Archive for April, 2009

Doing What is Good

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Jesus Baptism

This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Titus 3:1-11 (New International Version)

“Pelosi’s Tortured Explanation” by Debra J. Saunders

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been pushing for a “truth commission” to investigate the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques like waterboarding — until Republicans started shining the spotlight on Pelosi herself. Now she is not so adamant.

Spokesman Brendan Daly told me that Pelosi wants a truth commission, “but she still realizes the political reality” — as in the opposition of President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The rest of the reality may well be this: Pelosi knew that White House lawyers had sanctioned waterboarding in 2002 — and did not protest.

According to the Senate Intelligence committee, the CIA briefed Pelosi, then the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, on the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah — who was waterboarded — in 2002.

The Washington Post reported in 2007 that the 2002 briefing provided Pelosi and company with a “virtual tour” of interrogation techniques. At the time of the story, a congressional source speaking for Pelosi, however, told the Post that Pelosi thought waterboarding was in the planning stages. The source admitted Pelosi did not object.

Who then is Pelosi to go after Bush lawyers for sanctioning waterboarding, which she now refers to as torture? This is what Pelosi told reporters last week: “We were not — I repeat — we were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.” Yes, the Bush Office of Legal Counsel said the techniques “could be used,” she explained, “but not that they would.”

So Pelosi thought that just because the Bushies were sticking out their necks and authorizing the CIA’s use of waterboarding, that did not mean the CIA would use it. And the Democrats called George W. Bush dim and ineffective?

Note that Pelosi used the term “enhanced interrogation methods” when referring to her CIA briefing. Not torture. On Tuesday, Pelosi added a twist to the story. She told CNN that the briefers “said they had a legal opinion they said they weren’t going to use and when they did they would come back to Congress to report to us on that.”

Daly added, “There’s really not a whole lot you can do when you’re being briefed” and you’re a member of the minority. Then what is the point of having a bipartisan intelligence committee? Why not just buy a rubber stamp? Porter Goss, the House Intelligence Committee chairman in 2002 who went on to become director of the CIA has a different recollection. As he wrote in the Washington Post, he, Pelosi and the ranking Senate Intelligence Committee members were briefed extensively, “understood what the CIA was doing,” and “gave the CIA our bipartisan support.” Goss was “slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were actually to be employed.”

Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, has called on the director of national intelligence to release complete CIA briefing documents — including information as to who attended and what was said, so that Americans will know what congressional leaders like Pelosi knew. Daly told me that Pelosi supports that effort, as she generally believes in transparency.

Good riddance to a “truth commission.” It’s pretty sickening to think some Democrats have been poised to investigate and possibly prosecute those who sanctioned waterboarding in 2002. Yet when Pelosi knew the White House was pushing it, she did not try to move heaven and earth to make sure it never happened.

Original Link.

Open Borders; Pandemic in the Making?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Open Border Virus

Blame Bush 1

Blame Bush 2

Original Link.

Mexico Plans Shut Down as Flu Nears Pandemic

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

As this virus mutates, it can become much more deadly. So far we have been lucky. Let’s pray that continues.

Mexico took even more drastic action to stamp out a swine flu epidemic, ordering a halt to nonessential business and federal government activities, as the World Health Organization ratcheted up its pandemic alert, warning that “all of humanity” is threatened.

The dire warning showed that world health officials are very worried about the potential for massive numbers of deaths worldwide from the mutated virus, even though the epidemic so far has claimed only a confirmed eight lives in Mexico and one in the United States. Roughly 170 deaths are suspected of having been caused by the virus in Mexico.

Switzerland and the Netherlands on Thursday became the latest countries to report swine flu infections. In the Swiss case, a 19-year-old infected student was mistakenly released from a hospital before being hastily readmitted.

European Union health ministers planned emergency talks in Luxembourg to coordinate national efforts in preventing the spread of swine flu in Europe.

The Phase 5 alert, indicating a pandemic could be imminent as the virus spread further in Europe, prompted Mexico to announce the partial May 1-5 shutdown, Mexican Health Secretary Jose Cordova said late Wednesday.

Original Link.

Interactive Map of the Swine Flu Outbreak

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Here is an interactive map of the swine flu outbreak.
Let us hope and pray this does not get as bad as it could.

Original Link.

“IN THE SPIRIT OF PASSOVER” by Fern Sidman

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

As the bustling streets of Boro Park reverberated with the sights and sounds of those preparing to usher in the holiday of Passover, our minds inevitably turn to those who simply cannot afford to buy kosher for Passover food or those who are bereft of family to spend the Sedorim with. As he has been doing for close to 50 years, Rabbi Chaim Prussman of Brooklyn’s Beth Shifra has stepped up to the plate to fill this painful void by making it his priority that no Jew would go without being fed, clothed and educated in this Passover season.

