Archive for September 25th, 2008

Controversial ‘Hounddog’ Movie Pulled from Theaters

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

It’s about time decency won out…

There’s more trouble for “Hounddog,” the controversial Dakota Fanning movie featuring a depiction of a rape of a nine-year-old that had opened last weekend and generated only about $1,100 from each of its 11 theaters.

A report at Contact Music.com today said officials at AMC theaters have pulled the film from its few theaters involved, and the report blamed the move on “mounting pressure from family values groups upset about a rape scene.”

WND had reported earlier on the take from the first weekend of the movie, which was released by Empire Film Group, whose officials jumped into the project after “Hounddog” caused waves at the 2007 Sundance film festival and was unable to attract a sponsor.

The company released the film for last weekend, but even before the release, blogger Steve Pill was reporting on a statement from the public.

“I received a somewhat rueful message of congratulations from Eric Parkinson, the CEO of distribution for Empire Film Group,” he wrote. “According to him, more than 200 theaters across the country had cancelled their scheduled screenings of the motion picture ‘Hounddog,’ citing pressure from ‘vocal groups.'”

Fanning’s behavior has been described as more explicit than what was required of Jodie Foster, who as a 12-year-old played a prostitute in “Taxi Driver,” a 1976 Martin Scorsese production, or Brooke Shields, who was a New Orleans brothel worker in the “Pretty Baby” movie from 1978.

The Numbers website noted “Hounddog” played in 11 theaters across Canada and the U.S. on its first weekend, with a total gate of $12,500.

The movie had been the subject of several investigation requests and was targeted just a week ago in a boycott launched by noted movie critic Ted Baehr of Movieguide and the Christian Film & Television Commission.

“These despicable movies promote pedophilia, whether intentionally or unintentionally,” said Baehr. “There should be a massive public outcry against them. The inclusion of children in sexually explicit films is inappropriate. There also is no excuse for the authorities to allow such material to be shown publicly.”

WND broke the story about the controversial movie when there were objections even while it was being made.

“As an adult whose job should be protecting children, we have to realize there are those who are willing to accept the blurring of lines between adults and children in sexual acts,” said Donna Miller, chief of the No More Child Porn campaign, which joined with Baehr. “Even experts such as the American Psychological Association promoted the blurring of those lines when they published in their journal the Rind Study that stated that sex between men and nine-year-old boys was not always harmful.

“I believe [director] Deborah Kampmeier also blurred those lines when she made Dakota Fanning’s character a sexually aggressive little girl at the age of nine,” Miller said.

“Much has been made about the rape scene regarding lighting – indicating that it was done in taste, etc. But there is no doubt that Fanning’s character asked a boy to expose himself, that she would give him a kiss for doing so, and had done so with other boys. What does this tell other little girls,” Miller continued.

Original Link.

Some Christian Groups Welcome Iranian President Ahmadinejad with Open Arms in NYC

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This type of “blindness” totally amazes me.

Pro-family activist and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer is outraged that a number of Christian organizations are sponsoring a reception in New York City for Iranian strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The American Friends Service Committee, Mennonite Central Committee, Quaker United Nations Office, Religions for Peace, and the World Council of Churches are hosting the special Muslim ceremony with Ahmadinejad, celebrating the end of Ramadan.

“Some of these people, I can guarantee you, would not have sat down with Ronald Reagan when he was president and probably would not sit down with George Bush today,” [Gary Bauer, chairman of American Values] contends. “And yet, they’re willing to meet with a man that has denied the first Holocaust, while he routinely promises a second one.”

Original Link.

“Finding a Christian Perspective on the Economic Crisis” by Albert Mohler

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

The headlines tell the story as recent days have seen the American economy and its financial system buffeted by seismic failures and the virtual disappearance of major investment banks. The debate raging in Washington these days concerns the form and extent of government intervention that will be required in order to restore stability to the financial markets.

Comparisons to the Great Depression are inevitable, but today’s crisis bears little resemblance to the total economic collapse of the late 1920s. Capitalism is not in crisis and the fundamentals of the American economy remain strong. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933, the nation faced a genuine crisis and economic collapse. For the most part, the banks were closed and the nation was out of business.

Nothing like that is happening now, but the financial system is clearly in need of reform and realism. The fundamentals of the economy remain intact. These include American innovation, a dedicated labor force, strong consumer demand, vast natural resources, and unlimited intellectual capital.

More than anything else, this crisis has to do with what happens when the markets come to term with excessive valuations. Put bluntly, wildly inflated valuations led to risky financial adventures and worse. The sub-prime mortgage collapse came as more realistic real estate valuations forced market corrections. The vast global financial system has accepted the inflated valuations as real and traded in the risky mortgages as if the game would go on forever. This was a fool’s errand.

There were other causes of the current distress in the markets and other forces at work within the economy at large. The slide of the dollar and the rising price of oil both played a part, as did more fundamental shifts having to do with a globalized economy and the continuing shift toward a knowledge-based economy in a technological age.

Is this all about greed? Yes and no. In the movie “Wall Street,” the character Gordon Gekko famously declares that “greed is good.” But is the economy really driven by greed?

