Archive for March, 2006

Re-Post: Late Author Penned Revealing Probe Into U.S. Educational System

Friday, March 31st, 2006

(AgapePress) - When conservative talk-show host Marlin Maddoux unexpectedly passed away during heart surgery on March 4, 2004, all of us, including his family, presumed that a book (that he told us he was working on) had not been completed and would never be published.
After his death, however, his sons went to clean out his office and discovered the manuscript of that book: Public Education Against America: The Hidden Agenda (Whitaker House, March 2006). Maddoux had managed to complete it, even during a time of difficulty due to poor health. And this powerful book, which has just been published, is his final legacy to every parent in America.
Public Education Against America is the most thorough, fully documented inside-look at the public school system yet to be published. Every parent in America should read this book to learn what the government schools are actually teaching their children. It puts a spotlight on those “strangers” to whom we trust our children and grandchildren every day — and the reader will be shocked!
For the sake of your children, get this book and read it. Then do something about it! No responsible parent can do otherwise. As the philosopher Immanuel Kant might say, this book will awaken America from its dogmatic slumber.
First of all, learn what these public schools do with your children in secret … yes, in secret! Children are told by those schools not to tell their parents what is being taught to them, such as the emphasis on homosexuality indoctrination. And you will see in this book how parents have been refused entry to these presentations that their children are required to attend. There are interviews with parents who have experienced this. The public schools refuse to let parents see the materials being used for “instruction.” Why this secrecy? It’s obvious.
Maddoux, who hosted the program “Point of View” beginning in 1972, once interviewed a woman who asked him to read, on the air, a page from her child’s textbook. He had to stop a few lines down the page. The text was so obscene and so vulgar that had he read it on the air, his radio network could have been fined for indecency by the FCC.
One chapter alone — entitled “Public Education’s Dirty Little Secret” — should outrage you and spur you to take your children out of the public schools.
You will read about the presentation that Planned Parenthood gives at public schools, complete with pornographic films and having little girls practice placing a condom on little boys’ fingers. Public schools are dedicated to reprogramming your children to their liking starting in kindergarten.
This reviewer is adamant that children should not be instructed about sexual matters, especially homosexuality, when they are in kindergarten. Children should be allowed to be children without this kind of pressure and responsibility that they are absolutely not ready for.
In Public Education Against America, you will read how liberal, Marxist teachers are intent upon ripping from children any belief they have in God. But what is most startling of all, these same teachers endorse and teach Islam — and not just as history or culture courses, as the government school system represents them to be.
A mandated three-week intensive course for all 7th-graders in the public school system requires students to pray to Allah, wear Muslim clothing, and take on a Muslim name. It is not only indoctrination, but Islamic leaders have stated that there will be suicide bombers in America. And where will they come from? Figure it out.
Parents have been asleep at the wheel for too long, being overly busy working, commuting to and from work, then being literally entertained to death by questionable offerings from TV, movie theaters, and anything else that will dominate their attention. They have been programmed to feel that the least of their priorities is checking on the schools they send their children to. After all, parents surmise, the schools are run by the government, there have always been schools, going to school is necessary, and those who run the public school system must know what they are doing.
You bet they do. The schools today spend a minimum of time on academics. That should be obvious. Instead of kids graduating with knowledge, grace, ethics and principles, they emerge robbed of their faith … defiant … unkempt … rebellious … and many of them cannot even read their diploma after they graduate.
But they know everything about sexual perversion, Islam, America as the evil nation, and that there is no right or wrong. Their attitude is “Whatever is right in my own mind is right — and nobody should challenge that.”
Your children are programmed in the public schools to gladly accept all lifestyles, no matter how repugnant they may be — all in the name of “tolerance.” At the same time, they are taught to have no tolerance for those who don’t agree with deviant behavior or conduct. Marriage is out … lust is in. Take what you want and move on. This is the current curriculum of the public schools.
The primary emphasis in the public schools of America is to recruit children at an early age into “alternative” lifestyles rather than in actually educating them — to turn them against God, against parents, and against America. And if they are squeamish about something like homosexuality, then they are told they should try it in order to understand it.
These are the present re-education factories called the public schools, which have turned out the worst generation in our history — graduates without morals, ethics, or even decency. It is the “do your own thing” generation, no matter how many people are hurt and destroyed in the process.
In this his final book, Maddoux also gives insights into the philosophy of education and pertinent history of major educational influences such as socialist-humanist John Dewey, a professed atheist who praised Vladimir Lenin and determined to model American education after the godless, communist example of the former Soviet Union. It is time to learn about this man whose influence is still evident in our public schools today. That chapter alone (”Dawn of the Post-Christian Era”) is worth the price of the book.
Maddoux has interviewed all the experts who are on the front lines of this subject to positively document everything he has written in his book. The book includes a list of resources to help you make a choice regarding your child’s education. In my family, the kids are the first priority … not convenience. What a difference in the children attending Christian schools and those in the public school system.
Public Education Against America, with a foreword by well-known Christian author Tim LaHaye and a preface by Probe Ministries’ Kerby Anderson (who took over as host of the “Point of View” radio broadcast), is well written, informative, and an easy read.
Rev. Austin Miles is an interdenominational chaplain working in the Bay Area in California whose reviews of books, art shows, and classical concerts have been widely published. He received an award for Critical Review by California State University-Fullerton, has appeared on many TV programs, including Larry King Live, Fox News with Shepherd Smith, and has been spotlighted in Guideposts and People Magazine.

