Archive for April 1st, 2009

Baehr Cleaning up Hollywood Movies, Protecting Families

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

This table says it all. I wish Hollywood would listen.

Hollywood Movie Earnings

CAMARILLO, Calif. – At the height of the Golden Age of Hollywood, a man who would revolutionize the entertainment industry and “clean up American movie screens” was born to two prominent actors.

Ted Baehr, the son of Robert “Tex” Allen, star in Broadway’s “Showboat,” and Evelyn Pierce, an MGM actress, was raised in New York City. He performed in commercials, movies, television and on stage.

Baehr would become a famous media critic, founder and publisher of Movieguide and a champion of uplifting Hollywood movies with Christian worldviews. He would take on the giants of the industry and inspire filmmakers to produce wholesome, family films.

In 1974, when he was financing several independent movies for Canon Films, a woman named Audrey Clark, a former friend of his deceased mother, dared him to read the Bible and tell her “what was wrong with it.”

Baehr reluctantly accepted her challenge.

“Finally after six months, I decided to read the short part,” he said.

After reading the New Testament, Baehr’s views on Christianity changed drastically and he accepted Jesus Christ into his life.

One week later, he married his Argentine-born sweetheart, Lili, an architect. Her family immigrated to the United States in 1955 after living under socialist Juan Domingo Perón.

“Pink Panther” and “Christy” producer Ken Wales introduced Baehr to George Heimrich, former director of the Protestant Film Office – an organization that read every Hollywood script from 1933 to 1966 to ensure that movies adhered to high standards of decency.

Baehr said American movies were morally bankrupt prior to 1933, and the Protestant Film Commission, along with the Roman Catholic Legion of Decency, cleaned up the industry. However, the Protestant Film Commission shut down in 1966.

“The Baptists pulled their funding, and within three years, we went from ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ to the first sex and Satanism film and from ‘The Sound of Music’ to the first ‘X’-rated movie,” he said.

The U.S. suffered a severe decline in movie attendance when Hollywood was no longer producing wholesome movies – spiraling from 44 million tickets sold every week to only 20 million.

In 1985, Baehr formed the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry and Movieguide: A Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment. Heimrich donated his Protestant Film Office files to the commission, and Baehr began his monumental task of taking on Hollywood’s film giants, using 22 biblically based objective standards to review films and clean up American screens.

Movieguide, a biweekly magazine, TV and radio show and successful website, offers in-depth analyses of movies and reviews nearly 100 percent of U.S. films released in at least nine theaters. The magazine also includes the latest news from the entertainment industry, articles on movies, TV, Internet and cultural trends in addition to warning discerning parents about the worst films coming out of Hollywood.

In 1988, Sir John Templeton, the late billionaire philanthropist and entrepreneur who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, called Baehr to share a new proposal.

“He said, ‘I see what you’re doing in Hollywood. You’re having a good effect, and I’ve always felt that we should have an award for Hollywood because the Templeton Prize, which is the award for science and religion, has been so effective,” Baehr said. “I didn’t even know him. He just called out of the blue.”

Baehr welcomed the idea with enthusiasm, and the Christian Film & Television Commission initiated the Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry in 1992 in Los Angeles.

The gala honors “good and uplifting” productions in film and television and has become a wild success.

“We always focus on Jesus at the gala, and we get a lot of non-Christians there because we’re in Hollywood,” he said. “People talk about Jesus. We talk about Jesus. We’re giving them church. The films testify to Jesus. Everything about it testifies to Him. That’s our major point.”

Many now refer to the event as the “Christian Oscars,” and along with the Report to the Entertainment Industry, it has led to a dramatic increase in family movies and movies with positive moral content.

“When we started, there was only one movie with positive Christian content, and last year it was 44 percent of the movies,” Baehr said. “Christian movies always do better because people want redemption. They have a tough life. They want to go to a movie and be delivered from all of that.”

The Annual Report to the Entertainment Industry has shown that moviegoers prefer clean movies without explicit sex, nudity, foul language and drug abuse. According to Movieguide’s analysis of the top movies released in 2008, box office earnings for movies with 0-25 obscenities/profanities made $32,145,527 at the box office while movies with no obscenities or profanities made $55,569,733. Likewise, movies with no sex, no nudity and no drug references regularly made tens of millions of dollars more at the box office than movies with immoral content.

Additionally, a seven-year Movieguide study of the top 275 movies reveals that Americans prefer conservative, patriotic, pro-American movies with traditional, Judeo-Christian values and free-market ideals rather than films pushing anti-capitalist, socialist, atheistic, communist or anti-Christian agendas.

