Monday, May 31, 2010

Unborn Are People Too

After securing ballot initiatives in Colorado and Mississippi, the nationwide effort to establish state constitutional rights for unborn babies is focused on Montana, where Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are pushing back.

-- From "Montana Personhood Amendment Backers Trying Again for Abortion Ballot Vote" by Steven Ertelt, Editor 5/31/10

Supporters of a personhood amendment are trying a second time to get a measure to define unborn children as people starting at conception on the ballot in Montana. Should they obtain a November vote and Montana residents support it, the measure would challenge legal abortions and head for an immediate court battle.

Last year, the attorney general's office approved the ballot language for the amendment.

Constitutional Initiative 102 would define a human "person" under the scientifically accurate notion of the beginning of human life taking place at conception, or fertilization.

The measure, meant for the 2010 elections, is the second effort to get a personhood proposition on the ballot and it requires 48,000 signatures from state residents. The first measure, in 2008, failed to get enough to qualify.

However, some pro-life groups are not on board because they say the measure would be declared unconstitutional and that the focus should be on changing the Supreme Court so Roe v. Wade can be overturned.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Pro-life 'personhood' effort advances" by Rebekah Falkenstein © 2010 WorldNetDaily 5/30/10

The lead organization in the grass-roots effort, PersonhoodUSA, has until June 18 to secure a spot on Montana's fall election ballot for a state constitutional amendment defining an unborn baby as a person.

The movement that takes aim at the foundation of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision has enjoyed stunning victories, including qualification for an amendment vote in Colorado this fall and in Mississippi in November 2011.

The personhood approach is based on Justice Harry Blackmun's statement in his majority Roe v. Wade opinion. Blackmun said the landmark case would collapse if "the fetus is a person," because the unborn's "right to life would then be guaranteed" by the Constitution.

. . . the abortion-rights organizations have used dubious lawsuits to slow down the Personhood movement in Missouri, Nevada and Alaska.

The personhood activists say their aims are to change laws state-by-state to re-establish the personhood of all Americans, to raise concern over the "dehumanization and murder" of a class of citizens and to encourage state governors and officials to resist federal advocacy for abortion.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Memorial Day 2010 "For You"

Today, most Americans remember "the sacrifices of those who fell in military service to the country."

-- From "Silence, ceremonies to mark sacrifice of military" by the CNN Wire Staff 5/31/10

Vice President Joe Biden will take the place of President Obama for the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington, the most prestigious military cemetery in the country, where many of the soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried.

Obama is in Chicago, Illinois, spending the night with his family at their home for the first time in more than a year. He will mark the holiday with remarks at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, about an hour outside Chicago.

Back in Washington, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will officially recognize six names added to the black granite wall in May.

The addition brings the number of men and women who were killed or remain missing in action to 58,267.

. . . the National Moment of Remembrance [3:00pm eastern time] -- established by Congress -- asks Americans to stop whatever they are doing and observe a minute's silence. The time was chosen because it is when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday . . .

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

End of Marriage for all Americans Argued in Mass.

One of many challenges to the federal 1996 Defense of Marriage Act plays out in court in Boston

-- From "Massachusetts Attorney General Argues against Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban" by Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press 5/26/10

The Massachusetts attorney general asked a judge Wednesday to strike down a federal gay marriage ban, arguing it interferes with the right of states to define marriage and have those marriages acknowledged by the federal government.

The challenge to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] by Attorney General Martha Coakley's office was heard in federal court in Boston.

Assistant Attorney General Maura Healey argued states have historically had the right to define marriage.

She said the 1996 law could result in the denial of Medicaid and other benefits to married couples in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions have been legal since 2004.

A lawyer from the U.S. Justice Department, Christopher Hall, argued the federal government has the right to set eligibility requirements for federal benefits - including requiring that those benefits only go to couples in marriages between a man and a woman.

Hall argued the law doesn't intrude on states' sovereignty because it doesn't bar them from legalizing same-sex marriages.

It is the second time this month that a challenge to the federal law, also known as DOMA, has been heard in a federal court.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

ACLU Fails to Silence Christians at Indiana Graduation

Weeks ago, a federal judge, ruling in favor of the ACLU, barred student-led prayer planned for the high school commencement, but Friday evening, the class president took the podium to read Scripture and praise God, as graduates joined in applause.

-- From "Will Greenwood High grads hear a prayer?" by Melanie D. Hayes, Indianapolis Star 5/28/10

Traditionally, the high school asked its student body to decide by vote if it would like to have a prayer during the ceremony. Each year, the majority of students voted in favor of a prayer, including this year.

This time though, they faced a challenger.

Eric Workman, 18, the class valedictorian, filed a lawsuit against the school on March 11, claiming the graduation prayer violated the First Amendment provision of the separation of church and state.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled in his favor in late April and granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting Greenwood High School from permitting student-led prayer at its May 28 graduation ceremony.

The district did not appeal the ruling . . .

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "God gets into Greenwood graduation anyway" by Melanie D. Hayes, Indianapolis Star 5/29/10

When Greenwood High School valedictorian Eric Workman took to the podium Friday to deliver his commencement speech, many in the audience grew restless.

Workman said he viewed the vote as a decision on whether "the Constitution should be violated," and that the rights of the minority against prayer should be protected.

"My individual freedoms were subjugated," the self-described scientist said in his speech.

After his speech, people clapped and cheered, though not as loudly as for other speakers. About two dozen gave him a standing ovation.

Though Workman had fought against prayer, class president Courtenay Elizabeth Cox gave many students what they wanted.

"I would like to give thanks to God," she said, as the audience and graduates broke into cheers and applause. "None of us would even be alive, and I personally wouldn't be standing here, without him.

"The staff here and my family helped me through a lot of hardships, but I would not have overcome any of those without my faith."

Cox also read a verse from the Bible, adding, "Remember, people come and go, but God is always there for you. . . . I believe he deserves to be thanked for that."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

IL Senator Uses Military to Expand Abortion

In a closed committee mark-up Thursday, Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) successfully offered an amendment that would break with current longstanding policy and permit the performance of abortions in both domestic and overseas military facilities. Two senators broke party ranks: Ben Nelson, D-Neb., voted against it and Susan Collins, R-Maine, voted for it.

Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who led the opposition to the amendment, decried "another piece of social engineering" and the misuse of taxpayer funds "that are there for the care of our service members to keep them healthy and to repair their injuries."

UPDATE 6/17/10: Planned Parenthood pleased with abortion push on military

UPDATE 6/7/10: Abortion amendment upsets Dem applecart

-- From "Burris amendment enables abortions at military hospitals" by Bill Lambrecht, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau 5/28/10

Fifteen years ago in a Republican-held Congress, anti-abortion forces engineered a ban on abortions at U.S. military hospitals even if they are privately funded.

