Archive for January, 2010

Obama to Seek New Power to Limit Bank Risks

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Obama is still going after the banks. By demonizing them, he hopes to add them to his list of government take overs, in line with the auto industry and health care. There is nothing this man does not want to control.

WASHINGTON — Stepping up pressure on Wall Street, President Barack Obama on Thursday plans to call for giving the government new powers to limit the size and complexity of large financial institutions and to limit their ability to engage in high-risk trades.

Obama will make the announcement Thursday, a senior administration official said, in a bipartisan display aimed at capitalizing on the one issue in his agenda still standing after a devastating Democratic electoral loss in Massachusetts.

The restrictions expand on previous administration positions and would strengthen measures already approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate is in the midst of writing new banking regulations.

Obama is placing a new emphasis on Wall Street regulations, with a goal of limiting the financial sector to smaller, less interconnected firms. The complexity of the financial industry forced the government in 2008 to approve massive bailouts to prevent a systemwide economic collapse.

Original Link.

‘Turkey No Longer Needs a Close Relationship with Israel’

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We mentioned that Turkey was indeed moving toward it’s role in end time events. This article goes one step further to highlight Turkey’s move from democracy to Islamic theocracy.

The rift in Israeli-Turkish relations is the result of Ankara turning away from secularism and toward more radical Islam, Israel’s military intelligence chief said on Tuesday.

The comments to a parliamentary committee by Maj. General Amos Yadlin reflected wider concern in Israel and followed a high profile visit to Turkey on Sunday by Defense Minister Ehud Barak that was meant to help mend the relationship after a sharp diplomatic row.

“Turkey no longer needs a close relationship with Israel,” a parliamentary official quoted Yadlin as telling the foreign affairs committee of the Knesset.

“They are currently in the midst of a fundamental process of moving further away from the secular Ataturk approach, closer to a radical approach,” Yadlin said, adding that key factors had been an easing of Turkish concerns about Syria and Ankara’s failure to clinch membership of the European Union.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the modern secular state on the ruins of Ottoman muslim theocratic rule in the 1920s. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan insists he remains loyal to Ataturk’s legacy but secularist conservatives suspect him of ambitions to found a religious state, an allegation he denies.

Turkey, a member of the NATO defense pact, has a history of military cooperation with Israel and of mediating for Israel with the Arab world.

But ties have been shaken by a series of harsh and public criticism from both sides, culminating last week in a televised reprimand in Jerusalem of Turkey’s ambassador.

Original Link.

Runaway Christian Convert to Remain Free of Parents, Judge Rules

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Our prayers in regards to Rifqa Bary, the teen who ran away from home, in fear of her life, after she converted from Islam to Christianity, have been answered. She will be allowed to live in foster care until she turns 18, at which time she can decide where she will live.
Thank you Lord!!!

Fathima Bary

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A runaway teenage girl from Ohio who converted from Islam to Christianity has reached a court settlement that allows her to remain free of her Muslim parents.

The agreement Tuesday says that 17-year-old Rifqa Bary will stay in a foster home under state custody in Columbus until she turns 18 in August. After that, she’ll be an adult and free to live where she chooses.

Bary’s attorney read a statement in Franklin County Juvenile Court, saying that the girl and her parents love and respect each other and will try to resolve their differences through counseling.

Bary ran away to Florida last summer, saying she feared her father would harm or kill her for leaving Islam.

Her father denied the claim, and a law enforcement investigation found no credible threats to the girl.

See our previous post about Rifqa Bary.
Rifqa Bary Case Takes a Positive Turn.
Court Issues Reunification Plan in Rifqa Bary Case.
Rifqa Bary Returns to Columbus.
Hamas-Linked CAIR Supervised Police Interview of Rifqa Bary’s Parents on Abuse Allegations.
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.
Political Asylum Suggested for Rifqa Bary, Teen ‘Muslim to Christian’ Convert.
Teen ‘Muslim to Christian’ Convert Order Back to Ohio by Florida Judge.
Rifqa Investigation Ignored Facts About Islam.

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

Brown Scores Upset Victory Over Coakley in Massachusetts Senate Race

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

We made the point that it was a mistake for the Democrats to not only ignore the request of the “Tea Parties” and the August town halls, and to disparage and insult the participants. That coupled with the horribly liberal polices the Democrats are forcing down our throats, despite the intense opposition from a majority of people, it is beging to show up as defeats against Democrat elected officials.
Yesterday, against all odds and conventional thinking, the Democrats suffered a crushing defeat in Massachusetts. Usually hailed as a Democrat stronghold, Massachusetts has decided that the path the Democrats have chosen is even too liberal for them.
Perhaps there is hope for our country after all.

Washington was waking up Wednesday to a new Senate make-up, one featuring Republican Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown, who defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a victory few thought possible just a month ago.

The race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy is a win that could grind President Obama’s agenda to a halt and portend unexpected losses for Democrats in the November midterms.

In his victory speech, Brown declared that he had “defied the odds and the pundits,” and said he would try to be a “worthy successor” to Kennedy.

“Tonight, the independent voice of Massachusetts has spoken,” Brown said. “This Senate seat belongs to no one person, no one political party. … This is the people’s seat.”

With nearly all precincts reporting, returns showed Brown leading Coakley 52-47 percent, by a margin of 120,000 votes. Independent candidate Joseph Kennedy was pulling 1 percent.

The victory marks a stunning upset in a race thought to be safe for Democrats until Brown’s campaign began to surge just weeks ago. Even Brown appeared a bit in shock by his victory. Visibly giddy during his remarks, Brown went script and at one point offering up his daughters to the dating circuit — and later he earned supporters’ laughter by flubbing his campaign pitch line, “I’m Scott Brown. I’m from Wrentham. And I drive a truck.”

Brown’s victory has powerful ramifications for Obama’s agenda. The GOP state senator, once sworn in, will break the Democrats’ 60-vote, filibuster-proof majority in Washington. This creates problems for proposed legislation ranging from financial regulatory reform to cap-and-trade.

