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Not Quite Wright

Don't tar the black church. Courting the Portland vote. Bad news polar bears. Plus more.

5.19.08

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DEFENDING DONNIE McClurkin
Re: RiShawn Biddle's Do the Wright Thing:

While I agree with much of what is said in the Biddle article, especially that black politicians must broaden their bases to win state and national elections, there are some things that bother me in the article.

First, there seems to be an undercurrent of disdain for the black church which is expressed by linking "many" black churches and "old school" pastors to the lunacy that is Black Liberation theology. While I am sure that there are some churches and pastors who embrace it, I don't think that it is a prevalent as the article makes it seem. And I know of many "old school" pastors who came of age in the 1960's who have never embraced separatism in any way, nor have they condemned whites, nor have they damned their nation. Just because some "old school" ministers have does not mean that "many" have.

Also, I do not consider Donnie McClurkin to be a "gay bashing clergyman" simply because he cannot support the homosexual lifestyle. And if you were going to reference him, you could at least be more detailed in relating his struggles against his homosexual urges. He has told the story of his abuse as a child by a male family member, and he has told of his overcoming the homosexual urges and activities that he had engaged in. He has not condemned homosexuals in any way other than to state his belief that homosexual behavior is a sin before God, as he has also spoken out against adultery and fornication. So according to your logic, McClurkin must also be a "straight bashing clergyman" as well!

And while I agree that in order to win national elections a politician must have a broad base, in order to win at the local level a politician has to court those constituents that will likely be voting for him. If that is primarily a black constituency then the black church is going to remain a key component in building support. Blacks are a churchgoing group, for the most part, and it is important for any politician to be able to relate to those people in order to win.
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina

LIFT YOU UP
Re: Lawrence Henry's One Bad Year:

I want to thank you for sharing your story, I have been very moved by your words and your faith. It is rare to hear someone describe their suffering as honestly and without self-pity as you do. I can remember hearing a teaching on suffering at a Bible-study years ago when I was in my early 30s and being repelled by it. I was terrified, truth to be told. Little did I know how much suffering was ahead of me, and is a part of so many lives. Now, I find those passages in the Bible about suffering to be like old friends, my companions on the journey. I lift you up in prayer.
-- Colleen Fetz
Spokane, Washington

SO GOES CALIFORNIA
Re: W. James Antle III's California Dreamin':

So the California Supreme Court has -- for no apparent reason other than that they felt like it -- declared that the institution of marriage as it has been understood by virtually every society in human history is in violation of California's constitution.

Oh, and pigs shall fly.

The court's ruling betrays either a) a woeful lack of any understanding of the role of marriage in society, or b) rank judicial activism. They simply imposed their values on 30 million Californians, the large majority of whom thought we had settled this in 2000.

For me, Antle's money quote was: "(M)arriage exists not to give some kind of Good Housekeeping seal of approval to various romantic couplings but in recognition of the biological fact that sex between men and women often results in children." If it weren't for the presumption that the relationship between a man and woman will produce children, what compelling interest does the government have in insinuating itself in the private relationships of its citizens?

Using the court's logic as a guide, a reasonable person could then ask, "Why does the FAA deny airworthiness certification to pigs?" Answer: because that case isn't due before the California Supreme Court until October.
-- Pete Chase
San Diego, California

Voters in California unambiguously made their choice when they overwhelmingly approved Proposition 22 and supported the domestic partnership guidelines passed by their state legislature. Apparently, following the democratic process upon which our nation was founded is not enough to secure that the will of the majority be followed in this case. Four unaccountable jurists, in a brazen display of arrogance, freely and deliberately set aside the desire of the people because it did not conform to their enlightened rendering of the state's governing document. Is this what now passes for "government of the people, by the people, for the people" in California? Perhaps the language in the state constitution needs to be amended to read "Herewith, all decisions of the citizens of the state are final, except in those instances where the majority of the panel of imperial potentates comprising the Supreme Court does not agree."

Judicial overreach is nothing new, especially when the issue of same-sex marriage is at the fulcrum of the debate. Since no language exists in the federal and in few, if any, state constitution explicitly defining what constitutes a marriage relationship (prior to a few years ago, there was no need for such a clarification), judges feel emboldened to embark on fishing expeditions to find something in the text that they can pervert to justify their non-traditional inclinations. These excursions, which invariably match the goals and agenda of some strident and vocal minority they are sympathetic to, lead to court verdicts bereft of any justification other than the personal preference of a bare majority of the judicial panel. As I have noted in the past, Thomas Jefferson's warning has been validated here: "[T]o consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy....The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal."

