Archive for June, 2008

Added Mobile Viewing Ability to the Blog

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I found a cool plug-in that allows you to view the blog from a mobile device. Not much in the way of cool graphics, but at least the content is there.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Thanks!!
-Steve

Pali Terrorist Break Cease-Fire

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The Pali terrorist have already broken the cease fire. That didn’t last long.
Of course, all rational people in the world expected the Pali’s to do this. No surprise at all.

Three Kassam rockets hit the western Negev on Tuesday afternoon, in a second violation of a cease-fire that Hamas has been abiding by since it went into effect last Thursday.
Islamic Jihad operatives…

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the attack was to avenge an IDF raid that killed one of its members in the West Bank early Tuesday.

The West Bank is not formally part of the truce, however Islamic Jihad said it “cannot keep its hands tied” when its brothers in the West Bank are being targeted.

Hamas, however, said it remains committed to the cease-fire agreeement.

A statement from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Office has called the attack a violation of the truce.

One of the rockets damaged a house in Sderot, where two women were treated for shock. A second rocket landed in the Sderot area, causing no casualties or damage, and a third landed in an open area in the western Negev.

The rockets were fired just as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in an effort to piggyback on the momentum of the cease-fire and push the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Earlier Monday overnight, Palestinian gunmen in the Gaza Strip fired a mortar shell into Israel – the first breach of the cease-fire since it went into effect five days ago.

There were no reports of casualties or damage.

Meanwhile, two Islamic Jihad gunmen, one of them a senior operative by the name of Tarek abu Ghally, 25, were killed in a joint IDF-Shin Bet operation Monday night in Nablus.

The army said the two were killed in exchanges of fire that ensued during an attempt to arrest them.

According to the military, Ghally was planning to carry out a terror attack in Israel “in the very near future.”

The soldiers found large amounts of weapons and ammunition on his person.

Original Link.

Teacher Has Sex With Student Plus 7 Friends

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Another teacher has thrown her whole life down the drain by having sex with her students. Why do they continue to feel that this is in any manner an acceptable thing to do?

A female special education teacher and sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at a middle school in Alabama has been charged with having sex with at least eight high school students between the ages of 15 and 19.

Julie Pritchett, 34, is facing two counts of second-degree sodomy and one count of second-degree sexual abuse of two boys younger than 16 years old, the Birmingham News reported. The incidents allegedly took place between February and April.

Pritchett is not facing additional charges for having sex with the other six boys because the remaining incidents involved students who are now of consenting age or who have reportedly refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Pritchett is just the latest instructor to make WND’s big list of American teachers accused or convicted of having sexual relations with students.

Jefferson County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Randy Christian said there could be more than eight students who had sexual relationships with the former Clay-Chalkville Middle School teacher.

“It takes such a long time and so much effort to become a teacher,” Christian said. “It is very difficult to understand that someone would waste all of that by such actions. It sounds like she has some serious issues to work through, but that will never excuse what she has done.”

The sheriff’s department released a statement saying, “Phone records were subpoenaed and support the statements of the victims and witnesses. When the news media reported that a teacher was under investigation, Julie Pritchett changed her phone number, shut down her MySpace account and resigned from her teaching position where she was a tenured teacher.”

A parent called the sheriff’s department May 2 and complained that his son was being sexually abused by a teacher. Jefferson County school board lawyer Burgin Kent said the board placed Pritchett on leave, began its own investigation and notified authorities following reports of the abuse.

“It was an unfortunate situation,” Kent said.

Pritchett sponsored hostesses for the Clay-Chalkville High School baseball team, called the Diamond Dolls. While she held the position, she became reacquainted with some of her former students who were active in the sports program. Christian said Pritchett then began having sex with a 15-year-old boy, and later had sex with at least seven of his friends. All of the incidents were initiated by the former teacher and several happened on school grounds. Other sex acts took place at victims’ homes.

Pritchett surrendered in May and was released on bonds totaling $60,000.

Original Link.

Religious Americans: My Faith Isn’t The Only Way

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

I wrote an article about this several years ago. You can read it here.

WASHINGTON – America remains a deeply religious nation, but a new survey finds most Americans don’t believe their tradition is the only way to eternal life — even if the denomination’s teachings say otherwise. The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don’t know fundamental teachings of their own faiths.

Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching. In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.

“The survey shows religion in America is, indeed, 3,000 miles wide and only three inches deep,” said D. Michael Lindsay, a Rice University sociologist of religion. “There’s a growing pluralistic impulse toward tolerance and that is having theological consequences,” he said.

Read the whole article here.

Father’s Day Cards Banned in Scottish Schools

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

This is just an example of what we can expect here in America because of our willingness to accept (even legalize) gay marriage. There is something to be said for traditional values regardless of whether you believe in God or not. This is ludicrous, yet really happening. For those of you who believe that traditional families will not be affected by gay marriage, think again.

Thousands of primary pupils were prevented from making Father’s Day cards at school for fear of embarrassing classmates who live with single mothers and lesbians.
The politically correct policy was quietly adopted at schools “in the interests of sensitivity” over the growing number of lone-parent and same-sex households.

It only emerged after a large number of fathers failed to receive their traditional cards and handmade gifts.

Family rights campaigners last night condemned the policy as “absurd” and argued that it is marginalising fathers, but local authorities said teachers need to react to “the changing pattern of family life”.

Original Link

Israel To Strike Iran After Elections?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Israel is likely to attack Iran in the time between the November presidential election in the US and the inauguration of the new president, former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton told the Daily Telegraph in an interview published Tuesday.
However, Bolton said he did not believe the US would take part in such a strike. “It’s clear that the administration has essentially given up that possibility,” he said. “I don’t think it’s serious any more. If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I thought it was a real possibility. I just don’t think it’s in the cards.”

“The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and to do things like increase their defenses,” Bolton said.

“They’re also obviously looking at the American election calendar. My judgment is they would not want to do anything before our election because there’s no telling what impact it could have on the election.”

Waiting for a new president, however, would cause problems for Israel, according to Bolton. “An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to foreign policy,” he said. “With McCain they might still be looking at a delay.”

Bolton said that the Arab world would publicly denounce such an attack but would privately be pleased.

Referring to Israel’s ability to destroy the Iranian nuclear program, Bolton said the key was to break Iran’s control over the nuclear fuel cycle. “That could be accomplished for example by destroying the uranium conversion facility at Esfahan or the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz,” he said.

Original Link

Terrorists Disclose Gaza Cease-Fire to Be Used to Prepare for Battle

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

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

The Gaza cease-fire agreed to yesterday by Hamas and Israel is a “victory” for Palestinian “resistance” and will be used by local terrorist groups to rearm and prepare for battle against the Jewish state, top Gaza-based terror leaders told WND.

“We are humiliating the Israelis. They kept threatening to make a huge operation in Gaza, but they were the ones who begged us to go into the cease-fire,” said Muhammad Abdel-Al, a leader and spokesman for the Hamas-allied, Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees terror group.

Along with Hamas, the Committees took responsibility for firing nearly 30 mortars and rockets from Gaza into nearby Jewish communities Wednesday, lightly injuring one Israeli woman just hours before the truce went into effect.

“[The rocket attacks] prove we are not going into this cease-fire from a weak point but from a point of force and power,” Abdel-Al said.

Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ so-called military wing, told WND his group will use the truce to rearm itself.

“The hudna (temporary truce) will be used for more training, arming. … We don’t have any intention to stop from bringing in weapons from the Sinai into Gaza,” said Abdullah.

He called the cease-fire “one more sign of the collapse of the Israeli army, that this big Israeli army with the so-called best air force in the world didn’t succeed to stop the rockets, and they accepted the truce.”

The term “hudna,” dates back to Islam’s founding in the 7th century, when Muhammad declared a 10-year hudna with the tribe that controlled Mecca. Later, after rearming, Muhammad attacked the tribe, claiming it had broken the truce. In 1994, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat invoked Muhammad’s hudna when he justified the launch of the second intifada during the Oslo peace process.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy noted in 2003 that Hamas had agreed to 10 cease-fires in the previous decade and returned freshly armed after each one.

“It is important to note,” the institute said, “that all cease-fire offers have been presented at a time when Hamas needed a moment to step back and regroup after an organizationally exhausting confrontation with a more powerful foe (either Israel or the PA).”

Original Link.

