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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota Joins Campaign Against Marriage Amendment

Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota Enter Coalition Against Marriage Amendment
(Minneapolis, MN) – Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota officially announced today, Thursday Oct 6, that it is joining Minnesotans United for All Families, the statewide, multi-partisan coalition working to defeat the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Chapter President Ken Smoron described Minnesotans United as a coalition that respects and aligns with conservative values with regards to the amendment. “As Republicans, we believe in limited government and individual liberty. We believe this amendment violates both principles and will work with others, who share this view, to defeat it, ” He continues, “Log Cabin maintains the position that a constitutional amendment represents government overreach and strips the freedom of the citizenry to petition their legislators to represent their evolving views regarding marriage.”
A Minnesotans United spokesperson said, "The campaign is excited to have the support of Log Cabin Republicans. This is yet another reminder that Minnesotans from across the political spectrum agree that government should not be deciding which Minnesotans have the opportunity to marry."
The decision of Log Cabin to join the coalition comes on the heels of Minnesotans United announcing that they have hired campaign manager Richard Carlbom to lead the campaign to victory. With his diverse political background, we are confident he will maintain a strong focused message needed to succeed.
Smoron said that Log Cabin members will be active in the campaign to defeat the amendment between now and November 2012. “We call on our fellow Republicans and Republican organizations who believe in liberty and equality to join us and Minnesotans United. Get involved. Donate. Volunteer. Show your support in whichever way you know how. Let your voices be heard.” Smoron said.
Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota joins other Republicans and Republican groups such as Rep. John Kriesel, Wheelock Whitney, RAMMA, and Susan Kimberly, to name a few, in the fight to defeat the amendment in 2012.
Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota promotes legal equality for every Minnesota citizen regardless of biological gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or social gender role. We believe that equality can best be achieved through the conservative ideals of a smaller constitutional government that protects the unalienable rights of individuals. See our website at: http://mnlogcabin.org/. LCR Minnesota is a chapter of the national Log Cabin Republicans. Visit www.mnunited.org for more information on MN United, Richard Carlbom, and how you can be a part of the effort.


Mailing Address:
Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota
115 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55401
US

Update: I talked with Ken Smoron briefly. He said that: "Our position is don't use the constitution to lock in social issues. These issues should be dealt with in the legislature. Our major focus this year is to defeat this amendment."

Monday, October 03, 2011

Prohibition on PBS

Watch here.

Watch the full episode. See more Ken Burns.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Personal Thoughts on Perceived Sexuality

Hi all-

I know it's a holiday weekend but I need to share some disappointment I have with members of the LGBT and ally community because it reached a tipping point this morning.

In the past week I've had several people, including some from the LGBT activist community, make comments mocking the perceived sexuality of Marcus Bachmann. I find this completely unacceptable. Think about the terrible example being set for kids who overhear such intimations about Marcus Bachmann.

We oppose this exact kind of mockery and bullying in the schools because kids commit suicide over these exact same jokes and perceptions.

If, by some chance, Marcus Bachmann is living a lie we should have compassion and understanding. We know what it's like to live each day hiding truth and fearing discovery by others.

I respect your right to free speech, but I must speak out when I see injustice even when they injustice is levied against those who oppose all that I am.

So please, in the future, don't spout any of this crap in my presence because I don't want to feel the need to exercise my freedom of association and walk away.

Have a happy Independence Day and keep fighting for liberty and justice for all.

-peace-
djd
Stonewall DFL Chair

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Theocrat Provisions in GOP Budget Bills Poison Negotiations

Doug Grow at MN Post writes:

In the end, Republicans and Dayton weren't only separated by fiscal issues. Republicans apparently were still loading bills with other goodies from their platform. In the final days of negotiations, Republicans were still insisting on legislation supporting voter ID and restrictions on abortion and stem cell research in their talks with Dayton.

After the talks had collapsed, Koch said those were matters that could have been "hammered out'' with just a bit more negotiating. Fiscal issues were the key divide, she said.

