Saturday, August 13

US citizen prefers being called Chicana? What happened to integration? reports on the growing birth rates in the Napa Valley area. While the story itself is nothing remarkable--growing Latino birth rates--it does bring up several good points I want to highlight.
Signs in both English and Spanish adorn the walls of most Napa businesses and public agencies where a decade ago such a sight would have been rare. They reflect the rapidly changing face of Napa, with its booming Latino population -- some in the country illegally. The growing population of Latinos is very evident at local hospitals, where Latinos now account for the majority of new births in Napa County.
It is evident that it's getting harder to ignore the problem. But throwing racism and ignorance into the mix, with lop-sided politics does not help solve the problem. The national survey being highlighted points out the problem with the high birth rates--integration. This is where I am concerned with groups like MECHA or La Raza who advocate a multiculturalism that is unhealthy both for America and for its immigrant population.
"Analysis of birth records shows that in 2002 almost one in four births in the United States was to an immigrant mother, legal and illegal, the highest level in American history," the national survey states. "The enormous number and proportion of children from immigrant families may overwhelm the assimilation process, making it difficult to integrate these new second-generation Americans."
It is a shame that this sort of story comes out of a medical or social service facility, where their job is to serve the community, not deal with or answer the problems of illegal immigration.

But I want to point out something interesting in the story and perhaps highlights the damage that MECHA and La Raza are having. Castañón, being interviewed for the story, points out that she identifies as a Chicana, not as an American, because she is of Mexican descent.

Perhaps the question that needs to be answered is what makes an American, American? Is it our birth or our heritage? Is it our citizenship? Or, could it be that more than anything it is our values, and love of freedom and democracy. Why would Castañón refuse to identify with being an American? While I am proud of my Cuban American heritage, and I celebrate it every chance I get, I am more proud of this "land of the free, home of the brave" that adopted my parents, gave them refuge and provided me with greater opportunities! I AM A PROUD AMERICAN, and lover of freedom! I celebrate my faith, my beliefs, and the freedom to speak out and share those. I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. Are you, Castañón?
Castañón, who prefers being called Chicana because she is of Mexican decent but was born a U.S. citizen...
Instead of just paying for the lack of enforcement, the government needs to start enforcing current laws. The problem is both at the Federal level, as well as at the State level. I am sure it is not politically correct, but ultimately it is the immigrants that suffer from our unwillingness to solve our illegal immigration problems. Why should a hospital ask for immigration status. That is not what they are there for. Medical facilities are meant to serve the communities. The government needs to take the burden of enforcing immigration laws. If our borders where secured, and if the current laws where being enforced, and if new PC laws where not enacted that just worsened the situation, then hospitals would not have to face this dilemma.
Hospital care for illegal immigrants may not cost hospitals as much as in past years. In May, hospitals and health care providers were told they can charge the federal government for such emergency care. However, Jan Emerson of the California Hospital Association said only $71 million will be available while California's hospitals spend an estimated $500 million a year caring for illegal immigrants.

"That's a guesstimate," she said. "In 2003, hospitals in California provided $5.1 billion in uncompensated care, and our best estimate is that about 10 percent related to undocumented immigrants. Clearly, $71 million will not make a dent in what we spend in California, but we view it as an important first step."

She said the federal government has a responsibility to help pay for care of immigrants, noting, "under federal law, hospitals are mandated to care for anybody who walks into our emergency rooms."

"We've been saying for a decade or more, help us pay," she said.

Why McCain cannot be our nominee in '08

Great discussion going on at on McCain and the 2008 elections. This is worth reading. Here is the original post by HeavyM.
The people who are suggesting McCain would be a viable candidate for the GOP always say things such as, "Well, he's conservative at his core, he just disagrees with some fringe issues of the party," or, "It was only CFR that turned us sour on him, let's give him a chance to redeem himself." Better yet, a lot of folks are looking at polls showing him beating Hillary and concluding we need a sure winner so the GOP can hold the White House.

Unfortunately, if we vote to make John McCain our nominee come '08, it will be one of the biggest mistakes we've made since the whole Bob Dole thing.
Aleks311 commented:
If McCain got the nomination the GOP will be in a position to reclaim the center, above all the old Perot base, which is the true prize of the American electorate. Not only will the GOP be able to win elections, but it will actually be able to govern too and the left will be marginalized indefinitely.
My position is that it's not the center that wins elections. I don't know why politicians, and individuals, keep thinking that moving to the center helps win elections. Look at the state by state results and you can see that strong conservatives did overall better than moderates, or liberals (with exceptions).

The fact is that this past election there was a strong grassroots movement on the right who came out and voted as a result of issues like gay marriage, abortion, and judicial tyrany. While I realize that many may not like the idea of the right being so influential, and many would demonize solid right wing ideals as fring or extreem, this is where elections are won.

Why do you all think individuals like Dr. Dobson, and other faith-based organizations are doing so well? It certainly is not because they are well funded by a few wacko right-wing nut cases. No: They have a strong, large, middle-of-America conservative constituency that is quickly mobilized and that votes according to their values.

If Republicans want to continue winning elections, they need to get solid originalist judges on the bench, control spending, and reduce government. Stay on the right. This country is conservative by a strong majority.

Friday, August 12

Is this Possible -- Diary got 20295 visits/day

According to the Truth Laid Bear web site, it looks like my diary got 20295 visits today. Wow!

20) - Daily Dish 32441 visits/day (17)
21) Captain's Quarters 28705 visits/day (4)
22) Hugh Hewitt 23942 visits/day (13)
23) Lifehacker 23413 visits/day (452)
24) MyDD :: Due Diligence of Politics, Election Forecast & the World Today 22816 visits/day (79)
25) 20295 visits/day (10496) [note the sub domain it takes you too]
26) 18416 visits/day (39)
27) Jesus' General 17611 visits/day (153)
28) Confirm Them 16936 visits/day (654)
29) The Volokh Conspiracy - - 16781 visits/day (10)
30) 16672 visits/day (46)

Oliver North stretching the facts -- I missed it.

