Archive for January 20th, 2006

Iran Moving Its Foreign Currency Reserves

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Well the Iranians learned well from watching the world reaction to Saddam and Iraq. They are one step ahead of the U.N. (well, actually several miles ahead) in protecting themselves economically. They have also made sure to hide the majority of their nuclear research sites, so it’s going to be hard to destroy them all.

Iran is moving its foreign currency reserves out of European banks as a pre-emptive measure against any possible U.N. sanctions over its nuclear program, the Central Bank Governor said Friday.
Ebrahim Sheibani told reporters that Iran has started transferring the foreign currency reserves from European banks to an undisclosed location, the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency reported.
“We transfer the foreign exchange reserves to wherever we deem fit,” Sheibani was quoted by ISNA as saying. “We have begun transferring. We are doing that.”
Sheibani would not say how much money was involved and it was not immediately clear whether Iran’s investments in Europe would be affected by the move.

Read the rest here.

Same-sex marriage ban struck down

Friday, January 20th, 2006

More activist judges back east. These people have to go. What good does it do for states to vote laws in effect if the judges are just going to declare everything unconstitutional?

A judge in Maryland struck down the state’s 33-year-old law banning same-sex marriage in response to a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Baltimore trial judge M. Brooke Murdock ruled the law discriminates on the basis of sex, violating the 1972 Maryland Declaration of Rights, referred to as Maryland’s Equal Rights Amendment.
“This is such an exciting moment,” said Lisa Polyak, one of 19 plaintiffs.
“Our participation in this lawsuit has always been about family protections for our children. Tonight, we will rest a little easier knowing that those protections are within reach,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
Before voters ratified the ERA amendment in November 1972, Maryland’s attorney general issued an opinion that a ban on same-sex marriage was implicit in the state’s laws. The next year, the General Assembly passed a law stating: “Only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid in this State.”
But the court today found no “compelling interest” to ban same-sex marriage and was “unable to even find that the prohibition of same-sex marriage rationally relates to a legitimate state interest.”
Murdock wrote: “The court concludes that the prohibition of same-sex marriages is not rationally related to the state interest in the rearing of biological children by married, opposite-sex parents.”
The court also stated it was “unable to find that preventing same-sex marriage rationally relates to the [sic] Maryland’s interest in promoting the best interest of children.”
Murdock stated that “the General Assembly may have assumed that opposite-sex marriages less frequently end in divorce, that opposite-sex couples are better parents, or that opposite-sex couples focus more on their children’s education.” But, he said, “these assumptions are not rational speculation; they are broad unsupported generalizations that do not establish a rational relation between same-sex marriage and the state’s interest in promoting procreation, child-rearing, and the best interest of children.”
Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the
National Clergy Council, called the ruling “absurd.”
“If there’s no good reason for exclusively heterosexual marriage, then there’s no good reason for an exclusively two-person marriage,” he said. “Or, for that matter, there’s no good reason to limit marriage to two human beings.”
Shenk said the judge is “making a political and social statement, not an interpretation of the law. She should be impeached for dereliction of duty.”
Condemning the decision, Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of the public-interest legal group
Liberty Counsel, said it was “outrageous for a judge to morph into a legislator.”
“It is even more incredible to conclude that there is no conceivable basis to promote marriage between a man and a woman,” he said. “To conclude that there is no relationship between male-female marriage and child-rearing, or the best interest of children, shows a lack of respect to the legislature, to common sense and to social science.”
Staver said the decision illustrates why each state and the United States must pass constitutional amendments to preserve marriage between one man and one woman.
“Marriage should not depend on the stroke of a single judge’s pen.”
The decision will be appealed, said Staver, noting Liberty Counsel will file a friend-of-the-court brief.

Promise to Zion

Friday, January 20th, 2006

“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me.”

Isaiah 49:16 (New American Standard Bible)

Border Patrol warned: Brace for violence

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Is there anyone who does not feel this is a problem? If so, they need to pull themselves out of their self absorbed lives, turn off the sports and sit-coms and have a dose of reality. This is going to affect all of us eventually.