Remember that this was the same legislature whose chief "accomplishment" was the passage of the Bradlee Dean anti-gay marriage amendment.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York Passes Same Sex Marriage Bill

And the usual suspects at NOM are howling.

The GOP Will Pay a Grave Price
June 24, 2011 11:49 P.M.
By Maggie Gallagher
New York Republicans are responsible for passing gay marriage. The party will pay a grave price.

Here is what we know. In state after state, Democrats who control a chamber in support of their base have prevented votes favorable to marriage: Iowa, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.

When Democrats are in the minority, they’ve demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to their base — in Wisconsin and Indiana fleeing the state to prevent a vote.

N.Y, Republicans did not have to bring gay marriage up for a vote: What does it mean that they passed gay marriage in N.Y.?

Michael Long, the Conservative-party chairman, has vowed to withhold his endorsement. The National Organization for Marriage has committed $2 million to persuading Republicans: Voting for gay marriage has consequences.

Sad that the N.Y. GOP has caved. Consequences to be continued.

However others comment:

I can't blame Maggie Gallagher for blustering and issuing threats. She really needs to distract attention from what has been one of the most dismal records of a conservative organization in memory. When NOM was founded in 2007 to be a bulwark against homosexual "marriage," only a single state recognized SSM and, I believe 2 states recognized civil unions. The issue itself was wildly unpopular, running about 65-35 against. And no politician of any significance supported it.

And today, after 4 years of Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown's political genius? Six states comprising nearly 40 million people recognize SSM. A further 8 states recognize SSM in all but name, and a ninth is expected to join them soon. Maggie's 65-35 advantage has atrophied to somewhere between 55-45 and 51-49 and that's assuming - very optimistically - that the last 6 national polls showing majority support all overstate SSM support.

All of this in four years. Oh, and NOM's online administrator was so appalled by the way NOM has conducted itself that he defected, taking NOM's Facebook page with him, and now actively supports SSM.

This is not a record of success. Gallagher and Brown have been an abject failure and I find it hard to believe that the donors will pony up another $10 million for more of the same. We need a new organization or new leadership.

If NOM follows through on their threat, that means 2 million less being spent in Minnesota.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pioneer Press Puts Tim Pawlenty's Presidential Announcement in Obituary Section

Are they suggesting the TPAW presidential race is Dead on Arrival?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Log Cabin Republicans on HRC's Premature Endorsement of Barack Obama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: MELISSA KENNEDY
(610) 635.8427
Premature HRC Endorsement Undermines Fight for Equality

(Washington, DC) - Log Cabin Republicans firmly disagree with the Human Rights Campaign’s pre-emptive presidential endorsement before the GOP candidate has even been determined.

"By prostrating themselves before Barack Obama eighteen months before the 2012 election, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has effectively told the president that he doesn’t have to do anything more to earn gay and lesbian votes. Given his lackluster record in the fight for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ repeal, LGBT Americans were counting on HRC to hold the president’s feet to the fire on his other campaign promises, not to become a branch of his re-election campaign," said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. "This endorsement also sends the wrong message to potential Republican nominees. There are several possible candidates who deserve to be fairly judged on their own merits, and the dialogue on equality issues for the 2012 campaign has barely begun. This decision makes it clear that Joe Solmonese’s greatest priority is an invitation to drinks at a Democratic White House, not securing votes for ENDA, DOMA repeal, or tax equity. Such a pre-emptive endorsement is a mistake and will undermine equality efforts."
Date: 5/26/2011
Copyright 2010 Log Cabin Republicans
Blackbaud Sphere Grow v1.00
###
Log Cabin Republicans is the only Republican organization dedicated to representing the interests of gay and lesbian Americans and their allies. The 30-year old organization has state and local chapters nationwide, a full-time office in Washington, DC, a federal political action committee and state political action committees.

Bradlee Dean With Tom Prichard (MFC) and Bill Walsh (Rep Matt Dean's Aid)

Photo here.

