This Modern Age

Archive for July 2008

Can Obama Win? Quick Thoughts on Current Polling

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To start – My heart and prayers go out to Robert Novak.  He is a strong man and has been a great patriot.  I am confident that he has courage to face his current trial.

The screaming headline on Drudge recently was Obama’s new growing lead.  Really?  The referenced poll was Gallup with Obama over McCain 48/40.  But there are two obvious flaws with the data:

  1. Gallop polled registered voters.  The most accurate polls are of likely voters, ‘registered voter’ polls always trend favoring the Democrat.
  2. Gallop polled over July 25-27.  Weekend polls also traditionally favor Democrats (care to guess why?).

So, the media got the news they wanted – Obama’s big lead is starting to show. 

USA Today/Gallup, also a weekend poll, shows McCain over Obama 49/45.

Rasmussen has Obama over McCain 45/42.

So it’s a horse race.  After everything positive for Obamahas occurred and McCain can’t find any real traction with conservatives, Obama still doesn’t have this wrapped up in a nice little package. 

As Robert Novak points out in his most recent column, in the summer:

  • Carter had a 33 point lead over Ford, only to finish with razor thin margins.
  • Dukakis held a 17 point lead over George H.W. Bush and lost.
  • Gore and Kerry had leads on George W. Bush as well and both lost.

So why is McCain so close still?  Novak offers up the data point that 10%-15% of the white vote is still undecided.  Fair enough – it might be very difficult for Obama to close that one.

And we still have a long way to go – what about when everyone starts talking about the Induced Infant Liability Act?

Elegant Freedom

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My wife loves Laura Ingalls Wilder.  My girls (4 and 5 years old) get a strong dose of Mrs. Wilder everyday and I pray that it sticks in their souls.

In Little Town on the Prarie Laura offers the following observation about freedom on the Fourth of July: 

…Laura stood stock still. Suddenly she had a completely new thought.  The Declaration and the song (My Country, ’tis of Thee) came together in her mind, and she thought: God is America’s king.

She thought: Americans won’t obey any king on earth.  Americans are free.  That means they have to obey their own consciences.  No king bosses Pa; he has to boss himself.  Why (she thought), when I am a little older, Pa and Ma will stop telling me what to do, and there isn’t anyone else who has a right to give me orders.  I will have to make myself be good.

Her whole mind seemed to lighten up by that thought.  This is what it means to be free.  It means, you have to be good. ‘Our father’s God, author of liberty-‘ The laws of Nature and of Nature’s God endow you with a right to life and liberty.  Then you have to keep the laws of God, for God’s law is the only thing that gives you a right to be free.

Laura had no time to think any further….


Carrie, Laura, Grace

The Ingalls Family: Seated from left: Ma (Caroline), Pa (Charles), Mary, Standing from left: Carrie, Laura, Grace

Written by thismodernage

July 29, 2008 at 3:08 am

Around the Horn…

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The Pew Research survey was released on July 18.  Despite Obama’s push for evangelical votes and the support he has gained evangelicals like Tony Campolo, he is polling in line with Sen. John Kerry and below Vice President Al Gore.  Any theories on why?  For the full report, click here.

Pew Research on Evangelical Votes

I’ve found a lot of arguments over the years actually boil down to economics.  Unfortunately, people are willing to say so much about it when they understand so little.  Dr. Walter Williams offers a great primer via his weekly column.  Learn and enjoy…  Actually, you can print these all out, staple them together, read them and get a better economics education than 95% of the living world. 

Rasmussen reports that 49% of voters believe reporters will try to help Barack Obama win the presidency.  Odd, who would have ever guessed? 