But most immediately the win sends Democrats into a scramble to pass health care reform before Brown arrives in Washington. Democrats were already weighing options for how to fast-track the bill before polls closed Tuesday.

Brown blasted the health care bill in his victory speech and urged the Senate to seat him as soon as possible. But a schedule for Brown’s swearing-in was up in the air on Tuesday night.

“The people of Massachusetts have spoken. We welcome Scott Brown to the Senate and will move to seat him as soon as the proper paperwork has been received,” said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected.

Original Link.

US Begins Airdrops of Food and Water into Haiti, French Complain

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We are one of the few nations that’s actually been able to get food and water into Haiti, but the French are complaining about us being there. Unbelievable.

The US military has begun airdropping food and water supplies into earthquake-hit Haiti.

Some 14,000 ready-to-eat meals and 15,000 litres of water were dropped north-east of the capital Port-au-Prince, the US said.

It had earlier said airdrops were too risky but congestion at the airport has hampered aid distribution. The US is now considering airdrops across Haiti.

More than 2,000 US Marines are set to join 1,000 US troops in Haiti.

They are equipped with heavy-lifting and earth-moving equipment, a dozen helicopters and medical support facilities.

Their arrival comes amid widespread violence and looting.

Original Link.

Meanwhile…

The French minister in charge of humanitarian relief called on the UN to “clarify” the American role amid claims the military build up was hampering aid efforts.

Alain Joyandet admitted he had been involved in a scuffle with a US commander in the airport’s control tower over the flight plan for a French evacuation flight.

“This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti,” Mr Joyandet said.

Geneva-based charity Medecins Sans Frontieres backed his calls saying hundreds of lives were being put at risk as planes carrying vital medical supplies were being turned away by American air traffic controllers.

But US commanders insisted their forces’ focus was on humanitarian work and last night agreed to prioritise aid arrivals to the airport over military flights, after the intervention of the UN.

The diplomatic row came amid heightened frustrations that hundreds of tons of aid was still not getting through. Charities reported violence was also worsening as desperate Haitians took matters into their own hands.

The death toll is now estimated at up to 200,000 lives. Around three million Haitians – a third of the country’s population – have been affected by Tuesday’s earthquake and two million require food assistance.

While food and water was gradually arriving at the makeshift camps which have sprung up around the city, riots have broken out in other areas where supplies have still not materialised.

Haiti was occupied by the US between 1915 and 1935, and historical sensitivities together with friction with other countries over the relief effort has made the Americans cautious about their role in the operation.

American military commanders have repeatedly stressed that they are not entering the country as an occupying force.

US soldiers in Port-au-Prince said they had been told to be discreet about how they carry their M4 assault rifles.

A paratrooper sergeant said they were authorised to use “deadly force” if they see anyone’s life in danger but only as a “last resort”.

Capt John Kirby, a spokesman for the joint task force at the airport, said the US recognised it was only one of a number of countries contributing to a UN-led mission.

He also emphasised the US troops, which he said would rise to 10,000 by Wednesday would principally be assisting in humanitarian relief and the evacuation of people needing medical attention.

The main responsibility for security rests with the UN, which is to add a further 3,000 troops to its force of 9,000.

However, it was agreed on Sunday night that the Americans would take over security at the four main food and water distribution points being set up in the city, Capt Kirby said.

“Security here is in a fluid situation,” he said. “If the Haitian government asked us to provide security downtown, we would do that.” He played down the threat of violence, saying: “What we’re seeing is that there are isolated incidents of violence and some pockets where it’s been more restive, but overall it’s calm.”

In the mean time, please continue to pray for the people of Haiti.

Original Link.

World Misled Over Himalayan Glacier Meltdown

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Here is yet another example of false climate data being manipulated at worse, not fact checked at best, and proving to be wrong. It seems to be another nail in the coffin of the “global warming” alarmist.

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: “If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, than I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments.”

The IPCC’s reliance on Hasnain’s 1999 interview has been highlighted by Fred Pearce, the journalist who carried out the original interview for the New Scientist. Pearce said he rang Hasnain in India in 1999 after spotting his claims in an Indian magazine. Pearce said: “Hasnain told me then that he was bringing a report containing those numbers to Britain. The report had not been peer reviewed or formally published in a scientific journal and it had no formal status so I reported his work on that basis.

“Since then I have obtained a copy and it does not say what Hasnain said. In other words it does not mention 2035 as a date by which any Himalayan glaciers will melt. However, he did make clear that his comments related only to part of the Himalayan glaciers. not the whole massif.”

The New Scientist report was apparently forgotten until 2005 when WWF cited it in a report called An Overview of Glaciers, Glacier Retreat, and Subsequent Impacts in Nepal, India and China. The report credited Hasnain’s 1999 interview with the New Scientist. But it was a campaigning report rather than an academic paper so it was not subjected to any formal scientific review. Despite this it rapidly became a key source for the IPCC when Lal and his colleagues came to write the section on the Himalayas.

When finally published, the IPCC report did give its source as the WWF study but went further, suggesting the likelihood of the glaciers melting was “very high”. The IPCC defines this as having a probability of greater than 90%.

The report read: “Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.”

However, glaciologists find such figures inherently ludicrous, pointing out that most Himalayan glaciers are hundreds of feet thick and could not melt fast enough to vanish by 2035 unless there was a huge global temperature rise. The maximum rate of decline in thickness seen in glaciers at the moment is 2-3 feet a year and most are far lower.

Original Link.

“WAITING FOR ARMAGEDDON” a Film Review by Fern Sidman

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

A Film By: Franco Sacchi, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

Reviewed by: Fern Sidman

In an hour and a quarter, filmmakers Franco Sacchi, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner take us through a tumultuous journey to the final scenario of the world as we know it, as they present the religious prophecies of the 50 million strong American Evangelical Christian movement in a new and powerful documentary entitled, “Waiting For Armageddon.” Riding the wave of the all pervasive eschatological (or End Times) phenomenon that has, in recent years, been highly touted in the media and in literary circles; the filmmakers provide an in depth view of what some interpret to be the Biblically mandated perspective on the final days of our universe. Told in the first person voices of mainstream Christians who subscribe to the beliefs of the evangelical church, they inform us that the end of days will occur in the Land of Israel, with the Jewish people figuring prominently in this venue.