Bishop Eddie Long Settles Case With Acusers

CNN has the story. Twitter is buzzing.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Party Activists Angry at John Kriesel for his Speech Against the Bradlee Dean Amendment

AAARF is tweeting:

@AAARF
Andy Aplikowski
I asked if @johnkriesel was going to leave #Mngop previous asked if others wld bail on him. Asking Qs not name calling @TwoPuttTommy

wgspoulos Bill Poulos
by AAARF@
@AAARF I dropped lit for @johnkriesel and help raise PAC contributions for him. Not sure I would do that again. #hf140 #mnleg
11 hours ago

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kersten makes an interesting point for once

My second recommendation: We know the precise constitutional amendment language the people will be voting on, so don't distort it.

Marriage has won in every state where the people have had an opportunity to vote on it. To date, citizens in 31 states have voted to enshrine one man-one woman marriage in their constitutions, including, most recently, the deep-blue states of California and Maine.

Yet very often, preelection polls in these states have predicted that marriage would lose. In California, an Oct. 30, 2008, poll showed the pro-gay marriage vote leading by 5 points. In Maine in 2009, the story was similar. Yet on Election Day, Californians voted 52 to 48 percent to preserve traditional marriage; in Maine the vote was 53 to 47 percent.

Why do polls consistently fail to predict voters' behavior? There are several reasons. First, many polls use misleading language. They ask people if they want to "ban" same-sex marriage instead of using the amendment language that voters will actually encounter in the polling booth. (In our state, that language is: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.")

"For years, the 'ban same-sex marriage' language in polls has produced about a 6 to 10 percentage point undercount on support for traditional marriage," says Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage. "If you want to get the least favorable result on marriage, this is the language you choose for your poll."

One reason for the undercount is that some people interpret the "ban" language as implying that same-sex marriage or homosexual relationships will somehow be criminalized or made illegal, according to Gallagher. The "ban" language also casts traditional marriage supporters in a negative light. It compels them to say they are against something, rather than allowing them to articulate what they are for.

Most important, people often hesitate to tell a pollster their true beliefs about marriage when traditional marriage supporters are routinely demonized as bigots and haters. (Katherine Kersten, Star Tribune, 5-21-2011)

This suggests to those who oppose this amendment ought to make sure to communicate, that this is a ban on same sex marriage (which is the effect of the amendment), rather than letting the proponents define the amendment and avoid the issue with "let the people vote" or saying this is about "traditional marriage". The other thing that will be important in this campaign is to get positive images of gay couples in advertising about this amendment.

In the rest of the column, Kersten whines about gay "bullies", all the while asking for civil discourse, stating that those supporting this amendment shouldn't be called "bigots". Kersten is great at name calling herself, but seems to have a problem taking it, when it is dished out back at her.

Good As You Exposes Minnesota Family Council for Their Anti-gay Animus

Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

House Votes to Put Bradlee Dean Amendment on Ballot - 70-62

From what I saw it was party lines, except two republicans - Kriesel and Kelly, voted no. Denise Dittrich and Patti Fritz (who have voted for this amendment in the past) voted no.

Update: Ditrich and Koenen (DFL) voted yes. Krisel, Kelly, Murray and Smith (R) voted no. Bobby Champion - DFL, North Minneapolis was excused, and did not vote.

Debate on Bradlee Dean Marriage Amendment Going on Right Now

Watch the debate live at the Uptake.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sprint Pulls Ads After Getting Transgender Community Complaints

From a Lloydletta reader tip. Sprint has been advertising against the T-Mobile/ATT merger. The image they used was a man with a cigar wearing a dress. More about this here. After getting criticized, Sprint has apologized for their insensitivity.

