Archive for August 9th, 2007

‘American Idol’ Contestant Auditions While She’s in Labor

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

I think this sums up just how backwards, out of control and messed up some people’s priorities are. I wish I could say this is an isolated incident, but as a whole, this nation has completely lost track of the basics…of what’s really important.
We’d all rather be “idol” worshippers.

“…I was more than willing to have my baby right there. I wasn’t leaving without my golden ticket to the next round.”

How pathetic is that?

DALLAS, Texas — For the first time in “American Idol” history, a contestant went into labor while waiting with 3,500 hopefuls for her chance to become the next superstar — and auditioned anyway.

On Monday, nine months’ pregnant Antoria Gillon arrived at Texas Stadium with hopes of becoming the next “American Idol.” However, as she waited patiently for her melodic moment, the 20-year-old hair stylist started having contractions.

“I didn’t want to turn around after being there all those hours in the heat with people pushing,” said Gillon. “So my friend helped me walk through the line. I wasn’t going to leave without singing.”

When she finally made it into the audition room, the ambitious performer admitted that her right hand was shaking as she grasped her bulging belly but continued to belt out tunes.

“I gave it my all through the contractions. They were back to back and getting harder and harder but I was more than willing to have my baby right there,” Gillon said. “I wasn’t leaving without my golden ticket to the next round.”

A judge stood up and gave the Dallas native her seat, and even when the ambulance arrived, Gillion refused to leave — telling them that she “wasn’t through singing yet.”

After finally hearing that she was still in the running to be the next “American Idol,” the young mom was taken to the Medical Center at Lancaster, where she gave birth to a healthy son — whom she named Jamil Labarron Idol McCowan. Baby Idol arrived early Tuesday morning weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces. He’s the second child for the starry-eyed singer.

“I was raised that the only failure is not trying,” Gillon said. “I always wanted to be an Idol since it started, but there was always a problem. Either it was transport or I couldn’t afford to get on the bus. So I wasn’t going to just give up.”

Original Link.

Ousted for Speaking English: Floridian Now National Focus

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

The Political Correctness run amok in this country is intolerable.

STUART, Fla. – A South Florida man who claims he’s being evicted from his place of business because he speaks no Spanish – just English – says he will move out, as he’s suddenly become the focus of national debates over illegal immigration and property rights.

“I wouldn’t want to stay here among the current climate,” Tom McKenna, owner of Seacoast Water Care in Stuart, Fla., told WND.

The businessman is getting requests from media outlets across America to tell the story of how his landlord at the Ellendale Center wants him out of his office space by the end of the month, in order to “complete [his] vision of converting the center to quality tenants serving the Spanish need in the area.”

“I guess I don’t serve the ‘Spanish need,’ whatever that means,” McKenna told the Stuart News in a story published Sunday. Since then, the saga has been prominently featured on websites including WND and the Drudge Report, and now McKenna is making the rounds on the television-news circuit, both on Florida stations as well as national shows such as CNN’s “Glenn Beck.”

McKenna insists to WND he has been a good tenant for some seven years, always paying his rent on time.

“That’s just a kick in the face to me,” McKenna told WPBF-TV, the ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach. “Because somebody comes in here and says, ‘Hey, you know I like that corner store where that Seacoast Water is there, and now we have a full-service plaza serving the Spanish needs in here, we need to get him out of there.”

McKenna’s water-conditioning business shares the same building as a check-cashing store and a Mexican restaurant, both of which feature signs in Spanish.

The day after Independence Day, McKenna received a letter from landlord Ivan Munroe telling him to consider another location, even offering McKenna other space he owns.

Then in another letter dated Aug. 1, Munroe informed McKenna his rental contract was being terminated.

“Please remove all of your possessions by August 31,” the second letter stated.

When asked about his initial letter’s statement about his “vision of converting the center to quality tenants serving the Spanish need in the area,” Munroe told the Stuart News, “I can have a vision, can’t I? And his business just doesn’t fit there.”

Regarding prospective other tenants to replace McKenna, Munroe said, “Mexican people come in, you know they’re going to stay. You know they’re going to pay the rent.”

