service doesn’t usually guard foreign embassies. However, According to the Secret Service website: “Uniformed Division officers provide protection for the White House Complex, the Vice-President's residence, the Main Treasury Building and Annex, and foreign diplomatic missions and embassies in the Washington, DC area.”
  33. Moore asks, "Is it rude to suggest that when the Bush family wakes up in the morning they might be thinking about what's best for the Saudis instead of what's best for you?" If so, then why did Moore’s evil Saudis not join "the Coalition of the Willing"? Why instead did they force the United States to switch its regional military headquarters to Qatar? If the Bush family and the al-Saud dynasty live in each other’s pockets…then how come the most reactionary regime in the region has been powerless to stop Bush from demolishing its clone in Kabul and its buffer regime in Baghdad? The Saudis hate, as they did in 1991, the idea that Iraq’s recuperated oil industry might challenge their[s]....They fear the liberation of the Shiite Muslims they so despise. To make these elementary points is to collapse the whole pathetic edifice of the film’s "theory."
  34. Moore mentions that the Taliban visited Texas while Bush was governor, over a possible pipeline deal with Unocal. But Moore doesn’t say that they never actually met with Bush or that the deal went bust in 1998 and had been supported by the Clinton administration.
  35. Moore asserts that the Afghan war was fought only to enable the Unocal company to build a pipeline. In fact, Unocal dropped that idea back in August 1998.
  36. In December 1997, a delegation from Afghanistan’s ruling and ruthless Taliban visited the United States to meet with Unocal, an oil and gas company that had extensive dealings in Texas, which was interested in building a natural gas line through Afghanistan. Moore implies that Bush, who was then governor of Texas, met with the delegation. But, as Gannett News Service points out, Bush did not meet with the Taliban representatives. What’s more, Clinton administration officials did sit down with Taliban officials, and the delegation’s visit was made with the Clinton administration’s permission.
  37. Moore claims that "Enron stood to benefit from the pipeline." To the contrary, Enron was not part of the consortium which expressed interest in working with Unocal on the pipeline.
  38. Fahrenheit showed images of pipeline construction, but the images have nothing to do with the Caspian Sea pipeline, for which construction has never begun. Nor do they have anything to do with the Unocal pipeline, which never existed except on paper.
  39. Moore shows a March 2001 visit to the United States by a Taliban envoy, saying the Bush administration "welcomed" the official, Sayed Hashemi, "to tour the United States to help improve the image of the Taliban." Yet Hashemi’s reception at the State Department was hardly welcoming. The administration rejected his claim that the Taliban had complied with U.S. requests to isolate Osama bin Laden and affirmed its nonrecognition of the Taliban.
  40. Moore claims that Bush deliberately gave bin Laden "a two month head start" by not putting sufficient forces into Afghanistan soon enough. However, Moore believes bin Laden to be innocent and publicly opposed the Afghan War. He is accusing Bush of doing something that he doesn’t think is wrong.
  41. When we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out of the movie, we discover that Afghanistan is becoming a cohesive nation. We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular left—like the parties of the Iraqi secular left—are strongly in favor of the regime change.
  42. In the movie, President Bush claims to be “extraordinarily cooperative” with the 9/11 Commission after which Thomas Kean says, “We haven't gotten the materials we needed, and we certainly haven't gotten them in a timely fashion. The deadlines we set have passed.” However, the quote from Kean was referring to other government agencies. In fact Kean later said that the administration had given the Commission “unprecedented” access to records.
  43. Moore mocks Attorney General John Ashcroft by pointing out that Ashcroft once lost a Senate race in Missouri to a man who had died three weeks earlier. "Voters preferred the dead guy," Moore says, delivering one of the film’s biggest laugh lines. It’s a cheap shot. When voters in Missouri cast their ballots for the dead man, Mel Carnahan, they knew they were really voting for Carnahan’s very much alive widow, Jean. The Democratic governor of Missouri had vowed to appoint Jean to the job if Mel won.
  44. Moore claims that Ashcroft knew about, but dismissed, the 9/11 plans of bin Laden. As the 9/11 Commission found in a staff statement (72K Adobe PDF), the so-called "Phoenix memo" from an FBI agent in Arizona suggesting a possible effort by Bin Laden to send agents to flight schools was not widely circulated within the FBI and did not reach Ashcroft's desk.
  45. Moore claims that Bush "cut terrorism funding from the FBI." Not so. In 2001, the Department of Justice was operating under the budget established in the last year of the Clinton administration, so any proposed change in future budgets obviously could not have prevented September 11. For the 2002 budget, the Bush administration did not propose cutting the FBI counter-terrorism budget.
  46. Defending the USA PATRIOT Act, Representative Porter Goss says that he has an "800 number" for people to call to report problems with the Act. Fahrenheit shoots back with a caption "Not really true." The ordinary telephone number (area code 202) for Goss’s office is then flashed on the screen. You’d never know by watching Fahrenheit, but Rep. Goss does have a toll-free number to which USA PATRIOT Act complaints can be reported. The number belongs to the Committee which Goss chairs, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The number is (877) 858-9040.
  47. Oregon state troopers who patrol coastal areas are presented as underfunded and spread far too thinly. Whatever the problems with Trooper funding, the problems are the responsibility of the Oregon state government, not the federal government. Moreover, the job of protecting the Oregon coastline from foreign invaders is not a job of the Oregon State Police. That job is the responsibility of the United States Coast Guard and the United States Navy which is well-staffed.