“The Jewish people are G-d’s chosen people” says one American Christian, “and as such they are a light unto the nations. Whoever blesses the Jews will be blessed and whoever curses them will be cursed”, he continues. Providing historical proof of the downfall of the nations that have attempted to eradicate the Jewish nation such as the Babylonians, the Assyrian-Greeks, the Romans, as well as the Nazis, the Christian spokesperson lauds the Jewish people as G-d’s treasured, cherished nation, not to be fooled with. The predicate for their belief emanates from the Book of Revelations and is outlined in four stages – The Rapture, The Tribulation, The Apocalypse and The Millennium.

The film incorporates multiple interviews with everyday, lay people such as James and Laura Bagg, a Connecticut couple who are employed as jet propulsion engineers, Tony and Devonna Edwards of McAlester, Oklahoma and Dr. H. Wayne House of Salem, Oregon who explain in chilling detail the catastrophic and violent events that will unfold in the end of days. We also hear from an Orthodox Jewish scholar who casts aspersions on the ominous prognostications of the evangelicals as well as professors of religious studies and an evangelical tour guide that leads a group to Israel so that they may visit the Temple Mount and other sites such as Meggido.

Clearly, the foundation of their belief rests upon their interpretation of the second coming of Jesus, and they promulgate that notion as a potential, “World War III” in which they will be “raptured” or lifted into the skies to join their perceived messiah while the remainder of humanity suffers for seven years during “The Tribulation”. During this time, they assert with great assuredness that an anti-Christ will emerge and the nations of the world will coalesce to attack Israel and the Jewish people. While they proclaim the immense and pivotal role of Israel will play; it is because of their belief that the battle of Armageddon will take place there and they further claim that the battle will leave the earth ravaged and that their purported messiah will create a new and perfect world. The Jews they say, will eventually abrogate their belief in a monotheistic G-d and embrace the teachings of their deity. “The blood from this battle will be as high as a horse’s bridle. It’s just something mankind has never witnessed before” says Laura Bagg.

As to their take on the Muslims and Islam in the Middle East, the Christian tour guide states that in order for the future biblical prophecies to unfold, “the Dome of the Rock, the Al Aqsa mosque must be removed” and as such shows a photo of his group in Jerusalem with an image of the Beit HaMikdash (the Second Temple) superimposed over the golden dome symbolizing the Al Aqsa mosque. While the filmmakers probe the politically powerful and potentially explosive alliance between evangelical Christians and Israel by clarifying this elusive relationship in the hopes of fostering dialogue among dissenting groups, many questions remain about the dubious agenda they have foisted upon the Jewish people and the ultimate goal of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of international holy war.

Right now however, it appears that Christian evangelicals and the Jewish people share a common threat arising from the spread of radical Islam. Pastor John Hagee, a fervent Christian Zionist leader, and an enormously influential minister of an 18,000 member mega-church in Texas, declares in this film, “There is a war between Islamofascism and freedom. There is a war between the culture of death (the Muslims) and those who love life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Christians and Jews). It is a war we must win.” Something to ruminate upon as madmen, such as Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continue to pursue their global nuclear ambitions.

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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.

Canadian Government Goal To Squash Belief Homosexuality is Immoral

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Religious freedom has taken a step backwards in Canada. Christians, wake up!!

Opponents of “hate crimes” legislation, who have frequently pointed to Canada as an example of how such laws are used to increasingly suppress moral objections to homosexuality, now have more fuel for their fire in the form of the “Quebec Policy Against Homophobia.”

The policy, released last month by Quebec’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General Kathleen Weil, assigns the government the task of eliminating all forms of “homophobia” and “heterosexism” – including the belief that homosexuality is immoral – from society as a whole.

The text and specifics of the policy are steeped in vague bureaucratic language about “coordination” and “synergy,” but the goal is spelled out clearly: to enlist the government to normalize homosexuality in society and to quell common criticisms levied against “sexual minorities,” a term the policy uses to inclusively describe “lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgenders.”

“An inclusive society such as ours must take the necessary steps to combat homophobic attitudes and behavior patterns and move towards full acceptance of sexual diversity,” states the Premier of Quebec Jean Charest in a letter that serves as the policy’s introduction. “The policy sets out the government’s goal of removing all the obstacles to full recognition of the social equality of the sexual minorities, at all levels of society.”

The policy further defines the heterosexism that must be stomped out as “affirmation of heterosexuality as a social norm or the highest form of sexual orientation.”

Furthermore, the policy laments, “It is still possible to hear people say that homosexuality is an illness, morally wrong or a form of deviant behavior, and that people choose their sexual orientation. These beliefs, often instilled in the past, tend to marginalize sexual minority groups and prevent full recognition of their social equality.”

Such “prejudice,” the policy affirms, must be combated.

And while the word “church” is never explicitly mentioned in the policy, it does declare it important to publicize the most “insidious” forms of homophobia with a plan to “target the various locations in which homophobic attitudes and behavior patterns, as well as heterosexist stereotypes, are found.”

The policy also warns, “It will be necessary to deal with the heterosexist values on which some institutional practices are founded.”

Weil introduced her ministry’s new direction by stating, “The policy released this morning shows, once again, that Quebec society is a leader in the field of sexual minority rights.”

Indeed, Quebec was the first jurisdiction in North America to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation with an amendment to its charter of human rights and freedoms in 1977. In 1995, the province amended its criminal code to include sexual orientation as an aggravating factor in “hate crimes,” a law expanded in 2004 to include not only crimes but “hate propaganda.” Same-sex marriage was legalized in Quebec in 2005.

