Archive for February 2nd, 2006

The Lord God; A Fortress from Our Enemies

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

A Psalm of David: The LORD Praised for Giving Deliverance.
I love You, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.

Psalm 18:1-3 (New American Standard Bible)

Partial-birth ban headed to Supreme Court?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

Of all the abortion procedures, this one is, in my opinion, is the worst. Delivering a late term baby and then sucking it’s brain out is not what I would even call abortion. It’s murder. It’s also time to make it illegal.

With three federal appellate courts now ruling the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2004 unconstitutional, the issue likely will be decided by the newly configured Supreme Court, with two conservative justices recently appointed by President Bush.
This week, Samuel Alito was sworn in to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, whose votes often supported abortion rights.
On Tuesday, the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco and the 2nd Circuit Court in Manhattan both ruled against the law signed by President Bush, saying it lacks an exception for when a woman’s health is in danger.
“We are reluctant to invalidate an entire statute,” 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote. “However, after considering all of the obstacles to our devising a narrower remedy, we conclude that such is our obligation.”
Writing in dissent of the 2nd Circuit ruling, Judge Chester J. Straub asserted Congress’ determination that the procedure was never medically necessary to protect a women’s health was well founded.
“Allowing a physician to destroy a child as long as one toe remains within the mother would place society on the path towards condoning infanticide,” he said.
“I find the current expansion of the right to terminate a pregnancy to cover a child in the process of being born morally, ethically and legally unacceptable,” Straub contended.
Attorneys for Planned Parenthood, which brought the lawsuit decided by the 9th Circuit, applauded the ruling.
“Even though the supporters of this law purported to be banning one particular abortion procedure, the law as the court found would in fact chill doctors from performing virtually any second trimester abortion,” said Eve Gartner, senior staff attorney.
The pro-life group Operation Rescue called the rulings “nonsensical.”
“On one had we have courts that convict people like Scott Peterson for double homicide when it involves the death of a pregnant woman and her pre-born baby,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Then on the other hand, we have courts that determine that the ‘gruesome, brutal, barbaric and uncivilized’ partial-birth abortion is a Constitutional right.”
Newman said the cases should go to the Supreme Court, where there would be “a golden opportunity for (Justices John ) Roberts and (Samuel) Alito to put their conservative judicial philosophies to good use.”
During their confirmation hearings, neither of the new justices revealed how they would rule on abortion cases, arguing, as have others, that commenting on an issue that likely will come before the court would be inappropriate.
Last July, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in St. Louis agreed with a federal district court judge in Nebraska that the ban is unconstitutional.
After that ruling, pro-life advocates said the court exhibited a “failure to understand the barbarity of the procedure.”
“This court apparently would have us believe that there is a constitutional right to crush the skull of a baby that is halfway out of the mother’s body,” said Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for the
Alliance Defense Fund. “Americans overwhelmingly reject this barbaric procedure, and it is their will, not the will of the courts, that will win in the end.”
McCaleb argued that health exceptions are not well defined, meaning almost anything can become an exception.
“Including such an exception would render the ban nearly useless,” he said. “Moreover, Congress found that the evidence clearly demonstrates that no such exception would ever be needed.”
The
Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 says: “A partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve the health of a woman, poses serious risks to a woman’s health, and lies outside the standard of medical care. There is no credible medical evidence that partial-birth abortions are safe or are safer than other abortion procedures.”

Nuke Tests In Iran?

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

I hope the U.N. won’t sit on it’s hands when dealing with Iran, but I suspect they will. Their track record of dealing with lunitic dictators isn’t very good. Maybe the good people in Iran will save the world the trouble by “removing” this madman before military action, or before he does something really stupid.

