Archive for February, 2009

Obama to Reverse Bush Abortion Regulation

Friday, February 27th, 2009

No surprise here. Between Obama’s track record on this and what he said while campaigning, I expect him to do everything possible to aid in the deaths of as many babies as possible.

President Obama wants to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions.

A Health and Human Services official said Friday the administration will publish notice of its intentions early next week, opening a 30-day comment period for advocates, medical groups and the public. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the notice has not been completed.

The Bush administration instituted the rule in its last days, and it was quickly challenged in federal court by several states and medical organizations. As a candidate, Obama criticized the regulation and campaign aides promised that if elected, he would review it.

The news that he was doing so drew praise from abortion-rights supporters and condemnation from groups opposed to abortion.

“It would be a horrible move. These regulations were a long time coming,” said Tom McClusky, a vice president at Family Research Council. “What they seek to do is protect patients, nurses, doctors and other health care professionals from being forced to violate their consciences.”

McClusky and other abortion opponents said the Bush regulation clarified federal policies and raised awareness about the rights of medical providers to follow their consciences. But abortion rights advocates said it was vague and overly broad, and could reduce access to other services — allowing a drug store clerk to refuse to sell birth control pills, for example.

“I think it’s a wonderful step,” Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., who co-chairs the Congressional Pro-choice Caucus and has introduced legislation to overturn the regulation, said of Obama’s move.

“That rule was actually a poorly drafted last-minute attempt to, I think, restrict health care access and I think it would have had far-reaching and unintended consequences.”

Federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds. The Obama administration supports those laws, said the HHS official.

The Bush administration’s rule adds a requirement that institutions that get federal money certify their compliance with laws protecting the rights of moral objectors. It was intended to block the flow of federal funds to hospitals and other institutions that ignore those rights.

But the Obama administration was concerned that the Bush regulation could also be used to refuse birth control, family planning services and counseling for vaccines and transfusions.

“The administration supports a tightly written conscience clause,” said the HHS official. “While we are concerned about the Bush rule, we also understand there might be a need to clarify existing laws.”

The administration will review comments from the public before making a final decision. Options range from repealing the regulation to writing a new one with a narrower scope.

Original Link.

“The Audacity of Irony – ‘Hope and Change’ Meet Reality” by Victor Davis Hanson

Friday, February 27th, 2009

We have seen irony before, when the moralist Jimmy Carter chastised us with sermons about our paranoid, inordinate fear of Communism and our amoral unconcern with human rights, even as the dividends of his policies were the Soviets in Afghanistan and the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran — and even greater global misery than before.

For the last 24 months a youthful Barack Obama has daily offered unspecified “hope and change” idealism — all set against the supposed cynical wrongdoing of the tired Bush administration. In the unhinged manner in which his supporters turned a center-right president like George Bush into some sort of sinister reactionary, so too they deified a rookie senator as the long-awaited liberal messiah.

How could irony not follow from all that?

For the past seven years the United States has seen no repeat of 9/11, although plots were uncovered and threats from radical Islam were leveled in serial fashion. The ability to intercept and hold terrorists overseas, to tap into cell-phone calls abroad, to detain terrorists caught on the field of battle, and to ensure that intelligence agencies freely swapped information was critical to our unexpected salvation.

Like Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and other wartime presidents (though none of the above witnessed 3,000 Americans butchered on the soil of the United States by foreign agents), George Bush, with strong bipartisan support, enacted new wartime protocols in the effort to protect the security of the United States. Only a fool would suggest that these homeland-security efforts were unnecessary, or that, in unprecedented fashion, they shredded the Constitution.

But such foolish criticism was exactly the sort leveled against the Bush security protocols by candidate Obama. And so almost at the minute he assumed governance, the now President Obama discovered that his Bush the Constitution-shredder had been a clumsy caricature of Bush the sober commander-in-chief. For Obama on the stump, the choices were endless; in the Oval Office suddenly only bad and worse. So the new president, the favorite of the ACLU, is now in the ironic position of maintaining the hated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reforms, keeping the repugnant Patriot Act, retaining “extraordinary renditions,” and continuing — task forces and promises aside — operation of the Gulag at Guantanamo.

There were many legitimate critiques of the Iraq war. But insisting, as Barack Obama did, that we invaded recklessly and in haste was not one of them. From the fall of the Taliban in December 2001 to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the Bush administration deliberately and in public fashion sought debate in the Congress for over a year, received bipartisan authorization, and tried for months to win sanction from the United Nations.

In contrast, Barack Obama immediately upon entering office demanded the largest government expansion in the history of the nation. The staggering debt program will require nearly a trillion dollars in borrowing to fund all sorts of entitlements and redistributive efforts, and in revolutionary fashion redefine the role of government itself. Obama pronounced the current economic crisis the moral equivalent of war, and he wanted a national mobilization to meet it — pronto.

But unlike the Bush administration, which took 15 months to prepare the country for a real war in Iraq, the Obama administration gave the public only a few hours to read the final draft of the legislation before it was made into law. Where the polarizing partisan George Bush managed to obtain the vote of majorities in both parties to remove Saddam Hussein, the healing bipartisan Barack Obama lacked the support of even a single Republican in the House and won over a mere three Republicans in the Senate.

Liberals who once screamed that congressional opponents of the Iraq war were being unfairly tagged as unpatriotic by the Bush administration now yelled louder that the opponents of the Obama debt program were, in fact, unpatriotic.

Bush was pilloried for supposedly hyping al Qaeda in order to create a security state. Obama trumped that by proclaiming that the present recession is a catastrophe, a disaster, a Great Depression. He ceased his scare-mongering only when he had exhausted the vocabulary of doom. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” bragged Rahm Emanuel, reminding us that the envisioned Obama socialism could take root only if a climate of fear was created.

In foreign policy the irony is more telling still.

Obama on the campaign trail either did not grasp that Bush’s second-term foreign policy was largely centrist — or found it politically advantageous to ignore that fact. Either way, irony followed. The problem with Europe’s failing to get tough with Iran, or failing to fight in Afghanistan, or appeasing Russia, was not George Bush, but the nature of Europe. Bush inherited, he did not create, Osama bin Laden, Putin’s authoritarianism, Ahmadinejad’s Iran, Chávez’s Venezuela, Kim Jong Il’s North Korea, Qaddafi’s Libya, or the Dr. A. Q. Khan laboratory.

More often, Bush ameliorated, rather than exacerbated, these problems, by being both tough and, yes, multilateral — as friendly governments in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and India attested. Yet by demonizing George Bush — and that is how Team Obama prefaces each announcement of a new initiative — Obama has only set himself up for more irony. He can continue his first few weeks of damning Bush and emulating Jimmy Carter. But if he does, he will soon see another 9/11-like strike, more Russian pressure on Europe, more North Korean missiles, a bomb in Iran, the restarting of Dr. Khan’s nuclear franchise and its appendages in Libya and Syria, and a theocratic nuclear Pakistan.

One can make many criticisms of the Bush administration — occasional hubris, an inability to communicate its ideas, excessive federal spending, unnecessary bellicose rhetoric not matched always by commensurate action — but corruption is not really one of them. While the Republican Congress gave us Duke Cunningham, Larry Craig, and Mark Foley, the Bush administration itself was one of the most corruption-free in recent memory — no Monicas, no serial Clintongates, no pay-to-play presidential pardons, no shaking down donors for a library and a spousal Senate campaign.

So when Barack Obama of Chicago lineage — with former associates like Tony Rezko, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Mayor Richard Daley, and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright — began offering moral platitudes about his soon-to-be-enacted revolutionary ethics, we expected the irony that always follows such hubris and brings in its wake nemesis.