Christian Teens’ Rally Irks San Francisco’s City Fathers

Friday, March 31st, 2006

More stupidity from the goverment of SF, CA.

(AgapePress) - An estimated 25,000 youths showed up last weekend for a “Battle Cry” rally in San Francisco — and then became the latest targets to receive a resolution against them by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
“Battle Cry” is a coalition of 30 groups that is attempting to turn today’s youth away from the lure of popular culture and toward Christ while they are still teenagers. But on the day of the rally in the City by the Bay, opposing protesters took to name-calling, in one instance chanting the phrase: “Christian fascists, go away! Racist, sexist, anti-gay!”
In addition, both the rally and related protest caught the attention of City Hall, which adopted a resolution criticizing both as “acts of provocation” by an “anti-gay” pro-life organization. Democratic State Assemblyman Mark Leno, talking to the counter-protesters, referred to the Battle Cry rally as a “fascist mega-pep rally,” and said the Christian teens involved in the rally should “get out of San Francisco.” This in a city that has long been touting the importance of “tolerance” to support the homosexual movement.
Ron Luce, founder of the ministry Teen Mania and whose group helped to found Battle Cry, appeared afterward on the Fox News show O’Reilly Factor, during which he made it clear that the rally was nothing close to the picture portrayed. “We’re not mean,” Luce says, “and if you look at the video clips of that rally, they’re very kind and they’re praying — and it was pretty startling to see such a violent response.”
According to Luce, it was the first time one of his meetings was officially condemned. He says Battle Cry is helping youth to use one of the most important tools for culture change in America — one he says the political Left has employed best up until now. “Whoever raises their voice in culture is the one who shapes culture,” the ministry leader says.
In the coming weeks, similar rallies — with the intent to change the culture by battling for the hearts and souls of the current teen generation — are set in Detroit (April 7-8) and in Philadelphia (May 12-13).

Censorship of Child’s Poster Depicting Christ Could Require SCOTUS Resolution

Friday, March 31st, 2006

It’s important for all parents of school aged children to realize something:
Political Correctness is not in the Constitution.

If asked to do an assignment where the child’s opinion is part of the assignment, as in this case “to draw posters illustrating their understanding of the environment”, if in the course of doing that assignment, God, Jesus or a religious overtone is presented by the student, the school cannot censor the student’s work.
As an example, if the teacher told the kids to draw a picture of a recycle bin, and the child drew a picture of Jesus, then the school would have grounds to gripe a bit, because the student did not follow the instructions of the assignment. They still could not gripe about the picture of Jesus, because having a student draw the picture is not the school endorsing religion. It’s the student who is endorsing religon.
I have learned through my own experience here in Texas, in regards to religon and school:
1. If asked to write or draw about a broad topic, the student cannot be censored for talking or drawing about God, Jesus and religion.
2. A student can take a Bible to school and read it during their own time. It must be treated as any other book brought from home. As long as the student is not reading it in class when they are supposed to be doing school work, the school cannot make the student stop.
3. Students can discuss God, Jesus and religion on their own time, during the school day. They cannot do so in class if another topic is under discussion. They must respect a student who does not want to listen and leave that person alone.
4. The school cannot make the student leave the area of the discussion, if they were there first and then a student, arriving later, complains about the discussion.

