Month: July 2015

What’s next in the battle flag flap?

Now that the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia is being officially retired from government seals and capitol grounds across the Deep South, one has to wonder what’s next.That’s hard to predict because this issue is so difficult to discuss. There are those who genuinely, and without malice, consider the flag as an ancestral symbol of their regional pride, strength, and courage. But they’re called racists, which is the worst kind of insult. There are also those who are genuinely, and deeply, hurt by displays of the banner under which an army fought to preserve the enslavement of their ancestors. Yet they’re accused of trying to erase history, one of the worst things a diverse society can do. And then there are the real racists and the real censors. They do indeed exist, and while they’re small in number, they’re dominating the conversation and driving nearly every decision. Reasonable people cannot enter the discussion without being viciously attacked, so they leave. The result is that public officials and business leaders cater to the mob by making sometimes wise, often foolish, decisions. That’s sad. As a proud son of the Deep South who has studied all aspects of our region’s history, I see both sides. On the one hand, when I was very little I first thought the battle flag simply meant that you were from the country, liked to hunt and fish, or that you were a “rebel” of some sort or maybe a biker dude. I never…

Meanwhile, our nation is being invaded

While we’re busy ripping ourselves apart over a flag and considering demolishing monuments to soldiers and sailors who fought and died more than 150-years ago, it’s important to remember that our nation is currently being invaded by a wave of criminals.Seriously?Well, I was about to write “slowly” invaded because that sounded less reactionary and perhaps softens the news, but slowly doesn’t accurately describe the movement; it’s nearly a blitzkrieg. During the last two fiscal years, more than 66,000 illegal aliens with criminal records – some with felony convictions – were released into our communities by our own government, according to a recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announcement.Save the typical partisan charges of racism. These aren’t the garden-variety salt-of-the-earth illegal aliens simply looking for honest labor in the land of opportunity. These are criminals, and last week another American lost her life because her government has utterly failed to secure our southern border and enforce our immigration laws. Kate Steinle, 32, was walking with her father on San Francisco’s beautiful Pier 14 last Thursday when she was shot and killed by an illegal alien who had seven felony convictions and had already been deported five times. As her father frantically performed CPR while awaiting help, she kept saying, “Dad, help me, help me,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s a horrific story, particularly because the killer shouldn’t have been walking freely on that pier at all. Aside from being here illegally, Lopez-Sanchez was recently arrested and jailed in San…

It’s time we hold our highest courts accountable for judicial activism

There's an old saying about the Supreme Court: it isn't final because it's supreme; it's supreme because it's final. That sounds clever, but let's review some of the court's more memorable decisions from the modern era to see how "final" they actually were, at least in terms of ending the debate.In Roe v. Wade, it discovered a constitutional right to kill unborn children, yet most Americans believe abortion is murder and want it abolished or significantly limited.In Kelo v. the City of New London, it told us that government had a constitutional right to seize private property for whatever reason it deems appropriate, yet most Americans believe the notion is absolutely tyrannical.In the two Obamacare cases, it said the law's authors meant to use the words "tax" rather than "fine" and "federal government" rather than "the states," even though Congress chose those precise words for specific reasons. People know what those words mean, and know we're now living under an unconstitutional law.And now we're told that hundreds of years of American federalism and thousands of years of human tradition mean nothing – our constitution suddenly mandates that marriage be redefined. Yet most of our churches will forever teach differently.It's easy to see that the Supreme Court didn't bring finality to these debates. They sowed thicker discord instead. By gathering to themselves all power of law and assuming that they know best, these justices have denied our democratic republic the opportunity -- the necessity, in fact -- to thoroughly debate these…

No way, padre. Pope’s encyclical on the environment is flawed

There's plenty of truth in the pope's new encyclical on the environment, titled Laudato Si' ("Be praised"). Most agree with his teaching that it's terribly wrong for individuals, corporations, and nations to wantonly destroy our environment and carelessly waste our natural resources.But there are some portions of his letter that read like polished versions of the missives that spewed from Occupy Wall Street, and on the two questions central to the debate about global warming, Pope Francis has proven himself entirely fallible.Let's start with the first question: What's the problem?"A very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system," wrote the pope. "In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events."That's not true.Writing last year in the Wall Street Journal, climatologist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville said that the consensus claim is "fiction.""The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research," Spencer wrote. He explained that the often cited number that 97-percent of climatologists agree about man made abrupt climate change comes from an article by a college student and her master's thesis adviser that reported the results of a brief survey of selected scientists."The 97-percent figure in the ... survey represents the views of only 79 respondents who listed climate science as an area of expertise and said…