Archive for September 2nd, 2009

Teach Me Your Decrees

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

The earth is filled with your love, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.
Psalm 119:64 (New International Version)

Pandemic Bill Allows Authorities to Enter Homes, Detain Without Warrant

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

A “pandemic response bill” currently making its way through the Massachusetts state legislature would allow authorities to forcefully quarantine citizens in the event of a health emergency, compel health providers to vaccinate citizens, authorize forceful entry into private dwellings and destruction of citizen property and impose fines on citizens for noncompliance.

If citizens refuse to comply with isolation or quarantine orders in the event of a health emergency, they may be imprisoned for up to 30 days and fined $1,000 per day that the violation continues.

Massachusetts’ pandemic response bill

“Pandemic Response Bill” 2028 was passed by the Massachusetts state Senate on April 28 and is now awaiting approval in the House.

As stated in the bill, upon declaration by the governor that an emergency exists that is considered detrimental to public health or upon declaration of a state of emergency, a local public health authority, with approval of the commissioner, may exercise the following authorities (emphasis added):

* to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;

* to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated any building or facility, and to allow the reopening of the building or facility when the danger has ended;

* to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated, or to destroy any material;

* to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;

* to require a health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility, or to transfer the management and supervision of the health care facility to the department or to a local public health authority;

* to control ingress to and egress from any stricken or threatened public area, and the movement of persons and materials within the area;

* to adopt and enforce measures to provide for the safe disposal of infectious waste and human remains, provided that religious, cultural, family, and individual beliefs of the deceased person shall be followed to the extent possible when disposing of human remains, whenever that may be done without endangering the public health;

* to procure, take immediate possession from any source, store, or distribute any anti-toxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical agents or medical supplies located within the commonwealth as may be necessary to respond to the emergency;

* to require in-state health care providers to assist in the performance of vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of any individual as a condition of licensure, authorization, or the ability to continue to function as a health care provider in the commonwealth;

* to waive the commonwealth’s licensing requirements for health care professionals with a valid license from another state in the United States or whose professional training would otherwise qualify them for an appropriate professional license in the commonwealth;

* to allow for the dispensing of controlled substance by appropriate personnel consistent with federal statutes as necessary for the prevention or treatment of illness;

* to authorize the chief medical examiner to appoint and prescribe the duties of such emergency assistant medical examiners as may be required for the proper performance of the duties of office;

* to collect specimens and perform tests on any animal, living or deceased;

* to exercise authority under sections 95 and 96 of chapter 111;

* to care for any emerging mental health or crisis counseling needs that individuals may exhibit, with the consent of the individuals

State and local agencies responding to the public health emergency would be required to exercise their powers over transportation routes, communication devices , carriers, public utilities, fuels, food, clothing and shelter, according to the legislation.

Local public health authorities will be required to keep records of reports containing the name and location of all people who have been reported, their disease, injury, or health condition and the name of the person reporting the case. In addition, citizens may be subject to “involuntary transportation.”

Line 341 of the bill states, “Law enforcement authorities, upon order of the commissioner or his agent or at the request of a local public health authority pursuant to such order, shall assist emergency medical technicians or other appropriate medical personnel in the involuntary transportation of such person to the tuberculosis treatment center. No law enforcement authority or medical personnel shall be held criminally or civilly liable as a result of an act or omission carried out in good faith in reliance on said order.”

Vaccinate or isolate

Whenever the commissioner or a public-health authority decides it is necessary to prevent a serious danger to the public health, they are authorized:

(1) to vaccinate or provide precautionary prophylaxis (preventative procedure) to individuals as protection against communicable disease and to prevent the spread of communicable or possible communicable disease, provided that any vaccine to be administered must not be such as is reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the affected individual; and

(2) to treat individuals exposed to or infected with disease, provided that treatment must not be such as is reasonably likely to lead to serious harm to the affected individual. An individual who is unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment shall not be required to submit to such procedures but may be isolated or quarantined … if his or her refusal poses a serious danger to public health or results in uncertainty whether he or she has been exposed to or is infected with a disease or condition that poses a serious danger to public health, as determined by the commissioner, or a local public health authority operating within its jurisdiction. (emphasis added)

Under such circumstances, authorities are also allowed to decontaminate individuals and perform physical examinations, tests and specimen collection to determine whether “an individual presents a risk to public health.” If a citizen refuses, he or she may be isolated, quarantined and/or detained “for as long as may be reasonably necessary,” the bill states.

