Archive for July, 2007

Film Spoofs The Ten Commandments

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

If this film were a spoof of the Quran, we would be seeing Muslims rioting and burning things (they always burn stuff for some reason) in the streets.

A new movie set to be released this Friday will feature the Ten Commandments from the Bible in a very unflattering way.

”The Ten,” written by the same director of Wet Hot American Summer, is a compilation of ten different stories, each depicting one of the ancient commandments given to Moses by God.

Christians have expressed their concern about the film and how it degrades and insults God and His laws. Many critics, however, believe the movie will have little influence.

“The Ten Commandments have been a cornerstone of our society for nearly one hundred years,” explained “The Ten” director David Wain on the film’s website. “If you’ve ever taken a Sunday off, or if you’ve ever stopped yourself from murdering someone, then you yourself have been following the Ten Commandments without even knowing it.”

The film has a number of stars in it including Paul Rudd, Adam Brody, Gretchen Mol, Winona Ryder, Oliver Platt and Jessica Alba. Each of them either stars or plays minor roles in each of the short scripts. Each uses the Bible to create a foundation for an often inappropriate caricature.

A main example of one of the acts tells the story of a virgin librarian who takes a trip to Mexico and experiences a sexual awakening with a local named Jesus H. Christ.

Other shorts include a prisoner coveting his inmate’s “wife,” a woman who steals a ventriloquist doll after she falls in love with it, and a police detective who covets his neighbor’s Cat Scan machine.

Some Christian leaders feel that the film is part of a larger trend of increasing antagonism toward Christianity and religion in America.

“This is going to be a very negative attack on faith and values,” said Dr. Ted Baehr, chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, to World Net Daily. “It’s very sad society has descended into this attack mode.”

Original Link

Is Love for Sodomy ‘God-Given’? by Les Kinsolving

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Some great points here.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the newly named Catholic archbishop of Baltimore, Edwin F. O’Brien, in 1978, “helped found Courage, a group in New York that ministers to those with same-sex attractions and encourages them to lead celibate lives.”

The Sun’s Stephen Kiehl also reports:

“But Sam Sinnett, president of Dignity USA, a group for gay and lesbian Catholics, said:

“‘They keep talking about people changing their God-given sexual orientation. That’s just not a possibility. And any professional knows that. To live in willful ignorance of that is a terrible thing, particularly for a moral teacher.'”

Welcome to the Sun-world, Archbishop O’Brien! This Sun-printed statement suggests that you, as a moral teacher, are willfully ignorant and terrible.

Original Link

UMC Ripped for Partnership with Muslim Aid

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

What on earth is up with this??

The United Methodist Church is being blasted for partnering with a Muslim group that is blatant about its mission.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief, or UMCOR, recently announced a partnership with Muslim Aid, a British-based relief organization. The Muslim group is very clear about its Islamic mission — and on its website there are numerous references to the Koran and to Allah, says Mark Tooley with the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD).

“In its materials and on its website, it talks about the need to serve Allah,” he continues, “and one of its programs is to help Muslims around the world fulfill their Islamic obligations, which include an annual animal sacrifice, which Muslim Aid will assist them with.”

Tooley expects the denomination to spend more than the $15 million dollars already proposed on joint relief projects worldwide. “Even prior to this recently announced partnership, they had been working together in Sri Lanka in relation to tsunami victims there,” the IRD spokesman observes.

Tooley points out that while Muslim Aid is vocal in its beliefs, UMCOR has virtually no mention of God, Jesus Christ, or the Bible on its website. “No wonder there is such easy agreement between them,” he comments.

UMCOR’s operating budget last year was nearly $90 million, according to Tooley. He suggests that United Methodists and others might want to “ponder” why one of its denominational agencies appears hesitant to mention Jesus Christ, but seems to have no problem affiliating with a Muslim group that freely professes its service to Allah.

Original Link.

US Scholars See Qualified Success for US Iraq Surge

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Here’s something you won’t hear from the Democrats and main stream press.

Two prominent US political scholars just back from Iraq said Monday the US troop surge strategy was making strides in some areas, but warned the Iraqi government was making “zero” progress.

The findings by independent Brookings Institution analysts Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack, who have recently criticized White House strategy, furthered enflamed the heated political debate in Washington over Iraq.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives is due this week to hold more symbolic votes on bringing US troops home, in the latest of a string of so-far unsuccessful attempts to dictate President George W. Bush’s war strategy.

Pollack and O’Hanlon returned from eight days of meetings with US generals, diplomats and Iraqis saying they were more hopeful than they had expected.

They noted progress in the US battle against Al-Qaeda in Iraq in western Al-Anbar province, and said there had been impressive stabilization in the northern cities of Tal-Afar and Mosul.

But they warned that southern Iraq and the city of Basra were like the “Wild West,” pummeled by violence, and that security in the capital was uneven, with some neighborhoods returning to normal and others like a “war-zone.”

“This is the first trip I have taken to Iraq that I actually came back more hopeful than I went over, (but) again that is a more qualified hopefulness,” Pollack told a small group of reporters.

“We saw considerably greater progress on the security side than I would have expected,” Pollack said, adding that some economic and political strides were evident at local levels.

But he warned he saw none of the critical, top-down political momentum from the Iraqi central government that US policy is designed to promote, describing it as “a complete mess.”

“Iraqi high-level politics remains completely log-jammed, we saw zero evidence of progress there,” Pollack said.