McKenna told NBC affiliate WPTV-TV: “[Munroe] blatantly put down in [the letter] how he has two quality tenants in there that have several stores and he’s got another quality tenant that wants to rent my space here to complete his vision of making this a plaza that serves the Spanish community – it’s not acceptable as far as I’m concerned.”

He has been contacted by the American Civil Liberties Union and others ready to take up his cause, but he told WND he has no lawsuit pending.

Due to expected moving expenses and because the notoriety has taken some time away from running his business, he has established the “Thomas R. McKenna Assistance Fund” to which the public can contribute at any Wachovia Bank nationwide.

McKenna told WND he’s also looking into the possibility that the adjacent Mexican restaurant may have been given a lease on his space before he was ever notified to get out.

The story has ignited a firestorm of comments on the Internet. Many feel a sense of outrage that an American business owner could be ousted because he speaks only the native language of his country, but others think property rights are the issue, and the landlord can choose whomever he wishes to fill the space.

Some comments include:

  • First and foremost, the USA, (immigration policy and embracing of diversity notwithstanding), is an English speaking country! This is a classic example of political correctness run amuck! What would happen if Americans were to move to Mexico or any Spanish speaking country and open a business and evict all Spanish owners for not speaking English?
  • This is the United States! I cannot believe what I am reading. I hope that everyone decides to steer clear off all the tenants and [property] owner’s business. Why make such a man profit from his unfair acts?
  • If it was the other way around – an English-speaking landlord kicking out a non-English speaking illegal alien, the ACLU would be all over this case.
  • This is wrong on every level. This is discrimination 101. Tell Hooter’s it’s OK to only hire women. Tell those applying for citizenship in the U.S. that they don’t have to speak English. Tell me it’s OK if I only want to hire English-speaking workers at my place of business. All discrimination. Please, Mr. American businessman, don’t leave! We have to start fighting for our rights! I don’t want “Black Entertainment Television” because if I had “White Entertainment Television,” someone would say I’m a racist. I don’t want “Black History Month” because if I have “White History Month,” I’d be called a racist. I don’t want to be told that I have to move out for not speaking Spanish because if you were kicked out for not speaking English, I’d be called a racist.
  • For over 200 years, the language of this country has been primarily English. The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, then in turn the U.S. Constitution were all written in English. Only in the last 20 or so years has it become an issue to have another language available to people who come here. If you immigrate to a country you must have found something about that country that appealed to you to make you think you could have it better there than from whence you came. Why would you think the country you are going to would have to conform to you, the newcomer?
  • This [landlord] is certainly within his rights if he wants to target these residents with his shops.
  • The real issue is the landlord’s right to do what he wants with the property, McKenna’s whining notwithstanding. If McKenna had been a good tenant, the landlord, especially in the current market, wouldn’t be asking him to leave. (By the way, for those who don’t know it, being in favor of a property owner’s rights is generally a conservative position.)
  • Original Link.

    Saudis Might Take Bibles From Tourists

    Thursday, August 9th, 2007

    The Religious Apartheid of Saudi Arabia, who won’t pause a moment in telling you how tolerant they are. Yet, one can go to prison in Saudi Arabia for talking to someone about a religion other an Islam. Doesn’t really sound very tolerant.
    Now we learn that even tourist, visitors to their country, can have their Bibles, crosses, Star of David and other religious material confiscated on sight.

    Despite a series of initiatives aimed at generating foreign tourism, the Saudi Arabian government continues to bar Jews and Christians from bringing items such as Bibles, crucifixes and Stars of David into the country and is threatening to confiscate them on sight, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

    “A number of items are not allowed to be brought into the kingdom due to religious reasons and local regulations,” declares the Web site of Saudi Arabian Airlines, the country’s national carrier.

    After informing would-be visitors that items such as narcotics, firearms and pornography may not be transported into the country, the Web site adds: “Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others.”

    Contacted by the Post, an employee of Saudi Arabian Airlines in New York, who would only give her name as Gladys, confirmed this rule was in force. “Yes, sir,” she said, “that is what we have heard, that it is a problem to bring these things into Saudi Arabia, so you cannot do it.”