  48. Fahrenheit asserts that Saddam’s Iraq was a nation that "had never attacked the United States.” Saddam order his police to murder former American President George Bush when he visited Kuwait City in 1993; they attempted to do so, but failed. 1991, he ordered his agents to murder the American Ambassador to the Philippines and, separately, to murder the employees of the U.S. Information Service in Manila; they tried, but failed.
  49. Fahrenheit asserts that Saddam’s Iraq was "a nation that had never threatened to attack the United States.” On November 15, 1997, the main propaganda organ for the Saddam regime, the newspaper Babel (which was run by Saddam Hussein's son Uday) ordered: "American and British interests, embassies, and naval ships in the Arab region should be the targets of military operations and commando attacks by Arab political forces." On the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a weekly newspaper owned by Uday Hussein said that Arabs should "use all means-and they are numerous-against the aggressors...and considering everything American as a military target, including embassies, installations, and American companies, and to create suicide/martyr [fidaiyoon] squads to attack American military and naval bases inside and outside the region, and mine the waterways to prevent the movement of war ships..." There are many other examples.
  50. Fahrenheit asserts that Saddam’s Iraq was, “A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen." In fact, Saddam provided refuge to notorious terrorists who had murdered Americans. Saddam did perpetrate the premeditated murder of Americans. Every victim of every Palestinian terrorist bomber who was funded by Saddam Hussein was the victim of premeditated murder—including the American victims. Because Saddam's reward system for the families of deceased terrorists was known and publicized, the reward system amounted to a before-the-fact inducement for additional terrorist bombings.
  51. Moore declares that George Bush fabricated an Iraq/al Qaeda connection in order to deflect attention from his Saudi masters. However, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. For example, Iraqi intelligence documents from 1992 list Osama bin Laden as an Iraqi intelligence asset. Or: The National Security Agency intercepted telephone conversations between al Qaeda-supported Sudanese military officials and the head of Iraq's chemical weapons program in 1996.
  52. Fahrenheit shows Condoleezza Rice saying, "Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11." However, Moore deceptively cut the Rice quote to fool the audience into thinking she was making a particular claim, even though she was pointedly not making such a claim.
  53. …And since Rice spoke in November 2003, her quote had nothing to do with building up American fears before the March 2003 invasion, although Moore implies otherwise.
  54. Moore shows scenes of Baghdad before the invasion (read: liberation) and in his weltanschauung, it’s a place filled with nothing but happy, smiling, giggly, overjoyed Baghdadis. When he exploits and lingers on the tears of a mother who lost her soldier-son in Iraq, and she wails, "Why did you have to take him?" Moore does not cut to images of the murderers/terrorists in Iraq, he cuts to George Bush. When the soldier’s father says the young man died and "for what?" Moore doesn’t show liberated Iraqis to reply, he cuts instead to an image of Halliburton. When Moore cuts to bombs exploding at night, Moore doesn’t tell you that the building you see being blown up is the Iraqi Ministry of Defense in Baghdad where ordinary Iraqis weren’t allowed to visit—on pain of death.
  55. Fahrenheit points out, correctly, that the Saudi monarchy is "a regime that Amnesty International condemns as a widespread human rights violator." Fahrenheit does not mention that the Saddam regime was likewise condemned by Amnesty International.
  56. According to the footage in the movie, our pilots seem to have hit nothing but women and children. However, reporters who were taken around to see the sites of civilian deaths during the bombing of Baghdad also observed that some of those errant bombs were fired by Iraqi anti-aircraft crews. Mr. Moore doesn't let the audience know when and where this bomb was dropped, or otherwise try to identify the culprit of the tragedy.
  57. Fahrenheit includes some material in which American soldiers explain what kind of music they listen to. Seventeen selections in Fahrenheit are taken from the an Australian war documentary, Soundtrack to War, and were used against the objection of film-maker George Gittoes: "I was concerned of course for my soldiers because their interviews were taken out of context," Mr Gittoes told the Nine Network.
  58. Fahrenheit shows Bush giving a speech on the aircraft carrier, with the famous "Mission accomplished" banner in the background. Bush says, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." The movie leaves out the rest of the speech in which Bush says, “And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country… We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous."
  59. Moore: "This film exists as a counterbalance to what you see on cable news about the coalition. I’m trying to counter the Orwellian nature of the Big Lie, as if when you hear that term, the ‘coalition,’ that the whole world is behind us." However, If it is a "Big Lie" to mention only the powerful and important members of the Coalition (such as the United Kingdom and Australia), then it is an equally "Big Lie" to mention only the small and insignificant members of the Coalition.
  60. Fahrenheit shows an interview in Walter Reed Army Medical Center with Massachusetts National Guardsman Peter Damon. The footage comes from an interview Damon granted to NBC Nightly News. Damon's wife says that he never granted Moore permission to use the footage, was never asked, and strongly objects to being used in the film. As of July 15, it is not clear whether Moore's usage of the footage was illegal. But it hardly seems ethical for a film-maker who dedicates his film to the soldiers in Iraq to put a double-amputee veteran into the film without even bothering to ask for permission. Damon complained, "The whole movie makes soldiers look like a bunch of idiots...I'm not a child. We sent ourselves over there...It was all our own doing. I don't appreciate him calling us children...."I agree with the President 100%. A lot of the guys down at Walter Reed feel the same way."