The offensive ad appeared in the Star Tribune.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Jason Lewis Compares Gays to Smokers, Drug Users and Loan Sharks in his Oped Supporting Gay Marriage Constitutional Ban

Jason Lewis makes some very poor arguments for the anti-gay marriage constitutional ban in his oped here:

Let's remember, the law by definition discriminates -- against smokers, drug users, loan sharks. But heretofore, as long as it was applied with equal vigor, it passed constitutional muster. No more, now the "law itself must be equal."

Commenters weigh in:

ollie3
May. 14, 11
9:00 PM
Of course, we could just turn the headline around and say "Oh, so when it's marriage, Jason Lewis likes big government". anyhow, i do get a kick out of a person who wants to narrowly define how people can live calling others "elitists"


5012
xenonimus
May. 14, 11
9:06 PM
I think you are wrong on this one Jason. As a libertarian, I'm not a fan of the government sticking it's nose into anyone's private affairs, but when it does the laws do indeed need to be equal. As you noted, the differing tax brackets are inherently unfair. We could instead have a tax code that treats everyone exactly the same by adopting a sales tax based system that excludes food and primary housing. Everyone would benefit from the exclusions, but the poor would benefit proportunately more because most of their money is spent on food and housing. There would be no issue of fairness, only a debate on the exact percentage. Similarly, the state should be agnostic with regard to marraige. In fact, the state should only provide for civil unions for all couples, with all the same benefits and responsibilities currently associated with marraige. The various churches could then conduct marraige ceremonies with whatever rituals and/or restrictions they want. That way everyone is treated the same under the law, and seperation of church and state are strictly maintained. I could provide many other examples that would demonstrate the benefit and the need for laws to be equal, but a little bit of critical thinking should lead most any reasonable person to the same conclusion.


278
aviendha
May. 14, 11
9:23 PM
The law discriminates against smokers, drug users and loan sharks because smoking, drugs and unregulated usury all cause severe harm to both the people who engage in those activities and the surrounding community. There are countless studies supposedly demonstrating that marriage is the ideal state for the nuclear family, and that gay marriage has no negative impact on society and that children who grow up in families with gay parents are just as well-adjusted as kids who grow up with straight parents. The ONLY argument for banning gay marriage is that a minority of the population thinks it's against their personal religious beliefs, which is clearly against the UNITED STATES Constitution (First Amendment) and thus should not be included in the Minnesota Constitution.


4112
aviendha
May. 14, 11
9:34 PM
By the way, a brief Google search brings forth a PDF listing all the Minnesota Constitutional amendments. You will see from this list that every one of these amendments is to preserve our infrastructure, our natural resources and make our laws more efficient. These are all good and necessary things that benefit all our citizens or reward those who have served. OF COURSE WE OBJECT to a Constitutional amendment that only hurts citizens and benefits no one! Here are the last 10 in reverse chronological order: 2006 - To dedicate the motor vehicle sales tax to highways and public transportation. 1998 - To abolish the office of state treasurer. 1998 - To preserve hunting and fishing heritage. 1998 - To extend use of lottery for environmental trust fund. 1996 - To provide for recall of elected state officials. 1996 - To authorize a bonus for Persian Gulf War veterans. 1994 - To permit off-track wagering on horse racing in a manner prescribed by law. 1990 - To dedicate 40% of the state lottery proceeds to the environment and natural resources trust fund until the year 2001. 1988 - To permit the legislature to authorize a lottery operated by the state. 1988 - To allow the use of juries of fewer than 12 members in civil and nonfelony cases.


316
iluvminn
May. 14, 11
10:14 PM
The attack from the left is on the IDENTITY of Marriage. If identity is declared illegal, there are no longer men:women, young:old, or dogs:cats. If the left wants legal standing for homosexual relationships, they could ask. Instead, they join a growing list of activists doing a great job tearing America down. Seems everybody has plenty of reasons to hate the nation that gave so much peace, prosperity, and freedom to a world population that doesn't seem to be suffering.


841
dbsdbs
May. 14, 11
10:18 PM
Lewis says the law discriminates against smokers, drug users and loan sharks -- but that discrimination is a result of choices those folks have made. They only have to make different choices to avoid "persecution." No law should place limits on people's rights and no law should limit people based on how God has created them.