The question now is: Do the people of California and their elected officials have the backbone to stand up to their renegade court and place the restoration of authority for making constitutional decisions where it belongs -- with the people? Californians have already made their voice heard once. Now, they must stare down these bullies in black robes in order to enforce the freedoms they mistakenly thought were guaranteed by the same document these rogue judges have manipulated for their own political purposes.
-- Rick Arand
Lee's Summit, Missouri

The difference between civil unions and gay marriage is simple: the first one gives gays de facto equality, insofar as government can confer it to anyone; the second capriciously overturns thousands of years of religious and conventional understanding to placate a particular constituency.

I have no problem with civil unions. But if they attempt to write a gay marriage ban into my state's constitution, I will support it -- along with any attempt to reign in the kind of judicial activism that
makes a mockery of the legislative process.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

Will the ruling by the court now rend civil unions nil and void? In other words, if couples living together expect partner benefits will they have to be married now? Maybe for employers this will be more cost-effective.
-- John Cropp

THE PORTLAND VOTE
Re: Peter Suderman's Wrong Side McCain:

I read the following line some time ago and I've never forgotten it, "Proponents of man-made global warming want you to believe that John shot Jane. When you ask for proof they will point out how terrible it is that Jane is dead."

Man-made global warming is on its way to becoming the excuse for a government grab based on the need for all to sacrifice to save our planet. The public doesn't understand the true science of climate change and their ignorance makes them ripe for the taking. Our government is moving to open up a spigot of taxed wealth to all who will worship at the eco alter and for those who will not, loss of wealth and freedom.

All true conservatives who value personal freedom and limited government should educate themselves on matters of global warming and fight this movement!
-- Paul Case
Auburn, Washington

One must not be too hard on McCain for his remarks in Portland. Let's not forget it was the "Oregon Plan" which inspired the 17th amendment thereby destroying federalism; that the spotted owl destroyed our logging industry (and raised the price of your house); that assisted suicide or more rightly euthanasia is public policy approved by ballot; -- its in the air. Oregonians cannot help themselves, they fall for every snake oil salesman who has a voice loud enough to drown out the sounds of our beautiful streams and rivers and a gloomy enough picture of the world to make even our dreariest days look bright.
-- Rose Storey

Senator McCain, his science and environmental advisers are scientifically challenged and obviously unaware or oblivious to the facts:

* That even as CO2 increases the global temperature has leveled off since 1998 and even cooled slightly in 2007.

* A number of U.S., English and Russian scientists using computer models are forecasting a cooling period for the next decade.

* 3000 thousand Argo monitors that have been recording and reporting the temperatures of the oceans since 2003 have found no evidence that the oceans are warming.

* The Arctic ice has returned and the Antarctic ice cap is colder and increasing.

* The polar bear population is increasing, according to Canadian authorities.

Conclusion -- There is no scientific evidence that CO2 causes the earth to warm.

In his support for Cap and Trade, which is a scam advocated by Enron (before its demise) and other energy trading companies and those who support stifling the American economy, the Senator is pandering to the Al Gore Global warming groupies and is giving energy traders, who already set the prices for crude oil and petroleum products and a bureaucratic international group almost total control of the economy of the United states. This is economic insanity.
-- E.Patrick Mosman

BOONE TO PICK
Re: Philip Klein's Energy's Prevailing Winds:

As for wind energy, I live in windmill country near Palm Springs, CA and can see when they work and mostly don't. I obtained 15 years of their production records which show that the 4,000+ windmills here and about 565 MW of "installed capacity" only generate 100+/- MW PER YEAR. Only 6% [6 MW] is generated at peak need time, 33% [33MW] mid peak and 61% [61 MW] at night, intermittently. Because of it's intermittent nature, the utilities have to have the same amount available, ready to go on line in a moments notice [otherwise there would be blackouts], that means they have to the spinning reserve going -- a duplication of power.

It's not about the energy, as you can see, exactly what will 100 MW do? Edison uses 13,000 MW per year. It's all about the subsidies and other goodies.
-- Alexandra Weit

I've researched the availability of oil in the U.S. and came up with some surprising facts. Two of the most depressed areas in the country right now are Western New York and the State of Michigan. Under Lake Erie, (Western New York) and under Lake Michigan are huge reserves of oil. I know it will take time for those reserves to be processed and refined (another problem) but if we don't start now, when should we start? We have oil off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts but prefer to listen to those who hug trees rather than those who know how to get this country back to energy self sufficiency. Why are politicians so willing to believe environmentalists operating on self serving and fallacious philosophies?
-- Judith Bron

T. Boone is "Picken" on the little guy. I know Mr. Pickens is a great philanthropist and I admire him for taking on the French Senator from Massachusetts.

I am taking exception to his power and water project. You didn't know there was a water project with this? Yes, he is planning on building a pipeline along the right of way he is proposing for the power lines from his wind farm. He wants to pump 200,000 acre feet (65,170,664,138 gallons) of water from an aquifer that is already being depleted to areas outside the region.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the wind farm project, if he can find a right of way that does not violate private property rights of land owners. I do have a major issue with him wanting to take over 65 billion gallons of water from a semi arid area that produces a large portion of the food we as a nation eat. The Ogallala Aquifer stretches from south of Lubbock, TX to South Dakota and the water should be left there for uses by the people in the region.

