Wednesday, February 28, 2007

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: "How come Democrats and Republicans out here don't schmooze with each other?"

Yesterday Schwarzenegger spoke to the National Press Club in Washington, DC. He spoke to encourage Republicans and Democrats to work with each other rather than against each other. He touted California's recent bipartisan efforts on environmental and infrastructure issues. Here is an excerpt from the Sac Bee Story :

Schwarzenegger, citing his failed 2005 campaign to pass several Republican-leaning ballot initiatives, told press club members that he does not think he's perfect. "I contributed to the polarization," he said.

But he took a chiding tone with Washington lawmakers.

"All of this energy is being spent on bitterness, all of this energy is being spent on maneuvering," he said. "Imagine if that same energy were put into working together to build a consensus."

The key to his own success, he said, was his focus on building relationships. "In the courtyard of the state Capitol, I have a politically incorrect smoking tent," he said. "People come in, Democrats and Republicans, and they take off their jackets and they take off their ties, they smoke a stogie and they schmooze."

He had advice for everyone: Democrats should stop "running down" the president. Republicans, he said, should stop questioning the motives of Democrats who oppose the war in Iraq.

"To the president," he said, "I say get yourself a smoking tent."

Friday, February 23, 2007

Lieber Moves Forward With "No-Spank" Legislation

Some are reporting that Lieber has dropped her proposed "No Spanking" bill. AB 755 is effectively a ban on spanking.

The bill does not actually specifically allow spanking of any kind. It does attack the traditional and biblical spanking with a switch, which actually is less likely to be a health hazard according to many people.

Just because the bill doesn't use the word "spank" doesn't mean that it does not affect spanking. This bill, while it does not actually mention the word "spank" effectively outlaws spanking.

Some people that do believe that spanking is an appropriate and effective means of corrective discipline have condoned the bill saying that spanking with the hand is the only appropriate means but that spanking with an object such as a switch, stick or paddle is actually child abuse.

I would argue that it is safer to spank with an appropriately sized switch than to use your hand. Spanking with your hand has been known to cause spinal injuries in children, while the sting of a switch or flexible ruler does not carry the same weight and force so as to not cause such an injury. I propose that God knew what he was talking about when he commanded the use of a rod.

Lieber's California Spanking Bill Not Dropped

Many news agencies and bloggers are writing that Sally Lieber's "No-Spanking" bill (introduced yesterday 2/22/07) has been dropped or that spanking has been removed from the bill. This is far from the truth. Read the bill and you will see that the bill has much to do with spanking.
The bill, AB 755, would make it against the law to spank children with a paddle (no matter how small) or with any switch or rod of any kind. And, depending on what attorney you ask, the bill may outlaw spanking with the hand.
One thing the bill certainly does not do is protect spanking. It outlaws many types of spanking. Some people claim that since it does not specifically outlaw "spanking with the hand" in so many words it doesn't outlaw spanking.
To those saying that the spanking bill has been dropped I challenge you to read the bill for yourselves.
In California it is presently illegal for anyone but a parent or guardian to administer corporal punishment to a child. This bill could eliminate even that.

Sally Lieber's "No Spanking" Bill - Corporal Punishment Regulated

The wording is here for Sally Lieber's much anticipated corporal punishment law. While the bill steers clear (just barely) of the word "spank" it adds some more things to the definition of child abuse many of which are most likely covered by current law.

She clearly doesn't address "spanking" with an open hand but does address spanking with foreign objects. This bill will make it illegal to spank with a rod as commanded in scripture.

Here is an excerpt from the legislation that lists the things she is trying to keep parents from using to discipline their children - some are ridiculous and some are, I believe, commanded and appropriate for use in biblical discipline.

(1) The use of an implementation, including, but not limited to,
a stick, a rod, a switch, an electrical cord, an extension cord, a
belt, a broom, or a shoe.
(2) Throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child.
(3) Striking a child with a closed fist.
(4) Striking a child under the age of three on the face or head.
(5) Vigorous shaking of a child under the age of three.
(6) Interference with a child’s breathing.
(7) Threatening a child with a deadly weapon.

This bill is available from the California State Legislature website:

Download the PDF file of the bill introduced February 22, 2007.

Track the bill.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Latest News On Sally Lieber's No Spanking Bill Proposal In California - Moves Away From Spanking

Two big items in the news this year have been the "No Spanking" bill proposed in California, and the bill requiring the new HPV vaccine for teenage girls. These two bills were both the brainchild of the same person.

Sally Lieber, a Democrat from Mountain View, California is a single woman who holds a powerful position in the State Capitol. She is the Speaker Pro Tempore of the California State Assembly.

You can view or download the PDF file of her HPV Vaccine bill or find the text of Lieber's "No Spank" bill if it is posted yet.

The Sacramento Bee published an article at 9:55 this morning that says Lieber will not be targeting spanking in her bill after all.

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber has abandoned her plans to push for a legislative prohibition on parents spanking their children under age 4.

Lieber, D-Mountain View, will introduce a bill Thursday morning that will target the use of physical force on children, but not spanking, an aide said.