Obama: America is ‘no longer Christian’

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

American Christians and Jews, as well as the country of Israel, are going to be big trouble if this man gets elected.

JERUSALEM – Some have been taking issue with largely unnoticed comments made last year by Sen. Barack Obama declaring the U.S. is “no longer a Christian nation” but is also a nation of others, including Muslims and nonbelievers.

The comments have been recently recirculating on Internet blogs.

“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers,” Obama said during a June 2007 speech available on YouTube.

At the speech, Obama also seemingly blasted the “Christian Right” for hijacking religion and using it to divide the nation:

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us,” he said.

Asked last year to clarify his remarks, Obama repeated them to the Christian Broadcast Network:

“I think that the right might worry a bit more about the dangers of sectarianism. Whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers,” Obama wrote in an e-mail to CBN News senior national correspondent David Brody.

“We should acknowledge this and realize that when we’re formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we’ve got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community,” wrote Obama.

Obama did clarify his statement about the “Christian Right.”

“My intention was to contrast the heated partisan rhetoric of a distinct minority of Christian leaders with the vast majority of Evangelical Christians – conservatives included – who believe that hate has no place in our politics.

“When you have pastors and television pundits who appear to explicitly coordinate with one political party; when you’re implying that your fellow Americans are traitors, terrorist sympathizers or akin to the devil himself; then I think you’re attempting to hijack the faith of those who follow you for your own personal or political ends,” wrote Obama.

The Illinois senator’s speech declaring the U.S. “no longer Christian” was met with little fanfare. But it has been getting some recent play.

A television commercial that aired in South Dakota by a group calling itself the Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric juxtaposes the audio of Obama’s “no longer Christian” statement over images of the presidential candidate dressed in Somali garb and a picture of Obama with his hands rested below his waist while other politicians place their hands over their hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance.

“It’s time for people to take a stand against Barack Hussein Obama,” declares the voiceover on the commercial.

The Gateway Pundit blog took notice of Obama’s speech about the U.S. being a nation also for Muslims and non-believers.

“This won’t play well in the Bible Belt,” commented the blog in a recent posting.

Obama’s campaign has long utilized faith as a central theme. The candidate’s Christianity and his former membership in the controversial Trinity United Church of Christ have been much scrutinized.

His comment about the “Christian Right” echoed similar statements made by Merrill A. McPeak, Obama’s military adviser and national campaign co-chairman.

As WND reported, in a 2003 interview with The Oregonian newspaper, McPeak seemed to compare evangelical Christians to the terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Oregonian interviewer asked McPeak whether “there’s an element within Hamas, Hezbollah, that doesn’t want Israel to exist at all and always will be there?”

McPeak responded by comparing the two terror groups to “radical” Oregonians.

“There’s an element in Oregon, you know, that’s always going to be radical in some pernicious way, and likely to clothe it in religious garments, so it makes it harder to attack. So there’s craziness all over the place.”

Oregon has a large evangelical Christian community.

Original Link.

US Energy Chief: Low Oil Production Drives Price

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia – The U.S. energy secretary said Saturday that insufficient oil production, not financial speculation, was driving soaring crude prices.

Secretary Samuel Bodman’s comments on the eve of an energy summit in the Saudi port city of Jiddah set the stage for a showdown between the U.S. and conference host Saudi Arabia, which has largely blamed speculation in the oil markets for record prices.

The U.S. and many other Western nations have put increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, to increase production. Saudi officials have been hesitant to do so, arguing that soaring prices have not been caused by a shortage of supply.

Bodman disputed that assertion Saturday, saying oil production has not kept pace with growing demand, especially from developing countries like China and India.

“Market fundamentals show us that production has not kept pace with growing demand for oil, resulting in increasing prices and increasingly volatile prices,” Bodman told reporters. “There is no evidence that we can find that speculators are driving futures prices” for oil.

He said commodities markets have experienced a huge influx of money from financial investors in recent years, but they have been following the market upward rather than driving the increase in the price of oil.

Original Link.

Mexican Smugglers Make US Lands Unsafe

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Are we going to secure our borders anytime soon?

(CNSNews.com) – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has said that drug traffickers sneaking into the United States from Mexico through U.S. lands administered by his department have made some of those lands unsafe for American families.