    An official at the Saudi Consulate in New York, who declined to give her name, told the Post that anyone bringing a Bible into the country or wearing a crucifix or Star of David around their neck would run into trouble with Saudi authorities.

    “You are not allowed to bring that stuff into the kingdom,” the consular official said. “If you do, they will take it away,” she warned, adding, “If it is really important to you, then you can try to bring it and just see what happens, but I don’t recommend that you do so.”

    Asked to explain the policy, the official said, “Every country has rules about what can or cannot enter.”

    Over the summer, the Saudi government-run Supreme Commission for Tourism announced a number of steps, such as issuing group visas to foreigners through tour operators and granting longer entry visas, in the hopes of boosting the number of foreign tourists to 1.5 million annually by 2020.

    Original Link.

    “Proving All Things In The Age Of Information Overload” by Jack Kinsella

    Thursday, August 9th, 2007

    “Information overload” is a term that has come to mean “a state of having too much information to make a decision or remain informed about a topic.” Too much information can cloud the facts, harden the heart, blind one to the obvious.

    Sir William of Occam saw the need to address the problem of information overload as early as the 14th century. A philosopher, Sir William formulated what became known as “Occam’s Razor” as a philosophy for processing information overload.

    Occam’s Razor says, in a nutshell, “the simpler the explanation, the more likely its correctness.” Another way of saying it is “the most obvious explanation is the most probable.”

    We live in an age of conspiracies and conspiracy theories, but Occam’s Razor still cuts through the excesses of information to get to the heart of the truth of a matter.

    But information overload doesn’t just cloud the facts and blind one to the obvious. It also tends to harden the heart and sear the conscience.

    How many “Amber alerts” does it take before they blend into the white noise of the day? How many murder/suicides of whole families before we tune them out?

    How many reports of corrupt politicians before we accept political corruption as simply the way things are done?

    The equation works like this: “The more you know, the less you see.” It all gets jumbled together in a massive flow of information that gets input before we’ve had time to process it all.

    We live in the generation in which the sheer volume of information related to Bible prophecy creates its own kind of information overload and its companion results.

    There’s so much evident fulfillment of Bible prophecy on a day to day basis that it tends to cloud the facts. Trying to sort out the facts tends to blind one to the obvious. And too much information tends to harden the heart and sear the conscience.

    The Bible says, “Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” (1st Thessalonians 5:21)

    It would appear that Sir William stole Occam’s Razor from the Apostle Paul. Paul is telling the Thessalonians to subject everything submitted to you to be believed to a proper test.

    The meaning here is, that they were carefully to examine everything proposed for their belief. They were not to receive it on trust. They weren’t to take it on faith because of who proposed it or how.

    They were to apply the proper tests of reason and the Word of God and what they found to be true they were to embrace, and what was false they were to reject.

    Christianity does not require men to disregard their ability to reason. It does not expect them to believe anything because others say it is so. The Bible uniquely demands the application of reason to the Word of God.

    “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 1:18)

    “Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.” (Isaiah 41:21)

    Acts is filled with examples of the Apostles applying reason to the Scriptures when preaching Christ as the way of salvation.

    “And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Acts 24:25)

    Christianity doesn’t demand that believers abandon their reason and logic at the door.

    It requires we exercise both, and in so doing, proves itself to be of God.

    “And this I say,” Paul told the Colossians, “lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. . . As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.”

    The meaning here is simply this: “Since you have received Christ as your Lord as He was preached to you, hold fast the doctrine which you have received and don’t be distracted by some new philosophy.”

    It means proving all things by applying reason and logic and Occam’s (or Paul’s) Razor to the Scriptures. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in the minutiae of Scripture that we become blinded to the Bible’s Majesty.

    All the various prophecies we are witnessing coming to pass in our lifetimes have been studied by every generation since the time of the Apostles. They all waited in vain, searching the Scriptures for some hint that the return of the Lord was near.

    In this generation, there is no need to search for clues, or dream up some vague interpretation of some obscure bit of Scripture and try and make it apply to a given situation. Seeing God’s Hand in unfolding history has become so routine that it blends into the rest of the white noise of information overload.