Efforts in Congress to repeal that ban have failed in recent years, but an amendment sponsored by Sen. Roland Burris of Illinois to overturn the ban was added last night in a Senate committee. The repeal stands a good chance of passage.

[Lame Duck] Burris, a Democrat, observed that some 100,000 American service members and dependents live on military bases oversees.

Burris spokesman Jim O’Connor said that Burris was approached by NARAL Pro-Choice America, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups seeking an Armed Services Committee member to sponsor the repeal.

The Senate Armed Services Committee added the abortion amendment to the $760 billion defense spending bill by a vote of 16-10 on the same evening it approved legislation paving the way for the Pentagon ending the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell ban on gays serving openly in the military.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "U.S. Senate Committee Oks Amendment Ditching Military Abortion Ban" by Kathleen Gilbert, 5/28/10

The amendment, which passed by a vote of 15-12, would strike Section 1093(b) of Title 10 of the US Code, which states: "No medical treatment facility or other facility of the Department of Defense may be used to perform an abortion except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in a case in which the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest." The law has been in place since 1996.

A similar amendment to allow abortions in overseas military facilities was most recently offered in the House in 2006, when it failed by a vote of 191-237. The Burris amendment is more expansive than the 2006 amendment, as it allows abortion on both domestic and overseas military bases.

The amendment will face further scrutiny by both House and Senate lawmakers before it has a chance of becoming law.

"The Burris amendment will effectively turn our military medical facilities into abortion clinics and force American taxpayers to underwrite the use of military facilities, the procurement of additional equipment, and the use of needed military personnel to perform abortions," said one Capitol Hill source.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pentagon 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Double Talk

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the troops that, despite all the hoopla in Congress and the media, the Department would not alter any policies until after its thorough review, study, and input from servicemen; following this charade, the Pentagon will then implement the largest military sexual experiment in the history of mankind.

-- From "House vote advances end to ban on gays in military" by Jim Abrams, Associated Press 5/28/10

The House on Friday passed a defense bill that paves the way for gays to serve openly in the military for the first time, but advocates on both sides geared up for a fight in the Senate.

Normally, defense bills pass by wider margins than Friday's 229-186 vote, but many Republicans and a few conservative Democrats said they would vote against it because of the gay ban, which was added to the $700 billion bill in a 234-194 vote late Thursday.

The Senate is expected to take up the defense bill this summer. Supporters likely will need the votes of 60 of the 100 senators to prevent opponents from blocking it.

And while supportive overall [passage is not a slam-dunk], the White House on Thursday issued a veto threat because the House version includes $485 million for an alternative engine for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gates Downplays 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Changes" posted at My FOX TV Washington D.C. 5/28/10

“While this process plays out over time, nothing will change in terms of our current policies and practices,” Gates said.

“We need to hear from you -- and your families -- so that we can make these judgments in the most informed and effective manner,” he added.

Earlier this year Gates ordered an extensive review of the policy, which bars gay servicemen and women from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces, after President Barack Obama indicated he was prepared to support a repeal.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Ultrasound Abortion Laws Perplex Liberal Media

As abortion supporters fight an onslaught of new states' restrictions "tooth & nail," the mainstream media, in backflip spins, claims mothers' ultrasound viewing of her unborn does NOT result in abortion reconsiderations.

-- From "In Ultrasound, Abortion Fight Has New Front" by Kevin Sack, New York Times 5/27/10

Over the last decade, ultrasound has quietly become a new front in the grinding state-by-state battle over abortion. With backing from anti-abortion groups, which argue that sonograms can help persuade women to preserve pregnancies, 20 states have enacted laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasound.

Alabama is one of three states, along with Louisiana and Mississippi, that require abortion providers to conduct an ultrasound and offer women a chance to peer inside the womb.

Late last month, Oklahoma went a step further. Overriding a veto by Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted a law mandating that women be presented with an ultrasound image and with a detailed oral description of the embryo or fetus.

In some instances, the ultrasounds have affected women in ways not intended by anti-abortion strategists. Because human features may barely be detectable during much of the first trimester, when 9 of 10 abortions are performed, some women find viewing the images reassuring.

Abortion rights advocates oppose laws that require ultrasounds, even if viewing the images is voluntary.

The anti-abortion movement has regularly used ultrasonic imagery dating back to “The Silent Scream,” the influential 1984 film that depicts an abortion in progress. More recently, Focus on the Family spent an estimated $10 million to buy ultrasound equipment and provide training for centers that steer women away from abortion.

The Alabama law has had no apparent impact on the number of abortions, which hovers around 11,300 a year. State law also requires that women receive a pamphlet on fetal development and a directory of adoption agencies during a 24-hour waiting period.

Staff members interviewed at three of the seven abortion clinics in the state estimated that 30 percent to 70 percent of women chose to see ultrasound images [others simply look away]. But they said it was uncommon for women to be dissuaded.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Transgender GOP Congressional Candidate in Florida

Donna Milo — a Cuban-American, conservative Republican, transgender woman running for Congress — says she doesn't like labels.

-- From "Transgender GOP candidate takes aim at Wasserman Schultz" by Steve Rothaus, The Miami Herald 5/17/10

"I'm an American. I make my way on the basis of ability. My triumphs are based on my abilities, not on a label or a crutch," said Milo, a Miami Planning Advisory Board member running to replace U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, one of the House's most liberal Democrats.

Milo — formerly named Ed — was born in Cuba, the youngest of nine children. The Milo family immigrated to Miami in 1964 and moved to Fort Lauderdale four years later.

At age 19, Ed Milo married his high school sweetheart, Isabel. They have two children . . .

"Donna is a very unique individual," Sunshine Republicans [a conservative group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender South Floridians] President Benjamin Lewis said.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Divorce Counseling at Minnesota Gov't Expense

The state of Minnesota will soon begin offering, at state expense, divorce reconciliation services to couples considering dissolving their marriages.

-- From "Minnesota will pick up tab to counsel divorcing couples" By Cheryl Wetzstein, Washington Times 5/25/10

The Minnesota Couples on the Brink project was signed last week as part of an omnibus spending bill by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who is often mentioned in speculation about Republican presidential tickets.

The new project will give couples an "offramp" if they find themselves on the road to divorce, by offering on a voluntary basis short-term coaching to help the husband and wife decide whether they really want to split. If a couple decides to rebuild the marriage, the project will help craft a reconciliation plan.

Pro-family advocates contend that the current court system assumes its role is to facilitate divorce, not to reconcile couples.

William J. Doherty, a family studies professor at the University of Minnesota, surveyed about 2,500 couples who had attended a mandatory divorce education class in Hennepin County during 2008 and 2009.

In about 30 percent of cases, one spouse said they wanted the divorce while the other did not, and in about 10 percent, "both partners were open to trying again" to save their marriage, Mr. Dille [Republican legislator] said.