Now we are witnessing one of the most scandal-plagued incipient administrations of the last half-century. And these ethical embarrassments are doubly ironic. The Treasury secretary and nominal head of the IRS is a tax dodger. The egalitarian liberal Tom Daschle, who was going to make health care accessible for the masses, was caught hiding from the tax man tens of thousands of dollars in free limousine service. Reformist cabinet nominees like Bill Richardson (who has already withdrawn) and Hilda Solis cannot themselves follow the laws they were asked to enforce. The would-be performance czar, Nancy Killefer, did not perform on her taxes. We are now awaiting a third try for commerce secretary. The more Obama railed about his new no-lobbyist policies, the more he issued exemptions for the dozen or more insider lobbyists he hired.

The list of ironies could be expanded. Reps. Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, and Gregory Meeks — infamous for their Fannie Mae laxity — now interrogate supposedly incompetent or greedy bank CEOs. Nancy Pelosi, who demanded that the Speaker of the House in novel fashion receive a government-financed private jet, rails against government-enabled private jets. Bush supposedly politicized the White House, so in reaction Obama moves control of the census — the very linchpin of the American political system — for the first time into the White House. Big Brother comes not through tapping a terrorist’s phone, but, perhaps soon, through having the state collect and centralize everyone’s medical records or monitor the content of talk radio.

Why again the audacious irony of Barack Obama?

First, George Bush was not Judas Iscariot nor was Obama Jesus Christ. In the vast abyss between those two caricatures was plenty of room for hypocrisy. The more Obama claimed moral culpability on the part of the sober Bush, the more he proved his own — either by ratifying in hypocritical fashion many of the Bush policies or by reminding the public that if Texas perennially gives us spurs, six-guns, and bring-’em-on lingo, Chicago entertains us with the likes of Tony Rezko, the Daley machine, Rahm Emanuel, and Blago.

Second, Obama did not duly appreciate the sort of pernicious culture that permeates Washington in general, and the Democratic Congress in particular. While it was easy to say that Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham typified a culture of Republican corruption, the truth was always that they were just the flip side to Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank taking cash from Fannie Mae as it exploded, or Rep. Charles Rangel overseeing the tax code that he serially ignored, or Rep. William Jefferson stashing payoff cash in his fridge. A true messiah would have lamented the bipartisan rot in Washington, and then in Lincolnesque fashion figured out a way to clean up his own party first, and the opposition second.

The truth is that Americans don’t take well to self-appointed holy men like Woodrow Wilson or Jimmy Carter. Yes, we’ve had our rare saints, but they were reluctant moralists like Washington and Lincoln, who were recognized as such only after they had saved the nation and stoically endured slander by enemies in war and at home.

Obama can end his irony only when he accepts that he and his supporters were never saints, and his predecessor not a notable sinner, and then accepts that history will judge him on what he does rather than what he says he might do.

Original Link.

“Has Europe already been conquered by Islam?” by Nathan E. Jones

Friday, February 27th, 2009
“All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man standing. The United States is the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: who lost Europe?”

The quote is from Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker from the Netherlands, which he made in a speech at the Hudson Institute in New York on September 25, 2008. Wilders’ speech addressed the situation on the ground in Europe, the nature of Islam and a video he produced called Fitna.

Mr. Wilders’ speech (full text) and video (watch), while not specifically about Bible prophecy, brings to light many prophetic end-time events that students of Bible prophecy can easily recognize.

The Controversial Fitna

The 17-minute video Wilders made addresses the same warning as his speech—the rapid Islamization of Europe. The video uses only quotes from the Koran and Muslim teachers, news stories and scenes from Islamic events as proof that Europe is quickly becoming Eurasia.

Like a modern-day Paul Revere, Mr. Wilders has been allowed in Israel and the United States to call out his warnings of the impending Islamic takeover. But, in his own European Union, Wilders’ cry goes ignored by its leaders and raged at by liberal and Islamic groups. He’s even been denied entry into Great Britain, following the lead of Indonesia.

Mr. Wilders’ own Dutch government first attempted to prosecute him under Dutch anti-hate speech laws in June 2008, but failed. Again on January 21, 2009, his own court system ordered prosecutors to try him for hate speech, which if convicted, will land Wilders 16 months in jail and a fine of around $12,800. Court costs alone could eliminate his People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, which is most likely the intended tactic of silencing Wilders and eliminating his party’s influence.

Wilders’ Prophetic Warning—to Europe

If there’s any proof that the Netherlands and the European Union in general have already been taken over by Islam, the silencing of a warning by one of their own parliamentarians and the condemnation by European Union leaders are proof that the will to survive has truly been lost in much of Europe.

Fitna merely uses the Koran, news stories and Islam’s own practices to make people aware of what Islam’s intentions and rule would be like. And yet, European leaders have chosen to appease Islam and attempt to silence Mr. Wilders’ warning. Since appeasement always leads to subjugation by a totalitarian ideology, shouldn’t Europe soon be conquered by Islam?

I don’t think one particular European will remain compliant about Islamic takeover for very long. The Antichrist makes his scene like a peaceful, appeasing “dove” (Rev. 6:2), but, once in control, this native of “the people who destroy the Temple” (Dan. 9:26)—the Romans—conquers with a warrior’s spirit (Rev. 6:4). Clearly he will have taken Fitna‘s warning to heart.

What will this leader who believers in Christ call the “Antichrist” use to remove the threat of the Islamic takeover of Europe? Opportunity.

The Book of Daniel foretells the last Gentile world empire will be a confederation of nations (Dan. 2:41-43) that will arise out of the old Roman Empire (Dan. 7:7-8). And out of that confederation, the Antichrist will arise, using the revived Roman Empire as his base to conquer the world (Dan. 7:8, 23-25).

Half of the Roman Empire has quickly been reborn in the form of the European Union. The other half needed to complete the revival of the Roman Empire lies throughout a variety of Muslim nations from North Africa east around the Mediterranean Sea. Europe has been in negotiations with these countries in an attempt to create an economic union called the Mediterranean Union.

The battles of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 & 39 makes the scenario of a Mediterranean Union highly unlikely, though. With the Islamic nations crushed by Israel and God, the leader from the European Union wouldn’t need a Mediterranean Union. Islamic morale will have been shattered and religious dissolution over the existence of Allah will have set in. The European ruler would only have to make a treaty with the only nation left in the Middle East—Israel—which he does in Daniel 9:27, and just walk right into the already defeated Islamic nations and subjugate them. Once the revived Roman Empire is consolidated, the Antichrist will bring world war upon the rest of the world, eliminating any vestiges of rivaling totalitarianism like Islam and forcing the nations of the world into subjugation to his empire (Dan. 8:24; Rev. 6:2-8). He’ll have to contend with the other absolute ideologies like Judaism and Tribulation believers of Christ, which he does (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-14). But overall, the world will be his to force to obey a new religion unknown to his fathers—the worship of himself (Dan. 11:38; 2 Thes. 2:4).

The Antichrist’s final Gentile empire will be short-lived, though, for it will be utterly defeated by the return of the Messiah who will “set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed” (Daniel 2:44).

Other Warnings

Read more of Geert Wilders’ warnings to:
Jews | Islam | Europe | Israel | America

Original Link.

“The Right Not To Be Offended?” by David Harsanyi

Friday, February 27th, 2009

It’s a discredit to our national confidence that each time some impolite thought — perceived or otherwise — is uttered, sketched or typed, a faction of professionally offended Americans engages in a collective hypersensitivity meltdown.