Anti-Gay Minnesota Minnesota Family Council on the Amendment to Ban Gay Marriage

URGENT - Contact your State Representative and urge them to vote "yes" on marriage amendment now!

At long last the marriage amendment has passed the Senate 38-27 and is headed for the House Rules Committee. Contact your legislator and tell them to vote yes on the marriage amendment. Also, tell them that now is the time to pass the amendment and that any effort to postpone, delay or table the bill will be considered a vote against the amendment.

To email, Click here to contact your state legislator. Please contact them and urge them to vote yes on the amendment and that a vote to delay or postpone the bill will be considered a vote against the amendment. You can also include the following points:

This is about letting the people vote.
Tell them that any vote to postpone or table the bill will be considered a vote against the marriage amendment.
74 percent of Minnesotans want to vote on marriage, just like voters in 31 other states have done.
The people of Minnesota overwhelmingly believe the people of Minnesota should decide the marriage issue – not the courts or legislature.
The institution of marriage predates government and has served as the foundation of society for thousands of years. If marriage is to be redefined, it should only be society, speaking through the electorate who makes this decision.
Last year, several bills were introduced to legalize same-sex marriage in the Minnesota legislature. The only way to protect marriage is with a state constitutional amendment.
This issue has been pending for many years. Now is the perfect time to address preserving marriage between one man and one woman.
Make plans to come to the State Capitol and show your support for the marriage amendment on Monday or Tuesday.
Spread the word! CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook page with up-to-date information on the marriage amendment.

Note they still reference there own poll, while refusing to provide the questions for the poll to the public. Note they also have veiled threats against legislators who vote to table this motion.

Make a much needed donation. Fighting for the peoples right to vote on marriage costs money - and we need your financial support. Please make a generous donation now.

Monday, May 02, 2011

MN House Civil Law Committee Pushes 2011 Version of Bachmann Amendment Forward

This time the wording of the amendment is marriage alone, rather than "marriage or its legal equivalent" as it was during Bachmann's days in the legislature. It was also interesting that proponent legislators didn't say much during the hearing, while opponents did. Andy Birkey has coverage of the hearing at the Minnesota Independent.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Compare and Contrast Tim Pawlenty and Fred Phelps

In honor of the re=introduction of the Bachmann amendment in Minnesota, I repost the following:


Death Penalty for Homosexuals Sign carried at the 2004 Bachmann Amendment Rally

Demonstrators at the 2004 Bachmann Amendment Rally at the Minnesota Constitution Express themselves. Governor Tim Pawlenty and Speaker Steve Sviggum spoke at this Rally. They have yet to make a public statement condemning the anti-gay signs at the rally.

Welcome Pharyngula readers! PZ Myers agrees with me.

Eva makes a very good point: the Republican leadership in this state seems to share Fred Phelps' values. She has photos of a rally at the capitol in support of Michele Bachmann's anti-gay amendment, a rally that was approvingly attended by our Republican governor. Those signs aren't being carried by crazed Kansans, but by people of our state with good ol' "Minnesota values".


A Pharyngula commenter notes:

You know, he's just a few punctuation marks away from an accurate placard:

"Intolerance of,
Discrimination against,
Death penalty for,
homosexuals".

As it stands he's using such a mangle of double-negatives and unknowingly ironic statements that the universe must surely be about to implode.


These people aren't the brightest bulbs....

Another commenter notes:

Of course these disgusting protests at military funerals enrage me, but I can only imagine how much righteous indignation Gov. Pawlenty would cough up if Phelps and his minions were protesting at the funerals of peace activists instead.


Another adds:

As PZ hinted, this is really about taking a popular political stand in defense of the troops. Notice that no one had proposed this kind of legislation when Phelps and his group were protesting at the funerals of gay people.