That 10 percent is a substantial number — about 1,500 couples a year statewide, Mr. Dille said. Divorce may certainly be the best choice for some couples, he added, but for others — if they knew more about divorce and its aftermath, "they might want to find an alternate path."

There was dissent from some Minnesota divorce lawyers, however.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tea Party Counters School Science Indoctrination in Colorado

A national group that thinks global warming is "junk science" and that teaching it is unnecessarily scaring schoolchildren brought its first petition effort for "balanced education" to Mesa County Schools on Tuesday night.

-- From "Push to teach 'other side' of global warming heats up in Colorado's Mesa County" By Nancy Lofholm, The Denver Post 5/26/10

Rose Pugliese, an unsuccessful candidate for a District 51 school board seat in the last election, presented a petition with 700 signatures to the board asking that science teachers stop giving lessons on global warming.

Pugliese, a 32-year-old Grand Junction attorney and activist in Tea Party and conservative Republican groups, also presented a petition with 600 signatures demanding Mesa County schools keep political views out of classrooms.

Pugliese's efforts have made her the poster girl for the group Balanced Education for Everyone and have pinpointed Mesa County as a national test case for keeping the teaching of humans' influence on global warming out of science classes.

"It (global warming) is not a proven scientific theory. There is not evidence to support it," Pugliese told the board, generating applause from about 40 Tea Party and other conservative group members who filled the room for the first school board petition battle over this issue in the country.

Pugliese and three other people who spoke against global-warming education said that if the subject is going to be taught, the "other side" should be presented so that students aren't subjected to a frightening untruth.

"A survey showed two out of three kids were coming home thinking their world is going to melt away and all the polar bears are going to die," Laura Kindregan told the board.

Board member Harry Butler said this is the first time he has heard a complaint alleging that teachers are espousing too many liberal ideas in classrooms.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Climate Fears Turn to Doubts Among Britons" By Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times 5/24/10

Last month hundreds of environmental activists crammed into an auditorium [in London] to ponder an anguished question: If the scientific consensus on climate change has not changed, why have so many people turned away from the idea that human activity is warming the planet?

Nowhere has this shift in public opinion been more striking than in Britain, where climate change was until this year such a popular priority that in 2008 Parliament enshrined targets for emissions cuts as national law. But since then, the country has evolved into a home base for a thriving group of climate skeptics who have dominated news reports in recent months, apparently convincing many that the threat of warming is vastly exaggerated.

A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.

Perhaps sensing that climate is now a political nonstarter, David Cameron, Britain’s new Conservative prime minister, was “strangely muted” on the issue in a recent pre-election debate, as The Daily Telegraph put it, though it had previously been one of his passions.

The lack of fervor about climate change is also true of the United States, where action on climate and emissions reduction is still very much a work in progress, and concern about global warming was never as strong as in Europe. A March Gallup poll found that 48 percent of Americans believed that the seriousness of global warming was “generally exaggerated,” up from 41 percent a year ago.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Obama's Homosexual Military Maneuvers in Peril

Their strategy seemed perfect: Lay low while gaining support, circle around, then pounce on America like a blitzkrieg and shove it down the throat of Americans, once again.

UPDATE 5/28/10: President may veto bill for Congress' over spending

Illinois residents: E-mail President Obama, Sens. Durbin & Burris, and your congressman (takes less than 60 seconds) and tell them to oppose this legislation.

-- From "'Don't Ask' Repeal Deal Faces Pushback, Gains Key Backer" by Brian Montopoli, CBS News 5/26/10

Earlier this week, gay rights groups, congressional leaders and the White House worked out a deal to pass a repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

The plan was this: The House and Senate would vote this week to include repeal as part of the (essential) defense authorization bill, which authorizes billions in spending for American troops. It would not go into effect, however, until (1) a Pentagon study on the impact of repeal is finished on December 1st, and (2) President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen approve moving forward based on the study's findings.

That way, the thinking went, they could pass repeal before expected Democratic losses in the November midterm elections - but not enact it until after the Pentagon study is finished. The hope was to get repeal attached to the bill in both houses of Congress before the Memorial Day recess.

Yet not long after the deal became public, momentum seemed to shift away from it getting done.

The lawmakers may have been taken cues from Gates, the defense secretary, who yesterday signaled his frustration with the repeal plan.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Obama rebuked for 'back-room deal' for 'gays'" by Chelsea Schilling © 2010 WorldNetDaily 5/25/10

While President Obama and Congress seek to ram through an amendment to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy – with votes coming as soon as this week – several groups are blasting the president for forcing a "radical" homosexual agenda on the military during a time of war.

Lawmakers had been slow to proceed after Defense Secretary Robert Gates requested that they wait until the completion of a Pentagon study in December. In a strongly worded letter dated April 30, Gates wrote that the Defense Department must be given an opportunity to evaluate the possible impact of repealing the ban before Congress acts.

"Our military must be afforded the opportunity to inform us of their concerns, insights and suggestions if we are to carry out this change successfully," Gates wrote.

He added that repealing the policy before completion of the review "would send a very damaging message to our men and women in uniform that in essence, their views, concerns and perspectives do not matter on an issue with such a direct impact and consequence for them and their families."

But homosexual advocacy groups, including the Human Rights Campaign, stepped up the pressure following concerns that Democrats may lose seats in Congress during the November election.

The 1993 federal statute at issue, debated and adopted by Congress, states that open homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military. The law was overwhelming passed by bipartisan, veto-proof majorities in both houses, after extensive hearings and debate.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On-line Abortions by Planned Parenthood Going Nationwide

A controversy is brewing over how the RU-486 pill is dispensed in Iowa after Planned Parenthood started using technology to allow doctors to hand out the pills using telemedicine.

UPDATE 9/17/10: Telemed a boon to mass slaughter of unborn

UPDATE 6/8/10: Abortion Drugs Given in Iowa via Video Link by Monica Davey, New York Times

Efforts to provide medical services by videoconference, a notion known as telemedicine, are expanding into all sorts of realms, but these clinics in Iowa are the first in the nation, and so far the only ones, experts say, to provide abortions this way.

Advocates say the idea offers an answer to an essential struggle that has long troubled those who favor abortion rights: How to make abortions available in far-flung, rural places and communities where abortion providers are unable or unwilling to travel. So far only Planned Parenthood clinics in Iowa use this method, but around the country, abortion providers have begun asking how they might replicate the concept.

For some, however, the program tests the already complicated bounds of telemedicine. Abortion opponents say they are alarmed, fearful for the safety of women who undergo abortions after consulting with doctors who have never actually been in the same room with them. Opponents filed a complaint this spring with the Iowa Board of Medicine, arguing that a doctor’s remote clicking of a mouse hardly meets the state’s law requiring licensed physicians to perform abortions, and more objections are coming.

Though the efforts drew little attention until recently, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (which recently combined affiliate operations in Nebraska with those in Iowa) has dispensed abortion medication using teleconferencing equipment at 16 Iowa clinics since June 2008; 1,500 such abortions have been performed in this state.