On Erev Pesach, as the tractor trailers filled with kosher food including matzos, wine, gefilte fish, chicken, fruits and vegetables, cakes and candies pulled up to the venue of Georgie’s Wigs on 16th Avenue and 45th Street in Boro Park, the stoic volunteers of Beth Shifra stood ready to distribute free food packages to all those in need. This year, in the midst of the economic crisis that has engulfed the nation, the staggering numbers of those waiting to receive provisions spoke volumes.

“Normally we have significant numbers of people waiting at our door on Erev Pesach to receive our free food packages”, said Rabbi Prussman. Taking note of the adverse affects of the financial meltdown, he said, “This year we witnessed a record number of people; at least five times as many in previous years. And that includes entire families and people who had never needed help before in acquiring food for Pesach”, he ruefully observed.

As in years past, Rabbi Prussman and his volunteer staff provided not only the free Sedorim but also played host to those who found themselves in need of free meals for the entire eight days of Passover. “No one goes hungry around here”, said Ariel Kahan, a participant at the Sedorim. “In these hard times, we are exceptionally blessed to have a place like this to come to. A very special place where no one is judged and everyone is so warmly welcomed”, he said.

Leading the Sedorim for several hundred at Georgie’s were noted local attorney and community activist Rabbi Shmuel (Steven L.) Gershbein, along with the assistance of Rabbi Alec Goldstein, David Speyer and Tuvia Ben Shmuel-Yosef. “The educational aspect of our Passover program has always been of paramount importance to us” said Rabbi Prussman, adding that, “feeding the Jewish body is not enough, we must also feed the Jewish soul with words of Torah and inspiration”. As such, this year’s program included special Aish HaTorah Discovery seminars during Chol HaMoed that drew the attendance of people from all over New York City..

The daily Torah lectures on the meaning of Passover and other timely subjects were held both day and night and were led by the esteemed scholar, Rabbi Alexander Zeesha Guth. Rabbi Guth also holds the distinction of being the only strictly Orthodox luthier (a maker of stringed instruments) on the East Coast and he is the only luthier in North America endorsed by many of the Gedolim of this generation.

The physical maintenance of a facility for eight days for hundreds of people is no simple task and this year as in the past several years, entrepreneur Frank Vasile who operates both a home inspection company as well as an extermination business, rendered his services to Beth Shifra. Said Rabbi Prussman, “Mere words really don’t seem adequate enough to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Vasile. His expertise in resolving critical plumbing issues as well as electrical repair work and a multitude of other maintenance related matters made it possible for everyone to enjoy themselves in a comfortable, sanitary and spotless setting.”

Moreover, Beth Shifra volunteers shuttled to the six other shuls and community centers in Brooklyn where they also organized free food programs and Sedorim for the indigent, elderly and infirm who could not travel to Boro Park.

Giving his perspective on why the Beth Shifra Pesach program is so essential to Jewish life, Rabbi Shmuel Gershbein said, “There is no word in biblical Hebrew for “charity.” Tzedakah is related to the word “tzedek”, meaning just or justice. “Tzidkus” means righteousness. We are not giving charity here; but rather we are attempting to take a challenging situation and create justice. He added that, “Our purpose on this earth is “l’hitpa’er.” It is incumbent on all of us to strive to transform this world and make Hashem’s name beautiful in it. Having a catering hall open twenty hours a day, every day of Pesach for any person who needs such a place is making Hashem Yisborach beautiful on this earth.”

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Obama Nudges Economy, But Policies Stir Fierce Debate

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The economy’s bad. Really bad. But it could be worse.

Though unemployment is at 8.5 percent and expected to rise even higher, a few signs of recovery are brightening a bleak landscape:

Home prices in February didn’t drop as badly as had been expected; big banks are starting to turn a profit; the stock market appears to have halted last month’s ghastly freefall.

So if the economy really is close to touching bottom — and that’s hard to conclude since the first quarter of 2009 saw it contract 6.1 percent — or if it is already heading up again — consumer confidence and spending is on the rise — the big question is:

What did the Obama administration have to do with any of it?

Economists say President Obama and his administration nudged the economy in the right direction in his first 100 days in the White House. But whether his initiatives will have significantly sped up the natural recovery of the economy and whether those gains justify the massive deficits in the years to come, will continue to be the debate for the ages.

“You’ll never absolutely know for sure, because we’ll never know what would have happened if we hadn’t done the stimulus,” said James Horney, director of federal fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “There’s an improvement in the sense that it looks like we’re not heading for the really severe meltdown that people are afraid of.”

Obama has won mixed reviews for his bold, yet risky, economic policies. Economists see the $787 billion stimulus package either as a necessary engine for job growth or a colossal invoice on future generations that could have been avoided. The financial bailout, inherited but expanded from the Bush administration, is seen as either the only way to get lenders lending or a wasteful handout to the very actors who caused the economic collapse.

