Archive for May 11th, 2010

BP Oil Spill a Political Asset?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste — and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you didn’t think you could do before.”
-Rahm Emanuel, White House chief of staff for Obama.

Logic suggests that people who are concerned about the environment would be saddened by the effects of the recent oil spill in the Gulf. But Steve Milloy, author and publisher of Junkscience.com, tells OneNewsNow that some environmentalists love it because it helps advance their agenda.

“They were sort of dismayed when President Obama mouthed support for offshore drilling in March,” he notes. “This [oil spill] has all but killed that, even despite the administration’s reiteration of support for offshore drilling.

“So the environmentalists are pretty pleased with that and they’re even trying to use this spill to advance their cap-and-trade agenda,” he comments.

Original Link.

Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in Nighttime Heist

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

What do you do if you’re a liberal and your attempts to have a cross removed via the courts fails? You steal it in the dead of night.
Welcome to the liberal mindset.
I read an article recently that really hit home with me. It explained that conservatives see liberals as somewhat stupid in their actions. As such, conservatives believe that if they explain a concept to liberals enough times, they will see the logic in it and accept it as fact.
Liberals, on the hand, the author explained, see conservatives as evil. As such, as one expect when combating evil, it is permissible for the liberal to lie, cheat, steal and harm, as long as its done in the name of combating evil. Which, once again, is synonymous with conservatives.
What do liberals do when combating the perceived evil of a Christian Cross, honoring dead soldiers, after their attempts to have it removed by the courts have failed? They steal it.
Welcome to the liberal mind.

The 7-foot-tall metal cross that has stood in California’s Mojave Desert for 75 years and withstood a hard-fought battle in the Supreme Court was ripped down and stolen Sunday night, according to park officials.

“This is an outrage, akin to desecrating people’s graves,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Liberty Institute, which represents the caretakers of the Mojave Desert War Memorial. “It’s a disgraceful attack on the selfless sacrifice of our veterans. We will not rest until this memorial is re-installed.”

The National Park Service says someone cut the metal bolts holding the metal-pipe cross to the top of Sunrise Rock and made off with it Sunday night or before dawn on Monday.

Veterans groups are outraged at the theft of the memorial symbol that was erected in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars to honor World War I dead.

“To think anyone can rationalize the desecration of a war memorial is sickening, and for them to believe they won’t be apprehended is very naïve,” said VFW National Commander Thomas J. Tradewell Sr. in a written statement.

The 75-year-old monument was the target of a legal challenge from the ACLU, which charged the cross is a religious symbol that shouldn’t be allowed on public land. The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to order that it be torn down; the land had already been sold and transferred to private owners.

The Liberty Institute is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the case, and the National Park Service has established a tip hotline seeking information leading to the recovery of the cross. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Park Service at (760) 252-6120.

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“Times Square Jihad? What Jihad?” by Robert Spencer

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Now that would-be Times Square car bomb jihadist Faisal Shahzad has been exposed as an Islamic jihadist, the liberal media are searching for an explanation, any explanation, for his attempted attack that doesn’t involve Islamic jihad.

Shahzad himself said he was acting in revenge for American drone attacks against Islamic jihadists in Pakistan. This establishes his jihadist leanings all the more vividly. But, according to clinical psychologist James Monahan of the University of New Haven, Shahzad was “the runt of the litter; the child who couldn’t meet his parents’ expectations.” Or “maybe he was starting to see the hopes of living the good life in America die and he began feeling like a failure.”

Ezra Klein, writing in the Washington Post, was even more fanciful. Noting that Shahzad defaulted on the mortgage on his home in Connecticut and that the property is now in foreclosure, Klein discovered a brand-new motivation for jihadist violence: “Foreclosures generate an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression that can tip people into all sorts of dangerous behaviors that don’t make headlines but do ruin lives. And for all that we’ve done to save the financial sector, we’ve not done nearly enough to help struggling homeowners.”

In other words, the U.S. government had better bail out struggling homeowners, or car bombs will start going off all over the U.S.

Meanwhile, MSNBC talking head Contessa Brewer had her own reason to feel “an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression”: Shahzad turned out to be a Muslim. “There was a part of me,” lamented Brewer, “that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country.”