A reader, Manuel Barrera, held me to task for not catching Oliver North's claim that one of the reasons the war on terror is not being won is because Chavez is giving refuge. He correctly points out:
...the war has been going in Colombia for over 40 years. Chavez has not been president that long.
I have been blogging for a little over a month, and I totally missed this one. Thank you Manuel. Manuel added to my clarification by saying:
The truth about what Chavez is doing, as he builds up his military machinery, and gives sanctuary to terrorists in the region, should be of concern to the US and Latin American countries in the region. Oliver North makes the connection in his commentary today. ... I don't care for chavez but I appreciate honesty.
Barrera is right and here is my correction. If the war on drugs has not been won over the last 40 years, it is because of the continued problems with corruption, violence, and who knows what sort of problems. Prior to Chavez coming into power, it would have nothing to do with Venezuela, though my understanding is that one of the various factions at war in Colombia is leftist communists. Allow me to clarify my previous post.

Here are Oliver North's comments:
One of the reasons Colombia has not won yet is because the narco-terrorists who are doling out the mayhem and murder in Colombia are finding refuge in Venezuela, with whom Colombia shares a 1,300 mile border. The near-dictatorial regime of Hugo Chavez in Caracas has granted the guerrillas a safe haven to launch attacks against Colombia. This, coupled with last month's launch of the new Chavez propaganda channel called Telesur, has caused growing concern in Bogota and other democratic capitals in the region.
While there are many dictator and regime I dislike, accuracy in reporting stories must be an integral part of my blogging, or I lose my credibility and your trust.

Nevertheless, setting aside the last 40 years, what I am reading from Oliver North's column is that there is evidence that Chavez is providing sanctuary to Colombian terrorists. This would just ad to Colombia's apparent and most recent impotence at weeding out the violence in their country. The fact remains: Chavez is currently making it harder for them, though I am sure he is not the only reason.

What Chavez has his hands in we won't know fully for some time. History will tell the story. Let us hope we all did our part to resist.

Gay Marriage Is Not About Equal Rights For Gays

Well said and right on the money. Let's call it for what it is. The left's attempts to equate gay rights issues to civil rights is laughable. Read what Hispanic Pundit had to say.

…it is special rights for gays.

Currently everybody already has the same rights with regard to marriage. You, homosexuals, heterosexuals, and me are all legally allowed to marry any person of the opposite sex of our choice who is distant from us in terms of kinship and who is not already married. Homosexuals have that very same right.

In other words, homosexuals as citizens of the United States have the same rights as I do. If a homosexual man wanted to marry a female who he is not related to, he could do so just as easily as I can. Homosexuals, as a group, are treated equally with regard to marriage as any other group.

Read the rest of it.

Colorado Democrats try to protect stunning 2004 victories?

Did I miss the press release? Maybe I was watching the wrong show. Rocky Mountain News reports Colorado Democrats running low on money. It goes on to blame sluggish donations and strict campaign finance laws--anything but low support among constituents.

The funny part is a one line reporter Lynn Bartells felt was important.
The fundraising scramble comes as Democrats try to protect stunning victories it scored last year, and as Republicans are vowing revenge in 2006.
Despite the claim of a stunning victory, facts in regards to the 2004 election show otherwise. While Salazar lied his way into the Senate race with broken campaign promises, and the Democrats did win three US House seats, the Republicans won four seats in the House, and oh, ya, the Presidential race. Bush won by 52% in Colorado to 47% to Kerry. While I cannot claim the Republicans had a stunning victory in CO in 2004, for Democrats to claim such is laughable.

Being conservative doesn’t mean being in a rural area or being in a small city

Interesting research on Conservatism in cities around the country. Is this sign that Democrats are losing ground even in their usual enclaves--the cities?
Colorado Springs’ placement on the list was enough to destroy a main theory of the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, the nonpartisan California group that conducted the survey.

“One of the trends that we thought we were finding was that conservative cities were smaller and liberal cities were bigger,” researcher Lindsay Hogan said. “Colorado Springs helps to prove that being conservative doesn’t mean being in a rural area or being in a small city.”

The Gazette reports on what one Republican activist accounts for the ranking. The fact that religious individuals and militaries are not voting Democrat says something about the Democrat values and platform. They will continues to lose support in this country.
Republican Party activist Don Gierard cited the large number of military personnel and religious organizations in the city. Other areas may have more of one of the groups or the other, but few can boast the concentrated combined percentage that occupy Colorado Springs, he said.
One thing I would like to have seen is the effect of the Latino vote in the state. CO Latino population continues to grow, and this will have an effect on election results. Latino evangelicals are mobilizing a lot more, providing conservatives candidates with a growing segment of constituents. Focus Action had a strong Spanish campaign to get the "Vote your Values" message to conservative Latino voters nationwide, including radio spots on over 200 stations nation wide, print ads, and voter guides distribution.

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Telesur: Just Another Weapon in Chavez War Arsenal

While Chavez may claim to have the popular support of the Venezuelan underclass, his true violent, terrorist nature is showing more and more. His warfaring nature grows with each passing day, and is becoming or already is a growing threat to the region. Aljazeera reported on July 28th about a possible alliance with the Venezuela-owned Telesur. Considering the death toll in London, and the victims of September 11, you must ask yourself what sort of company would want to form an alliance with Aljazeera? What purpose would this serve?

Interestingly enough, while the MSM was complaining about Bush taking to many vacations, the president was meeting with the President of Colombia and discussing the war on terror and the war on drugs.
The great enemy of Colombian democracy is terrorism. And our great partner in defeating terrorism has been the government and the people of the United States. Allow me to say here to the rest of the world that U.S. cooperation has been exemplary. It has gone beyond rhetoric, and it has, in fact, been cooperation that has been put in practice.