Experiments with high explosives, possibly linked to future nuclear weapons tests, were carried out as recently as 2003 in Iran, sources tell CBS News.
International Atomic Energy Agency analysts said they suspect the experiments took place at a huge military complex south of Tehran. Inspectors were permitted only one visit, and saw only part of the site, reports CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar.
Despite the lack of access, Sean McCormack, a U.S. State Department spokesman, said, “we are seeing more and more indications” that Iran’s enrichment activities have the intended purpose of building a nuclear weapon.
Meanwhile, Iran ratcheted up its confrontation with the West on Wednesday, with its president lashing out at the United States and Europe as “bully countries” a day before a key meeting that could put Iran before the U.N. Security Council.
Tehran’s top nuclear negotiator said Iran would resume large-scale uranium enrichment in response, warning that its main enrichment plant at Natanz was ready for full operation.
Iran provoked an outcry on Jan. 10 when it broke U.N. seals at the facility to begin research-level enrichment, a process that can produce material for nuclear reactors or, if sufficiently processed, atomic weapons.
“Natanz is ready for work. We only need to notify the IAEA that we are resuming (large-scale) enrichment. When we do that is our call. If they (report Iran to the Security Council), we will do it quickly,” negotiator Ali Larijani said.
Earlier Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided the United States as a “hollow superpower” and vowed to pursue the Iran’s nuclear program no matter what.
“Nuclear energy is our right, and we will resist until this right is fully realized,” Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands in the southern Iran city of Bushehr, where Russia is finishing the construction of Iran’s first nuclear power plant.
“Our nation can’t give in to the coercion of some bully countries who imagine they are the whole world,” he added.
The crowd responded with chants of “Nuclear energy is our right,” CBS radio correspondent Angus McDowell reports.
In an interview with the AP on Wednesday, Mr. Bush repeated his opposition to an Iranian nuclear capability.
“We cannot afford to have Iran with a nuclear weapon,” the president said. “We want them to have nuclear power but under the conditions that we describe.”
The IAEA, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog group, said it has found “administrative interconnections” between uranium enrichment, the high explosives tests and the design of a missile warhead, all of which could have a “military-nuclear dimension,” MacVicar reports.
Mr. Bush held out little hope of avoiding a showdown with Tehran. “It looks like to me the process is headed toward the (U.N.) Security Council, and that if the Iranians would like to avoid that, they ought to work in good faith to get rid of their nuclear weapon ambitions,” the president said.

Read the rest here.

Christians slam ‘homophobia’ resolution

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

In my post. EU Approves Ban on ‘Homophobia’; Christians Remain Silent, I related a story from Europe where a law was passed banning what is called “homophobia” or “an irrational fear and aversion of homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, sexism.”
What is scary about this law, is that it could keep European pastors from preaching about the sin of homosexuality. In other words, censoring of the church. Now, at least, some Christians are standing up against this law.

The European Parliament’s recently passed resolution “Homophobia in Europe” has raised alarms among European pro-family groups, Christians and others who worry the measure is a move to cut off public debate over same-sex unions and force universal acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.
The controversial resolution urging member states to ban “homophobia” states that “homophobia can be defined as an irrational fear of and aversion to homosexuality and of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people based on prejudice, similar to racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and sexism.”
Homosexual activists point to recent tension, including so-called “hate speech,” between traditional values and the growing public expression of homosexuality throughout Europe as the catalyst for the resolution. Last year, Premier Edmund Stoiber of Bavaria declared his intention to challenge Germany’s proposed law favoring homosexual adoption. In June, conservatives in Spain took to the streets to protest the passing of same-sex unions.
Conflict between the newer Eastern European member states of the European Union is increasing. Poland, Latvia and Estonia have refused to permit homosexual unions. Italy also voted against homosexual unions, while Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and Spain have legalized them. Poland’s prime minister, Kazimeierz Marcinkiewicz, a founding member of the Christian-National Union Party, called for state protection against homosexual “contamination” of Polish culture. And Polish President Lech Kaczynski refused permission for “gay pride” demonstrations when he served as mayor of Warsaw. Lativa also disallowed homosexual-themed parades.
Homosexual advocates sought Parliament’s passage of the “homophobia” resolution.
“It’s a tragic thing that the term ‘homophobia’ has actually made its way into the resolution,” said, Jane Adolphe, associate professor of law at Ave Maria School of Law in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Even though a resolution is legally non-binding, if the term is used often enough in official documents it eventually becomes part of customary international law.” A nation may be bound by customary law, even when that nation has not specifically enacted into its domestic law the provisions held in international customary law.
American Family Association Center for Law & Policy agrees that the European resolution should stir American family advocates into immediate action “before it is too late.” The organization’s chief counsel, Steve Crampton, believes that the European resolution can have an impact on American Courts.
“Our Supreme Court seems enamored with citing foreign sources of law… what happens in the European Union today is going to become the law and policy of America tomorrow,” noted Crampton.
Adolphe noted that a defense against the term “homophobia” reaching binding power in treaties and thus legal force for nations such as the United States is to employ the “persistent objector principle.”
“By constantly objecting to the term in formal statements, in voting records at international fora, by inserting reservations into all documents, a nation declares its intention to be free of the term,” she said.