The total number of abortions nationally has declined in recent years, but the percentage of women opting for abortions by medication — as opposed to the more common surgical alternative — is growing.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Planned Parenthood Uses Telemedicine To Dispense Pills" KCCI-TV8 Des Moines, IA 5/17/10

Iowa is [currently] the only state in the country where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is administering RU-486 pills using a remote camera and special pill dispenser to patients at rural clinics.

RU-486, also known as Mifeprex, is a synthetic steroid that is used to prevent or end pregnancy in the first two months after conception, and is commonly referred to as the "abortion pill."

The new telemedicine technique allows a doctor to talk to and dispense the pills to a patient in a remote office location using a camera and microphone connected to the Internet, which allows for two-way communication. Officials said the patient is counseled by on-site staff before connecting to talk to the doctor who is at a different location.

After talking to the patient, the doctor can then tap a button on the computer to activate a special drawer at the patient's location that will open and allow the patient to receive the pills. The patient then takes the first pills while the doctor watches.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Planned Parenthood Reveals 5-Year Plan to Expand Abortion through Telemed Scheme" 5/25/10

Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) revealed last week that expanding medical abortions into every Planned Parenthood clinic in the country through the use of a "telemed abortion" scheme is part of PPFA's Strategic Plan for 2015.

The plan was revealed after a protest of Planned Parenthood organized by the Pro-Life Action League. Between 150 and 200 pro-lifers braved the cold and rain to protest a Planned Parenthood fund-raising banquet in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the wake of the "telemed abortion" scandal in that state.

"If this push-button abortion scheme is allowed to spread, it will only increase the number of abortions at a time when abortion rates are falling and abortion clinics are closing," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Not only will more babies die, but women will be placed in increased danger of serious medical complications or death, with no real emergency plan other than to make patients fend for themselves at whatever emergency room they can find."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

White House Replaces Prayer at Graduation

The trend is dramatic: The decline in prayer at commencement ceremonies is contrasted with the rise of invitations to the Obama administration, and myriad other liberals, to speak at institutions of 'higher learning' (or, indoctrination).

-- From "Group sees Graduation Day bias for left" Washington Times 5/25/10

A survey by the conservative Young America's Foundation found that nine officials from the Obama administration have been invited to speak at commencement exercises at the nation's 100 top-ranked universities this spring alone — compared with 14 officials from the administration during President George W. Bush's eight years in office.

Foundation officials say the results, part of an annual survey conducted for the past 17 years, show that the liberal dominance of graduation day has only increased under President Obama.

The survey also found that members of the press and actors are among those scheduled to speak at graduation ceremonies at the nation's top 100 universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The schools surveyed include Harvard, Princeton, Cornell and Boston University.

The invitations to administration figures is "only the tip of the iceberg," according to the survey. "This year's research found that a myriad of speakers were not only White House officials, but also liberal ideologues, newsmakers, authors and entrenched Washington insiders, while conservative best-selling authors, business leaders and free-market Nobel laureates were once again absent from our list."

"This year the trend proves that just as the media have been in love with Obama, so have America's universities," said foundation President Ron Robinson.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pro-lifers Agree with Obama: Elena Kagan is Pro-abortion

"The jig is up" on the President's pick for the Supreme Court. The spin that she's a moderate and that pro-abortion advocates fear she's pro-life has failed to fool Christians.

UPDATE 6/4/10: New Supreme Court Documents Show Elena Kagan's Pro-Abortion Position

-- From "Catholic Bishops Leave Coalition Group Backing Pro-Abortion Pick Elena Kagan" by Steven Ertelt, Editor 5/20/10

The nation's Catholic bishops have left a coalition of organizations that recently endorsed the Supreme Court nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan. The Coalition for Constitutional Values is running a television and Internet commercial praising President Barack Obama's selection.

The Coalition for Constitutional Values is a project of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), a coalition of 200 groups. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was a member of the LCCHR, and as a member pays an annual membership fee.

Catholic writer Deal Hudson, in a national editorial, called on the USCCB to leave the coalition over the nomination of Kagan, who would join the 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court that has kept legal abortions in place since 1973.

In a press statement,Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, the chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Peace, said the USCCB was leaving the coalition.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Elena Kagan's Reliance on Foreign Law Worries Pro-Life Group on Abortion" by Steven Ertelt, Editor 5/21/10

Elena Kagan's reliance on foreign law for statutory interpretation presents another concern for pro-life advocates, says Americans United for Life in a new memo about President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee. The pro-life legal group says Kagan could use it as another basis to support legal abortions.

The use of foreign law in defending unlimited abortion "rights" as laid out in Roe v. Wade is nothing new for the pro-life movement.

It came up during the confirmation hearings on pro-abortion Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who pledged not to use it.

But the nomination of Kagan to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens raises anew the specter of jurists relying on international law and court decisions from abroad to firm up pro-abortion case law in the United States.

During her Senate confirmation hearings last year to become U.S. Solicitor General, lawmakers asked Kagan about the use of foreign law and she responded: "At least some members of the Court find foreign law relevant in at least some contexts. When this is the case, I think the Solicitor General's office should offer reasonable foreign law arguments to attract these Justices' support for the positions that the office is taking."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Anti-Abortion Group Seeks Kagan Hearing Delay" by Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers in U.S. News & World Report 5/24/10

One of the nation's most prominent anti-abortion groups is seeking a delay in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan in order to provide the Clinton library time to find and make public her key writings while a White House lawyer and later domestic policy aide.

Americans United for Life, which is fast becoming one of the leading foes of Kagan, currently the U.S. Solicitor General, believes the documents in the Little Rock, Ark., library are important because President Obama's pick has no judicial experience and thus no written opinions from which to determine her political leanings.

In a letter to Judiciary Chairman Sen. Pat Leahy and others, AUL President Charmaine Yoest wrote: "We are deeply concerned that the Senate Judiciary Committee will have insufficient time to review Elena Kagan's record before commencing her hearing on June 28, 2010. Therefore, we request that you provide whatever time is needed for members to thoroughly prepare for the hearing, even if it requires postponing the hearing date."

The letter was prompted when the director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum last week said it would be very difficult to find and turn over to the committee documents related to Kagan's time at the White House.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UCLA Finds Bullying Good for Kids

Psychology: youngsters who stand up to aggressors are more likely to develop social and emotional skills

UPDATE 10/24/10: Mom allows daughter to be bullied (video)

-- From "Bullying can be good for children" by Maurice Chittenden, The Sunday Times (UK) 5/23/10

A little childhood bullying may be good for you. Researchers have found that if boys or girls are able to stand up for themselves, being attacked by enemies can help their development.

