Monthly Archives: February 2009

CNN Joins NBC In Refusing To Air Pro-Life Ad

You may remember that NBC refused to Air a pro-life ad produced by CatholicVote.org during this year’s Superbowl game. Today, I receved this e-mail update from CatholicVote.org:

We have been quieter than usual the past two weeks for good reason. Following NBC’s refusal to air our ad during the Super Bowl, we received some great feedback from our members on what we should do next. The consensus was that our latest ad should be broadcast following President Obama’s first State of the Union Address — scheduled for next Tuesday.

So we contacted CNN, thinking their audience contains precisely the type of people we want to reach. Further, given CNN’s track record of running advocacy ads, we were confident we would succeed. Not so.

For the past two weeks, we have been pushing and prodding them for an answer. And late this week we finally got a response: No way.

A representative from CNN wrote: “Thank you for your patience. We have decided to pass on this creative. CNN doesn’t accept advocacy ads that portray personal decisions in a manner that suggests a position in favor of the advocacy message, without having permission of the persons involved.”

This is absurd. Our ad does not suggest that Barack Obama is pro-life. Instead, our ad presents nothing but facts. President Obama, like every human being, began as an unborn child. Because he was born, he was able to become the President of the United States.

CNN and others simply don’t like the obvious conclusion of our ad – there was no ‘choice’ for abortion back in 1961. Thankfully, we had laws then safeguarding unborn children — laws that protected the life of a future president who tragically is unwilling to fight for those same protections today.

But wait. Is this fair?

The standard CNN used to reject our ad did not prevent the network from airing a 2005 ad sponsored by the pro-abortion group NARAL that suggested that then Judge John Roberts supported violence against abortion clinics.

FactCheck.org described the NARAL ad this way: “An abortion-rights group is running an attack ad accusing Supreme Court nominee John Roberts of filing legal papers ‘supporting . . . a convicted clinic bomber’ and of having an ideology that ‘leads him to excuse violence against other Americans’ It shows images of a bombed clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. The ad is false.'”

Several prominent pro-abortion supporters condemned the ad, including President Clinton’s Solicitor General Walter Dellinger. The commercial, which attributed views to John Roberts that were not his, was ultimately pulled from the air not by CNN, but by NARAL.

At the time CNN issued a statement saying: “CNN accepts advocacy advertising from responsible groups from across the political spectrum who wish to express their views and their opinions about issues of public importance.”

CNN is willing to run ads insinuating that a federal judge supports violent criminal activity, but it won’t allow an ad celebrating the potential of all human life, including Barack Obama? Not to mention, we are fairly sure NARAL didn’t get permission from John Roberts to run their ad.

If you want to express your concerns, please do so firmly, but charitably. You can write CNN President Jonathan Klein at jonathan.klein@cnn.com

So what now?

We aren’t going to sit back and complain. We are still looking at several additional options to air the ad. We are also working on our next ad, and have set our sights high once again.

If you liked what we have done so far, we are confident you will be excited about what is coming next.

Brian Burch
CatholicVote.org

P.S. I discussed the decision by CNN to reject our recent ad with an executive of a prominent commercial ad agency. He said bluntly: “Their excuse is a textbook answer for a network that does not want to run your ad.”

Of course, all is not lost. CNN’s refusal will only create more attention for our ad, which has been widely discussed even among abortion groups like NARAL and nationally-syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman. The ad remains a viral hit on the Internet with over 1.6 million views on YouTube.

We have successfully provoked a national conversation about the gift of every human life — which is why we created the ad to begin with.

Rest assured, we are working hard on the next phase of this campaign. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.


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Deficit Be Damned, Olympia Democrats Can Still Think Of New Ways To Spend Your Money

Faced with a $6 billion deficit and proposed deep cuts to higher education, Representative Dave Quall (D-Mount Vernon) has proposed legislation that would make state financial aid available to illegal immigrants as an option for financing their college educations. Illegal residents already qualify for in-state tuition.

It would seem to me that the prudent course of action regarding illegal immigrants and our State universities, given the magnitude of the budge crisis we’re facing, would be not to offer to help them pay for their education, but to deny them in-state tuition. Or even, heaven forbid, require proof of legal status to enroll.

Democrats are quick to point out that many of the students who would benefit from State financial aid were brought here illegally by their parents as very young children and are thoroughly American, other than their immigration status. They claim that it’s unfair to deny them an education. Let me be quick to respond that actions have consequences. That these students find themselves in the awkward position of being Americanized and prepared for college with no easy means to pay for it is a consequence of their parents electing to enter the United States illegally.

From the Seattle Times:

Students like Manuel Garcia, a Mount Vernon High School junior with a 3.9 GPA, whose mother brought him to the U.S. when he was a baby.

Now, 17, he’d like to attend Washington State University when he graduates next year but keeps hearing from aid counselors that he doesn’t qualify for assistance and can’t work on campus.

“They say … if you have the money you can come,” Garcia said. “I think it’s obvious I don’t have $20,000 to go to college.”