And all democratic countries need to know that, that cooperation should be realistic and put into practice. We have made progress, and we are winning, but we have not won yet.
The truth about what Chavez is doing, as he builds up his military machinery, and gives sanctuary to terrorists in the region, should be of concern to the US and Latin American countries in the region. Oliver North makes the connection in his commentary today.
One of the reasons Colombia has not won yet is because the narco-terrorists who are doling out the mayhem and murder in Colombia are finding refuge in Venezuela, with whom Colombia shares a 1,300 mile border. The near-dictatorial regime of Hugo Chavez in Caracas has granted the guerrillas a safe haven to launch attacks against Colombia. This, coupled with last month's launch of the new Chavez propaganda channel called Telesur, has caused growing concern in Bogota and other democratic capitals in the region. Telesur, it should be noted, is a "joint project" of the socialist governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Uruguay and Argentina.

When Chavez is not competing with Al Gore in launching new television networks, he is busy increasing his military troop strength and making unprecedented purchases of arms. On his shopping list: MI-24 attack helicopters, 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles from Russia, coastal gun boats and a fleet of troop transport aircrafts. The purchases have caused great concern in both Bogota and Washington and may have emboldened Chavez to step up his rhetorical assault on the U.S.
Here is what director Aharonian told reporters:
Telesur is more than an alternative news source, aiming to “recover, or bring back, the Word that has been held hostage for over three decades by dictators, corrupt politicians and holders of large amounts of capital . . . that worked together to ransack our nations, and tried to convince us that through intrigue and globalization, everything would improve.”
I can understand their frustration with corrupt politicians and illegal business practices. I can understand their frustration with dictators who enslave them. But, unfortunately, they are trading one evil for another.

My mother used to say, "Dime con quien handas, y te dire quien eres" which translates to, "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are." Look at who Chaves has for friends. It says a lot about who he is.

Multiculturalism: Lessons for Latinos from London

The misunderstanding of what is multiculturalism is becoming a growing problem, both economically and culturally. Allow me to explain.

I started thinking about this when I read the quote by Tony Blair on the problems they have faced with homeland terrorism in London. He says:
You can have your own religion and your own culture but still feel integrated into the mainstream of a community....when you've got people who may be here sometimes 20 years or more and who still don't speak English, that worries me because there's a separateness there that may be unhealthy.
Here is the important lesson for Latinos. We need to stay faithful to our value and faith, but it is imperative that all immigrants seek to integrate into the mainstream community. I do believe this must start with learning the language. Immigrant children should, first and foremost, learn English. Blair's quote is worth repeating again:
...when you've got people who may be here sometimes 20 years or more and who still don't speak English, that worries me because there's a separateness there that may be unhealthy.
I am not saying to abandon our native language, but to make sure to learn English. It's unhealthy to the culture at large, and it is economically impoverishing, both to the society at large and to immigrants specifically, to live for extended periods of time in America without learning English.

States should be concerned with helping immigrant children, and their parents, transition as quickly as possible into the new language, into our civic duties, and into our cultural mores. Immigrants who become naturalized should learn our political processes and learn to use them in petitioning their governing officers, addressing grievances and seeking economic prosperity.

So, while it is clear and evident that Latinos that do not adjust and integrate do not become terrorists (its a different story altogether), some of the basic problems of integration are still relevant and important. Perhaps, better integration would reduce gang involvement among Latino kids, or perhaps it would result in an improved overall economic condition for Latinos. I think better integration would make a huge difference in reducing racist attitudes towards Latinos among those that are simply ignorant.

Most importantly, I think better integration with Latinos would do wonders in allowing this country, Anglos, black, Asians and others, to learn more and better understand the Latino culture. If others in this nation do not understand the Latino immigration problem, and the Latino culture, it is only because Latino's in general have done a bad job connecting and communicating with the American culture.

Why should a nation accept immigrants, if these immigrants do not care enough to learn the language and mores? From what I have experienced, having learned the language and culture, integration makes life a lot easier.

Thursday, August 11

The Exorcism of Emily Rose by Scott Derrickson

Seems like there is a new scary movie coming out that was directed by an alumni out of Biola University. A co-worker comments:
Looks pretty intense. Along the level of the Exorcist. It will be interesting to see how much the Christian aspect will be played out in the story. If the studio will allow it. Hope it does well for him so he can get more work.
Here is from the words of the director.
What do I hope to accomplish? I want to scare the audience, since that's what they're paying for -- to be scared. Beyond that, I hope to enrich them with quality filmmaking, and provoke them to think about the reasonability of the metaphysical. I want everyone who sees this film to come away asking themselves what they believe about demons, the devil, and God. It's not about providing answers, but asking the right questions.
I'm not one for scary movies, but this makes it compelling. The dangers of the spiritual world are real, and often ignored. I hope the movie does what Derrickson hopes.

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Embryonic Stem Cells vs. Adult Stem Cells -- The Truth

A reader over at Fresh Tasty Ideas comments on my post about adult stem cells. Mathew writes,
At Latino Issue, Josue is discussing one of my favorite issues. We both ask how those who advocate abortion and/or embryonic experiments don't want to define when life starts. If we don't know, why not take the "high road?" He makes a good argument that if we take a utilitarian approach to this issue, instead of an ethical one, we are going down a road that history does not look kindly upon.
And here is the readers response to the post.

I find it hard to take that guy serious when he makes false comments like adult stem cells are the same as embryonic ones. There is no debate on this issue, they are NOT the same. Simple fact of biology.

As for the high road I say you are not even attempting to go on the road. Again I ask the question that law makers must make: Given the embryo is equivalent to life who should get more rights the mother or fetus? His "high road" approach doesn't address this and may just abandon the mother.