Studies have shown that children become more popular among, and respected by, teachers and fellow pupils if they repay hostility in kind. They remember such experiences more vividly than friendly episodes, helping them to develop healthy social and emotional skills.

The research shows that while bullying is not always character-building, there can be advantages to being shouted at, or ostracised on Facebook.

In a series of experiments, psychologists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), measured the friendships and hostile relationships of 2,000 schoolchildren aged 11 and 12.

The experience gives children an early lesson that not everybody is going to like them in life and teaches them about conflict resolution.

Many successful people have identified being bullied at school and opting to fight back as a turning point in their lives.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Texas Puts American History Back Into School

The Texas State Board of education overhauled its existing social studies and history curriculum [Friday] by a majority vote, much to the chagrin of educators and political activists across the country.

-- From "In Texas, social studies textbooks get a conservative make-over" By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer, Christian Science Monitor 5/22/10

In a move that has potential national impact, the Texas State Board of Education has approved controversial changes to social studies textbooks – pushing high school teaching in a more conservative direction.

The Dallas Morning news reports that the curriculum standards adopted Friday by a 9-5 vote along party lines on the elected board have “a definite political and philosophical bent in many areas.”

Students would learn about the “unintended consequences” of Title IX, affirmative action, and the Great Society, and would study such conservative icons as Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation, and the Moral Majority.

There’s also more emphasis on religion’s role in US history. This was evident in the opening prayer at Friday’s meeting in Austin by education board member Cynthia Dunbar made "in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ … [on behalf of] “a Christian land governed by Christian principles.”

Supporters of the changes see them as correcting liberal views imposed when Democrats controlled the state education board.

But as the Monitor’s Amanda Paulson reported this week, critics are dismayed at what they see as an attempt to push conservative ideology – even if it flies in the face of scholarship – into textbooks.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Texas textbook controversy: outdated or back on track from politically correct derailment?" by Melissa Thayer, Independent Examiner 5/22/10

One of the changes that has caused a stir is that during a high school government class the students were asked to compare and contrast the judicial language of the separation of church and state with the wording in the First Amendment. An Associated Press writer chose to use the wording "watered down the rationale".

The board also rejected the use of the secular terms B.C.E. and C.E. for distinguishing historical periods and will use the normal terms B.C. and A.D. in the textbooks. The people who claim that those terms are "religious" should consider the case of the Byron Union School District in California who incorporate fasting and other religious practices into their World History and Cultures studies on Muslim culture. Parents who were upset that their children were adopting a Muslim name, fasting and being required to learn Muslim prayers sued the school district and after a long process, finally the Supreme Court rejected the appeal in 2006. The instructional material is still available for the classes.

The amendments to the curriculum include referring to the United States of America's government as a "constitutional republic" instead of a "democracy". In [Arne] Duncan's concern that children will be "shielded from the truth", one wonders if the Secretary of Education [Duncan] has read the wording of the foundational documents of America where the word "democracy" is, in truth, absent.

Author and scholar Diane Ravitch has already said that textbook and test publishers have been censoring the content of educational materials to screen out topics and ideas that might be considered traditional or controversial or offensive. Children have been being taught a filtered form of history instead of the truth.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Maryland Law Slams Door on Pro-life Speech

“The government cannot create special speech rules just because people want to talk about pregnancy choices. This new regulation violates every core principle of free speech law."

UPDATE 5/24/10: Washinton Times coverage

-- From "Maryland law slams door on pro-life speech" by Bob Unruh © 2010 WorldNetDaily 5/21/10

A new law in a Maryland county that apparently intends to shut down the speech of pro-life counselors is being challenged in federal court by a pregnancy center that wants to continue offering free advice to mothers-to-be.

The lawsuit was filed [recently] in U.S. District Court in Maryland over the law adopted in Montgomery County that requires such counseling centers to post conspicuously a sign advising that there is no licensed medical professional on staff and the county health officer thinks women should consult their physicians.

According to the Alliance Defense Fund, which is pursuing the legal action, there are no similar requirements for abortion businesses.

But ADF explained as the law is worded, it also could require "maternity stores, sidewalk counselors or anyone in a church that talks to pregnant women to 'conspicuously post' signs that state that no licensed medical professional is on staff."

Fines of more than $20,000 a month are embedded in the law for those who say something they shouldn't.

It is the second such case that has arisen recently over attacks by abortion supporters on those who counsel against the termination of a baby's life.
ADF reported a lawsuit was filed by the pro-life Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns in Baltimore in March over a city policy that forces pro-life centers to post signs "stating that they don't provide abortions or birth control referrals."

Montgomery County previously was in the news when county officials adopted a gender "anti-discrimination" rule that critics argued could create coed showers, locker rooms and other public facilities.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Suit Challenges Regulations Hitting Crisis Pregnancy Centers" by James Tillman, 5/21/10

Montgomery County councilmember Trachtenberg has made clear the motive of the regulation. She claimed that CPCs often provide false or misleading information to women by telling them that abortions and oral contraceptives cause breast cancer and that condoms are ineffective in preventing pregnancy and STDs.

However, a recent study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that both abortion and oral contraceptives raise the risk of breast cancer. Numerous other studies have found some connection between abortion and breast cancer, just as various studies or organizations have found a link between contraceptives and breast cancer.

Similarly, some studies have indicated that condom use fails to prevent transmission of STDs.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Christians Ejected from Episcopal Bishop Consecration

At the ceremony to consecrate the first lesbian bishop of the ECUSA, all dissenting Christians were forcibly removed, lest there be an objection to the apostasy.

-- From "Episcopal Church consecrates woman as its 2d gay bishop" by Associated Press 5/17/10

The Episcopal Church has consecrated a woman as its second openly gay bishop, seven years after stirring lingering controversy by elevating a man to a similar post.

The Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool of Baltimore
was ordained and consecrated Saturday. It also makes her one of the first two female bishops in the 114-year history of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Just before the ceremony began, a man stood, shouted about the need to repent, and held up a sign that read “Do not be deceived, homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God."

After he was escorted out, a young boy in the same section rose holding a Bible and shouted similar slogans. Security guards also led him out.

The Rev. Canon Diane M. Jardine Bruce of San Clemente, Calif., also was ordained Saturday.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "L.A. region's first two female Episcopal bishops are ordained" by Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times 5/15/10

There was a moment on Saturday when even the usually unflappable J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, held his breath.

It was the point when the 3,000 people at the Long Beach Arena were asked if anyone had any objections to the ordination of the region's first two female bishops, one of whom is the first lesbian bishop ordained by the Episcopal Church.

"I don't think there's anybody in this place who was more nervous than I was," Bruno said a short time later in his sermon.

But the moment passed in silence, and the two women — Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Douglas Glasspool — were ordained to applause and cheers. Bruno said the church was "fuller and richer and more vital" as a result.

The head of the church, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, said after Glasspool's election in March that it was "regrettable" and could threaten the unity of the communion.