“In fact,” Baehr added, “movies with more conservative values averaged more than seven times as much money as those movies promoting liberal or leftist values, $81.2 million versus only $11.4 million.”

He said viewers are looking for three things in a film.

“They want to be entertained, so they want great drama; they want a moral worldview; and then they want a savior,” he said. “They always want someone to come in and rescue them, so movies about salvation do incredibly well.”

Baehr said it is pertinent that parents pay attention to the movies and television shows their children watch.

“We’re concerned about the vulnerability of kids at different stages of their development. They need to be protected,” he said. “Parents can’t be there all the time, so we want to ensure that children are self-motivated to do the right thing and make the right choices.”

Read the complete article here.

Hexagon shaped Olive Wood Box – Shalom Star of David from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Hexagon shaped Olive Wood Box – Shalom Star of David.

Hexagon shaped Olive Wood Box - Shalom Star of David

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

Christian Gifts from Israel – The Jerusalem Gift Shop

Arabs Unite to Censure Israel, Back Sudan

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

I excepted no less.

Leaders at the 21st Arab summit in Doha called on US President Barack Obama’s administration “to take a firm stand in confronting Israel’s continued siege on Gaza, its illegal practices and particularly, the ‘Judaization’ of Jerusalem, expansion of settlement activities and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people and lack of acting in a serious way towards the peace process,” in a final statement issued Monday night.

Members of the 22-nation Arab League also expressed hope that the new US administration will be “an honest broker” in achieving peace in the region and stressed the need “to identify a specific time frame for Israel” to fulfill its obligations to the peace process.

In an apparent reference to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “economic peace plan,” leaders rejected intentions to reduce the peace process and its political commitments to an economic and security approach “that perpetuates the occupation.”

A just and comprehensive peace in the region would only be achieved with Israel’s withdrawal from “all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories,” a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestinian refugees and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem, the statement said, reiterating the outlines of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday that he was pleased with the final statement, particularly because it showed the Arab Peace Initiative is still “on the table, and because Arabs are supporting Egypt’s efforts to achieve reconciliation between divided Palestinian factions.”

Arab leaders also expressed their support for Sudan’s Bashir, “reiterating our solidarity with Sudan and our rejection of the measure of the….International Criminal Court against his Excellency” Bashir, according to a final statement on the issue quoted in the Arab media.

Original Link.

Clinton Wants Talks with ‘Moderate’ Taliban Members

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

“Moderate” Taliban members? That’s a laughable term. I like how Cal Thomas said it:

“The president has said that among his objectives is to locate “moderate” members of the Taliban. Moderate members of the Taliban? He’d have better luck finding pork chops on the menu at a kosher restaurant. If there are any moderate Taliban members, I suspect that once they are exposed they will not enjoy long and happy lives.”

Yesterday at The Hague, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that so-called “moderate” Taliban members in Afghanistan “should be offered an honorable form of reconciliation and reintegration into a peaceful society if they are willing to abandon violence, break with al Qaeda, and support the constitution.” Clinton spoke at a conference aimed at stabilizing Afghanistan.

Jim Phillips, the senior research fellow for Middle-Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation, says Clinton’s plan could theoretically work but the Taliban must first be defeated militarily, or else they will have little incentive to break ranks and strike separate deals with the Afghan government.

“As long as they think they have the upper hand militarily, they’re not going to defect from Mullah Omar, who’s the top leader,” he contends. “But there are substantial numbers of mid-level commanders and low-level fighters that do not share the ideology of the Taliban but see the Taliban as a place for collecting money — almost a job, because there are Jim Phillips (Heritage)so few ways to make money inside Afghanistan.”

Original Link.
Read Cal Thomas’ Article “Obama’s War or Ours?” Here.

“Global Deal Done?” by Michael G. Mickey

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Having just wrapped up a three-day speaking engagement in Ashland, Kentucky where I repeatedly told those present April 2nd’s meeting of the G-20 could advance us toward the creation of a new world order we know is prophesied in scripture and will ultimately be led by the prophesied Antichrist at some point in its future, I can’t say I’m surprised to have read what I did this morning.

A Telegraph article entitled “Gordon Brown hints at global crisis deal” reads, in part:

Speaking after talks in Downing Street with Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd, Mr Brown said: “The world is coming together and the results of this week will show that global problems…require global solutions.

“I believe the world will rise to the challenge and defeat those who say doing nothing is an option and defeat those who say protectionism is an option.”

