Archive for the ‘Social Issues’ Category

Articles for Tuesday and video debate on gay marriage

May 5, 2009

Now He Has The Hammer   David Kahane writes for the National Review, using a satirical look on President Obama’s presidency so far from the view of a leftist. Or is it satire? I feel like it is fairly accurate in terms of what Kahane writes, although probably not politically correct. Then again, most anything said about anyone nowadays is politically incorrect. Very funny read.

The GOP is the Problem, not Conservatism   David Limbaugh writes in Townhall that the Republican Party’s problem is not that it has become too conservative, but that it has become too moderate. He uses poll number to show that many more Americans describe themselves as conservatives rather than liberals. What is scary for the GOP is that there are more people that call themselves conservatives than Republicans. That means the Republicans have lost that connection to their core base. The reason is that Republicans have simply not acted as conservatives, which has cost them dearly in the past few elections. President Obama continues to portray his far left agenda as “centrist” and he is getting away with it in the media. The media relays this image to the American people and Obama’s plans are then assumed to be middle of the road when in fact they are not. So far, Obama has not gotten anything passed or approved of with bipartisan support. George W. Bush passed the No Child Left Behind Act and his tax cuts packages with bipartisan support. Just because you say you will be bipartisan doesn’t mean you are acting like it.

Below is a debate on Larry King Live between gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and talk radio host Dennis Prager. I haven’t talked about this topic too much, but I am sure you know where I stand. Let me know what you think of this debate and who had the better points.

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Can you please help the kids, Mr. Obama?

May 5, 2009

 

President Barack Obama sends his daughters Sasha and Malia to the Sidwell Friends School instead of a public school in Washington D.C.

President Barack Obama sends his daughters Sasha and Malia to the Sidwell Friends School instead of a public school in Washington D.C.

Ever since Barack Obama came onto the political scene, he has had the rarely found ability in a politician to connect with the youth. His campaign references to Lil Wayne, his love for basketball and his fresh, youthful appearance have all contributed to making a never before seen connection with the youth of America, resulting in huge voter turnout for him in November. Obama has long talked about making college available for all kids and bring prices down. Who doesn’t like the sound of that? What is bothersome, however, is his current hypocrisy to look out for the kids in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

Currently, the Washington, D.C. public schools system is a mess. It is nearly impossible for kids to get a decent education out of the schools currently available there. That is why the Opportunity Schools Program has been such a blessing for minority families living in that area. OSP is a program that allows kids to earn scholarships to attend better, private schools in the area. The voucher they earn is worth $7,500 and over 1,700 kids currently use those vouchers. 99% of those kids are either Hispanic or African-American and the Department of Education has found that these kids in the program have improved in many academic areas. While 1,700 kids use the scholarships now, more than four kids apply for each of the scholarships, which has become known as a lifeline out of the disastrous D.C. public schools system.

So what is the big problem? Congress wants to destroy this scholarship program. In an amendment sponsored by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin in the omnibus spending bill passed in March, OSP will no longer receive funding. It was determined that the program would be eliminated for the 2009-10 school year, but members of Congress will have a chance to debate the issue this month. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has prevented and been opposed to the program from giving out scholarships next year as well. Does Duncan’s daughter attend any of the D.C. public schools? Of course not. Duncan moved out to Arlington, Virginia, so his daughter could attend school there, where the Arlington public schools system is far superior to the system in D.C. Do Obama’s daughters attend a D.C. public school? Of course not. They attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends School, a private institution.

How can Obama be such a strong supporter of the public schools system if they aren’t good enough for his own daughters? Shouldn’t everyone have an equal chance to get a great education? Maybe Obama supports the public schools as a politician because of the Democratic Party’s decades-long alliance with the teachers’ unions. Why has the Republican Party gotten no credit for standing up for equal education for Africa-Americans and Hispanics? The media has long branded the GOP has a party that will cut spending on education as soon as they get a chance to. Where has the media been in its coverage of this education issue?

Obama has also promised to bring down the cost of college tuition for everyone, even going as far as to say he wants it to be free. Obama’s beliefs about economic equality come back into play here. Currently, you can earn much more money at a job if you have a degree. This is because not everyone has one and if you do, it shows you have put in extra work and have that education to complete your job. If everyone has a degree, however, the extra pay that comes with a degree won’t be there anymore. Everyone with a degree will be gunning for white-collar jobs, which brings those wages down. When that happens, there won’t be as many people trying to find blue-collar working jobs because they will have degrees. That means that blue-collar job wages will go up. Economic equality and social justice, in President Obama’s eyes.