Click Picture for Full Report on Media Research Center Report on Media Bias

Click image for Full Report

Congress Shall Have Power…

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In an election year there are all sorts of arguments about how problems should be solved (healthcare, welfare, crime, foreign affairs, etc…).  However, it is rare to find people discuss the actual purposes of the United States government at the same time.  For most voters, it seems like the government has simply become a magical Santa Claus that simply grants wishes for people who want “good things.”  As a simple refresher I have posted Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution.  PS – The word ‘education’ is not found anywhere in the Constitution…


The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Written by thismodernage

July 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm

David Freddoso on Democratic Position on Gas Prices

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At NRO, David Freddoso tidily sums up the current Liberal Democrat position on gas prices:

Idea Number One: High gasoline prices are good. A high price, imposed through federal carbon taxes or carbon caps, is precisely the mechanism by which Democrats hope to curb carbon emissions. We know that this mechanism works because it is already working: As gas prices rise, American consumption is down right now, year over year (a historical rarity). CO2 emissions from gasoline are down from 2007 by a modest 84,000 tons, or roughly 2 percent.

Idea Number Two: High gasoline prices are bad. With constituents irate over gasoline prices that are pushing $5 a gallon, Democrats complain that high prices are a bad thing. They have dreamed up a number of boogie men responsible for high prices and drafted silver-bullet bills to kill them off.

This is more a case of cynicism than irrationality, however. Democrats only pretend to believe in Idea Number Two. Their presidential nominee, Barack Obama, lamented in mid-June that high gasoline prices have hurt Americans, but he later gave a much more accurate representation of the party line: “I think that I would have preferred a more gradual adjustment,” he said in an MSNBC interview.

Have fun sorting that out with the voters…

Written by thismodernage

July 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Samir Kuntar Is a Monster

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As the world knows Israel struck a deal with Hezbollah to swap Samir Kuntar, four other terrorists and 199 bodies of Arab terrorists in return for two dead Israili soldiers.

So who is Samir Kuntar? 

Kantar Recieves Hero's Welcome

Samir Kantar gets a hero's welcome

The following is a quote from woman whose four year daughter was brutally murdered by Samir:

Kuntar’s name is all but unknown to the world. But I know it well. Because almost a quarter of a century ago, Kuntar murdered my family….

I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. “This is just like what happened to my mother,” I thought….

Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar….

To read her entire article that was published in the Washington Post in 2003 click here.

Oh, and are you wondering what would drive a man to do this to a four year old girl?  Well, thankfully, Abu Abbas was willing to tell the world that the attack was “to protest the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty” at Camp David the previous year. 

How do we negotiate with that?


The NY Times wrote on the notorious swap and mentioned Samir Kuntar only as he, “who had been held for nearly three decades after being convicted in connection with a deadly and notorious attack that also took place in Nahariya.”  I guess that was all the news on Samir Kuntar worth mentioning.

Written by thismodernage

July 17, 2008 at 10:12 am

Around the Horn…

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If any of you are a fan of Tad Delay’s blog you will notice I have adopted (stolen is more accurate) my concept for ‘Around the Horn’ from his Meanderings

John McCain would become a much more exciting candidate and have a great chance of winning if he would take the One Term Pledge

‘Why We’re Not Emergent’ has proven to be a great read through about page 60.  Follow a link to download the first few chapters for free.  More on this later…

If you don’t know Chip Ingram, you should.  His series on Nehemiah at DTS in 2004 was amazing.

Bastille Day: Outsourced French Bashing (a day late)

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I know, I know… There hasn’t been anything new here for days! 

Thankfully, my faithful commenters have kept lively – go take sides before I do… (I haven’t even had time to read and respond to comments). 

I’m also crushed that I missed blogging on Bastille Day.  For some great French bashing… err, I mean historical commentary, enjoy reading Jonah Goldberg on Bastille Day specifically and the French in general:




  1. Adhering to Al Bundy’s immortal fatwah, ‘It is good to hate the French.‘”
  2. The French Revolution was a disgusting affair of tyrannical ego, greed and power-lust, made all the worse because it took a good idea and corrupted it, like making a BMW into a low-rider.
  3. “Top Ten Reasons to Hate the French.”
  4. “Nothing did more to grant legitimacy to the idea that modern and enlightened thinking could excuse killing, razing, burning, torturing, and social leveling for utopian or “progressive” ends than the French Revolution.”
  5. “Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, all admired the French Revolution and found within it precedents for their own contributions to world history (though most of them found the American Revolution utterly useless).”