The LA Times says that the bill proposed by Lieber which had been focused on spanking now is geared to regulating other aspects of family life.

Does this mean that the spanking bill is a no go after all or is it just going to have tricky wording? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Lieber To Introduce Spanking Bill Today Or Friday

The Assemblymember who has been getting lots of press on her idea to make spanking one's children against the law intends to introduce the bill either today or tomorrow. They have language and will have the bill out in print by the deadline on Friday according to a staff member in Sally Lieber's office.

Lieber first announced she would introduce such a bill back on January 17th. Back then her intention was to make it illegal for parents to spank their children 3 years of age and under. Now however, she has expanded the idea to include all children, not just 3 and under. Therefore, if the bill passes with the wording Lieber is proposing, it will be illegal in California for a parent to spank their child of any age for any reason.

According to the San Fransisco Chronicle, who spoke with Lieber yesterday, "The latest version will include shaking of an infant or toddler."

When Sally Lieber's spanking bill is introduced the language will be available here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Merick Backs Away From Promoting The Requirement Of HPV Vaccine For Teenage Girls

Merck suspends mandatory HPV vaccine campaign
But unlike a number of other diseases that US schoolchildren are required to be vaccinated against, HPV isn't an airborne virus that can spread easily in a group setting. Rather, it is sexually transmitted. Gardasil also stands apart ... -

Merck Backs Off on HPV Vaccine
By gooznews
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Merck has suspended its campaign to convince state legislatures to make its new human papillomavirus vaccine mandatory for pre-teen girls "in the face of a growing backlash among parents, ...
GoozNews -

Here is an excerpt from the WSJ article which is available, to subscribers only, here.

Merck Ends Lobbying For Cervical-Cancer Vaccine
By John Carreyrou and Sarah Rubenstein
Word Count: 593 | Companies Featured in This Article: Merck

Merck & Co. said it would stop lobbying states to pass laws requiring that preteen girls be vaccinated against cervical cancer in the face of a growing backlash among parents, physicians and consumer advocates.

Merck's aggressive lobbying campaign was intended to boost sales of its Gardasil vaccine, which received Food and Drug Administration approval last year. Gardasil provides protection against two strains of the human papillomavirus that are thought to cause the majority of cervical-cancer cases.

But, unlike a number of diseases against which U.S. schoolchildren are required to be vaccinated, HPV is not an airborne virus that can spread ...

Spotlight: Vice President Dick Cheney

As I was reading Karen DeYoung's book "Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell" and contemplating the upcoming presidential election 2008, Dick Cheney kept coming up.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Speculations on Post-Fidel Cuba

The LA Times ran an AP story on what some people are predicting will happen when Fidel dies - Democracy. Fidel's two brothers continue to claim that the Cuban dictator is recovering from his illness and will soon take back command of the island. But U.S. intelligence says otherwise. President Bush and many others are hoping that when Fidel dies, it will be the end of an era and not just a transfer of power from one ruthless dictator to the next. I wish I could be as optimistic.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Resolved To Better Myself

Reading recently the biographies of several of the American founders (Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson) I was struck by how dedicated they were to bettering themeselves. They would get up early in the morning to study and worked hard to learn and become knowledgable in a wide variety of subjects. I couldn't help but think of the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards'. I became convicted of not being persistent with this in my own life.

There are several scriptures which command study and self improvement.

2Tim. 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Prov. 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase in learning,
And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel

Col. 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

1Pet. 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear

Prov. 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

Prov. 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Prov. 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Change To California Term Limits Would Aid Head Liberals

Several key leaders of the California State Legislature are pushing an initiative that would rewrite the law dealing with term limits for legislators.

The initiative would change the limits from a set number of years in each house to a total number of years in the legislature allowing them to spend up to 12 years in a single house. According to the San Fransisco Chronicle:

The proposal, which supporters want to qualify for a vote during a February 2008 presidential primary, would allow lawmakers to serve six two-year terms in the Assembly or three four-year terms in the Senate, or a combination capped at 12 years of service. Under the current system, lawmakers can serve a total of 14 years, but are limited to three Assembly terms and two Senate terms.
(San Fransisco Chronicle - Term-limits initiative proposed Friday, February 16, 2007)

The change may allow elected officials to be more effective since they may be in one place longer and less of their total time in office will be spent learning the ropes. Perhaps also it will, at least partially, bring back the concept of well seasoned legislators to the Capitol.

On the other hand, one might look at who is in office now and imagine who is going to be allowed to remain in office for 6 more years.

The change would allow Núñez to remain in his position of leadership in the Assembly for an additional 6 years rather than being forced to leave the post next year.

Says the Sacramento Bee "Núñez and Perata personally could benefit because incumbent lawmakers could remain in office past their current term-out dates -- until they hit the 12-year maximum." (link)

Term limits were introduced in California primarily because many people thought that seasoned incumbents had too much power. One LA Times editorial claims that "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, serving his last term, wants one more, so he is embracing redistricting reform to get it."

The California Report's John Myers says that "...the proposal encourages same-house service, not "seat jumpers.""

