CBS, Tim Tebow and the Right to Life

I applaud CBS for not caving in to the demands of powerful groups such as the National Organization for Women (NOW) and deciding to air a pro-life commercial featuring Tim Tebow during the Super Bowl.

I’m careful not to give CBS too much credit, however, as the decision is far from the hardest decision they’ve ever had to make. What’s so difficult and controversial about a commercial celebrating a wise and courageous decision by Tim Tebow’s mother to carry the future #15 to term and give him a shot at life? The message is really that simple.

The complaints by far-left feminist groups such as NOW don’t surprise me, but it makes me wonder why they’re so vociferous in objecting to  this particular message.

I believe it can be boiled down to this: How do they respond to such an ad? It flies right in the face of what they truly stand for, and I truly believe that they realize that an honest response to this message, a counter-message, so to speak, would be offensive to so many Americans that they have no other choice but to try to shut out the message itself to avoid having to even try to respond.

I also think it’s bordering on ridiculous that some journalists are opining that the Super Bowl is an inappropriate time to air such as commercial. So, when would be an appropriate time to air such a positive message: 4 AM on a Tuesday during a re-run of Golden Girls?

Obama’s Arrogant State of the Union Speech

The difference between confidence and arrogance, to me, can be summed up rather simply. Confidence is walking the walk; not only trusting your beliefs but acting them out. It does not step on toes or send mixed signals because words and action intersect. Arrogance is all talk and little action; failing to follow through on overbearing or overblown rhetoric because of the sheer impossibility or impracticability of it. It confuses and tramples on our basic sense of reason instead of inspiring true belief.

President Obama exhibited lots of arrogance in his State of the Union speech tonight. It many instances, it was a roller-coaster ride that defied logic. On the one hand he decries the excessive spending of the past decade, then on the other goes ahead and lauds Stimulus 1 as he lays out plans for Stimulus 2. That’s the same Stimulus 1 that has done little (putting it nicely) to even begin solving our economic problems. Obama talks about all the jobs Stimulus 1 has created, yet ignores the fact that we’re still losing, not gaining, jobs. All this delivered with a smirk that was matched by his #2 and #3 sitting behind him (oh how I pine for the days when Nancy Pelosi looked downright mortified sitting next to Dick Cheney and behind George W. Bush).

President Obama talked about a need for bipartisanship, especially on health insurance reform. “Stop saying no, give me some ideas and I’ll listen”, he basically challenged Republicans while willfully ignoring the bills Republicans literally waved in his face last summer. Just a thought, but perhaps Obama should take his own advice on the “not saying no” part. And that’s not even considering how Obama appears to be hunkering down when most Americans want him to back off (don’t be fooled by the cooling down he mentioned…he won’t give up on health reform).

Obama criticized special interests and Washington itself for the lack of trust in government. That’s fine and well, but let’s start with the pro-Obama special interests in the health care debate. Or we can start with opening up hearings the way he promised us a year ago.

And let’s not even get into his “no tax increases on 95% of working Americans” line. Lots of talk, no substance or proof of results. That’s arrogance.

The height of Obama’s arrogance, however, had to be when he criticized the Supreme Court’s ruling on campaign finance reform, right in front of the justices themselves. So much for that partnership and leadership he calls for, but fails to practice when the teleprompter is turned off.

Conga Line to the Welfare Line

The Herald’s Glenn Garvin grills the Estefans (and other rich Dolphins owners) for wanting public funds to pay for upgrades to Joe Robbie Pro Player Dolphins Landshark Sun Life Stadium.

Emilio Estefan has just published an autobiography, The Rhythm of Success: How an Immigrant Produced his own American Dream.

“The next generation of immigrants needs to learn how we did it,” he recently told a Miami Herald reporter. “How much hard work there was for us at the time we came to this country.” My advice is to skip directly to the chapter that explains how to go on welfare, which is what Emilio is doing.

That’s right: Emilio and his wife Gloria, who have amassed a net worth estimated at $500 million — including not just their music companies but an empire of hotels, restaurants and other businesses — are becoming welfare queens. And the Estefans, who’ve always thought big, aren’t going for penny-ante food-stamp fraud, either: They want a $250 million government handout for the Miami Dolphins, the football team they own a chunk of.