By Arzhang, at 8:10 AM
To be fair, I want to make sure I am clear about what I was saying. I did not say they are the same, but that Adult stem cells have all the possible uses that are claimed to be the reason why we must do embryonic stem cell research. Make sure to look up the most recent research. It has been proven that Adult stem cells have the same polypotency.
The fact is that Adult stem cells have the same ability to change into every kind of cell, tissue, and organ in the body. Yes, you read that correctly: one of the main reasons embryonic stem cells are flaunted as the gold standard in research is their ability to change into every cell type. Yet, adult stem cells have the same capacity.
This is all I meant to say in my statement. Forgive me for miss communicating. So, the question remains. If, as some claim, we do not know when life starts, then why risk it. All the benefits are available in Adult Stem Cell research without the need of taking the ethical immoral path of killing a human being.

Gay Marriage -- Let's get the facts right

In a diary entry on, NotSoBlueStater posses the question of, "Why Do Conservatives Oppose Gay Marriage?" and presents an argument that just does not hold up.
Seems to me that if a conservative acknowledges the right to be homosexual at all, he or she should actually support gay marriage. After all, which do we want do we want to encourage: Stable, long-term relationships, or bed hopping?
The problem with the argument presented, among others, is that the idea of a monogamous gay relationship is a myth. If you are to understand the conservative point of view on this issue, religious or not, you have to give an honest look at the research, and get the facts.

The truth is that even in long term so-called monogamous relationship among gay couples, research has shown there is always an arrangement for a little bed hopping. True monogamy in gay relationships are a myth!

There are countless of other factors that everyone seems to ignore when it comes to the effects of legalized gay marriage on society. For example, consider what would happen to our Social Security system. Dr. Dobson writes some compelling arguments on this.
With millions of new eligible dependents, what will happen to the Social Security system that is already facing bankruptcy? If it does collapse, what will that mean for elderly people who must rely totally on that meager support? Who is thinking through these draconian possibilities as we careen toward "a brave new world"?
The biggest one for me is the fact that children would suffer in huge ways! Again, looking at the research, the evidence is clear that ultimately children are meant to be nurtured and raised in a two parent, heterosexual environment. There are components of normal, healthy human development that can only be found in a healthy heterosexual relationship. This is why divorce is such a huge poison to our society. Let's be clear. In terms of the harm it does to society, a divorce has very similar destructive effects on our society as homosexuality.
The implications for children in a world of decaying families are profound. Because homosexuals are rarely monogamous, often having as many as three hundred or more partners in a lifetime -- some studies say it is typically more than one thousand -- children in those polyamorous situations are caught in a perpetual coming and going. It is devastating to kids, who by their nature are enormously conservative creatures. They like things to stay just the way they are, and they hate change. Some have been known to eat the same brand of peanut butter throughout childhood.

More than ten thousand studies have concluded that kids do best when they are raised by loving and committed mothers and fathers. They are less likely to be on illegal drugs, less likely to be retained in a grade, less likely to drop out of school, less likely to commit suicide, less likely to be in poverty, less likely to become juvenile delinquents, and for the girls, less likely to become teen mothers. They are healthier both emotionally and physically, even thirty years later, than those not so blessed by traditional parents.

Social scientists have been surprisingly consistent in warning about the impact of fractured families. If present trends continue, the majority of children will have several "moms" and "dads," perhaps six or eight "grandparents," and dozens of half-siblings. It will be a world where little boys and girls are shuffled from pillar to post in an ever-changing pattern of living arrangements; where huge numbers of them will be raised in foster-care homes or living on the street, as millions do in countries all over the world today. Imagine an environment where nothing is stable and where people think primarily about themselves and their own self-preservation. And have you considered what will happen when homosexuals with children become divorced? Instead of two moms and two dads, they will have to contend with four moms or four dads. How would you like to be a new husband a generation later who instantly had four or six or eight mother-in-laws.
There is simply no way one can justify homosexual marriage as a healthy thing for society. Let's be clear--individuals who practice the homosexual lifestyle have the same rights every citizen enjoys. I do not believe they should be ridiculed, abused, or rejected because of their choices. But I cannot get around the fact that the lifestyle is harmful.

The challenge is to care and love the individual, as every human being is called to do with others, but to reject the choices and actions that are harmful to that same individual and others. What friend would sanction or bless lifestyle choices that would ultimately cause hurt, pain or even death

Put the pressure on Cuba like the Pope did to Poland

Great comments by Patd95 on a logical, human-rights driven approach to dealing with Castro. The fact is that if more governments where putting on the pressure on Castro, perhaps there would be something different in Cuba today.
Castro can't die soon enough. Cuba can't be opened soon enough. I have posted many pieces about Castro on my blog and you would have thought I was the Anti-Christ by the hate mail I got. This is one of the last closed societies left on the planet. The 'Beard' needs to die so the world can see what a monster he is, how oppressed the Cubans have been, and how his death will once and for all drive a stake into the heart of agrarian communism.

I would have made this a policy of mine if elected President. If the West and the US are truly driven by protecting human rights, then put the pressure on Cuba like the Pope did to Poland. Mention dissidents imprisoned like Reagan did in the 80s. Give them hope. Give them a voice. The time is now to turn up the heat on Cuba. Castro can't live forever. Let's accelerate his departure from this planet!

Wednesday, August 10

Utilitarianism vs. Ethics; When does life begin?

One of my Latino Issues readers made a statement that shows the growing influence of utilitarian approach to medical experimentation. It reveals a weakening of the moral ethics of scientists that would be willing to risk killing a human for the sake of a "potential" cure or benefit.
In religious terms, life begins when a spirit is placed into a body. When does that happen? I think that is happens sometime during pregnancy. Perhaps when the fetus is viable to survive on it's own. I think that the spirit comes into the body and at least takes a few "test drives" in the womb. I am anti-abortion, but I do not see an abortion as exactly equivalent to murder. I respect life and hold it sacred, I also see terrible suffering, pain and death of those who need treatment.