  61. In very selectively edited clips, Moore poses the absurd notion that the main news anchors—Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Ted Koppel—wholeheartedly support Bush and the War in Iraq….Has Moore forgotten the hour-long Saddam softball interview Rather did just prior to the war, [or] Jennings’ condescending coverage…?
  62. Fahrenheit claims: "Immoral behavior breeds immoral behavior. When a President commits the immoral act of sending otherwise good kids into a war based on a lie, this is what you get." Moore revealed that a scene in which American soldiers appear to be desecrating a corpse beneath a blanket may be misleading. In fact, the soldiers had picked up an old man who had passed out drunk. Such teasing is an abuse of power, but are not the result of "sending otherwise good kids into a war based on a lie". Instead, law enforcement personnel all over the world have to remove comatose drunks from the streets, and law enforcement personnel sometimes make fun of the drunks.
  63. Bush "supported closing veterans hospitals" says Moore. The Bush Department of Veterans Affairs did propose closing seven hospitals in areas with declining populations where the hospitals were underutilized, and whose veterans could be served by other hospitals. Moore does not say that the Department also proposed building new hospitals in areas where needs were growing.
  64. According to Moore, Bush "tried to double the prescription drug costs for veterans." What Bush proposed was raising the prescription co-pay from $7 to $15, for veterans with incomes of over $24,000 a year.
  65. Bush, announces Moore, "proposed cutting combat soldiers’ pay by 33%." It was actually a special bonus that veterans serving combat dusty get. Bush considered not renewing it, but eventually supported a renewal of the bonus: $75 on top of the already $150 combat duty bonus.
  66. Although Moore presents Bush as cutting military pay, Bush did the opposite: in 2003, Congress enacted a Bush administration proposal to raise all military salaries by 3.7%, with extra "targeted" pay increases for non-commissioned officers.
  67. Moore states that "out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq." Seven members of Congress have been confirmed to have children in the military and at least two are deployed to Iraq. Others have no control over where they are deployed. Also, statistically speaking, a Congressional household is about 23 percent more likely than an ordinary household to be closely related to an Iraqi serviceman or servicewoman. Furthermore, Moore ignores the fact that there are 101 veterans currently serving in the House of Representatives and 36 in the Senate. Regardless of whether they have children who could join the military, all of the veterans in Congress have personally put themselves at risk to protect their country.
  68. Fahrenheit never raises the issue of the President’s cabinet members with sons in the service, because the answer would not fit Moore’s thesis. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s son is serving on the U.S.S. McFaul in the Persian Gulf.
  69. Representative Mark Kennedy (R-MN), one of the lawmakers accosted in Fahrenheit 9/11, was censored by Michael Moore. When Moore asked Kennedy if he would be willing to send his son to Iraq, responded by stating that he had a nephew who was en-route to Afghanistan. He went on to inform Moore that his son was thinking about a career in the navy and that two of his nephews had already served in the armed forces. Kennedy’s side of the conversation, however, was cut from the film, leaving him looking bewildered and defensive.
  70. Fahrenheit shows Moore calling out to Delaware Republican Michael Castle, who is talking on a cell phone and waves Moore off. Castle is presented as one of the Congressmen who would not sacrifice his children. What the film omits is that Rep. Castle does not have any children.
  71. Fahrenheit spends a much time on the grief of Lila Lipscomb, the mother of Sgt. Michael Pederson, who died in Iraq in April 2003. Mrs. Lipscomb reads for the camera an angry letter which Sgt. Pederson wrote castigating President Bush. Not shown on camera is the fact that Pederson apologized for the letter shortly afterward. Incidentally, Fahrenheit ignores the widow of Sgt. Michael Pederson, who believes that "Hating President Bush is not going to bring Michael back."
  72. Fahrenheit is correct in pointing out that people who enlist in the military are less likely to be college graduates and more likely to be black than is the general U.S. population. However, Moore's portrayal of the socioeconomics of the U.S. military is false in several respects. For example, people who are at the lowest end of the economic spectrum are not over-represented in the military because the military prefers not to enlist high-school drop-outs.
  73. Mrs. Lipscomb is from Flint, Michigan, which Moore calls "my hometown." In fact, Moore grew up in Davison, Michigan, a suburb of Flint. Davison is much wealthier than Flint.
  74. Representative Jim McDermott's quotes about the alleged motivations of the Bush administration are supported by no evidence, and amount to nothing more than the speculative ravings of one of the very few pro-Saddam members of Congress. McDermott claims, "Well you make them afraid by creating an aura of endless threat. They played us like an organ. They raised the levels: the orange up to red. Then they dropped it back to orange." To the contrary, the threat level has never been raised above orange.
  75. In Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore claims to support our troops. But in fact, he supports the enemy in Iraq. Here is what Moore says about the forces who are killing Americans and trying to impose totalitarian rule on Iraq: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win.

