Archive for January 11th, 2008

Big Brother in California to Regulate Temperatures in Private Homes

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Doesn’t the government of California have anything else to do? This is going way too far.

Add thermostats to the list of private property the government would like to regulate as the state of California looks to require that residents install remotely monitored temperature controls in their homes next year.

The government is seeking to limit rolling blackouts and free up electric and natural gas resources by mandating that every new heating and cooling system include a “non-removable” FM receiver. The thermostat is also capable of controlling other appliances in the house, such as electric water heaters, refrigerators, pool pumps, computers and lights in response to signals from utility companies. If contractors and residents refuse to comply with the mandate, their building permits will be denied.

The proposal, set to be considered by the commission Jan. 30, requires each thermostat to be equipped with a radio communication device to send “price signals” and automatically adjust temperature up or down 4 degrees for cooling and heating, as California’s public and private utility organizations deem necessary.

Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director for the California Energy Commission, told WND the new systems would be highly beneficial to residents.

“From the Energy Commission’s perspective, all we’re doing is ensuring that this new technology is included in new homes instead of the older programmable technology,” she said.

The Programmable Communication Thermostat, or PCT, will allow power authorities to control home temperatures without granting consumers ability to override settings during “emergency events.” Nowhere in the proposal does it clarify what type of situation would qualify as an “emergency,” but Chandler offered her own explanation: “An emergency is when the utilities need to implement rolling blackouts and drop load in order to be able to meet their supplies because the integrity of the grid is being jeopardized.”

Original Link

A First: Snow Falls in Baghdad

Friday, January 11th, 2008

After weathering nearly five years of war, Baghdad residents thought they’d pretty much seen it all. But Friday morning, as muezzins were calling the faithful to prayer, the people here awoke to something certifiably new.
For the first time in memory, snow fell across Baghdad.

Although the white flakes quickly dissolved into gray puddles, they brought an emotion rarely expressed in this desert capital snarled by army checkpoints, divided by concrete walls and ravaged by sectarian killings — delight.

“For the first time in my life I saw a snow-rain like this falling in Baghdad,” said Mohammed Abdul-Hussein, a 63-year-old retiree from the New Baghdad area.

“When I was young, I heard from my father that such rain had fallen in the early ’40s on the outskirts of northern Baghdad,” Abdul-Hussein said, referring to snow as a type of rain. “But snow falling in Baghdad in such a magnificent scene was beyond my imagination.”

Morning temperatures uncharacteristically hovered around freezing, and the Baghdad airport was closed because of poor visibility. Snow is common in the mountainous Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, but residents of the capital and surrounding areas could remember just hail.

“I asked my mother, who is 80, whether she’d ever seen snow in Iraq before, and her answer was no,” said Fawzi Karim, a 40-year-old father of five who runs a small restaurant in Hawr Rajab, a village six miles southeast of Baghdad.

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“Ms. Magazine Blocks Ad on Israeli Women: Why am I Not Surprised? Disgusted, Yes, but not Surprised.” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Friday, January 11th, 2008

The American Jewish Congress has issued the following press release. Stay tuned for further developments ion this story.

January 10, 2008 — Ms. Magazine has long been in the forefront of the fight for equal rights and equal opportunities for women. Apparently that is not the case if the women happen to be Israeli.

The magazine has turned down an AJCongress advertisement that did nothing more controversial than call attention to the fact that women currently occupy three of the most significant positions of power in Israeli public life. The proposed ad (The Ad Ms. Didn’t Want You To See) included a text that merely said, “This is Israel,” under photographs of President of the Supreme Court Dorit Beinish, VicePrime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni and Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

“What other conclusion can we reach,” asked Richard Gordon, President of AJCongress, “except that the publishers − and if the publishers are right, a significant number of Ms. Magazine readers − are so hostile to Israel that they do not even want to see an ad that says something positive about Israel?”