Plus it’s hard to score the direct impact of those policies so early on. The host of economic indicators used to gauge the recovery of the U.S. economy have been sending mixed signals for months.

As of late April, Obama officials as well as economists say they see the light at the end of the tunnel, though at this point it looks more like a pinprick in the ceiling.

Obama said earlier this month that the economy is showing “glimmers of hope.” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote in a column last week of “encouraging signs that the global economic downturn may be slackening.”

It’s hard to tell to what degree that language is a response to the backlash the Obama administration felt soon after his inauguration from critics who said he was sounding alarmist about the danger of economic collapse. Obama made a notable shift to optimism after that period.

Original Link.

“Muslims: ‘We Do That On First Dates'” by Ann Coulter

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Without any pretense of an argument, which liberals are neurologically incapable of, the mainstream media are now asserting that our wussy interrogation techniques at Guantanamo constituted “torture” and have irreparably harmed America’s image abroad.

Only the second of those alleged facts is true: The president’s release of the Department of Justice interrogation memos undoubtedly hurt America’s image abroad, as we are snickered at in capitals around the world, where they know what real torture is. The Arabs surely view these memos as a pack of lies. What about the pills Americans have to turn us gay?

The techniques used against the most stalwart al-Qaida members, such as Abu Zubaydah, included one terrifying procedure referred to as “the attention grasp.” As described in horrifying detail in the Justice Department memo, the “attention grasp” consisted of:

“(G)rasping the individual with both hands, one hand on each side of the collar opening, in a controlled and quick motion. In the same motion as the grasp, the individual is drawn toward the interrogator.”

The end.

There are rumors that Dick “Darth Vader” Cheney wanted to take away the interrogators’ Altoids before they administered “the grasp,” but Department of Justice lawyers deemed this too cruel.

And that’s not all! As the torments were gradually increased, next up the interrogation ladder came “walling.” This involves pushing the terrorist against a flexible wall, during which his “head and neck are supported with a rolled hood or towel that provides a C-collar effect to prevent whiplash.”

People pay to have a lot rougher stuff done to them at Six Flags Great Adventure. Indeed, with plastic walls and soft neck collars, “walling” may be the world’s first method of “torture” in which all the implements were made by Fisher-Price.

As the memo darkly notes, walling doesn’t cause any pain, but is supposed to induce terror by making a “loud noise”: “(T)he false wall is in part constructed to create a loud sound when the individual hits it, which will further shock and surprise.” (!!!)

If you need a few minutes to compose yourself after being subjected to that horror, feel free to take a break from reading now. Sometimes a cold compress on the forehead is helpful, but don’t let it drip or you might end up waterboarding yourself.

The CIA’s interrogation techniques couldn’t be more ridiculous if they were out of Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition sketch:

Cardinal! Poke her with the soft cushions! …
Hmm! She is made of harder stuff! Cardinal Fang! Fetch … THE COMFY CHAIR!

So you think you are strong because you can survive the soft cushions. Well, we shall see. Biggles! Put her in the Comfy Chair! …

Now — you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunchtime, with only a cup of coffee at 11.

Further up the torture ladder — from Guantanamo, not Monty Python — comes the “insult slap,” which is designed to be virtually painless, but involves the interrogator invading “the individual’s personal space.”

If that doesn’t work, the interrogator shows up the next day wearing the same outfit as the terrorist. (Awkward.)

I will spare you the gruesome details of the CIA’s other comical interrogation techniques and leap directly to the penultimate “torture” in their arsenal: the caterpillar.

In this unspeakable brutality, a harmless caterpillar is placed in the terrorist’s cell. Justice Department lawyers expressly denied the interrogators’ request to trick the terrorist into believing the caterpillar was a “stinging insect.”

Human rights groups have variously described being trapped in a cell with a live caterpillar as “brutal,” “soul-wrenching” and, of course, “adorable.”

If the terrorist manages to survive the non-stinging caterpillar maneuver — the most fiendish method of torture ever devised by the human mind that didn’t involve being forced to watch “The View” — CIA interrogators had another sadistic trick up their sleeves.

I am not at liberty to divulge the details, except to mention the procedure’s terror-inducing name: “the ladybug.”

Finally, the most savage interrogation technique at Guantanamo was “waterboarding,” which is only slightly rougher than the Comfy Chair.

Tens of thousands of our troops were waterboarded over the past three decades as part of their training, but not until it was done to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — mastermind of the 9/11 attack on America — were liberal consciences shocked.

I think they were mostly shocked because they couldn’t figure out how Joey Buttafuoco ended up in Guantanamo.