O’Hanlon said he was impressed by progress of US troops in fighting Al-Qaeda in Iraq after a tie-up between US forces and tribal sheikhs in Anbar.

But he warned the strategy to surge nearly 30,000 extra troops into Iraq, may simply be keeping the lid on other violence.

“The civil strife is something that we have more suppressed than solved,” he said, but added he would favor following the surge strategy for a few more months given new signs of momentum.

Pollack also cautioned some progress appeared to depend on the continued presence of US troops, the subject of a furious battle between Democrats in Congress, who want to bring most of the 159,000 soldiers home, and the White House, which rejects withdrawal timelines.

Original Link.

Oil And Bible Prophecy by Todd Strandberg

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Oil prices are nearing all-time highs. The news of faster-than-expected economic growth had light, sweet crude for September trading at $77.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price was a penny shy of the highest-ever settlement price for a front-month contract that was set July 14, 2006. As troubling as the short-term price of oil has become, the long-term price looks far more menacing.

Jeffrey Currie, a London-based commodity analyst, says $95 crude is likely this year unless OPEC unexpectedly increases production, and declining inventories are raising the chances for $100 oil. Jeff Rubin at CIBC World Markets predicts $100 a barrel as soon as next year.

“We’re only a headline of significance away from $100 oil,” said John Kilduff, an analyst in the New York office of futures broker Man Financial Inc. “The unrelenting pressure of increased demand has left the market a coiled spring.” “New disruptions of Nigerian or Iraqi supplies, or any military strike against Iran , might trigger the rise,” said Kilduff.

Oil prices could triple in three months to more than $200 a barrel, given the right circumstances, according to Matthew Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Co., a Houston investment bank.

We are a long way from 1998-1999 price crash when oil briefly fell below $10 a barrel. It seems hard to imagine that crude is now up 8 fold. In just the past 6 months, this precious commodity has risen 51 percent.

The key reason for the dire predictions is the simple fact that demand is up a million barrels a day. The demand increase is being led by the booming economies of India and China , which means more cars and trucks and more factories that burn oil and gas.

Another area that is putting upward pressure on oil prices is the decline in production on the part of major oil companies. The supply of oil is down by a million barrels a day. Most of the major oil firms reported their earnings last week, and every one of them reported a decline in their ability to bring oil to market:

British Petroleum said oil and gas output fell 5.3 percent to 3.804 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2007 compared with a year earlier.

Exxon Mobil said the company’s production dipped 1 percent on an oil equivalent basis. It saw the most weakness in fields that produce natural gas.

ConocoPhillips’ daily production for the quarter averaged 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from 2.1 million barrels a day in the year-ago period. The company attributed the decrease to normal field declines, planned maintenance in the North Sea and its exit from Dubai , among other factors.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said in its latest report the daily oil and natural gas production averaged the equivalent of 583,000 barrels of crude a day during the quarter, down from 609,000 a year ago.

Royal Dutch Shell – Production slipped 2% to 3.18 million barrels of oil equivalent, hurt as violence in Nigeria has halted onshore production, and the country has moved to restrict offshore output to meet OPEC targets. Due to what Shell calls the “security situation,” 195,000 barrels of oil a day were shut in.

Venezuela’s national oil company — a major supplier of fuel to the United States — has seen oil production fall to 2.37 million barrels a day, down from 2.6 million barrels a day a year ago.

Bible prophecy makes no direct mention of oil, but I strongly believe it will be a major catalyst for several key end-time events. Any type of oil shock will draw the world’s focus towards the Middle East.

Original Link

Iran Says US Too Involved in Iraq to Attack It

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has told a German magazine that the United States has too many problems in Iraq to become involved in armed conflict with Iran.

Military action is sometimes discussed in Washington as an option in trying to derail what it sees as Iran’s drive to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States “is not in a position to get into a new military conflict”, Mottaki was quoted as saying in an excerpt of an interview to be published in Focus magazine.

“170,000 American soldiers can guarantee neither their own safety nor the security of Iraq,” he said.

The United States and its allies say Iran’s nuclear fuel enrichment programme is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran insists it is purely for peaceful power generation.

The United Nations has imposed sanctions on Iran for failing to stop enrichment, but Mottaki reiterated that Iran had no intention of curtailing the programme.

Mottaki has dismissed the U.N. sanctions already imposed and said that tougher penalties would not change Iran’s mind.

There was no mention of plans for further talks between Iran and the United States on Iraq.

Original Link

‘Armed Struggle’ Omitted From New PA Government Platform

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Just a reminder…
Koran 47:36 says “Therefore do not falter or sue for peace when you have gained the upper hand.”

And with the track record the pali terrorist have of actually telling the truth and abiding by their agreements, we can pretty well figure that they are lying about this too.

For the first time in the history of the Palestinian Authority, the government does not mention in its proposed political platform the Arabic word mokawamah, meaning “resistance” or “armed struggle.” Instead, the new guidelines adhere to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s call for “national opposition to the occupation,” supporting the Arab peace initiative.

The new PA program presented by PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad on Friday includes the attainment of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement consisting of pre-1967 borders, Jerusalem as the capital of both states and the honoring of past agreements between the two.

The platform also calls for a just and agreed-upon resolution to the refugee problem on the basis of UN resolutions.

The proposal, which was presented to PA ministers, requires the approval of the PA parliament.