(AgapePress) - The United States Supreme Court may hear a case involving a school district’s censorship of an art poster that a kindergartener drew for a school assignment — a drawing that was partly suppressed by school officials because it contained the child’s depiction of Jesus.
The case involves Antonio Peck, who was a kindergarten student in the late 1990s at Baldwinsville Elementary School in Syracuse, New York. The boy’s teacher told members of the class to draw posters illustrating their understanding of the environment. Antonio’s poster featured children holding hands and encircling the globe and people picking up trash and recycling, along with a picture of Jesus, kneeling with one knee to the ground and his hands outstretched toward the sky.
School officials folded the poster in half in order to cover up the drawing of Christ. They claimed the picture violated “church and state” and would give the impression that the school was teaching religion, even though the drawing was clearly a student’s artwork.
According to the pro-family legal group Liberty Counsel, the fold made Antonio’s look odd and the student’s name on the poster was cut in half, and he felt ashamed of his displayed work, especially after school officials informed him and his parents why his poster was folded. The child assumed he had done something wrong, and when school officials refused to apologize, rectify the situation, or adopt a policy to prevent future censorship, Liberty Counsel filed suit on the Peck family’s behalf.
Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver claims common sense should dictate “that no one would assume the school indoctrinated students in religion simply because one kid’s drawing contained an unidentified religious figure.” He argues that the fact that school officials would go “out of their way to humiliate a kindergarten student in front of his parents and classmates can only stem from antagonism to his Christian viewpoint.”
In 2000, a federal trial court ruled that the school had the right to censor the child’s poster due to “church and state” concerns. However, a court of appeals reversed that ruling on March 28, 2001, in a 3-0 decision, sending the case back to the trial court. And in 2004, the same trial court judge again ruled in favor of the school, at which point Liberty Counsel appealed.
On October 18, 2005, the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled 3-0 in favor of Antonio. Nevertheless, Staver says the matter remains unresolved because there remains “a conflict among the federal courts of appeals.”

Appellate Courts Render Split Decision on Religious Censorship Case
The Court of Appeals in Antonio Peck’s case “got it right,” Staver asserts. According to the Second Circuit’s ruling, he explains, “when students give responses to a class assignment and as long as they respond within the subject matter of the assignment, you cannot censor their religious viewpoints.”
However, the attorney points out, “There are other courts in certain parts of the country that have disagreed with that.” While the Second Circuit joined the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits in saying schools may not censor students’ viewpoints under such circumstances, the First and Tenth Circuits hold that viewpoint discrimination in the curricular context may be permissible. For that reason, Staver believes there is a good chance the Supreme Court of the United States will hear the case.
“When Justice Samuel Alito was a Federal Court of Appeals judge, he ruled specifically in a case that you cannot censor the Christian viewpoints of students when they give information or responses in response to a class assignment or instruction,” the Liberty Counsel spokesman notes. “So I think this would be a great case for the court to take. We’ll wait to see.”
If the high court does take the case, Staver contends, “it could have a major impact on student free religious expression within the public school system.”
In the Supreme Court justices did take up the matter, Liberty Counsel’s president says his group anticipates that the court would agree with those appeals courts that say public schools may not discriminate against students’ religious viewpoints when the students are addressing permissible subjects in response to class assignments.

A Ransom for Many

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45 (New American Standard Bible)

Anti-conversion law passed in ‘tolerant’ Algeria

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

As with the violence we saw earlier this year concerning cartoons of the islamic “prophet”, we find the relgion of peace and tolerance going after Christians yet again, this time in Algeria.
People want the right to choose for themselves what path they wil follow in life. If you a muslim, your path is choosen for you. “Stay with us or die”. What a choice. The religion of death (aka islam) continues to show it’s true colors to the world. Wake up and take notice.

