Friday, October 24, 2008

Palin Calls Self 'Frugal,'

Snip from Fox News: Palin Calls Self Frugal; Denies Taking $150,000 in Designer Clothes: "Also on Thursday, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a private watchdog group in Washington, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Palin, the Republican National Committee and several political operatives alleging that the purchase of clothing for Palin and her family violates Federal Election Campaign Act.

The law prohibits a candidate for federal office from converting campaign funds to personal use. CREW notes that FEC regulations make clear the prohibition applies to clothing but also provide that donations by candidates to charity are not for personal use. CREW argued this exception might apply to Palin's clothes but doesn't appear to apply to clothes for her family."

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) proves conclusively that these charges are a FECAl matter.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Power of Praise and Worship

Here's an excerpt from chapter 15 (The Vow of Praise) of my new book, The Power of Praise and Worship, coauthored with Terry Law:

The ride into Baghdad was harrowing. General Sada was behind the wheel, zigzagging along the airport road at breakneck speed. I glanced over at the gauges. The speedometer sat on 100 miles per hour. “Why are you swerving back and forth?” I asked, half-holding my breath.

“There are lots of RPG’s [rocket propelled grenades] launched in this area,” he explained, “and I’m making us harder to hit.”
Our guards in the car behind us sped around us as we neared the first stoplight into town. It was red, but they kept going, swerving straight into the lanes for oncoming traffic. The general sensed our fear and calmly explained.

“The suicide bombers wait at intersections,” he said. “They look for VIPs and foreigners, so they can maximize their kills.” I suddenly felt very foreign. Going fast and running red lights suddenly didn’t seem so bad after all.

Over the next five days we met with most of Iraq’s major leaders: President Jalal Talabani; National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie; Minister of Planning Barham Saleh; the Ayatollah of Baghdad, Hussein al-Sadr; and finally with Prime Minister al-Jaafari himself.

We presented our thousands of petitions to the Prime Minister, and then I posed a question: “Sir, when Muslims come to America, we allow them freedom of their religion. We let them build mosques and share their message with anyone who wants to listen. Are you willing to guarantee Christians the same rights in Iraq?”

It was the first time in my life that I had confronted a head of state. He looked at me, and before he could answer I added a second question. “We sent our young men and women over here to die for the freedom of the Iraqi people. We believe that one of the most basic freedoms is freedom of religion. If an Iraqi citizen should decide to change to another religion and is persecuted or killed for it, is that not the most basic abuse of human rights possible?”

I moved straight to the point. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights2 has been signed by most of the nations of the earth, including Iraq in 1948. Would you be willing to include it in your new constitution?”

For more than an hour the prime minister avoided answering me, switching from one subject to another. By the time we left I thought that perhaps our visit had been futile. But two months later, when the new Iraqi constitution was published, all of our requests had been honored in Articles 39-41 and 43.

Click here to order!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Back with a New Book!

Most of the 40 to 50 friends who check this site are far more loyal than a prodigal blogger deserves. So if you wonder why I post so erratically, here's the scoop: I have never loved blogging, but only writing. So I blog when I'm not writing something somewhere else. And for the past six weeks I've been locked away in my tower—okay, the back bedroom—finishing a book that my friend, Terry Law, and I started more than two years ago.

I'm happy to say that "The Power of Praise and Worship," by Terry Law with Jim Gilbert will be released on July 16, 2008. I mean the book, of course, not the actual power of prai...well, you understand.

You would do your humble servant a great honor by asking your local Barnes and Borders-a-Million if they have a copy, so they'll have to look it up. I also wouldn't be surprised to see it on a rotating rack in Wal-Mart, right around where T.D. Jakes sits.