Government sources expressed cautious optimism over the omission of “armed struggle” from the new proposed guidelines. “It is an important declaration and a basis for continuing our cooperation with the PA government,” Israel Radio quoted the sources as saying.

However, Jerusalem officials stressed that they had not actually received the guidelines in writing and would therefore not give an official response.

Hamas slammed the proposal and vowed that it would continue the armed struggle.

The group’s spokesman in Gaza, Ayman Taha, told Israel Radio that “no decision can erase the resistance to the occupation.”

Army Radio reported that Abbas and Fayad showed the new Palestinian document to Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin during their meeting in Ramallah the previous day.

“It concerns peace with Israel and honoring past agreement with Israel,” confirmed the Meretz chairman. Beilin went on to say that it was “peace as an ideology” as opposed to an agreement as a last resort.

Abbas told reporters on Thursday that he hoped for “a comprehensive peace with the Israelis within a year or even less than that.” He also told the daily Ma’ariv that US President George W. Bush wished to broker a deal within a year. “I heard this with my own ears from the President himself and from Secretary of State [Condoleezza] Rice,” he said.

The new proposed PA document also includes the government’s declaration of its intention to restore PA rule to the Gaza Strip and extensively blames Hamas for “deviously and forcefully” taking over PA institutions.

According to the new proposed principles, Fayad’s government would end the anarchy in the PA and prevent citizens from moving around openly with weapons in Palestinians cities. Only PA security forces would have the right to bear arms.

The new PA platform also includes clauses on improving the status of women in Palestinian society, enhancing Palestinian education, preserving the environment, strengthening democratic institutions, upholding human rights, ensuring religious tolerance and guaranteeing cultural and political pluralism. It also vows to battle corruption and fight against the use of religion to justify murder and destructive practices.

Original Link.

Islamic States Chide UN Head for Criticizing Human Rights Body

Friday, July 27th, 2007

The U.N. Human Rights Council, since it’s inception, has passed more resolutions against Israel than any other country, despite horrible abuses in Africa and China. When the leader of the U.N. finally decides to point this fact out them, he gets criticized by the Islamic representatives of the council. Anyone else see a trend here? Clue in on the word “Islamic”.

(CNSNews.com) – After ensuring that the U.N. Human Rights Council, in its first year of operation, produced numerous resolutions condemning Israel, the Islamic bloc on Wednesday criticized U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon for highlighting that fact.At a meeting of the Geneva-based HRC, the representative of Pakistan — speaking on behalf of the 56-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) — reportedly scolded Ban for his comments last month chiding the council for singling out Israel.

The Pakistani delegate was quoted as saying the HRC would have to “streamline its relationship” with the secretary-general.

Last month, Ban’s spokesman said in a statement that Ban was “disappointed at the council’s decision to single out only one specific regional item, given the range and scope of allegations of human rights violations throughout the world.”

Although the statement did not name the “regional item” concerned, the HRC has since its formation a year ago censured Israel 11 times — and no other country.

The spokesman added, “As regards the removal of mandates relating to two member states, [Ban] wishes to emphasize the need to consider all situations of possible human rights violations equally.”

The remark was a reference to a decision by the HRC to stop reporting on alleged human rights violations in Cuba and Belarus.

U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, decried the Pakistani envoy’s remarks Wednesday.

“We’re witnessing a dangerous attempt to censor the highest official of the United Nations, an effort to silence anyone who exposes the council’s repeated breaches of its own principles of equality, universality, and non-selectivity,” said the group’s executive director, Hillel Neuer.

Canada’s representative to the HRC was quoted as defending Ban during Wednesday’s meeting.

“We have to acknowledge that the secretary-general is entitled to his views, and it would ill behoove this council to appear to be constraining or discouraging the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression, a fundamental freedom we are committed to uphold,” he said.

The 47-seat council was established to replace the erstwhile Commission on Human Rights, which became a laughing stock after regimes accused of egregious rights abuses sought membership and used their positions to block scrutiny, while focusing disproportionately on their foes, notably Israel.

The new human rights apparatus was meant to be a crowning achievement of former secretary-general Kofi Annan’s effort to reform the world body, but Annan himself, a month before leaving office, criticized the council for focusing too much on the Arab-Israeli conflict while ignoring the atrocities in Sudan’s Darfur region.

In line with a negotiated membership formula, the African and Asian regional groups hold 26 of the HRC’s 47 seats. And since OIC member states hold a majority in both of those regional groups, the Islamic bloc and its allies effectively dominate the council.

President Bush last month announced that the U.S. for the first time would send an envoy to the OIC.

“Our special envoy will listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and will share with them America’s views and values,” he said.

The envoy has yet to be named, but a State Department official, Gregg Rickman, held talks with OIC officials in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this week.

According to an OIC statement, “the discussions focused on exchange of views on cooperation for further strengthening efforts to address the issue of discrimination and intolerance of religious faiths and for dialogue for reaching a historical reconciliation towards the Alliance of Civilizations.”

Rickman holds the post of the Secretary of State’s special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.

Original Link.

Christian Commentator: ‘GLBT’ Presidential Debate a Poor Move for Democras

Friday, July 27th, 2007

A Christian writer and radio talk-show host says a decision by Democratic presidential candidates to take part in an upcoming debate on “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” (GLBT) issues is a poor political move because homosexuals comprise only a tiny portion of the electorate.