The progression from “hate crime” legislation to outlawing “hate propaganda” to now enlisting the government’s power in socially normalizing homosexuality is the very process decried by many Americans, as the U.S. also begins passing the first of such laws.

“This is the way it gets implemented in all the other countries,” Cass said. “Christians are singled out for prosecution, with threats, imprisonment and fines simply for refusing to stop doing what Christ commands: proclaiming the truth.”

“[These cases] are a good precursor of where this goes,” he warned.

Weil, however, argues that until society comes to accept “sexual minorities,” they will continue to be subjected to harassment, intimidation and insult – regardless of anti-discrimination laws.

“To be fully effective, the legal equality of sexual minorities must be supported by social equality,” Weil writes in her introduction to the policy. “The Quebec government intends, by adopting this policy against homophobia, to play a leading role in achieving this objective.”

To that end, the policy consists of four “guidelines” for the Quebec government, which, in the words of the policy, direct the government to:

* Recognize the realities faced by sexual minority members

* Promote respect for the rights of sexual minority members

* Promote wellbeing for sexual minorities

* Ensure a concerted approach by government authorities and institutions

The specific action points of the policy are loosely defined, but include funding additional studies, efforts to help “sexual minorities” find social services, rooting out institutional practices that discriminate against or intimidate “sexual minorities,” adapting public services to the specific needs of the “sexual minorities” and the creation of additional bureaucracies to “monitor” progress.

A brief line in the policy, which declares that schools can play “a key role” in retraining the populace on “sexual minority” rights, however, has elicited some reaction.

Georges Buscemi, president of Campaign Quebec-Vie, a Quebec pro-life group, told LifeSiteNews.com it is “obvious” that the policy would impose homosexuality training on children.

“They’ve done it with the ethics and religious culture course,” he said, “so I’m not at all surprised that they’d be willing to fully integrate it into that course, with extra stuff tacked on.”

LifeSiteNews reports that the Ethics and Religious Culture program is a province-mandated curriculum for all Quebec students spanning grades 1 to 11 that already presents homosexuality as a normal lifestyle.

Buscemi is also alarmed by the policy’s requirements that institutions and social services be conformed to fit the needs of “sexual minorities.”

“I could see this being the beginning of the end of religious freedom in the sense that if a church, for example, is offering a service, for example marriage, and is not tailoring the service to the needs of a homosexual, then it could be sanctioned for not doing that,” he explained.

“They’re going to try for the longest possible to just use social pressure and increasingly isolate the recalcitrant entities and institutions,” Buscemi predicted. “They’re quite clear; they’re quite unapologetic. It’s going to be a concerted effort, including all the ministries. … This is going to be a full-court press. It’s going to lead to ostracizing different churches that have doctrinal oppositions to homosexual behavior.”

Original Link.

More U.S. Troops, U.N. Peacekeepers Flow Into Haiti

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Please continue to pray for the people in Haiti.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Troops, doctors and aid workers flowed into Haiti on Monday even while hundreds of thousands of quake victims struggled to find a cup or water or a handful of food.

European nations pledged more than a half-billion dollars, with $474 million in emergency and long-term aid coming from the European Union alone and $132 million promised by member states.

But help was still not reaching many victims of Tuesday’s quake — choked back by transportation bottlenecks, bureaucratic confusion, fear of attacks on aid convoys, the collapse of local authority and the sheer scale of the need.

“We don’t need military aid. What we need is food and shelter,” one young man yelled at U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to the city Sunday. “We are dying,” a woman told him.

Haitian riot police meanwhile fired tear gas to disperse crowds of looters in the city’s downtown as several nearby shops burned.

“We’ve been ordered not to shoot at people unless completely necessary,” said Pierre Roger, a Haitian police officer who spoke as yet another crowd of looters ran by. “We’re too little, and these people are too desperate.”

The U.S. ambassador to Haiti, Kenneth Merten, acknowledged that “the security situation is obviously not perfect,” but told NBC television on Monday that new troops scheduled to arrive during the day are meant to back up Haitian police and U.N. personnel, not replace them.

While aid workers tried to make their way into Haiti, many people tried to leave. Hundreds of U.S. citizens, or people claiming to be, waved IDs as they formed a long line outside the U.S. Embassy in hopes of arranging a flight out of the country.

The Pan American Health Organization estimates 50,000 to 100,000 died in Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude quake and Haitian officials believe the number is higher. Many survivors have lost their homes and many live outside for fear unstable buildings could collapse in aftershocks.

So many people have lost homes that the World Food Program is planning a tent camp for 100,000 people — an instant city the size of Burbank, California — on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, according to the agency’s country director, Myrta Kaulard.

On the streets, people were still dying, pregnant women were giving birth and the injured were showing up in wheelbarrows and on people’s backs at hurriedly erected field hospitals.

Water began to reach more people around the capital and while fights broke out elsewhere, people formed lines to get supplies handed out by soldiers at a golf course. Still, with a blocked city port and relief groups claiming the U.S.-run airport is being poorly managed, food and medicine are scarce. Anger mounted hourly over the slow pace of the assistance.

Original Link.

Home Sick Today

Friday, January 15th, 2010

I’m home from work sick today, so I’m going to need to rest some. I’ll try to blog more later today.

Haiti in Ruins, Quake Survivors Grow Desperate

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Please continue to pray for the victims of the horrible disaster.
I noticed that, once again, the United States is leading the relief effort. I’m glad to see that.
For all you anti-military types, please take note that some of the first groups to arrive are military units. They can provide on the spot help in very little time. The next time you are inclined to bad mouth them, please remember this.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Turning pickup trucks into ambulances and doors into stretchers, Haitians are frantically struggling to save those injured in this week’s earthquake while hoping foreign governments will quickly send in aid.

Help began arriving early Thursday when an Air China plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medics and aid landed at Port-au-Prince airport, and more than 50 people in orange jumpsuits got out accompanied by trained dogs.

The U.S. and other nations said they were sending food, water, medical supplies to assist the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation, where the international Red Cross estimated 3 million people — a third of the population — may need emergency relief.