    Let’s step back and look at the Bible’s Majesty, rather than the minutiae, for a change.

    The Bible was compiled over a period of 1604 years (BC 1492-AD100) by forty different authors, each writing his portion of the overall Book independently. The various authors were kings, statesmen, priests, herdsmen, tax collectors, fishermen, a physician, and itinerant preachers and prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

    Few of them knew of the existence of the other at the time they wrote their portion. Some books were composed during the same periods of history from different perspectives, some were penned over a period of centuries.

    But each book flows into the next as if the entire work were penned by the same Mind. The Bible cross-references itself across its whole library of 66 individual books; 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New. The Bible is unique in that it is a series of progressive revelations from God given over a period of centuries:

    The judges knew more than the Patriarchs, the Prophets than the judges, the Apostles than the Prophets. Yet the Old and New Testaments cannot be separated. You cannot understand Leviticus without Hebrews, or Daniel without Revelation.

    The Bible is unique in its simplicity of speech. It is written in a style so universal that it can be translated into any known language.

    The Bible contains thousands of details of science, history, geography, medicine and astronomy. Not a single fact contained in Scripture on any of these topics conflicts with any known evidence.

    Isaiah said the earth was round. (Isaiah 40:22) Job wrote from the Middle East of polar ice caps and permafrost.

    Ecclesiastes (1:7) and Job (36:27-29), Jeremiah (10:13) and Psalms (135:7) together present the complete description of the hydrological cycle that sustains life on earth.

    Four different human authors, four different points on the historical timeline, four different backgrounds (none of them science) but their individual accounts, taken together, outline in detail the complete hydrological cycle of the atmosphere — millennia before its existence was even confirmed by science.

    As a work of history, no single historical event, personage, king, kingdom or timeline has ever been conclusively disproved by anyone. Every new discovery confirms the Bible’s account.

    No event that can be disproved ever has been. Concerning the accuracy of Luke as a historian, for example, F. F. Bruce writes:

    “A man whose accuracy can be demonstrated in matters where we are able to test it is likely to be accurate even where the means for testing him are not available.

    Accuracy is a habit of mind, and we know from happy (or unhappy) experience that some people are habitually accurate just as others can be depended upon to be inaccurate. Luke’s record entitles him to be regarded as a writer of habitual accuracy.”

    The Bible contains advanced medical knowledge regarding sanitary practices and disease prevention not known to Western medicine until the late 1800’s. God instructed the Israelites to burn the garments of leprosy victims.

    Western medicine didn’t learn that leprosy was an infectious, rather than hereditary disease until 1873. (It wasn’t until the 20th century that we learned leprosy can survive for up to three weeks on clothing.)

    God told Moses to use hyssop oil as a purifying agent. Hyssop oil has been shown to contain 50% antifungal and antibacterial agents.

    God commanded the Israelites to perform circumcision on the 8th day of a male child’s life. Specifically, the eighth day. Medical researchers recently discovered that the two main blood clotting factors, Vitamin K and Prothrombim, reach their highest level in life, about 110% of normal, on the 8th day after birth. These blood clotting agents facilitate rapid healing and greatly reduce the chance of infection.

    (In fact, performing a circumcision on a child before or after the eighth day requires a Vitamin K supplement injection.)

    Back in the 12th century, the Jewish sage Maimonides discovered what he believed to be coded messages hidden in the Bible. Maimonides, working by hand, discovered what he thought were coded words made up of mathematically calculable equidistant letter sequences.

    Using computers in the 1990’s several mathematicians from Hebrew University and a Defense Department code specialist named Harold Gans discovered mathematically provable codes do exist at equidistant letter sequences.

    After demanding a series of tests to prove the theory, the actuarial journal, “Statistical Science” presented their findings with the following disclaimer:

    “Our referees were baffled: their prior beliefs made them think the Book of Genesis could not POSSIBLY contain meaningful references to modern day individuals, yet when the authors carried out additional analyses and checks the effect persisted.”