MTV’s homosexual cable network LOGO will be airing a Democratic presidential debate August 9 on how best to further the homosexual agenda. (See earlier story) According to news reports, candidates slated to participate are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards. Joe Solmonese — president of the Washington, DC-based Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s most powerful homosexual activist groups — will be moderating the unprecedented event. HRC is coordinating the debate through a partnership with LOGO.

Greg Koukl is the founder and president of California-based Stand to Reason. Koukl says since the demographic for homosexuals is anywhere from one to three percent maximum, and the Democratic Party already owns that demographic, the candidates do not stand to gain anything by taking part in the GLBT debate.

“The Democrats are kind of, for lack of a better word, preening before the public to show everybody how liberal they actually are,” Koukl alleges. “[They want to demonstrate] that they would be willing to invest a significant amount of their time and energy to go before this small group of people and make a public statement of how progressive their views are, that they are the card-carrying liberals. They are proud of this.”

Koukl says the Democratic White House hopefuls may actually lose votes as a result of the debate because the majority of Americans do not embrace the “extreme” views of the homosexual lobby.

But the Christian leader also has criticism for his fellow believers on the matter. He believes the breakdown of traditional morality in the church is largely to blame for the aggressive promotion of the homosexual lifestyle in American politics today.

“I think Christians have not been very good in responding to this problem,” he shares. “In many ways, we are perpetrators of this because there is sexual immorality in our midst, including heterosexual immorality, that we’ve kind of cast a blind eye on — and that’s been a problem.”

He also alleges there are theological concerns in the church that have resulted in confusion about the issue of homosexuality. “People haven’t done their homework about the Bible and homosexuality,” he states bluntly.

The Stand to Reason leader says to a great degree, on issues such as homosexuality, the Christian church’s response to the culture has been “shrill and shallow” and lacking thoughtfulness.

Original Link.

“Saudi in the Classroom” By Stanley Kurtz

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Unless we counteract the influence of Saudi money on the education of the young, we’re going to find it very difficult to win the war on terror. I only wish I was referring to Saudi-funded madrassas in Pakistan. Unfortunately, I’m talking about K-12 education in the United States. Believe it or not, the Saudis have figured out how to make an end-run around America’s K-12 curriculum safeguards, thereby gaining control over much of what children in the United States learn about the Middle East. While we’ve had only limited success paring back education for Islamist fundamentalism abroad, the Saudis have taken a surprising degree of control over America’s Middle-East studies curriculum at home.

Game, Set, Match
How did they do it? Very carefully…and very cleverly. It turns out that the system of federal subsidies to university programs of Middle East Studies (under Title VI of the Higher Education Act) has been serving as a kind of Trojan horse for Saudi influence over American K-12 education. Federally subsidized Middle East Studies centers are required to pursue public outreach. That entails designing lesson plans and seminars on the Middle East for America’s K-12 teachers. These university-distributed teaching aids slip into the K-12 curriculum without being subject to the normal public vetting processes. Meanwhile, the federal government, which both subsidizes and lends its stamp of approval to these special K-12 course materials on the Middle East, has effectively abandoned oversight of the program that purveys them (Title VI).

Enter the Saudis. By lavishly funding several organizations that design Saudi-friendly English-language K-12 curricula, all that remains is to convince the “outreach coordinators” at prestigious, federally subsidized universities to purvey these materials to America’s teachers. And wouldn’t you know it, outreach coordinators or teacher-trainers at a number of university Middle East Studies centers have themselves been trained by the very same Saudi-funded foundations that design K-12 course materials. These Saudi-friendly folks happily build their outreach efforts around Saudi-financed K-12 curricula.

So let’s review. The United States government gives money — and a federal seal of approval — to a university Middle East Studies center. That center offers a government-approved K-12 Middle East studies curriculum to America’s teachers. But in fact, that curriculum has been bought and paid for by the Saudis, who may even have trained the personnel who operate the university’s outreach program. Meanwhile, the American government is asleep at the wheel — paying scant attention to how its federally mandated public outreach programs actually work. So without ever realizing it, America’s taxpayers end up subsidizing — and providing official federal approval for — K-12 educational materials on the Middle East that have been created under Saudi auspices. Game, set, match: Saudis.

———-

The Stealth Curriculum
There’s certainly something troubling here. And once you grasp the Saudi connection, it begins to make sense. Stotsky didn’t quite put all the pieces together, but she came very close. Her stint at the Massachusetts Department of Education, and her bad experience with Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies prompted Stotsky to publish The Stealth Curriculum: Manipulating America’s History Teachers under the auspices of the Fordham Foundation.

Introducing Stotsky’s study, Fordham Foundation president, and noted education expert, Chester Finn, calls the use of teacher-training seminars a “vast dark continent within our public (and private) educational system.” According to Finn “interest groups and ideologues” have used these seminars to “fly under the radar” of ordinary curriculum safeguards, promulgating “bias, misinformation, and politically charged conclusions, though never acknowledging their semi-covert agendas.” All too often, says Finn, those agendas include viewing “the history of freedom as the history of oppression” and urging students “to be more sympathetic to cultures that don’t value individual rights than to those that do.” It’s a sad commentary on Title VI subsidies to American universities to think that this high-profile federally-funded program has become the parade example of a much broader educational scandal.