When Director of AJCongress’ Commission for Women’s Empowerment Harriet Kurlander tried to place the ad, she was told that publishing the ad “will set off a firestorm” and that “there are very strong opinions” on the subject − the subject presumably being whether or not one can say anything positive about Israel. Ms. Magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal failed to respond to a signed-for certified letter with a copy of the ad as well as numerous calls by Mr. Gordon over a period of weeks.

Mr. Gordon noted that while Israel was apparently too hot to handle, Ms. Magazine did not extend that taboo to Arab and Moslem women. “What is even more amazing is that, while refusing to publish a simple ad praising three very notable women, women who embody the ideal that Ms. Magazine seemingly espouses, Ms. has run a cover article in the Fall 2003 issue on Queen Noor of Jordan, has featured a number of articles on Muslim women, and even ran an article in the Winter 2004 issue entitled, ‘Images of Palestine,’ which discussed the Ramallah Film Festival and gave sympathetic reviews to films concerning ‘the liberation of South Lebanon’ from Israel as well as numerous films which portrayed terrorism as legitimate ‘revolutionary’ activity against Israel and miscast Israel’s activities to counter terrorism as ‘oppressive.’”

AJCongress President Gordon concluded, “Ms. has the right to turn down our ad. But in exercising that right, it has spoken loudly about itself and its readership, and their lingering hostility to Israel.”

Mr. Gordon and Ms. Kurlander are available for further comment. Contact David Twersky at (212) 360-1586 or dtwersky@ajcongress.org.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Original Link.

Bush Tells Israel: End The Occupation

Friday, January 11th, 2008

What has happened to President Bush? He is so desperate for a “peace” treaty in the Middle East that he is willing to join the people who regularly demonize Israel.
He is going to seriously harm our nation with this train of thought.

Employing unprecedentedly forthright language after two days of talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, US President George W. Bush on Thursday set out a clear blueprint for a Palestinian state, specifying the need for modifications to the 1967 lines and indicating a rejection of the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for refugees.

The president said he believed the agreement should and could be signed by the end of the year, and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said Bush would be returning to the region “at least once and maybe more” before the end of his term to push his program forward.

Speaking in Jerusalem, Bush stressed that a final agreement would not be implemented until both sides fulfilled their road map obligations. At a press conference in Ramallah after meeting PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Bush announced the appointment of Lt.-Gen. William Fraser III, assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the individual who will monitor each side’s implementation of the road map obligations.

Bush, at that press conference, sounded more upbeat and confident than ever before, saying “I believe it’s going to happen, that there will be a signed peace treaty by the time I leave office.”

Original Link.

Pro-Family Groups Seeking to Overturn California ‘Gay’ Mandates with Initiative

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Let’s pray that California pro-family groups can get the ballot initiative passed.

The battle in California over a new state law that would mandate a positive – and no other – portrayal of bisexuals, homosexuals, transgenders and others choosing alternative sexual lifestyles in public schools has moved into a campaign for an initiative.

Officials with Save Our Kids made the announcement yesterday after confirming that their effort to obtain 434,000 signatures for a referendum fell short, coming up with 350,000 names.

“For a completely volunteer-driven campaign to obtain this number of signatures is unheard of,” said Karen England, director of the Save Our Kids campaign, and executive director of Capitol Resource Family Impact.

“We had to overcome incredible difficulties during our signature gathering, including the holidays, and the results are astonishing,” she said.

However, the state requirement of 434,000 valid voter signatures for a referendum addressing SB 777 to be put on the 2008 election ballots means the campaign now will begin addressing the requirements for an initiative.

“While we didn’t reach the threshold of required signatures, we have surprised political observers with the amazing amount of signatures we gathered in just 70 days. It is unheard of for a volunteer-only effort to find this kind of support, especially in a state as large as California.”

She said the high level of support that is apparent prompted the group to file an initiative with the state attorney general to overturn the new law.

“This initiative will give us double the amount of time to gather signatures, while accomplishing the same goal of eliminating the extreme policies of SB 777,” she said. “Many California citizens are just now finding out about SB 777 and are outraged. By filing an initiative, we will give even more citizens the opportunity to voice their anger over the passage of this radical bill.”

Original Link.

