The Press-Dispatch

April 10, 2013

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Opinion C-2 Wednesday, April 10, 2013 The Press-Dispatch Observations by Thomas Sowell Guns save lives We all know that guns can cost lives because the media repeat this message endlessly, as if we could not figure it out for ourselves. But even someone who reads newspapers regularly and watches numerous television newscasts may never learn that guns also save lives��� much less see any hard facts comparing how many lives are lost and how many are saved. But that trade-off is the real issue, not the Second Amendment or the National Rifle Association, which so many in the media obsess about. If guns cost more lives than they save, we can always repeal the Second Amendment. But if guns save more lives than they cost, we need to know that, instead of spending time demonizing the National Rifle Association. The defensive use of guns is usually either not discussed at all in the media or Rebuilding a ruined city By Ed Feulner Many are warning that the United States could become the next Greece. But there���s no need to look across the ocean to see a poorly-governed area that���s deep in debt and crumbling. Just look to Detroit. That city was once the picture of American industrial might. Henry Ford deployed the production line there and helped create the modern middle class. During World War II, more than a third of U.S. war material was manufactured in the city. And during the post-war boom, cars made in Detroit embodied the American success story. Now, though, the Motor City is collapsing in every conceivable way. The unemployment rate is 18 percent, meaning almost one of every five people is out of work. A big reason for that is that the city���s schools have failed. Just 7 percent of eighth-graders are proficient in reading. Only a handful of Detroit residents (12 percent) have a college degree. Yet Detroit teachers are the best paid in the nation, the Mackinac Center for Policy Policy says, when their pay is adjusted for purchasing power. Meanwhile, Detroit is $327 million in the red and has no credible plan to get back on its feet. That���s why Michigan���s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder recently appointed an emergency manager. Kevyn Orr has 18 months to try to save the city. Even though he has broad power to sell assets and renegotiate contracts, his job will be difficult. These days there���s more work to be done tearing homes down than building new ones. An executive at Pulte Homes has set up a non-profit to do just that in Detroit. By reversing the building process, it can remove an empty house for just $5,000, half what it would cost the city government to do so. In fact, government is more a hindrance than a help. ���If the government could fix the problem, they would,��� urban artist Jenenne Whitfield told National Review. ���Everything we know that���s historically held up this city is broken. It���s a bit of a radical way of thinking . . . [but] our government has to change. It has to go back to what it was, going all the way back to the Constitution.��� A non-profit group called Motor City Blight Busters that has taken down some 1,500 houses. There ���a lot of rules and regulations that relate to removing property,��� the group���s founder said. ���The government [has been] interfering with our ability and others��� ability��� to remove blight. There are signs, however, that the city���s government has seen the light. ���Our role is to support. And sometimes, our role is just to get out of the way,��� Karla Henderson told National Review. Henderson heads up Mayor Dave Bing���s efforts to remove urban blight by helping people ���navigate around some of these government bureaucracies that are sitting in the way.��� Detroit also needs to get a handle on crime. With all Continued on page 3 The no-spin zone���by Bill O���Reilly Zombies vs. Jesus On Easter Sunday evening, a TV show about good and evil aired on the History Channel���the final installment of ���The Bible��� miniseries in which Jesus is executed. AMC ran the season-ending episode of ���The Walking Dead������the series where zombies try to eat the brains of human beings. One footnote: The world might have been a better place had the zombies preemptively gotten to the guy who thought up this series in the first place. Anyway, the zombies won. They beat Jesus in the ratings, especially among viewers ages 18 to 49. What lesson can be derived from Jesus losing to the walking dead? Well, it proves that about 12 million Americans want to see blood and gore. Wait��� there was plenty of that in the Bible���s crucifixion scenes. Maybe the zombie viewers simply wanted cheap thrills. Yeah, that���s it. Cheap thrills triumphed over a spiritual experience. Cannibalism beat baptism. Base entertainment almost always beats highbrow stuff. But watching flesh-eating zombies on Easter does put a different spin on things, does it not? I mean, how soon can we digest dismemberment on television after eating our baked ham dinner? One hour? Two? At least Jesus was in context. The New Testament says the son of God rose from the dead on Easter. The zombies rise from the dead whenever their makeup is finished. Honestly, I have no idea what this zombie phenomenon is all about. Way back in the 1960s, I saw the first modern zombie movie: ���Night of the Living Dead.