As attention focused on an Afghan Christian convert who faced the death penalty for his conversion, Algeria quietly passed a law that punishes anyone who persuades a Muslim to leave his faith, with up to five years in prison, and banishes house churches.
The government said the law’s purpose is to prohibit “clandestine organizations” it claims are secretly trying to convert Muslims, according to London-based Alarab Online.
But the news agency said the cabinet is attempting to win over Muslim radicals ahead of a general election next year.
As WorldNetDaily reported, charges against Afghan convert Abdul Rahman were dropped Sunday with the court citing a lack of evidence. Last week, Western nations pressured Afghanistan for threatening to execute Rahman under Islamic Shariah because he converted from Islam to Christianity. Rahman arrived in Italy early yesterday after being granted asylum in the wake of death threats from Muslim clerics.
Christians in Algeria – who affirm the new law is the result of increasing influence of radical Islamists in the North African nation – say that to this point, the government has been relatively tolerant of Christianity.
According to the most recent U.S. State Department religious freedom report, published last year, the Algerian constitution declared Islam as the only state-sanctioned religion, and laws limited the practice of other faiths, including prohibiting public assembly for purposes of practicing a faith other than Islam.
“However, the government follows a de facto policy of tolerance by allowing registered, non-Muslim faiths, in limited instances, to conduct public religious services,” the 2005 report said.
The State Department said “non-Islamic proselytizing” was a deportable offense for foreigners, and the importation of religious texts faced lengthy delays for government approval.
According to the new law, passed March 21, the penalty is imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of up to about $12,000 for whomever “incites, constrains or utilizes means of seduction tending to convert a Muslim to another religion, or by using to this end establishments for teaching, for education, for health, of a social or cultural nature, or training institutions, or any other establishment, or any financial means, makes, stores, or distributes printed documents or audiovisual productions or by any other aid or means, which has as its goal to shake the faith of a Muslim.”
In addition, the Algerian government now will regulate all places where Christians can worship, with the officially-Muslim government having to explicitly approve any new Christian church.

House churches are explicitly banned.
The law says, “Collective exercise of religious worship takes place exclusively in structures intended for this purpose, open to the public and identifiable from the exterior.”
The new legislation also provides for the possible imprisonment and expulsion of foreign Christians for the same “offenses.”
Christians and Jews make up less than 1 percent of Algeria’s population, with the rest mostly Sunni Muslims.

U.N. Gives Iran 30 Days to Comply on Nuclear Program

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

“30 days or else” says the U.N.
“Or else what?” asks Iran.
“Well issue a resolution against you, that’s what!!” responded the U.N.
Looking at Iraq, Iran laughed.

