Caving on the pledge? I hear from the mainstream media that Republican lawmakers are caving on their no-tax pledge, but when you look past that headline, you see the same names over and over: Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), and a few others. Most everyone else still understands that a promise is a promise, even when circumstances change. Conservative activist Brent Bozell’s open letter to GOP leadership calls for them to stand firm on this issue. My own prediction is that we will avoid tax increases on the middle class, and we’ll avoid sequestration—the mandatory budget cuts. But stay tuned because at this point nothing is a sure thing.
Not ready for prime time. Among the casualties of our celebrity culture are child stars, who are rarely normal, responsible adults unless they somehow take themselves out of the star-making machine. We’ve been treated to several examples just this week. Angus T. Jones, teenage star of the raunchy sitcom Two and a Half-Men, actually had the guts to speak out against his own show, but then quickly apologized, likely on the advice of lawyers and others who get a piece of his reported $350,000 per episode paycheck. Canadian football fans booed singer Justin Bieber this week in part because he showed a remarkable arrogance by showing up for a meeting with the Canadian prime minister dressed in overalls. Please understand that I’m not criticizing Jones or Bieber (or Lindsay Lohan or Katy Perry—the list goes on and on). Who among us would behave well if we faced what they face—the temptations of money and fame—at such a young age? With apologies to Shakespeare: The fault, dear reader, is not in our (super) stars, but in ourselves.
Still critical. Christian talk radio host Frank Pastore remains in a coma more than a week after a motorcycle crash in the Los Angeles area. Pastore, 55, is a former major league baseball pitcher who went on to become one of the most popular Christian radio hosts in the country, holding forth daily on L.A.’s powerful KKLA. His wife, Gina, told The Christian Post: “Last Monday night, the night of the accident, Frank had a segment on the show about the reality of the soul. He said, ‘If I were to be killed on the freeway tonight and my body parts are all over the freeway I’m not on the freeway because I’m my soul and I would be with the Lord.’ He actually said that the night that it happened, not knowing that he would be hit on his motorcycle. I pray that Frank’s time is not up yet on this earth. I think God has more for him to do, but we have that blessed assurance that we know where he will be if he were not to pull through this.”
Baby killed by dog. A baby boy in England died last week after the family dog bit him. The baby, Harry Harper, was 8 days old and was attacked by the family’s Jack Russell Terrier, which has since been euthanized. Stories of children being mauled or killed by family pets are not common, but they recur often enough that I wonder what must be going on in the heads of dog owners that causes them to forget that dogs are, well, animals. A part of what is going on is an unhealthy “pet-centrism” that borders on idolatry, according to veterinarian Wendell Cantrell. WORLD featured Cantrell earlier this year. I recommend that article—and this story of Harry Harper—the next time you’re tempted to call your dog your “baby.”