Even in 2004, Stotsky had more than an inkling of Saudi financial involvement in Title VI outreach programs. In The Stealth Curriculum, she wrote: “Most of these materials have been prepared and/or funded by Islamic sources here and abroad, and are distributed or sold directly to schools or individual teachers, thereby bypassing public scrutiny.” Stotsky goes on to note that after 9/11, the Saudi government sent U.S. schools thousands of packages of educational material that, for example, attributed the Middle East’s problems to Western colonization.

Read the whole article here.

Terrorist Want More Prisoners Released

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Last Friday, 255 terrorist were released back into pali terror land. No doubt these reinforcements have already been rearmed and have rejoined the ranks of their terrorist brethren. “But, but, but…they signed papers pledging that they wouldn’t go back and join terrorist groups” the terrorist supporters will say. Ooookay…when has an Islamic terrorist ever kept his word??
But guess what? Without offering any concessions in return, terrorist leader Abbas, wants an additional 100 released. Just like that. No “thank you” for the first release. No pledge (however false it would have been anyway) to crack down on terror groups. Nothing. Just a “give me more”.
The think is, Israel will probably do it.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday asked Israel to release 100 Fatah prisoners serving their terms in Israeli penitentiaries, Army Radio reported.

Last Friday Israel released 255 prisoners after they signed a form in which they promised not to engage in terrorist activities following their release, and underwent a special identification process to confirm that they were, in fact, the same people who appeared on the release list.

The additional prisoners, all former residents of the Gaza Strip, would theoretically bolster Fatah’s presence in the Strip, and would also cause Hamas to tone down its demands in negotiations for the release of captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit.

Abbas also said he had no influence in the Gilad Schalit affair, placing the issue squarely in the hands of Hamas, Israel Radio reported.

In a meeting with Meretz Chairman MK Yossi Beilin, Abbas said that he wished to arrive at an agreement with Israel over the West Bank, but not over Gaza. He also made it clear that he will not run for reelection to the PA chairmanship when his tenure runs out in approximately a year and a half.

Original Link.

Oscar the Cat Predicts Nursing Home Deaths

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

“He doesn’t make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die,” said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one,” said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He’d sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. “This is not a cat that’s friendly to people,” he said.

Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill

She was convinced of Oscar’s talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn’t eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.

Oscar wouldn’t stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor’s prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient’s final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don’t know he’s there, so patients aren’t aware he’s a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

No one’s certain if Oscar’s behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.

Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa’s article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.

If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it’s also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.

Nursing home staffers aren’t concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.

Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his “compassionate hospice care.”

Well, I have a little different take on it…

Oscar The Angel Cat

I’ve always heard that angels can assume any form they want… 🙂

Original Link.

‘Gay’-Pride Event Organizer Arrested in Child-Sex Sting

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The outreach coordinator of Milwaukee’s homosexual “PrideFest” is now facing a felony charge after police say he sought to meet a 14-year-old boy via the Internet for a sexual rendezvous.

According to authorities, David W. Bodoh, 42, of Wauwatosa, Wis., apparently made contact with a boy from Oconomowoc, and eventually set up a meeting with an undercover state agent who posed online as the child.

The boy’s foster mother is said to have discovered explicit e-mails between her son and Bodoh in January, and contacted police.

Last month, the state agent acting as the boy made contact with Bodoh on a website geared toward homosexual connections.

According to the criminal complaint, Bodoh set up a meeting with “the boy” at Brookfield Square Mall on July 12, where the suspect promised to give the boy the “ride of his life.”

When Bodoh arrived on his motorcycle, he was arrested by officers from several agencies, but told them he was merely planning on taking the boy out for a meal.

He was charged with using a computer to facilitate a sex crime, and, if convicted, faces up to 25 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

Though Bodoh’s name has been removed from the PrideFest website, an archived version indicates he was part of the production team for the 2007 event, listed as “Community Outreach.”

According to its website, “The mission of PrideFest is to advocate, celebrate and educate the general community and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community with regard to all aspects of LGBT culture. To accomplish this, PrideFest produces an annual Pride celebration. Educational events include, but are not limited to, exhibits, lectures, art and community outreach which fully display the diversity of LGBT culture.”

Original Link.

UN Mideast Envoy Warns of Gaza Collapse (But As Usual, Blames Israel)

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs said it well:
“The Palestinians in Gaza voted overwhelmingly for Hamas, and got exactly what they wanted—a radical Islamic government that could not care less about their welfare.”

I couldn’t agree more. If the pali terrorist were interested in the welfare of their people, they would be using their aid money to improve the infrastructure rather than just buying more weapons to kill more innocent Israeli civilians.
The pali people are ignorant, willful, cannon fodder. Poor souls.

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Mideast envoy warned Wednesday of impending economic collapse in the Gaza Strip unless Israel reopens the Hamas-led territory’s main commercial crossing to the outside world to ease international isolation.

Michael Williams said the closure of the Karni crossing in early June has prevented the export of agricultural and industrial goods to Israel, the West Bank and elsewhere, as well as the import of materials needed for manufacturing and construction. The restriction has brought the Gaza economy to a standstill.

The World Bank estimates that 75 percent of Gaza’s factories have closed and more than 68,000 Palestinian workers have been laid off as a result, he said.

“Unless the crossings are open for imports and exports, the downward economic spiral will lead to extensive hardship for an already impoverished Gaza Strip,” Williams told the U.N. Security Council in his regular monthly briefing on the Middle East.

Since Hamas took over Gaza in mid-June, Israel has only permitted shipments of food and basic supplies into Gaza through two smaller passages.