Additional observations:

Moore accuses the United States of sacrificing morality because of greed. However, Moore is, with terrorist assistance, pushing the film in Syria and a Syrian colony, both of which are places which supply some of the fighters who are currently killing Americans and anti-totalitarian Iraqis. Fahrenheit presents the fighters as noble resistance, and the American presence as entirely evil. It's not that the content of Fahrenheit is all that different from the propaganda which pervades the state-controlled Arab media, or on al Jazeera. But Fahrenheit's may be more persuasive, to at least some of its Arab audience, because its denunciations of American and praise for the Iraqi insurgents comes from an American. It is reasonable to expect that such a film, when shown in Syria and Lebanon, will aid in the recruiting of additional fighters to kill Americans and Iraqis. In effect, the presentation of Fahrenheit in Syria and Lebanon--especially with explicit endorsement from a terrorist organization--amounts to a recruiting film for terrorists (or, in Moore's terms, "minutemen") to go to Iraq and kill Americans.

Fidel Castro likewise showed the film on Cuban state television, because the film fit his own message of the evil of the United States.

Moore was personally questioned about the terrorist connection at a Washington, D.C., press conference. He at first denied the terrorist connection, but was then confronted with the direct quote from his distributor. He stonewalled and refused to answer. So the man who spends so much time getting in other people’s faces with tough questions is unwilling to explain why he is accepting aid from Hezbollah.

Do the many falsehoods and misrepresentations of Fahrenheit 9/11 suggest a film producer who just makes careless mistakes? Or does a man who calls Americans "possibly the dumbest people on the planet" believe that his audience will be too dumb to tell when he is tricking them? Viewers will have to decide for themselves whether the extremist and extremely deceptive Fahrenheit 9/11 is a conscientious work of patriotic dissent, or the cynical propaganda of a man who gives wartime aid to America’s murderous enemies, and who accepts their aid in return.