For a private Catholic school in California, the price of tuition is somewhere near $9,000. For a child to go through a public school, it will cost taxpayers about $14,000. The pay for teachers does not correlate with the performance of students. The correct method of education should be for families to receive a $10,000 dollar voucher to send their kids wherever they want to go to school. Instead of throwing more money at public schools, teachers should be rewarded for excelling in their jobs and helping students perform better on tests. With the current system set up by teachers’ unions, teachers only get paid more the longer they work. This is not fair to students and it is not fair to the teachers who work harder and are better at their job but get no financial reward.

With the power and popularity President Obama currently has, all he has to do is say the word for the Opportunity Scholarship Program to stay in place. Instead, he has continued rooting for public schools in an area where public schools have failed. If he can’t send his kids to those schools, why should anyone else have to? Hypocrisy among politicians is often a grilling point for media members, especially when there are Republicans acting as hypocrites. It is a shame that nobody in the media will call out President Obama for the hypocrisy he is displaying right now.

Check out William McGurn’s article in the Wall Street Journal for more info on the Opportunity Schools Program.

Articles for Wednesday; Coverage of Obama’s 100th Day in Office

April 29, 2009

We’re Here, We’re Queer and We’re Hypocrites   Although this article is a little bit dated, I really liked it and felt it needed to be talked about. Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart writes about how the gay community has gone on the attack on those who voted in favor of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in liberal California. While gay leftists have attacked the Mormon Church, who won’t fight back, they have also gone after businesses that supported Prop. 8, the director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento and evangelical churches across the state. So far, however, gays have yet to go after the groups that were the deciding factor in passing Prop. 8, the 70% of African-Americans that voted for Prop. 8 and the Hispanics who also were heavily in favor of the bill. Why is this? To paraphrase commentator Bill O’Reilly, I don’t see any gay protests in the middle of Compton or Richmond. Gay blogger Perez Hilton criticized Miss California winner Carrie Prejean for standing up for her beliefs in the Miss USA contest and saying that marriage should be between a man and a woman, calling her a “dumb b****” and saying that Miss USA needs to represent all Americans and she abandoned gays and lesbians with that statement. Prejean also took heat from many voices in the media. But here is a quote from a well-known and beloved politician about his feelings towards marriage: “I’m a Christian… I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” The politician is…. President Barack Obama! The president also represents all Americans. I would only hope that Perez doesn’t display a double standard and instead calls out President Obama for his views. But, I am not going to be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

Obama at 100 Days   The Washington Times gives us an interesting perspective on how the media plans to cover President Obama’s evening press conference. Guess which cable news network isn’t covering it? By golly, Fox News is the correct answer! The truth of the matter is that there probably won’t be any newsworthy material to come out of tonight’s press conference. Obama has already shown a desire to have as many prime-time press conferences as possible and the media has welcomed that plan with open arms.

Barack’s in the Basement   You know how the entire world loves President Obama and everything he does? It has pretty much been decided that Obama is the new world leader, loved and respected by all according to media sources. His popularity poll numbers are through the roof and he is rebuilding America’s image in a positive fashion. Except for the fact that his popularity poll numbers, in reality, aren’t through the roof. Don’t worry, I was tricked as well. The Washington Times informs us that the Gallup Poll’s survey numbers for Obama in April are only higher than President Bill Clinton’s numbers at this point in a term since the Gallup began polling in 1969. Yes, even the guy that came before Obama had higher numbers than our current president (Dubya with 62%, Obama with 56%).

The Liberal Hour   The Wall Street Journal recaps the rapid change that has taken place in Washington since President Obama and his Democratic Congress has taken over. He has now taken over the economy and wars in the Middle East as his. It will be squarely placed on Obama’s shoulders from here on out. While he and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel believe that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, is Obama actually going to be able to successfully tackle every issue he has thrown on his plate? It seems unlikely and even more unlikely that we will have the funds to do so. But at the same time, Obama has made it clear he has no problem spending money he doesn’t have.

President Obama’s prime-time press conference will begin at 5 PM Pacific time. It will be aired by ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC and CNBC, which will cost the broadcast networks about $10 million in the advertising losses. FOX will not be airing the broadcast. In November of 2001, FOX also declined to broadcast a prime-time speech by George W. Bush, so there is somewhat of a precedent for FOX’s decision.

