Are same-sex marriage advocates tolerant of traditional-marriage advocates?

Hot Air reports that the the organizers of the recent Miss America pageant tried to get Miss California to renounce her beliefs about marriage and apologize to same-sex marriage activists like Perez Hilton. The organizers didn’t want her to be herself. They wanted to change her beliefs to be like theirs. The organizers didn’t want a rainbow of diverse opinions, they wanted uniform, lock-step, monochrome compliance!

The Western Experience linked to a video debate from CNN between Jewish scholar Dennis Prager and Perez Hilton.

Sometimes, same-sex activists like Perez Hilton move beyond disagreement to name-calling, and to harassment, and to threats of violence, and to vandalism, and to actual violence, as even the New York Times acknowledges. It seems to me that this coercion intrudes on the freedom of other people to express disagreement with same-sex marriage activists over same-sex marriage.

I wanted to draw your attention to a 10-point analysis of the whole Perez Hilton episode by Christian philosopher Douglas Geivett, so that we could really see who is being intolerant of who.

Here are my favorites:

3. Carrie Prejean was not “inclusive” enough in her answer, say her critics. But if she had answered that she approved of gay marriage, she would have excluded many Americans who also disapprove, including all those from her own state who passed Proposition 8 with their vote in November.

4. Gay rights advocates are bound to take offense even if Carrie Prejean meant no offense. Gay rights advocates are duty-bound by their cause to take offense. It is a strategic requirement in their effort to persuade others of gay rights. “Being offended” is an acquired taste. It comes natural when you’ve trained for it.

5. A beauty pageant is a popularity contest. Because of her answer, Carrie Prejean is unpopular with certain people. Which people? Gay rights activists. Who are gay rights activists? This is an important question. Some gays are not gay rights activists. Many gay rights activists are not gay. Gay rights activists are engaged in a strategy to marginalize anyone who believes that there is no “right” to gay marriage. You may believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. But do you have a right to believe this? Do you have a right to say so? Doesn’t matter. Gay rights activists will do anything in their power to ensure that if you believe it you will be made a pariah.

7. Former Miss USA, now director of the Miss California USA pageant, Shanna Moekler has also made it publicly known that she’s disappointed in Carrie Prejean. As state pageant director who sought sponsors for Prejean’s participation in the pageant, Moekler was embarrassed and indignant, and said that Prejean had betrayed her sponsors. Apparently, Prejean should have betrayed herself and her own values, instead. This is very revealing about Moekler’s own moral compass. We should like to know who the sponsors are and which ones are so offended. In view of serious economic reversals in this country, it’s become imperative that Americans know more about the moral compass of corporate leaders. So tell us, Ms. Moekler, which sponsors are embittered by Prejean’s integrity?

Isn’t the activist left worried about inciting hatred, violence, depression and increased suicide rates against those who are different from them? Shouldn’t we celebrate diversity (of opinion) and not coerce those who disagree?

I recently wrote about legal sanctions being faced by those who stand up to the agenda of same-sex marriage activists.

Is Al Gore getting rich from faith-based global warming alarmism?

Representative Marsha Blackburn
Representative Marsha Blackburn

You may remember I blogged before about how Marsha Blackburn asked Al Gore about whether he was profiting from his global warming alarmism? That was a very interesting video clip. And Green Hell Blog has posted many interesting things about Gore’s answer to Blackburn in that video clip.

Excerpt: (H/T Gateway Pundit)

When Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn confronted Al Gore with his profiteering from global warming legislation at today’s House Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearing on the Waxman-Markey climate bill, Al Gore said that every penny he ever made from his business activities went into non-profit efforts.

That is a flat-out lie, according to this March 6, 2008 Bloomberg report that indicates that Al Gore invested $35 million of his own money in various for-profit endeavors.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore left the White House seven years ago with less than $2 million in assets, including a Virginia home and the family farm in Tennessee. Now he’s making enough to put $35 million in hedge funds and other private partnerships.

Gore invested the money with Capricorn Investment Group LLC, a Palo Alto, California, firm that selects the private funds for clients and invests in makers of environmentally friendly products, according to a Feb. 1 securities filing. Capricorn was founded by billionaire Jeffrey Skoll, former president of EBay Inc. and an executive producer of Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary film on global warming.Kudos to Rep. Blackburn for asking one of the “10 Questions for Al Gore” and exposing Gore as the fundamentally dishonest operator that he is.

Pro Patria analyzed of Al Gore’s rising net worth here.

Excerpt: (H/T Gateway Pundit)

So what has Al Gore gained from his Big Green escapades?

According to public disclosure information, Gore was worth somewhere between $1 million and $2 million in 2000. Not quite eight years later, Gore is estimated to be worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. While I ordinarily would applaud such financial gains from such a short period of time, I can’t help but to question just how it happened. When you look out at what Al Gore has done, it’s evident that he figured out on a way to capitalize on the creation of Big Green while becoming the official doomsday prophet that has helped to build Big Green into the monetary powerhouse that it has become.

In any other industry this would be considered a severe conflict of interest. In essence, Al Gore has helped to create a fictitious catastrophe, then told everybody what the solutions have to be, and then put himself in a position to capitalize on the hype. It’s not only seriously dishonest, but many people and industries are going to suffer in the wake of this hype while Gore and Big Green bring in millions (and in some cases, billions) of dollars in green money.

Follow the money! Somehow I doubt that he is giving away the vast majority of it, like Dick Cheney did.

Is waterboarding really torture? Does it enhance our national security?

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial by Representative Pete Hoekstra, regarding Barack Obama’s decision to inform our enemies about the details of the interrogation techniques we would be using against them to protect America:

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair got it right last week when he noted how easy it is to condemn the enhanced interrogation program “on a bright sunny day in April 2009.” Reactions to this former CIA program, which was used against senior al Qaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003, are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation.