In the streets of the capital, survivors set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food being scavenged from the rubble.

“This is much worse than a hurricane,” said Jimitre Coquillon, a doctor’s assistant working at a makeshift triage center set up in a hotel parking lot. “There’s no water. There’s nothing. Thirsty people are going to die.”

If there were any organized efforts to distribute food or water, they were not visible Wednesday.

The aid group Doctors Without Borders treated wounded at two hospitals that withstood the quake and set up tent clinics elsewhere to replace its damaged facilities. Cuba, which already had hundreds of doctors in Haiti, treated injured in field hospitals.

President Barack Obama promised an all-out rescue and humanitarian effort including the military and civilian emergency teams from across the U.S. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson was expected to arrive off the coast Thursday and the Navy said the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan had been ordered to sail as soon as possible with a 2,000-member Marine unit.

Original Link.

“Global Warming Is a Religion” by Walter E. Williams

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Manmade global warming, for many, is an Earth-worshipping religion. The essential feature of any religion is that its pronouncements are to be accepted on the basis of faith as opposed to hard evidence. Questioning those pronouncements makes one a sinner. No one denies that the Earth’s temperature changes. Millions of years ago, much of our planet was covered by ice, at some places up to a mile thick, a period some scientists call “Snowball Earth.” Today, the Earth is not covered by a mile of ice; a safe conclusion is that there must have been a bit of global warming. I don’t know the cause of that warming, but I’d wager everything I own that it was not caused by coal-fired electric generation plants, incandescent light bulbs and SUVs tooling up and down the highways.

The very idea that mankind can make significant parametric changes to the Earth has to be the height of arrogance. How about a few questions because temperature is just one characteristic of the Earth. The Earth’s orbit is another. If all 6.5 billion of us, all at once, started jumping up and down for a little while, do you think we’d change the Earth’s orbit or rotation? Do you think mankind could change the direction and timing of the ocean’s tides? Is there anything that mankind can do to stop or start a tsunami or hurricane? You say, “Williams, it’s stupid to suggest that mankind could change the Earth’s orbit or rotation, ocean tides or cause or stop a tsunami or hurricane!” You’re right and it’s also stupid to think that mankind’s activities can make globalized changes in the Earth’s temperature.

Nonetheless, there is much at stake in getting people to subscribe to the global warming religion. There is so much at stake that some scientists, using government grants, are fraudulently manipulating climate data and engaging in criminal activity, as revealed in what has been called “Climate gate.” One of the most dangerous features of the global warming religion is its level of intimidation of heretics or would-be heretics.

A few years back, Dr. Heidi Cullen, the Weather Channel’s climatologist, advocated that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) strip their seal of approval from any TV weatherman expressing skepticism about the predictions of manmade global warming. Scott Pelley, CBS News “60 Minutes” correspondent, compared skeptics of global warming to “Holocaust deniers.” Former Vice President Al Gore called skeptics “global warming deniers.” But it gets worse. On one of her shows, Dr. Cullen featured columnist Dave Roberts, who, in his Sept. 19, 2006, online publication, said, “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

As a result, many climatologists have been intimidated into silence. That means the public is not informed about counter-alarmists facts such as: Over long periods of time, there is absolutely no close relationship between C02 levels and temperature. Humans contribute approximately 3.4 percent of annual C02 levels compared to 96.6 percent by nature. There was an explosion of life forms 550 million years ago (Cambrian Period) when CO2 levels were 18 times higher than today. During the Jurassic Period, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, CO2 levels were as much as nine times higher than today. Contrary to what educators are brainwashing our children with, polar bear numbers increased dramatically from around 5,000 in 1950 to as many as 25,000 today, higher than any time in the 20th century.

Political commentator Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) warned that “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” That’s the political goal of the global warmers.

Original Link.

“OMB’s Fuzzy Math” by Jillian Bandes

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

The Office of Management and Budget has calculated jobs that are “saved or created” by the Recovery Act through non-existent congressional districts, phantom ZIP codes, and questionable accounting practices. To remedy these problems (and in a perfectly-timed response to bad press) the OMB has decided to re-calculate “saved or created” jobs to include those that exist independent of any Recovery Act money in the first place.

In other words, the OMB has made their accounting on a $787 billion expenditure of taxpayer money completely meaningless.

OMB director Peter Orzag says the new approach provides a way for recipients to skip over making any kind of “subjective judgment” on how many jobs were saved or created by their receipt of Recovery Act money. In lieu of actual judgment, the OMB will automatically assume a job has been saved or created after a business gets its hands on Recovery Act money.

“Recipients will no longer be required to sum various data on hours worked across multiple quarters of data when calculating job estimates… recipients will more easily and objectively report on jobs funded with Recovery Act dollars,” said Orzag.

In other words, if a business receives $40,000 in Recovery Act dollars, a job is automatically tallied in the OMB ticker, regardless of whether that $40,000 went towards the actual salary of an employee or fancy office furniture. Businesses won’t even have to fudge the books to use the federal money towards things like catered lunches – non-salary expenses now qualify as a legitimate use of Recovery Act dollars.

Let’s say Joe has employed Bob for ten years, and has no plans on firing him anytime soon. When Joe suddenly receives $40,000 in Recovery Act money, Bob’s job is now the product of the Recovery Act, even though the job existed independently of that money. The new title for this accounting practice is saying that Bob’s job has been “funded” instead of “saved or created” – a phrase that, conveniently, has received the worst press.

If an employee receives a raise, that counts as a job, too. And the OMB wants the new calculations done fast, in time for the “rapidly approaching January reporting period,” just in time for President Obama’s State of the Union address. OMB announced the new changes on December 19th – that’s the Saturday before Christmas – and it wasn’t even noticed until a small nonprofit watchdog, ProPublica, noticed the memo a month later.

“The stimulus has been such a grand failure that the administration has stooped to unabashedly cooking the books,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA). “Moving the goal posts and tinkering with math formulas won’t put the country back to work. The ridiculous ‘saved or created’ label needed to go, but the administration’s new stimulus metric is even more misleading.”

