Archive for September 17th, 2009

Do What Is Right And Just

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

To do what is right and just
is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Proverbs 21:3 (New International Version)

Congress Expanding ‘Gay’ Protections in Classrooms

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

A new proposal in the U.S. Congress would allow children in public schools across the nation to be disciplined for “bullying” if someone else “perceives” a slight over someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and in one case where such a program already has been implemented, it is being used to exclude parents from any input into what their children are taught about homosexuality and bisexuality.

The proposal is H.R. 2262, which was introduced in May by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., just about the same time Kevin Jennings, the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network which promotes homosexuality in schools, was appointed to head the office of school safety in President Obama’s administration.

The alarms are being raised by organizations like Americans for Truth and the Illinois Family Institute, where Laurie Higgins warned about the impact of the plan.

She described the “Safe Schools Improvement Act,” and said, “Despite its innocuous-sound title, this bill would actually promote the acceptance of homosexuality and gender confusion in schools.

“This bill would ‘amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to include bullying and harassment prevention programs,'” she wrote. “Anyone who has been paying attention knows that anti-bullying/safe schools curricula are now the central means by which pro-homosexual propaganda is secreted into public schools.

“Organizations like the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which endorsed H.R. 2262, are working feverishly to get pro-homosexual/safe schools curricula in all schools,” she warned.

The bill itself defines “bullying” as whatever “adversely affects the ability of one or more students to participate in or benefit from the school’s educational programs
or activities by placing the student (or students) in reasonable fear of physical harm” and involves conduct based on “a student’s actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.”

It already has 84 cosponsors and has been referred to the House subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education.

Higgins wrote of her experiences with such a program being adopted by the schools in Alameda County, Calif.

Officials there adopted a curriculum that provides homosexual instruction, is required for the students, and does not allow parents to withdraw their children from the program. In other words, mandatory homosexual indoctrination, opponents say.

Higgins wrote, “A few months ago, a mother from Alameda County, Calif., called me for help in combating the new K-5 ‘Safe Schools’ curriculum adopted by her local school board and implemented this month. It was this mother who directed me to H.R. 2262 and asked whether the passage of this bill would be accompanied by public money, perhaps even stimulus money.

“The ‘safe schools’ curriculum in Alameda … like all other ‘safe schools’ curricula, presents homosexuality, bisexuality, ‘transgenderism,’ and ‘transsexuality,’ (more properly known as gender identity disorder) positively and in ways that suggest that these disordered sexual practices are morally equivalent to heterosexuality,” Higgins continued.

“What makes this situation worse – if that’s possible – is that the school district’s “attorneys say parents would not be allowed to keep their children from taking the courses because the lessons don’t include health or sexual education,'” Higgins wrote.

Under the Alameda plan, parents also will not be notified before students are taught the lessons.

Such actions, she writes, “reveal the deceit and Machiavellian machinations [homosexuals] are willing to employ in the service of using public education to advance their social and political vision.”

Higgins also cited a Massachusetts court decision, written by Judge Mark Wolf, who told parents they could either put their children in public school or homeschool them. But Wolf said if the children are in public schools, there is no requirement that schools tell parents about presentations that promote homosexuality or offer an opt-out.

“Apparently, when activist educators say that it takes an entire village to raise a child, they really mean it takes an entire village of likeminded ‘agents of change’ and boatloads of public money to indoctrinate other people’s children,” Higgins wrote.

“The very real problem of bullying is being exploited to convince the public that pro-homosexual proselytizing belongs in public schools. Don’t buy it. Schools can address bullying without ever mentioning deviant sexual conduct,” she said.

Read the complete article here.

“Mainstream Media Fears Where Stories They Ignore May Lead” by John Nolte

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Yesterday the anchor of a major network (ABC) consciously chose to try and look like an imbecile rather than have to answer why he wasn’t covering what so far ranks as the biggest story/scandal of the year. And I say “try and look like an imbecile” because the ruse didn’t work. You, me and anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows he wasn’t telling the truth about not knowing anything about the ACORN scandal. The Manhattan/Cocktail Party Bubble is immune to many things – humility, tolerance – but we’re supposed to believe a network news anchor went two or three days without hearing ACORN was fired by the U.S. Census Bureau?

Of course, we’re not supposed to believe that. “Incredulous” doesn’t begin to describe the nonsense that came out of Gibson’s mouth. But fear makes you do stupid things, and short of wetting his pants, Gibson proved that.

The Palace Guards are … terrified.

The Palace Guards know full well how the “narrative” works and each of the stories they’ve ignored at crippling expense to their own integrity and relevance represents what terrifies them most … a string that could unravel The Whole Thing.