Proposed Mandate to Give California Utility Companies Unlimited Remote Control to Home Thermostats

Friday, January 11th, 2008

If this weren’t so sad, I’d almost be laughing. But it is not a laughing matter. I really feel sorry for the resident of California.
Here’s the details.
In order to avoid rolling blackouts, this proposal would give give remote control access to every home’s thermostats. Then when a crisis occurred, the power companies, with the backing of the California government, would just turn off everyone’s air conditioning in the effected area.
What makes this whole situation sad is that remote controlled thermostats and rolling blackouts are completely preventable. But in order to prevent them, the state must do one thing: build power plants.
So simple, yet so hard.
You see, due to environmental laws, California has not built a power plant in over 30 years. Not one. Yet their population has increased significantly.
The plan was that they would buy electricity from outside of the state. Good plan, huh?
Well, it might have worked, except for one flaw; the out of state companies have to have extra electricity to sell, which they may or may not have at the moment it is needed.
I hate to say this, but California, you’ve made your bed. Now you have to lay in it. Sorry.

Add thermostats to the list of private property the government would like to regulate as the state of California looks to require that residents install remotely monitored temperature controls in their homes next year.

The government is seeking to limit rolling blackouts and free up electric and natural gas resources by mandating that every new heating and cooling system include a “non-removable” FM receiver. The thermostat is also capable of controlling other appliances in the house, such as electric water heaters, refrigerators, pool pumps, computers and lights in response to signals from utility companies. If contractors and residents refuse to comply with the mandate, their building permits will be denied.

The proposal, set to be considered by the commission Jan. 30, requires each thermostat to be equipped with a radio communication device to send “price signals” and automatically adjust temperature up or down 4 degrees for cooling and heating, as California’s public and private utility organizations deem necessary.

Claudia Chandler, assistant executive director for the California Energy Commission, told WND the new systems would be highly beneficial to residents.

“From the Energy Commission’s perspective, all we’re doing is ensuring that this new technology is included in new homes instead of the older programmable technology,” she said.

The Programmable Communication Thermostat, or PCT, will allow power authorities to control home temperatures without granting consumers ability to override settings during “emergency events.” Nowhere in the proposal does it clarify what type of situation would qualify as an “emergency,” but Chandler offered her own explanation: “An emergency is when the utilities need to implement rolling blackouts and drop load in order to be able to meet their supplies because the integrity of the grid is being jeopardized.”

She claims residents will be able to manually override controls in all cases, but the 2008 Building Efficiency Standards (Page 64), known as Title 24, specifically states: “The PCT shall not allow customer changes to thermostat settings during emergency events.”

Michael Shames, executive director of California’s Utility Consumers’ Action Network, told WND he believes the idea of a chip consumers are unable to override is not feasible. While he considers the technology to be a positive development, he said denying consumers control over their own appliances is a highly problematic concept.

“The implications of this language are far-reaching and Orwellian,” he said. “For the government and utility company to say, ‘We’re going to control the devices in your house, and you have no choice in that matter,’ that’s where the line is drawn. That sentence must be removed.”

Additionally, no provisional exceptions for people with health conditions worsened by excessive temperatures are mentioned in the current proposal; however, the Energy Commission spokeswoman said existing supply problems are more worrisome to Californians with health issues than the projected solution.

“I actually was more concerned in the 2001 electricity crisis that folks on critical medical devices like respirators, kidney dialysis machines and things like that were going through rolling blackouts,” Chandler said. “That’s a very challenging thing to face. Moving somebody’s temperature up by a few degrees really seems mild by comparison.”

Original Link.

Professor Teaches Militant Homosexuality With Taxpayer Funding

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Many professors seem to believe that they are God’s gift to humanity. Well, that is if they actually believe in God.
They have a captive audience, the students, who are dependent on these individuals for decent grades. The students are required to sit in a classroom and listen to whatever the instructor wishes to spew at them. Anyone brave enough to actually make a counterpoint to the instructor’s views can expect to receive a much lower grade.
I have been both a student and an instructor, so take me at my word on this.
Now in Michigan, a professor is “using tax dollars to promote the militant political agenda of homosexuality”.