This question requires a return to what we might call “Economics 101.” No one has explained basic economics as well as Adam Smith did in his 1776 classic, The Wealth of Nations. As the great Scottish thinker explained, an economy is based upon the transfer of goods and services from one individual to another. Each partner in the transaction must believe that this transfer is in his or her own best interest or the transfer is not voluntary. Both parties seek to gain something from the transfer. Since no one person can meet all of his or her own needs alone, a vast economic system quickly takes shape. Individuals trade goods and services through the exchange of currency or another agreed-upon form of value.

Original Link.

“How Trig Palin Reveals Obama’s Character” by Sandy Rios

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

It was the annual “Summerfest” in a community about 60 miles west of Chicago. We were expecting rides and cotton candy, but were greeted instead by tractors and a pork chop dinner. The crowd was populated by just plain folks—old and young, enjoying the easy camaraderie of small town life. One family stood out. It was a mom and dad with a boy about eight I’ll call “Johnny.”

We had come to see a Chicago band, awkwardly positioned on a flatbed truck, who didn’t disappoint. They delivered great Chicago-style blues and rock, but as great as they were, they were promptly upstaged by Johnny. As the band started, he bolted to the grassy area before the stage and began to dance deliciously. He didn’t just have one “move,” he had lots of them with finger strategically pointed, and attitude enough for the whole band. As the singer jumped off the stage, Johnny would follow, imitating him playing harmonica and clutching his cordless mic as he serenaded a select few. When he finished a set and took a bow, Johnny took his too … deeply, like a shadow on the lawn. The crowd roared and I was especially delighted when he came to serenade me with his imaginary microphone. I wanted to grab and hug him, but he would have none of it.

I looked down the row to see his parents standing silently, not with wild cheering but with wonder, amazement and … pride. You see, Johnny has Down syndrome. It was a moment parents of special needs kids seldom get to enjoy.

It struck me in that moment that nearly 90 percent of babies born with Down syndrome are now aborted. Most Johnnys never get the chance to delight a crowd or bring deep, abiding joy to their parents—because they never get a chance to live.

It was a Down syndrome baby that nurse Jill Stanek cradled until death at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, denied of food or medical treatment. Another imperfect baby, unwanted by its parents, starved out of existence.

When legislation to prevent such callousness and neglect sprang to life as a result of Stanek’s story, Barack Obama spoke out against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. He argued that it was unfair to the mothers to let these babies live—that it would turn back abortion rights (as though infanticide and abortion were in the same legal ballpark). He voted against the legislation and tried to persuade others in the Illinois legislature to follow his lead. On the issue of abortion, he later publicly declared that he wouldn’t want his daughters “punished with a baby,” should they find themselves pregnant and unmarried. With that perspective Obama would surely find a Down syndrome baby beyond punishment.

Original Link.

McCain Suspends Campaign to Help With Bailout, Obama Campaign as Usual

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

This highlights the difference between a seasoned senator (McCain) and one who has only spent 142 days in the Senate (Obama). If something doesn’t happen with the economy soon, I think we are going to look back on the “good old days” when we only had a recession. We are flirting with going into an actual depression if this crisis is not stopped soon.

John McCain will suspend his presidential campaign Thursday and has asked to postpone his debate Friday with Barack Obama so the two senators can return to Washington to help negotiate a Wall Street bailout, an approach that Obama promptly rejected.

“America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system,” McCain said in mid-afternoon remarks to reporters in New York. “If we do not act, every corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Click here for a transcript of McCain’s announcement.

The stunning move means running mate Sarah Palin will also suspend her campaign activities.

The Republican presidential candidate furthermore asked the Presidential Debate Commission to postpone his first debate with Obama, which is scheduled to take place Friday night at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Obama responded by saying that such disruptive measures were unnecessary.

“Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time,” Sen. Obama said. “It’s not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else.” He said that he and McCain have large campaign planes that can get them from Washington to Mississippi and back quickly.

The debate commission released a statement saying it was moving forward with plans to hold the debate Friday.

The McCain announcement triggered a round of recriminations on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill, with several prominent Democrats accusing McCain of adding an extra dose of politics to an already tumultuous debate.

Obama said Wednesday he spoke earlier in the day with McCain, who suggested that they suspend the debate.

“I thought this was something that he was mulling over. Apparently this was something he was more decisive about in his own mind,” Obama said in a press conference in Florida, where he has been preparing for the debate.

Obama has since accepted an invitation from President Bush, according to his campaign, to attend a meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., with congressional leaders. The same invitation was extended to McCain, who earlier called for such a meeting.

Obama said the scrutiny of the bailout plan is nonpartisan and he would not allow it to become welfare for Wall Street executives or an opportunity for political ploys.

“There are times for politics and there are times to rise above them, do what is right for the country. This is one of those times,” he said.

McCain said he will leave the campaign trail after delivering an address to former President Clinton’s Global Initiative on Thursday morning. He canceled a Wednesday afternoon taping of The Late Show With David Letterman and a Thursday interview with FOX News. His campaign said he will suspend airing all ads and fundraising until Congress passes bailout legislation.

“We must pass legislation to address this crisis,” he said. “If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees.”

McCain will participate in Friday night’s debate if a bill is passed by Friday morning, his adviser Mark Salter said.

By stepping away from the first debate, McCain he is giving up an opportunity to show off his foreign policy credentials. He had negotiated strongly to make foreign policy, his strong suit, the topic of the first of the three debates. On the other hand, McCain has been criticized for being weak on the issue of economy.

Original Link.