I'll post again, but for now, the cultures wars can wait a day or two.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Hope of Audacity

Barack Obama may not be a racist, but he definitely got his socialist worldview from someone somewhere, and crazy uncle Jeremiah Wright is the most likely candidate by a long shot. Second-tier commentators like Michelle Malkin and Ken Blackwell have hit the rusty red nail on its head, but what about the big mouths, like Hannity, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly? Why don't they harp on it day and night? Why doesn't Sean Hannity make it the incessant theme of a "Stop Obama Express"?

The Irreverend Mr. Wright preaches nothing more than a racially charged version of South American Liberation Theology. A heretical offshoot of Roman Catholicism that became the Sandinista hue and cry in 1970s Nicaragua, it is a syncretistic attempt to portray Jesus as the logical predecessor to Karl Marx. Wright merely adds cornbread to the chili sauce. (He's a North American Hugo Chavez, ergo, a shoo-in as Danny Glover's next pastor.)

Socialism has been called (quite accurately) the politics of guilt and pity, because of the way it hammers at the rich and seduces the poor, so its appeal to the American Left is obvious. They may have traded the irreparably ruined term "liberal" for the hilariously ironic "progressive," but today's Democrat Party, which wants to be like Western Europe when it grows up, is becoming more overtly socialist every day. That's why Jim Wallis is their chaplain, and also why so many of them wanted Hillary Clinton to be America's mommy-in-chief…until Barack came along.

Senator Obama made a huge splash as a freshman when he spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. In fact, from that day forward I believed (and warned my friends) that he would prove a far bigger worry than Mrs. Clinton, although I figured he would wait until 2012 or 2016.

A fatherless generation relies on its mother, but craves a father. That is Obama's appeal. While he has the big mommy heart every true socialist must have, he speaks with fatherly authority. And that makes him viscerally attractive to a generation that is all about feeling versus thinking. (Today's interviewers never ask guests what they think, but only what they "feel" about the subjects at hand.)

It is a vain hope that John McCain will be able to point any of this out, because Mr. McCain clearly does not examine life and politics on a philosophical basis. His own worldview is grounded in suffering, not philosophy; that explains why it runs so deep, yet is so inconsistent. Of course, calling him inconsistent would be impolite, so the press assigns him the cute label "maverick," which is their way of saying he occasionally dances some big-government step that they like.

Yes, Mr. Obama may be post-racial, but he certainly is not post-socialist. I just wish he had the audacity to come right and out and say it. Like his pastor.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Mixed Signals?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Jesus Left and Right

Note: Our choices in the 2008 presidential election are no longer between Right and Left, but between Left and Far Left. Hence, I write not in Democrat/Republican terms, but about Socialists and Capitalists. One wishes John McCain would stop trying to be both.

If Jesus had been a socialist, He would have:

Ended poverty
Fed every child on earth
Given every one a free education
Made sure they got well-paying jobs
Distributed the earth’s bounty equally
Ended all wars
Disarmed every nation
Made locks on doors redundant
Made thievery undesirable
Reformed all criminals
Rendered policemen unnecessary
Ditto the Bill of Rights
Locked arms with the Dalai Lama & John Lennon

But instead, Jesus was a capitalist:

He invested Himself in mankind
Lived with our limitations
Embraced our weaknesses
Suffered our injustices
He planted a seed, His own body,
In the ground
Only to reap a very small harvest
In the form of a few spiritual sons
Whom He immediately reinvested
Now He rules
Even where His enemies appear strong
His kingdom grows slowly
Almost imperceptibly at times

And of the increase of His government
And peace
There shall be no end!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Questioning the Existence of Mike Huckabee

Although not by design, the ampersand (@) in my blog’s name puts me at the very top of several blogrolls, the most prominent being the official website of Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Thus, I’ve been getting about a hundred hits a day from the Governor’s visitors ever since I joined his list a couple of months ago. That’s the primary reason I chose to leave my fundraising article showing for the past couple of weeks. I thought our progress here—I live in an ultra-liberal enclave in north Florida—might inspire others. But now it’s time to write.

