Archive for April 20th, 2007

Liviu Librescu – Biography of a Hero

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Liviu Librescu courtesy of Virginia Tech

As more information becomes available in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy at Virgina Tech, one story of an instructor’s heroism stands out. Liviu Librescu, a 76 year old Jewish Holocaust survivor, embodies the essence of this heroism.
According to reports, Mr. Librescu held the doors of his classroom, Room 204 of the Norris Hall Engineering Building, shut as the shooter, Cho Seung-hui, attempted to enter. Although shot five times through the door, Mr. Librescu was able to allow time for his approximately 20 students to escape out the windows, saving all of their lives. The five shots proved fatal to Mr. Librescu.

It is reported that “a number of Librescu’s students have called him a hero because of his actions, with one student, Asael Arad, saying that all the professor’s students ‘lived because of him’. Another student, Caroline Merrey, said she and about 20 other students scrambled through the windows as Librescu shouted for them to hurry; she said she felt sure his actions helped save lives.”

In a case of irony, Mr. Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, was killed on Yom HaShoah. the Holocaust Remembrance Day.

At his funeral in Israel, one of the professor’s sons, Arie, said:
“Father, I believe that at this moment you’re looking down on us from above and saying, what is all this crowing around? I only did what I had to do. From our childhood, you taught us to care for people, to work hard, to succeed, but you never taught us to be heroes. It is more theoretical a lesson than aerodynamics,” he said. “A hero must have the right combination of certain attributes, and you had them.”

From Wikipedia:

Liviu Librescu was born in 1930 to a Jewish family in the city of Ploieşti, Romania. After Romania allied with Nazis in World War II, his father was deported. Liviu as a boy was interned at a labor camp in Transnistria and later, along with his family and thousands of other Jews, was deported to a ghetto in the city of Focşani.[5][6] Speaking to Israeli Channel 10 TV the day after the massacre, his wife Marlena said, “We were in Romania during the Second World War, and we were Jews there among the Germans, and among the anti-Semitic Romanians.”[5]

He survived the Holocaust to become an accomplished scientist in Communist Romania.[5] Librescu studied Aerospace Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest, graduating in 1952 and continuing with a master at the same university. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics in 1969 at the Academia de Ştiinţe din România.[7] From 1953 to 1975, he worked as a researcher at Bucharest Institute of Applied Mechanics, and later at Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Institute of Fluid Mechanics and Aerospace Constructions of Academy of Science of Romania.

His career stymied in the 1970s because he refused to swear allegiance to the Communist Party of Romania and was forced out of academia there for his Israeli sympathies.[5] When Librescu requested permission to emigrate to Israel, he was fired from his job.[8][5]

After years of government refusal, Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin personally intervened to get the Librescu family an emigration permit by directly asking President of Romania Nicolae Ceauşescu to let them go.[9][5] They moved to Israel in 1978.

From 1979 to 1986 Librescu was Professor of Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering at Tel-Aviv University and taught at Haifa Technion.[9] In 1985, he left for the United States on sabbatical, where he served as Professor at Virginia Tech until his death.[9] He served as a member on the editorial board of seven scientific journals and was invited as a guest editor of special issues of five other journals.[10] According to his wife, no other Virginia Tech professor has ever published more articles than Librescu.[9]
Librescu in Israel for his grandson’s bris in 2004.
Librescu in Israel for his grandson’s bris in 2004.[9]

Librescu is survived by his wife, Marlena, and his sons Joseph and Arieh.

Dayan Emet – Blessing the True Judge

Barukh attah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha-olam, dayan ha-emet.

“Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, Master of the Universe, the Judge of the Truth.”

Mr. Librescu personifies the very essence of Jewish heroism.

Preacher’s Wife Murders Husband, Gets Slap On The Hands

Friday, April 20th, 2007

For those of you who don’t remember this case, Mary Winkler shot her husband, Rev. Matthew Winkler, of the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, Tennessee. The almost all female jury bought into her story that after years of abuse, she was out of her mind when she shot him in the back, while he was sleeping, with a shotgun. As he lay there mortally wounded, she yanked the phone from the wall, gathered her children and drove 340 miles to Orange Beach, AL.
Church elders discovered his body in the parsonage bedroom after he missed a weeknight service. The coroner removed 77 shotgun pellets from his body.
The manslaughter conviction could send Winkler to prison for between three and six years.
I have to agree with the prosecutor on this one. He called the defendant’s version of events “ludicrous.”
Here’s what was said:

Mary Winkler described nearly a decade of marital abuse when she took the witness stand on Wednesday. She said he struck and kicked her, “screamed and hollered” at her, criticized her, blamed her when things went wrong and made her watch pornography and wear “slutty” costumes for sex.