Read the rest here.

Additional Newspapers Challenge Muslims Over Prophet Cartoons

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

The “mohammed pictures in the paper” thing keeps growing. Here is the latest:

(CNSNews.com) – More than four months after a Danish newspaper angered Muslims by publishing 12 cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, a debate over the freedom of speech issue has finally taken off across Europe, where newspapers in at least six countries have now reproduced some or all of the sketches.
The papers’ decisions pose a new challenge to Muslims and Islamic bodies promoting a boycott of Danish products. The pictures have now appeared in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway, in addition to Denmark.
They are also widely available on the Internet — on innumerable weblogs and also on mainstream, high-traffic sites like Wikipedia.
The pictures range from a benign interpretation of the founder of Islam as a man in white with a beard, stick and donkey, to arguably the most controversial — a man wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten said it published the cartoons last Sept. 30 to test the limits of free speech, which it saw as under threat from Islamic radicals.
The months since then have brought death threats, bombscares, protest marches, diplomatic rows, condemnations and demands for apologies from the world’s top Islamic and Arab bodies, calls for a U.N. resolution carrying a sanctions threat, a fatwa against Danish troops in Iraq, and a widening Mideast boycott of Danish goods.
Jyllands-Posten this week apologized for offending Muslims, but not directly for publishing the cartoons.
A small, Christian publication in Norway last month reproduced the cartoons, but only in the last few days have mainstream media in Europe begun to give the freedom of speech aspect of the developing story prominent coverage.
A handful of major papers have now printed some or all of the 12 pictures.
German’s Die Welt printed the bomb-turban picture on its front page, with the others inside, and an accompanying commentary defending freedom of expression and the “right to blasphemy” in an open society.
“The protests from Muslims would be taken more seriously if they came across as less hypocritical,” the Hamburg-based daily said, noting that no protests greeted the depiction by Syrian television of rabbis as cannibals.
(The reference was apparently to an anti-Zionist documentary series called Al-Shatat (the Diaspora), in which one episode dealt with an old blood-libel — that Jews used the blood of gentile children to make Passover matza bread.
The Middle East Media Research Institute says the Syrian-produced series was aired in Lebanon during Ramadan 2003 and on Jordanian and Iranian TV last year.)
In Paris, France Soir printed a front-page cartoon showing Mohammed and three other figures, presumably representing Jewish, Christian and Buddhist deities, and the quote: “Don’t complain Mohammad, we’ve all been caricatured here.
“Inside, the tabloid daily reprinted the 12 Jyllands-Posten cartoons, and in an editorial declared that it would never apologize for being free to speak and think.
French Muslim groups reacted with outrage, and the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) responded by declaring it would take the newspaper to court. France has five million Muslims – almost as many as the entire Danish population.
A Dutch lawmaker published the pictures on his website, and some members of the European Parliament also spoke out in defense of free speech.

Read the rest here. Also see the article from the BBC here.

Alito’s Confirmation May Mean New Day for Supreme Court

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

I sure that between Roberts and Alito, we can finally get away from and activist Supreme Court and back to one that interprets the Constitution as the founding fathers meant it to be. Keep praying for this.

