Month: March 2016

Bentley’s apology and accountability remain incomplete

Governor Robert Bentley is behaving like a child who, upon being caught with his hand in the cookie jar, reluctantly apologizes for reaching into the container but acts indignant when asked how many he took. “I didn’t actually eat any cookies,” the child insists, with crumbs covering his mouth and hands. That’s essentially what Bentley is asking us to believe after someone released audio recordings of the governor having sexually explicit telephone conversations with his senior political advisor, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a married mother of three whose husband also works for the governor. The audio is the next thing to being caught red-handed, and it’s more than enough to convince many that Bentley and Mason carried on an affair in the governor’s office. If you can stand listening to the recordings, you’ll hear what Bentley said to a woman he called “Rebekah” on the telephone: “I worry about loving you so much.” “When I stand behind you, and I put my arms around you, and I put my hands on your breasts, and I put my hands (unintelligible) and just pull you real close. I love that, too.” “Let me kiss your ear. Oh shoot. Let me kiss that left ear, OK? Can I whisper something in that sweet ear?” “If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door. “ But never mind all that. Bentley wants you to focus on what he said during a recent…

Students should be taught to question evolution

The reaction to the Alabama State Board of Education’s recent decision to keep an “evolution” disclaimer in certain science textbooks was unfortunately typical of the modern left. “We’re afraid of evolution.” “Inch by inch toward unconstitutional theocracy.” “I guess the anti-science/evolution crowd doesn’t believe in stars either.” Those were just a few of the comments written after the board unanimously voted earlier this month to continue using the one-page disclaimer which, as anyone who takes the time to read it would easily understand, is a rather moderate yet educational explanation of the controversy. The four-paragraph message begins with a brief explanation of a “theory,” as understood and used by the scientific community. It then goes on to explain how some theories have stood the test of time, while others have fallen as new observations were made. After the disclaimer succinctly explains the theory of evolution by natural selection, and how the textbook states that it forms the basis for our understanding of how such diverse life came to be, the message lays out a path ahead for the classroom. “Because of its importance and implications, students should understand the nature of evolutionary theories,” the disclaimer states. “They should learn to make distinctions between the multiple meanings of evolution, to distinguish between observations and assumptions used to draw conclusions, and to wrestle with the unanswered questions and unresolved problems still faced by evolutionary theory.” It’s a perfectly reasonable and academically sound message, yet those who oppose its inclusion would have you…

Thirteen years later, the debate about invading Iraq continues

Thirteen years ago this week America’s military forces were gathered just across the southern border of Iraq, spring-loaded and ready for the war that would begin in a few days. Many of us hadn’t yet spoken the words that would eventually enter our lexicon – improvised explosive devices, insurgency, and counterinsurgency among other terms – and few had any idea of the length and cost of the war our nation was about to enter. It was the final week of relative peace, but the debate was essentially over, and the decision to go to war was effectively made. Much has been written about the events surrounding the run-up to that fateful week. Sadly, most attempt to either avoid blame or cast aspersions. While serious analysis has come from the intelligence and defense communities, perhaps the single best assessment, if not the most understandable, comes from Victor Davis Hanson, a professor of classics at California State University, Fresno. Writing on the tenth anniversary of the invasion, Hanson contended the war was “predicated on six suppositions.” First, Henson reminded everyone that we cannot dismiss the role that the September 11th attacks had on the lingering results of the 1991 Gulf War. Saddam Hussein remained a significant threat since we liberated Kuwait, but the security environment during those years wasn’t as high as it became after 9/11. “Since there was no direct connection between Osama bin Laden and Saddam, take away the security apprehensions following 9/11, and George Bush probably would not have taken…

Present Crisis Podcast: Primaries, Trump, Planned Parenthood, and more

Columnist J. Pepper Bryars discusses the latest in politics, culture, and faith from a conservative perspective on the Present Crisis Podcast. Issues covered this week include: The Republican Presidential Primary results in Michigan, Mississippi, Idaho, and Hawaii, and what it all means for the candidates ... and the voters. Evangelical support for Donald Trump: Is it real? Donald Trump’s repeated claims that Planned Parenthood does “wonderful things.” Really? A bill in Montgomery to make it illegal for public high schools to play private highs schools on post-season athletic events (separate but equal championships, anyone?) The passing of First Lady Nancy Reagan.    

No, Trump supporters, Planned Parenthood doesn’t do “wonderful things”

Donald Trump, who declared himself “very pro-choice” at the young and inexperienced age of 53, has recently spent a great deal of breath praising the virtues of the nation’s top butcher of unborn babies – Planned Parenthood. In the past month, Trump has told us that the abortion company does “wonderful things” for women, that “millions of women [with] cervical cancer, breast cancer, are helped by Planned Parenthood,” and that only “three-percent” of its services offered are abortions. These are all lies. First, Planned Parenthood’s chief product is abortion, but they count everything they do, or even say, equally to obscure this fact within a crowd of unequal services. As Mark Twain said, there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” For instance, if on a single day they perform two abortions, pass out three packs of condoms, and hand out five brochures about sexually transmitted diseases, they’d say that only 20-percent of that day’s business was abortion. Rich Lowry explained it in the New York Post this way: “The sponsors of the New York City Marathon could count each small cup of water they hand out (some 2 million cups, compared with 45,000 runners) and say they are mainly in the hydration business ... Major League Baseball teams could say that they sell about 20 million hotdogs and play 2,430 games in a season, so baseball is only .012 percent of what they do.” Second, Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer the test to detect breast cancer, known as a mammogram. They…