It has been a long-standing custom for opponents to shut down debate by tagging adversaries with some dreadful labels. No one wants to be called a racist, a Commie or a neocon. It’s gotten to the point that the gatekeepers of the news walk so tepidly on the path of least resistance a journalist can’t even get a dirty joke in the newspaper.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently claimed that we, as a nation, have been cowards on the topic of race. And maybe he’s right. Some Americans are cowards. Other Americans — the ones in the media — worry that Al Sharpton might show up in their doorways and shake down their kids for allowance money.

Sean Delonas, cartooning at the New York Post, recently learned what happens when you inadvertently offend. He equated congressional authors of the so-called stimulus bill with that crazy rampaging chimpanzee (admittedly an unpardonable insult to our simian cousins). But some readers saw Barack Obama. So the situation has erupted into a massively stupid kerfuffle.

Now, I don’t doubt that many readers of this admittedly unfortunate cartoon legitimately were offended. So let’s, for the sake of argument, concede that the cartoonist is a raging racist. What now?

In protests this week, students at a New York college urged boycotts, began burning newspapers — a hop, skip and jump from burning books! — and demanded that anyone involved with the cartoon be fired. Fair enough.

But now the Rev. Al has ordered a meeting with the Federal Communications Commission so he — a man who has set off more chaos, loathing and racism in New York than any cartoonist — can discuss the ownership of the Post. The FCC, according to Sharpton, has acquiesced to meet in Washington.

As an antiquated government entity, the FCC controls the public airwaves and ownership of media companies. What if it meets with Sharpton and then moves against the New York Post’s owner?

We largely have avoided the corrosive trend of chilling free speech — though discussions about the “Fairness Doctrine” (and its derivatives), which allows government to dictate what opinions Americans should hear on the public airwaves, remains a hobbyhorse for some lefties.

A media outlet, of course, is under no obligation to print something that gratuitously offends readers, and it would be counterproductive for it to do so. But umbrage often is taken regardless. Should an angry conservative leader have met with the FCC to discuss the future of The Washington Post’s ownership when one of the paper’s cartoonists depicted an American solider as a suicide bomber a few years ago? Imagine the outrage such a move would have caused.

Recently, Geert Wilders — a Dutch politician who produced the film “Fitna,” which asserts that Islam is a threat to enlightened Western values — was refused entry into the United Kingdom because of that nation’s policy to “stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages.”

The British proved Wilders’ point about Islam’s influence by suppressing free expression. The case of Wilders, who is in the U.S. right now, offers a cautionary lesson.

Feel free to be indignant and hurt. Feel free to boycott and to cast nasty aspersions on the decency of those who offend you. But let’s keep government out of it. If we’re not careful, the war against offensive speech could morph into a war against free speech.

Original Link.

DHS Secretary Alarmed that Immigration Laws Enforced

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Excuse me?? Isn’t it her job to make sure immigration laws are enforced?? What is wrong with these people!!

From Michelle Malkin:

Oh, the open-borders crowd’s heads are exploding.

Under President Obama and DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s watch, federal immigration agents had the nerve to — gasp! — enforce immigration laws.

How could this happen? Quick, launch an investigation! This must not be allowed to stand!

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday ordered a review of a raid at an engine plant in Washington State that resulted in the arrests of 28 people suspected of being illegal immigrants.

A high-level official in the Department of Homeland Security said that Ms. Napolitano had not been informed about the raid on Tuesday before it happened, and that she was seeking details about its planning and scope.

“She was not happy about it because it’s inconsistent with her position, and the president’s position on these matters,” said the official, who agreed to discuss the matter on condition of anonymity because the secretary had not authorized the conversation.

You can be sure the taxpayer-funded National Council of Raza will use all the earmark money it will be receiving to lobby aggressively for comprehensive shamnesty:

The National Council of La Raza urged supporters to call the White House and demand Mr. Obama lay out his immigration policy, while the National Immigration Forum said the raid was an unwelcome continuation of Bush administration policies.

“What are Latino and immigrant voters to think? They turn out in massive numbers and vote for change and yet ‘change we can believe in’ turns out to be ‘business as usual,’ ” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the forum.

He called for a halt to the raids while Homeland Security conducts its review of immigration policies.

As for the poor, innocent workers nabbed in the raid, guess what? The raid was the result of a gang investigation:

“Information derived from two gang members previously arrested in an ICE gang operation led to the initiation of the work-site investigation at Yamato Engine Specialists,” said press secretary Kelly Nantel. “Follow-up investigation uncovered a potentially large number of illegally employed workers. ICE conducted the operation in order to identify and if appropriate, apprehend any unauthorized workers and to further determine potential criminal activity.”

Homeland Security officials worried about gang and criminal activity?

This must not stand!

Original Link.

“The Taxpayers’ Mantra: No We Won’t” by Laura Hollis

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Last week I gave my take on the trillion dollar “stimulus” package Obama and the Congressional Democrats shoved down America’s throat – that 1100+ page leviathan that no one read before it was voted on. I warned that the “Keynesian” policies it supposedly reflected were long-since discredited, that it would throw us more deeply into economic chaos, that this was deliberate, that it was little more than a thinly disguised effort to socialize the entire American economy, and that one need only read 80 years of communist and socialist theory to see it for what it was.

Just one week later, what has happened? The markets reacted to the signing of the bill by falling over 300 points. Obama announced yet another multi-billion dollar “bailout” – this one allegedly for homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages (and this despite a 40-60% redefault rate!). $75 billion for them, and $400 billion for who? Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-government entities that deceptively repackaged and sold the worthless mortgage-backed securities (under pressure from special interest groups) that set this economic collapse in motion. And now the government is talking about nationalizing the banks.

Obama’s shills like to point to his poll numbers as proof of public support. Garbage. The markets – the only “poll” that matters – fell to a twelve-year low yesterday. They drop every time this guy opens his mouth. At this rate, by the end of Tuesday’s State of the Union address, we’ll be the Weimar Republic.

We are having hundreds of billions of our hard-earned tax dollars taken from us and given to the same organizations that got us in this mess, under the advice and counsel of the same irresponsible and deceitful politicians like Barney Frank and others who ignored warnings about the bad lending practices in the first place. And those same politicians now see fit to lecture us about patriotism and fiscal responsibility? This is a travesty so appalling that it should be prompting protests in the streets.

As hardworking, tax-paying Americans have watched this Obamadrama play out, they have become increasingly distressed, saying, “But what do we do?”

We start saying NO. Obama’s campaign mantra was “Yes, we can.” Here’s the new mantra for the American taxpayer: “No, we won’t.”

The Obama administration looks bold, calm and confident, but they have one primal fear, and it isn’t economic collapse. The Obamaniacs are terrified that Americans will see through the charade.

Obama and the Congressional Communists are counting on the American taxpayers to do what they have always done: gripe a bit, then hunker down, work even harder, and pay even more taxes. At the first hint of grumbling, they’ll pronounce the usual platitudes about “shared sacrifice,” “patriotism” and “belt-tightening.” They’ve already done that. But Americans have seen through it. Where’s the “shared sacrifice” if you’re cutting back to make your mortgage payment, and the government hits you up to pay some stranger’s mortgage as well? And it’s hard to call for belt-tightening when Congress clamors to sign the bill within hours of receiving it so that Nancy Pelosi can jet off to Rome for a private audience with the Pope, and President Obama can ride a taxpayer-funded 747 back to Chicago to take Michelle out for a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. (What, there aren’t any restaurants in D.C.?)

