Been a month since I did a roundup of news / links I found interesting. So, here we go again:
- If you haven't seen it yet - I'm one of the contributors at Watchdog Wire - Maryland, my "Waste of the Week" pieces are being cross-posted there. Check them out and the other great contributors talking about local issues facing Maryland.
- Jimmie Bise of Liberty News wrote a piece reminding us not to ignore Ashley Judd as a potential candidate. Remember how no one considered Al Franken to be serious, but now he's a US Senator.
- State Senator Rob Garagiola (D-MD) is looking to raise the state minimum wage to $10 an hour. Seriously. Why don't we raise it to $500 an hour and give everyone a pony too, that'll eliminate poverty, right? No, it won't. Raising the minimum wage hurts small business and leads larger businesses to do with less - i.e. firing employees. Expect layoffs at Walmart, McDonalds, etc if this passes.
- Headline from Maryland Reporter: $420 million cut from O'Malley's new budget. When you look at the details, that's less than 1.2% of his astronomically large budget. We can do better.
- From Red Maryland we get rumors that former Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney who recently left his post...right after being reelected to it, is skipping out to West Virginia to run for Congress. Seriously.
- Speaking of Red Maryland, Red Maryland founding contributor and conservative / Republican activist Greg Kline threw his name in the ring for Chair. I'm excited about this. His website is here with more details.
- Star Wars: Clone Wars is coming to a close. Read Peter Morrison of Lightsaber Rattling's comments on the announcement. I am very interested in whatever new Star Wars series is being proposed.
- Are you a pro-lifer in Maryland? Contact your legislator and ask them to support the following: SB456 and HB1312. These two bills will prohibit abortion after 20 weeks, which is when some scientists believe the unborn baby can feel pain. Contact your legislator and tell them you support the bill. Here's a list of legislators who are already sponsors, the primary sponsor is in bold:
- Senator Ed Reilly (R), Senator Nancy Jacobs (R)
- Delegate Neil Parrot (R), Delegate Gail Bates (R), Delegate Pamela Beidle (D), Delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr. (D), Delegate Steven DeBoy, Sr (D), Delegate John Donoghue (D), Delegate Donald Elliot (R), Delegate William Frank (R), Delegate Ron George (R), Delegate Glen Glass (R), Delegate Wade Kach (R), Delegate Nicholaus Kipke (R), Delegate Susan Krebs (R), Delegate Susan McComas (R), Delegate Pat McDonough (R), Delegate Warren Miller (R), Delegate Sonny Minnick (D), Delegate Tony O'Donnell (R), Delegate Justin Ready (R), Delegate Michael Smigiel (R), Delegate Theodore Sophocleus (D), Delegate Nancy Stocksdale (R), Delegate Kathy Szeliga (R), Delegate John Wood, Jr (D)
- Enjoy Christian hip-hop? Then download KB's "Who is KB?" Seriously. Like right now. Why are you still reading this? Download it! It's free!
- Last week I wrote a letter to myself at 16 years old. You can read it here. Have any advice for a younger version of yourself? Feel free to post a link to your own letter to yourself. It was a cathartic exercise and seriously helped to remind myself of all the wrong & sin I've committed. Thank you Jesus for your truth & forgiveness.
- Pro-life, vocal conservative, supporter of Rand Paul, George W. Bush, and openly gay? That's Bruce Carroll contributor at the high profile conservative blog Gay Patriot and one of the founders of GOProud. Carroll recently left the organization and is considering a bid for US Senate primarying Lindsey Graham (R-SC) from the right. Good for him, we shall see where this campaign, if it begins, goes. He's still undecided on if he's going to run.
- Ed Stetzer of Lifeway Research wrote an interesting piece on some recent Lifeway polling / statistics on gay marriage.
- A thought provoking piece by Doug Mainwaring entitled, "I'm Gay and Oppose Same-Sex Marriage." Read it through, it's a fascinating read.
News I missed? Probably. Let me know in the comments of some exciting news.