And then there’s what the article says about where U.S. policy is going to fall in relation to Mr. Brown and the EU’s plans:

In an interview with today’s Financial Times, US President Barack Obama said: “With respect to the stimulus, there is going to be an accord that G20 countries will do what is necessary to promote trade and growth.

“The most important task for us all is to deliver a strong message of unity in the face of crisis.”

In a mere two days, the G-20 will begin, during which a necessary element of a new world order being born is going to be addressed – the creation of a global currency. There is no reason, based on anything I’m seeing in the news, to believe progress of some sort isn’t going to be achieved in relation to that, even if it’s only an agreement between all involved to begin looking into it on a more serious level.

Creating and implementing a global currency isn’t something that is going to occur overnight, certainly, and an agreement to move toward that goal doesn’t mean the advent of Antichrist is upon us. Realistically, the process could take some time. On the other hand, how quickly things will progress depends on how much of the “global crisis” being reported is legitimate crisis.

A number of voices in the world today believe what we’re witnessing is chaos to be sure, but organized chaos designed to lead mankind to a desired end result that only the global elite want to see become a reality that they may forever remain the global elite! Do I believe that? I’m not sure, quite frankly, but these days few things surprise me a great deal and those that do? I strive to keep them in proper perspective, understanding that we’re on the road to fulfillment of God’s prophetic plan and all it entails, among which is the creation of a global currency and government the Antichrist will someday become leader of.

I like to think, as a Christian awaiting the return of Jesus Christ for His Church here in these last days, I’m just “along for the ride.” While the road we’re on may hit some rough stretches in the time the Church has left here, there is the promise that, sooner or later, we’re going to round a bend in the crooked path we’re on and arrive at the stop we’re scheduled to get off at: The Rapture of the Church.

Speaking on Saturday night, I realized there were a number of young people in the audience, some of whom might find the subject matter I was addressing a bit frightening so I paused for a moment to speak just to them, to let them know that everything is going to be alright because God’s Word tells us everything is going to be alright!

There are a lot of frightening trends and events taking place in our world today, many of which vex the righteous souls of God’s children, both young and old. Lot once lived in Sodom where he similarly felt uncomfortable, but the Lord delivered just Lot prior to unleashing His wrath on the wicked people who surrounded him and his family on every side. 2nd Peter 2:9 tells us: “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:”

The Church is not appointed to God’s wrath according to 1st Thessalonians 5:3 so I implore those of you who find issues like this troubling to your souls to be patient, bearing in mind that the Lord is alive, on the throne, and in control! Everything is going to be okay. Of that I’m positive because it is by the things we’re seeing take place in the world around us that we can know our redemption draweth nigh!

Love your neighbor as yourself, be obedient to the authority of government lest doing so requires you to betray God’s Word, share the Gospel with anyone you are presented an opportunity to, and be of good cheer. The anxieties we presently have are going to give way to victory, potentially very soon, so enjoy each day the Lord makes for us and stop by for a visit occasionally, where we’ll be doing everything within our power to keep you informed and encouraged here in these last days.

Original Link.

“The Shut Up and Swallow Congress” by Michelle Malkin

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Deliberation in Washington is dead. We don’t have legislators. We have lemmings. We don’t have debates. We have high-speed hysteria sessions. After ramming through stimulus legislation that no one read and bailout bills that no one understood, Congress is now poised to stuff down taxpayers’ throats a deficit-exploding $3.5 trillion budget that enshrines the largest tax increase in American history.

The Democrats want to rig the game so you don’t have time to figure out this latest act of collective thievery before it’s perpetrated. They have been colluding on a plan to circumvent the Senate’s 60-vote threshold and amendment process by attaching their massive green tax scheme to a special budget legislative maneuver (“budget reconciliation” in the parlance of the Washington sausage-makers). No less than Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd criticized this short-circuiting of debate as an “outrage that must be resisted” and “an undemocratic disservice to our people.” But the eco-zealots on the Hill seem hell-bent on telling Americans to shut up and swallow.

On the Senate floor Tuesday, Republicans tried valiantly to stop the cap and trade bullet train – only to be met with histrionic entreaties from the likes of Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dick Durbin shrieking about floods, dinosaurs, and The Children. Boxer and Durbin indignantly accused GOP Senators of “fear-mongering” over the costs of radical greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Then, without missing a beat, the Democrats returned to their wild predictions of the earth fizzling up and their grandchildren perishing like the prehistoric creatures who once roamed our doomed Earth.