As non-uniformed combatants, all of the detainees at Guantanamo could have been summarily shot on the battlefield under the Laws of War.

Instead, we gave them comfy chairs, free lawyers, better food than is served in Afghani caves, prayer rugs, recreational activities and top-flight medical care — including one terrorist who was released, whereupon he rejoined the jihad against America, after being fitted for an expensive artificial leg at Guantanamo, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer.

Only three terrorists — who could have been shot — were waterboarded. This is not nearly as bad as “snowboarding,” which is known to cause massive buttocks pain and results in approximately 10 deaths per year.

Normal human beings — especially those who grew up with my older brother, Jimmy — can’t read the interrogation memos without laughing.

At Al-Jazeera, they don’t believe these interrogation memos are for real. Muslims look at them and say: THIS IS ALL THEY’RE DOING? We do that for practice. We do that to our friends.

But The New York Times is populated with people who can’t believe they live in a country where people would put a caterpillar in a terrorist’s cell.

Original Link.

Be Joyful Always

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Jesus Laughing

Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (New International Version)

Parental Rights Already Being Lost

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Supporters of a plan to amend the U.S. Constitution to include parental rights are warning moms and dads across the United States they already are losing their rights to make decisions regarding their children’s health, education, welfare, finances, sex education, access to abortion and even leisure time.

“The erosion is upon us,” said Michael Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, a college and a church and now a dedicated leader in the effort to change the U.S. Constitution through the amendment process to restore and protect parental rights.

Eighty years ago, the amendment website notes, “the Supreme Court declared that ‘the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.'”

However, according to Farris, a survey last year of state and federal appellate court rulings found “the vast majority of the court decisions refused to acknowledge traditional parental rights are fundamental rights.”

The problem, says Farris, is the growing reach of domestic and international government into decisions about health, education, discipline and other issues that for millennia have been made by parents. In one recent case in the South, the parents of a 13-year-old juvenile were refused access to his medical records because the doctor decided against including the parents in the discussion.

According to Farris, the parents could only be granted access to their son’s medical records with their son’s permission.

“The Supreme Court has so muddied the waters … the growing practice is to treat parenting as a government privilege,” he said.

In another case that outraged parents, a federal court ruled that parents do not even have the right to withdraw their children from public school teachings that violate their religious beliefs.

Farris says the solution is the Parental Rights Amendment, which would embed in the Constitution the description of parental rights as fundamental.

“Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served,” the draft states. “No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.”

Farris said the amendment proposal, which already has about 80 co-sponsors in Congress, is moving “faster then we thought we would.”

Some of the key leaders in the GOP have signed onto the campaign, citing parental rights as a top concern. Democrat support has been far less, but the group has seen a large number of signs that the grassroots are becoming alarmed, pushing county and state officials to action.

Both the GOP and Democrats will be paying more attention as the groundswell of support expands, he said.

The local alarm is being raised on a number of converging issues, including the Food and Drug Administration’s new decision to allow 17-year-old juveniles to purchase abortion pills over the counter. Also among the concerns are a long list of challenges to parents who want to homeschool their own children and medical information disputes.

Critics also point to a developing propensity for U.S. judges in cite foreign law in deciding domestic cases, because of the fundamentally different foundations on which other nations base their laws.

Original Link.

“Nine Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture” by Dennis Prager

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Any human being with a functioning conscience or a decent heart loathes torture. Its exercise has been a blight on humanity. With this in mind, those who oppose what the Bush administration did to some terror suspects may be justified. But in order to ascertain whether they are, they need to respond to some questions:

1. Given how much you rightly hate torture, why did you oppose the removal of Saddam Hussein, whose prisons engaged in far more hideous tortures, on thousands of times more people, than America did — all of whom, moreover, were individuals and families who either did nothing or simply opposed tyranny? One assumes, furthermore, that all those Iraqi innocents Saddam had put into shredding machines or whose tongues were cut out and other hideous tortures would have begged to be waterboarded.

2. Are all forms of painful pressure equally morally objectionable? In other words, are you willing to acknowledge that there are gradations of torture as, for example, there are gradations of burns, with a third-degree burn considerably more injurious and painful than a first-degree burn? Or is all painful treatment to be considered torture? Just as you, correctly, ask proponents of waterboarding where they draw their line, you, too, must explain where you draw your line.

3. Is any maltreatment of anyone at any time — even a high-level terrorist with knowledge that would likely save innocents’ lives — wrong? If there is no question about the identity of a terror suspect , and he can provide information on al-Qaida — for the sake of clarity, let us imagine that Osama Bin Laden himself were captured — could America do any form of enhanced interrogation involving pain and/or deprivation to him that you would consider moral and therefore support?