Until I have more time on Wednesday night or Thursday…

PS – Oh, and if you are wondering about Tim Carney and/or St. John’s College (I know you’re out there), feel free to contact me – I’ll give you the low down.

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July 16, 2008 at 12:19 am – Documenting Saddam Hussien’s Support of Terrorism

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If you have been interested in the posts on Remembering the Causes of the Iraq War, I have added a new blog to my blogroll – Regime of Terror

Mark Eichenlaub has done an excellent job bringing together reports and news stories to document the links between Saddam Hussien’s Iraq and global terrorists. 

Please be sure to check it out if you are a skeptic or cheerleader.

Written by thismodernage

July 11, 2008 at 5:53 pm

On Abortion: Tony Campolo Is Misguided

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Tony used his latest blog entry at God’s Politics to try to redefine the abortion debate. 

Obviously, he claims to be a “pro-life Democrat.”  And he is willing to go so far as to say that abortions should be reduced.  But he doesn’t ever really state why this is a worthy goal. 

I would like to ask Tony, do you believe there is anything wrong with abortions?  Is there something that would, per se, make our civilization better by having a reduced number of abortions?  Just curious… Hopefully he answers those questions in the big stack of his books that I recently checked out of the library. 

If someone wanted to be really cynical they could say that it looks like Tony wants to reduce abortions for the sake of trying to lure traditionally Republican voting Christians away to the Democratic Party. 

If the Democrats are going to make any dent in the support that Evangelicals now provide for the Republicans, they had better address the abortion issue and do what is necessary to show that while their party might still remain pro-choice, it has become a party committed to making abortions rare.

If such a cynic was correct, that would reduce Tony Campolo – self proclaimed prophet – to being a political hack.  For Campolo, whose friends clamor for a “third way”, this would certainly impare his integrity as well as theirs.

Further, we can fairly ask if Campolo even wants to reduce abortions at all.  One of the more dishonest Leftist arguments is that they are really “pro-life” because they are more concerned about the life of the child after it is born.  This is not the post to unpack everything wrong with that, but I will offer a rhetorical shot that hopefully wounds the big, dumb beast. 

If I’m an unborn child (and we all were), I’m willing to take my chances without healthcare, and with poorly performing public schools and a broken federal welfare system, if you promise to keep the skin-eating acid off my flesh and the buzzsaw away from my skull – sound fair?  Give me a shot at life (which I would guess you value for yourself) and I will sort out the financial ups and downs from there. 

Why, if Tony really wants to use some enlightened third way to reduce abortions, does he only chastise pro-life Republicans?  He states, “It’s not enough to advocate the overturning of Roe v. Wade.  Pro-life Republicans must join pro-life Democrats and address economic problems that are driving hundreds of thousands of young women to think that abortion is their only option.”

Really Tony?  Shouldn’t you be telling your Democratic buddies (while you’re busy helping them scribe the party platform in Denver) to also be joining their Republican bretheren in overturning Roe v. Wade, or reducing federal funding for abortions?  Or, since, in his words, “hundreds of thousands of young women think that abortion is their only option”, he could use some of his teaching prowess to help them start “thinking” something different. 

PS – The Republicans did nothing to address abortion?  Tony, you dishonest fool!  What do John Roberts and Sam Alito (not to mention Justices Scalia and Thomas) mean to the United States Supreme Court?  And why did your party attempt to bend space and time to keep them off the Supreme Court?  In 1972, five Justices decided they would strip the abortion argument out of the democratic process and leave it solely to the judicial branch of government. 

Tony, you know well and good that no legislative vote or executive order was going to directly effect abortions.  Oh wait, I do seem to remember something

I’ll offer a prize (to be determined) to anyone that can find a quote of Tony Campolo’s on the threat of Justice Roberts or Alito overturning Roe v. Wade.  Any takers?