A single serious tug on the Van Jones’ string can only mean questions and more questions that cannot be answered without great harm to the White House and the Leftist agenda our media so desperately wants to see become law. Who vetted Jones? Who recommended him? Did they know about his past? Did the President know? Were the other Czars vetted (or not) in the same way? What’s to be found in the past of these Czars?

Best case scenario, the story swamps the White House and has them playing defense for a time – and this is an important time for a media eager to see the rest of us lose our health insurance. Worst case scenario (for those more enamored with socialism than government accountability), is that we learn Van Jones wasn’t an outlier and that unaccountable, un-vetted radicalism rules the West Wing…

The Perfect Storm, of course, is the laying of this same template over the NEA and ACORN stories.

So you bet they’re terrified. And who can blame them? If you were an ideologue willing to sell your legacy as a journalist down the river for a first love named Bloated Government you’d be terrified too.

And we should stop referring to them as the “Dinosaur Media.” That misses an important point. The dinosaurs didn’t extinguish themselves. They were victims of meteors or Flintstone-made global warming or something.

This is the Kamikaze Media.

Original Link.

Voter Intimidation Case Still a Mystery

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Don’t look for this to be investigated correctly. Remember that we have dual justice in this country; one standard for some people, another for others.

The Washington Times is reporting that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) has launched an investigation into the dismissal of voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party.

In January, the Justice Department filed a complaint accusing two New Black Panthers of engaging in “coercion, threats, and intimidation, racial threats and insults, menacing and intimidating gestures, and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote” at a Philadelphia polling place in November. A third Black Panther was accused of directing the behavior. The Times has reported that the number-three man at Justice, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, okayed the dismissal of the case.

“Given the past performance of that office, I don’t believe they can be trusted to do a fair and objective investigation,” [Hans van Spakovsky, a visiting legal scholar at The Heritage Foundation and a former member of the FEC] contends. “Also, they are simply looking at ethics issues. That doesn’t answer the kind of questions that, for example, the Civil Rights Commission asked about what the standards are for filing and pursuing voter intimidation cases.”

Original Link.

“Take My Fat, Please” by Jeff Schreiber

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Assigned Reading: Liposuction Leftovers Easily Converted to Stem Cells
(FROM: Next Big Future)

Big thanks to Instapundit for pointing out this link — I would not have seen it on my own. Here’s a quote from a study conducted by the Stanford School of Medicine:

Thirty to 40 percent of adults in this country are obese,” agreed cardiologist Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, the paper’s senior author. “Not only can we start with a lot of cells, we can reprogram them much more efficiently. Fibroblasts, or skin cells, must be grown in the lab for three weeks or more before they can be reprogrammed. But these stem cells from fat are ready to go right away.”

The fact that the cells can also be converted without the need for mouse-derived “feeder cells” may make them an ideal starting material for human therapies. Feeder cells are often used when growing human skin cells outside the body, but physicians
worry that cross-species contamination could make them unsuitable for human use.

Even those of us who are not obese would probably be happy to part with a couple of pounds (or more) of flab. Nestled within this unwanted latticework of fat cells and collagen are multipotent cells called adipose, or fat, stem cells. Unlike highly specialized skin-cell fibroblasts, these cells in the fat have a relatively wide portfolio of differentiation options—becoming fat, bone or muscle as needed. It’s this pre-existing flexibility, the researchers believe, that gives these cell an edge over the skin cells.

“These cells are not as far along on the differentiation pathway, so they’re easier to back up to an earlier state,” said first author and postdoctoral scholar Ning Sun, PhD, who conducted the research in both Longaker’s and Wu’s laboratories. “They are more embryonic-like than fibroblasts, which take more effort to reprogram.”

These reprogrammed iPS cells are usually created by expressing four genes, called Yamanaka factors, normally unexpressed (or expressed at very low levels) in adult cells.

Sun found that the fat stem cells actually express higher starting levels of two of the four reprogramming genes than do adult skin cells—suggesting that these cells are already primed for change. When he added all four genes, about 0.01 percent of the skin-cell fibroblasts eventually became iPS cells but about 0.2 percent of the fat stem cells did so—a 20-fold improvement in efficiency.

The new iPS cells passed the standard tests for pluripotency:

“Imagine if we could isolate fat cells from a patient with some type of congenital cardiac disease,” said Wu. “We could then differentiate them into cardiac cells, study how they respond to different drugs or stimuli and see how they compare to normal cells. This would be a great advance.”

“The field now needs to move forward in ways that the Food and Drug Administration would approve —with cells that can be efficiently reprogrammed without the risk of cross-species contamination—and Stanford is an ideal place for that to happen.”