GOP Sens. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, and John Thune of South Dakota pushed back. President Obama, the Republicans noted, said last week that the cap-and-trade component of his budget is “non-negotiable.” This global warming reduction proposal amounts to an unprecedented national energy tax on every man, woman, and child. Every household. Every business. Far-reaching and regressive, the White House’s own budget officials first pegged the price tag at $646 billion – but admitted to Senate staffers that the actual number would be “two-to-three times” that figure. Which means an estimated $1.3 trillion and $1.9 trillion between fiscal years 2012 and 2019 by the Obama number-crunchers’ (or rather, number-cookers’) own calculations.

There’s no pretense about the impact these measures will have on taxpayers: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama admitted during the 2008 campaign. “That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

White House budget director Peter Orszag again acknowledged last week that “much of ]the] costs of the plan will be passed along to consumers in the form of higher prices for energy and energy intensive goods.” The GOP puts the cost at approximately $3,100 per family a year. Team Obama promises to offset these costs with some sort of tax credit for families, but by the budget team’s own admission, families would still pay at least $500 per year in out-of-pocket increase energy costs above and beyond the credit. Retirees and college students wouldn’t be eligible for the tax rebates.

This is not “fear-mongering.” It’s fact-mongering. And these facts deserve to be fully weighed and laid on the legislative table takes action again to drastically alter the economic landscape – and stick us with the bill. But once again, the big spenders in Washington can’t be bothered with the deliberative process. They have learned nothing from the AIG bailout rush-and-take-back debacle. Or the porkulus waste debacle. Or the TARP-you-can’t-believe-in debacle. The lemmings will only contemplate the consequences of their Chicken Little actions after they’ve sent the economy permanently over the cliff.

Original Link.

“A Rookie President” by Thomas Sowell

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Someone once said that, for every rookie you have on your starting team in the National Football League, you will lose a game. Somewhere, at some time during the season, a rookie will make a mistake that will cost you a game.

We now have a rookie President of the United States and, in the dangerous world we live in, with terrorist nations going nuclear, just one rookie mistake can bring disaster down on this generation and generations yet to come.

Barack Obama is a rookie in a sense that few other Presidents in American history have ever been. It is not just that he has never been President before. He has never had any position of major executive responsibility in any kind of organization where he was personally responsible for the outcome.

Other first-term Presidents have been governors, generals, cabinet members or others in positions of personal responsibility. A few have been senators, like Barack Obama, but usually for longer than Obama, and had not spent half their few years in the senate running for President.

What is even worse than making mistakes is having sycophants telling you that you are doing fine when you are not. In addition to all the usual hangers-on and supplicants for government favors that every President has, Barack Obama has a media that will see no evil, hear no evil and certainly speak no evil.

They will cheer him on, no matter what he does, short of first-degree murder– and they would make excuses for that. Even former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan has gushed over President Obama and even crusty Bill O’Reilly has been impressed by Obama’s demeanor.

There is no sign that President Obama has impressed the Russians, the Iranians or the North Koreans, except by his rookie mistakes– and that is a dangerous way to impress dangerous people.

What did his televised overture to the Iranians accomplish, except to reassure them that he was not going to do a damn thing to stop them from getting a nuclear bomb? It is a mistake that can go ringing down the corridors of history.

Future generations who live in the shadow of that nuclear threat may wonder what we were thinking about, putting our lives– and theirs– in the hands of a rookie because we liked his style and symbolism?

Read the rest of the article here.

Here is one of the reader comment to Dr. Sowell’s article and I must admit that I agree with it:

WORK949 Location: CO
Reply # 66
Date: Mar 31, 2009 – 8:20 AM EST
A Rookie President
“What is missing, even among so many of our distinguished conservative writers such as Mr. Sowell, is a realization that Mr. Obama is doing what he is doing with full comprehension of the end results for our nation.

I believe Mr. Obama is intent on inducing a complete financial collapse in order to speed up the government takeover of all institutions and businesses.

I also believe that he intends to negotiate some sort of capitulation to Sharia installation (look at his appointment of Mr. Koh) within our legal system. If you don’t know where that’s going to lead, you’d better read some history and read the Koran.

Mr. Obama is probably one of our more intelligent presidents, and is therefore much more dangerous because of his intentions. He’s a master of Orwellian speech, saying one thing while doing the opposite. He learned the lessons of Marx well from his early mentors and will not sway from his ideological goals.

And most Americans have no idea whom they really elected. They’re clueless because, as Mr. Sowell pointed out, the news media have become cheerleading advocates instead of doing their jobs.”