��� Things were creeping along OK until a little girl turned into a zombie and tried to eat her mom. At that point, my entire group decided enough was enough, and we bolted out of the theater. But today that scene would be tame. Now zombie kids will eat their entire families if given the opportunity. Depravity doesn���t even begin to cover it. Apparently, we Americans have an unending appetite for gross behavior. Pun intended. What must Jesus think? Here he is, being nailed to the cross by smirking Romans and getting trounced by TV zombies at the same time. The Prince of Peace preached that we all should love our neighbors as ourselves. I do not believe that Jesus would condone eating your neighbor even if you are dead. Many folks who like this zombie business freely admit it���s a low form of entertainment. ���But so what?��� they say. It���s fun to envision yourself outsmarting zombies, blasting them to hell with shotguns and then escaping to some tattoo parlor. I guess that���s fun in some precincts. But not for me. I threw in with Jesus even though the guy who played him looked a bit like Spicoli in ���Fast Times at Ridgemont High.��� Sure, I knew how the miniseries was going to end, but there are worse things you could do on Easter Sunday���like watching maneating zombies. All I know is this: When Jesus appeared to the apostles after he died, thank God they did not have access to AMC. Points to ponder���by Ford Bond What Was Bill Thinking? Most of my favorite teachers, whether they were leading a class in secular or religious education, were those who challenged my preconceived ideas. To have a belief challenged makes one dig for an answer and validates the belief; or it must be redefined or discarded. A favorite teacher of mine with whom I had two religious classes began the class with a monologue about religious dogmas, and then added, ���It is not your fault you are ignorant; you simply have not been taught: I am here to help you overcome that ignorance.��� The class was never dull. Most Christians are woefully ignorant of the origin and doctrines of their denomination and the history of the faith. For most Christians when they are asked about their faith, the first thing out of their mouth is ���I believe,��� which generally demonstrates their ignorance of things spiritual. Christianity grew from a handful of followers of Jesus to a force that changed the way the world views life, ethics, and God. This did not occur overnight and without cost. To become a Christian in the first 350 years after Christ���s resurrection had consequences. Life in the Greco-Roman world was centered upon social rank and religion. To become a Christian meant to step out- A woman���s perspective���by Mona Charen Inconvenient headlines It���s a deeply felt conviction among liberals that they are the caring party. It���s not too much to say that liberals are quite confident that they are nicer, more moral people than conservatives. It must require truly titanic powers of denial for the ���moral��� and ���compassionate��� party to maintain its position on abortion���a position that leads them into some macabre rationalizations. Consciences among the morally superior party are agreeably quiescent. But recent headlines have not been similarly cooperative. In Florida, the legislature is considering a variant of the ���Born Alive Infants Protection Act,��� which would require that abortionists provide medical assistance to infants who are ���accidentally��� born alive and kicking during an abortion. (Then State Senator Barack Obama vociferously opposed similar legislation in Illinois.) Ms. Alisa LaPolt Snow, representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified against the bill. Florida representative Jim Boyd, apparently unsure that he had understood her correctly, asked: ���So, um, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I���m almost in disbelief. If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?��� Ms. Snow responded her organization ���believes that any decision that���s made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician.��� In short, as the Weekly Standard summarized, else is depicted as if it means bullets flying in all directions, like the gunfight at the OK Corral. But most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger. If someone comes at you with a knife and you point a gun at him, he is very unlikely to keep coming, and far more likely to head in the other direction, perhaps in some haste, if he has a brain in his head. Only if he is an idiot are you likely to have to pull the trigger. And if he is an idiot with a knife coming after you, you had better have a trigger to pull. Surveys of American gun owners have found that 4 to 6 percent reported using Continued on page 3 Florida Planned Parenthood is in favor of ���post-birth abortion.��� This is consistent with the position of the president of the United States and most members of the caring party. Ms. Snow was asked why she didn���t support simply transporting a breathing, moving infant to a hospital where he or she would have the best chance of survival. Snow developed a sudden concern for ambulance convenience: ���(T) hose situations where it is in a rural health care setting, the hospital is 45 minutes or an hour away, that���s the closest trauma center or emergency room. You know there���s just some logistical issues involved that we have some concerns about.