The area he is planning on marketing this water to is the metroplex (Dallas/Fort Worth). They have their own sources of water and don't need the water from the panhandle. I also have an issue with the seemingly underhanded way he went about creating the water district from which he will pump all this water from. I know he did it legally, but I question the ethics of the deal.

Also, wind energy is not reliable. A good percentage of the "green" energy that is used in the Austin area comes from the wind farms around Sweetwater. Something caused those turbines to go offline causing a stage two power alert here. They were prepared to start shutting off power to large industrial consumers. Wind is a decent supplemental energy source, but it cannot be relied on for electricity full time. The wind does quit blowing in West Texas occasionally.

I am a fourth generation West Texan. I currently live in Central Texas but my heart and roots are in West Texas and I am very concerned about what this water project will do to the people, community and economies of that region.
-- Jeff Stenberg
Round Rock, Texas

PORK IS TASTY
Re: Andrew Cline's Pigs Take Wing:

Does Andrew Cline really expect the Republicans in Congress to commit political suicide?

Like most, if not all, Democrats, the first priority of most, if not all, Republican members of Congress is to get re-elected until they are ready to retire from Congress and become a lobbyist or whatever. So, how does one get re-elected? Simple: bring home the bacon while simultaneously promising to lower taxes. As I've said countless times to anyone who will listen, the problem is not the members of Congress.
The problem is the constituents of the members of Congress who really want that bacon. Folks, the people in Alaska wanted the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" as much as the farmers in Iowa want the farm
subsidies and the people at Boeing want the tanker deal. And none want to pay taxes. No matter how much smoke they blow by way of justification, its all about getting pork. For all of the grandstanding
about pork, I'm willing to bet few, if any, salons go home and campaign on how they stoutly resisted bringing their constituents any pork. How many politicians have the courage to ask voters what they are willing to give up in order to have lower taxes without burdening our children and grandchildren with debt? As the famous Walt Kelly character Pogo said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
-- Mike Roush
North Carolina

Thank you, Mr. Cline, for revealing the heart of the Republican Party: cowardice. A few of the poltroons who now prance about as Republicans might just buy another term, maybe two, as a result of their craven support of the hideous, corrupt "farm" bill. A larger number of the pachyderm fools have sealed their fates and will deservedly be sent packing back to their districts. There, of course, they will find a soft landing, trading their former power to feather their own pillows on the public dime to doing similar work in the private sector. They disgust me. Those supporting this "legislation" have betrayed truth, conservatism, and the public trust. This version of the Republican Party deserves nothing short of utter renunciation.
-- Peter R. McGrath

ME-TOO McCAIN
Re: Larry Thornberry's Green Gasbag:

BRAVO for Larry Thornberry and to the Spectator for "Green Gasbag." I've been in the environmental business for 20 years, and have studied the science behind this issue as a layperson in the industry. I'd conservatively estimate that I've researched this issue more than 99.9% of all American's (other than those in scientific, industry, or government positions directly related to this issue).

This is the biggest political scam in American, and in fact global, history. I call it eco-piratism, this new, second generation environmental movement, which is nothing more than socialism wrapped in the unassailable blanket of "save the planet." I predict that unless America wakes up, this will be our economic undoing as a nation.
-- Alan Bressler

Regarding Larry Thornberry's article "Green Gasbag," I was not surprised at McCain's global warming speech. Realizing there is a huge push in this direction, months ago I started researching what the driving factor was. It's carbon as the new global currency.

There was a symposium in San Francisco earlier this year sponsored by the International Trading Emissions Association (IETA) where they were singing the glories of the newly formed Western Climate Initiative. There is a carbon trading industry frothing at the mouth waiting for the U.S. to implement a cap and trade. Among the power companies, traders, and consultants that belong to IETA, you'll find Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, and even the illustrious Bear Stearns. By the way, not just anyone can attend these conferences. Oh no, you have to be accepted. Otherwise, the masses would catch on.

They need a new financial vehicle to get their collective bankrupt butts out of the wringer. So the same people that have bubbled our economy to the brink need another fix. And the politicians have to help them.

Check some of the news in Google on carbon credits, offsets, exchanges, and auctions, and it will become clear.
-- Becky Boyer

THE REAL BAD NEWS BEARS
Re: Iain Murray's Unbearable Legislation:

Great article. I would only add, for those who may not realize it, that this "'threatened" status is not because there is a danger to the polar bear now, but that there may be within "45 years." With that wisdom in mind, I am going to keep this letter short because I am off to check into the hospital because I may have a heart attack or other life-threatening event "within the next 45 years!"
-- Rose Storey

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