Although no one raised any objections about the ordinations when asked during the service, it was not without disruption. A handful of protesters stood outside the arena, carrying signs and yelling slogans decrying homosexuality. And early in the service, shortly after Bruce and Jardine had taken the stage, a man seated near the front of the arena stood, waved a placard and begin shouting: "Repent of the sins of the homosexual! Repent of the sin of abortion!"

As security guards led him off, the man continued yelling. "It's an abomination! Repent! The Bible says homosexuals will not enter …" and his voice trailed off.

As the ceremony resumed, a young boy in a white shirt stood up, holding aloft what appeared to be a Bible. "Repent!" he began yelling to the startled arena. "Repent!" As he was led out, a voice called out, "We're praying for you!" The audience applauded.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Obama Energy Dept. Boots Conservative Scientist over Homophobia

The Energy Department removed a St. Louis scientist from a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue a solution to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico because of writings on his website about homosexuality and race relations.

-- From "Scientist booted off oil panel over writing" by Combined Dispatches, posted at Washington Times 5/20/10

Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was one of five top scientists chosen by the Department of Energy and attended meetings in Houston last week.

Mr. Katz is a leading scientist, but his website postings often touch on social issues. Some of those writings include defenses of "homophobia" and doubts about the value of racial preferences and similar diversity efforts.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu was not aware of Mr. Katz's writings before selecting him for the panel, spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller told the Associated Press. It was not immediately clear how the department became aware of the writings.

"Dr. Chu has spoken with dozens of scientists and engineers as part of his work to help find solutions to stop the oil spill," a statement from the Energy Department said. "Some of Professor Katz's controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the Department's efforts."

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Friday, May 21, 2010

More Colleges Drop Prayer at Commencement

Prayer was dropped from New Hampshire Technical Institute's graduation ceremony in an effort to shorten the program.

-- From "NHTI grads don't get prayer" by Paula Tracy, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff 5/21/10

Stephen Caccia, vice president of student affairs at NHTI, Concord's Community College, said . . . "We were looking for ways to shorten the program. It's not because we don't believe in prayer."

Anni McLaughlin, professor of communications/English and adviser for the Christian Student Organization, circulated an e-mail among faculty and administrators questioning why the prayer was removed.

In the 13 years she has attended graduations at NHTI, she said, the school has had members of varying faiths provide a short, ecumenical message "to reach everyone." When there was no prayer this year, "it made the ceremony so empty." While she respects Caccia, the issue of shortening the ceremony did not seem to be a very good one, McLaughlin said.

Plymouth State University's commencement this Saturday also won't include a prayer. Bruce Lyndes, spokesman for the state-run university, said there has not been a prayer offered for several years.

Robin Dutcher, spokesman for Keene State College, said it did not offer a prayer at May 8's commencement and has not for the five years she has been there.

McLaughlin said two major rulings in 1997 allowing prayer at graduations still stand today: Tanford v. Brand (104 F.3d 982), a decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declining to forbid prayers at public university graduation ceremonies; and Chaudhuri v. State of Tennessee (130 F.3d 232), a decision by the 6th Circuit upholding a graduation prayer at Tennessee State University.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

God Replaced? Scientists Create Life

Synthetic life has been created in the laboratory in a feat of ingenuity that pushes the boundaries of humanity’s ability to manipulate the natural world.

UPDATE 5/27/10: Vatican weighs in with support and caution

-- From "A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell" by Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press 5/21/10

Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. While such work can evoke images of Frankenstein-like scientific tinkering, it also is exciting hopes that it could eventually lead to new fuels, better ways to clean polluted water, faster vaccine production and more.

Is it really an artificial life form?

The inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this initial step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind.

Following the announcement, President Barack Obama directed the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues he established last fall to make its first order of business a study of the milestone.

"The commission should consider the potential medical, environmental, security and other benefits of this field of research, as well as any potential health, security or other risks," Obama wrote in a letter to the commission's chairwoman, Amy Gutmann, the president of the University of Pennsylvania.

Obama also asked that the commission develop recommendations about any actions the government should take "to ensure that America reaps the benefits of this developing field of science while identifying appropriate ethical boundaries and minimizing identified risks."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Scientists create artificial life in laboratory" by Mark Henderson, Science Editor, London Times 5/21/10

The synthetic bacterium, nicknamed Synthia, has been hailed as a step change in biological engineering, allowing the creation of organisms with specialised functions that could never have evolved in nature. The team at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, is investigating how the technology could yield microbes that make vaccines, and algae that turn carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon biofuels.

Dr Venter, who has been working on synthetic life for a decade, told The Times: “It is our final triumph. This is the first synthetic cell. It’s the first time we have started with information in a computer, used four bottles of chemicals to write up a million letters of DNA software, and actually got it to boot up in a living organism.

“Though this is a baby step, it enables a change in philosophy, a change in thinking, a change in the tools we have. This cell we’ve made is not a miracle cell that’s useful for anything, it is a proof of concept. But the proof of concept was key, otherwise it is just speculation and science fiction. This takes us across that border, into a new world.”

Julian Savulescu, Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, said: “Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity’s history, potentially peeking into its destiny. He is going towards the role of a god: creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally. The potential is in the far future, but real and significant. But the risks are also unparalleled.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pollster Concedes America is Now Pro-life

Given the consistently pro-life majority in polling data ever since Obama was inaugurated as President, Gallup is now forced to refer to the American populace as pro-life.

-- From "The New Normal on Abortion: Americans More 'Pro-Life'" by Lydia Saad, Gallup 5/14/10

The conservative shift in Americans' views on abortion that Gallup first recorded a year ago has carried over into 2010. Slightly more Americans call themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice," 47% vs. 45%, according to a May 3-6 Gallup poll. This is nearly identical to the 47% to 46% division found last July following a more strongly pro-life advantage of 51% to 42% last May.

While the two-percentage-point gap in current abortion views is not significant, it represents the third consecutive time Gallup has found more Americans taking the pro-life than pro-choice position on this measure since May 2009, suggesting a real change in public opinion.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Gallup Poll Finds More Americans Pro-Life Than Pro-Abortion, The 'New Normal'" by Steven Ertelt, Editor 5/17/10

Looking at the Gallup polling data dating back to 1995, the pro-life movement has been successful in changing public opinion on abortion -- as Gallup found a 56-33 percent pro-abortion split in 1995. That 23 percent pro-abortion majority has shifted 25 percent towards the pro-life position to the pro-life majority the movement against abortion enjoys today.

Massachusetts Citizens for Life president Anne Fox credits that shift to the pro-life movement's focus on legislation such as a partial-birth abortion ban that highlights how abortion kills unborn children.

"The battles we have had to fight at the legislative level, Partial Birth Abortion Ban and Obamacare among them, and at the political level (which provides our only chance to get abortion into the media) are the cause of these positive moves in public opinion," she said.