As reported by Cybercast News Service last month, the State Department similarly issued a largely unpublicized travel alert for the Mexican side of the border on April 14, warning would-be tourists that the “equivalent to military small-unit combat” was taking place there and that “dozens” of Americans had been “kidnapped and/or murdered” in Tijuana alone in 2007. (See story)

As Cybercast News Service subsequently reported, State Department records indicate that 128 Americans have been murdered in Mexico over the past three years. (See story) And because the State Department headquarters in Washington does no centralized monitoring of how the Mexican justice system handles those murder cases, it cannot say whether anyone has ever been arrested or convicted for any of them. (See story)

Even before the State Department issued its travel alert for Mexico, however, Interior Secretary Kempthorne had stated — again, with almost no publicity — that some of the lands administered by his department on the U.S. side of the Mexican border have become dangerous places where “families can no longer live or recreate without fear of coming across drug smugglers.”

“Unfortunately,” an Interior Department spokesperson told Cybercast News Service on Thursday, “DOI lands make up approximately 40 percent of the Southwest border, and I think there has been a shift in some of those illegal activities, particularly drug-trafficking crossings, to those lands because they tend to be less populated.

“It’s becomes more of a prime location for people to come through,” he added, “and the net result has been an increase in violence.”

Original Link.

Presbyterian Church To Consider Homosexual ‘Marriage’

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Another denomination is considering going down the slippery slope of homosexual “marriage”.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Homosexual “marriage” will be on the agenda as the Presbyterian Church USA begins its biennial meeting this weekend in California, where same-sex weddings became legal this week.

Delegates to the General Assembly will be asked to rewrite the church’s Book of Order to allow Presbyterian ministers to conduct wedding services for homosexual couples. The church constitution currently defines marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman.

Pastor Parker Williamson, a leader of conservative Presbyterians, says homosexual rights get more support from the denomination’s leaders than from people in the pews. “That support from within the staff infrastructure of the denomination really does give it quite a megaphone,” says Williamson, adding that he would “not be at all surprised” to see pro-homosexual demonstrations during the meeting. “After all, we’re going to be in San Jose, an area that’s very gay-lesbian friendly,” he remarks

Original Link.

Young Disney Star Vows Abstinence Till Marriage

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Good for Selena Gomez. I hope she will be to oppose the normal Hollywood mindset and follow through with this vow.

HOLLYWOOD – Selena Gomez, the 15-year-old up-and-coming Hollywood star who is being hailed as “the next Miley Cyrus” – the wildly popular star of the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana – has made public her intention to remain chaste until marriage.

Gomez started in the entertainment industry at the young age of 10, landing the part of Gianna on Barney & Friends. Amongst numerous other achievements, Gomez recently provided the voice-overs for the character of the mayor’s daughter in the blockbuster animated film, Horton Hears a Who, starring Jim Carrey and Steve Carell. Gomez also recently debuted her own feature Disney Channel show, The Wizards of Waverley Place, in which she plays the lead role.

It seems, however, that Gomez may not appreciate the frequent comparisons being made between her and fellow Disney star Miley Cyrus, who has made the news several times in the last number of months after suggestive photos of her appeared in Vanity Fair magazine and a number of other racy photos surfaced on the Internet.

Original Link.

California Homosexuals Try to Stop Marriage Vote

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

The battle continues…

SAN FRANCISCO – Homosexual activists asked California’s highest court Friday to keep off the November ballot a citizens’ initiative that would again ban same-sex “marriage. ”

Lawyers for Equality California filed a petition arguing that the proposed amendment to the California Constitution should be invalidated because its impact was not made clear to the millions of voters who signed petitions to qualify the measure before the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions.

“This is just another attempt to force a radical political agenda upon the people of California,” said Defense Fund senior counsel Glen Lavy. “The opponents of marriage are willing to use any means necessary to impose their will.”

Original Link.

A Little Perspective

Friday, June 20th, 2008

A Little Perspective

Tax Our Way Out

Gas In Knots

ANWR Caribou

Cartoons Courtesy of Tomwhall.com.

Judge Blasts State Ban on Distributing Bibles to Students

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Score one for the good guys.