Israel, which shuns Hamas as a terrorist organization, says it cannot reopen Karni without forces it has ties with at the crossing to coordinate border traffic. Gaza militants also keep attacking Karni and other crossings, making it too dangerous for Israeli border officials to operate them.

Williams said Palestinian militants fired 192 rockets and mortar shells at Gaza’s crossings and into Israel in the last month. He said Hamas’ military wing was responsible for most of the attacks on the crossings, while Islamic Jihad fired most of the rockets and mortars into Israel.

“Israel is fully cooperating with the relative U.N. agencies to ensure the constant flow of foodstuff and medicine into Gaza to ensure there are no humanitarian shortages, and the international community confirms that there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said in Jerusalem.

“Israel will be ready to reopen the crossings when the Palestinians get their house together regarding security at the crossings,” he added.

Williams also said 6,000 Palestinians are trapped in Egypt, unable to return to Gaza because of the closure of the Rafah border terminal since June 9.

“It is particularly worrying that very little progress has been made to resolve the question” of these Palestinians, he said.

Israel has proposed rerouting the stranded Palestinians through the Kerem Shalom crossing, near the meeting point of Gaza, Egypt and Israel. Egypt has supported the idea, but Hamas has rejected it, saying travelers must be allowed to return through Rafah, which is not controlled by Israel.

In his report, Williams praised the quick response of the international community to provide financial aid and political support to the Fatah-led government set up in the West Bank by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his pro-Western prime minister, Salam Fayyad.

He said Gaza and the West Bank cannot remain separated in the long term, but added “there are no immediate prospects for reconciliation” between the two sides.

Hamas trounced Fatah in 2006 legislative elections, setting off more than a year of factional strife that culminated with Hamas’ violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last month. Abbas responded by forming an emergency government based in the West Bank.

Original Link.

Israel to Arm 1,000 Pali Terrorist

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Is this for real??
I’m afraid so….

Israel and the Palestinian Authority completed preparations Wednesday for renewed coordination in civil administration functions between the two sides during a short ceremony in Qalqilyah.

Over the past two weeks, work resumed in all the West Bank cities, after ties between Israel and the PA were severed following the Hamas victory in the January 2006 Palestinian elections. The swearing-in of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad’s government gave the green light for a resumption of cooperation on the civil and security levels.

On the Palestinian side, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas appointed Hussein al-Sheikh to run the Civil Affairs Administration, responsible for coordination with Israel in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Al-Sheikh is a former leader of the Tanzim, a Fatah militia.

“In order to build confidence with the other side, you must deal with routine things,” al-Sheikh said.

He believes that the small gestures will build the confidence necessary for bigger things.

“The political issue between Israel and the PA is one thing. But for successful negotiations you require trust. In order to build trust with the other side, you need to deal with day-to-day matters.”

Israel authorized the transfer of 1,000 rifles from Jordan to the security forces of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Israeli and Palestinian security sources confirmed to Haaretz Wednesday night.

This is the largest arms transfer authorized in recent years, and it is meant to aid forces loyal to Abbas in preventing the possibility of a Hamas challenge and possible takeover similar to that of the Gaza Strip.

The weapons were delivered to the PA security forces three weeks ago following Israeli authorization.

The transfer of the M-16s was kept under strict confidence on both sides, in an effort to prevent any possible leak that could undermine Abbas’ standing.

Earlier this year, several thousand rifles were delivered to Fatah forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, but most of those arms came under Hamas’ control following its takeover.

The Palestinian security forces loyal to Abbas continued their operations against Hamas in the West Bank Wenesday. According to Palestinian reports, a cache of arms was uncovered in the home of a Hamas activist in Tul Karm. The same sources linked the weapons cache with reported Hamas efforts to establish an Executive Force base in West Bank. The Executive Force was instrumental in the Hamas seizure of power in Gaza.

Original Link.

Creation Scientist: Recently Discovered Fossil Doesn’t Bolster Evolutionists’ Claims

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Sorry evolutionist, your half-baked “religion” of evolution espoused by your quasi-deity, Darwin, still doesn’t work. Bummer.

Science fiction reported as science fact? That’s the claim of a staff member with Answers in Genesis in reaction to a recent scientific “discovery.”

Dr. David Menton, a speaker with the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis, says the recent announcement that scientists have found a possible link between two species of early humans is more fiction from those who want to promote the false theory of evolution. He says he sees a double standard in how evolutionists handle their so-called discoveries in comparison to other scientific fields.

“The intriguing thing is that in any legitimate branch of science, these articles are published in the scientific literature and are hashed over there long before you get the popular press,” explains Menton. “But in the field of evolution — and particularly hot-button areas of evolution like origin of birds, origin of humans — it seems like the first release is to the public, as though the real effort was to convince the public rather than to really communicate with the scientific community.”

Last week, secular media reported that new jaw fossils might suggest a direct line of descent between two species of early humans, including the one to which “Lucy” belongs. Evolutionists claim that “Lucy” is the earliest known hominid, and the new find supposedly is from an earlier species.

However, Menton points out that “Lucy” was actually a knuckle-walking, apelike creature. The new find does nothing to bolster evolutionists’ claims, he says.

“This whole area of hominid evolution, or human evolution, is rather like the old pea and shell game. The pea is never quite under the shell that you thought it was under. They not only change the date around, but they even change the names. It’s quite frequent that the name of the creature will be changed to something else,” he says.