A University of Michigan class that earlier prompted state lawmakers to consider a 10 percent budget penalty for the school and is taught by a homosexual professor openly endorsing the “uncompromising political militancy” of “lesbian and gay studies” is returning.

But so is the opposition.

The class at the tax-funded University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is called “How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation,” and is taught by David Halperin.

It surfaced in 2000, returned the following year and again a couple years later. Now university officials have confirmed it is returning, and Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan, said “it was and remains an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

“Each time it has been offered we have renewed our objections to it. The first time around the Michigan House of Representatives came with a few votes of cutting the university budget by 10 percent,” he said.

He said Halperin “makes no bones about it on the other side of the world, knowingly using tax dollars to promote the militant political agenda of homosexuality.”

Glenn was referring to Halperin’s writings on his activities as part of his work in Australia, where he spends part of each year.

There, Halperin has written, “The fact is that lesbian and gay studies simply is the academic wing of the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender movement … no one in the field has ever (to my knowledge at least) contested this…”

“Let there be no mistake about it: lesbian and gay studies, as it is currently practiced in the U.S., expresses an uncompromising political militancy,” he wrote.

“We have lobbied universities and professional associations to adopt and enforce anti-discrimination policies, to recognise same-sex couples, to oppose the U.S. military’s anti-gay policy, to suspend professional activities in states that criminalize gay sex or limit access to abortion, and to intervene on behalf of human rights for lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men at the local and national levels,” he wrote in Australian Humanities Review.

“Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn’t mean that you don’t have to learn how to become one,” he writes in the University of Michigan course description. “Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not.”

Further, he advises potential students, “the course itself will constitute an experiment in the very process of initiation that it hopes to understand.”

Original Link.

“Have Mercy, Father!” by Michael G. Mickey

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Having been hampered by two deaths in my wife’s immediate family in the last week as well as trying to care for my ailing fourteen-year-old dog who I fear is going to leave our family soon, it has taken every free moment I had to get RaptureAlert.com’s transition made to its new look and return to my regular work. Finishing up literally minutes prior to beginning this commentary, it only took me three munites or so to be praying for God’s mercy on our nation.

As most everyone knows, President Bush is in the Middle East where he is, according to an Associated Press story, predicting a Middle East peace treaty, along with calling “for the end of the “occupation” of Arab land by the Israeli military.” Occupation? God help us! Literally.

Demonstrating the peril our nation is presently being placed in by our president and other leaders in our government isn’t going to lessen during his time left in office, President Bush, whom it is being said will visit the Middle East one or more times before leaving office, said today, “I’ve got 12 months.”

How many Christians across America have written the White House begging the president to abandon his goal of creating a state called ‘Palestine’ on Israel’s God-given covenant lands? How many have written to Senators and Congressmen and women pleading for our leaders to take God’s promise of blessing and curse seriously, particularly in light of what the recent Gaza withdrawal has so clearly shown us concerning Israel’s enemies? And yet all of our pleas have fallen on deaf ears in Washington.

Will the United States pay a heavy price for its foreign policy decisions that outright defy the Word of God by placing Israel in greater peril? Time will tell but, ironically, a string of rare January tornadoes have struck the Midwest in recent days as far north as Wisconsin where Sheriff David Beth said, as quoted in a CBS News story, “I have never seen damage like this in the summertime when we have potential for tornadoes. To see something like this in January is mind-boggling to me. This is just unimaginable to me.”

An excerpt from the CBS News story makes it clear why Wisconsin’s Sheriff Beth is bewildered:

“According to the National Weather Service, this is only the second time since 1844 that January tornadoes have been reported in this part of the country….”

It’s far from typical for tornadoes to tear the Midwest up in January but, then again, it isn’t every day that the most blessed of all nations on the earth makes turning its nose up at God a foreign policy goal either.