She also said he forced her to submit to sex acts that made her uncomfortable.

A wig and a tall, white platform shoe were placed on the witness stand during her testimony. Blushing crimson and staring at the floor, she said her husband bought them for her to wear to get him in the mood for sex.

She testified that his sex drive was much stronger than hers, referring to it as “a weakness of his.”

But check this out:

Some of the jurors wept when the Winklers’ oldest daughter, Patricia, testified for the prosecution about her father’s slaying. The 9-year-old said she heard a loud boom and a thump. When she ran into the bedroom, she saw her father’s body lying on the floor.

The child said she had never seen her father mistreat her mother.

But the jury of 10 women and 2 men, bought this argument hook line and sinker:

A defense psychologist testified that Mary Winkler was depressed, showed classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress syndrome, and was unable to form the intent to kill because of years of abuse.

Mary Winkler testified that “something went off” as she pointed the shotgun at Matthew Winkler during an argument. She said she was terrified of him, and pointed the weapon at him to force him to talk through their problems. But she denied pulling the trigger.

She testified that she never wanted him to die, nor would she ever have wished to go to jail, lose custody of her daughters or testify about private matters at a public murder trial.

So my questions are: exactly how does one have an argument with someone who is asleep? How is it possible for him to have his back turned to her, as he is sleeping, while she is pointing a shotgun at him forcing “him to talk through their problems”? Has she ever heard of divorce? Aside from her testimony, what evidence did the jury have that she had been abused?

By this verdict, what have a told abused wives here? What have we told woman who just have a serious problem with their husbands?
We have told them that they can murder their husbands and get a very light sentence. Unbelievable.

Original Link.

“Why Does Florida Prosecute People Who Hand Out Bibles?”

Friday, April 20th, 2007

The State of Florida has decided that it needs to persecute Gideons (the folks who hand out free Bibles) for exercising their right to free speech. This should prove interesting.

Two members of Gideons International who were arrested in Florida for handing out Bibles on a public sidewalk are battling a second round of charges, after the initial trespassing charges against them were dismissed, but authorities filed a new set.

“Why is Florida so interested in prosecuting people who hand out Bibles?” asked the Alliance Defense Fund, which is working on the case for the two volunteers. “Does the state now believe that its citizens will be safer if ‘protected’ from Bibles? In a country founded on religious freedom, the actions of the State are a disgrace.”

Officials with the law firm have confirmed that they now have filed a new motion to dismiss the new charges facing the Gideons for their work in Key Largo.

Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson of Monroe County were arrested, charged with trespassing, and booked into jail after the school principal called police while the two men were distributing copies of the Bible on a public sidewalk earlier this year.

They were verbally assaulted and badgered by the arresting officer, according to court filings in the case, and sustained injury to their wrists when he handcuffed them with their hands behind their backs and detained them in a closed, un-air conditioned car for nearly an hour in 90-degree heat.

“Following the initial motion to dismiss filed by ADF attorneys, the state dismissed the charges but then filed new ones under a different statute,” the ADF said.

“The distribution of Bibles on a public sidewalk is not a criminal offense,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “The attempts by Florida officials to continue pressing for the prosecution of Mr. Mirto and Mr. Simpson is not only blatantly unconstitutional, it borders on religious persecution.”

The incident developed Jan. 19, when the two men were distributing Bibles on a public sidewalk outside Key Largo School but did not step onto school grounds, the ADF said. Both men were arrested, booked, and charged with trespassing after the school’s principal called police. On March 8, ADF attorneys filed a motion to dismiss and the state did dismiss those counts.

However, it filed new charges under a different law that prohibits anyone from being within 500 feet of any school property, including on public sidewalks and streets, without having either “legitimate business” or permission, the ADF said.

“The facts are clear: Mr. Mirto and Mr. Simpson are guilty of nothing more than peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights,” Cortman said. “For whatever reason, the state is grasping at straws in order to justify the punishment of these men.”