As for life, we cannot get so hung up on the technicalities that we take the approach of the some sects in India where they only walk down the street if they can have a broom in front of them so as to never steps on and kill an insect! I wonder how they would handle the knowledge of the legions of little bugs that live on our skin, not to mention the bacteria and viruses which we swallow daily that are alive too. Indeed we eat living things - plants, all the time. A grain of wheat is alive - it has the potential to grow a living plant.

My bottom line is that this is not an easy answer. I want life to be respected: both the living and the unborn. I don't consider the embryonic stem cells to be unborn life the same as a fetus developing in a womb.
Milt | 08.08.05 - 10:38 am | #
If I was to use this argument that we do not really know when the Spirit enters the "body" during the pregnancy, I would argue the ethical thing to do would be to not risk killing a human being, and simply take the high road. Killing embryos cannot possibly be ethical, even for those that claim ignorance of when life starts.

To do so is to be utilitarian. History has shown the horrors that unbridled utilitarian approach to medicine and science and the treatment of human beings brings about. I believe this is what Dr. James Dobson was referring to when he made his Nazi comments, and it is a valid comment.

As far as Milt's reference to India's religious practices, everyone with any sort of intellect understands the difference, in regards to ethics, between human life, and plant or insect life. Well, almost everyone--perhaps some of the extreme, nutty animal-right groups don't.

Milt, I too have seen the suffering of those that are sick or disabled. The truth is that embryonic stem cell research offers no hope for treatment. All the research has demonstrated this for a fact. I am sorry you have been deceived by the media and the left, who are simply eager to show the administration in a negative light and are willing to omit the facts for the sake of their cause.

I have said this before--do your research, and know the facts before you come argue about the so-called potential cures that embryonic stem cell research could provide. The point here is that even if embryonic stem cell research did offer any sort of hope for cures, it would still be unethical and immoral to pursue that avenue. Specially when we consider that adult stem cells can provide all the functionality and requirements for these kinds of treatments.

It just doesn't make sense.

You can read the full discussion here. You can also read the original post that started the conversation: Denver Post calls Dr. James Dobson "lunatic fringe"

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Tuesday, August 9

Red Cross Employee's checking out my blog

Looking over my log reports, I noticed quite a few visitors from within Red Cross headquarters. I am curious to know what they think? If you are a Red Cross employee, would you be willing to email me your thoughts on the whole story of the employee who got fired for refusing to celebrate "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month"?

I will protect your identity.

Carlos Alberto Montaner: Balancing democracy, market economy

Great piece by Carlos Alberto Montaner that sheds light on why it is that such a large percent of the populations in Latin American nations think that capitalist democracies do not work.

Montaner says, "
If half of the population of Latin America is miserable and lives in mud and tin shacks, in societies organized as self-described capitalist democracies, it is natural that a good many people think that the model doesn't work. That is why neither populism nor antidemocratic attitudes fade away." As he clearly points out, it is not what you call it that matters, but what is being applied and practiced. It isthe application of democracy and government that makes a real difference in the lives of individuals.
How do we ensure that the happy combination of market and democracy will eventually produce in Latin America the same fruit that it has produced in countries such as Holland, Denmark, Ireland and even Spain and Portugal?

The answer may lie in the Chilean experience, or the Spanish experience after Franco's death. It all begins with forging a clear consensus within the largest segment of the sensible ruling class, to the right and left of the political span.

That consensus involves an agreement based on the preservation of the four basic pillars of the system, just as they exist in the 20 most successful nations on the planet:

· Respect for the rule of law (which implies the end of impunity).

· Democracy as a method to make collective decisions (that cannot violate individual rights).

· Private property and market (instead of statism and planning).

· An opening to the exterior, for the purpose of interrelating decisively with the First World in the fields of finance, technology and trade.

Chavez and Castro to form federation of the two countries?

This is not to far fetched. It would cause havock in the region, and potentially propel us to war in our own continent. Here is this from CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER:

In Cuba, the armed forces are the brains, heart and stomach of the system, while society is merely a cheap and docile labor force at the service of the army's whims and interests. Of course, the system wraps itself in a patriotic-nationalist discourse, filled with a strong ethnic content that guarantees the defense of sovereignty and a feverish dedication to the redemption of the humble. But that's just a big alibi; just palaver.

I suppose many Venezuelan officers liked what they saw in Cuba. They have found the formula to climb to the top of the social pyramid and to feel like the heroes and protagonists of a glorious historic feat. Chávez will lead them up the path of privileges, wealth and social supremacy.

Once the system consolidates itself, they will form the dominant caste, they will live in splendor -- better than the rest of the Venezuelans -- and will be feared and respected, just like those high-ranking Cuban officers. Nobody will be permitted to criticize them publicly, and whoever does so in private may be accused of contempt and tried before tribunals at which other tough officers will impart sentence. They will be immune and impune.

That's what 21st-century socialism is all about: a mixture of strong-man dictatorship, collectivism and militarization of the structures of power. Little by little, the authoritarian pincers will squeeze Venezuelan society until they vanquish the media, crush labor unions, control educational centers, and silence the church and other forces of civilian society.

Chávez is still in no hurry to seize the big companies, because he takes and manages the huge revenues from oil as he sees fit, but everything will come in due course.

Where will this Cuban-Venezuelan axis lead? Given the constructivist fits afflicting Chávez -- who ceaselessly reorganizes the world according to his creative spasms -- it is probable that at some moment he will try to launch a federation of the two countries. But that would be only a first step in the direction of the multinational Boliviarian offspring that has grown, like a tumor, under his beret.


The federation can then clone merrily, incorporating other little friends of the delusional revolutionary line: Evo Morales in Bolivia, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, and some adventurer who pops up in Ecuador or Peru and reaches the presidency thanks to voters who have been brainwashed by populism and ignorance.