May God have mercy on those He is willing to but, should further destruction of an unusual nature come our way in the days ahead as President Bush nuzzles up to Israel’s enemies, none of us should be surprised for it is written:

Genesis 12:3: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

While we fully know that what we’re seeing take place is appointed to take place according to prophecy, our calling is to continue to shed light on matters such as these while we’re still here to do so. Not only that, we need to pray for our nation’s leaders to make wise decisions where Israel’s safety and well-being is concerned as there is no conceivable threat posed against this nation as great as the threat we create ourselves when we turn our back to God’s will.
Keep looking up!

Original Link.

“Human Sacrifice in Dallas: No One Saved These Girls” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Friday, January 11th, 2008

This story out of Dallas is an awful one. The mainstream media has certainly failed their task but so did the local police and social service agencies—at least according to the (still only local) report published yesterday in the Dallas Morning News and picked up today only by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs.

In 1998, when they were 8 and 9 years-old, these slaughtered girls accused their father of sexual abuse. Their mother swore it was true. The girls then said that they had lied. The authorities believed them.

The same authorities never intervened against this father who, according to unnamed family members, “was given to fits of violence, threats and gun-waving rants about how Western culture was corrupting the chastity of his daughters.”

No one saved these girls, no one stopped the life-long violence against them, no one arrested their father—because he was only violent towards his wife and daughters. He was not violent towards anyone else. He did not disturb the peace. Thus, he was allowed to prey on his own flesh and blood.

We are talking about America, not about Egypt—where Yaser Abdul Said came from and where he may be hiding now. We are talking about America where American feminists have revolutionized our understanding of domestic violence. The police, the judiciary, and social services have tried to keep up—but it is a huge problem. Even feminists have been cautious when it is Muslim men who are domestically violent. Speaking out about it might be seen as “racist.”

Still, there are some real American heroes who have saved Muslim women who were being quite literally tortured. Often, they had to put such victims into federal witness protection programs because nothing else will stop the entire Muslim family from coming after them. I write about this in my most recent book “The Death of Feminism. What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom.”

Yasir Abdul Said was a violent man who used brutal force against his wife and daughters. People in Texas knew about it. People cared about it but no one cared enough—or were willing to risk death by daring to come between a man and his prey. Battered wives who are held hostage long enough are reluctant to press charges, have been too beaten down to feel they can start life on their own; some come to identify with or to serve their tormentors. It is called “Stockholm Syndrome” when the hostages taken are strangers.

Yes, this happens in non-Muslim families all the time and people rarely stop it. Usually, the beaten-down woman is the one who alone finally decides to try and save her own life—or the lives of her children. Often, when wives leave violent men, that’s when they are killed. Or, if they kill in self-defense, the women often get life sentences, often with no parole. I used to know of cases like this in Texas.

According to the Dallas paper, the father, who is still missing, has a long history of family violence. He married his wife, Patricia, when Patricia was only fifteen years old. Patricia’s sister, Connie Moggio, “said his controlling and violent nature gripped the family from the start.” According to Moggio, “once, he shot out the tires on his wife’s car to keep her home.” Another time, he blocked Moggio’s car when she was trying to her Patricia and the children escape. Amina was seen at school with red welts and bruises and she once confided that her father had kicked her in the face. Everyone knew about the threats. He threatened to kill her.

According to the Dallas paper, the day after Christmas the girls ran away—and they ran away with boyfriends who were, perhaps, trying to save them. Their mother talked them into returning; to this day, their brother, Islam, and their mother, Patricia, insist that what happened has nothing to do with Islam (the religion) or with the Arab Middle East (the culture).

Why would anyone in America believe that?

America failed these two daughters, bright with promise. Did we fail them because we don’t care about dark-skinned Muslim (girls)—or because we are so afraid of interfering with any dark-skinned man’s religious and cultural right to subordinate, torture, and ultimately sacrifice “his” women that we choose to look the other way?

Why is the mainstream media still silent? Perhaps if one of the many, many Presidential candidates would comment about this case, the media would follow suit.

Below: Are the links to the Dallas Morning News piece and to Pamela Geller’s website, Atlas Shrugs, which draws upon the local coverage.

Dallas News

Atlas Shrugs/Pamela Geller

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Original Link.