Why are Catholic politicians not behaving like Catholics?

April 24, 2009

 

 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a Catholic in favor of abortion rights

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a Catholic in favor of abortion rights

With the vote on Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Kathleen Sebelius coming up on Tuesday, I decided to do some extra research on Sebelius and see if I could find anything of extra importance. While I knew Sebelius was a strong advocate of the pro-abortion movement, I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed she was also a Catholic. While there has always been the separation of church and state, Catholic politicians still have a responsibility to stick up for their beliefs as Catholics and fight for the pro-life movement. As I continued researching the Catholic politicians currently in the 111th Congress, as either senators or representatives, I found a disturbing trend of high profile Catholic politicians that backed abortion rights. Why is this happening and what can we do about it?

 

 

Before we talk about the politicians who go against the teachings of the Catholic Church, we need to establish exactly what the Church teaches on abortion. In the eyes of the Catholic Church, having or supporting an abortion is seen as possibly the worst sin someone could commit because it is the murder of completely innocent children. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the book that explains the principles and teachings of the Church, clearly states that “human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.” There is no mistaking that the Church finds any support of an abortion a horrible sin, saying, “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.” And if there were any doubts about whether or not there could be exceptions to the rule, the Catechism also states, “…the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” It seems pretty clear to me that the Church believes that if a Catholic at anytime supports an abortion, he or she has committed a serious moral sin. This is the one of the few inexcusable, undebatable principles of the Catholic Church. So why are Catholics who are public officials and politicians, who could be inspirations to younger Catholics, turning away from one of the most important established stances of the Church? 

Our current Speaker of the House is Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, from the liberal state of California. Pelosi is fiercely on the left side of the aisle, which is perfectly okay for a Catholic to be. Pelosi, however, is a staunch supporter of abortion rights, which as a practicing Catholic is clearly unacceptable. John Kerry, who ran as the candidate from the Democratic Party in the 2004 Presidential Election, is another practicing Catholic that believes it is the right of a woman to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Rudy Giuliani, Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Pataki are all high-profile Catholic Republicans that believe in allowing women to have the choice of abortion. While these are some of the most high profile Catholics in politics that support abortion rights, they are a far cry from the worst offenders.

There are a total of 162 Catholics in the 111th Congress. 82 of these Catholics have accepted monetary donations from pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). Including donations since 1989, Democratic Senator Patti Murray of Washington has accepted over $1 million from pro-abortion groups. She has voted against the National Right to Life group’s position 48 times and has campaigned to make Plan B, a morning-after contraception pill, available over-the-counter. Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri has received $986,619 in contributions from pro-abortion groups while Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine took in over $240,000. Since 1989, over $9 million in contributions from pro-abortion groups went to 82 Catholic members of the 111th Congress.

Although Catholic Church leaders have reached out to the Catholics in Congress, the politicians seem unaffected by pressure from church leaders. In 2008, Nancy Pelosi accused the Church of having disagreements within the Church about abortion and when exactly life begins. This comment drew a strong response from Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, referring to the Catechism and stating that the Church has never wavered in its opinion that human life begins at conception and that the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. Pelosi had a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI and San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer about her opinions on abortion. It was widely reported that Pope Benedict XVI criticized Pelosi for her views, but Pelosi made no announcement or statement about a change in her stance on abortion. If the Pope, who in Catholic theology is the leader of the Catholic Church and the direct human connection to Jesus Christ and God, encourages a Catholic to remain faithful to the values and principles of the Church and the person refuses, can that person really consider himself or herself a Catholic? 

We are then left asking one question: Why are Catholic politicians so blatant in their disrespect of one of the Church’s most sacred principles? It is clear that they have sacrificed their morals and principles in exchange for political glory and success. Although an outward denial of abortion can be viewed upon as unreasonable by many Americans, and potentially cost a politician an election, there is no legitimate reason to turn one’s back on the Catholic Church’s abortion stance. Politicians like Sebelius, Pelosi, Kerry and Giuliani need to be stronger morally or admit that practicing the Catholic faith is not truly for them. Until then, Catholics need to be strong and vocal in their support of Catholic politicians that are pro-life like Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. If the Catholic archbishops aren’t able to affect Catholic politicians, maybe Catholic voters will be able to.