Saturday, September 26 2009
As three thousand Americans were being murdered on September 11th, 2001, William Ayers was quoted in the New York Times referring to his own terrorist days by saying, "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough." Those words were hauntingly prescient given the amazing similarities between the 9/11 targets and those of Ayers.
With his fellow Weather Underground terrorists, Ayers was involved in bombing a New York police station in 1970 (the city of the WTC attacks), the U.S. Capitol building (commonly believed to be the target of the failed Flight 93 mission) in 1971, and the Pentagon (struck by American Airlines Flight 77) in 1972. Ayers also bombed a monument to fallen police officers in 1969, and under his leadership saw his terrorist group kill at least one other on-duty cop.
After fleeing the authorities for years, William Ayers was finally arrested and tried for his crimes, but due to a mismanaged technicality in the prosecution of his case by the FBI, Ayers was released. He taunted Americans as he left the courtroom by saying, "Guilty as h***, free as a bird - America is a great country."
Common sense would dictate that such a sordid past would consign Ayers to the fringe of society where he would live out his days in relative insignificance and shame. But common sense does not flourish on left-wing college campuses across America, and so Bill Ayers is now a college professor in Illinois where he is dubiously referred to as an "elementary education theorist."
And as if that isn't bad enough, Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana recently honored the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by inviting this unrepentant terrorist to campus to be part of an educational lecture series. Why? That's a good question that no one at Purdue seems too interested in answering. Officials pitifully told concerned parents and students that Ayers was only there to discuss educational issues.
To Purdue, inviting an admitted terrorist to campus isn't shameful...as long as he talks about something other than terrorism. With that logic, I eagerly anticipate next year's graphic design lecture by Osama bin Laden.
To buy Purdue University's defense that they rolled out the red carpet for this unrepentant terrorist merely for his insightful views on education is pathetically shallow. The notion that there were no other better-qualified candidates in the country to invite is absurd. Obviously then, Purdue chose to invite Ayers either because the coordinators of the lecture series sympathize with his radical views, or they wanted publicity. Either option is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in West Lafayette.
How long are we going to suffer the idiocy of left-wing academia that pretends it is sophisticated to allow radicals, terrorists, and America-hating fools access to the minds of our young people? We can call it tolerance, but it's not. We can call it "opening dialogue," but it's not. We can call it the exchange of ideas, but it's not. It's giving legitimacy to people who should actually be in prison, and lending credibility to their evil, dangerous thoughts.
That Purdue University would invite such a man to campus to participate in an educational lecture series demonstrates the sorry commitment they have to reinforcing positive values to their students. And the fact that Purdue's president and administration were unwilling to step in to stop this abomination speaks volumes about the character and integrity of the university under their leadership.
Less than two weeks after the anniversary of 9/11, Purdue honored a man who says if given the chance, he wouldn't discount the possibility of engaging in terrorism against his own country again. If I had a child going to Purdue, that would tell me all I need to know about what the Boilermakers stand for...and I would be asking for my tuition dollars back.
Saturday, September 19 2009
The hedonists have a phrase that simply says, "Don't knock it 'til you've tried it." Not normally one who would embrace or advocate such a philosophy, I have found myself repeating the phrase quite frequently to those who are tempted to criticize the pro-freedom TEA Parties that are sweeping the country.
For the most part, I don't fault critics of the parties for their skepticism. Indeed if all I knew about the events was what was portrayed in the mainstream media - racist, ignorant, bitter, old, white folks who hate change of any kind - I'd steer clear of the party myself. But that representation of this movement is about as accurate as it would be to call ACORN a model of civic virtue.
The message of the TEA Party movement is a simple one: freedom works best. Thanks to the wisdom of America's Founding Fathers who made our government completely reliant upon the consent of the people, those in Washington can't take our liberties away unless we let them. As a result, power hungry politicians work overtime to generate a climate of panic and exploit every problem as a crisis that needs an immediate government solution. The dirty little secret being that with every government solution we consent to, we hand them more power over our lives.
By design, the policies they propose always sound wonderful - save the planet, insure the masses, stop obesity. But the devil is in the details: to save the planet we must let government tell us how much energy we can consume; to insure the uninsured, we must let government tell us what procedures and operations we can have; to end obesity, we must let government regulate what kind of food businesses can sell.
The TEA Party movement is about reminding people that government was intended to protect your freedom to earn whatever you want for yourself. But the moment you begin believing that things should be given to you, accepting the political game of "whoever promises me the most things gets my vote," and adopting the entitlement mentality that regards all good things as your "rights,"...you transform the role of your government from one that protects your freedom to one that controls it.