A federal court has declared a Florida law banning representatives of the Gideons from handing out Bibles within 500 feet of any school in the state unconstitutional because it is vague and actually “encourages arbitrary enforcement.”

The ruling in a case brought by the Alliance Defense Fund comes from U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore and addresses an incident that developed Jan. 19, 2007, at Key Largo School, run by Principal Annette Martinson.

The law actually prohibits anyone without “legitimate business” from being within 500 feet of schools in the state and specifies “each principal or designee of each public or private school in this state shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency to prohibit any person from loitering in the school safety zone who does not have legitimate business in the school safety zone or any other authorization, or license to enter or remain in the school safety zone or does not otherwise have invitee status in the designated safety zone.”

The issue arose because of team of Gideons, known for paying all of their own expenses out of pocket while raising all of their own funds and giving away Bibles, had been distributing the Scriptures at Key Largo School.

The Gideons’ procedure is to notify local police departments two weeks before their distribution date, give school administrators notice and have participants stand on a public bike path or sidewalk and avoid stepping on school grounds.

But WND reported earlier when two members of the Gideons organization were charged for handing out Bibles there, and when a judge dismissed those counts.

Ernest Simpson and Anthony Mirto had been taken into custody by a sheriff’s deputy and charged with trespassing after the principal of Key Largo School, Martinson, complained they were handing out Bibles.

The initial counts were dismissed at the request of the ADF shortly after the law firm got involved, but then authorities filed a second round of counts, under a different law – this state law that prohibits anyone from being within 500 feet of any school property, including on public sidewalks and streets, without having either “legitimate business” or permission.

The lawsuit lawsuit at hand then was filed on behalf of Gideon Thomas Gray, who was not arrested with Simpson and Mirto but arrived when they called to report trouble with a particular deputy sheriff.

“Gray approached Officer [John] Perez and asked what the charges were. Officer Perez was highly agitated and said that Gray would know in 48 hours when he received the report,” the judge said.

Gray contacted another deputy through whom he’d arranged for the distribution.

“Gray then called Deputy [Ralph] Williams and asked for his assistance … Deputy Williams indicated that he would e-mail Officer Perez … Gray told Officer Perez that he had an e-mail in his car from another officer stating that the Gideons have a right to distribute Bibles from the public bike path/sidewalk, but Officer Perez indicated that he did not care,” the judge wrote.

The ADF reported the two Gideons who were arrested were “placed in a Monroe County patrol car. A police officer mocked the two men, saying they could ‘pray to Jesus all the way to jail.'”

The ADF, after seeing that the charges against Simpon and Mirto were dismissed, filed the action on behalf of Gray, who said he feared arrest if he exercised his right to distribute Bibles.

The federal judge found that the state definition of a school safety zone, in the Key Largo School location, would include a public bike path and walkway abutting U.S. Highway 1, the highway itself and businesses including a pet motel, a gas station, a restaurant and a plumbing business.

“Given the wide range of non-exempt persons and the various types of areas within the school safety zone, such as sidewalks, residential houses and streets, businesses, parking lots, etc., construing ‘legitimate purpose’ to mean any purpose which is connected with the operation of the school would result in an application so broad that it would likely infringe of First and Fourteenth Amendment rights,” the judge said.

He ordered the state never again enforce that particular law.

“Christians shouldn’t be penalized for expressing their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman. “Arresting or threatening to arrest Christians simply because they choose to exercise their First Amendment rights in a public place is unconstitutional. The court was right in its assessment that the particular law used against these members of the Gideons does not pass constitutional muster.”

In a statement at the outset of the case to WND, Becky Herrin, of the public information office in the Monroe County sheriff’s office, stated as a fact that the defendants in the case did trespass. She later declined additional comment.

“A copy of our police report (see attached) … clearly states that the people in question were arrested for trespassing on school property – not on a public sidewalk… In fact, they were given the opportunity to step off school property and onto public property, and they could have continued with their activities if they had done so. They chose instead to remain, against repeated warnings, on school property so deputies were forced to arrest them,” Herrin said in a statement to WND.

But the attached report forwarded to WND revealed the two were arrested while in their vehicle parked near, but not on, school property.

Original Link.

Israelis Furious Over ‘Worthless’ Gaza Ceasefire

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I suspect the truce will last days at best.
Remember:
Koran 47:36 says “Therefore do not falter or sue for peace when you have gained the upper hand.”