Brewer explained that she hoped that Shahzad’s jihad would not give rise to a resurgence of what she actually called “outdated bigotry.” This is a common mainstream media preoccupation that manifests itself in a flood of articles about Muslim fears of this “backlash” every time there is an attempted or successful jihad terror attack in America or Europe. The only thing that never appears is the backlash itself, which remains more a figment of the leftist media’s imagination than an actual threat against innocent Muslims.

Nonetheless, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also preoccupied with this phantom backlash threat, warning New Yorkers to avoid any action against Muslims or Pakistanis. Bloomberg ought to be ashamed of himself. He should have been making statements about protecting Americans of all creeds, and calling the Muslim community in America to account for its tolerance of jihadists. There has never been a backlash against innocent Muslims in the U.S. It is a fiction that we hear about only when a Muslim plots mass murder of Americans. And then we hear about it endlessly, as if Muslims were the victims rather than the perpetrators.

Even before Shahzad was arrested, the leftist media were in full denial. Nation columnist Robert Dreyfuss was confident that the Times Square bomber would turn out to be a right-wing extremist: “It may be that the Pakistan-based Taliban, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has quietly established a Connecticut franchise while we weren’t looking.

That’s possible. But it seems far more likely to me that the perpetrator of the bungled Times Square bomb plot was either a lone wolf or a member of some squirrely branch of the Tea Party, anti-government far right, which actually exists in Connecticut, where, it seems, the car’s license plates were stolen.”

Pakistani authorities say that Faisal Shahzad attended a jihad training camp in that country.
He spent five months in Pakistan, including some time in Peshawar, a center of al Qaeda and Taliban activity. Shahzad parked outside the offices of Viacom, the parent company of Comedy Central, which presents “South Park,” the cartoon whose creators were just threatened with death by Islamic supremacists in New York for daring to lampoon Muhammad. The Muslim group that issued the threat, Revolution Muslim, was proselytizing in Times Square just hours before Shahzad’s car bomb was discovered.

The Times Square car bomb indicates yet again the persistence and determination of the jihadists who are targeting the United States—and of the continuing refusal of the mainstream media to admit that that jihad exists.

Original Link.

Kagan: Some Speech Can Be ‘Disappeared’

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is just as liberal as he is.

NEW YORK – President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, argued certain forms of speech that promote “racial or gender inequality” could be “disappeared.”

In her few academic papers, Kagan evidences strong beliefs for court intervention in speech, going so far as to posit First Amendment speech should be weighed against “societal costs.”

In her 1993 article “Regulation of Hate Speech and Pornography After R.A.V,” for the University of Chicago Law Review, Kagan writes:

“I take it as a given that we live in a society marred by racial and gender inequality, that certain forms of speech perpetuate and promote this inequality, and that the uncoerced disappearance of such speech would be cause for great elation.”

In a 1996 paper, “Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine,” Kagan argued it may be proper to suppress speech because it is offensive to society or to the government.

That paper asserted First Amendment doctrine is comprised of “motives and … actions infested with them” and she goes so far as to claim that “First Amendment law is best understood and most readily explained as a kind of motive-hunting.”

Kagan’s name was also on a brief, United States V. Stevens, dug up by the Washington Examiner, stating: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.”

Kagan’s academic writings are sparse – just nine articles, two of which are book reviews.

Her stand on free speech could become a hot button issue as the Senate convenes to confirm her. If approved, Kagan would give the high court three women justices for the first time. She would be the youngest member on the current court and the first justice in nearly four decades without any prior judicial experience.

WND has reported that in her undergraduate thesis at Princeton, Kagan lamented the decline of socialism in the country as “sad” for those who still hope to “change America.”

WND also reported Kagan has advocated for an increased presidential role in regulation, which, she conceded, would make such affairs more and more an extension of the president’s own policy and political agenda.

Kagan was nominated as U.S. solicitor general by Obama in January and confirmed by the Senate in March. She was a dean of Harvard Law School and previously served alongside Obama as a professor of law at the University of Chicago.

A former clerk to Abner Mikva at the D.C. federal appeals court, Kagan was heavily involved in promoting the health-care policy of the Clinton administration.

Obama praised her because while he said a “judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law,” she has evidenced a “keen understanding of the impact of the law on people’s lives.”

The president said she has a “firm grasp on the nexus and boundaries between our three branches of government.”

But more importantly, she understands, “behind the law there are stories, stories of people’s lives,” Obama said.

Kagan said the law is “endlessly interesting” and also “protects the most fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Original Link.