Kelly Doran, a Democratic Candidate for Governor has a letter about this:

FUNERAL PROTEST

Time for action

When six individuals who believe God is killing American soldiers because they fight for a country that tolerates homosexuals protest at the funeral of a Minnesota soldier killed in Iraq, it is time to do something drastic:

  • Our state and nation should move away from the kind of politics that help to create an environment of fear and intolerance.
  • We should quickly pass a law that would restrain or eliminate the ability to protest at funerals.
KELLY DORAN, ST. PAUL; DFL CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR
Other Strib letter writers come to similar conclusions:
Enabling hate So Gov. Tim Pawlenty attended a funeral and "was appalled by the behavior and message and insensitivity of the protesters" (Star Tribune, Feb. 24), yet he sees no connection between his support for the constitutional amendment to ban marriage or civil unions for gay couples and the division and hatred it promotes -- such as the antigay picketers at the soldier's funeral last week in Anoka. Maybe if we called it a fee rather than a marriage or a union, he'd support it. TROY TEPLEY, MINNEAPOLIS Sharing a message Outside a military funeral, they chant "God hates America." We easily recognize the hate in the actions of this antigay group from a Kansas church. Jesus weeps. Those wanting the gay-marriage-ban amendment are more subtle in their approach. Though our law already prohibits gay marriage, they tear apart churches over this amendment issue, all the while claiming not to hate gays. Jesus weeps. NANCY LEWIS, BLAINE This is nothing new I applaud the state governments that are taking steps to outlaw or limit distasteful funeral protests. However, I would like to point out that the Westboro Baptist Church has been protesting funerals for more than a decade and has visited Minnesota before. Families that have lost a gay son or daughter have had to deal with this group's demeaning tactics while they said goodbye to their loved ones. Unfortunately, it took the picketing of military funerals before any legislative action was considered. Everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, should be afforded the right to pay their final respects to the people they love in peace. RYAN BOLIN, MINNEAPOLIS
I happen to disagree with the idea of legislation for this. While I oppose what Fred Phelps and his band of lunatics says, I think a better way to respond to him is to ignore him. Phelps wants bills passed so he can challenge them on first amendment grounds. Average Gay Joe over at Gay Patriot says it well.
This may not be a popular position to take, but this bill seems to be an unconstitutional abridgement of free speech. I will admit to having probably the most unChristian view of Phelps and his coterie of nut-jobs and I also despise their protests of military funerals. These wackos offend me greatly given that I am Catholic, gay, and former military, all of which they seem to have problems with (as if I cared). I sympathize and agree with Delegate Mary-Dulany James, who sponsored the bill, that "We shouldn't have to subject any family to this. I'm stunned anybody would do that when people are grieving." These people are heartless, cruel bastards and hardly paragons of Christian morality. Yet, I do not have to like these clowns in order to stand for protecting free speech nor is it the job of government to regulate what is acceptable speech at a protest (save in very extreme cases such as incitement to violence). The First Amendment gives no guarantees that one will like what another has to say, only that they have the right to say it regardless. The provision to prohibit "obstruct[ing] mourners from funerals or burials" should pass constitutional muster and is one I could support, but not the portion to "ban protests at funerals within an hour before they start". That will be tossed out in court as it should be. It pains me to say this, but Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of the 'Rev.' Fred Phelps, is right when she says, "They're going to give away rights that they claim these soldiers have died for? They're going to spit in their graves - for what? Some words?'. Of course when she also adds that this proposal is "spitting in the face of God", I have to laugh. She and her group have done this so many times with their anti-Christian behavior it makes one sick.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Guest Submission by DB Reader Nick Scott

Cutting the budget, raising health risks

With gas prices increasingly high and employment a major issue, many are up in arms these days. Things like high gas and low employment have driven the GOP to fire away at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and aiming to reduce their budget by a third from the 2010 slate. With a decrease of budget for an organization that’s main goal is to combat toxins and pollution, there’s certainly an increased risk of certain diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other health problems. Some of the EPA’s major projects are responsible for improving fuel economy, air quality, and drinking water, while cutting down on the health risks that are related.