Phil Kerpen, the director of Americans for Prosperity, said that the bigger issue isn’t the accounting practices – instead, it’s the fact that government thinks it can create jobs in the first place.

“The bottom line is that every dollar government spends first has to be taxed, borrowed, or printed. How can government spending make us richer when all three of those options make us poorer?”

Original Link.

Obama Administration Considers Forcing Retirement Account Investors into Treasury Debt

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

If Obama has his way, all of us with individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(K) retirement accounts, may soon be forced to buy treasury debt instead of being allowed to choose where we put our money.

The Obama administration appears to have come up with a novel way of financing trillion-dollar budget deficits – demanding IRA and 401(k) holders buy trillions of dollars in Treasury bonds.

With the Treasury needing this year to see another $1 trillion in debt to finance the anticipated federal budget deficit, and the Federal Reserve about to discontinue its 2009 program of buying Treasury bonds for the Fed’s asset portfolio, the Obama administration is scrambling to find ways to sell government debt without having to raise interest rates.

Bloomberg reported Friday that Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Mark Iwry are planning to stage a public comment period before implementing regulations that would require private investors
to structure IRA and 401(k) accounts into what could amount to a U.S. Treasury debt-backed government annuity.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli broadcast the rumor the same day from the trading floor during CNBC’s “Power Lunch” show.

Spokesmen from both the U.S. Treasury and Department of Labor confirmed to WND that the federal agencies about to enter a pre-regulation public comment phase on the proposed rule change.

But the agencies are getting serious pushback from the mutual fund industry, objecting to what some financial planners see as a government attempt to divert hundreds of billions of dollars of private retirement accounts into federal government debt, regardless whether the investment in Treasury bonds is in the best interest of the retirement-oriented investor.

On the Department of Labor website, the transcript of a Dec. 9 webchat with Borzi confirms the Employee Benefits Security Administration is about to issue a Request for Information on how annuity lifetime options should be structured into a wide range of defined contribution retirement plans, including 401(k)s.

Under ERISA, the Department of Labor regulates approximately 700,000 private pension plans, with approximately $4.7 trillion in assets.

“Lifetime Income Options,” code words for annuities, are also listed in the Department of Labor’s regulatory agenda for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, issued Dec. 7 and filed in the Federal Register.

The government’s argument is that IRA and 401(k) investors lost principle in the stock market when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted from a closing of 14,164.53 on Oct. 9, 2007, to 6,547.05 on March 9, 2009.

For instance, Fidelity Investments reported the average fund balance on the approximately 11 million accounts Fidelity manages dropped 31 percent to $47,500 at the end of March, from $69,200 at the end of 2007.

With the stock market rally since March, Fidelity further reports 401(k) account balances increased 128 percent by the end of the third quarter 2009, to an average of $60,700, from the low at the end of the first quarter 2009 of $47,500.

While U.S. Treasury bonds have had historically lower yields than equity returns, government proponents of the idea argue Treasury bonds are safer, guaranteed by the federal government to pay principal and interest regardless of market conditions.

Furthermore, annuities as life insurance contracts have a unique investment advantage of being able to pay a specified lifetime income, regardless how long the annuitant lives.

The Investment Company Institute, a national trade organization representing the mutual fund industry, argues that the distinction of the Obama administration proposal would be to require annuities funded with Treasuries to be embedded within IRAs and 401(k) programs, using the fear of loss as a reason to demand retirement investors own Treasuries.

Right now, IRA holders and investors in 401(k) plans are free to invest in Treasury bonds, if they choose.

Also, annuities are a popular settlement option for IRAs and 401(k) plans that transition from the accumulation phase to the payout phase.

Annuities are an attractive payout instrument, because annuities offer the part of lifetime income and only a portion of each payout installment is considered taxable as return of investment principle.

Interest or investment earnings in annuities accumulate income tax-deferred until the annuitant takes out money, either in an unscheduled withdrawal, or in a payout option extending over a specified number of years in retirement, or for the lifetime of the annuitant.

The unusual nature of the Obama administration’s proposal would be to place as an investment a tax-deferred instrument like an annuity within a tax-deferred retirement program. Investment advisers typically use annuities as an investment option for after-tax dollars, not as a required investment option within a retirement program like an IRA or 401(k) that is already income-tax deferred.

A survey conducted by the Investment Company Institute showed more than 70 percent of all households disagreed with the idea of requiring retirees to buy annuities with a portion of their assets, whether the annuity is offered by an insurance company or by the government.

Moreover, 96 percent of households in the survey responded that retirees rejected the idea that the government should mandate turning IRA or 401(k) assets into annuities, asserting instead that retirees should make their own decisions about managing retirement assets and income.

The Investment Company Institute member companies manage some $11.62 trillion in mutual fund assets for some 90 million mutual fund shareholders, including retirement-oriented investors participating in defined contribution plans such as employer-sponsored 401(k) accounts.

Original Link.

Democrats ‘Plan to Steal the Vote’

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I’m wondering how people can be Democrats and still call themselves Christians. The policies and behaviors of this political party is so far removed from the values Christians are supposed to espouse.
Many would argue that Republicans are just as bad, and in many cases I would have to agree with them. But at least the core values of Republicans tends to more closely mirror Christian principals than what we are seeing from the current group of Democrat politicians.

A political correspondent is making waves with his stern warning that Democrats are scheming to manipulate the electoral process this election year by implementing a federal mandate to involuntarily register millions of people to vote – making the system ripe for unprecedented fraud and abuse.

“Democrats were very rattled by the Nov. 3 election results,” Wall Street Journal reporter and political commentator John Fund told a crowd in November 2009, at a David Horowitz Freedom Center forum. “What do liberals do when they lose elections? They change the rules.”

‘Definitely introducing a bill’

Fund is warning that Sen. Charles Schumer, D.-N.Y., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., plan to propose universal voter-registration legislation – possibly within weeks.