You’ve probably always thought it would be unpleasant and even faintly humiliating to trudge single-file up to the window in a welfare office. Not now! The conga line for a stadium handout starts with the Estefans, but includes their equally glamorous Dolphins co-owners.

Ouch!

While I’m a supporter of the Super Bowl and think it a good thing for our community, I do see many of Garvin’s point…particularly the fact that the 20+ year-old stadium is privately-owned (always has been). I also think the NFL is playing a game of chicken with the Dolphins…they would be absolutely insane to stop having the Super Bowl in South Florida just because it rained during the game back in 2007.

South Florida Desert

If I told you that the relative humidity was as low as 16% over parts of south Florida today, would you believe me?

Well, these were the hourly weather conditions at Tamiami Airport earlier this afternoon:

26 17:53 N 5 10.00 Fair CLR 65 32 29% 30.16 1021.2
26 16:53 N 6 10.00 Fair CLR 72 24 17% 30.15 1020.9
26 15:53 N 9 10.00 Fair CLR 72 23

16% 30.14 1020.6
26 14:53 N 12 10.00 Fair CLR 73 24 16% 30.13 1020.4
26 13:53 N 8 10.00 Fair CLR 73 27 18% 30.14 1020.6
26 12:53 N 13 10.00 Fair CLR 72 34 72 50 25% 30.15 1021.0
26 11:53 N 12 10.00 Fair CLR 70 36 29% 30.18 1021.9
26 10:53 NE 10 10.00 Fair CLR 67 38 35%

Campaign Finance Reform Post-Mortem

John Stossel nails his analysis of the Supreme Court’s recent defeat of campaign finance reform:

All this is about speech. What campaign finance laws did was hand the power and control back to incumbent politicians and the political parties. The laws left “ordinary citizens” with only one way to make their voices heard: Make a contribution to a candidate or a political party.

Not anymore.

Keep that in mind when you hear the media describing last week’s ruling as a victory for “corporations”. The Supreme Court also empowered ordinary citizens to band together and speak freely.

The Indies

No, I’m not referring to the Miami-bound Indianapolis Colts. I’m talking about political independents.

Myriam Marquez’s most recent Sunday column tackles the Florida Senate race and attempts to draw a parallel to Massachusetts independents driving Scott Brown to victory and the critical role of Sunshine State independents in deciding who will be Florida’s next junior senator.

Independents, according to Marquez (who is one, BTW):

(d)ecide on issues, not on platforms created by corporate America or labor unions or religious leaders. And most independents are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are gut voters looking for new ideas, for leaders to crack the partisan divide, which is why Barack Obama was so attractive to independents.

Marquez, to her credit, admits her disappointment at falling for Obama’s empty rhetoric:

Then, as president, he left it up to the most liberal Democrats in Congress to come up with the specifics, but not before selling out to insurance companies. So much for change. Labor unions got their protection from the proposed tax on Cadillac insurance policies while the rest of us are expected to pay up if the reform becomes law.

Wall Street? Blah, blah, blah. Obama talked the game, but didn’t demand a change in bank rules. The bankers are getting multimillion-dollar bonuses on the backs of the public bailout, and now the president is talking tough again.

Unemployment? Obama let Congress do the dealing, which meant the public unions got theirs. Money poured to public-school teachers, fire departments and cops — all absolutely necessary expenses to avoid ever-more crammed classrooms and unsafe streets.

But the unemployed construction workers, secretaries and small-business people didn’t get much. A little more money in their unemployment checks and food stamps. They want jobs, not welfare.

Again, Obama missed a chance to push for more money for public works projects in which private contractors could hire workers for tax cuts focused on small businesses — not Fortune 500 companies. All of this he should have done his first year.

Should have. But it’s not in President Obama to do them. He’s not fiscally conservative. Never was. He is, however, most definitely partisan. Something independents run away from like the plague.

This all gets to something that has always struck me as somewhat curious about some independents, and I get the feeling Marquez exhibits some of the following characteristics. They (some) proclaim to march to the beat of a different drummer, and even relish in their disdain of partisan, ideological yahoos to the point of being smug about it. All this in the name of centrism.

However, as the 2008 presidential elections demonstrated, these same proud independents (some), somehow lost their “independence” and failed to match Obama’s rhetoric with his record. In their permanent desire to go against the flow, they voted for someone who so far has taken us down the stream towards the waterfall instead of upstream towards high ground.