On Super Tuesday evening I sat, like millions of other Americans, watching election returns and listening to pundits on Fox and CNN (mostly Fox). Weeks of predictions turned to hours of analysis, with some bewilderment and little repentance, of course. These guys and guy-ettes don’t get paid to apologize.

My predilection for watching Fox News Channel comes not so much because I believe they are fair and balanced, but because I think they are a bit less unfair and imbalanced than the competition. The fact that they’re watched more than all the other cable news channels combined says I’m not alone.

Lately, however, I’ve been utterly dismayed at Fox’s attempted hatchet job on Governor Huckabee. I expected as much from CNN, when they blatantly ignored both Huck and Ron Paul during the last debate a few evenings back. But Huckabee’s winning performance, all the more sterling in light of the pathetic jabs exchanged by John McCain and Mitt Romney, should have made headlines the next morning on any “fair and balanced” broadcast. Instead, Fox followed everyone else’s lead, ignoring the Governor's existence so steadfastly that their fear of him stood out all the more.

One particularly egregious moment came on Tuesday night, as the Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke, weighed in with anchor Brit Hume. One of the two—who can tell, since they’re both bespectacled, stuttering white pundits in striped ties—marginalized Huckabee’s core of evangelical Christians with an arrogant chuckle, calling us a “narrow sliver” of the Republican Party.

Since when is 30 percent (or more) of the party a sliver? My friend Cain Davis is right: the GOP treats evangelical voters the same way the Democrat Party treats black voters. They expect that we’re in their hip pocket, and they get upset when we don’t chew on the bone (in this case a Mitt Bone) they occasionally throw our way.

Why don’t the party wonks get it? A vote for Huckabee is a vote for Huckabee. Period.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Why I Want Your $100

Update: Now at $46,000. Let's keep going!  Since last Monday a few friends and I have raised more than $22,000 for Mike Huckabee's presidential bid. I have endlessly researched Mr. Huckabee's views, as well as the accusations other candidates have hurled at him, and am satisfied that he will be the best President our nation has had since the Reagan era.

If you're a regular reader, or have clicked over from the Huckabee website, and want to be part of our effort, please click here to contribute. When you get to step 5, just replace what's in the box with event code 80-MM.

If you're contributing by check, write "event code 80-MM" on the memo line, and make the check payable to Huckabee for President. Then mail your check to PO Box 2008, Little Rock AR 72203. More...

I believe this election is America's most important in at least a century. It is simply too critical to be left in the hands of uninformed voters who flip a coin before they flip the lever. In fact, given the opposition's extreme shift to the left, our culture now faces as great a threat from within as from without.

My home church is building a new place of worship. Yet right now America is an inch away from hate crimes legislation that would get my pastor thrown in jail for reading Bible verses about certain sexual perversions. What good would that new building be?

Florida is an inch away from laws that would take my daughter from me if I spanked her even lightly. Can I afford to sit back and do nothing?

If a Democrat wins in November, Nancy Pelosi and the gates of hell will join forces to ram through a glut of horrible legislation, and America will find itself in the grip of the same socialist culture rot that is killing Western Europe as we speak.

Concerning our primary choices:

I will not vote for Mitt Romney, because I believe he has spent so many years trying to achieve consensus that he lacks a moral center. For example, while he comes across as sincere (for once) on his reversal from pro-abortion to pro-life, I am dismayed that it took reaching his mid-50s before he settled such a basic moral question. That's 30 years too late.

I will not vote for John McCain for similar reasons (he seems more loyal to popular opinion than the Constitution). More important, I think he'd get walloped in debates with the Democrat nominee, especially Barack Obama, whose mantra of "change" is personified by this non-inspiring, even morose, senior citizen with 26 years in the federal government.

I will not vote for Fred Thompson, although I like him, because he does not show passion for the presidency as a calling. And his clever one-liners in the last debate are just that, one-liners, not substantive positions.