“The idea, embraced by Barack Obama when he was a presidential candidate, is to shift responsibility for registering to vote from the individual to the federal government,” Fund writes in his book. “All eligible citizens would automatically be registered to vote, which existing lists such as DMV records, income-tax returns, welfare rolls and unemployment lists being used to enroll everyone. Once registered, individuals would stay on the federal rolls, even if they move to another state or district.”

Fund warns that the government databases contain names of non-citizens, mentally incompetent individuals and felons – factors that would usually disqualify a person from voting in most states.

“One main concern that has been raised is that most of these databases don’t indicate citizenship status,” the staffer said. “It’s not clear that there is any available way to determine whether the people being added to the rolls are or are not citizens.”

Fund notes that many people own property in more than one location and pay taxes to numerous government entities.

“[U]niversal voter registration would automatically register them in more than one location, allowing them to vote more than once – either in person or by mail,” Fund explains.

He said the plan would destroy the integrity of the registration process, much as widespread registration drives by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, were reportedly rife with criminal actions, including people registered multiple times under fraudulent names and addresses. The “community organizing” group deployed thousands of get-out-the-vote workers in 2008 and purportedly provided them with registration quotas. Larry Lomax, registrar of voters in Las Vegas, Nev., told the Wall Street Journal he believed 48 percent of ACORN’s forms had been “clearly fraudulent.” In the 2008 election, ACORN’s practices led to investigation in more than a dozen states.

“Now they will sell this very cleverly,” Fund explained at the forum. “They will say, well, OK, ACORN did have some problems with voter registration. We shouldn’t have these third-party rogue groups out there. So, let’s put ACORN out of business, and let’s register everybody.”

Voters currently enjoy a variety of convenient registration methods. People may register by mail, at driver’s license registration centers, at schools and libraries or sometimes even on the Internet. Arizona, Washington, Kansas and Indiana allow voters to register online with a click of a button.

Michigan’s Democrat state lawmakers have sponsored a similar state law that would require registrants to submit a driver’s license number, an electronic signature and a valid e-mail address to register online to vote. People would be allowed to electronically register through 4 p.m. the day before the election.

Oregon is also establishing online registration, scheduled to begin March 1, in time for the May 2010 primary election. Likewise, a newly introduced bill in the Nebraska state legislature would require development of an online voter registration system in that state.

If an individual fails to register in advance, nine states currently allow them to register on Election Day: New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Iowa and North Carolina. The District of Columbia adopted same-day registration in November. Now Massachusetts is seeking to join that list.

Nonetheless, proponents of universal voter registration believe the process should be an automatic process overseen by the federal government. However, Fund said the Democrats’ plan for universal registration is sure to open the system up to widespread error and rampant abuse.

“They don’t care,” he said during the Horowitz Freedom Center forum. “The path between the day this bill is introduced and the day this hits the House floor will probably be less than two weeks. Get ready for it. You can’t stop it; don’t get me wrong. But this is their stealth bill that is even sneakier than the health-care bill.”

Original Link.

“State Department Sides With “Suspected” Terrorists Seeking Visas to U.S.” by Joel Mowbray

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Tucked away in a single paragraph near the end of the declassified preliminary report on the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack is the key fact glossed over by most in media and the government: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had a valid visa when he boarded his Detroit-bound flight.

The reason is simple: the State Department insists that “possible” and even “suspected” terrorists deserve visas. Denials and revocations are reserved only for known terrorists.

Whether or not “dots” had been “connected,” Abdulmutallab never could have come as close as he did to successful mass murder had the State Department immediately revoked his visa when his father warned U.S. officials about his son’s terrorist ties. Without a valid visa, the young Nigerian would not have been en route to the U.S. in the first place.

All the more maddening is that this is precisely the lesson we learned from the 9/11 terrorists, none of whom actually qualified for the visas that were nonetheless issued to them. Yet eight years later, the State Department has barely budged its default position that visas are to be issued unless they have a clear reason to deny applications.

Even though Abdulmutallab’s father told U.S. Embassy officials on November 18 that he feared that his son might have terrorist intentions, the al Qaeda operative retained his privilege to enter the U.S.

While the initial visa issuance to Abdulmutallab might well have been legitimate—he is, after all, well-educated and from a successful family—the fact that his visa was not immediately revoked is beyond baffling.

Although a misspelling of the young Nigerian’s name prevented State from identifying his still-valid visa, the report further notes that the father’s warnings would not have been sufficient cause to rescind it. According to the report, “A determination to revoke his visa, however, would have only occurred if there had been a successful integration of intelligence by the CT community, resulting in his being watchlisted.”

This suicidally legalistic approach does not owe to Obama or previous political leadership, but rather to the long-held institutional mindset of the State Department. Using a deeply flawed legal interpretation, State’s position has been that a visa must be issued to qualified applicants, with denials only possible with specific, credible proof that someone can be deemed a security threat.

But unlike in a court of law, foreigners wishing to enter the U.S. should not be presumed innocent. Moreover, denial of the privilege to come to the U.S. is not reviewable, and it can be made unilaterally by State. Yet it is State who pushes to issue visas to those who raise red flags, but don’t quite belong on the terrorist watchlist.

The Department of Homeland Security, which holds partial regulatory authority over visa policy, has had running battles with State over visa issuance. Law enforcement-minded DHS officials believe in erring on the side of security, while State again and again has sided with foreigners seeking access to the U.S.

Read the rest of the article here.

GOP Fears Democrats Will Stall Swearing-In if Brown Wins Mass. Senate Race

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

I would expect no less from the Democrats. They lack of integrity and morals becomes more evident with each passing day.

Massachusetts Republicans say they fear that if their candidate for U.S. Senate scores an upset victory in the special election next week, Democrats in the state and in Washington will drag out the certification process just long enough that he won’t be able to block health care reform.

State Sen. Scott Brown, who is challenging Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley for the seat once held by Ted Kennedy, is sounding the loudest alarm over that possibility.