Also, Menton asserts that if evolutionists’ claims were true, there would be an abundance of fossils backing up such claims. But rather than the fossil record supporting the theory of evolution and the theory that the earth is billions of years old, Menton points out that it actually speaks of a young earth and a worldwide flood.

Original Link.

Political Website Cited for Crime of ‘Offending’

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

If a “hate crimes” bill is passed here in the U.S., this is the type of thing we can expect to happen. It has been shown to be true in both Canada, at a national level, and also already in several municipalities here in the U.S.
I’m not kidding when I tell you fellow Christians that these laws will be used to silence you in regards to homosexuality and other moral issues you will contend against.

A website featuring comments by, for and about “principled conservatism” is being investigated by the Canadian government, and could be fined or ordered shut down for some postings about Islam and homosexuality.

Connie Wilkins, who with Mark Fournier runs Canada’s Free Dominion site and posts articles, comments and blogs on a wide range of issues, said she just was notified by the nation’s Human Rights Commission about the investigation.

The Human Rights Commission is appointed to investigate complaints that “hate speech” or other illegal activity has been detected, and issue rulings or recommendations to the national Human Rights Tribunal, which has yet to find any defendant innocent in such a case.

The scenario bears a close resemblance to the situation feared by opponents in the United States should a pending “hate crimes” legislation be approved by Congress and signed into law by the president. It would essentially provide an enhanced penalty for a range of crimes if someone perceives they are being targeted for being part of a recognized population segment, such as the homosexual community.

As such, Christians fear simply expressing their biblical belief that homosexuality is immoral could be classified a “hate crime.”

(Story continues below)

As WND has reported, that legislative plan has been moving forward in Congress, with U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., recently adding his version to a pending defense spending bill.

Supporters say it would address only crimes, but opponents fear the actual results would be similar to Canada’s, where a printer was fined several years ago for refusing a pro-homosexual printing contract that he said violated his traditional Christian beliefs.

Or, as in the current case, comments about homosexuality or Islam could be classified as illegal.

Among the statements cited in the complaint are posts from Bill Whatcott, who said: “I can’t figure out why the homosexuals I ran into are on the side of the Muslims. After all, Muslims who practice Sharia law tend to advocate beheading homosexuals.”

Whatcott earlier had been targeted by Saskatchewan’s human rights tribunal for distributing a flyer featuring a copy of a classified ad soliciting young boys, “age unimportant.”

The Canadian commission, Wilkins told WND, is “incredibly powerful, and they don’t have to sort of follow the rule of law, the way a court would. Essentially once they decide that they’re going to target you, you’re guilty until proven innocent.”

Under the standards set up by the commission, in Canada “it is a crime to offend someone,” she said. “That’s the way it is here,” she said. “I’ve made the argument many times, the ‘hate crimes’ laws are wrong. It puts more value on victims of crimes when somebody judges the crime was perpetrated because they hated them.”

She said she was notified of the complaint on July 17, with a deadline for a full response to the charge by July 18. She had never been sent an original complaint, and the notice simply was to remind her of deadline she hadn’t been told about.

“There was a thread on Free Dominion, and [a woman] complained, using this thread as an example of discriminatory material,” Wilkins said. The offending material included a link to a picture of a flyer that a Free Dominion contributor released discussing dangers of radical Islam.

The complaint from Marie-Line Gentes, a teacher at a Canadian college, “was that we were propagating this hate material,” Wilkins said. “I really think at this point her motive was to try to shut down Free Dominion rather than get offensive material removed.”

“We are definitely not a hate site,” Wilkins told WND. “There’s a whole variety of opinion on our site.”

“Right now, our lawyer is looking over the paperwork. We’ve set up a defense fund,” she said. “We’re going to have to spend some money on lawyers. We don’t know how much.”

The group also has requested additional time to review the complaint about an incident that dates back more than a year already.

Wilkins told WND such cases are becoming more common. Recently a fraternal organization was sued when it objected to a homosexual wedding in a building used for rentals.

Another man was sued simply for writing a letter to the editor expressing his opposition to having teachers instruct children in homosexuality at public schools, Wilkins said.

The problem is the wide open door the standards leave for interpreting whether something is a crime.

“The problem is there are so many grey areas. If somebody posts on our site, and someone else, a member of an ethnic group, religion or identifiable minority of any kind reads it, we have no way of knowing if that is going to be perceived as a hate crime. All it takes is for someone to say my feelings were hurt.”

The process then, is that, “if the tribunal believes their feelings were hurt, that’s it for you.”

Canada’s commission refused to return a message from WND asking for an explanation on the conflict between a Christian exercising his faith and a homosexual’s protection from any statement, including a quote from the Bible, of condemnation.

However, a lawyer for the printer, Scott Brockie, in that case pointed out the difficulty.

“Mr. [Ray] Brillinger can live his life the way he wants to,” lawyer Philip McMullen said of the homosexual activist who had brought the complaint. “But my client has to take his religion off like a housecoat and leave it hanging behind the front door when he goes out in the mornings.”

Wilkins said the full details of the specific concerns have yet to be explained.

“The nature of this upset has yet to be entirely revealed, but apparently somebody took offense to the concept that Muslim theology is more stridently opposed to homosexuality than any aspect of western society,” the organization said.

“It’s really a warning for you in the United States to look at this and see what’s happening,” Wilkins said. “You have to fight this with all that you have.”