“The Business of Causing People Distress” by Todd Strandberg

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Great Britain was once the center of Christian liberty, where free men could speak their minds and where they worshiped God in courage and truth. In the late 1880s, London was the most church-going city on the planet.

Today, Christians in Britain are required to keep their opinions to themselves. Only about 2 percent of the population can be measured as true believers. Many churches in London have either closed or have been turned into museums–relying on tourists for their funding.

I can see how bad things are there from the hits that come to Rapture Ready. Even though Europe is the birthplace of many Christian faiths, 98 percent of the site’s traffic comes from North America. The top-ranked foreign country is Australia, and they only have 22 million people.

I doubt that most Americans grasp how hostile Europe has become to the preaching of the Holy Word of God. Merry ole England is a place of bigotry and anti-Christian hatred. People are being harassed and arrested for open-air preaching.

Dale McAlpine made news last week when he was arrested for telling passersby that homosexuality is a sin. The 42-year-old Baptist who has preached Christianity in Workington, Cumbria, for years said he did not mention homosexuality while delivering a sermon from the top of a stepladder, but admitted telling a passing shopper that he believed it went against the Word of God.

Last year, Miguel Hayworth, 29, was threatened with arrest for simply reading extracts from the Bible in public. While preaching in the city of Manchester, he was approached on more than one occasion by several police officers who accused him of inciting hatred with homophobic and racial comments.

One plain-clothes officer, who was with the other two uniformed officers, said: “It is against the law to preach and hand out tracts; preaching causes offense and handing out tracts is harassment and could result in an arrest.”

There is no reason for police to hassle Christians who witness their faith in public venues. Freedom of religion and freedom of religious speech are specifically protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

What is being used against Christians in Britain is the Public Order Act. It started in 1936 to control rioters and has evolved over the years. The big change came in 2006 with the Racial and Religious Hatred Act. It bars inciting hatred against a person on the grounds of his or her religion.

A key problem with the law is the ability of the police officer to charge anyone who is causing “alarm or distress.” To be labeled as an offender, all one needs to do is run afoul of someone else’s sinful lifestyle. I don’t see how the Bible can still be regarded as “the Good Book” if reading it in public qualifies as hate speech.

There seems to be a global conspiracy at work because this type of anti-Christian policy is found in many other Western nations. I have friends who tell me there is almost the same level of restriction in Canada. Joseph Chambers is one of our featured writers, and he recently was going up north to preach at a church there. The Canadian border police would not let him bring one of his books into the country. They said it was flagged for its hateful commentary.

We are now seeing signs that religious liberty in American may be next to fall. Franklin Graham caused the Pentagon some distress over his stated views on Islam. Graham was “dis-invited” by the Army to speak at a National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Pentagon because he said Islam was an evil religion.

I don’t see how the Army can find the grounds to take Graham to task. Wasn’t it Muslims who flew a plane into the Pentagon? Did not Nidal Malik Hasan kill twelve people and wound thirty at Fort Hood, Texas, in the name of Islam?

One of the biggest problems with the church today is that pastors have gotten out of the business of causing people distress. If you tell people they are lost and bound for a lake of fire, it is very likely that they will feel distress over this type of revelation.

Jesus warned that we would be persecuted because the world hated Him first. I believe we need to hold firm because the time of our departure is drawing near. When we stand before the Bema Seat for judgment, the Lord will mostly likely be saying our fault will be that we didn’t distress them enough.

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (John 15:18-21).

— Todd

Original Link.

Tornadoes Hit Plains, 5 Dead, Dozens Injured

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Please join me in praying for those affected by yesterday’s tornadoes.

NORMAN, Okla. — Violent storms that tore through the southern Plains killed five people and injured dozens more, leaving behind flattened homes, toppled semitrailers and downed power lines.

Several tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma and Kansas on Monday as the storms moved through the area, dumping hail as big as baseballs and leaving tens of thousands of people without power.

“The kids and I got in the closet and prayed,” said Jamie Keyes, of Norman, an Oklahoma City suburb that is home to the University of Oklahoma. “I heard a hiss. It was like something was whistling very loud.”

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokesman Jerry Lojka said two people were killed in Oklahoma City and three were killed in Cleveland County, south of the city. Oklahoma City officials said the fatalities there involved a young boy who was hit by debris in his home and a man whose recreational vehicle flipped over on top of him. Details on the Cleveland County deaths weren’t immediately available.