The EPA’s work with air quality involves the AQMG or Air Quality Management Group. This is an organization that’s run by the EPA as a resource for state and local environment groups. Their main task is to make models and programs for these smaller groups to follow through and improve air quality with. A reduced budget could mean a decreased impact on air quality, as well as higher related health risks such as asthma and other respiratory issues.

Another of the EPA’s important issues is the Safe Water Drinking Act. Through this initiative, the EPA regulates standards for most local water systems. They also communicate with local government and water suppliers to enforce their set standards. Overseeing these systems is greatly important in the battle to reduce health problems related to contaminated water, such as Hodgkin’s disease and some forms of cancer.

The EPA does a lot of work to have asbestos material removed from older buildings all over the country. Previously used as a common building material, asbestos is now known as the cause to diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, while both can be life threatening. With mesothelioma life expectancy being so severe, asbestos has been banned from use by most everyone. The EPA continues the removal process in a number of areas affected by asbestos and helping to put people out of danger. A reduction in resources for the EPA could mean fewer initiatives like asbestos removal which aim to keep health risk at a minimum.

It’s fairly obvious that the EPA is responsible for a number of health involved projects such as reduced water contamination, asbestos removal and air quality systems. Disregarding health risks and lowering the budget and resources of the EPA could spell life threatening issues for some.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Photos of Wisconsin's Rallies

I went to the Madison, Wisconsin rallies. I took photos which are available on my flickr stream.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bryan Fischer's Racist Rant

And why did Tim Pawlenty recently appear on this guy's radio show?

Native Americans Morally Disqualified Themselves From the Land

By Bryan Fischer

In all the discussions about the European settlement of the New World, one feature has been conspicuously absent: the role that the superstition, savagery and sexual immorality of native Americans played in making them morally disqualified from sovereign control of American soil.

International legal scholars have always recognized that sovereign control of land is legitimately transferred in at least three ways: settlement, purchase, and conquest. Europeans have to this day a legitimate claim on American soil for all three of those reasons.

They established permanent settlements on the land, moving gradually from east to west, while Indian tribes remained relentlessly nomadic.

Much of the early territory in North American that came into possession of the Europeans came into their possession when the land was purchased from local tribes, Peter Minuit’s purchase of Manhattan being merely the first.

And the Europeans proved superior in battle, taking possession of contested lands through right of conquest. So in all respects, Europeans gained rightful and legal sovereign control of American soil.

But another factor has rarely been discussed, and that is the moral factor.

In the ancient tradition of the Hebrews, God made it clear to Abraham that the land of Canaan was promised to his descendants. But he told Abraham the transfer of land to his heirs could not happen for 400 years, for one simple reason: “[T]he iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16).

The Amorites, or Canaanite peoples, practiced one moral abomination after another, whether it was incest, adultery, sexual immorality, homosexuality, bestiality or child sacrifice, and God finally said “Enough!”

By the time he brought the nascent nation of Israel to the borders of the land flowing with milk and honey, he had already been patient with the native tribes for 400 years, waiting for them to come to the place of repentance for their socially and spiritually degrading practices.

His patience was not rewarded, and finally the day came when the sin had reached its full measure. The slop bucket was full, and it was time to empty it out. Israel under Joshua was God’s custodian to empty the bucket and start over.

The native American tribes at the time of the European settlement and founding of the United States were, virtually without exception, steeped in the basest forms of superstition, had been guilty of savagery in warfare for hundreds of years, and practiced the most debased forms of sexuality.

One of the complaints listed by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence was that King George “has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

The Lewis and Clark journals record the constant warfare between the nomadic Indian tribes on the frontier, and the implacable hostility of the Sioux Indians in particular.

The journals record the morally abhorrent practice of many native American chiefs, who offered their own wives to the Corps of Discovery for their twisted sexual pleasure. (Regrettably, many members of the Corps, Lewis and Clark excepted, took advantage of these offers and contracted numerous and debilitating sexually transmitted diseases as a result.)

