Peace begins in the womb 3


By Tom Quiner

If a society allows the weakest in society to be exterminated without raising a finger, anything is possible.

For a generation, America has turned its back on our most vulnerable little ones with unfettered abortion “rights” at the expense of the pre-born.

Does it matter?

The Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 negated all legal protections for the pre-born on the books at the state level. Overnight, they were hung out to dry, so to speak.

Since then, America has changed.

The divorce rate went up.

Child abuse increased.

Drug abuse increased.

Illegitimacy exploded.

The African-American community was decimated.

Pornography use increased.

The nation’s replacement birth rate plummeted.

Is there any connection?

How can there not be a correlation? When a nation’s top legal body says human life is expendable when it is in the womb, it suggests that the value of human life is conditional, not absolute.

In one fell swoop, the Court degraded the value of humanity, and we have experienced a dramatic increase in social pathology ever since. We invest tremendous resources trying to fix the problems created by the Court’s decision to declare war on the womb.

This country has many great human beings who are vocal peace advocates. I notice something about so many of them, though. The same people critical of our wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, these ardent peace advocates, are far too frequently advocates of abortion rights.

And yet one of their fellow peace advocates, the late John Paul II, a man who shared their opinions on those wars, had this to say:

“America you are beautiful . . . and blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.”

In other words, peace begins in the womb.

Another peace advocate, Mother Teresa of Calcutta put it this way:

“I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is Abortion, because it is a war against the child… A direct killing of the innocent child, Murder by the mother herself… And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love… And we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts…”

Mother Teresa puts it quite simply when she says:

“We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, killings, of wars, or of hatred…If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?”

Ronald Reagan put it this way:

“Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is (alive). And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Simple morality doesn’t seem so simple in light of America’s 53 million abortions since the Roe decision.

And yet it seems so obvious when we listen to Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, and Ronald Reagan.

Peace begins in the womb.

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Courageous leaders 5


By Tom Quiner

Ronald Reagan said "no" to Mikhail Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit in 1986

The stakes were high.

The world was watching. An historic arms control treaty with the Soviet Union was within our grasp.

The date was October 12th, 1986. The place was Reykjavik, Iceland.

If Ronald Reagan said yes to Mikhail Gorbachev, Mr. Reagan would be hailed as a hero.

If he said no to the treaty they had hammered out, he would be reviled as a failure.

Mr. Reagan said no.

And the world reviled him for his “failure” at the Reykjavik Summit.

Reagan advisor, Richard Perle, described the scene:

“In a hot, crowded room in a turn-of-the-century house overlooking Reykjavik harbour, the President of the United States listened intently to his advisers. A few hours earlier, after a day and a half of intense negotiation, Mikhail Gorbachev had agreed to accept American proposals to slash nuclear arsenals–but only if Ronald Reagan would confine his Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) to the laboratory, effectively killing any chance it could be built. The question was whether to accept Gorbachev’s offer and abandon SDI, or reject it and return home without an agreement, leaving the US free to continue work on a defence against ballistic missiles.”

In other other words, Gorbachev wanted Reagan to get rid of “Star Wars” as the press called it then. Perle continues:

“As happened often, the president’s advisers were divided. Reagan asked his chief of staff, who was among those urging him to accept the Soviet proposal. “If we say ‘Yes’, won’t it be just so we can leave here with an agreement?” It was a rhetorical question. The President had made the most consequential decision of his political life.”

In other words, he wasn’t going to agree to something just to be popular if he thought it was wrong for America. He wasn’t going to make a decision just to win a Nobel Peace prize. Perle conludes:

“Thus did Ronald Reagan’s “No” to Gorbachev end the 1986 Iceland summit. Immediately, a breathless world press reported the apparent failure at Reykjavik. Without an agreement, the rebuilding of American defences, including SDI, would continue. Relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, already deeply strained, would surely worsen. Experts were despondent. Reagan was not.”

Ronald Reagan had courage. He knew what he believed in. He made an unpopular decision at that historic summit knowing the press would blast him. Mr. Reagan knew history would vindicate him.

And it did with the collapse of the Soviet Union, thanks in part to Ronald Reagan’s steadfastness at Reykjavik.

***

The date was January 10th, 2007. President George W. Bush was reviled by much of the country for the way the Iraq War was going. His political enemies had effectively (if inaccurately) made the case that “Bush lied and people died.”