Federal officials say Border Patrol and other federal agents working chronic drug-smuggling routes along the U.S. boundary with Mexico could be targets for retaliation by well-armed cartels from south of the Rio Grande, after a new enforcement push has dramatically curbed the importation of contraband.
“I do think we have to be prepared for the fact that as we press hard on these criminal organizations, some of them will want to fight back,” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told reporters earlier this week.
Admitting there had already been an “uptick in violence” against federal officers in recent months because of increased anti-smuggling operations, Chertoff said agents were not only targeting drug rings but also human smugglers as well. Despite the threats of retaliation, however, Chertoff insisted: “We want to make it very clear that … will not cause us to back off” the current enforcement push.
As the Mexican drug and smuggling wars become increasingly violent, they are more frequently spilling across the border into the United States. Hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in the violence, especially near cities like Laredo, Texas and its Mexican sister city, Nuevo Laredo, right across the border.
Chertoff warned the situation was especially volatile for civilians.
“When civilians go down to the border, they are taking a huge chance with their own lives,” he said.
The DHS chief also would not elaborate on reports some of the cartels could be preparing contract-style hits against federal agents, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. But rumors that Mexican-based drug cartels have offered rewards for the killing of American federal agents have surfaced in the past.
A week ago
the Associated Press reported that a confidential memo from federal officials warned Border Patrol agents they could be the targets of assassins hired by the smugglers of illegal aliens.
as WorldNetDaily reported in 2000, Border Patrol officials said the Juarez cartel – one of the largest and most deadly – at one time placed a bounty of $200,000 on U.S. federal agents.
Violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is increasing at a time when lawmakers, under mounting pressure from constituents, are redoubling efforts to make the regions safer. The drug- and human-smuggling traffic, combined with a number of reported incursions by Mexican federal police and military units, have left many in Washington nervous about security, especially in light of ongoing terror threats.
The problems along the border represent “a clear and present danger to the security of the United States,” Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said.
His Texas colleague, Rep. John Culberson, also a Republican, said a recent fact-finding trip to the border “brought home to all of us that the war on terror is right in our back yard.”

Read the rest here.

Jesus Miracles and Healing

Friday, January 20th, 2006

When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore.
One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.”
And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him.
A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse– after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak.
For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.”
Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?”
And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'”
And He looked around to see the woman who had done this.
But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.
And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”
While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?”
But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.”
And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing.
And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.”
They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was.
Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded.
And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.

Mark 5:21-43 (New American Standard Bible)

Israelis ‘would do deal on Jerusalem for peace’

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Have the Israelis gone mad? Has the devil blinded them so much? Can’t they understand that nothing short of their Extinction is going to appease the palis and arabs?

A majority of Israeli Jews are willing to cede East Jerusalem in exchange for a peace deal with the Palestinians, according to an opinion poll yesterday.
The survey for the Tazpit Research Institute found 54 per cent in favour and 36 per cent against the idea of dividing the city between Israelis and Palestinians.
The government of Ariel Sharon, the prime minister who is still in a coma after suffering a stroke, has, like many administrations before, repeatedly said that Jerusalem is non-negotiable and must remain a Jewish-run city because of ancient historic and religious Jewish links with the city.
By contrast the Palestinians have argued that East Jerusalem and the Old City have ancient historic and religious importance for the local Arab population and they have claimed it as their capital.
The dispute was effectively settled in 1967 when Israeli forces took control of all of Jerusalem after two decades when it had been divided into an Israeli sector and an Arab sector, run by Jordanians.
Since then the fate of the city has been one of the most troublesome negotiating points between the two sides.

9th-Grader Drops Suit Against Her Christian School

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Gee Jessica, you mean that the document you and your parents signed when you started attending the Christian school actually means something? So unfair….NOT!! It’s a Christian school for Heaven’s sake!! If we can’t rely on them to keep the Word of God, then why even have Christian schools?
Here’s a clue for you…read the Bible and then do what it says. May I recommend Romans 1:26-27?

(AgapePress) – The family of a lesbian student who was asked to withdraw from a Christian high school in Georgia because of her sexual immorality has dismissed its one-million-dollar lawsuit against the school.
Fourteen-year-old Jessica Bradley had sued Covenant Christian Academy in Loganville, claiming the school invaded her privacy by expelling her for kissing another minor girl while off campus at a sleepover. But it turns out the ninth-grader was asked to leave the school for more than just a same-sex kiss.
According to Matthew Moffett, an attorney for the school, Bradley admitted to school officials that she had engaged in sexual immorality — which is prohibited in the student handbook.
“She admitted to a sexual relationship with another student,” Moffett explains. “That is a violation of school rules that are in writing, that are distributed to students and their parents, and which students and parents sign in agreement to abide by.”
The attorney says those rules prohibiting sexual immorality apply both on and off campus. “It’s stated very clearly that [violating those rules] can result in expulsion,” he adds.
Consequently, says Moffett, there was no basis for a lawsuit. “After this student confessed to the sexual relationship with another student … the school asked the student to withdraw — and she did,” he says.
Moffett says he was notified of the dismissal pleading by the girl’s attorney on Tuesday.