Officials reported that at least 58 others were injured — two of them critically — in a tornado outbreak that forecasters had been predicting since last week.

Original Link.

Gulf Oil Spill; Finger Pointing Continues

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Well, as to be expected, all three companies, who were working on the Deep Water Horizon, are pointing fingers at each other.

Executives from BP PLC, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton Co. began pointing fingers on Monday over who bears ultimate responsibility for the April 20 oil-rig explosion that took 11 lives and is spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The question will loom large at a Senate hearing Tuesday that will hear from executives of the three companies.

BP, the well owner, blames the failure of a big set of valves on the sea floor, known as the blowout preventer, to halt the blowout once it started.

A different account comes from Halliburton, a contractor in the drilling. This account is corroborated to some extent by Transocean, as well as by two workers on the drilling rig, The Wall Street Journal has determined.

This account describes a failure to place a cement plug within the well. The plug is designed to prevent gas from escaping up the pipe to the surface.

Before such a plug is placed, the job of keeping underground gas from coming up the pipe is done by heavy drilling fluid inside the well, commonly known as “mud.” The plug is normally put in before the mud is removed, but according to the account of Halliburton, Transocean and the two workers, in this case, that wasn’t done—drilling mud was removed before a final cement plug was placed in the well.

It is not clear why such a decision would have been made. Rig owner Transocean says that BP, as owner of the well that was just being completed, made key decisions on how to proceed. BP declined to comment on this account of the drilling procedures.

Tim Probert, Halliburton’s president of global business lines, plans to testify Tuesday that his company had finished an earlier step, cementing the casing, filling in the area between the pipe and the walls of the well; pressure tests showed the casing had been properly constructed, he will testify.

At this point it is common practice to pour wet cement down into the pipe. The wet cement, which is heavier than the drilling mud, sinks down through the drilling mud and then hardens into a plug thousands of feet down in the well.

The mud then is removed and displaced by seawater; the hardened cement plug holds back any underground gas.

In this case, a decision was made, shortly before the explosion, to perform the remaining tasks in reverse order, according to the expected Senate testimony of Mr. Probert, the Halliburton executive.

“We understand that the drilling contractor then proceeded to displace the riser with seawater prior to the planned placement of the final cement plug…,” Mr. Probert says in the prepared testimony, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The “riser” is part of the pipe running from the sea floor up to the drilling rig at the surface.

Lloyd Heinze, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Texas Tech University, agrees that this is an unusual approach. “Normally, you would not evacuate the riser until you were done with the last plug at the sea floor,” he said in an interview.

Halliburton’s Mr. Probert’s prepared statement says: “Prior to the point in the well construction plan that the Halliburton personnel would have set the final cement plug, the catastrophic incident occurred. As a result, the final cement plug was never set.”

Halliburton says it was following Transocean’s orders and is “contractually bound to comply with the well owner’s instructions on all matters relating to the performance of all work‐related activities.”

Transocean Chief Executive Steven Newman is expected to tell the Senate the explosion occurred “after the well construction process was essentially finished.” His prepared testimony then blames the blowout on a failure of the well’s lining, saying the blowout had to be caused by “a sudden, catastrophic failure of the cement, the casing or both.”

When asked Monday night, Transocean agreed that the cement plug had not been placed in the well but that it had started the process of removing the mud, which it said was at BP’s behest.

The chairman of BP unit BP America Inc., Lamar McKay, is expected to testify that “we are looking at why the blowout preventer did not work because that was to be the fail-safe in case of an accident.…Transocean’s blowout preventer failed to operate.” According to his prepared statement, reviewed by the Journal, he will say, “All of us urgently want to understand how this vital piece of equipment and its built-in redundancy systems failed and what measures are required to prevent this from ever happening again.”

Mr. Newman of Transocean says in his prepared testimony that it “simply makes no sense” to blame the blowout preventer. At the point that the blowout occurred, “the well barriers—the cementing and the casing—were responsible for controlling any pressure from the reservoir,” his testimony says.

So Halliburton says Transocean told them not to place the second plug. Transocean says the well casing and cement, that Halliburton did, was defective. Transocean also says that BP told them to reverse the order of the procedure. BP says that Transocean’s blowout preventer (BOP), made by Cameron, didn’t work.
What a mess!!

Original Link.