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council demanded Wednesday that Iran suspend uranium enrichment, the first time the powerful body has directly urged Tehran to clear up suspicions that it is seeking nuclear weapons.
The 15-nation council unanimously approved a statement that will ask the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to report back in 30 days on Iran’s compliance with demands to stop enriching uranium.
Diplomats portrayed the statement, which is not legally binding, as a first, modest step toward compelling Iran to make clear that its program is for peaceful purposes. The Security Council could eventually impose economic sanctions, though Russia and China say they oppose such tough measures
The document was adopted by consensus and without a vote after a flurry of negotiations among the five veto-wielding council members. In the end, Britain, France and the United States made several concessions to China and Russia, Iran’s allies, who wanted as mild a statement as possible.
Still, the Western countries said the statement expresses the international community’s shared conviction that Iran must comply with the governing board of the IAEA and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Enrichment is a process that can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material for a nuclear warhead.
“The council is expressing its clear concern and is saying to Iran that it should comply with the wishes of the governing board,” France’s U.N Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said.
Members of the council wanted to reach a deal before Thursday, when foreign ministers from the five veto-wielding council members and Germany meet in Berlin to discuss strategy on Iran.
Diplomats would not say exactly what will happen if Iran does not comply the statement within 30 days, but suggested that would be discussed by the foreign ministers in Berlin.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said earlier Wednesday that the statement “sends an unmistakable message to Iran that its efforts to deny the obvious fact of what it’s doing are not going to be sufficient.”
The council has struggled for three weeks to come up with a written rebuke that would urge Iran to comply with several demands from the board of the IAEA to clear up suspicions about its intentions. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
The West believes council action will help isolate Iran and put new pressure on it to clear up suspicions about its intentions. They have proposed an incremental approach, refusing to rule out sanctions.
U.S. officials have said the threat of military action must also remain on the table.
Russia and China, both allies of Iran, oppose sanctions. They wanted any council statement to make explicit that the IAEA, not the Security Council, must take the lead in confronting Iran.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeated his stance that Moscow would not support the use of force to solve the Iranian nuclear problem.
“As many of our European and Chinese colleagues have stated more than once, any ideas involving the use of force or pressure in resolving the issue are counterproductive and cannot be supported,” Lavrov said Wednesday in Moscow.
Iran remains defiant. The government released a statement through its embassy in Moscow on Tuesday warning that Security Council intervention would “escalate tensions, entailing negative consequences that would be of benefit to no party.”

Tom DeLay Sees World War on Christianity

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

I agree completely with Congressman DeLay. I see it only getting worse as time goes on too.

The conference was entitled, “The War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006,” so the topic of Tom DeLay’s speech to conferees came as no surprise.
The scope of his comments, however, went somewhat beyond the headline.
“Our faith has always been in direct conflict with the values of the world,” Rep. Tom DeLay told his audience.
He added that Christians are looked down on in the U.S. as well. “We are, after all, a society that provides abortion on demand, has killed millions of innocent children, degrades the institution of marriage and all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition.”
The Washington, D.C. conference is being hosted by Vision America, a group founded by the Rev. Rick Scarborough “to mobilize ‘patriot pastors’ of all denominations to promote Christian involvement in government.” according to the Houston Chronicle.
DeLay said, “we have been chosen to live as Christians at a time when our culture is being poisoned. … God made us specifically for it. … Jesus Christ himself made us just so that we could live in this nation at this time.”
The sermon/speech delivered by DeLay came one day before Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist linked to DeLay and some of his associates, was sentenced to six years in prison.
Rev. Scarborough told the conference that DeLay had been “nearly destroyed in the press,” but that he is “a man, I believe, God has appointed … to represent righteousness in government.
The audience included Eagle Forum Founder Phyllis Schlafly, former ambassador Alan Keyes, and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.

Afghan Convert Saved, But Apostasy Problem Endures

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

I know I’ve already blogged about this, but this is just intolerable. The man’s only crime was to convert from islam to Christianity. Even though he’s out of there, he still has to fear for his life. What kind of perverted religion is willing to go to the trouble of hunting someone down and killing them just for leave that religion. The answer is “islam”. You know it well. The so-called religion of peace (RoP), the so-called religion of tolerance (Rot), but in reality, the religion of death (RoD).