When the grumbling gets a little louder than usual, when appeals to patriotism don’t work, they’ll ratchet up the next level of shibboleths: accusations of “greed,” “selfishness,” and (that trusty old standby) “racism.”

Americans’ response must be the same: “No. That won’t work anymore.”

What’s needed here is some good old-fashioned civil disobedience. The Fairness Doctrine is the best place to start.

Read the rest of the article here.

Prediction: California Supreme Court will Negate Proposition 8

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I don’t think any one issue has polarized the people of California and the United States as a whole.
Last year, California passed a ballot initiative, Proposition 8, that defines marriage as only between a man and woman and would amend the California Constitution to reflect that.
Every previous attempt to pass similar amendment propositions were thrown out by the California courts.
I predict that the California courts, who have done everything within their power in the past to force homosexual “marriage” down the throats of Californians, will also negate Proposition 8.
Here’s how they will do it:
There are two ways to change the California Constitution, one being a “revision” and the other being an “amendment”.
A revision requires approval of 2/3 of the California State Senate, 2/3 of the California State Assembly, and 2/3 of the voters on Election Day. A revision is defined as a “substantial alteration of the entire constitution”.
An amendment, on the other hand, only requires the majority from the voters and is defined as “a less extensive change in one or more of [the constitution’s] provisions.
Proposition 8 was passed as an amendment. It added Article 1, Section 7.5 to the California Constitution, wich said, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
So is this a revision or an amendment?
My guess is that the courts, who, as I stated above, has tried to impose the homosexual agenda on Californians, will decide that Proposition 8 is a revision instead of an amendment and therefore void.
Let’s continue to watch this issue and see if I’m correct.

Several members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee filed a friend-of-the-court brief last week asking the California Supreme Court to overturn [Proposition 8]. The Associated Press reports the committee voted 7-3 to support a resolution saying citizens lacked the authority to put the homosexual “marriage” ban directly to voters.

Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute says they have taken another step. “[They are having] the legislative branch intervene and encourage the judicial branch in its ruling,” she explains. “So, basically they’re thumbing their nose at the will of the people and trying to tell the court how it should rule in the upcoming decision on whether Proposition 8 should be a valid amendment to the constitution.”

Lawmakers also argue that the amendment declaring marriage to be between one man and one woman discriminates against homosexuals. One assemblyman compared the situation to racial equality, saying that interracial marriages might still be illegal if the issue were left to public opinion rather than the courts.

Original Link.

Iranian Reactor Highlights World’s Failure to Act

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Speaking to my friends in Israel, we are all in agreement that the world is expecting the Iranian president to act as a westerner would act, in other words, with restraint and some level of sanity. We (my friends and I) do not expect this. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stated his goal of eliminating Israel quite publicly. He will continue to feed the western diplomats platitudes, while he continues to develop enough nuclear materials to build a nuclear weapon. A weapon we believes he intends to us on Israel.
Starting up their first reactor is a major step toward realizing Ahmadinejad dream of a second Jewish holocaust.

The activation of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran demonstrates the international community’s failure to stop the Islamic republic and the possibility that it will obtain a nuclear weapon, senior defense officials said Wednesday.

“If they were not stopped until now, it is very possible that Iran will succeed in becoming a nuclear country,” one senior defense official told The Jerusalem Post. “Israel, though, is not the only country that needs to be concerned. Iran is also a threat to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other countries in the Gulf,” the official added.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Wednesday that the test run at Bushehr and Iran’s claims that it had increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium to 6,000 constituted an existential threat to Israel.

“Israel’s policy is clear: We are not ruling out any option regarding the Iranian nuclear [program] and we recommend that others don’t rule out any option either,” Barak said in an address at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, in a hint to US President Barack Obama’s administration. “A dialogue with Iran should be defined and limited in time.”

“Time is running out. Clear and decisive sanctions against the Iranian regime, alongside readiness to consider necessary actions in case the sanctions don’t work, are necessary,” Barak said. He added that Russia has had a crucial role in pressuring Iran, and that sanctions without Russia’s participation would be meaningless.

The power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr, built with Russian help, is meant to be the first in a number of reactors for an energy program. But the opening of the 1,000-megawatt light water reactor has long been delayed by construction and supply glitches. The United States for a time tried to dissuade Russia from helping the project.

It’s unclear when the reactor could be switched on.

The tests, which began 10 days ago, “could take between four and seven months,” Iran’s nuclear chief, Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, told reporters at Bushehr. It was not known how long after the tests the reactor could start up.

The plant, which will run on enriched uranium imported from Russia, has worried the West because the spent fuel could be turned into plutonium, a potential material for nuclear warheads.

US concerns over the reactor softened after Iran agreed to return spent fuel to Russia to ensure Teheran does not reprocess it into plutonium. Washington largely dropped its opposition to the project and argued instead that the Russia fuel deal showed that Iran did not need its own domestic uranium enrichment program. Russia’s fuel deliveries to Iran began in 2007.

Enrichment is a concern because while low-enriched uranium is used as fuel for a reactor, higher-enriched uranium can be used to build a bomb. In the enrichment process, uranium gas is pumped through a series of centrifuges and spun at supersonic speeds to remove impurities.

Aghazadeh announced that 6,000 centrifuges were now operating at Iran’s enrichment facility in Natanz. He said Iran hoped to install more than 50,000 centrifuges there over the next five years. “We are doing what we need to do in Natanz on the basis of a specific time schedule,” he told a press conference.

Iran says it intends to use the enriched uranium fuel in its first domestically-built nuclear power plant in Darkhovin, which it wants to start operating in 2016. Aghazadeh said any delay in enrichment would mean a delay in opening Darkhovin.

Read the rest of the article here.




Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Veteran Group Home Counselor Suspended for Six Weeks for “Exposing Teenagers to Christian Music”

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Do what? Are these people serious? This woman was suspended because the teenagers she was taking care of actually overheard Christian music for a few minutes? Have these officials lost their minds?
Oh wait…Orange County, California. Ah…that explains a lot.

A lawsuit has been filed against Orange County by a veteran group home counselor who was suspended six weeks for exposing four teenagers to Christian music. The counselor is represented by affiliate and staff attorneys of Pacific Justice Institute.

The lawsuit states that, in the summer of 2006, the counselor took four teenage girls from the Orangewood Children’s Home on an approved field trip to a 5K run and then to the beach. At the beach, the group encountered a “Surf Jam” taking place at the Huntington Beach pier. The group also overheard Christian music for about ten minutes while they were eating.

Following the beach outing, the counselor, an eighteen-year employee, was summoned to a disciplinary meeting focusing on the Christian music. Several months later, the same incident was brought up again and the counselor was slapped with a six-week suspension for “exposing children to unapproved religious activities.”

After many months of exhausting state administrative remedies, the counselor filed suit late last week in Orange County Superior Court to recover the financial losses she suffered from the suspension and to vindicate her constitutional rights. The counselor is represented by John and Laurie Messerly Stewart, attorneys in Orange, California, and the Pacific Justice Institute.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, commented, “What happened to this counselor was insane and unjust. Allowing teenagers to overhear a few minutes of Christian music while at the beach should not result in a six-week suspension.”

Original Link.

“Obama Administration Betraying Israel” by Michael G. Mickey

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

If you thought things were bad and getting worse here in the United States of America before President Obama took office, I have some more discouraging news for you. The future isn’t looking any better and this time? The discouraging news doesn’t have a thing to do with poor lending practices by banks, bailouts needed or anything of that nature. Today’s commentary is about a stern promise God made to Abraham long ago concerning the nation of Israel and our new president’s willingness, based on reports, to overlook it.