4. If lawyers will be prosecuted for giving legal advice to an administration that you consider immoral and illegal, do you concede that this might inhibit lawyers in the future from giving unpopular but sincerely argued advice to the government in any sensitive area? They will, after all, know that if the next administration disapproves of their work, they will be vilified by the media and prosecuted by the government.

Read the rest of the article here.

Replica Clay Byzantine Oil Lamp – from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Replica Clay Byzantine Oil Lamp.

This is a fully functional Byzantine replica oil lamp

* 2 wicks included
* Hand made in Jerusalem
* size: 4 x 3 inches approx

Works with Olive oil

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

The Jerusalem Gift Shop 234x60

Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

‘Hate Crimes’ Bill Likely to Pass House, Thanks to Dems

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I said when Obama was elected there was nothing to stand in the way of his policies, of getting everything he wants, as far as his liberal left agenda. I’ll say it again; he will destroy this country before he can be stopped.
Back to the so-called “hate crimes” bill.
The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act adds gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability to the list of protected categories.
There is so much wrong with this, it boggles the mind.
Why are we violating the Constitution by having a “two tiered” justice system, where some people, just by stating their sexual preference, will be awarded a higher form of justice? Doesn’t the Constitution forbid unequal justice and the differential treatment of people under the law?
When did our law enforce personal garner the skill of “mind reading” and “time travel”? Truly, to have a “hate crime”, one must know what that person was thinking at the moment the crime was committed. That would require time travel (to be present when the crime was committed) and mind reading (to know what the person was thinking at the time). I keep up on technical advances pretty good and I think I would have heard about it if either of these technologies had been perfected. I think it’s safe to say that neither one has been.
So how can we have a hate crimes bill? It should immediately fail constitutional muster.
Democrats threw out an amendment that would have barred pedophiles from special protection under this law. Are Democrats interesting protecting innocent people at all?
Then there’s the fact that in other countries, where similar laws have been instituted, they have been used to prosecute pastors for preaching about the sin of homosexuality.
I have come under fire several time for making that connection. I have been told “no, that can’t happen”. Well friends, it has happened in other countries. It can, and I predict, will happen here.
Hang on to your seats, folks. Our freedoms are dying by the day. Soon we will have none left.

Proponents of the [“hate crimes”] bill claim that Christians and others who speak out publicly against homosexuality are not threatened with the same type of prosecution that criminals would face for committing acts of violence against homosexuals and transgendered individuals. But Judiciary Committee member Steve King (R-Iowa) says that is simply not true.

“Don’t believe what they say; read the bill. Think what happens. What’s their agenda? Their agenda is to shut down preaching of faith from the pulpit,” he contends. “Their agenda is to force public approval of the homosexual agenda. And destroying marriage nationally is the follow-up piece of this.”

King explains that one of the amendments he introduced would have barred pedophiles from special protection under the hate crimes statute. He finds it unbelievable that Democrats threw out that amendment.

“I just think that tells you that this breaks down the logical approach to law,” King adds. “If we move away from punishing overt acts to punishing thoughts — which is what this legislation does — heaven help us [because] we’ve crossed a line from which it will be awfully hard to ever get back again.”

Original Link.

“Ignorant. Expensive. Hypocritical.” by Jeff Schreiber

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

The Air Force One photo-op that struck fear throughout New Yorkers this morning was yet another byproduct of an administration that refuses to think things through before acting. A few words come to mind:

IGNORANT. Did nobody think of how residents and workers in lower Manhattan would perceive the sight of a low-flying commercial airliner being followed by a pair of fighter jets? Are they really so ignorant so as not to do more than simply warn the FAA and some law enforcement officials? Why did nobody think to announce, to the people of New York City, the planned photo shoot? After all, the White House seems to have a red “bat-phone” connecting right into the New York Times’ editorial board room — surely Obama could have batted his eyes and asked for a sentence on Page A-1 on Friday and throughout the weekend.

EXPENSIVE. Exactly how much money did our government have to borrow from the Chinese or from the American people in order to fund an unnecessary excursion for two fighter jets and one presidential Boeing 747? Where are the people who were so incensed that the GM, Ford and Chrysler executives spent so much money flying in private jets to testify before Congress? Was there something wrong with the prior file photos for Air Force One? I wonder if Obama was preparing photographs for another gift for a head of state — instead of a $15 White House Gift Shop model of Marine One, perhaps he’ll give some prime minister’s kid a poster showing the presidential airplane.

HYPOCRITICAL. Last week, on Earth Day, the president burned through 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to fly 900 miles and talk about inefficient renewable energy. Today, assuming that carbon really is the bane of our existence, how much of it was coughed into the atmosphere by Air Force One and its fighter jet escorts? Why are so-called environmentalists so concerned with our SUVs and light bulbs, yet silent about such unnecessary pollution? Unless, of course, it’s more about the transfer of wealth and not so much about the environment. Nah . . . that would be crazy.