"You and I are working to educate people about the value of every human life and we are succeeding," she added.

Conservative writer Ed Morrissey notes that the Gallup poll found 18 percent more Americans say abortion is morally wrong than say it is morally right.

He suggests the pro-life number is moving up because people are internalizing that through people they know who have experienced the pain of an abortion and are taking that message to heart.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Americans Under 30 Most Likely to Take Uncompromising Stand for Right to Life, Says Gallup Poll" by Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief 5/17/10

The pro-abortion left appears to be losing the battle for the heart and soul of the rising generation of Americans, according to new data released by the Gallup poll.

Americans in the 18 to 29 age bracket are now more likely than their elders to believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, according to the data released last week, and generally oppose abortion in greater numbers than Baby Boomers.

Since 1975, Gallup has been asking this question: “Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances?” The data released last week showed the five-year results for the period 2005-2009.

In that period, 23 percent of Americans 18 to 29 years old said they believed abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, while 51 percent said it should be legal only under certain circumstances, and 24 percent said it should be legal under all circumstances. None of the older age brackets equaled the 23 percent in the 18 to 29 age bracket who would like to see all abortions prohibited. Only the 65 or older age bracket exceeded the under-30s in the combined percentage who would like to see all abortions outlawed or see abortion legal only under certain circumstances.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Click headlines below for related, previous articles:

By 3 to 1 Americans Oppose ObamaCare Abortion Funding

Another Poll Shows Americans' Support for Abortion Dropping

Gallup Poll: Most Americans 'Pro-life'

Attempt to Derail Religious Liberty Fails in Louisiana

Opponents of a new state religious freedom bill were unsuccessful in stopping legislation requiring government to prove a compelling reason to restrict religious expression.

-- From "Religious protection bill freed from Senate committee" by Times-Picayune Staff 5/20/10

Sen. Danny Martiny's Senate Bill 606 would prohibit government from burdening the free exercise of religion, unless it can prove "it has a compelling governmental interest." After the measure narrowly escaped a Senate committee Tuesday, the bill was redirected to a second Senate panel . . . because [of concerns] about its potential costs. But a financial analysis didn't indicate it would cost anything.

Supporters of the bill say it would combat efforts to limit religious expression, while opponents argue the measure is unnecessary and could lead to a rash of new legal disputes.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Few Homosexuals Getting 'Married' in Iowa

Despite all the hype that a significant portion of the population is homosexual, in the first year of legal same-sex "marriage" in Iowa only 4% of marriage licenses of Iowans were same-sex -- a tiny number considering the claims that so many homosexuals have been waiting for this "right" for decades.

UPDATE 6/7/10: Liberals count on Iowans' apathy and distractions from defending marriage

-- From "Iowa's 2,000 gay marriages mostly from nonresidents" by Tony Leys, Des Moines Register 5/19/10

Out-of-staters made up 60 percent of same-sex couples married in Iowa since the state began allowing such unions in April 2009, officials reported Tuesday.

The new report from the Iowa Department of Public Health says 2,020 same-sex marriages were recorded in Iowa from April 27, 2009, through March 31. Only 815 of the couples were from Iowa. The newly married included 199 gay couples from Illinois, 158 from Missouri and 111 from Nebraska.

Overall, 19,904 couples were married in Iowa during the time period. Of those, 2,020 were listed as "same gender" couples, 16,869 were listed as "opposite gender" and 1,015 were listed as "not stated."

Among gay couples getting married here, 728 were two men, and 1,292 were two women.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Feds Wanted Christian Charity Concealed at Tornado Site

A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) photographer and/or his supervisor wanted Christian volunteers helping cleanup after a natural disaster to change their shirts so that their religious affiliation would not be visible.

-- From "FEMA Photographer Asked Church Volunteers Not to Wear Religious T-Shirts in Video on Tornado Aftermath" by Emily Wagster Pettus, Associated Press 5/19/20

The top officer for FEMA said one of the agency's videographers was "absolutely wrong" to ask Mississippi church volunteers not to wear religious T-shirts for a video about tornado cleanup.

Angelia Lott and Pamela Wedgeworth, who are sisters, told The Associated Press that the FEMA worker videotaping the cleanup on Saturday in the small town of Ebenezer asked them to do on-camera interviews but requested that they change out of their T-shirts because of a Salvation Army logo.

"He said, 'We would like to ask you to change your shirt because we don't want anything faith-based,'" Lott said Tuesday.

Lott and Wedgeworth attend a small rural church in Smith County. They volunteered through a ministry of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Calif. Teachers Watch Students Strip for Talent Show

A YouTube video showing two Paramount High School male students stripping to their underwear and dancing during a talent show has prompted an investigation by the Paramount Unified School District.

UPDATE 5/26/10: Teachers disciplined, but sexualized students don't know better

-- From "Calif. investigating high school strippers" by Associated Press 5/14/10

The assistant principal at a California high school has been placed on leave . . .

The Paramount Unified School District began an investigation after video of the student performances showed up on YouTube and local television news reports. One performer, Christian Dominguez, says he simply wanted to "pump up" the class at Paramount High School.

But some parents complained.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Stripping at Paramount High talent show leads to investigation" by Kevin Butler and Pamela Hale-Burns, Long Beach Press-Telegram Staff Writers 5/13/2010

[In the video] Some other students appear to go onstage to put money into the underwear of at least one of the dancing teens. The dancing occurred during a talent show called the Mister Paramount Pageant, according to news reports.

Teachers, who were present at the event, made no attempt to stop it, even when "it got out of hand," said one student.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Liberal Elite Secularists Attack Christian Business Woman

Maryland residents became enraged when they learned that the owner of a children's play museum infrequently played Christian music and has on her website: "Every child is God's gift to this earth. We endeavor to honor Him in all of our affairs."

Video from FOX & Friends

-- From "Play space owner defends herself against claims that she's pushing religion" by Brigid Schulte, Washington Post Staff Writer 5/18/10

In the days before three Montgomery County kindergarten classes were slated to go on a field trip to the Be With Me Playseum, an indoor play space in Bethesda, the organization's staff prepared for what they hoped would be the first of many visits.

The owner of the fledgling business, Gina Seebachan, bought tiles so each child could make a handprint to take home as a keepsake. She organized books by authors the children were reading for story time. If the trip went well, Seebachan thought, business might really take off.

Then, without warning, Westbrook Elementary School, which all four of Seebachan's children have attended, canceled the trip.

All because, Seebachan says, she mentions God on the Playseum Web site.

Last month's canceled school visits were just the latest in what some friends and neighbors call an unsubstantiated whisper campaign that has gone viral, with Web postings accusing Seebachan, an evangelical Christian, and the Playseum of being less about creating a play space for children and more about saving their souls. In a well-to-do, liberal community, where separation of church and state is virtually a religion, Seebachan's references to God, and the use of the politically loaded word "life" on the Playseum Web site, coupled with the echo chamber of the Internet, made for a combustible mix.