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.

It doesn’t get much plainer than that, does it? If you want your nation to be blessed, bless the nation that God has asked you to. If you prefer to be cursed by God, roll with Satan and those who bow to his desire to see Israel wiped from the face of the earth and take your lumps! That’s it, simply put.

So, how is the Obama administration performing in relation to blessing Israel? It depends on who you ask – and who you believe. While the Obama administration is paying lip service to being concerned with the welfare of Israel, from the outset of President Obama’s term in office he has been cuddling up to Israel’s enemies. His first telephone call to a foreign head of state, for example? Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinians. His first television interview? On an Arabic television station, but there’s more to consider.

Israel National News is reporting that Chas Freeman, “former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, considered a sharp critic of Israel, is to be named to a top intelligence post in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.” The headline of that story? New U.S. Intel Chief: Support of Israel Not a U.S. Interest

Support of Israel not a U.S. interest? Clearly, assuming INN‘s story is accurate, the Obama administration doesn’t understand God’s promise of blessing and curse found in Genesis 12:3!

The INN report contains two excerpts of speeches made by Freeman, both of which make it clear to me that he has bought into the precise logic that I have stated in the past is going to lead the world into isolating Israel as foretold in Bible prophecy. The logic of which I speak is this in a nutshell:

Radical Islamic terrorists hate Israel. They pose a threat to the United States primarily because we support Israel in its stubborn refusal to cease to exist as a nation. Therefore, theoretically, if the United States would care less about Israel, terrorists would be less interested in targeting and attacking us.

Below are the aforementioned excerpts of Freeman’s speeches (emphasis added mine).

“American identification with Israeli policy has also become total. Those in the region and beyond it who detest Israeli behavior, which is to say almost everyone, now naturally extend their loathing to Americans. This has had the effect of universalizing anti-Americanism, legitimizing radical Islamism, and gaining Iran a foothold among Sunni as well as Shiite Arabs. For its part, Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians; it strives instead to pacify them. Palestinian retaliation against this policy is as likely to be directed against Israel’s American backers as against Israel itself. Under the circumstances, such retaliation – whatever form it takes – will have the support or at least the sympathy of most people in the region and many outside it. This makes the long-term escalation of terrorism against the United States a certainty, not a matter of conjecture.”

And…

“We destroyed the Iraqi state and catalyzed anarchy, sectarian violence, terrorism, and civil war in that country… Meanwhile, we embraced Israel’s enemies as our own; they responded by equating Americans with Israelis as their enemies. We abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israel’s efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoized Arab populations. We wring our hands while sitting on them as the Jewish state continues to seize ever more Arab land for its colonists. This has convinced most Palestinians that Israel cannot be appeased and is persuading increasing numbers of them that a two-state solution is infeasible. It threatens Israelis with an unwelcome choice between a democratic society and a Jewish identity for their state. Now the United States has brought the Palestinian experience – of humiliation, dislocation, and death – to millions more in Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel and the United States each have our reasons for what we are doing, but no amount of public diplomacy can persuade the victims of our policies that their suffering is justified, or spin away their anger, or assuage their desire for reprisal and revenge.”

Israel is a real problem for the United States, isn’t it? It’s a burdensome stone of sorts in Mr. Freeman’s opinion. Interesting to me is Mr. Freeman’s statement above that we “embraced Israel’s enemies as our own” as though the war on terror was initiated by us as an act of allegiance to Israel! I wonder where he was on September 11th, 2001. Regardless, great to know that Mr. Freeman is going to be having a voice in the Obama administration where our relationship with Israel is concerned, huh?

And then there is the following from Forbes.com, the headline of which alone is enough to make me sweat bullets for our nation – The Obama Administration Sacrifices Israel. Again the emphasis added below is mine.

The Obama administration’s decision to join the planning of the U.N.’s Durban II “anti-racism” conference has just taken a new twist: cover-up. On Friday, State Department officials and a member of the American Durban II delegation claimed the United States had worked actively to oppose efforts to brand Israel as racist in the committee drafting a Durban II declaration. The trouble is that they didn’t.

The Feb. 20 State Department press release says the U.S. delegation in Geneva “outline[d] our concerns with the current outcome document” and in particular “our strong reservations about the direction of the conference, as the draft document singles out Israel for criticism.” One member of the delegation told The Washington Post: “The administration is pushing back against efforts to brand Israel as racist in this conference.” In fact, tucked away in a Geneva hall with few observers, the U.S. had done just the opposite. The U.S. delegates had made no objection to a new proposal to nail Israel in an anti-racism manifesto that makes no other country-specific claims.

Imagine that! A liberal State Department telling Americans what the vast majority of us wants to hear concerning our relationship with Israel yet doing the opposite behind closed doors and covering it up, endangering us all in the process. Who would’ve guessed it, especially coming from the messiah of liberalism’s cronies?

Conclusion

Zechariah 12:3: And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

It appears, from the outside looking in, that the Obama administration’s State Department has started the betrayal of Israel foretold in Bible prophecy. As we see in God’s Word, both in Zechariah 12:3 and Genesis 12:3, the Lord isn’t going to take kindly to it!

Mr. Obama campaigned on a platform of Hope and Change. If the stories above are any indication of his plans for our nation’s foreign policy and future direction, there is no Hope whatsoever that America’s current problems are going to be solved during this president’s time in office. Rather, rough waters lie ahead. Nonetheless, keep your eyes on the skies, Christians! Jesus Christ is Lord and He is coming soon!

Original Link.

Branch of Israel – Anointing Oil from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Branch of Israel – Anointing Oil.

Branch of Israel - Anointing Oil

Take a moment to see all of the other interesting items they stock.




Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Oklahoma House Passes Sovereignty Bill to Reassert Constitutional Rights

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

I can see handwriting on the wall of where all of this is leading, and it scares me. Turn to the 18th century history in your history books. Pay real close attention to the md to late 1700’s era. The go to the 19th century and read about the 1850’s and 1860’s.
But I agree with these types of bills. It’s time for the people to be heard and if the federal government won’t listen to us as individuals, maybe they will listen to us as states.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
-George Santayana

NEW YORK – Oklahoma’s House of Representatives is the first legislative body to pass a state sovereignty resolution this year under the terms of the Tenth Amendment.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 1003 Feb. 18 by a wide margin, 83 to 13, resolving, “That the State of Oklahoma hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States.”

The language of HJR 1003 further serves notice to the federal government “to cease and desist, effectively immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.”

The sponsor of the resolution, state Rep. Charles Key, told WND the measure was a ‘big step toward addressing the biggest problem we have in this country – the federal government violating the supreme law of the land.”

“The Constitution either means what it says, or it doesn’t mean anything at all,” Key said. “The federal government must honor and obey the Constitution, just like the states and this citizens of this country are obligated to do, or our system of government begins to fall apart.”

The Ninth Amendment reads, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Tenth Amendment specifically provides, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

As WND reported, eight states have introduced resolutions declaring state sovereignty under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution: Arizona, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Washington.

Analysts expect 12 additional states may see similar measures introduced this year, including Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Maine and Pennsylvania.

Key argued that whenever “we allow the federal government, or any other government entity, to violate the Constitution, we destroy the Constitution one piece at a time.”

“We have gone so far down that path that the Constitution is hanging by a thread right now,” he said.

Last year, the same resolution introduced by Key passed the Oklahoma House, but the floor leader in the Senate, Democrat Sen. Charles Lassiter, used his authority to block consideration of the measure on the Senate floor.

