Archive for April 29th, 2009

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.