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Will California Have An Early Primary Next Year?

If things go the way that the California Senate hopes, the Presidential Primary in 2008 will be in February rather than the normal schedule of June.

Schwarzenegger May Have Underestimated Costs His Healthcare Plan Says LAO By As Much As $3 Billion Dollars!

The California Legislative Analyst Office released a 7 page report today documenting how much they think that the governor's plan will cost the state.

A Sacramento Bee story today mentioned that today was the first time the Governor's proposal was debated by the Senate Health Committee.

LAO's assesment of the plan concluded that it will cost the State of California somewhere between $150 M -$3,150 M or more.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Is There Civil War In Iraq?

During President Bush's press conference this morning, our president said that he didn't know whether or not the conflict in Iraq constituted a civil war.

Q Do you believe it's a civil war, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: I can only tell you what people on the ground, whose judgment -- it's hard for me, living in this beautiful White House, to give you an assessment, firsthand assessment. I haven't been there; you have, I haven't. But I do talk to people who are and people whose judgment I trust, and they would not qualify it as that. There are others who think it is. It is, however, a dangerous situation, thereby requiring action on my part.

Listen, I considered several options -- one, doing nothing, and that if you don't believe the situation was acceptable, then you should do something. And I didn't believe the situation was acceptable. Secondly, I could have listened to the advice of some and pulled back and hoped for the best. I felt that would be extraordinarily dangerous for this young democracy, that the violence in Baghdad could escalate mightily and then spill out across the country, creating chaos, vacuums into which extremism would flow; or make the decision I made, which is to reinforce the troops that were on the ground, to help this Iraqi government and security force do what they're supposed to do.

Read the full transcript.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Brown Wavers Again: Jerry Brown Proves Consistent Inconsistency

Jerry Brown once again graces California's Capitol with his ever changing mind. Dan Walters Column - Sacramento Bee

Mitt Romney Officially Enters Presidential Race For 2008

Mitt Romney officially entered the race for president in 08 this morning. The Los Angeles Times reported this morning that he hopes his experience outside government will prove to be just what America needs.

Romney said "I do not believe Washington can be transformed from within by a lifelong politician."

North Korea Agrees to Disarm, Put Down Their Weapons

According to Edward Cody of The Washington Post, North Korea has agreed to disarm their nuclear weapons.

In exchange the country will receive "economic, energy and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil."

Is this just another ploy to delay the foreign powers and get more aid or will this disarmament really occur? Only time will tell I suppose and perhaps we will not know for some time. North Korea says they will seal off their primary nuclear reactor but will this happen or will they delay having inspectors like in Iraq?

I'm not buying this just yet.

Biblical Child Training and Resources For Scriptural Corporal Punishment - Pro Spanking Arguments

Bible-Based Books and Articles on Corporal Punishment

To Train Up A Child - by Michael & Debi Pearl Get it on Amazon

Shepherding a Child's Heart – by Ted Tripp Get it on Amazon

Spanking: How (and How Not) to Spank
Bible-Based Guidelines for Christian Parents and Others
(c) 2002, 2005 Doug Britton

Corporal Punishment (spanking) is strongly supported by God in the Bible

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The Scriptural case for spanking


If you know of any other resources for Bible based child training please let me know so I can add them to this list for the benefit of others. –Thank You

Monday, February 12, 2007

John Locke on Fortitude and Courage

Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues; and without courage a man will scarce keep steady to his duty, and fill up the character of a truly worthy man.

Courage, that makes us bear up against dangers that we fear and evils that we feel, is of great use in an estate, as ours is in this life, expos'd [sic] to assaults on all hands" and therefore it is very advisable to get children into this armour [sic] as early as we can.

. . .

True fortitude, I take to be the quiet possession of a man's self, and an undisturb'd [sic] doing his duty, whatever evil besets, or danger lies in his way.

- John Locke in his Thoughts on Education

Historic Tensions Mount With Renewed Vigor

Russian president Vladimir Putin has lashed out at the U.S. in words more violent than any used since the Cold War with the Soviets. Are we entering into a renewed cold war? Read Gerard Baker's analysis in The Times. Putin is growing cold and hard with claims that the U.S. and our allies are causing increased violence in the Middle-East.

We Are Not Finished In Iraq

Things are far from under control in Baghdad. Just today the news broke of another bombing killing over 67 people.

We started a job in Iraq and we aren't finished yet. We've got a lot still to do in Iraq, but we've got to have the faith of the American people, and we have got to have the energy and the hope and the support of our Iraqi allies.

Here is a sad story giving an idea of how bad things are in Iraq. Does this story make you want to give up and go home? Does it make you want to leave those suffering to the demise of cold-blooded terrorists? I say let us go in with strength and come out with victory. We can do this. We must give our leaders our confidence and our support to their cause.

FBI Computers and Wepons Missing

According to The Washington Post

The FBI lost 160 laptop computers in less than four years, including at least 10 that contained highly sensitive classified information and one that held "personal identifying information on FBI personnel," according to a new report released today.

I don't know about you but to me this is rather disconcerting.