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – Israelis across the political board expressed deep frustration as an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip went into effect early Thursday morning.

By midday the truce appeared to be holding, though few expected it to last, including Israeli military officials, who had been ordered by the government to prepare for immediate action the moment the terrorists violated the quiet.

Hamas warned of a severe response from its side if Israel was the first to disturb the tenuous peace. Just hours before the ceasefire went into effect, Gaza rocket crews pounded southern Israel with some 50 rockets and mortar shells to drive home that point. An Israeli woman was wounded in the barrage when one rocket hit a home in the battered southern Israel town of Sderot.

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said in remarks to Israel Radio that he found it mind-boggling that the government would enter into yet another ill-advised ceasefire that everyone knew would be used by the terrorists to regroup and rearm for future aggression.

Previous informal ceasefires between Israel and Hamas have on paper lasted for months, but in reality were punctuated by regular attacks, while limitations on Israel’s military response allowed the terrorists to simultaneously keep pressure on the Jewish state and increase their strength.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon, who is a close confidante of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, also blasted the decision to deal with the terrorists instead of defeat them. Israel is effectively telling Hamas there are no consequences for remaining an extremist group, he said.

“I am against a truce because it is another triumph for radical Islam,” said Ramon during a conference at Haifa University on Tuesday. If terrorists are permitted to attack and then win respite by their use of violence, “what is the point of being moderate? Why would Hamas be interested in a resolution?” Ramon asked.

Average Israelis living in the shadow of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip were even more concerned than various government officials seemed to be.

“This calm is worthless for us,” Sderot resident Haim Koznitz told Army Radio. “The current calm will only strengthen Hamas. While we gained nothing, Hamas will solidify its hold by presenting the ceasefire as something it achieved for the benefit of the people.”

Original Link.

Dems Want You to Pay $4 or More for Gas

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Apparently the Dems don’t mind having you pay $4 or more for a gallon of gasoline. They are still resisting any type of drilling in our massive domestic oil reserves that are sitting in “protected” areas.

WASHINGTON — A House subcommittee on Wednesday rejected a Republican-led effort to open up more U.S. coastal waters to oil exploration.

Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., spearheaded the effort. His proposal would open up U.S. waters between 50 and 200 miles off shore for drilling. The first 50 miles off shore would be left alone.

But the plan failed Wednesday on a 9-6, party-line vote in a House appropriations subcommittee, which was considering the proposal as part of an Interior Department spending package.

With record oil prices and gas prices projected to hover around the $4 mark for the rest of the summer, Republicans have ratcheted up their efforts to open up oil exploration along U.S. coastline. But the long-sought change has so far been unsuccessful.

Most offshore oil production and exploration has been banned since a federal law passed in 1981.

“We are kidding ourselves if we think we can drill our way out of these problems,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., said during the bill mark-up session.

For his part, Peterson said: “There is no valid reason for Congress to keep the country from energy resources it needs.”

“I’m disappointed. I did not expect a partisan vote today. I felt we had a chance of winning this. A lot of Democrats have been talking favorably about my amendment. They know we have to do something. But today was an absolute show of Pelosi power, it was dealt from the top down,” Peterson said later, speaking with FOX News, adding he was open to other energy solutions, including wind and solar power.

According to Peterson’s office, the U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates that 86 billion barrels of oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas can be found along the U.S. outer continental shelf, the area affected by the ban.

Peterson is not alone in his desire to open up the shelf. An effort to unlock the resources has been underway in Congress in recent years, and several interest groups are backing the effort, too.

“Tapping America’s huge reserve of deep ocean energy helps us fight terrorism and increases our domestic energy supply, which will help put downward pressure on gasoline prices,” Greg Schnacke, President of Americans for American Energy, said in a news release, adding: “With Americans suffering at the gas pump and with higher energy bills, it’s a no-brainer that the OCS should be developed.”

But the proposal has faced staunch opposition from environmental groups from states where the shorelines are under consideration for drilling, like Florida.

Original Link.

Educators Claim Child Sex Abuse on the Word of a Psychic

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Our neighbors to the North (Canada) are starting to worry me.