The native American tribes ultimately resisted the appeal of Christian Europeans to leave behind their superstition and occult practices for the light of Christianity and civilization. They in the end resisted every attempt to “Christianize the Savages of the Wilderness,” to use George Washington’s phrase.

They rejected Washington’s direct counsel to the Delaware chiefs in 1779, “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ.”

Thomas Jefferson three times signed legislation appropriating federal tax dollars for the evangelizing of the Native American tribes. It all came to nought, as one tribe after another rejected the offer of spiritual light and advanced civilization.

Missionaries were murdered in cold blood, including Marcus Whitman, who was tomahawked to death in his own house in 1848 by the Cayuse and Umatilla Indians in what became the Oregon Territory.

God explained to the nation of Israel that because of the “abomination(s)” of the indigenous Canaanite tribes, the land had become unclean and “vomited out its inhabitants (Lev. 18:25).”

Is this to say the same holds true for native American tribes today? In many respects, the answer is of course no. But in some senses, the answer is yes. Many of the tribal reservations today remain mired in poverty and alcoholism because many native Americans continue to cling to the darkness of indigenous superstition instead of coming into the light of Christianity and assimilating into Christian culture.

The continued presence of native American superstition was on full display at the memorial service for the victims of the Tucson shooter, when the “invocation” (such as it was) was offered by a native American who sought inspiration from the “Seven Directions,” including “Father Sky” and “Mother Earth,” rather than the God of the Bible.

Sadly, this column will likely generate a firestorm of nuclear proportions among wingers on the left rather than the thoughtful reflection the thesis deserves.

Even worse, the reaction will likely obscure the sobering lesson for today. America in 2011 is as guilty of “abominations” as the native American tribes we replaced. We have the blood of 53 million babies on our hands through abortion. We have normalized sexual immorality, adultery, and homosexuality, all horrors in the eyes of God, and are witnessing a surge in incest, pedophilia and even bestiality in our midst.

God warned the ancient nation of Israel not to lapse into the abominable practices of the native peoples “lest the land vomit you out…as it vomited out the nation that was before you” (Lev. 18:28).

Time eventually ran out for the Canaanites, because they filled up the full measure of their iniquity. Time ran out for the native American tribes for the same reason.

The only question that matters today is this one: how much time does America have left to repent of its superstition, its savagery and its sexual immorality before it is too late, before we will have filled up our own slop bucket and will have morally disqualified ourselves from sovereign control of our own land?

Thomas Jefferson wrote at the time of the Founding, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” It is long past time for us once again to tremble for our country.

(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)

The Moral Liberal contributing editor, Bryan Fischer, is Director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at the American Family Association, and is the host of the daily ‘Focal Point’ radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association. ‘Focal Point’ airs live from 1-3 pm Central Time, and is also simulcast on the AFA Channel, which can be seen on the Sky Angel network. Follow Bryan on Twitter.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Will Republicans Push the Bachmann Amendment?

Politics in Minnesota reports:

The new legislative order is cause for optimism in the eyes of Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council, who has been lobbying unsuccessfully for years to get legislators to pass a ballot proposal that would change the constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“Until both bodies shifted, we weren’t going to have an opportunity to bring it up,” Prichard noted. “This has made it a possibility.”

In Minnesota and elsewhere, bills to amend state constitutions have been a key means for Republicans to generate voter turnout by rousing their base with amendments that address themes of limited government and social conservatism.

During the 2004 presidential election year, former Republican state Sen. Michele Bachmann led a heated campaign to get her gay marriage amendment on the ballot.

Even though Minnesota has a so-called Defense of Marriage Act in statute, Bachmann raised the specter of activist judges who might rule counter to the will of the people. Similar proposals were presented to voters in states like Ohio, where they boosted turnout among conservatives.

In Minnesota, Bachmann’s bill died in the DFL-controlled Senate.