It might have been a small detail, especially when compared with the health care program that will be pushed in through the back door this week, or with the continued erosion of common sense with regard to the Global War on Terror, and by no means do I believe that this should be a focus for more than a single evening (and a secondary or tertiary focus at that), but even details like this show how oblivious this White House is to matters foreign and domestic, and how disconnected they are with the reality of global terrorism.

Original Link.

First U.S. Swine Flu Death Confirmed in Texas

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

This is so sad. There aren’t many details yet, but be sure to offer a prayer from the family of this flu victim.

WASHINGTON — The first U.S. death from swine flu has been confirmed — a 23-month-old child in Texas — amid increasing global anxiety over a health menace that authorities around the world are struggling to contain.

The flu death was confirmed Wednesday by Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a cable news interview, he gave no other details about the child.

“As a pediatrician and a parent, my heart goes out to the family,” he said about the tragic death.

But Besser said in a nationally broadcast network interview that it’s too soon to say if the death in Texas suggests the virus is spreading to more states. Nor would he say whether officials think it will become a nationwide problem.

Besser said on NBC’s “Today” show that he didn’t believe “this indicates any change in the strain of the flu.”

Besser also said that “we see with any flu virus a spectrum of disease symptoms” and said authorities need to learn more about the threat.

Meanwhile, probable swine flu is being reported in Illinois.

State public health officials said Wednesday that more than one case is being sent to federal authorities for confirmation.

“Probable” means the Illinois Department of Public Health has conducted tests on patient specimens showing swine flu is probable.

An IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold says the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final determination on whether Illinois’ cases matches the swine flu outbreak in Mexico. She says one case is located at a North Side Chicago school.

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman confirms that the school is being closed.

The CDC said Tuesday that there were 64 confirmed cases in five states. That doesn’t include Illinois.

Original Link.

“100 Days of Devastatingly Swift Success” by Newt Gingrich

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

To mark President Obama’s 100th day in office, I’m going to say something you might find unexpected, even shocking:

President Obama’s first 100 days have been spectacularly successful.

President Obama is the strongest domestic Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson. His ability to get Democrats in Congress to give him things that undermine their own power is impressive.

In just 100 days, President Obama has been devastatingly effective in moving forward swiftly the most radical, government-expanding agenda in American history.

Successfully Moving to a European Model of Government Control

At home, in everything from his economic policy to his energy policy to his just-announced science policy, President Obama has successfully moved the country from a traditional American model of entrepreneurship and private initiative to a European model of regulation and government control.

Abroad, he has succeeded in his apparent goal to be the un-George W. Bush; replacing aggressive, if sometimes flawed, American leadership with a humbled, weakened America on the world stage.

Judged by these standards, President Obama’s first 100 days have been a remarkable success.

Getting Congress to Give Him Things That Undermine Their Own Power

The Obama record in the first 100 days includes three instances of spectacular political impunity:

• Under the guise of “economic stimulus” he was able to pass a $787 billion gift for his liberal special interest base. And he did it so quickly that no member of Congress was able to read it before they voted.
• After campaigning on a pledge to end earmarks, he signed an appropriations bill loaded with 8,000 earmarks — and paid no political penalty.
• President Obama has kept congressional Democrats marching with him in lockstep. House Democrats tow the party line an amazing 94 percent of the time and Senate Democrats vote Democratic 91 percent of the time.

Two Historic Bureaucratic Power Grabs

In these first 100 days, the Obama Administration has achieved two historic bureaucratic power grabs:

• President Obama has transformed the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) into giant engines of unsupervised spending. Together, they’ve spent the equivalent of the entire federal budget for 2007, without having to disclose where the money went.
• Just two weeks ago, the President presided over an unprecedented bureaucratic power grab when his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruled that greenhouse gases pose a threat to public health. This seemingly innocuous decision opens the door to wholesale regulation of American life by government. The threat is so great that politicians and activists are using the specter of an out-of-control EPA to force Congress to pass a $1 trillion to $2 trillion energy tax in the form of cap-and-trade legislation.

In Foreign Policy, Weakness and Self-Delusion

The Obama 100 days record also includes remarkable weakness and self-delusion overseas:

• In an attempt to overcome anti-Americanism abroad by agreeing with it, President Obama has gone on a global apology tour, labeling America as “arrogant, dismissive and derisive” in front of foreign audiences.
• President Obama has unleashed a domestic war over the meaning of guilt by caving in to the anti-American left and leaving the door open to prosecuting Bush Administration officials over the interrogation of terrorists who plotted to kill Americans.

All Other Obama “Accomplishments” Are Only a Prelude to His $3.5 Trillion Budget

But all these successful expansions of government at home and retractions of American leadership abroad are merely a prelude to President Obama’s looming crowning achievement: His 2010 budget which remakes our health care system, remakes our energy system, raises taxes and forecasts an amazing $9 trillion increase in the national debt.