Central planning has been tried repeatedly, promising to end poverty, insure health, and bring about the kind of equality where no one lived in a mansion while others lived on the streets. And the consequence was that everyone (besides those in power) ended up on the streets. It doesn't work. What works is freedom.
Some have wrongly assumed that these TEA Parties are the creation of the Republican Party and unfairly target Democrats. First of all, the thought that the staggeringly incompetent national Republican Party could organize something like this is laughable. Secondly, to suggest that the events are anti-Democrat relies on the absurd assumption that there aren't any Democrats who still believe in freedom.
Yes, these TEA Parties are protesting the leadership of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama.but not because they're Democrats. Rather, because the policies they are advancing are meant to deprive us all of our freedom (economic and otherwise).
Many of the Democrats who attend these TEA Parties see them as an outlet for their frustrations. Having witnessed the outrageous deficits of the George W. Bush years, they voted for change. And the change they got was to see President Obama double down on Bush's big-government, freedom-limiting approach, and multiply his deficits ten-fold. That isn't change. It's the same, sad, steady, sorry march to government growth we've been experiencing for two centuries.
The core motivation behind this movement is simple: we don't want our legacy to be the generation that let freedom in America slip from our grasp. We don't want to look back on the once great United States, and say, "Wasn't it wonderful when we were free? It's too bad we couldn't get over our Republican/Democrat party obsession to notice when our leaders were stripping us of our freedom, and stopped the revolution before it was too late."
For 230 years, patriots have defended that core principle of the Constitution that we have a duty to "preserve the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity." In other words, we have a responsibility to ensure that those who come after us get the same opportunity we had to freely pursue happiness.
Despite the misleading reports from a state-run media, that is what this movement is about. So I challenge the skeptics: try some TEA. You might be surprised how inspiring the message of freedom still is.
Saturday, September 12 2009
How do you properly remember a day like September 11th, 2001?
It is fitting not just to recall the horrors of the injuries, those scenes of innocent people leaping from the windows of skyscrapers, the death and destruction, but to also remember the selfless sacrifice made by those rushing up smoke-filled stairs to rescue innocent victims, the courage of those who staged a daring rebellion aboard United Flight 93 in their struggle to save others on the ground, and the way our nation came together to support our fellow countrymen with our resources and skills, our money, and most importantly our prayers.
And while we remember how those events have forever changed our lives, while we mourn and pray for those whose losses were so much greater than our own, we must also ensure that we never forget the purpose of those who committed the atrocities of September 11th.
The tragic scene that played out on our TV screen and TV screens all across this nation was the result of a cold, calculated plan to kill thousands of innocent people - not because of who they were or anything they had done, but merely because they were citizens of this country - a country founded upon the belief that Almighty God has given to every man, woman, and child the unalienable right to live and breathe free. We cannot lose sight of the fact that those core, fundamental principles and ideals that define America were exactly what came under attack that morning.
September 11th, 2001 taught us again, as generations before us have learned, that the values of life, liberty, freedom, and equality - values that we, like our forefathers, cherish - cannot be taken for granted. They are bought with a price. But Americans have never been afraid to pay that price...it's our history. It's our heritage.
That price was paid on the beaches of Normandy. It was paid in the waters of the Pacific. It was paid in the bitter winters of Korea. That price was paid in the rice patties and jungles of Vietnam. It was paid in the minefields and sands of Desert Storm. Our nation, no matter how great, is not invincible. Therefore, we must always be willing to defend our freedom and our values, no matter the cost.
So on this tragic anniversary, let us do more than just remember the dead. Let us do more than just honor their passing and memorialize their lives. Let us do more than think back on our own sorrow, our own pain, our own bitterness. Let us remember the lessons of September 11th: that heroes are often the most common and simple among us; that the ideals of liberty, hope, and freedom are more than just words, and they are always worth defending; that our way of life and our reliance on our Creator cannot be defeated by any act of violence; that heroism isn't marked by those that wear baseball, basketball or football uniforms, but by those that wear the uniform of their country, their city, or their town; that pledging to continue the fight - that eternal struggle for the freedom of mankind - has become the calling of our time.