Original Link.

Obama to America: Tighten your belts

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Tighten Our Belts? Obama introduces the largest spending bill in the history of the world (and no, I’m not exaggerating), wants another one to be passed right away, and yet he has the nerve to tell us to tighten our belts?
Here’s the key words here: “too-few regulations”. More ways to the means for Socialization of America.

WASHINGTON – The president told the nation tonight the “day of reckoning has arrived” for Americans after a spree of extravagant buying, too-few regulations and not enough long-term financial planning.

Obama said he will submit a budget this week that he sees as a vision for America and a blueprint for the future.

He says the budget will reflect the harsh reality of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, one for which he was quick to blame his predecessor, Republican George W. Bush. [Just so everyone understands this, the relaxation of the lending standards, that has lead to the credit crisis, was instigated by Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush -ed.]

“While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover,” Obama said in his televised speech before a joint session of Congress with all the trappings of a State of the Union Address. “And the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”

Five weeks after taking office, Obama pressed the case for his economic revival plans that includes a health-care system overhaul, new centralized education priorities and investment in alternative energy sources.

The markets remained skeptical. U.S. stocks plunged to a 12-year low yesterday, but the markets rallied on today on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s assurances that the country’s troubled banks should be able to weather the downturn without being nationalized.

Obama said he has begun scrutinizing the budget and has identified $2 trillion in costs that can be cut over the next decade.

Obama, who will roll out his first budget proposal to Congress Thursday, has vowed to halve the federal deficit by the end of his term.

“My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue,” Obama said in the prepared remarks. “It reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited – a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a rising star in the Republican Party and a potential presidential candidate in 2012, entitled his rebuttal “Americans can do anything.”

Jindal insisted Republicans were ready to work with him on economic solutions but also tore into the president and Democrats who control Congress for passing legislation he said will not grow the economy but instead “saddle future generations with debt.”

Original Link.

Home Mortgage Relief for Millions of Illegals

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

It still amazes me that illegal aliens can even buy houses and property, but now they can partake of the governments proposed mortgage relief plan. Remember, these are people who don’t pay federal income taxes. They are not doing anything to repay the massive tax debt law abiding people are going to be forced to carry for decades to come. With this being the case, why are they going to be allowed to take part in the relief plan?

Illegal aliens can apply for mortgage relief under the Obama administration’s $275 billion plan, according to immigration experts and a group the government will use to help homeowners modify loans.

Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., told WND approximately 1 million households headed by illegal immigrants acquired mortgages
through the beginning of 2007, before the housing bubble burst.

“There is no legal prohibition against illegal immigrants owning homes,” he said, “and in most cases mortgage lenders will accept a taxpayer ID or a Matricula Consular card issued by a Mexican Consulate office as identification to illegal immigrants from Mexico.”

Chad Buchanan, a manager at SaveMyHomeUSA – a group cooperating with the Obama administration that assists homeowners facing foreclosure – told WND illegal immigrants who own a home “could certainly apply under our program.”

“We don’t target or go after illegal immigrant customers,” he said. “But if an illegal immigrant owns a home legally, we could try to help them under our program.

SaveMyHomeUSA is seeking job applications for loan modification processors to work in the Obama administration mortgage modification program.

“A lot of mortgage modifiers out there never ask about the legal immigration status of the homeowner, and we do not ask either,” Buchanan said. “This is the first time I’ve had that question asked. All we are looking to do is to modify the current note, regardless what the legal immigration status of the client is.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Obama Speech, Fed Gives Hope, Stockmarket Up, It’s All in the Timing

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Much like Bill Clinton did on the eve of his impeachment by firing cruise missiles into empty tents in the Middle Eastern desert, so Obama does with a comment from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Does anyone really believe, for one instant, that Bernanke’s comment to Congress concerning the length of the recession and the corresponding stock market surge based on his comments, were anything but planned and executed by orders from the White House in order for Obama to have a positive note in people’s minds before his speech last night?
Ah yes, “The One” knows how to play your emotions like a finely tuned harp.
Let’s examine Chairman Bernanke’s words more closely;
From Fox News:

Bernanke said the economy is likely to keep shrinking in the first six months of this year after posting its worst slide in a quarter-century at the end of 2008.

Bernanke said he hoped the recession will end this year, but that there were significant risks to that forecast. Any economic turnaround will hinge on the success of the Fed and the Obama administration in getting credit and financial markets to operate more normally again.

“Only if that is the case, in my view there is a reasonable prospect that the current recession will end in 2009 and that 2010 will be a year of recovery,” Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee.

That — along with the Fed chief’s remarks that regulators don’t intend to nationalize banks — was enough to buoy Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrials added more than 236 points and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index also rose, a day after both hit their lowest levels since 1997.

Yet Bernanke’s statement about not nationalizing the banks apparently doesn’t agree with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner plans:

In addition, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has revamped a controversial $700 billion bank bailout program to include steps to partner with the private sector to buy rotten assets held by banks as well as expand government ownership stakes in them — all with the hopes of freeing up lending. The Obama administration also will spend $75 billion to stem home foreclosures.

Nationalization is defined as “the act of taking an industry or assets into the public ownership of a national government or state”. (Wikipedia Link Here)
By definition, they ARE starting to nationalize the banking industry.

I’m tell you folks, Emperor Obama is going to undo over 200 years of personal freedom, and at best, rewrite our nation in a socialist entity. At worst, our democracy will end and Obama or some other charismatic individual will seize sole power.
Some of you folks make fun of me for calling Obama “Emperor”. But can’t you see that is actually a possibility based on the way things are currently proceeding? Think about it.

WASHINGTON –The economy is suffering a “severe contraction,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday. But he planted a glimmer of hope that the recession might end this year if the government managed to prop up the shaky banking system, and Wall Street rallied.

Bernanke said the economy is likely to keep shrinking in the first six months of this year after posting its worst slide in a quarter-century at the end of 2008.

Bernanke said he hoped the recession will end this year, but that there were significant risks to that forecast. Any economic turnaround will hinge on the success of the Fed and the Obama administration in getting credit and financial markets to operate more normally again.

“Only if that is the case, in my view there is a reasonable prospect that the current recession will end in 2009 and that 2010 will be a year of recovery,” Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee.

That — along with the Fed chief’s remarks that regulators don’t intend to nationalize banks — was enough to buoy Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrials added more than 236 points and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index also rose, a day after both hit their lowest levels since 1997.

Among the risks to any recovery are if economic and financial troubles in other countries turn out to be worse than anticipated, which would hurt U.S. exports and further aggravate already fragile financial conditions in the United States.

Another concern is that the Fed and other Washington policymakers won’t be able to break a vicious cycle where disappearing jobs, tanking home values and shrinking nest eggs are forcing consumers to cut back sharply, worsening the economy’s tailspin. In turn, battered companies lay off more people and cut back in other ways.

“To break that adverse feedback loop, it is essential that we continue to complement fiscal stimulus with strong government action to stabilize financial institutions and financial markets,” Bernanke said.

In an effort to revive the economy, the Fed has slashed a key interest rate to an all-time low and Obama recently signed a $787 billion stimulus package of increased government spending and tax cuts.

In addition, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has revamped a controversial $700 billion bank bailout program to include steps to partner with the private sector to buy rotten assets held by banks as well as expand government ownership stakes in them — all with the hopes of freeing up lending. The Obama administration also will spend $75 billion to stem home foreclosures.

Those and other bold steps — including a soon-to-be-operational program to boost the availability of consumer loans — for autos, education, credit cards and other things — should over time provide relief and promote an economic recovery, Bernanke said. That program is “about to open,” he told lawmakers, without providing an exact date.