Pro-Lifers Like Ayotte Ruling — But Some Say It Addresses Only Half the Problem

Friday, January 20th, 2006

I thought the parental notification for minors seeking abortion was very two faced of our officials and courts. A minor cannot even get treatment for a non-life threatening procedure without parental notification, so how are earth can it be justified to give a minor an abortion, which is a major surgical procedure, without parental notification. I’m glad to see this ruling, and if it helps overturn Roe vs. Wade, well, so much the better

(AgapePress) – The president of Liberty Counsel says a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week affirms parental rights when it comes to abortions for minors — and also lays the foundation to chip away at Roe v. Wade. At the same time, one pro-life group sees it as only a partial victory.
It seems appropriate that during “Sanctity of Life Week” — which this year commemorates the 33rd anniversary of Roe — that the highest court in the land would hand down a decision that is hailed by pro-life advocates. In a unanimous vote on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that lower courts may not strike down abortion laws in their entirety when a narrow ruling is possible.
Specifically, the court said a lower court went too far when it blocked a New Hampshire law requiring a parent be notified within 48 hours before an abortion could be performed on a minor. In the case Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, lower courts had invalidated the entire law based on the assumption that the law did not provide an exception to parental notification when the young mother’s life was in danger.
Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel president and general counsel Mat Staver says the high court’s unanimous ruling upheld parental involvement statutes. “The court admitted that in 2000 it struck down Nebraska’s partial-birth birth abortion [ban] in its entirety solely because it lacked a health exception,” Staver explains. “And surprisingly the court seemed to acknowledge that had the parties in that case [Stenberg v. Carhart] asked for a more narrow ruling, it could have upheld part of the law while striking down only the allegedly ‘offending’ section.”
According to the Christian attorney, the ruling has major ramifications for future abortion-related legislation.
“We can now move forward with passing more pro-life legislation that ultimately protects life,” he says. “And what has happened in the past is if there’s one portion of the law that the courts disagree with, the entire law is struck down — and in the meantime, no law is permitted.
“So I think this particular situation now narrows the scope of abortion litigation,” Staver concludes, “and allows for more abortion regulation to be enacted across the country.”
The high court made it clear that its intention in the ruling was not to revisit the nation’s abortion precedents. But Staver says he is optimistic that the time will come when the Supreme Court will do exactly that. Pro-lifers and defenders of the unborn across America can only hope that is case. In the meantime, however, they appear to be grateful for what one pro-life group sees as a partial victory.
Brandi Swindell of
Generation Life says while the decision in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood is a win for pro-lifers, it is not a complete victory.
“We are a little disappointed in the fact that the Supreme Court did not find the whole law constitutional,” she admits. “What they’ve done is they’ve actually somewhat overturned the decision of the lower court, but they’ve thrown it back to the lower court to review the portions that are potentially unconstitutional.”
And that is why Swindell considers it just a partial victory. Her group is “a little nervous,” she says, that the justices were not “a little more aggressive in upholding the entire New Hampshire law — because it’s a very good, solid, constitutional law, in our opinion.”
American Life League, perhaps the nation’s highest-profile pro-life organization, has similar concerns. ALL vice president Jim Sedlak says the Supreme Court only took care of “half the problem.”
“Planned Parenthood’s attempt to usurp parental authority and endanger children’s lives was defeated, which is always good,” Sedlak offers. “However, the court did not uphold the law in its entirety — and therefore, residents of New Hampshire are still in danger of having that law, or parts of the law, once again overturned by the lower court.”
For that reason, says Sedlak, parents across America who want to ensure the safety of their children “must do all they can to defeat groups like Planned Parenthood that want to exclude parental involvement from children’s lives.”
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council would likely second that depiction of the pro-abortion group. He is on record as describing Planned Parenthood as “the most radically anti-parent organization in the world.”
The Supreme Court ruling in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood comes just days before hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers are expected to converge on Washington for the annual “March for Life.”

See my original post here and here.