Law enforcement authorities are authorized to “arrest without warrant any person whom the officer has probable cause to believe has violated an order for isolation or quarantine and shall use reasonable diligence to enforce such order. Any person who knowingly violates an order for isolation or quarantine shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than 30 days and may be subject to a civil fine of not more than $1,000 per day that the violation continues.”

Other states are enacting similar legislation, read the rest of the article here.

Rose of Sharon Anointing Oil – Purse Pouch – from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Rose of Sharon Anointing Oil – Purse Pouch.

Rose of Sharon Anointing Oil – with handy purse pouch

* size: 5ml

Made in the Holy land with Frankincense and Myrrh

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

Best-Selling Bible for Conservative Evangelicals to Undergo Revision

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text.

The New International Version, the Bible of choice for conservative evangelicals, will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship, it was announced Tuesday. The revision is scheduled to be completed late next year and published in 2011.

“We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand,” said Keith Danby, global president and CEO of Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian ministry that holds the NIV copyright.

But past attempts to remake the NIV for contemporary audiences in different editions have been plagued by controversies about gender language that have pitted theological conservatives against each other.

The changes did not make all men “people” or remove male references to God, but instead involved dropping gender-specific terms when translators judged that the original text didn’t intend it. So in some verses, references to “sons of God” became “children of God,” for example.

Supporters say gender-inclusive changes are more accurate and make the Bible more accessible, but critics contend they twist meaning or smack of political correctness.

Acknowledging past missteps, the NIV’s overseers are promising that this time, the revision process will be more transparent and that they will actively promote what they describe as a long-held practice of inviting input from scholars and readers.

The NIV was first published in 1978 and more than 300 million NIV Bibles are in print worldwide; its publishers and distributors say the translation accounts for 30 percent of Bibles sold in North America.

The Committee on Bible Translation, an independent group of conservative scholars and translators formed in 1965 to create and revise the NIV, will oversee the new revision.

An effort earlier this decade to create a separate version of the NIV that used more gender-inclusive language in an attempt to reach a younger audience fell flat with groups that felt it crossed the line.

That edition, Today’s New International Version, will cease publication once the new-look NIV is released, said Moe Girkins, president of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Zondervan, its North American publisher.

“Whatever its strengths, the TNIV has become an emblem of division in the evangelical Christian world,” Girkins said.

It was the TNIV that ushered in changes from “sons of God” to “children of God,” or “brothers” to “brothers and sisters.” In Genesis I, God created “human beings” in his own image instead of “man.”

Many prominent pastors and scholars endorsed the changes. But critics said masculine terms in the original should not be tampered with. Some warned that changing singular gender references to plural ones alters what the Bible says about God’s relationships with individuals.

The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution saying the edition “has gone beyond acceptable translation standards.”

“We fell short of the trust that has been placed in us,” said Danby, of Biblica. “We failed to make a clear case for the revisions.”

Danby said that freezing the NIV in its 1984 state was also a mistake, however. He emphasized that in the revision, about 90 percent of the NIV will be unchanged.

Douglas Moo, a professor at Wheaton College and chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation, said the group is committed to “a complete review of every gender related change.”

“I am not sure how it’s going to come out,” Moo said. “We have a genuine, authentic review process … Everything is on the table.”

One of the most vocal critics of gender-inclusive translations, Randy Stinson of the Louisville, Ky.-based Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, said the group supports updating the NIV. He credited organizers for their openness.