I will not vote for Rudy Giuliani, because he represents everything about the way our culture is decaying from within. Why gain protection from external enemies if you surrender to an internal, spiritual one? I'll burn my vote with Alan Keyes before voting for Rudy, even if it means one of the socialists on the other ticket wins. Better to burn fast and hopefully repent than to gradually freeze to death because you don't realize it's happening.

There have been objections and accusations against Huckabee, especially regarding what he did as Governor of Arkansas with taxes and the children of illegals. Here's my take on those two issues:

He faced a dilemma for those ten and a half years:

1. As Governor he had to submit a yearly budget.
2. Arkansas' Constitution requires a balanced budget.
3. Many, if not most, of the tax hikes were court mandated.
4. The legislature is 85 percent Democrat and 15 percent Republican.

He had no choice but to give in to compromises dictated by both the court and an overwhelmingly powerful legislature. All in all, he did an admirable job of restraining hikes that would have been much worse.

In reality, he is much more fiscally conservative than President Bush, and at least as much as Romney and McCain. He is much more conservative on taxes than McCain, and would like to do away with the IRS and totally overhaul the tax system, because it is irreparably broken.

Regarding the in-state college tuition for the children of illegals, here's the scoop: Arkansas law requires free public schooling for children of illegals, and Huckabee discovered that there were 30 such students about to graduate who had excelled, but were hitting an educational dead end. He says he thought this would be awful for both their lives and society, so he devised a merit scholarship program that would accommodate only these 30, as well as future high achievers facing a similar dead end. He says he didn't think in this instance it would be fair to punish children for the sins of their parents. I think I would have done the same thing. His current stance is that all illegals should be given a few weeks to take their families and leave the country, and get at the back of the line. Period.

Please join me in supporting Governor Huckabee's campaign. And let me know if you contribute with event code 80-MM. Please act now.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Baby Boomlet: Poor Ignorant America

NOTE: Expanded at 4:51 pm EST

I've been away from blogging for this past month (will let you know why after next Tuesday). But an Associated Press story here has me fuming.

The article concerns America's current "baby boomlet," which sees our nation with its highest birth rate since 1961. Here's the line that infuriated me:
Experts believe there is a mix of reasons: a decline in contraceptive use, a drop in access to abortion, poor education and poverty.
The piece (of what I won't say) goes on to say that, oh yeah, Americans also like having babies more than most other countries, but the arrogance of the "experts" is still present. These people obviously have not considered the view that children are a blessing from God, and lots of us like making them for that reason.

Wish I had time to comment further on other paragraphs in this awful swill, but here's the kicker: The boomlet (thanks largely to Hispanic immigrants) only brings our birthrate up to 2.1, which is replacement level. In other words, we've been slowly dying off, and somehow the experts must think that's a good thing.

Sadly, even within the church there are too many young couples who say, "we want two, a boy first" and don't think beyond that little non-multiplying number (remember that "be fruitful" command?). The reason for this, in my "expert" opinion, is that even Christian young people have been swallowed up by the cult of self esteem, and view having children as mere fulfillment of their own lives, rather than God's "great commission" to expand and establish His kingdom on earth.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Real Nightmare Before Christmas

As political gaffes go, Hillary Clinton's 30-second "Christmas" commercial has got to be her biggest one yet. Like other candidates from both parties, she was attempting to jump on the bandwagon started by Mike Huckabee, whose own half-minute was a simple and to-the-point "merry Christmas." What she actually accomplished, however, was to reveal her true faith: statism.

The ad shows Hillary labeling presents with titles like "universal health care" and "alternative energy," as though these items are what she wants to "give" to the American people for Christmas. "Where did I put universal pre-K" she wonders aloud, before finding the label in question.

Perhaps the most offensive aspect of the ad—among several—is the fact that Mrs. Clinton has the nerve to present government programs that our money would pay for as "gifts" she wants to give us. Moreover, such programs would be the equivalent of defective $10,000 iPods.

"I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approved this message," says the candidate at commercial's end. Here's hoping everyone notices.