George Tenet, who served as CIA director under Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, believes the enhanced interrogations program saved lives. He told CBS’s “60 Minutes” in April 2007: “I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Last week, Mr. Blair made a similar statement in an internal memo to his staff when he wrote that “[h]igh value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country.”

Yet last week Mr. Obama overruled the advice of his CIA director, Leon Panetta, and four prior CIA directors by releasing the details of the enhanced interrogation program. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has stated clearly that declassifying the memos will make it more difficult for the CIA to defend the nation.

It was not necessary to release details of the enhanced interrogation techniques, because members of Congress from both parties have been fully aware of them since the program began in 2002. We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.

I previously wrote about how Obama had opened the door to prosecutions of those who, from the bottom to the top, defended the United States from terrorist threats. Even if no one is convicted, this witch-hunt undermines our vigilance, and will create incentives that will make our counter-terrorism personnel hesitate in the performance of their duty to defend us.

But now I want to ask a different question. Is waterboarding really torture? Take a look at this MSNBC video linked at Hot Air, featuring a debate between an ignorant, unqualified, left-wing journalist and Liz Cheney.

And here is some of the transcript from Hotline:

O’DONNELL: Well Liz, we’ll get to that argument in a minute, about do the means justify the ends. Whether torture justifies…

L. CHENEY: Well, it wasn’t torture, Norah, so that’s not the right way to lay out the argument.

O’DONNELL: OK.

L. CHENEY: Everything done in this program, as has been laid out and described before, are tactics that our own people go through in SEER training and that our own people have gone through for many years. So it’s really – does a fundamental disservice to those professionals who are conducting this very effective program and to those people who approved the program in order to keep this nation safe and prevent attacks through the program to call it torture.

O’DONNELL: Liz, the CIA, on its own after 2005, stopped waterboarding on its own. The U.S. prosecuted people for waterboarding after World War II.
So to suggest there’s a consensus out there that waterboarding is not torture is not in fact accurate.

L. CHENEY: No, I think it is accurate. There were three people who were waterboarded. And two of those people are people who gave us incredibly important and useful information, information that saved American lives after they were waterboarded. Both Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah.

And I would just refer your viewers to the really important op-ed piece that Mike Hayden and Attorney General Mukasey wrote laying out why this program worked, why it was effective and what damage has now been done to our national security by releasing the tactics of this program

The impression I get is that the left-wingers in the Democrat party and the mainstream media is more concerned about the rights of terrorists than protecting American lives. They have a right to hold and express those opinions – it’s a free country. But should we really reward them by voting for them or watching their silly biased television broadcasts?

RELATED: Hot Air notes that a new Rasmussen poll finds that 58% think Obama endangered national security.

Obama’s spending spree in one simple chart

This one graphic tells the whole story. (H/T RedState and Ace of Spades)

Public Debt Outlook
Public Debt Outlook

Click the images to enlarge them.

More charts:

Jobs Lost
Jobs Lost
National Debt
National Debt
Budget Deficit
Budget Deficit

More here.

RELATED: The Heritage Foundation has more details on the spending catastrophes of the first 100 days. And he hasn’t even gotten started on card check, health care and cap and trade, yet!

UPDATE: Chad from Truthbomb Apologetics e-mails me regarding this essay by John Hawkins, (of Right Wing News), documenting the 20 most notable features of Obama’s first 100 days.

My favorite:

7) In the best example yet of Obama’s over-reliance on a teleprompter and the mainstream media’s fervent devotion to him, during an appearance with the Irish prime minister, there was a mix-up — and “President Obama thanked President Obama for inviting everyone over.” The same mainstream media which relentlessly mocked George Bush for his slip-ups wouldn’t even release the footage.

Read the whole thing! Early humor before this week’s Friday funny.

Missouri legislators consider Fair Tax policy

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from The Maritime Sentry!

I discovered this story at the Tax Foundation blog.

Excerpt:

Missouri lawmakers are considering a drastic change to their tax system. A bill recently passed by the state’s House of Representatives would allow residents to vote on a Constitutional amendment that would eliminate corporate and individual income taxes in the state and replace them with a broad based sales tax. The plan is essentially a state version of the national FairTax proposal popular with some grassroots groups that would replace the federal income tax with a national sales tax. If the Senate passes the bill Missouri residents would be voting on the amendment in November of 2010.

Missouri currently has a sales tax, a corporate income tax, and a personal income tax. The sales tax rate is 4.225%, and the top corporate and personal tax rates are 6.25% and 6%, respectively. The plan put forth would replace all those taxes with a single sales tax levied at a rate of 5.11%. Accompanying the sales tax rate hike would be a substantially broadened sales tax base that would include all purchases. Currently most services are tax exempt and certain goods, most notably groceries, are taxed at a reduced rate of 1.225%. These exemptions would not exist under the new tax structure.

The overhaul of the tax system is meant to be revenue neutral. In other words, the revenue from the sales tax increase and broadening of the tax base is meant to exactly offset the elimination of income taxes. In 2008 Missouri’s sales tax brought in $3.2 billion while the state’s corporate and individual income taxes brought in $5.5 billion. In order to achieve revenue neutrality, at a rate of 5.11% the base would have to increase by 124%, or a little more than double. This may sound like a huge increase, but it is very possible.

This would be a useful test case to see if a national fair tax is feasible. I am all for consumption taxes. Leave a comment if you prefer the fair tax to the flat tax. I’m leaning towards the flat tax, and I love the way that it’s been implemented in those Baltic states, like Estonia. Estonia is such a courageous country!

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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