Original Link.

AP Reporter, Jennifer Loven, Praises Obama Speech Before It’s Delivered

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

In one of the worst cases of acting the Obama shill, AP reporter, Jennifer Loven, describes the chamber’s reaction to Obama’s speech, before it even occurred. This report was filed February 24 at 03:22 PM US/Eastern time, almost five hours before he made his speech.
In her “reality”, Ms. Loven sees Obama-messiah worshippers falling all over themselves for the chance to touch the hem of his suit coat. She sees a gallery packed with people, a floor crammed with “Supreme Court justices, all but one Cabinet member—held away in case disaster strikes” (implying he would have moved heaven and earth to be there, but was forced not to be) “- and nearly every member of Congress.”
One point she seems oblivious to is that during other administrations, they to enjoyed a packed gallery, a floor full of Supreme Court justices, all but one Cabinet member—who was held away in case disaster strikes, and nearly every member of Congress. This is not something unique to “The One”.
Once again, a shinning example of Obama’s “Department of Propaganda”, formerly known as the Main Stream Media. Sickening.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Standing before a nation on an economic precipice, President Barack Obama aimed to balance candor with can-do Tuesday night in his first address to a joint session of Congress. Millions more anxious Americans were tuning in on TV.

Obama was arguing that his still-unfolding economic revival plan has room for—even demands—a broader agenda including dramatic increases in health care coverage and wiser, “greener” fuel use. He was addressing an ebullient Democratic congressional majority and an embattled but reinvigorated GOP minority as well as worried viewers at home.

Just five weeks after his inauguration, Obama wasn’t charged with producing a formal State of the Union status report. But for all intents and purposes, that’s what it was: a night for the president to sketch out his priorities in a setting unmatched the rest of the year.

He enters the chamber to lawmakers of both parties hanging into the aisle for a chance to shake his hand or exchange a word. The gallery is filled, including a special section hosted by first lady Michelle Obama in which guests are selected to serve as living symbols of the president’s goals. Cramming the floor are the leaders of the federal government: Supreme Court justices, all but one Cabinet member—held away in case disaster strikes—and nearly every member of Congress.

Pre-speech, the White House blitzed the airwaves, talking up Obama’s plans but tamping down any expectations of high-flying rhetoric, splashy headlines or fancy new initiatives.

Wall Street was in a better mood than it had been in for days: Stocks were up after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession might end this year.

Comments on Obama’s address came in early from Republicans, many hours before he had uttered a word. [Isn’t that calling the kettle black, Ms. Loven, since you did exactly the same thing with this report? -ed.]

“House Republicans stand united in willingness to work with this president to try and tackle the very tough economic situation that is facing our families, to try and make some of the tough decisions together,” said House GOP Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. But Republicans would stick to their principles, he said: “One is that Washington shouldn’t be spending money that we don’t have. And two, we shouldn’t be raising taxes on businesses and families that can’t afford to pay them.”

The young, charismatic governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, was chosen to deliver the televised GOP response to the Democratic president. Considered a likely presidential contender in 2012, Jindal has been an outspoken critic of what many Republicans call the wasteful spending in Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package, even raising the possibility of rejecting some of the money designated for his state. But he also has praised Obama for reaching out to his party.

Original Link.

“A Dutch Hero Comes to Warn Us, Seek Our Support. The Incomparable Geert Wilders, MP, in New York City” by Phyllis Chesler

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

“I have come to warn you of a great threat. Free speech is no longer a given, we must now battle for our birthright. We are looking at the end of democracy, the slavery of women, the death of gays. While there might be moderate Muslims, there is no such thing as moderate Islam. Islam is not a religion, it is a political and totalitarian ideology.”

Some would say that these are fighting words.

Indeed, Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, is fighting for Western liberty and Western values, as rooted in the legacies of “Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem.” This is the legacy he wishes to leave the “children of Europe,” as opposed to the legacy of “Mecca and Gaza.” Wilders is fighting for us all, his fight is our fight. As he said earlier today, “it is not about (him) but about Free Speech.” Today he may be a “criminal, tomorrow, anyone of us might be considered a criminal too,” for telling the truth about the danger that Islam poses to Western democracy. “Today I may be put behind bars. I am not the issue. Will free speech be put behind bars?”

“It is not 8:55pm. It is 11:55pm. We will lose everything.”

Wilders is very blond, quite trim, and well tailored, both matter-of-fact and charming in a way that does not come across in still photos. Wilders’ Dutch and Scandinavian entourage: other members of Parliament, such as Barry Madlener, of the Party of Freedom, (PVV), with whom I sat, and Lars Hedegaard, (the head of The Free Speech Society–Denmark), were all impossibly handsome, healthy, fluent in English, and heartbreakingly serious.

“The Left has hated Christianity for decades. Now, it demands respect for Islam. Guess why? The Left and Islam are both opposed to criticism of any kind. Where the Left and Islam come together, freedom will always suffer.”

Wilders attributes the erosion of Western sanity and courage to the infernal doctrine of “multicultural relativism which has fatefully weakened the West.” Such politically correct beliefs have led to the liberal Dutch Labor Party’s initiation of the lawsuit against Wilders. While the public prosecutor’s office declined to prosecute Wilders for “hate speech,” (hundreds of people wrote to the Prosecutors on Wilders’ behalf), the liberals appealed their ruling to the High Court in Amsterdam which actually overruled the public prosecutor’s decision. Wilders is on his way to appeal this last decision in the Dutch Supreme Court. He says, wryly, that the lawsuits may last until 2015.

There we all were, on a cold and sunny day in February, the creme de la creme of New York’s anti-jihadists, gathered together in Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant, to honor Geert Wilders, all of us the guests of The Hudson–New York Briefing Council. The tall and elegant Dr. Herbert London, the author of a new and wonderful book, America’s Secular Challenge. The Rise of a New National Religion presided. I was so happy to see him and many others, including Anne Bayefsky, Dr. Anat Berko, Dr. Andrew Bostom, Helen Freedman, Ibn Warraq, Joel Mowbray, Deroy Murdock, Pierre Rehov, Claudia Rossett, Ilyse Wilpon, Tim Wilson, and Barbara Winston, all of whom do extraordinary anti-terrorist and anti-jihadi work. I was honored to be among them. (Other important people were present but I am not at liberty to divulge their names).

Wilders said: “The liberals are blinded by multicultural relativism.”

Ah yes, we have all written as much dozens of times, hundreds of times, and the “great disdain” of the leftists and liberals for this particular sentence is something that Wilders also knows a great deal about. But, Wilders points out, these same “leftists and liberals participate in demonstrations where they shout ‘Death to the Jews.’ They bring shame upon Europe.” Wilders asks: “Are we going to sell Israel, our dearest ally, out?”

Read the rest of the article here.

Fact Check: Obama’s Words on Home Aid Ring Hollow

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Everything Emperor Obama says rings hollow. We all need to realize that the only thing Obama wants is power. As long as the economy is bad, he can continue to do away with our individual rights and install socialism on America virtually unopposed.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama knows Americans are unhappy that the government could rescue people who bought mansions beyond their means.

But his assurance Tuesday night that only the deserving will get help rang hollow.

Even officials in his administration, many supporters of the plan in Congress and the Federal Reserve chairman expect some of that money will go to people who used lousy judgment.

The president skipped over several complex economic circumstances in his speech to Congress — and may have started an international debate among trivia lovers and auto buffs over what country invented the car.