The state of Florida is now in the “untenable position of trying to justify the punishment of fundamental First Amendment activities in a quintessential traditional public forum,” the law firm said. Under U.S. Supreme Court precedents over the last century, that is a “blatant violation of their constitutional rights.”

On the face of the statute cited by the prosecutor, people driving by the school on the highway technically are in violation of the law, unless they have an exemption, and if the same exemption doesn’t apply to the two members of Gideons International, then that creates a content-based speech restriction, which also isn’t proper, Cortman said.

Original Link.

Michigan Student Suspended for Wearing “I’m Straight” Sticker

Friday, April 20th, 2007

A student in Michgan was suspended for wearing a sticker in opposition to a school event which celebrated the homosexual lifestyle. I am afraid that if the roles were reversed there would be no suspension for a student wearing an “I’m Gay” sticker. Unfortunately, that’s what we have come to here in America.

A Christian student has been punished by his Michigan high school for demonstrating opposition to a school event celebrating the homosexual lifestyle. The boy’s father, a pastor, says he’s frustrated the rights of Christian students are being constantly trampled on campus.

Oakridge High School in Muskegon, Michigan, is one of many schools across the U.S. that took part in Wednesday’s “National Day of Silence” — an event promoted heavily by homosexual activist groups, which view it as a day to protest alleged discrimination faced by students who identify as “gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT).” At Oakridge High, duct tape was passed out for students to wear over their lips as a way to show solidarity with homosexual students who are purportedly suffering in silence.

John Gardner is pastor of Holton Family Life Worship Center in Holton, a community of approximately 2,500 about 17 miles northeast of Muskegon. Pastor Gardner says his 15-year-old son David, a student at Oakridge High, was suspended for a day by the school because he wrote with a black marker “I’m straight” on a piece of duct tape and attached it to his shirt. He explains that David donned the message to voice his objection to the school’s participation in the Day of Silence.

Original Link

Teaching Evolution Diminishes Respect for Human Life

Friday, April 20th, 2007

The theory here is that when kids are taught that they are nothing more than a glorified animal, they lose respect for human life and many tend to act like animals. Makes perfect sense to me. This is why our children need to be taught that they are made by an omnipotent God who loved them so much He gave His one and only Son to die for them.

The president of Creation Worldview Ministries says decades of teaching “evolution only” in public schools and universities is partly responsible for crimes such as the mass shooting earlier this week in Virginia.

Dr. Grady McMurtry is a full-time creation evangelist who travels the world teaching Christian and secular audiences about the scientific evidence supporting the biblical view of creationism. For years, he says, public schools and universities have taught the theory of evolution as fact, with no opposing viewpoints — and the result, he contends, is a lack of respect for human life.

Therefore, he asserts, people should not be surprised when mass shootings occur, such as the one on the Blacksburg university campus on Monday. “And at Virginia Tech, what do we have?” he asks rhetorically. “We have a person who, unfortunately, thought that humans had no more value than cats and dogs — and unfortunately, I think, probably felt the same way about themselves.”

The creationist continues explaining his premise. “And so what happens? If we are nothing but thinking animals, [and] if you have excess people, then you can just put them in a bag, throw them in the river the way you would too many kittens or too many puppies.”

McMurty explains that when the biblical account of creation is taken out of the public arena, human life has no meaning. In contrast, creation teaches that there is a purpose, he says.

Original Link

One in Thirty Babies Still Alive After Abortion

Friday, April 20th, 2007

This breaks my heart.

One in 30 babies aborted for medical reasons is born alive, a study has found.

They lived for an average of 80 minutes – although in some cases foetuses survived for over six hours.

Most of the babies were born between 20 and 24 weeks of pregnancy, but some had been in the womb for as little as 17 weeks.

The figures, based on a study of West Midlands hospitals, has reignited the abortion debate, with pro-life campaigners demanding the time limit for terminations be cut.

Researchers looked at the outcome of 3,189 abortions performed on seriously handicapped foetuses at 20 hospitals between 1995 and 2004.

It showed that 102 – or around one in 30 – aborted for reasons such as Down’s Syndrome and heart defects, were born alive.

Abortions are allowed to be carried out if the pregnancy is shown to have an adverse effect on the mental health and wellbeing of the mother up until the 24th week of pregnancy.

Original Link