Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stimulus package nonsense

From Walter Williams over at WND this morning.....

Some Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls are preaching economic doom and gloom, disappearing middle class and failing health care industry. What's their solution? The short answer is give them more control over our lives. Baltimore's political satirist, the late H.L. Mencken, explained this strategy, saying, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

The imaginary hobgoblin this time is the threat of an oncoming recession, even though it is by no means clear that the U.S. economy is in a recession. To head off a recession, politicians, including President Bush, are calling for a stimulus package.

Before we talk about stimulus packages, let's get one question out of the way: Is there any evidence for the existence of a Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy? Most grown-ups would probably answer no and ask, "Williams, this is a serious issue. Why are you talking about silly things like Santas and Tooth Fairies?" The reason is quite simple. Let's look at it.

The White House proposal is to give individuals and households tax rebates ranging from $800 to $1,600, respectively. Congressional Democrats, in addition to tax rebates, want a stimulus package that targets the poor through increases in food stamps and greater unemployment benefits. The details of different stimulus packages aren't as important as where the money is coming from. You can bet the rent money it won't come from Santa or the Tooth Fairy.
(Column continues below)

There are three ways government can get the money for a stimulus package. It can tax, borrow or inflate the currency by printing money. If government taxes to hand out money, one person is stimulated at the expense of another who pays the tax, who is unstimulated and has less money to spend. If government borrows the money, it's the same story. This time the unstimulated person is the lender who has less money to spend. If government prints money, creditors, and then everyone else, are unstimulated. As my colleague Russell Roberts said in a NPR broadcast, "It's like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of a pool and dumping it into the shallow end. Funny thing – the water in the shallow end doesn't get any deeper."

If we are headed into a recession, these proposed stimulus packages will make little difference. Previous experiences have shown that 1) it takes a long time to enact tax law, making it too late to prevent a recession, and 2) many people save a large portion of any tax rebate.

A far more important measure Congress can take toward a healthy economy is to insure that the 2003 tax cuts don't expire in 2010 as scheduled. If not, there are 15 separate taxes scheduled to rise in 2010, costing Americans $200 billion a year in increased taxes. Adding to the economic effects of that tax increase are the disincentive effects of the measures that Americans will take between now and then in anticipation of those tax increases. According to economists Tracy Foertsch and Ralph Rector, making the 2003 tax cuts permanent will annually add $76 billion to the GDP, create 709,000 jobs and add $200 billion to personal income.

The call for stimulus packages represents the triumph of political arrogance over common sense. The U.S. is a massive $14 trillion economy. The size of proposed stimulus packages range from $150 to $200 billion, which is about 1 to 2 percent of our GDP. Economy-wide, that's a drop in the bucket likely to have little or no effect. Congress ought to focus on measures that create greater long-term productive incentives such as reducing corporate taxes, estate taxes and personal income taxes, as well as economic deregulation.

I know that I will personally put the money in the bank. Why? Because it was my taxed money to begin with. Money that went to pay for all kinds of silly and stupid things; the biggest of which is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood receives over $300 million of taxpayer dollars a year to perform abortions. P.P. says it doesn't use the taxpayer money to actually do abortions, they say they use it for public information purposes. Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt on that whopper, the $300 million we give them sure does free up P.P. monies that do go to funding abortion on demand at any term of pregnancy.

Yeah, I'll be putting that money in the bank so that maybe next year I'll be able to afford to do this.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The SLED Test

The SLED Test – Four Top Arguments
by Steve Wagner

We all agree that toddlers are valuable human beings with rights. Yet the unborn differ from toddlers in only four ways, and the first letters of each of these differences spell an easy-to-remember acronym, SLED: Size-Level of Development-Environment-Degree of Dependency.

Here's how to use the SLED test with a technique I like to call "trotting out the toddler."

· The unborn is smaller than the toddler, but toddlers are smaller than adults.
· The unborn is less developed than the toddler, but toddlers are less developed than elementary school kids.
· The unborn is in a different location than the toddler, but toddlers can change environments without changing their value.
· Finally, the unborn is more dependent than a toddler, but toddlers are more dependent than adolescents (even if some parents would deny this). And many other born people depend on medications, caregivers, and spacesuits to sustain their lives. They are more dependent than those who don't need these things.

So, there are only four ways the unborn differ from toddlers, but many toddlers and other born humans differ in exactly the same ways. So how can we justify killing the unborn on these grounds, when we protect born humans who have the same deficiencies?