The President went before the American people that evening and announced a new strategy in the war, which was called “the surge.”

In other words, the President wasn’t pulling out of Iraq, he was doubling down.

The popular thing to do was to pull out of Iraq. Mr Bush said in response: “We are not going to lose our nerve and abandon the people of Iraq the way we did the people of Vietnam, from an embassy rooftop.”

One of the President’s speech writers at the time was William McGurn, now a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Writing in today’s Journal, Mr. McGurn said:

” It made for a lonely presidency. Rather than accept defeat, he ordered a surge that almost no one—including some around him—wanted: not the Pentagon, not a weary American public, certainly not Republicans or Democrats in Congress.”

Mr. Bush had the courage to do what be believed to be the right thing. And it worked.

I mention these two courageous leaders in light of the current political campaign. Republicans should scrutinize their crop of candidates in search of their courage quotient.

Intelligence is important, yes.

The right political views are important, yes.

But how much courage have they demonstrated in the course of their political career, in the course of their entire life?

Courage is an attractive and critical attribute for any leader.

Look at President Obama. He supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) with his rhetoric. But when the heat was on from his ultra liberal base, he quickly caved and proclaimed that he refused to enforce this law of the land.

His cowardice on this issue is a lesson to voters for the next election.

Who among this current crop of candidates most demonstrates courage?

 

Is Obamanomics a better strategy than Reaganomics? Reply


By Tom Quiner

The economy was in shambles when Ronald Reagan took office, much worse off even than when Barack Obama took office.

The misery index, which adds the inflation rate to the unemployment rate, stood at one of its all time highs at 19.33 when Mr. Reagan took office. By contrast, it stood  at 7.73 when Mr. Obama took office.

The poverty rate was in the midst of an explosive increase, increasing by a third from 1978 thru the recession he inherited.

Real median family incomes decreased by ten percent from 1978 to 1982.

The stock market was in a state of collapse, losing 70% of its real value from 1968 to 1982.

America’s economy was a mess, even worse than that which Mr. Obama faced upon taking office. By no means do I diminish the severity of the economic situation brought on by the subprime mortgage crisis. Things were bad in 2008. Things still are bad. But they were worse in the early 80s by most economic yardsticks.

What is interesting is the different paths these two presidents took to fix the economy’s structural flaws.

Mr. Obama has pursued a course pretty much the exact opposite of that taken by Mr. Reagan.

Mr. Reagan cut taxes. He reduced the top marginal income rate from 70% to 50%, in other words, a big tax cut “for the rich.” He went further and cut taxes across the board by 25% for everyone else. And he got Congress to lower them even more a few years later.

Mr. Obama is agitating to increase taxes on the most productive Americans, aka “the rich.” Rates will increase in 2013 for top earners by 20%, and the capital gains tax rate will increase by 60%.

When it came to government spending, Mr. Reagan cut spending. In all, government spending shrunk from 23.5% of GDP in 1983 to 22.3% of GDP by 1988.

On the other hand, Mr. Obama increased government spending by 23% his first two years. His 2012 budget plans on increasing spending another 57% by 2021.

The Reagan approach was accompanied by a tight money policy from the Federal Reserve.

The Obama approach is accompanied by a loose money policy from the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Reagan cut government regulation beginning with an end to price controls on oil and natural gas.

Mr. Obama has signed massive new legislation into law which will increase government regulation of health care, finance, and energy.

Where Mr. Reagan unleashed the market place, Mr. Obama has embraced central planning as the cornerstone of Obamanomics.

In summary, Reagan cut taxes, Obama is increasing them.

Reagan cut spending, Obama increased it.

Reagan used a tight money policy, Obama, loose money.

Reagan cut regulations, Obama increased them.

So which approach worked best? Quiner’s Diner will look at the results tomorrow. Please check back.

 

May 13th, 5PM 2


By Tom Quiner

The bullet that almost killed Pope John Paul II thirty years ago today is mounted in this crown.

Three children saw something that changed the world. The year was 1917.

It took place in Portugal on May 13th at 5PM. Lucia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto were stopped in their tracks by the mystical appearance of a beautiful woman.