The previous is a condensed summary of an article by Dave Kopel, Research Director of the Independence Institute and an NRO columnist. He has previously written about the deceptions in "Bowling for Columbine." Like Michael Moore, in 2000 Kopel endorsed and voted for Ralph Nader. The full text and original enumeration of lies can be found at

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Why Homosexuality is Wrong

The standard conservative Christian explanation for why homosexuality is wrong is simple: the Bible says it's wrong. Clear passages spell out how wrong it is. The issue comes down to how reliable the Bible is. Homosexuals who call themselves Christian and seek to justify their sin will develop a hermeneutic in an attempt to distort the clear language of the passages that condemn homosexuality.

Given the clear language of the Bible, why does the Bible say that homosexuality is wrong? Well, it doesn't... Directly. In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, in the passage that makes some women see red ("Wives, submit to your husbands...") Paul draws a parallel between the marital relationship and the relationship between Christ and the Church - or in Edenic terms, between God and mankind (" unto the Lord"). What Paul seems to indicate is that the marital relationship is meant to be prophetic. That means that an extramarital or homosexual relationship is a lie because it distorts the intended prophetic message that God has ordained of sexually intimate relationships.

That's why homosexuality is wrong.

Kerry on Cheney's Daughter

To be sure, I believe homosexuality to be morally wrong, BUT... There's an intuitive feeling that somthing was amiss with John Kerry's reference to Dick Cheney's daughter as a point of contention.

It was just as bad that the question was asked in the Vice-Presidential debate. Cheney chose to leave the subject alone. There may be a point of contention between the President and his Vice, but it's an issue that has little bearing in the President's steadfast position on the definition of marriage. Cheney was wise to leave it alone when he did. It levelled our focus on John Edwards' response, which was not unlike Kerry's.

So why did we get an uneasy feeling when Kerry brought it up?

The liberal strategy is to paint conservatives as hateful toward homosexuals. Liberals want homosexuals to belive that liberalism is the ideology that will give them what they want. To some extent, this is true. There are exceptions: Some homosexuals are conservative. Some homosexuals don't care about redefining marriage. Astonishingly, some homosexuals believe, as do I, that homosexuality is wrong. However, many homosexuals fit the stereotype and are activly liberal. The point is that John Kerry wants to paint conservatives as homophobic. By invoking Mary Cheney, he calls to mind that conservatives are not unkind to homosexuals. While most of us have a moral issue with homosexuality, we recognize that homosexuals are people who have the same material and spiritual needs as anybody. Kerry's attempt to mischaracterize conservatism brought to light the deceitful nature of liberlaism. That's why you felt uneasy when Kerry brought it up.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Presidential Election

How do you rake through the muck of campaign rhetoric?

I have two questions. I'll ask and you decide:

1) Who do the men and women in the armed forces, who willingly place thier lives on the line, want to be their Commander-in-Chief?

2) Who do our enemies support?

I don't have to answer. You know the truth.

Those Meanines

You expect to have some exceptionally contentious advertising in political campaigns. It's interesting that Kerry's campaign manager called Cheney "mean." Then the Kerry campaign puts out a picture like this:

In case the link is broken to the picture, it is a photo of a downs syndrome child in a Special Olympics race with Bush's face pasted over the top. The caption says, "Voting For Bush Is Like Running In The Special Olympics; Even If You Win, You're Still Retarded"

Completely reprehensible! These are the people who claim to care about the underdog putting out an ad against Bush like this. They doesn't attack him on the issues. They don't attack his character. They just resort to name-calling at the expense of a special needs child.

The democrats should be ashamed. Leave our kids alone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Worship vs. Performance

When you have a musical group or musician at church that is particularly pleasing to hear or has a particular mastery of music, at what point is it worship or performance?

For the individual musician:
It depends on their purpose or motivation. If a musician is motivated by pride or a desire to obtain glory or worship for himself, then it is performance and not worship Nevertheless, God can still use it to encourage others in worship.

For a musical group:
Some may be motivated to worship God. Others may be motivated to obtain glory for themselves. Either way, God may still use their efforts to bring glory to himself.

For the listeners:
A listener may seek to worship God no matter what music is playing. Music may encourage a listner toward a particular mood of worship.