( - An Afghan Christian threatened with execution for leaving Islam has arrived safely in the West, but religious freedom campaigners remain concerned about the broader and enduring problem of the shari’a-mandated death penalty in parts of the Islamic world.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced that Abdul Rahman had arrived in Rome, where the Italian cabinet unanimously agreed on Wednesday to approve a request for asylum.
Berlusconi said “all necessary precautions” were in place to ensure the safety of the Afghan, whose whereabouts were being kept secret.
Rahman was freed from custody in Kabul earlier this week after his plight drew international concern.
Heavy pressure was applied by Western countries, led by those that took part in the U.S.-led campaign to topple the Taliban in 2001 or sent troops later, and which shore up the government of President Hamid Karzai.
Pope Benedict XVI also sent a letter to Karzai on the matter. At the weekend, he expressed concern for communities in countries where religious freedom is lacking, “or where despite claims on paper they in truth are subjected to many restrictions.”
The pope’s reference may have been to Afghanistan’s new constitution, whose religious freedom provision appears to be contradicted by a clause stating that “no law shall contravene the tenets and provisions of the holy religion of Islam.”
Afghan officials said the case against Rahman, who reportedly became a Christian while working with an aid group outside his homeland, was dropped for lack of evidence and because of suspicions he may be mentally unwell.
On the day he flew to Italy, the Afghan parliament debated the case, protesting the convert’s release and demanding that he not be allowed to leave the country. During the debate, lawmakers declared that not punishing Rahman violated shari’a, or Islamic law.
According to a fatwa, or religious ruling, posted on the Islam Online website, “leaving Islam is the ugliest and the worst form of disbelief in Almighty Allah”
How Muslims should treat an apostate (or “murtadd” in Arabic) is the subject of much debate. Some Islamic scholars focus on the words and actions of Mohammed, who was reported in the Hadith, or traditions of the prophet, to have said that anyone who abandons Islam should be killed.
Others emphasize the Koran’s injunction that there should be “no compulsion in religion,” and argue that Mohammed’s words on the subject were only applicable in specific contexts and applied in cases where people left Islam and also betrayed the Islamic state.
The Barnabas Fund, which campaigns for Christian minorities in Islamic societies, says although a minority of liberal Muslims had long promoted the latter argument, it had yet to make any impact on the official teaching of shari’a, as formulated in the Middle Ages.
The religious freedom group International Christian Concern welcomed the news about Rahman, but said it was “merely a short-term solution to the fundamental problem with Afghanistan’s interpretation of Islamic law.”
“While we can celebrate the rescue of a courageous Christian, Afghanistan remains unchanged in its lack of respect for human rights.”
Arie de Pater, advocacy spokesman for Open Doors, said the release of Rahman “leaves the [Afghan] constitution and the law unchanged, so that apostates remain under threat of being hanged.”

Campaigners say the problem is not restricted to Afghanistan.
“Minority Christians face severe and growing persecution in many Islamic nations including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and elsewhere,” Jim Jacobson of Christian Freedom International said earlier.
“This must be condemned at the highest levels wherever and whenever it occurs.”
“There are former Muslims who now follow Jesus Christ in every country of the world, including others in Afghanistan,” said the Barnabas Fund.
“For all of them Islam’s apostasy law has implications. Though only a handful of countries have the death sentence for apostasy in their law, in every Muslim society there is a widespread knowledge of what shari’a says on this subject.”
As a result, it said, converts face difficulties including harassment, rejection by their families and communities, official discrimination on a variety of pretexts, violence, and sometimes murder.
In a recent letter to President Bush, the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) noted its previously-expressed concerns that failings in the Afghan constitution could lead to unjust criminal accusations of apostasy and blasphemy.
USCIRF chairman Michael Cromartie said Washington should press Karzai to “allow for free manifestation of religious belief and debate on critical human rights issues.”
He said the case also provided a critical opportunity to encourage Karzai to reform the judiciary and appoint well-trained judges.
The USCIRF was established under 1998 legislation to provide recommendations to Congress and the executive branch on religious freedom issues.

Israel Views Katyusha Rocket Firing As ‘Ominous Sign’

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Got to love the way the pali terrorist live up their agreements of “peace”. Once a pali terrorist, always a pali terrorist.