    Wrote the “Biblical Review:”

    “The capacity to embed so many, meaningfully related, randomly selected word-pairs in a body of text with a coherent surface meaning is stupendously beyond the intellectual capacity of ANY HUMAN BEING or group of people, however brilliant, and equally beyond the capacity of ANY CONCEIVABLE COMPUTING DEVICE. The phenomenon cannot be attributed to ANYTHING within the KNOWN PHYSICAL UNIVERSE, human beings included.”

    Applying Occam’s Razor to the known evidence about the Bible, there can be only one of two possible conclusions.

    1) The Bible is a collection of stories and myths that just so happen to coincide with provable history, medicine, geography, astronomy, etc., plus coincidentally, provably forecasts the future with 100% accuracy;

    or,

    2) The Bible is true in every provable way, and could only have been written by God. So God exists, heaven exists, hell exists, Jesus is real, salvation is real, and so is eternity.

    But sometimes, even after being saved many years, the enemy will launch another information overload assault on my reason and try and convince me that its all a myth.

    All I have to do to dispel the attack is remember there are only those two logical choices and Occam’s Razor.

    Coincidence? Occam’s Razor says that cannot be possible.

    Original Link.

    Israel Paradox: Leader 9% Approval Rating to Give Away “The Store”

    Thursday, August 9th, 2007

    It still amazes me that no one in Israel seems to be able to stop Olmert. The damage he is doing to Israel is irreversible and he’s still not done.

    TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – A major idiosyncrasy (to Americans) of Israeli politics is the fact that, though Israeli President Prime Minister Ehud Olmert currently enjoys an approval rating solidly in the single digits, he is perhaps more secure in his position at the top of the Israeli government than he has been at any time in his tenure as Prime Minister. Presiding over a broad coalition of parliamentarians, Olmert is sticking to his guns (as unapt a metaphor as can possibly be applied here) and is doing his best to reinvigorate the Middle East “peace” process by repeating mistakes that made Israel’s position so precarious in the first place.

    As Israel’s more dour version of Ann Coulter, Caroline Glick, said in a recent Jerusalem Post column, “Olmert and his ministers pursue diplomatic and security goals that bear no relation to the regional and global realities facing Israel.” The man whom few expected to make it through last year’s disaster of a “war” (the 33-day battle with the Iranian proxies Hezbollah in Lebanon) is continuing down the path that not only endangered Israel’s national security and led, in part, to that war in the first place, but that caused him to be looked at as a farce of a leader by over 90% of his own population.

    A year ago, during that war, Olmert said that Hezbollah could “never threaten this nation that it will fire missiles at it, because this nation is contending with these missiles and beating them” – also claiming that the IDF “had destroyed all of Hezbollah’s military infrastructures in south Lebanon” – the day before 231 rockets and missiles rained on the small Jewish state, marking the Iranian-armed group’s largest bombardment to date. Not outwardly rattled by the onslaught, Olmert pressed on with his dovish policies, saying that the next step would be a unilateral withdrawal from Judea and Samaria – the two territories on Israel’s eastern border (across from the country’s nine-mile-wide “narrow waist”) which currently serve as buffers between Palestinian rockets and the civilian populations of Israel’s major cities.

    Amazingly, Olmert then (as now) did not comprehend the obvious: the conflict he then sought, and now seeks, to dampen through unilateral concession was escalated to its current scale by the very policy he is currently advocating. In the Gaza Strip, Israel (under Ariel Sharon) unilaterally withdrew to the borders of the town of Sederot, leaving the Palestinians there to their own devices (although with power still provided to the territory by a southern Israeli power plant); under Olmert last November, a cease-fire agreement was reached between the two entities.

    Original Link.

    Hate Crime or Art?

    Thursday, August 9th, 2007

    Hate Crime or Art?

    Mark Steyn muses about the flushed Koran: “Obviously Mr Shmulevich should have submerged it in his own urine, applied for an NEA grant and offered it to the Whitney Biennial.”

    Actually, no. The NEA would have turned Shmulevich in to the police, too. Now, if he had submerged a Bible in urine or coated a Torah in cow dung and submitted it for a federal grant, he’d be sitting pretty–and facing rave New York Times editorials instead of time behind bars”

    See more from Michelle Malkin here.