In anonymous postings on local Web sites, parents accused Seebachan of handing out antiabortion literature at the Playseum, accepting support from right-wing Christian groups and playing Christian rock music at the play space. Most damning, one anonymous poster who said she was Jewish claimed that Seebachan told her that unless she accepted Jesus as her personal savior, the client and her children would go to hell.

She has no literature about abortion, she says. Her sponsors are all secular, local businesses such as Safeway and Strosniders hardware store. She does send a portion of her profits -- about $6,000 so far -- to a religious organization in India that finds homes for destitute children and trains them to become church leaders.

Despite Seebachan's denials of evangelical intent, the rumors circulated on the Web. She began to get malicious anonymous phone calls from people slamming her for foisting her faith on others. Visitors demanded to know her staff's religious background. "One is from Peru," Seebachan said she would tell callers. "One is from Sri Lanka. One is vegan. One is kosher Jewish. I have a guy from Trinidad and a gal from Congo. I honestly have no idea what religion they are. "

Then came Westbrook Elementary's cancellation. John Ewald, the school's principal, said that "several" parents contacted him with concerns about the Playseum trip, but he was not more specific.

Seebachan says she was told that if she removed mentions of God from the Web site, the school visit would be rescheduled.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catholic School Boots Boy with Lesbian 'Parents'

The Archdiocese of Boston said . . . that administrators of a small Catholic elementary school in Hingham were not following archdiocesan policy when they rescinded admission of a prospective student after learning that his parents are lesbians.

-- From "Catholics fight move to deny schooling to children of lesbians, gays" by Dan Gilgoff, CNN 5/15/10

Progressive Catholic groups vented outrage Friday over the decision of a Roman Catholic school in Massachusetts to rescind the admission of an 8-year-old student because his parents are lesbians.

Other liberal Catholic and gay groups issued similar statements Friday, responding to news reports this week that a child accepted to St. Paul Elementary School in Hingham, Massachusetts, for the fall was told he couldn't enroll after the school learned that his parents are gay.

In March, the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, supported a decision by a Catholic school in Boulder to block two students with gay parents from re-enrolling.

. . . the Boston Archdiocese met with one of the child's parents on Thursday and that it has offered to help enroll him in another Catholic school in the archdiocese.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "2 views on excluding lesbians’ son" by Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe Staff 5/13/10

The Rev. James Rafferty, pastor of St. Paul parish, and Cynthia Duggan, the school’s principal, did not respond to requests for an interview yesterday afternoon. Lisa Lipsett, an adviser to the school’s PTO Executive Committee, referred all questions to the archdiocese.

Christine Smith, a member of the Hingham School Committee and a St. Paul’s parishioner, said last night that she would have no immediate comment because she did not know enough about the school’s decision.

Although Catholic schools integrate church teachings into their curriculum and ethos, they also accept students of any religious background, as well as children whose parents are divorced, even though the church forbids divorce and remarriage.

Attorney Shawn Gaylord, public policy director for the New York-based Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, an advocacy group for gay students, said the Massachusetts law barring discrimination in schools based on sexual orientation applies only to public schools.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Obama Sure Elena Kagan Pro-abortion: Supreme Court

Even as the mainstream media tout Supreme Court nominee Kagan as a moderate with unknown positions on hot-button issues, the Los Angeles Times reports that the White House is certain of her liberal credentials; her pro-abortion record is clear.

-- From "Kagan's abortion stance has both sides guessing" posted Los Angeles Times, by Christi Parsons and James Oliphant, Tribune Washington Bureau 5/15/10

President Obama's advisors say he has no doubt that Kagan is a legal progressive who will maintain the current balance of the court if confirmed to replace the retiring liberal John Paul Stevens.

. . . The essay Kagan wrote after the 1980 election for the Daily Princetonian, her college newspaper, indicates that on the brink of her career she was a committed liberal.

She wrote of her immediate reaction to Ronald Reagan's election that "the world had gone mad, that liberalism was dead and that there was no longer any place for the ideals we held or the beliefs we espoused," according to a copy of the essay republished this week by the Princeton newspaper.

"Even after the returns came in, I found it hard to conceive of the victories of these anonymous but Moral Majority-backed opponents," she wrote, "these avengers of 'innocent life' and the B-1 bomber, these beneficiaries of a general turn to the right and a profound disorganization on the left."

In those words, and in their punctuation, conservatives detect a personal dislike.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Kagan Helped Craft Clinton Strategy for Blocking Partial-Birth Abortion Ban" by Fred Lucas, Staff Writer 5/17/10

Solicitor General Elena Kagan . . . helped craft President Bill Clinton’s political strategy for sustaining his veto of the partial-birth abortion ban in 1997. As a result of Clinton’s successful veto that year, the ban was not enacted until 2003, when it was signed by President George Bush.

Kagan, who was then deputy director of Clinton’s Domestic Policy Council co-wrote a May 13, 1997 memo with Bruce Reed, the director of the council, urging Clinton to support two Democratic amendments that were being offered as substitutes for the partial-birth abortion ban and that were designed to give cover to Democrats who wanted to vote against the ban but be on record as in some way opposing late-term abortions.

One amendment was sponsored by Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and the other by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.). Both amendments theoretically banned abortion after viability of the fetus, but both included exceptions for the health of the mother (Daschle's language being somewhat more strict)--meaning, in practical effect, that they were unlikely to actually ban abortions. Under the Supreme Court’s 1973 Doe v. Bolton decision, a companion case to Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman had a right to abortion after viability for health reasons and defined health to mean “all factors--physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age--relevant to the well-being of the patient.”

The memo from Kagan and Reed to Clinton included a draft letter they advised him to send to Daschle and Feinstein that day endorsing their amendments as a way to maintain “credibility” on the issue and hold support for sustaining his intended veto of the partial-birth abortion ban. They memo said that John Hilley, Clinton’s director of legislative affairs, and Rahm Emanuel, then a White House adviser, supported the strategy.

“We recommend that you send a letter to Congress indicating that you would accept either of these substitute proposals,” said Kagan and Reed’s memo. “John Hilley and Rahm strongly agree, believing that a letter of this kind will help prevent a veto override on this issue.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Kagan was member of pro-abortion group" by Aaron Klein © 2010 WorldNetDaily 5/16/10

Elena Kagan, President Obama's pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, contributed financially to and was a listed member of an organization whose stated goal is to promote access to abortion services and blocks attempts to limit female "reproductive rights."

Kagan's listed herself as a member in the National Partnership for Women and Families, or NPWF, which seeks "to increase women's access to ... reproductive health services and block attempts to limit reproductive rights ... and to give every woman access to ... abortion services."

Kagan admitted to her membership in a 1999 questionnaire she filled out as part of judicial nomination hearings that year.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.