Here’s how Lucia described the woman:

She was “brighter than the sun, shedding rays of light clearer and stronger than a crystal ball filled with the most sparkling water and pierced by the burning rays of the sun.”

The woman appeared to them again on June 13th. And again on July 13th. Word was getting out about the mysterious woman, and thousands of people began to flock to the area.

The communist authorities attempted to stop all of this nonsense by jailing the children on August 13th. But the Woman appreared to them instead on August 19th upon their release from jail.

The children claimed “the Lady,” as they called her, entrusted them with three secrets. The first involved a vision of Hell. The second gave instructions on how to save people from Hell.

The third remained a secret until the year 2000.

***

The day was May 13th.

The time was 5PM.

The year was 1981.

Pope John Paul II made his way through St. Peter Square in an open air vehicle. A man approached the pontiff, raised a gun and fired at point blank range.

Five, maybe six shots were heard. The Pope was hit.

His internal injuries were severe. He was bleeding internally. In fact, he lost most of his blood.

He was near death. In fact, he should have died.

But he lived.

It was a miracle he lived. Upon gaining consciousness, the Pope recalled the significance of the date and time, 64 years to the second that the Lady had appreared to those three children in Fatima, Portugal.

And he thought about the significance of the yet unrevealed “3rd secret.” What was the secret? That a “Bishop dressed in white” would be shot and killed.

But John Paul II lived. He credited the Lady with deflecting the bullet just enough to spare his life.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. I marvel at the events of 1981 and contrast them with the events of 1968.

I was in 9th grade when Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis. And then two short months later, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed.

It seemed as if our country was falling apart.

In 1981, I was married and just a week away from becoming a father for the first time when a gunman shot President Ronald Reagan.

The President almost died. By all accounts, he should have died. His injuries were grave.

Six weeks later, Pope John Paul II was shot and almost died.

Two men with the potential to change the world were shot and died in 1968.

Two men with the potential to change the world were shot and lived in 1981.

Why did events go so differently in 1981? Was it divine intervention?

Did this mysterious Lady from Fatima somehow intercede in a supernatural way to allow President Reagan and Pope John Paul II to fulfill their destiny, to meet and join forces to defeat communism?

You be the judge.

The Pope was presented with the bullet doctors removed from his body. He held it in his hand, turned it and studied it from every direction.

What did he do with it? He had it mounted in the crown of the statue of the Lady of Fatima, the Blessed Mother of Christ.

The Pope was devoted to the Blessed Mother. He asked for her prayers of intercession daily.

I juxtapose the events of 1917, 1968, and 1981 as one of life’s many mysteries.

The truth about Ronald Reagan Reply


By Tom Quiner

Note how federal revenues increase during the Reagan years. Deficits were caused by excessive Congressional spending.

 

The revisionists have been busy this past week distorting Ronald Reagan’s record.

The Gipper would have been 100 this week. So there have been lots of stories and letters to the editor assessing his Presidency.

One of the most tired diatribes has been the one that says “Reagan drove up the deficits and it took Clinton to fix it.”

I will quickly say that I liked many things Mr. Reagan did, but not all.

I will quickly say that I disliked many things Mr. Clinton did, but not all.

But regarding the deficit, I would simply say that Mr. Reagan submitted 8 budgets to Congress.  They spent more than he asked for 7 times.  Had they gone with his 8 budget requests, we would have had a budget surplus in 1989.

Congress controls the purse strings, not the President. So credit for the modest fiscal restraint of the 90s belongs to the Republican-controlled Congress in large measure. Spending bills originate in the House, so Speaker O’Neill deserves a fair share of blame for the 80’s deficits, just as Speaker Gingrich deserves some kudos for the balanced budget in the 90s, just as Speakers Hastert and Pelosi deserve some blame for the deficits of the 2000s.

One of the common myths associated with the Reagan Presidency is the assertion that cuts in marginal income tax rates were responsible for the growing deficits. As Quiner’s Diner has pointed out before, the data suggests otherwise. After all, federal revenues increased by 28 percent adjusted for inflation between 1980 and 1990.

In other words, the government had the revenue, the problem was they spent too much. In the same time frame, federal expenditures increased 35.8 percent when adjusted for inflation.

We had a spending problem, not a revenue problem.

Some things never change.

It is important to repeat data of this nature in light of ongoing efforts to distort the Reagan record.