I know what you’re thinking. This story is huge. Well, you’re right, except that the mainstream press will pay it little to no attention, much like the little to no attention paid to the story breaking over the past year that adult stem cells can be manipulated to behave like embryonic stem cells.

Nevertheless, I find it interesting, and would be thrilled if we could explore the potential of stem cell research without the destruction of life. And, regardless, if we are indeed destined and doomed to destroy life in order to perhaps have the chance of extending our own–I don’t get the selfishness–at least let such research be funded by something other than my tax money. I understand the need to foster progress, but we should exhaust our research on adult stem cells, umbilical stem cells, current lines of embryonic stem cells, and stem cells from my love handles before resorting to harvesting new ones. When in doubt, err on the side of life.

Should this fat-to-stem-cell techonology work out, though, I might feel a little less guilty about that next plate of nachos. “No, honey, I’m not concerned about my waistline — I’m curing cancer.”

Original Link.

Hamas-Linked CAIR Supervised Police Interview of Rifqa Bary’s Parents on Abuse Allegations

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

We have blogged often about a girl, Rifqa Bary, 17, who ran away from her Muslim family after converting to Christianity, out of fear for her life.
Yesterday, we blogged on a report filed by Florida State officials that stated they couldn’t find any evidence that her life was in danger. This finding seemed to be somewhat acceptable until I looked at all the evidence they hadn’t considered.
Today though, we found out, from Robert Spenser’s Jihad Watch and the Jawa Report, that members of The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), were invited to go with the Florida officials as they investigated her parents.
Now aside from the fact that they had no relationship to this investigation and should never have been included, keep in mind that CAIR is, according to Jihad Watch, “an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman, as well as its chief spokesman, have made Islamic supremacist statements.”
Not exactly a reliable “expert” to include in an investigation. The lack of findings by the Florida officials makes a lot more sense now.

Fathima Bary

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case — so named by the Justice Department. CAIR operatives have repeatedly refused to denounce Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups. Several former CAIR officials have been convicted of various crimes related to jihad terror. CAIR’s cofounder and longtime Board chairman, as well as its chief spokesman, have made Islamic supremacist statements.

Florida law enforcement officials should have shunned this unsavory group. Instead, they let them supervise their investigation. Is it any surprise, then, that the FDLE found no evidence of abuse?

“Terror front CAIR supervised police interview of Rifqa Bary’s parents on abuse allegations,” from the Jawa Report, September 14:

A report by the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement (FDLE) that has been sealed by the court investigating the Rifqa Bary abuse and honor killing allegations is set to be released today. While the report is still sealed, we can report based on law enforcement sources who have read the report that the FDLE interview of Rifqa’s parents was supervised by Hamas front organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). According to my sources, this is what the report says:

“FDLE/DCF Investigators were accompanied to the Bary residence by Sgt. John Hurst of the Columbus P.D. Child Abuse Squad. The residence is located in an apartment complex. Mr. Babak Darvish, Executive Director of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Columbus and Mr. Romin Iqbal, Staff Attorney for CAIR OHIO were present. Investigators interviewed Mr. Bary in a non-custodial setting.”

What makes this decision by FDLE and the FL Dept of Children and Families to allow CAIR- who is not a party to the legal dispute and has not notified the court that they are representing the Barys in any legal capacity – is that FDLE/DCF conducted a three and a half hour interrogation of Rifqa, the victim in this case, without her attorney and guardian ad litem being present. We reported on that revelation 10 days ago….

CAIR’s bloody fingerprints have been all over this case while they have remained behind the scenes. As we noted on August 21st, a source who attended a CAIR strategy session on the Rifqa case had stated that CAIR intended to push the story that Rifqa had been abducted and brainwashed by a Christian cult.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist ought to be ashamed to allow his FDLE and DCF goons behave in such an unprofessional and grossly political manner. Crist has clearly endorsed FDLE/DCF’s conduct all in order to whitewash this investigation and send Rifqa back to her family and place her back in harm’s way to placate the gods of political correctness and to avoid jeopardizing his US Senate race next year. Here’s the contact information for Crist and DCF if you would like to tell them what you think about their handling of this case:Governor Charlie Crist’s office: Phone: (850) 488-4441, (850) 488-7146
Fax: (850) 487-0801

Florida Department of Children and Family:
George H. Sheldon, Secretary
1317 Winewood Blvd.
Building 1, Room 202
Tallahassee, Florida
Phone: (850) 487-1111
Fax: (850) 922-2993

Original Link.