Judging music:
All listeners have preferences towards different styles and they will judge a style according their preferences and maturity. Those who lack maturity will judge musical styles they do not prefer negatively. If one believes that only "traditional" music is appropriate to worshipping God, then they will disdain contemporary music as vulgar, base or irreverent. Others may view "traditional" music as simply dead. A mature Christian will recognize that one's heart is what is important in worship and that the style of music has nothing to do with it.

Job Outsourcing and Higher Prices

We've noticed higher prices - gas, wood products, etc. The reason we have higher prices is because global demand has increased. (Read: China) If global demand has increased, then it is not true that jobs have simply gone to China. This means that economic growth has occurred in China without economic decline happening here.

Homeschooling Laws in Pennsylvania

A homeschool family in Pennsylvania is suing over the restrictiveness of Pennsylvania homeschool law that ultimately gives the local public school superintendent the authority over the curricula. The article is here:

My only question:
Does the state also require the Amish to submit curricula to the local superintendent?

Why do I ask this?
The Amish have their own curricula and typically educate in the classroom through the functional equivalent of the 6th grade. Any other education is up to the Amish parents.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Economy - Observations and comments

Does anyone else find it odd that businesses are finding a Communist government more favorable to capitalist endeavors than a Democratic Republic? Why are businesses leaving the USA for China?

Oddly, the labor alone makes up a small fraction of the overall cost of manufacturing. The bulk of the cost of manufacturing is in the overhead, which includes management, support, utilities, some taxes and countless expenses related to government regulation. Utilities have certain costs associated to regulation as well. So when a business moves to China, they weigh the difference in cost between the additional shipping for being overseas and the savings for taxes and regulation expenses - hidden or otherwise. They often find that they can add the additional capital to automate. Therefore, they save much more on labor than simply hiring cheap labor.

Skilled labor:
China has very little skilled labor. Most of the labor going to China and Mexico is unskilled - despite the claims of some pundits that the US is losing skilled jobs to these countries. We still have the skilled labor jobs. The issue is that public schools are not turning out many skilled laborers anymore. This is why more plants are requiring college degrees for skilled labor positions. We just have less skilled laborers anymore. Businesses find it cheaper to develop ways to automate skilled positions instead of sending potential workers to secondary schools or colleges. They then turn their skilled positions into un-skilled.

A Christian Perspective:
Why should we not hope for a strong financial future for the people of other countries as well as our own? We grudgingly give money to feed the poor of other countries and alternatively speak about them as though they would "steal" our jobs. Why not improve their economic situation by locating businesses in their countries? Their economic health translates into our own as we open up trade with them. Capitalism breeds governments willing to protect their workers (read: freedom). US businesses in other countries also breed governments willing to protect the countries of the business who hire their people. China is on its way, although it has far to go yet. Better jobs in Mexico will keep more people on their legal side of the border.

What to do:

First: Improve education. Don't simply throw money at it. Also, don't simply come up with more asinine testing. The school system is being destroyed from two fronts: 1) parents who challenge the schools to tolerate the children they've raised to be brats instead of backing their school's attempts to create a disciplined learning environment. 2) a bureaucratic machine that is lobbied by the teachers' unions to hold teacher's needs above, and sometimes at the expense of, student's needs. Kill the bureaucracy and support discipline in the schools above parent's unwillingness to teach their kids to obey the rules. This requires - at the very least - legislation protecting the schools from bad parents. This also begs for a turn-around in current philosophical trends that view kids as the arbiters of their own truth - irreproachable by the teachers. (Support homeschooling and you'll see these issues fade into obscurity. As it is, very many will continue to be publicly schooled, so the issue remains key.)

Second: Anticipate manufacturing trends. If automation is the way of the future, someone's got to build automated machines, program them, maintain them, etc. These are where the skilled jobs will be. Those who have the necessary skills will have the good manufacturing jobs. Everyone else will be material handlers. We need to widely publicize anticipated trends in manufacturing and actively recruit so that the needed jobs can be filled. We need to bridge the gap between hiring demands and various curricula.

Third: Create tax incentives and reduce regulation to tolerable levels - especially for smaller companies. It will be the small business owners who will lead the way in job creation. We also need to cultivate people willing to be new business owners. This takes us back full circle to the First thing we need to do: Improve Education.

Just some thoughts in this election season.