Illegal immigrants who desire a college education need to be willing to work for it, rather than looking to the state to pay for it. While I’m sure that Garcia is a very nice young man, he’s already had the benefit of a free education which in all likelihood is far superior to what he would have received in his native country. And while he would “like” to attend Washington State, there are other, more affordable routes to a college education. Such as starting at a community college while living at home and working to save money.

This legislation represents a bad idea, whose time – I hope – never comes.

Read the complete article in the Seattle Times.

View House Bill 1706 and Senate Bill 5959 (note that illegal immigrants qualify as residents for tuition purposes.

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The Seattle Times

Your source for hard news.

Today being Friday the 13th, the Times reprinted a riveting piece by Bruce Newman of the San Jose Mercury News.

This will come as no surprise to worshippers of the Norse pagan goddess Frigga, but today is Friday the 13th, and people who suffer from a fear of calamity on this day are known as friggatriskaidekaphobes.

This Friday the 13th is only the beginning of the bad news.

As if the year weren’t already off to a painful start, 2009 is shaping up as the unluckiest year in more than a decade. After today’s Friday the 13th come ones in March and November.

The last time there were three Friday the 13ths in one year was 1998, and it won’t occur again until 2015.

Friday was named for Frigga, who prepared for the weekend by hosting a party on that day for 11 of her closest friends and the devil — 13 evil spirits total.

With newspapers printing this kind of drivel, is it any wonder they’re fighting for survival?

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As Clear As Mud

During his campaign, Candidate Barack Obama promised to make government more transparent and to increase citizen involvement. President Barack Obama turned that campaign promise into a commitment. From the White House blog:

A short time ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and his new administration officially came to life. One of the first changes is the White House’s new website, which will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world.

Millions of Americans have powered President Obama’s journey to the White House, many taking advantage of the internet to play a role in shaping our country’s future. WhiteHouse.gov is just the beginning of the new administration’s efforts to expand and deepen this online engagement.

Just like your new government, WhiteHouse.gov and the rest of the Administration’s online programs will put citizens first.

Also from the blog:

One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.

Getting down to business, let’s talk about the stimulus bill, which was crafted behind closed doors – I mean really closed, even to the Republican committee members – which has grown to over 1,400 pages and may still be growing, and which, as of 7:00 Eastern Standard Time, was yet to be distributed to Republican Congressmen, let alone posted for public review. With a vote tentatively set to begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, not only is the public being denied the opportunity to review this gargantuan piece of legislation, but so are the legislators who will be voting on it.

Some people may argue that the stimulus bill is an emergency piece of legislation and thus exempt from the stated public review policy, but according to the Congressional Budge Office, “It will take years before an infrastructure spending program proposed by President-elect Barack Obama will boost the economy,” and at least a quarter of the funds wouldn’t be spent until 2011 or later. In my mind, that hardly qualifies the whole package as emergency legislation.

I applaud the intent and hope that President Obama’s commitment to transparency and citizen participation will be implemented but it remains (as do the Administration’s ethics requirements) just that: an intent. For the time being, government is as clear as mud.

The White House Blog: Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov
John Boehner’s Statement on Stimulus Package
Executive Order, Ethics Commitments

Thanks to @rightwingchick for helping me out with my internet research.

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This Would Make Me Laugh…

If it didn’t make me feel like crying instead. From an AP article on the agreement reached on the stimulus bill between the House and the Senate:

It also preserves Obama’s signature tax cut — a break for millions of lower and middle income taxpayers, including those who don’t earn enough to pay income taxes.

One of the reasons I chose It’s Only Words as the name of my blog was because I intended to highlight instances where language is misused, either purposefully – to guide opinion or to mislead – or through ignorance.

Why do I believe it’s important? Take a look at the Tower of Babel. Whether or not you believe the story to be historically accurate, it serves to illustrate the point that great things cannot be achieved without great communications. If words and phrases don’t have meanings that we all acknowledge and understand, how can we possibly hope to communicate complex ideas?

So here’s my issue: people who don’t pay taxes can’t receive tax cuts. This would seem to be self-evident but apparently the good folks at the AP are confused. I’m not writing today to argue the merits of making cash payments to low income workers, I’m just saying we shouldn’t call the payments tax cuts. For me, at least, that keeps the debate honest.

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If I Call You A Libtard, Can You Hear Anything Else I Say?

This is a post where I’ve put all my goods in the shop window, so to speak; my headline just about says it all.

Consider this a plea for civility in online discussions of politics. I know it can be tempting to take a cheap shot when you’re in the midst of a “private” conversation with like-minded people, but keep in mind that unless you’ve actually taken steps to keep your conversation private…it’s not. Deliberately inflammatory language and name-calling may score some easy laughs but can also confirm stereotypes and be counter-productive in the long run.

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Locking The Barn Door After The Horse Has Bolted.