Recent polling suggests Brown is closing in on front-runner Coakley. And if he does what once seemed impossible — beat a Democrat for the bluest of blue Senate seats — he is vowing to be the critical 41st vote against health care reform.

That means Brown could prevent Democrats from breaking a Republican filibuster against the overhaul and, in his words, “send it back to the drawing board.”

Brown told Fox News on Tuesday that he’s concerned Democrats will stall the certification process if he wins, so that the U.S. Senate can approve the health care reform bill before he gets there.

“When I heard … the machine, not only locally but nationally, is trying to manipulate the process and make sure that if I’m elected, a duly elected senator, I can’t be seated in an effort to vote on this important piece of national legislation, it made me almost sick to my stomach,” Brown said.

The Boston Herald reported over the weekend that, according to a source, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office plans to wait until Feb. 20 to certify the race.

“Everything I’ve heard right now I don’t like very much,” said Massachusetts Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei, noting the secretary is signaling he will “drag his feet” if Brown wins.

But while a number of opportunities to delay the certification and swearing-in process are available, a spokesman for Galvin said Feb. 20 sounds too far off.

“They don’t wait around,” spokesman Brian McNiff said.

McNiff said local election districts have to wait at least 10 days before they submit their returns so as to allow time for military and overseas ballots to come in. They have a maximum of 15 days to submit them to the secretary’s office, before the returns move to the governor’s office.

McNiff said the governor’s office has to wait a minimum of 15 days after the election to certify the results, but he said the governor’s office typically certifies returns as soon as it legally can. That would mean the winner could head to Washington early next month.

But McNiff said the law does not give a set timeframe for when final certification has to occur. Republicans say Democratic state leaders may try to exploit any leeway they have.

And even after the results are certified, the Senate has to swear in the winner — and until that person is sworn in, interim Sen. Paul Kirk, who has vowed to vote for health care reform even if Brown wins, remains senator.

Original Link.

Haiti Devastated by Quake; Scores Believed Dead

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

We need to pray urgently for those affected by this horrible disaster and urge our governments to send immediate aid.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Dazed and injured Haitians sat on darkened streets pleading for help Wednesday and untold numbers were trapped in tons of rubble brought down by the strongest earthquake to hit this poor Caribbean nation in more than 200 years.

Destroyed communications made it impossible to tell the extent of destruction from Tuesday afternoon’s 7.0-magnitude tremor — or to estimate the number of dead lying among thousands of collapsed buildings in Haiti’s capital of about 2 million people.

The ornate National Palace crumbled into itself, the headquarters of the U.N. peacekeeping mission collapsed and swaths of rickety shacks lay in shambles. Clouds of dust thrown up by falling buildings choked Port-au-Prince for hours.

International Red Cross spokesman Paul Conneally said an estimated 3 million people may have been affected by the quake and that it would take a day or two for a clear picture of the damage to emerge.

The United States and other nations began organizing aid efforts, alerting search teams and gathering supplies that will be badly needed in Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country. The international Red Cross and other aid groups announced plans for major relief operations.

Associated Press journalists found the damage staggering even for a country long accustomed to tragedy and disaster.

Aftershocks rattled the city as women covered in dust clawed out of debris, wailing. Stunned people wandered the streets holding hands. Thousands gathered in public squares long after nightfall, singing hymns.

It was clear tens of thousands lost their homes and many perished in collapsed buildings flimsy and dangerous even under normal conditions.

“The hospitals cannot handle all these victims,” Dr. Louis-Gerard Gilles, a former senator, said as he helped survivors. “Haiti needs to pray. We all need to pray together.”

Original Link.

Aaronic Blessing Pendant – from the Jerusalem Gift Shop

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Weekly I highlight items being offered by the Jerusalem Gift Shop. Today it’s the Aaronic Blessing Pendant.

This Aaronic blessing is written in the original Aramaic

The LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

* Sterling Silver
* Size: 3.5 x 1 cm

Made in Jerusalem

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

“The Marriage Penalty in Health Care” by Phyllis Schlafly

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Hidden in Obama’s health care bill is a huge marriage penalty. Both the Senate and House bills would set up yet another federal program to provide financial incentives to subsidize marriage avoidance and illegitimate offspring.

Even though all evidence shows that marriage is the best remedy for poverty, lack of health care, domestic violence, child abuse and school dropouts, federal welfare programs continue to discriminate against marriage and instead give taxpayer handouts to those who reject marriage. This isn’t any accident — it is a central part of the Democrats’ political strategy that produced 70 percent of unmarried women voting for Obama for president in 2008.

Conservatives have been exchanging email for weeks about the shocking fact that Obama’s health care bill discriminates against marriage while financially favoring unmarried couples living together. This fact is finally getting national attention, at least in The Wall Street Journal and on Fox News.

Here is the cost in the House bill for an unmarried couple who each earn $25,000 a year (total: $50,000). When they both buy health insurance (which will be mandatory), the combined premiums they pay will be capped at $3,076 a year.

But if the couple gets married and has the same combined income of $50,000, they will pay annual premiums up to a cap of $5,160 a year. That means they have to fork over a marriage penalty of $2,084.

The marriage penalty is the result of the fact that government subsidies for buying health insurance are pegged to the federal poverty guidelines. Couples that remain unmarried are rewarded with a separate health care subsidy for each income.

When the Wall Street Journal reporter quizzed the Democratic authors of the health-care bill, they made it clear that this differential was deliberate. The staffer justified the discriminatory treatment because “you have to decide what your goals are.”

Indeed, the Democrats have decided what their goals are. They know that 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Obama in 2008, and the Democrats plan to reward this group with health insurance subsidies.

The House staffer told the Wall Street Journal reporter that the Democratics can’t make the subsidies neutral toward marriage because that would give a traditional one-breadwinner married couple a more generous subsidy than a single parent at the same income level. Horrors! The Democrats certainly are not going to allow traditional marriage to be preferred over couples who just shack up!

Read the rest of the article here.