I decided to round up some pieces for National Sanctity of Human Life Day, AKA the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade. Here are some excellent pieces in support of life:
"Respect Life – By Reveling in the Beauty Of the Gift" - via Marie of Catholic Coffee Talk
If you’re reading this, you’ve been given a beautiful gift. A gift that doesn’t come wrapped in a pretty box with a big bow; a gift that you can’t ask for or write on a wish list. A gift that, in a way, defies the human idea of “gift”. After all, we define gift with some rather strict notions. A gift is something asked for that is received. Or perhaps, a gift is something bestowed out of love, with no asking required. This latter definition ties the idea of gift to the act of bestowing, as opposed to the act of asking.
But then I think of the song “Simple Gifts”, you know, that old Shaker melody. (Don’t get me started on Lord of the Dance that it begat).
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be
Yes. Herein are gifts, bestowed (in a sense) not by someone but as a requisite part of human dignity and existence. Whether laws grant that one can be ‘simple and free’ or not, those gifts cannot be revoked. Particularly here in America, we like to be grateful for our freedom. Freedom to speak, freedom to assemble, freedom to gather on a Sunday morning to hear the Gospel proclaimed and the words of Consecration spoken. There is much for which to be grateful. I’m grateful for the sacrifice that Friday we now call Good. I’m thankful for the friends and family that continually teach me how to love more. I’m thankful for the institution of that great sacrament on the night of the Last Supper. But most of all, I’m thankful that I was loved and willed into existence and have been able to spend nearly twenty-four years enjoying the freedom, beauty, and goodness of Life.
For here is the gift. We, meaning modern society, have tried to perfect the art of creating human persons, but there is no foolproof formula. We’d like to think sometimes that it’s all just science, but we’re continually proven wrong. The creation of human life is complex; it’s indescribable; it’s unpredictable. It’s a cooperation not just between two human persons but with the Creator of all life, and no matter how much society attempts to break that bond, it will be unsuccessful.
Since I haven't done this in a while and there are a few various articles I wanted to comment on simultaneously, I decided to prepare a news roundup around the internet. Let's go through all the news I feel you should know about. At least for today.
- In Maryland news, legislators in Annapolis passed with minimal fanfare legislation to further dilute property rights last year. Dan Bongino has an excellent opinion piece at Watchdog Wire. Read it, it's informative.
- Also in Maryland, let's talk about waste. I began my 2013 legislative session foray into discussing waste with a critical eye to EJ Pipkin's $500k toward a private school in Queen Anne's County. Check it out.
- I recently wrote a piece about why I think Don Dwyer should resign. Monoblogue responded to my piece, saying, "Certainly Dwyer has serious charges against him, but I would rather wait until his day in court has come and his fate is determined. Perhaps this was a ‘one-time occurrence’ which will not affect his performance in Annapolis.'...if Dwyer is convicted I may change my mind. But the facts in the case seem to suggest the other boater was perhaps more at fault for the accident which left five children and Dwyer injured, so I think caution is in order." I disagree. Dwyer admitted to being drunk behind the wheel. Additionally, it matters very little that Dwyer may not be at fault, in my opinion, what matters is Dwyer violated the law willingly.
- Over the weekend, a group of conservatives on Twitter put together some "O'Malley Proverbs" - you can read them at Red Maryland. Thanks to Mark Newgent for compiling them.
- Speaking of Red Maryland - they have a detailed 2014 poll out about a variety of issues facing conservatives, including people's thoughts on the 2014 GOP Gubernatorial primary, Attorney General primary, etc. Check it out and vote!
- In New York State - it appears Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) or someone in his administration was trying to squash / hide a study completed by his administration which showed that hydrofracking would be safe to conduct in New York State. Kind of hurts the anti-fracking narrative when a liberal Governor's own administration proves it's safe by their own, independent studies.