The matter is quite simple: They already have the model and the discourse. Once in power, the military men will build the prisons and let's all sail toward the sea of happiness, as Chávez once defined the Cuban experience. That's 21st-century socialism.

Library protest, Ignorance, turns into battle over illegal immigration is reporting what amounts to a display of ignorance by anti-immigration individuals.
DENVER - A battle over alleged pornographic, Spanish-language material inside the Denver Public Library morphed Monday into a battle over illegal immigration outside the Denver Public Library.

A protest and counter-protest drew dozens of people to the Central Branch of the library to rally for their respective political causes.

The items which precipitated the debate are called fotonovellas, which according to Library Director Rick Ashton, "are a popular Spanish publication format in Latin America and the United States. They are usually fiction books which use both pictures (photos or drawings) and text to tell their stories. The most typical content is similar to that of the Mexican soap operas that you have seen on Spanish-language television."
So, allow me to be clear. I do believe Libraries should protect innocent children and prevent pornographic material, of any language, from being available in publicly funded libraries. But, this is not about that. Evidently, individuals that ignore the nature of our immigrant population turned a good battle--the battle against pornography in Libraries--into a stupid battle by brining in the issue of immigration.

I am against illegal immigration, but we have millions of law-abiding, hard working residents and citizens that enjoy or prefer to read in Spanish--I am one of those on occasion. This is what was reported:
Corbin and others said to use taxpayer money on material that is obviously offensive is revolting itself. They believe the Denver Public Library's decision to spend more resources to attract Spanish-speaking customers amounts to a misplacing of taxpayer dollars.

"They do not have a right to access our taxpayer-funded library or to dictate its policy and tell us through the library what books are going to be in."

The debate though quickly turned to immigration policy, specifically the role Spanish-language material should play in the Library.

"You always hear they want to come and work," said Robert Copley, Jr. of Sovereignty Colorado. "Well, they also want to come and kill and destroy wages and just demean our quality of life."
Why that quote? who is Robert Copley, Jr.? What does he have to do with the story? Did they go out and find the most demeaning and ignorant resident of Sovereignty Colorado, just to aggravate the issue?

This is one reason why the Bush Administration needs to do more about the immigration problem, before the media starts exploiting the ignorant to further open our boarders to illegal, and put our nation in danger. The media should also be more responsible in how it reports these stories.

Memo to Sen. Frist -- Listen to the Doctors

From WorldMagBlog:
The 17,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA) is reiterating its support for adult-stem-cell research, which has so far led to treatments for more than 65 ailments, including -- drum roll for heart specialists such as the majority leader -- heart disease: Brazil reportedly is about to begin an adult-stem-cell experiment involving 1,200 heart patients. With billions already spent on embryonic stem cell research that destroys human embryos, the number of successful treatments so far resulting from that approach: Zero.
From the CMA web site, Executive Director David Stevens comments:
"Many injustices and horrors have been foisted on individuals and society in the name of science," noted CMA Executive Director David Stevens, M.D., "but to duplicate a living human being for the sole purpose of exploitative research and destruction is singularly morally unconscionable. To do so when morally acceptable research--the use of adult stem cells--is already producing tremendous therapies for patients--is unthinkable.

"We know from animal cloning that the technical problems and dangers associated with cloning will never produce therapies that these researchers speculate could be applied to human beings. Meanwhile, adult stem cells are generating real therapies for real patients. Compassion for the suffering mandates that we need to put our limited resources where success is not only much more likely but already happening."
As I have said before, Frist lost himself the Republican nomination. I like what this World reader says--not because of his support for embryonic stem cell research, but because of his flip-flopping.

The doctor-senator will not be elected President, probably won't even get the Republican nod, not because he now favors stem-cell research, but becuse he has Kerry-itis, flip-flop decease and he now is seen as someone who'd change a deeply held political position (which deeply injures the faith-committment he had prior to throwing his hat into the Oval Office race) for votes.

Once the electorate sees that, its over. He started out on principle, got elected into the Senate on Principles (and his faith committment) and now is rationalizing a change for the sake of voites. He is done before he has even started. Integrity over doctrine is more important than anything else to the greater American electorate. I now doubt he could get re-elected a senator--which is funny that he isn't running again, anyway.

Posted by: chip m anderson at August 9, 2005 09:51 AM

12 Year Old Hero Saves Mom in Wal Mart Parking Lot

What every parent hopes their kid is like. Great feel-good story. Got to read these more often to remember why we work so hard at preserving the values and freedoms we enjoy--for our children.
(CBS4) LAFAYETTE, Colo. Many people are calling a 12-year-old boy a hero after he jumped behind the wheel of his mother's car Saturday evening.

Ryan Sullivan's mother started to have a seizure while driving in a Lafayette Wal-Mart parking lot when she stepped on the gas and rocketed to 65 miles per hour.

"I unbuckled my seatbelt and literally jumped onto my mom's leg and I pulled it off the accelerator," Sullivan said.

He eventually hit a curb, blew out a tire, jammed on the breaks and stopped the car after skidding 80 feet. He narrowly missed at least two other cars and the front door of the store.

Amazingly, he did all of this with one hand. Earlier in the day, Sullivan sprained his wrist while skateboarding.

"Had he not been able to bring that car under control, we may have had multiple fatalities," said Paul Schultz, Lafayette Police chief.

Grammy winner Marc Cohn shot in head, Suspected Carjacker Arrested

"Grammy winner Marc Cohn shot in head." After a performance last night, Cohn's van was the subject of a botched carjacking and Cohn was shot flush in the temple. "Frankly, I can't tell you how he survived," the Denver police spokesman said. I think we can file this story under "today's good news." is reporting an arrest of the suspected shooter
DENVER - On Sunday evening Magnolia Hotel employees called police when they say 26-year-old Joseph Yacteen tried to pay for his room with a stolen credit card. Just more than 24 hours later he was in custody suspected of shooting a Grammy winning performer.