Acting solely on information from a psychic, administrators at a public elementary school in Canada alerted child welfare authorities when they believed an autistic student had been sexually abused.

Colleen Leduc received a frantic call May 30 from Terry Fox Elementary School in Barrie, Ontario, after administrators suspected her 11-year-old autistic daughter, Victoria, had been molested by an adult male. Officials told her the Children’s Aid Society, or CAS, had been notified of the alleged sexual abuse – though they were unable to offer any evidence to confirm their suspicions, City News of Toronto reported.

“The teacher looked at me and said: ‘We have to tell you something,'” Leduc explained. “‘The educational assistant who works with Victoria went to see a psychic last night, and the psychic asked the educational assistant at that particular time if she works with a little girl by the name of “V.” And she said ‘yes, I do.’ And she said, ‘well, you need to know that that child is being sexually abused by a man between the ages of 23 and 26.'”

Victoria does not speak, but administrators said she had been showing signs of sexual behavior in class, though such conduct is considered normal for autistic children. Her actions were symptomatic of a urinary tract infection and led officials to believe her condition was a proof of a sexual “attack.”

“It’s actually your worst nightmare, your child being violated,” Leduc said. “So for them to even suggest that, and that be my worst nightmare, it was horrific.”

Circumstances worsened for Leduc when school administrators believed the psychic’s statements and used information about Victoria’s medical condition to help child protective authorities build a case against the Leduc family.

“They reported me to Children’s Aid,” Leduc said. “Based on a psychic!”

The case was dismissed, but how on earth does something like happen to begin with??

Original Link.

Canadian Dad Grounds Daughter, But Court Ungrounds Her

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

More from out of control judicial systems, this time from Canada.

A father in Canada grounded his daughter from a school trip because she disobeyed his orders to stay off the Internet, but a court overturned the punishment.

According to Agence France-Presse, Justice Suzanne Tessier in Quebec Superior Court ordered the grounding for the 12-year-old girl lifted, prompting the father’s lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, to warn, “Parents are going to be walking on egg shells from now on.”

The father had ordered his daughter, who was not identified by the report, to remain off the Internet. She didn’t, chatting on websites her father had tried to block and then posting “inappropriate” pictures of herself online using a friend’s Internet portal.

As punishment, the father refused to let her go on a scheduled school trip, so the 12-year-old went to Canada’s judicial system to get her way.

Beaudoin told AFP the punishment was for her own protection, and he is pursuing an appeal.

“She’s a child,” Beaudoin said. “At her age, children test their limits and it’s up to their parents to set boundaries.”

The lawyer said she’ll try to “re-establish” parental authority and to make sure the judge’s opinion doesn’t set a precedent.

“I think most children respect their parents and would never go so far as to take them to court, but it’s clear that some would and we have to ask ourselves how far this will go,” Beaudoin said.

Court records indicated the 12-year-old’s violation of her home’s Internet rules was just one in a list of instructions that she had violated. But Tessier said the punishment was just too much.

The girl reportedly had access to the courts using a court-appointed attorney who represented her in her parents’ custody dispute.

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Liberal Rolling Stone Mocks McCain’s Time as POW

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Regardless of your opinion of John McCain, no one should make fun of his service to our country. He fought for our freedom, was a prisoner of war and he deserves respect for his service.

A commentary in a coming edition of Rolling Stone magazine under the headline “Full Metal McCain” blasts Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign aspirations and mocks his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“One long broadside against those (bleep) overgrown Sixties weenie liberals who hate the flag, love the bomb-tossing enemies of America and are bent on the twin goals of ending the system of free enterprise and placing every aspect of our lives under government control,” is how writer Matt Taibbi describes a recent campaign speech by McCain.

And the writings are illustrated by Victor Juhasz, who drew a caricature of a prison cell made of bamboo sticks holding a hollering McCain character. Three other characters, two grinning and one frowning, with cartoon-like Oriental features, are shown prodding him with more bamboo sticks.

The online version of the critique says it is being published in the June 26 edition of the magazine.

“He seems re-energized by the fact that we are all back in that same hell, back to living the PTSD-inducing nightmare that McCain himself never got to leave – and if it takes dumbing down his act and playing to the Rush and Hannity crowd to give his story a happy ending this time around, he won’t hesitate,” the commentary said.

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