The SLED Test Meets the Real World Anyone who has talked with an abortion advocate knows that the dynamics of real conversation many times make it impossible to give a four-step argument like the SLED Test. Sometimes people have a short attention span or want to focus on just one of these points. Even still, items from the SLED test come up frequently in any conversation on abortion. All you have to do is keep watch for them, then respond with a response from the SLED Test.

Here are the SLED concerns I hear repeated most frequently on campus, followed by my most favored response(s). Learn these and you'll be in good shape!

Size: "How Can Something So Small Be a Person? It Looks Like a Clump of Cells."

"Why should we believe that microscopic human beings aren't persons? Are you saying those who are larger have the right to determine whether those who are smaller deserve to exist? Doesn't that sound like discrimination? Would that be called sizism? And to disqualify someone because their body is undeveloped sounds mean. How is your statement different from saying to a disabled person that he doesn't count because of how his body looks and works? Should we call that developmentism, discrimination against someone for the body she's developed? Think of a two-year-old: Isn't she smaller than the rest of us? But she has equal value to adults in spite of her small stature. If she's valuable, size is irrelevant to value, right? Isn't the embryo valuable too?"

Level of Development: "The Unborn Can't Think or Feel Pain or Know That It Exists."

"Well, in the earliest stages at least, I agree. There's a debate about when we develop these abilities, but the embryo can't do any of these things. But is our value really based on our abilities? After all, even adults differ in how well they think or how sensitive they are to pain or how self-aware they are. How can you value all of these people the same even though some of them can't think well? And some children, like Gabby Gingras,can't feel pain at all. Are they disqualified? Some severely disabled people aren't self-aware. People in a reversible coma aren't thinking, feeling pain, and they definitely aren't aware of themselves. In order to be consistent, aren't you going to have to disqualify all of these people with disabilities too? And if not, shouldn't we value the unborn whose also a human being?"

Environment: "It's Not in the World Yet. It Doesn't Even Breathe Air."

"What do you mean by saying the unborn isn't 'in the world'? Surely the unborn is in the world — it's simply hidden from view. It doesn't interact with you and I like a toddler does, but isn't he interacting with his mother in exactly the way someone at his stage of development should? It's interesting that you claim the unborn is not breathing air. Do you mean that he isn't even undergoing oxygen exchange, or respiration? All of us did that from the moment we began to exist as zygotes. But you must think breathing air into the lungs is critical for value. What is it about the unborn's method of respiration or the location of her respiration that diminishes her value? Let me ask you a question. How long can you breathe under water? For about one swallow of water, right? Well, did you know that the unborn is not only surrounded by amniotic fluid, she is breathing it in and out of her lungs? If you can't survive in her world, why do you expect her to survive in yours? Isn't that a bit arbitrary and unfair?"

Degree of Dependency: "The Unborn Is Totally Dependent on Only One Person."

"So let me see if I understand your concern. Are you saying that since the unborn can't survive without the mother, that it's dependent in a different way than a toddler, who can survive with any caretaker? So, being dependent on only one person is what disqualifies the unborn? Imagine that you are the last person to leave a swimming pool area and you know everyone else has left and are miles away. As you're closing the gate, you hear a splash in the pool as an infant falls into the pool. Evidently, her parents forgot her and left her at the pool. How are you going to respond? You would save that infant, right? But why? She's dependent on only one person – You. Isn't it the case that human beings are valuable even if they're dependent on only one person? If we don't disqualify the infant that's totally dependent on only one person, why disqualify the unborn? Dependency is irrelevant to value…and doesn't dependency usually signal that we have an obligation to the dependent person, not a right to terminate them?"


Steve Wagner is a bio-ethics speaker for Stand to Reason and the author of a new book called "Common Ground Without Compromise - 25 Questions to Create Dialogue on Abortion." In addition to making the pro-life case to those who disagree, Steve specializes in training college students to engage their campuses in large-scale discussion on abortion. Steve has trained students at more than fifteen universities, including the college students at the Focus on the Family Institute. For help with talking for more than 10 seconds about your pro-life convictions, visit Stand to Reason at

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Day of Silence

A day of silence for all the babies who never got their chance at Life.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

35 Years Later..........

It's really hard to believe that 35 years have passed since the United States Supreme Court ruled that women could take the life of their child at any stage of pregnancy. I really can't think of a greater sin a country could commit than to take the lives of innocent unborn children.

Does anyone remember a few key words in the Declaration of Independence?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

There are certain truths that are self-evident. First, that all men are created equal ('created', hmm...would that not mean that there is a Creator?). Second, men are endowed by their Creator (there's that Word again) with certain unalienable rights. Those rights include, but are not limited to, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Life, it's the first right. It's really hard to be guaranteed that right as you're being ripped limb from limb from your living quarters.