Yacteen is suspected of shooting Marc Cohn, who had a hit with the song "Walking in Memphis" and won the Grammy for best new artist in 1992. Cohn was shot in the temple late Sunday when a man fired into his band's van in a parking garage.
Watch the video.

Bolivian Congress shelved proposed legislation seeking to legalize abortion and advance the gay agenda

Sr. Hormando Vaca Díez, President of the Bolivian Congress, pulled out from a proposed legislation seeking to legalize abortion and advance the gay agenda in Bolivia. Bolivian evangelicals from many denominations where united in opposing this initiative, resulting in a massive backlash. “The [sexual reproductive rights bill] is not slated for debate,” said Díez in Los Tiempos (periodical in Cochabamba, Bolivia), “because I received with much concern a series of phone calls. So, those who were worried about it can be at peace.”

Los Tiempos reports that the legislation is opposed, among many others, by the Catholic church, Evangelical Association of Bolivia, and the Parents Assocation and other activist groups.

Here is the Los Tiempos article in Spanish.
Difieren ley sobre derechos sexuales

La Paz | Anf.- El Congreso Nacional repuso en la agenda ayer el proyecto de Ley de Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, aunque su tratamiento fue diferido hasta la próxima legislatura para evitar una polémica política con tintes electorales.

El proyecto de ley fue rechazado por la Iglesia Católica, Asociación de Evangélicos de Bolivia, asociaciones de padres de familia y grupos de actividades, debido a que legaliza el aborto y establece una política de Estado de aceptación a grupos de homosexuales.

Si bien en la mañana, Vaca Diez manifestó que no estaba en agenda, por la tarde el Congreso escuchó el veto constitucional que el ex presidente Carlos Mesa había puesto a la esa ley que fue devuelta para una nueva discusión en el Legislativo.

El presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos, Juan Gabriel Bautista, denunció que el MAS a través de la senadora Alicia Muñoz y el diputado Germán Yucra -presidente de la Comisión de Política Social- se prestó a una maniobra legislativa para facilitar la aprobación de la ley.

Bautista explicó que su comisión debió elevar información, pero un extraño acuerdo encomendó a Política Social, manejada por el MAS, a presentar su informe que recomendaba su aprobación, aparentemente, a presión del Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidades.

Hormando Vaca Díez informó ayer en la mañana, con una fuerte carga de ironía, que el Congreso Nacional decidió no abordar el tratamiento de ley de la "sexualidad placentera", en alusión a la de Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, por la fuerte oposición que hay a la reconsideración de ese documento.

"La ley de la sexualidad placentera ya no está agendada, porque he recibido con mucha preocupación una serie de llamadas telefónicas", indicó el presidente del Congreso.

"Así, los que están preocupados por ella, se pueden quedar tranquilos" agregó.
Read the google computer generated transalation here. Here is the link to the original article in Spanish.

Monday, August 8

Telesur is further evidence of America's Growing Influence

While St. Petersburg Times' David Adams is saying that Telesur is a sign of America's weakening influence in Latin America, I will say the opposite. Democracy is spreading, and the values of hard work, and free market economy is spreading.

This is not to say that socialist and the left are not gaining ground--they are. We can see in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay the perfect example. But, this is not to say that socialism is all that more welcome, just that these countries continue to have trouble developing long-lasting democracies, and many times make the mistake of electing the wrong people. The masses are easily deceived, hence the blessings of our federal system, and the electoral college.

Either way, it's a sign of the times. In an era of waning respect for U.S. foreign policy, Telesur is further evidence of the United States' dwindling influence in the region.

"Telesur is an initiative against cultural imperialism," declared the station's president, Andres Izarra, during its inauguration. "We launch Telesur with a clear goal to break this communication regime."

Telesur can say all the want, but the evidence is clear as far as its bias. No one is going to believe that the government of Venezuela (51 percent), Argentina (20 percent), Cuba (19 percent) and Uruguay (10 percent) will allow TeleSur to report on the death of protestors in Venezuela, or the beating of dissidents in Cuba, or the corruption in Argentina and Uruguay.

Socialist are simply getting smarter by using media to win the public relations battle. Don't take my words for it. Listen to their own former air force officer.
William Izarra, the former air force officer who is now deputy foreign minister, and who is a top pro-Chavez ideologue recently gave a speech in which he described Telesur as one of the ways in which Venezuela is defending itself in the undeclared war he said the United States is waging against it.

In this kind of war "the media are more important than (military) divisions," said Izarra Sr., who knows the United States well and studied at Harvard.

, ,

Wal Mart of yester-years is no longer the same of today?

I got some comments on my previous post on Wal Mart I thought where worth bringing up to the main page. Dave may have a point in differentiating between the values and vision of the Wal Mart of Sam Walton, and the Wal Mart of today. It may well be that the Wal Mart of yesteryears is no longer the same of today. But these, I believe, are business arguments. That is legitimate. If Wal Mart goes out of business because it does not know how to keep its customers, then great. Free markets would be at work, and that would be best for the consumer.

Forgive my overly enthusiastic comments on WalMart, the dream. What I meant was to find competitive, low-cost ways of doing what we keep asking the government to do for us. Education, welfare, and a huge list of other activities would be better served through private and community effort at a more local level. This is where perhaps I argue there is something to be learned about Wal Marts ability to make things affordable to the lower income segments.

Quality, security, and other concerns are valied and need consideration. Here are Dave's comments. Make sure to check out his blog at
Having formerly worked for a relatively obscure smokeless tobacco company that did a huge business with Wal-Mart, let me lend you a certain perspective to why people hate them so much.

When Sam Walton was alive, Wal-Mart had a different philosophy and a level of class about it's operatons. Sure, they are cutthroat in their locations and pricing. That's why so many consumers love them and small business loathe them. However, you could take anything back to Wal-Mart. Used, broken, unwanted-didn't matter. Their prices were great too.