Original Link.

Latino Leaders Outraged by Arizona Sherriff’s Illegal Immigration Tip Hotline

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

PHOENIX — Latino leaders and faith-based organizations in the U.S. state of Arizona want a local sheriff to disconnect the hotline he created for people to report information about illegal immigrants, saying it raises the chance of racial profiling.

Illegal: Not according to, or authorized by, law; specif., contrary to, or in violation of, human law; unlawful; illicit; hence, immoral; as, an illegal act; illegal trade; illegal love. Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) from Dictionary.net.

Alien: 1. A foreigner; one owing allegiance, or belonging, to another country; a foreign-born resident of a country in which he does not possess the privileges of a citizen. Hence, a stranger. Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) from Dictionary.net.

Racial Profiling??
Where in the term “illegal alien” does it say anything about “race”? Anyone who comes to this country illegally is an “illegal alien”.
It’s not about racial profiling. It’s about ratios. Mere numbers.
The fact that the majority of illegal aliens in this country are Latino means that anyone trying to catch them and deport them, as the law requires, is, in this country’s current environment of political correctness run amok, going to seem as though they are racial profiling.

My comment to the Latino leaders: “Get Over It”. The bottom line is, your people are breaking the law, every day and in mass numbers. If I had my way, every single illegal alien would be deported. And our borders would be so secure that they would stand no chance of ever returning illegally. Maybe someday my dream will be realized.
Until then, you Latino leaders need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

PHOENIX — Latino leaders and faith-based organizations in the U.S. state of Arizona want a local sheriff to disconnect the hotline he created for people to report information about illegal immigrants, saying it raises the chance of racial profiling.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Wednesday, however, that he would not disconnect the hotline, and stressed that deputies would investigate people only if authorities had probable cause, according to a report in The Arizona Republic newspaper.

The hotline has received about 300 calls since it was launched Friday, including tips about family and friends, employment, day laborers, drop houses and crank calls.

Arpaio said officials were analyzing the tips and had not yet acted on any calls.

“There’s nothing unconstitutional about putting up a hotline,” Arpaio said, pointing out that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have similar hotlines.

The hotline is part of an expanded immigration enforcement plan Arpaio unveiled last week that also includes sheriff’s deputies cross-trained to enforce immigration law.

Some Latino advocacy groups will launch a hotline of their own to take tips from people who believe they have been unfairly reported to Arpaio’s hotline, said activist Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor.

Meanwhile, some faith-based organizations are circulating a letter among church leaders and members that decries Arpaio’s hotline.

Original Link.

Controversial Colorado Professor Fired

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Some of you might remember the horrible comments he made about the 9/11 victims. He has now been fired from the university where he taught.

BOULDER, Colo. A University of Colorado professor whose essay compared some Nine-Eleven victims to a Nazi leader is out of a job.

The university’s governing board has voted to fire professor Ward Churchill. Three faculty committees had accused Churchill of plagiarism, falsification and other misconduct. The allegations are based on other writings, but the investigation began after the national outrage over his September Eleventh essay.

The vote to dismiss Churchill was eight to one. University President Hank Brown called the decision “really pretty basic.”

But Churchill said “New game, new game” after the vote. His lawyer says Churchill’s rights were violated and that the decision will be fought.

Original Link.

Report: Taliban Kill One South Korean Hostage

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

UPDATE AT BOTTOM

Proving that they are still the scum of the earth, the Taliban has reportedly kill one of the South Korean Christian hostages. Continue to pray for these people and all Christians, the world over, who face very real and deadly persecution.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.
Revelation 6:9-11 (New International Version)

KABUL, Afghanistan — A purported Taliban spokesman said Wednesday that one of the 23 South Korean hostages being held in Afghanistan had been killed, according to the Reuters news agency.

Earlier, Aari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the militants, said the Afghan government hadn’t responded to any of its demands and that the militants would kill “a few” of the hostages.

The South Korean hostages, including 18 women, were kidnapped last Thursday while riding a bus through Ghazni province on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, Afghanistan’s main thoroughfare.

South Korean negotiators have traveled to Ghazni province to take part in the negotiations. Three previous deadlines for the hostages’ lives have passed with no consequences.

Original Link.

Update: 07/25/2007 11:25 CDT

It is confirmed that one of the South Korean Christians was killed. He was found with 10 bullet holes in various parts of his body. Please join me in praying for comfort for his family.
It is also being reported that some of the other hostages were released, although how many is also not clear.

Body of South Korean Hostage Recovered, Taliban Reportedly Release Others

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Authorities recovered the bullet-riddled body of a South Korean hostage in central Afghanistan on Wednesday, a police officer who discovered the body said.

The male victim had 10 bullet holes in his head, chest and stomach, and was discovered in the Mushaki area of Qarabagh district in Ghazni province, said police officer Abdul Rahman.

A purported Taliban spokesman said earlier the militants killed one of the hostages because Afghan authorities hadn’t met their demands to release Taliban militants from prison.

Meanwhile, two Western officials said some others from the group of captives were freed and taken to a U.S. military base.

Purported Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said one of the hostages had been shot and killed around 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EDT), and a police official who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation said militants told him the hostage was sick and couldn’t walk, and therefore was shot.

Some of the Koreans, meanwhile, were freed and were taken to a U.S. base in Ghazni, according to two Western officials who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The officials did not know how many had been freed.