Here are some abortion facts courtesy of Rotten America:

Number of abortions per year: 1.37 Million (1996)Number of abortions per day: Approximately 3,700

Who's having abortions (age)? 52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.

Who's having abortions (race)? While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.

Who's having abortions (marital status)? 64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.

Who's having abortions (religion)? Women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4% of all abortions in the U.S.; Catholic women account for 31.3%, Jewish women account for 1.3%, and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7% of all abortions. 18% of all abortions are performed on women who identify themselves as "Born-again/Evangelical".

Who's having abortions (income)? Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions; Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%; Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%; Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.

Why women have abortions 1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

At what gestational ages are abortions performed: 52% of all abortions occur before the 9th week of pregnancy, 25% happen between the 9th & 10th week, 12% happen between the 11th and 12th week, 6% happen between the 13th & 15th week, 4% happen between the 16th & 20th week, and 1% of all abortions (16,450/yr.) happen after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Likelihood of abortion: An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

Abortion coverage: 48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA , MD, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.

In the last 35 years we have lost 47,267,500 babies to abortion.

God have mercy on all of us for allowing this. Yes, allowing it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Eat while you fast!!

I recently was sent a link to a program called the Daniel Fast. It seems this fad is sweeping 'Christians' off their feet in allowing them to pretty much eat almost anything while 'fasting'.

Within the very first paragraph on this site subtle wording pretty much sums up this money making scheme parading as a fast: While the Daniel Fast is a partial fast, (rather than total abstention from all food) it still provides many of the attributes of denying the self and seeking God. You have got to be kidding. To say that this program is a partial fast is really stretching the truth and to claim that it still provides many of the attributes of denying the self and seeking God is totally bunk. But what do you expect in today's atmosphere of 'Having your best life now'?

I think the real reason this 'fast' exists can be found in a post by the site keeper herself, Susan Gregory. Susan, in a comment section of the page says: 'The Daniel Fast is a very healthy eating plan. Our bodies should actually be in better condition after the fast than before. I have been on the fast since January 6th and I have lost six pounds and my body is definitely liking what I am feeding it!'

Ahhh, it's all about me, isn't it? It's about my body being in better condition than before the fast. It's about losing weight. It's about my body liking what I feed it. It's all about me.

So what is real Biblical fasting for anyway?

Well, here's what its not: It is never for dieting purposes. It is never for self-beautification. It's not to obtain a physical benefit. It is not a way to 'get' something from God.

The word fast comes from a Greek word 'nesteia' which literally means not to eat. When we fast we are seeking God with all our heart and doing it with a sacrificial intent. Fasting is a humility action that puts the focus on God and not on yourself. When we fast we are saying, "Lord, You are the provider and sustainer of my body. It is in You alone that I depend on my very next breath as well as the food in my belly. Things of this world are not as important as You Father."

Why fast? Well, it could be for a sin in a persons life or needing counsel and guidance, direction, mourning or safety. Seeking God through Biblical fasting is denying ones self and putting the focus on Him; not you.

God's Word continues to get watered down in the pulpits and in the bookstores and now through fasting. Seek God first through His Word and prayer and forget about looking for your best life now. It's all about Him, it's all about Him.

Pray for India's Christians

2007 was the most violent ever for Christians in India. More than 1000 attacks were recorded against Christians in the dominantly Hindu country in 2007. The records show that between 1950 and 1998 there were only 50 recorded attacks against Christians. 100 attacks recorded in the year 2000. Between 2001 and 2006 there were 328 attacks. More attacks in 2007 than the previous 57 years combined.

I heard an Indian missionary back in December talking about all the targeted violence against Christians in his homeland and he said something that would take most Christians here in the USA by surprise. He said that because of the persecution, the Gospel of Christ was spreading like never before in the history of the country. This missionary's prayers were not that the persecution would stop, but rather that God would be glorified through the persecution that was taking place (He will). Its almost a type of oxymoron isn't it? That through the persecution and martyring of Christians, the spread of the Gospel would greatly increase throughout the country.

Is this biblical? You bet it is. Pick up the Book of Acts and see how the early church exploded in growth due the the scattering and persecution of new believers.

We must be continually in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Christ living in these persecuted nations and pray that they have the strength to withstand the enemy and stand boldly for Christ. Also pray that they continue to boldly share the faith and bring more sheep to the Shepherd.