They were tough on suppliers like my company, but when one company represents 35% of your total gross sales nationally, you relent and do what they want.

Then Sam passed.

Pricing changed from "always lowest" to "low prices everyday". Returns became complicated and not as easy to accomplish. Vendor relations went from sell anything (as long as it sells) to a system of "pay to be preferred" for shelf space.

Literally your competition can now buy you off the retail space. Or pay to bury you on the bottom shelf. Regardless of your actual performance numbers pre- contract shelf and post-contract shelf space. A seemingly incongrous evil but one that exists none the less.

I actually shook Sam Walton's hand when they opened a new Wal-Mart here in Nashville. The legacy isn't what he would have wanted.

It was inconcievable to our Grandparents that our generation wouldn't ever shop at Woolworths. Wal-Mart will eventually go the way of Woolworth's because they too have lost their heart. It may take 80 years, but I predict someday our grandkids won't know what Wal-Mart is.

American Red Cross Fires Employee for Refusal to Celebrate "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month"

A relative brought this story to my attention on the recent case of the Red Cross employee that was fired for his refusal to celebrate the Gay lifestyle.

It is sad to see a life-saving organization getting distracted by politics and political correctness, instead of focusing on what they should be--saving lives. It is worst when political correctness trumps over individual's rights of expression and free exercise of religion. We can only hope the courts correct this error by the Red Cross, and communicate clearly to American corporations that free speech is still a constitutional right in this country.

When a non-profit starts veering away from its intended mission, in this case saving lives, then one should reconsider how your donations are being used. I for one do not want my hard earned dollars being spent on sensitivity training and "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month" celebrations.

Here is the email I received. It expresses well what I am sure are many people's sentiments.
I don't think the Red Cross needs my donations to fund their discriminatory practices and I hope you consider the same decision. Businesses can decide their policies and I can decide to patronize them or not, likewise there are too many very good Christian charities that desperately need funds for me to give my money to an organization that does not respect the moral values of their staff and most of their donors.

While my donations to the Red Cross are relatively a pittance and usually only during some natural disaster, the total donations of all those holding strong moral values may be a significant force on the Red Cross, particularly since it is those with strong moral and religious values that tend to be the most generous donors. I will opt for the Salvation Army and the local blood bank.

Robert Knight correctly points out the bias in regards to the treatment of Christians and respecting an individual's beliefs and value system. If it is a Christian's, then there is no tolerance.
“We are seeing an alarming double standard emerging in corporations and nonprofits,” said Concerned Women for America's Culture & Family Institute director Robert Knight. “If you are not in a specially protected group, you don't get the same consideration. More and more, Christians are being harshly disciplined or even fired for actions that would bring a slap on the wrist to a homosexual activist or feminist.”

Michael Hartman concluded to CWFA, “If the public knew what was going on within the Red Cross I have no doubt their unselfish support would screech to a halt.”

This case joins the AllState case where an employee was fired for his beliefs. That case is concerning because the employee of Allstate Insurance was fired for writing comments in a non work related magazine that were critical of gay `marriage'.

Do employees lose their rights to free speech when they are hired by a company? Do I lose my rights to speak on an issue simply because an executive in my company believes differently? You can read about that here.

Sunday, August 7

Wal Mart, the left, Kelos, small businesses and the underclass

Yesterday I posted some thoughts on Wal Mart, and asked the question why is it that so many hate Wal Mart? A great discussion has ensued I want to share here.

Darleen, from Darleen's Place, said
I have no problem with Wal-mart's success when they do things right. But I oppose their getting local municipalities to use eminent domain so Wal-mart can keep their land acquisition costs below free market value. And Kelo will only exacerbate this exploitive tactic.
I agree with that. This is where perhaps power corrupts. I do not advocate using eminent domain to remove residents to make space for a Wal Mart, but I am not opposed to a county or city council providing incentives to bring a Wal Mart into their community. Wal Mart makes a huge difference in a local economy. Not just in terms of tax revenue, but in making residents life better through affordable products. This is a thin line Wal Mart has to walk, and be very careful.

Vladimir says,
On the other hand, I've heard anecdotes about how hard the company squeezes its suppliers. It exploits its dominance as a customer to wholesalers who are not in a position to argue with the giant. Many a small manufacturer has borrowed to expand plant capacity in order to accommodate WalMart's huge demand; sensing the supplier's weakness, WalMart then renegotiates the deal, and the supplier loses all his profit margin.
I responded to the issue of business that go out of business on my diary. Here is part of what I wrote:
No one is forcing any business to do business with Wal Mart. Some companies taken an "all-or-nothing" gamble to try to gain Wal Mart's business, because they know its lucrative. When the gamble does not pay off, its not Wal Mart's fault. They do play hard ball. This is good business. Why doesn't any other company get criticized for this?

No one is being forced to do business with Wal Mart, but they do because it helps them, makes them more profitable, and at the end, allows to the business to have a more compelling value proposition. Don't blame Wal Mart for those that fail.
Make sure to read the rest of my post here.

The left knows the power of words, even if they use them so loosely. Another comment I liked came from PB Almeida who wrote:
But at any rate, Wal-Mart's more visible PR efforts of late have been, one suspects, prompted by the fiery criticism its success has attracted. In other words, I don't think Wal-Mart itself originally claimed to be anything more than a very well-managed company that makes lots of money -- I don't think it ever claimed to be the savior of the working poor. But one can hardly blame them for their muscular PR efforts of late, considering the organized campaign against Wal-Mart and its capacity to do the firm harm.

I agree PB Almeida --- Wal Mart has been forced to wage a PR campaign in its own defense, and then gets criticized. There is no winning for them.

The truth is that there are those (even Americans) that hate America, and all that it stands for. To them, Wal Mart is a symbol of all that is possible in America and all that is to hate about what is possible with hard work. I see it as being about a family (Waltons) that worked hard, and made a business wildly successful. I can only hope to have that sort of success in my work.