As Abraham Lincoln looked upon the hills of Gettysburg, the sight of another terrible loss of American life, he spoke these immortal words: "It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Lincoln's words, spoken 140 years ago, must resonate with us today. On September 11th, nearly 3,000 Americans gave the last full measure of their devotion to this country. No, they didn't do it by leading a cavalry charge, by firing cannons, or affixing bayonets. They gave their last full measure of devotion to this country by going to work, boarding planes to see friends and family, and exercising the simple but precious freedoms and liberties that define this land.
And just as Lincoln called his generation of Americans to resolve that those who fell on the battlefield would not have died in vain, we today must call all Americans to recommit to the great task remaining before us - to preserve, protect, and defend this country, its ideals, its principles, its heritage, and its hope...so that those who perished on that horrible day shall not have died in vain. When we do that, we have truly honored the legacy of September 11th.
Sunday, September 06 2009
It has often been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. Having never been in combat, I can't speak to that. But having just been present for the birth of my first child, I feel quite comfortable saying without equivocation there are no atheists in birthing centers...at least not ones with a lick of sense.
To call the birth of a human baby a miracle is the understatement of the millennia. It is either the height of arrogance or ignorance (perhaps both) to believe that such an event could have ever happened spontaneously and without intentional design.
Please understand that I mean no deliberate disrespect to those who have made the decision to live in rebellion to that which is patently obvious. I truly believe that many professing atheists are some of the most educated people on the planet. But an old boss I used to work for ingrained a phrase in my head that finds perfect application with these very nonbelievers: "Educated don't mean smart."
I remember visiting my Dad on various Air Force bases when I was younger and he was in the active duty. We would walk around and be amazed at the massive size and incredible intricacies of the jets assembled on the tarmac. And I remember thinking to myself while I gazed at those technological masterpieces, "I'd love to meet the person who built this thing...they must be the smartest person in the world."
Surely I wasn't too far off in that assessment. The complex systems that are required to all function in just the perfect manner at just the perfect time with just the perfect result could have never been the product of spontaneity or artless chance. No one - especially the educated - would ever suggest that an F-16 was assembled by mixing up bolts, rods, and metal scraps together in a cement mixer and dumping them out all at once. No matter whether a person concocted the most elaborate and detailed explanation of how these random processes might have occurred, used the most extensive vocabulary, and bolstered their theory by getting like-minded academics to concur, the proposition would still defy common sense and all rationality.
One of the famous atheist minds of our time, Carl Sagan, agreed. For decades, Sagan was involved in the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project out in the American southwest. His team of scientists beamed powerful satellite dishes into the sky and listened intently to the furthest reaches of space to see if they could detect any sign of intelligent life. When Sagan was asked what exactly they were listening for, he responded by stating that if in the noise of space they could find a pattern of any sort, they would conclude life must exist somewhere else in the cosmos. Why? Because, Sagan said, a pattern always indicates intelligent design.
How then men like Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Sam Harris, and others - truly gifted intellects - can look at the DNA code and maintain their arrogant disbelief is mind boggling. Further, one must wonder if they have ever set foot in a birthing center.
When our little girl was born, I watched her tiny eyes dart back and forth, squinting from the bright lights. I asked one of the nurses whether she was seeing okay or not. Instead of a simple yes or no, I got a full explanation of the workings of the inner eye...and I was dumbfounded. From that first moment her eyes opened, her cornea was taking the widely diverging rays of light and bending them through the pupil. There, the lens focused light to the back of the eye chamber where the retina layer takes over. The retina is a membrane containing photoreceptor nerve cells that lines the inside back wall of the eye. It changes the rays into electrical impulses and sends them through the optic nerve to the brain where an image is perceived.
Stunned, I asked about the ears...could she recognize my voice? Even when she was in the womb, sounds from the outside world came in through the outer ear canal which amplified the vibrations and sent them across the eardrum. The eardrum transmitted these vibrations on to the inner ear through the oval window and into the cochlea. There the sound waves cause fluid to begin to move, setting tiny hairs into motion which transform the sound vibrations into electrical impulses which travel through the auditory nerve to the brain. There, somehow - though science still doesn't understand how - the brain translates those sound pulses into recognizable information.
After hearing that, Paul's words in Romans took on all new meaning for me as I thought of the intellectual elitists who for the sake of pride deny the existence of our Creator: "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." Anyone who denies the obvious conclusion that comes from such magnificent and unimaginable design, no matter how educated, is a fool.
As I held my little Addison that first night, I couldn't help but think back to walking around those Air Force bases as a child. And in the stillness of the hospital room, I found myself speaking the same words all over again, "I'd love to meet the one who built this masterpiece."