- The Census Bureau has some fascinating statistics if you really want to delve into the cross-tabs / details. Here's some information on marriage. Most interest item I saw was that in 2008, the percentage of divorces to marriages was 39%. That's down from a high of nearly 50% in the late nineties and also a major step in the right direction. The preservation of marriage is what the pro-traditional marriage crowd (myself included) need to focus on. We should be calling out those who treat marriage as a flippant institution and not a lifelong commitment to another person. We should be opposing no-fault divorce proceedings.
- Love the original Star Wars trilogy? Check out these pretty sweet maps walking through each character in the films. Well, at least every major character. Very cool maps.
- Dave Miller of SBC Voices wrote an interesting piece on Christian actions in, what he calls a more non-Christian America. It's an interesting piece worth a read and definitely worth considering.
- TIME wrote a cover story piece stating that the pro-choice movement is...losing the argument. Bottom line, according to TIME, was they had a big milestone with Roe v Wade, but public opinion has been supportive of restrictions on abortion ever since. I say, good. Trevin Wax of the Gospel Coalition has a bit more commentary on the topic here.
- Speaking about life issues, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has proposed legislation to prevent Planned Parenthood from getting federal funding. Again, I say, good. When talking on the topic, Blackburn recently said, "As a woman, I believe America deserves better than abortion. America shouldn’t celebrate abortion and our taxpayers shouldn’t subsidize abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, who profit from the destruction of human life with taxpayer money." As a pro-life gentleman, I agree.
Any news I missed? Let me know in the comments or comment on the issues / articles I posted.
I do not believe pro-life Republicans needs to “evolve” on this issue. At all. Pro-life conservatives need to learn how to explain their views better and focus the debate on minimizing abortions. The answer on the “rape exception” question just seems so obvious to me. This is how I would answer:
“You’re right in that I do not believe an unborn child deserves to die for the sins of their father. But regardless I think we all agree abortion is something we want to see minimized. This is my first goal and we need to be promoting adoption as a critical component to minimize abortions.”
Look at that – I explained my view in a quick, sound-byte fashion, I shifted the language we see in the abortion debate which is important, and moved the conversation to a topic most Americans agree with me on. This is how we should fashion the debate and move on. They may try to attack us. They may continue to mock us, but who cares. We got our point across in a reasonable fashion.
I have heard the term "pro-choice" to refer to those who believe that abortion should be legal for years. It just got me thinking, just how truly "pro-choice" are these people. I have to ask them the following.
First, do you support the right of parents to decide what school their children attend? Do you believe that vouchers / giving people back their own money to pick a better school for their children should be allowed? Do you support charter school programs? If not, then you are not "pro-choice," but instead are anti-choice.
Second, do you support the right for me to own a firearm? Should I have the option to own a firearm in my home to defend my family? If not, you are not pro-choice, but anti-choice.
Do you support the right of people to speak out against what you believe? To speak out against same-sex marriage when they believe in it? To have the choice how to speak regarding such a personal issue? If not, you are not pro-choice, but anti-choice.
Do you believe that parents know what's best for their children? Do you believe that parents should have the choice how to school their children, how to teach them about issues like sex, and when their children are ready for schooling? If not, you are anti-choice.
Do you believe we need to limit the size of sodas we sell? Do you believe we need to limit the salt content in food? Do you believe we need to ban foods with artificial trans fats to prevent people from making the choice to eat them? If so, you are not pro-choice but anti-choice.
Do you believe that individuals should have the choice whether or not to purchase health insurance? Do you believe people should have the right to pick and choose what their health insurance covers? Do you believe religious organizations should have the choice to not cover items which go against their faith? If not, you are not pro-choice, but anti-choice.
I don't think the term means what you think it means. Choice means allowing persons to make a decision. If the only decision you are talking about is the decision whether not to kill your unborn child, you are not pro-choice, but pro-abortion. Get the terminology right and accept it. You support abortion. You support the killing of an unborn child. Hiding behind the term pro-choice is wrong as when it comes down to it, many liberals who claim to be "pro-choice" don't support many choices at all.
Image via Pease on Earth