��� Really? Logistical concerns? So if a baby is brought to a rural clinic suffering from, say, meningitis, and the nearest trauma center is 45 minutes away, does Planned Parenthood have ���concerns��� about the ���logistical issues��� involved? Or does Planned Parenthood stand for the principle that when a woman chooses abortion, she is entitled to a dead baby? Snow���s testimony comes at an inopportune moment for the deniers���the ���abortion rights��� absolutists who hotly deny that infants are ever born alive during botched abortions���because in Philadelphia, an abortionist is on trial. Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial for murder in the deaths of one woman and seven second trimester babies. The 41-year-old woman had sought an abortion and was given an overdose of narcotics at Gosnell���s clinic. The seven babies were all born alive, according to the indictment. Gosnell then used scissors to ���snip��� their spinal columns. One of his assistants, who pled guilty to third-degree murder, said that such ���snippings��� were ���routine��� for lateterm abortions���so there were probably many more than seven. Gosnell wasn���t at all particular about gestational age. An ultrasound technician recorded the age of one baby as 29.4 weeks, or about 7.5 months. In Pennsylvania, abortions are not permitted after 24 weeks (and survival is above 85 percent for babies born at 27 weeks). In one case, a nurse testified that a baby cried after being born. Gosnell snipped his neck and told the nurse that there was nothing to worry about. He was placed in a basin on a counter. Another large baby was disposed of in a shoebox, but he was too large and his feet dangled over the sides. In another case, Gosnell allegedly joked with a nurse that a baby was so big ���he could have walked to the bus stop.��� Gosnell seems to be a particularly freakish ���provider.��� He kept fetal feet in jars in an office prosecutors described as a ���house of horrors.��� (Pictures are on the Internet, but beware: They are graphic.) Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California who engaged in an unwise colloquy with then-Senator Rick Santorum about when infants deserve to be treated as people, spoke for many of the caring elite when she said that life begins when ���you take the baby home from the hospital.��� Some day, our descendants will look back at this and ask how we could have tamely accepted such barbarism. A special obloquy will attach to the Orwellians who call it compassion. side of the accepted ���norms��� and become an outcast. Depending upon the era and region of the Western World, people could lose their wealth, property, and be treated as a pariah. Christians who refused to worship the gods often were put to death. In addition, the formative years of Christianity were full of tension, political and social ostracism, and wrestling with internal factions, heresies, and counterfeit apostolic writings. By the end of the sixth century, the statements of faith that the church rests upon were set: The Apostles, The Nicene, The Caledonian, and The Athanasian Creeds. Making this point at length is necessary because many people of prominence make ignorant and uninformed statements that demonstrate their lack of commitment to their own faith. For instance in the 2008 election, Nancy Pelosi claimed the Catholic Church, which she is a member, has no definitive statement about abortion. How about the 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) from John Paul II? Now another can be added to the pantheon of ill-in- formed or cherry picking Christians who has demonstrated either their ignorance or disregard of historical church teachings. During the news feeding frenzy when the Supreme Court was tacking California���s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, ���The Factor���s��� own Bill O���Reilly, referred to those who disagree with same-sex marriage as ���bible thumpers.��� O���Reilly takes great pains to let his audience know of his political leanings, his religious preference (Catholic), and he has attended the Kennedy School at Harvard. O���Reilly sided with the proponents of gay marriage and had this to say: ���The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals; we���re Americans. We just want to be treated like everybody else. That is a compelling argument and to deny that, you���ve got to have a very strong argument on the other side. And the other side hasn���t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.��� Granted, O���Reilly may be taking a stand on secular grounds. However, if this is so, then his remarks are Continued on page 3 The P Dispatch ress- MR. AND MRS. FRANK HEURING, PUBLISHERS ANDREW G. HEURING, EDITOR JOHN B. HEURING, ADVERTISING MANAGER Wednesday, April 10, 2013 Entered at the Post Office in Petersburg, Indiana for transmission through the mails as Periodical Mail, Postage paid at Petersburg, Indiana. Published weekly. Change of Address���Subscribers changing addresses will please give old address as well as new one along with phone number. We cannot guarantee prompt change unless this is done. Postmaster: send changes to Post Office Box 68, Petersburg, Indiana 47567-0068. Phone 354-8500 ��� FAX���354-2014 P.O. BOX 68, PETERSBURG, INDIANA 47567 E-mail��� (604-340)

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