As I write this, Democrats in Congress are fashioning a deal to pass the budget’s provisions on health care by preventing Republicans and moderate Democrats from having a voice in the debate.

Think about that. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi political machine is going to pass legislation that fundamentally affects every single American — as well as 17 percent of our economy — by cutting the elected representatives of half of all Americans out of the process.

If they succeed, the budget will be President Obama’s most enduring — and devastating — accomplishment.

Will the Future Bring Change We Can Believe In? Or a Change in What we Believe?

One thing is clear at this point in President Obama’s presidency: His control of Washington Democrats has been so masterful, and his policies so successful, that he has officially claimed ownership of the American economy.

Going forward, it won’t be possible to continue to place blame on former President Bush and the Republicans. If President Obama fails, it will be his failure and his alone.

As for us, the “success” of the first 100 days of the Obama presidency raises a threatening possibility.

As my daughter and columnist Jackie Cushman put it, if we’re not careful, instead of change we can believe in, we’re going to have change in what we believe.

It’s something to ponder for the next 1,361 days.

Original Link.

Made Alive in Christ

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Alive Again

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:1-10 (New International Version)

Eighty-Two Percent Opposed to ‘Cyberspace Security’ Bill in Senate

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

This bill, if passed into law, would give Emperor Obama the right to shut down the internet in times of “emergency”. The mere fact they are even seriously considering seizing these powers should be of great concern to you. Contact your senator today and demand that he/she stop this bill.

WASHINGTON – A Zogby poll released today shows overwhelming opposition to a Senate bill that would give the president authority to shut down the Internet in times of national emergency.

Commissioned by the O’Leary Report, the poll of 3,937 voters in the last election shows 81.8 percent oppose the idea, with only 5 percent supporting it. The margin of error is +/-1.6 percent, according to Zogby.

The bill in question is the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. It would give to the U.S. government authority over all networks considered part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Under the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2009, the president would have the authority to shut down Internet traffic to protect national security.

WASHINGTON – A Zogby poll released today shows overwhelming opposition to a Senate bill that would give the president authority to shut down the Internet in times of national emergency.

Commissioned by the O’Leary Report, the poll of 3,937 voters in the last election shows 81.8 percent oppose the idea, with only 5 percent supporting it. The margin of error is +/-1.6 percent, according to Zogby.

The bill in question is the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. It would give to the U.S. government authority over all networks
considered part of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Under the proposed Cybersecurity Act of 2009, the president would have the authority to shut down Internet traffic to protect national security.

The government also would have access to digital data from a vast array of industries including banking, telecommunications and energy. A second bill, meanwhile, would create a national cybersecurity adviser – commonly referred to as the cybersecurity czar – within the White House to coordinate strategy with a wide range of federal agencies involved.

“I know the threats we face.” Rockefeller said in a prepared statement when the legislation was introduced. “Our enemies are real. They are sophisticated, they are determined and they will not rest.”

The bill would allow the government to create a detailed set of standards for cybersecurity, as well as take over the process of certifying IT technicians.

A spokeswoman from Rockefeller’s office told Fox News neither he nor the two senators who co-sponsored the bill, Snowe and Nelson, will answer questions on cybersecurity until a later date.

Original Link.

Artist Mocks Jesus, Puts Crown of Thorns on Obama in Art Work Called “The Truth”

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Another deranged fan of Obama who wants to equate him to Jesus. What a slap in the face to Christians. Don’t look for any riots though…Christians don’t act like Muslims when our religious figures are insulted.

On his 100th day in office, President Obama will be “crowned” in messianic imagery at New York City’s Union Square.

Artist Michael D’Antuono’s painting “The Truth” – featuring Obama with his arms outstretched and wearing a crown of thorns upon his head – will be unveiled on April 29 at the Square’s South Plaza.

According to a statement released about the portrait, “The 30″ x 54″ acrylic painting on canvas depicts President Obama appearing much like Jesus Christ on the Cross: atop his head, a crown of thorns; behind him, the dark veil being lifted (or lowered) on the Presidential Seal. But is he revealing or concealing, and is he being crucified or glorified?”

Even the title of the piece, “The Truth,” suggests a play on biblical themes, as Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

“More than a presidential portrait,” writes D’Antuono on a website touting the painting, “‘The Truth’ is a politically, religiously and socially-charged statement on our nation’s current political climate and deep partisan divide that is sure to create a dialogue.”

Like others in the news who have depicted Obama in Christ-like imagery, D’Antuono insists he isn’t claiming the man is Messiah, but only inviting “individual interpretations.”

“‘The Truth,’ like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder,” claims the exhibit’s press release.