Tom Daschle withdrew his name from consideration as Health and Human Services Secretary amid another tax controversy for President Barack Obama’s young administration. From Reuters:

Obama said in a statement he accepted [Daschle's] decision “with sadness and regret” because Daschle was highly qualified for the post, and he acknowledged in television interviews later that he had erred in not anticipating the problems.

“I think this was a mistake. I think I screwed up and I take responsibility for it,” Obama told CNN, adding he did not want to send a message there is one standard for the powerful and another standard for ordinary people.

There are a couple of things here that concern me. The first, President Obama’s assertion that he had erred in not anticipating the problems. Applying the rules of common English usage, the President appears to be saying that he knew of Daschle’s tax issues in advance, but failed to anticipate that they would be controversial. I would have to respectfully assert that, controversy notwithstanding, the tax issues themselves should have been grounds to disqualify Daschle from nomination, whose name should have been withdrawn by the President, as soon as the they were revealed.

Second, and this brings us to the barn door, is President Obama’s assertion that he doesn’t want to establish a double standard, whereby ordinary citizens are be held to a higher standard than Cabinet officials. I’m sorry to be the one to have to point this out, but the double standard has already been established by President Obama’s failure to withdraw Timothy Geithner’s name from nomination immediately upon learning of his tax troubles and subsequently allowing him to be confirmed as Secretary of the Treasury.

President Obama claims his administration has in place a set of ethics requirements that exceeds those of any previous administrations. That may be true, but what good are those requirements if all the White House is doing is boasting about them without really applying them to the process of governing?

Read the full Reuters article.

2/3/09 Update

From Maureen Dowd:

…Americans were desperate to trust someone when they made Barack Obama president. His debut has left them skeptical about his willingness to smack down those who would flout his high standards or waste our money.

Just taking another opportunity to point out that saying you have high standards does not equal having high standards. In the first weeks of his presidency, President Obama has failed to demonstrate that his high standards are anything more than empty words.

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Rodney Coronado…”A Fine Young Man.”

Does your definition of “a fine young man” include arson in the name of animal rights? To PETA founder, Ingrid Newkirk, it does.

To eco-extremists and animal rights activists, I guess it’s okay to set fires as long as you’re a school teacher. Yeah. I think we definitely need more domestic terrorists in the classroom. So Rodney Coronado and Bill Ayers, team teaching. Dynamite combo!

There is a disturbing undercurrent of thought, here, that says terrorism is okay if your motives are pure. This seem to be distressingly common in the Pacific Northwest. In March of 2008, an arson fire attributed to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) caused $7 million damages to four homes in an uninhabited green housing development. In June of 2008, Briana Waters was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $6 million dollars for her participation in the firebombing of the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington, also an action of ELF.

ELF has been particularly active in the Pacific Northwest and one might be so naive as to think that people of good conscience would reject acts of domestic terrorism out of hand. While that might be true in some parts of the country, I’m sorry to say that here in the Greater Seattle area, you don’t have to go far to hear people making excuses. People who you know to be otherwise rational, apparently throw all reason to the wind when the environment is involved. They are the ones who will say things like, “Well I can understand what drove them to it.”

Huh? Terrorism is wrong and motivation is irrelevant. Why don’t people say, “Setting fires is wrong and I don’t care why they did it?” Whether it’s right-wing extremists fire-bombing abortion clinics or left-wing extremists fire-bombing housing developments, terrorism is wrong. People who engage in terrorism are not “fine people” no matter what their motives are and by contributing money to their defense, you condone their actions, which pretty much makes you something other than a “fine person” as well.

In case you had any doubts as to just how “fine” Rodney Coronado is, you can read his “fine” biography here. And if you’re interested in knowing just how “fine” an organization PETA is, you can find that here.

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Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford

Watch this video, then ponder the question: Do you suppose the Democrats in Congress realize this is just how stupid they appear when they vote for a nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill?

(Sorry, you’re going to have to scrolldown to the bottom of the page for the video.)

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Public Schools…Success or Failure?

As I often tell my acquaintances farther along toward the left end of the political spectrum, the answer to questions such as the one posed here is often a matter of perspective.

If the objective of our public schools it to produce citizens who are capable of independent, critical thought and with enough historical, economic, and civics knowledge to function as good citizens in our republic, our public schools appear to be abject failures.

On the other hand, if you believe that “Education is the motor-force of revolution,” as does Bill Ayers, then our schools have succeeded quite nicely. Please see this excellent article by Phyllis Schlafly for more information about the leftist takeover of our schools.

A silent revolution has transformed our public schools from halls of learning to indoctrination centers for leftist thought. As a parent, I experienced first-hand the constant push to advance of the leftist agenda, for example, a kindergarten project asking the question, “How did the tree feel,” (when it was cruelly cut down and put to use) and high school math texts that ask questions, not about the numbers involved in a particular problem, but about the social implications.

So the next time you’re wondering why our public schools are failing and our students continue to lag behind other industrialized countries in math and science and it seems as though nothing ever really gets done to fix it, stop and ask yourself, do the people in charge really consider our schools a failure?

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