Now, I’m not slamming all, or even most, independents.  Just the ones that like to point out how dumb people are for having an established ideological ground despite how well or poorly formed that foundation is. The fact is, it would have served independents like Marquez to put aside their inclinations and listen to the real and genuine concerns many Americans had and continue to have about Barack Obama. Results like the one in Massachusetts prove that most independents are indeed capable of acting out their label. Let’s just hope they don’t lose their way. We’re going to need them later this year and beyond.

No Jets. No Problem.

No way, Jose. Not rooting for Jets. Not even one iota. Even if hoards of New Yahkers descend on south Florida and spend lots of money (don’t they all live in Margate anyway?).

I prefer the Dave Hyde approach: it will be an interesting, if not classic, Super Bowl matchup regardless of who shows up. I just hope it isn’t the Jets.

UPDATE: Colts win 30-17. I now have a team to root for in SB 44: The Colts.

How Conservative is Scott Brown?

How conservative IS Scott Brown? That’s the question I and many others are asking the day after Brown’s stunning upset in the Massachusetts special Senate election. Google the title of this post, as I did, and you’ll see numerous articles and blog posts asking that same question.

The answer? Probably somewhere between John McCain and Mitt Romney. In other words, center-right. He’s pro-choice; and he supported a cap-and-trade-like measure in Massachusetts in 2008 supposedly because he thought it would reduce costs. His conservative appeal lies mostly in his support of reduced spending and lower taxes, not to mention opposition to ObamaCare.

Which leads to another question: how much of a factor was Brown’s ideology in the election? 50/50, at very most. Those of us on the right are undeniably and understandably encouraged by his victory. Nevertheless, Brown’s victory was less about ideology and much more about people being fed up with Washington establishment politics and the Obama administration’s blatant disregard for the will of the people. Let this be as much of a sobering reminder for Republicans as it is for Democrats. A reminder that, in this country, the people can still be heard when they shout loud enough.

The U.S. of A.

The U.S. military has officially taken over control of Haiti as troops have landed at the ruins of the presidential palace and main hospital. Despite reports that some Haitians aren’t appreciative of this (I guess I understand to an extent), the only hope Haiti really has right now are those American troops.

Think about it for a second if you already haven’t: A country fighting a wicked enemy in the Middle East for most of a decade. Troops stationed all around the world. Our economy the lowest it’s been in 30 years. And we still find a way to be the flicker of hope and stability in a ravaged country. Not only that, but we’re opening our own doors for Haitian orphans.

Some would say to this: so what? America is big enough to do it. America has a duty. Yes we are and yes we do. But just because you CAN do something doesn’t always mean you WILL do something. There must be a WILL, and that’s something the United States of America has always had. I for one will never take our country’s unending generosity for granted. Neither should you.

Answering Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson’s “Haiti is cursed” rationale behind last week’s devastating earthquake set off a firestorm of indignation over his comments. Most of the indignation was from Christians reacting to Robertson’s misrepresentation of the mystery of why bad things happen. A lot of it, however, also came from cynics who’ll latch on to any ridiculous comment made by a Christian and apply it to the entire faith, not to mention its faithful.

In response, I’d like to bring up this article written by Most Rev. Thomas Wenski, Bishop of Orlando. I won’t post the entire article here, but here are the highlights:

When faced with our misfortunes, or the misfortunes of others, we can be tempted to ask ourselves: What did we (or they) do to deserve this? Once in His ministry, Jesus spoke of the Galileans whom Pilate had executed, as well as those killed when the tower of Siloam collapsed (Lk 13: 1-9). Jesus warns us not to see these events as somehow the wrath of an angry God. Evil came into the world not by God’s willing it, but through the devil and human sin. Jesus says in the Gospel: Don’t think that those Galileans were the biggest sinners around. Don’t think that those who died in the tower were guiltier than any one else.

But as followers of Jesus, we cannot rush to blame victims for the evil visited upon them — nor can we blame God, whom Scripture reveals as all loving and all merciful. That doesn’t mean we will come to an easy understanding of why bad things happen to good people; most times we will have to wait with the patience of a Job to learn the answers to those questions, which God will surely tell us — but not necessarily on this side of heaven.

Bishop Wenski’s response still leaves plenty of room for thoughtful discussion. After all, no one on this earth understands the mysteries of God. However, it makes the proper Christian response to this disaster perfectly clear.

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