A look at some of his assertions:

OBAMA: “We have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and refinance their mortgages. It’s a plan that won’t help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values.”

THE FACTS: If the administration has come up with a way to ensure money only goes to those who got in honest trouble, it hasn’t said so.

Defending the program Tuesday at a Senate hearing, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said it’s important to save those who made bad calls, for the greater good. He likened it to calling the fire department to put out a blaze caused by someone smoking in bed.

“I think the smart way to deal with a situation like that is to put out the fire, save him from his own consequences of his own action but then, going forward, enact penalties and set tougher rules about smoking in bed.”

Similarly, the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. suggested this month it’s not likely aid will be denied to all homeowners who overstated their income or assets to get a mortgage they couldn’t afford.

“I think it’s just simply impractical to try to do a forensic analysis of each and every one of these delinquent loans,” Sheila Bair told National Public Radio.

——

OBAMA: “And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

THE FACTS: Depends what your definition of automobiles, is. According to the Library of Congress, the inventor of the first true automobile was probably Germany’s Karl Benz, who created the first auto powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine, in 1885 or 1886. In the U.S., Charles Duryea tested what library researchers called the first successful gas-powered car in 1893. Nobody disputes that Henry Ford created the first assembly line that made cars affordable.

——

OBAMA: “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before.”

THE FACTS: Oil imports peaked in 2005 at just over 5 billion barrels, and have been declining slightly since. The figure in 2007 was 4.9 billion barrels, or about 58 percent of total consumption. The nation is on pace this year to import 4.7 billion barrels, and government projections are for imports to hold steady or decrease a bit over the next two decades.

——

OBAMA: “We have already identified $2 trillion in savings over the next decade.”

THE FACTS: Although 10-year projections are common in government, they don’t mean much. And at times, they are a way for a president to pass on the most painful steps to his successor, by putting off big tax increases or spending cuts until someone else is in the White House.

Obama only has a real say on spending during the four years of his term. He may not be president after that and he certainly won’t be 10 years from now.

——

OBAMA: “Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.”

THE FACTS: This may be so, but it isn’t only Republicans who pushed for deregulation of the financial industries. The Clinton administration championed an easing of banking regulations, including legislation that ended the barrier between regular banks and Wall Street banks. That led to a deregulation that kept regular banks under tight federal regulation but extended lax regulation of Wall Street banks. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, later an economic adviser to candidate Obama, was in the forefront in pushing for this deregulation.

——

OBAMA: “In this budget, we will end education programs that don’t work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them. We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use. We will root out the waste, fraud and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn’t make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.”

THE FACTS: First, his budget does not accomplish any of that. It only proposes those steps. That’s all a president can do, because control over spending rests with Congress. Obama’s proposals here are a wish list and some items, including corporate tax increases and cuts in agricultural aid, will be a tough sale in Congress.

Second, waste, fraud and abuse are routinely targeted by presidents who later find that the savings realized seldom amount to significant sums. Programs that a president might consider wasteful have staunch defenders in Congress who have fought off similar efforts in the past.

——

OBAMA: “Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years.”

THE FACTS: While the president’s stimulus package includes billions in aid for renewable energy and conservation, his goal is unlikely to be achieved through the recovery plan alone.

In 2007, the U.S. produced 8.4 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including hydroelectric dams, solar panels and windmills. Under the status quo, the Energy Department says, it will take more than two decades to boost that figure to 12.5 percent.

If Obama is to achieve his much more ambitious goal, Congress would need to mandate it. That is the thrust of an energy bill that is expected to be introduced in coming weeks.

——

OBAMA: “Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.”

THE FACTS: This is a recurrent Obama formulation. But job creation projections are uncertain even in stable times, and some of the economists relied on by Obama in making his forecast acknowledge a great deal of uncertainty in their numbers.

The president’s own economists, in a report prepared last month, stated, “It should be understood that all of the estimates presented in this memo are subject to significant margins of error.”

Beyond that, it’s unlikely the nation will ever know how many jobs are saved as a result of the stimulus. While it’s clear when jobs are abolished, there’s no economic gauge that tracks job preservation. The estimates are based on economic assumptions of how many jobs would be lost without the stimulus.

Original Link.

Black Listed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

A couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by the house several nights ago, and it would not surprise me one bit if I haven’t been blacklisted from ever visiting their local establishment; not that I ever intended to visit it anyway.
As usual, I had them wanting to leave after about 8 minutes of discussion. I had to follow them down to the end of the driveway to finish my last point.
One gentleman kept saying “Jehovah God”. I definitely got off on the wrong foot by asking why he kept saying “God God”. He looked at me quizzically, so I had to explain to him that “Jehovah” is the English transliteration of the original Hebrew יהוה (without vowel points), which is the unvocalized name of God in Hebrew. Translated into English as YHWH (Yod, Hey, Wav, Hey, without vowel points) it would be approximated as “Yahweh”. Since in ancient Latin there was no distinct lettering to distinguish ‘Y’ from ‘J’, or ‘W’ from ‘V’, and the original Hebrew does not clearly indicate the omitted vowels, the approximated translation comes out as “Jehovah”. They didn’t seem happy when I made the off hand comment that it would be more accurate to call themselves “Yahweh’s Witnesses” or follow Jewish conventions and substitute the word “Adonai (אֲדֹנָי)” or “Elohim (אֱלוֹהִים)”, thus making them “Adonai’s Witnesses” or “Elohim’s Witnesses”. They were in “polite back-away” mode by this point.

Next I gave them the “When did God die?” argument. It goes something like this:
“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'” Revelation 1:8 (New International Version)

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’
He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.'” Revelation 21:5-6 (New International Version)

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
Revelation 22:13 (New International Version)

I got them to agree with me that these three passages are talking about God.

Then I hit them with this:
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.;” Revelation 1:17-18 (New International Version)

Remember, we all agreed that God is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End, the First and the Last.

So then I asked, “when did God die?” and pointed out the middle part of Revelation 1:17-18. They were silent for a moment and then went on to say that Revelations is full of symbolism and can be confusing. They said they needed to study the passages more. By this time we’ve made it to the top of the driveway.

The last point I made was to ask them how it felt to be “second best” in God’s eyes. That stopped them for a moment. “What did I mean?”, they asked.
I pointed out to them how their doctrine establishes that only 144,000 of the “best” Jehovah’s Witnesses were going to go to Heaven. The rest, which I called “mundane”, were going to have to be satisfied with a “renewed” earth. I told them that after this many years, surely the 144,000 positions had been filled, and that no matter how hard they worked, they would never be able to achieve it. They answered that my assumption wasn’t necessarily true. I went on to say “So you are telling me that a Just God is going to reward one of the 144,000 positions to someone and then later say ‘Sorry Joe, but Sam handed out more pamphlets then you did, so you’re out and he’s in”? How is that just?” They didn’t have an answer. They told me they needed to get on down the street and bade me “thank you and good-bye”.
Overall a most rewarding experience.

See A Question for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
See Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Seven States Pushing for ‘Personhood’ Rights

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

It’s about time…

The personhood movement is designed to establish that conception is the point at which a human’s life begins. North Dakota’s House last week made progress on establishing that as law, although further action by that state’s Senate is needed.

“The language, in fact — basically in laymen’s terms — just says that all humans are people,” shares Keith Mason of Personhood USA, who adds that North Dakota is just one target in the nationwide campaign.

“This signals a growing movement of people who are advocating for the personhood of the preborn child,” he asserts. “And so it’s very exciting to us, and it proves that as we’re consistently pushing forward [that] we’re almost guaranteed victory.”

Original Link.