“We’re still probably going to differ on the way they handle some of the gender language,” Stinson said. “But we’re open and anxious to see what they come up with and we’re really going to be reserving judgment.”

Most changes will have nothing to do with gender inclusivity, Moo said. And the TNIV provides a glimpse of likely changes: In the ’84 NIV, Mary is “with child,” but in the TNIV she is “pregnant.” In the NIV version of Psalm 146:9, “The Lord watches over the alien.” The TNIV used “foreigner” instead of “alien.”

Original Link.

Health Care Reform Anger Has Deeper Roots

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

WASHINGTON — Recent town-hall uproars weren’t just about health care. They were also eruptions of concern that the government is taking on too much at once.

That suggests trouble for the president and his party, and fears of losses in next year’s midterm election are likely to shape the Democrats’ fall agenda.

At August’s town-hall meetings, voters often started with complaints about health care, only to shift to frustrations about all the other things President Barack Obama and the Democrats have done or tried to do since January. The $787 billion economic-stimulus package, the government-led rescue of General Motors Corp. and climate-change legislation all came in for criticism.

“A lot of the anxiety we face here has less to do with health care and everything to do with the overall state of the economy and government,” said Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat.

“I have seen a level of dissatisfaction and even anger that I haven’t experienced in the years that I’ve been a member of Congress,” Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, told an audience at a health-care meeting in Kansas City on Monday.

Although the election is still far off, political forecasters predict that Democrats could run into trouble in the 2010 midterm vote.

“What we’re seeing now, both in terms of numbers and the feel out there, this is how big waves feel early on,” said Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report.

Original Link.

“Un-American and Unlawful White House Projects” by Phyllis Schlafly

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

The czars’ salaries are paid by the U.S. taxpayers, but they are not confirmed by the Senate, yet they appear to have the authority to override those who are confirmed. Lack of Senate confirmation means we must rely on Glenn Beck to discover that the green jobs czar, Van Jones, is or was a communist and a self-described “rowdy black nationalist.”

So far, Obama has appointed 34 czars. Just listing them is enough to scare anyone who believes in constitutional and representative government: Afghanistan czar, aids czar, border czar, car czar, climate czar, copyright czar, cyberspace czar, drug czar, economic czar, education czar, energy czar, executive pay czar, faith-based czar, Great Lakes czar, green jobs czar, Guantanamo closure czar, health reform czar, infotech czar, intelligence czar, Iran czar, Middle East peace czar, non-proliferation czar, Persian Gulf/Southeast Asia czar, regulatory czar, science czar, stimulus accountability czar, Sudan czar, TARP czar, terrorism czar, urban czar, war czar, and WMD and terrorism czar.

At least one Obama pal is functioning in a similar capacity without the awesome Russian title of czar. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who publicly withdrew from the position of secretary of health and human services because of non-payment of income taxes, is providing “outside advice” to the president inside the Oval Office and to top White House officials, while continuing as a highly paid policy adviser to hospital and pharmaceutical clients of a law and lobbying firm.

Daschle is not registered as a lobbyist — he identifies himself as a “resource” to government and industry. It looks like Daschle has the best of all worlds, both for influence and remuneration.

The senior Senate Democrat, Robert Byrd of West Virginia (who is third in line for the U.S. presidency after Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi), wrote Obama in February saying that these czar appointments are a power grab by the executive branch and violate both the constitutional system of checks and balances and the constitutional separation of powers. He said they are a clear attempt to evade congressional oversight.

The president is entitled to have his own advisers, but these czars are directly dictating policy, and nobody really knows the extent of their powers. Whatever happened to Obama’s campaign promise of transparency?

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., has introduced the Czar Accountability and Reform Act to cut off the salaries of these czars (estimated at $172,000 plus their staffs of 10-plus people). It’s unlikely that the Democratic Congress will let this bill see the light of day.

Read the rest of the article here.