Jerusalem ( - While all eyes were focused on the Israeli elections, the terror group Islamic Jihad launched into Israel a rocket with twice the range of those its usually fires.
Southern Israel has been hit by hundreds of homemade, short-range, and imprecise Kassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip over the last few years. Tuesday marked the first time that a Katyusha was launched from Gaza. No injuries or damage were reported.
The Katyusha has twice the range of a Kassam — about 20 to 30 kilometers (12-18 miles) instead of 11 kilometers (6.6 miles). The longer range rocket puts much more of southern Israel in the danger zone. Both the large coastal city of Ashkelon and the port city of Ashdod are now within range.
Although the Kassams are crude, inaccurate weapons, they have killed a number of Israelis and caused considerable damage to Israeli homes and property. The Katyusha is more powerful.
It is an “ominous sign” from the new Hamas government that there will be no let-up in terrorism, said prime ministerial spokesman Dr. Ra’anan Gissin.
“[The terror groups] are continuing to try to acquire the capability to disrupt the strategic balance there,” said Gissin.
Hamas may not engage in terrorism directly but they are going to give a free hand to other groups that want to carry out attacks, he said. “They will try to sweet-talk the West, but in practice they will not do anything to stop [the terrorism].”
Islamic Jihad, which is ideologically aligned with and backed by Iran, claimed responsibility for firing the Katyusha rocket. The group has launched more than 450 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets since the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip last September.
According to the military sources, the rocket probably was smuggled into Gaza across the Egyptian border. Sources said Islamic Jihad probably doesn’t have many of the longer-range rockets — yet.
Five of the cruder Kassams were launched from Gaza toward Israel on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, two Bedouin shepherds, a father and son, were killed when they handled a Kassam rocket that had been launched into Israel earlier.
Residents of northern Israel have suffered for years from Katyusha rocket attacks on Israeli border towns launched by the Iranian-backed Hizballah.

No Amnesty, House Members Tell Senate

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Well, it’s a step in the right direction. I hope the Republicans stand firm on this.

( - Members of the House Immigration Reform Caucus have a message for the Senate: Immigration proposals that include amnesty are unacceptable and will not pass the House.
Or will they? According to Thursday’s New York Times, House Speaker Dennis Hastert is hinting at a compromise on the guest worker issue.
“We’re going to look at all alternatives,” Hastert said at a news conference Wednesday. “We’re not going to discount anything right now. Our first priority is to protect the border. And we also know there is a need in some sections of the economy for a guest-worker program.”
But any plan that goes easy on illegal aliens will face stiff opposition in the House.
On Thursday, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), and other members of the Immigration Reform Caucus were holding a “Just Say No to Amnesty” press conference on Capitol Hill. The message is aimed at the Senate.
Tancredo, who chairs the 94-member Immigration Reform Caucus, said recent immigration rallies — where protesters waved Mexican flags — show the magnitude of the problem:
“For years, the government has turned a blind eye to illegal aliens who break into this country. It isn’t any wonder that illegal aliens now act as if they are entitled to the rights and privileges of citizenship,” he said in a press release.
Tancredo says the McCain-Kennedy-Specter bill that emerged from the Judiciary Committee earlier this week would give amnesty to the more than 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. (Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said the bill does not offer amnesty, but “earned citizenship.”)
Regardless, If the Senate passes the Judiciary Committee’s bill, “the prospects of getting a reform bill to the president’s desk this year are slim, to say the least,” Tancredo said. “No plan with amnesty and a massive increase in foreign workers will pass the House,” he insisted.
“Americans want enforcement first, and disagreement over foreign workers should not prevent us from securing our borders,” Tancredo said.
The House passed a border security bill by a 239-182 margin in December. Among other things, the bill calls for a fence along the U.S. border; it cracks down on alien smuggling rings and those who come to this country illegally; and it sets up a system for employers to verify the legal status of the people they hire.
The bill does not include a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, nor does it include a guest worker program.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), the author of the border security bill, complained this week that critics of his bill are spreading misconceptions about it.
He said his bill give prosecutors new tools to fight smuggling rings. But it does not target humanitarian and church groups, as critics contend.
It’s “fear-mongering” to say that “clergy and good Samaritans will be thrown in jail,” he said. “That’s absolutely false — and beneath the level of dialogue this important issue deserves…Targeting alien smuggling gangs is the intent — and the effect — of the House bill,” Sensenbrenner added.
Sensenbrenner also noted that his bill would make “unlawful presence” in the U.S. a crime instead of a civil immigration offense.
Democrats, trying to poison the House bill, made “unlawful presence” a felony. Sensenbrenner and other Republicans wanted unlawful presence to be a misdemeanor, not a felony, but his amendment was rejected.
“While I was disappointed in this cynical maneuver taken by my Democratic colleagues, I remain committed to making unlawful presence a misdemeanor and producing a strong bill that will prevent illegal immigration and bolster control of our borders in an effective and compassionate way,” Sensenbrenner said.

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