D’Antuono even invites the public to email him with reactions to the piece, answering his posed question, “What’s your truth?”

Read the rest of the article here for more examples of deranged Obama worship.

Obama Nominee for “Regulatory Czar” Advocates “Fairness Doctrine” for the Internet and Government Inspection of Personal E-Mails

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

You have got to be kidding me!! What a massive intrusion into our lives by the government. Where does it end? Will we be forced to surrender all of our freedoms to the Emperor? If he has his way, the answer is a resounding “YES”!!

Barack Obama’s nominee for “regulatory czar” has advocated a “Fairness Doctrine” for the Internet that would require opposing opinions be linked and also has suggested angry e-mails should be prevented from being sent by technology that would require a 24-hour cooling off period.

The revelations about Cass Sunstein, Obama’s friend from the University of Chicago Law School and nominee to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, come in a new book by Brad O’Leary, “Shut Up, America! The End of Free Speech.” OIRA will oversee regulation throughout the U.S. government.

Sunstein also has argued in his prolific literary works that the Internet is anti-democratic because of the way users can filter out information of their own choosing.

“A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government,” he wrote. “Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom’s name.”

Sunstein first proposed the notion of imposing mandatory “electronic sidewalks” for the Net. These “sidewalks” would display links to opposing viewpoints. Adam Thierer, senior fellow and director of the Center for Digital Media Freedom at the Progress and Freedom Center, has characterized the proposal as “The Fairness Doctrine for the Internet.”

“Apparently in Sunstein’s world, people have many rights, but one of them, it seems, is not the right to be left alone or seek out the opinions one desires,” Thierer wrote.

Later, Sunstein rethought his proposal, explaining that it would be “too difficult to regulate [the Internet] in a way that would respond to those concerns.” He also acknowledged that it was “almost certainly unconstitutional.”

Perhaps Sunstein’s most novel idea regarding the Internet was his proposal, in his book “Nudge,” written with Richard Thaler, for a “Civility Check” for e-mails and other online communications.

“The modern world suffers from insufficient civility,” they wrote. “Every hour of every day, people send angry e-mails they soon regret, cursing people they barely know (or even worse, their friends and loved ones). A few of us have learned a simple rule: don’t send an angry e-mail in the heat of the moment. File it, and wait a day before you send it. (In fact, the next day you may have calmed down so much that you forget even to look at it. So much the better.) But many people either haven’t learned the rule or don’t always follow it. Technology could easily help. In fact, we have no doubt that technologically savvy types could design a helpful program by next month.”

That’s where the “Civility Check” comes in.

“We propose a Civility Check that can accurately tell whether the e-mail you’re about to send is angry and caution you, ‘warning: this appears to be an uncivil e-mail. do you really and truly want to send it?'” they wrote. “(Software already exists to detect foul language. What we are proposing is more subtle, because it is easy to send a really awful e-mail message that does not contain any four-letter words.) A stronger version, which people could choose or which might be the default, would say, ‘warning: this appears to be an uncivil e-mail. this will not be sent unless you ask to resend in 24 hours.’ With the stronger version, you might be able to bypass the delay with some work (by inputting, say, your Social Security number and your grandfather’s birth date, or maybe by solving some irritating math problem!).”

Sunstein’s nomination to the powerful new position will require Senate approval. He is almost certain to face other questions about his well-documented controversial views:

* In a 2007 speech at Harvard he called for banning hunting in the U.S.

* In his book “Radicals in Robes,” he wrote: “[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine. And if the Court is right, then fundamentalism does not justify the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms.”

* In his 2004 book, “Animal Rights,” he wrote: “Animals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives …”

* In “Animal Rights: A Very Short Primer,” he wrote “[T]here should be extensive regulation of the use of animals in entertainment, in scientific experiments, and in agriculture.”

“As one of America’s leading constitutional scholars, Cass Sunstein has distinguished himself in a range of fields, including administrative law and policy, environmental law, and behavioral economics,” said Obama at his nomination of his regulatory czar. “He is uniquely qualified to lead my administration’s regulatory reform agenda at this crucial stage in our history. Cass is not only a valued adviser, he is a dear friend and I am proud to have him on my team.”

O’Leary disagrees.

“It’s hard to imagine President Obama nominating a more dangerous candidate for regulatory czar than Cass Sunstein,” he says. “Not only is Sunstein an animal-rights radical, but he also seems to have a serious problem with our First Amendment rights. Sunstein has advocated everything from regulating the content of personal e-mail communications, to forcing nonprofit groups to publish information on their websites that is counter to their beliefs and mission. Of course, none of this should be surprising from a man who has said that ‘limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government.’ If it were up to Obama and Sunstein, everything we read online – right down to our personal e-mail communications – would have to be inspected and approved by the federal government.”

Original Link.