(AgapePress) – We may long remember January 31, 2006, as the most important date in our republic’s recent history. It is the day that one Samuel Alito was confirmed by the United States Senate to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The vote was 58 in favor and 42 against.
The reason I write of the importance of this vote is that is was Justice O’Connor who was often a pivotal vote against traditional values in many of the most critical decisions of our time. Despite being appointed by the most conservative president of the modern era, President Ronald Reagan, O’Connor was a liberal on social/moral issues. In addition, Justices Anthony Kennedy and David Souter — appointed by Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, respectively — also turned out to be disappointments to conservatives on social and moral issues. The appointments have turned out to be huge disappointments to Americans who voted for Republican presidents in hopes of seeing the Supreme Court return to a conservative majority.
I am hesitant to use the word “conservative” because it means different things to different people, but by conservative I mean an ideology that basically lets the citizens determine what the laws of the cities, states, and nation will be through their duly elected representatives instead of the Supreme Court denying them (us) the opportunity to do so by striking down laws that supported traditional moral values or a biblical worldview.
Despite the advances of secularism and relativism in America, I still believe our side — the traditionalist side — can win on most issues at a legislative level if only because we will out-work those of the secular Left. When it comes to affecting public policy or politics, if you will, we can win at the local level, we can win at the state level, and we can win in the United States Congress. The problem has been that we work hard, elect the right people (even good presidents), get laws passed, and then some federal judge or federal court negates all our hard work with one ruling. It has been extremely frustrating for all of us in the pro-life, pro-family movement, to say the least.
I could list a litany of examples demonstrating this fact. It happens regularly. The people pass a law, the court strikes it down as unconstitutional.
One of the most egregious recent examples of this pattern was the May 12, 2005, decision rendered by federal judge Joseph Battaillon striking down an amendment to the state constitution of Nebraska which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. This was a state-wide referendum in November 2004 that passed with 70 percent of the citizens voting in favor of the amendment. But Judge Joseph didn’t give a rip. He struck down the marriage amendment, thus negating the will of the people of Nebraska.
This is what the majority of people in this country are tired of, I believe. And so they put their trust in President George W. Bush to appoint federal judges — including Supreme Court justices — who are not going to do this type of thing. And President Bush — despite his low approval ratings and some areas of strong disagreement with his conservative base — has not disappointed. He has followed through with his campaign promise to appoint conservative judges to the federal bench; and the liberals in the Senate have fought him tooth and nail on many of his appointments, often using character assassination against nominees and distorting their records or deliberately taking statements out of context. And several times, they have used trumped-up charges of racism against nominees. But I believe this partisan practice has grown tiresome even with some within the Democratic Party who are more fair-minded than the liberals who just want to defeat President Bush at all costs.
Today is a new day. Assuming new Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Alito are both the strong conservatives everyone thinks they are, if you combine them with Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, that makes four votes in favor of returning the right of self-governance to the states and municipalities and thus returning government to the people. But that is still only four votes — and five votes are what is needed to bring about some real change in American jurisprudence at the federal level. Said Gary Bauer:
“This is an important victory, my friends. I fully expect Justice Alito will make a crucial difference, especially when it comes to ending the high court’s hostility to the free exercise of religion in the public square. But the battle is not over. We are one step closer, but we still do not have a conservative majority on the Supreme Court. For all the liberal bluster about ‘balance,’ the Supreme Court has four liberal justices — Breyer, Ginsburg, Souter, and Stevens — and four conservative justices — Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas. That means Justice Anthony Kennedy is the ‘new O’Connor’ or swing vote.”
On issues like partial-birth abortion Kennedy is pro-life, whereas O’Connor was not. What we really need is for another liberal justice to retire so that President Bush can solidify a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Will that happen? Only time will tell.

Sorry for the Delay – I’m finishing up my tax return

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006


Yes, all the forms have now arrived, and being one who never tries to wait until the last minute, I’m doing my tax return today. I’m almost done, so hang in there and I’ll start posting in a bit.
-Jesus is Lord