See our previous post about Rifqa Bary.
Florida Investigation Finds No Credible Threat to Teen Christian Convert.
Teen Christian Convert Who Fled Muslim Family Gets Online Threat.
Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Says Family Threatened to Kill Her.
Updated: Judge Decides Fate of Honor Student, Cheerleader Who Fears “Honor Killing” After Converting to Christianity.
Parents of Muslim Teen Who Converted to Christianity Have Ties to Mosque of Alleged Terrorist.

In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings
In Remembrance of Sarah and Amina Said. Stop Muslim “Honor” Killings

Israelis, Palestinians Present Peace Blueprint

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

This is really the closest I can remember them coming to any kind of true peace accord. We need to watch this closely.

TEL AVIV, Israel — Jerusalem divided by a series of fences, trenches and walls. The West Bank and Gaza linked by a sunken highway. Palestinians and Israelis trading land that would require 100,000 Jewish settlers to move.

These proposals are part of a 424-page blueprint for Mideast peace presented Tuesday — the most detailed description yet of what an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could look like.

The plan was released as a new U.S. diplomatic effort was under way to restart peace talks and ahead of meetings next week at the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Created by teams of Israeli and Palestinian experts and former negotiators, the blueprint is meant to show it’s still possible to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel, despite many setbacks, said those involved in the drafting.

“If you want to resolve the conflict, here is the recipe,” said Gadi Baltiansky, a leader of the Israeli team.

The core of the plan is a Palestinian state in nearly 98 percent of the West Bank, all of the Gaza Strip and the Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem. By going into the tiniest details, it highlights the staggering challenges and expense of implementing any peace deal.

The blueprint was presented Tuesday by Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli peace negotiator, and by Baltiansky, who served as an aide to former prime minister Ehud Barak.

The Palestinian participants kept a low profile. The most senior, Yasser Abed Rabbo, now a high-ranking aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, declined comment and did not attend the plan’s unveiling in Tel Aviv.

Israeli officials said the Palestinians planned their own presentation later, but it appeared the Palestinians also wanted to avoid giving the impression their governme is also close to the terms of a failed agreement suggested in late 2000 by then-President Bill Clinton.

The blueprint goes into detail on issues that were only dealt with in broad strokes in the earlier efforts.

For example, the 2003 plan said the West Bank and Gaza, which flank Israel, should be connected by a corridor running through the Jewish state. The expanded proposal describes a sunken four-lane highway with bridges and tunnels; it would also give the Palestinians the option of adding train tracks, underground fuel pipes and communications cables.

The partition of Jerusalem required perhaps the most creativity.

Earlier efforts called for Jewish neighborhoods to join Israel and Arab ones to become part of Palestine. However, traditionally Arab east Jerusalem has become a patchwork of Jewish and Arab neighborhoods since Israel captured it in the 1967 Mideast war and moved nearly 200,000 Israelis there.

As a result, the border on the blueprint snakes around neighborhoods, divvying them between Israel and Palestine. A major thoroughfare that bisects the city would become a binational road, with Israeli and Palestinian motorists divided by a series of fences, trenches, walls and greenery.

A pedestrian overpass in the downtown area, near the famed American Colony Hotel, would link the Palestinian part of Jerusalem with the Israeli sector, passing through a border checkpoint.

Huge multilevel border terminals would be built in the northern and southern areas of the city, and planners included detailed architectural drawings of the crossings.

Both sides would have access to the walled Old City with its major religious shrines, but from separate gates. The border puts the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, in Israel, while the Palestinians would get the adjacent Al Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third-holiest shrine.

The document does not have a detailed chapter on the fate of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants, one of the toughest issues facing peacemakers. The Palestinian team leader, Nidal Foqaha, said the issue was still too sensitive.

The security annex was the most difficult to put together, Baltiansky said. He said the involvement of senior former Israeli military officials ensured the document addresses Israel’s security concerns.

Israel fears Palestinian militants would overrun the West Bank after a withdrawal and launch rockets at Israel. Gaza was seized by Hamas in 2007, two years after Israel’s withdrawal, and militants there have fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants a future Palestinian state to be demilitarized, and the security annex lists weapons the Palestinian security forces would be banned from having, including tanks, artillery, rockets, heavy machine guns and weapons of mass destruction.

The plan also stipulates that an Israeli infantry battalion of 800 soldiers would remain in the Jordan Valley, on the West Bank’s border with Jordan, for three years after all other Israeli troops have left the Palestinian territory.

“When Netanyahu speaks about a non-militarized Palestine, in this book we write exactly what it means,” Baltiansky said. “We translate it into a detailed reality.”

The manual is being presented to Israeli and Palestinian leaders as well as top diplomats in the U.S., Europe and Egypt in hopes they will use it as a reference once peace talks resume, organizers said.

Original Link.