Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Yet More Lies From Stem Cell "Superstar"?

South Korean professor and cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-suk, is in yet more trouble. And the MSM (mainstream media), who remain desperately committed to push embryonic stem cell research despite its failures, dangers, and immoral foundations, may soon be reeling at the fall of one of their heroes.

Prof Hwang Woo-suk

And, make no mistake; "hero" is the right word for how Hwang Woo-suk is revered by the media -- and by a large section of the Korean public who have bought into the false promises of embryonic stem cell and cloning researchers. For instance, just a few days ago (even after the revelation of his lying about the source of the eggs used in his experiments), the Telegraph (U.K.) described Woo-suk as "a scientific superstar" whose "laboratory is without doubt leading the rest of the world in using human embryos as a source of stem cells, flexible cells that could offer a treatments for ailments such as heart disease, diabetes and motor neuron disease."

Note too the response of Koreans to the documentary produced by MBC (a Korean TV network) last week. The hour-long program fairly covered the issue about Woo-suk's lies about the egg donations and included a lengthy interview with the professor himself. But the uproar that followed that program showed how little scientific facts (or moral standards) matter to the pro-ESCR forces.

Here's how The Korea Times described the response to the MBC documentary:

"Then supporters for Hwang quickly launched organized salvos at producers of the MBC program and the broadcasting network. Some even threatened to kill family members of the producers, posting their photos on the Internet. They argued the program was ``against national interests.’’

A group of protesters also staged a candlelight demonstration in front of MBC headquarters in Yoido, Seoul, Saturday. Among some 50 of them was disabled pop singer Kang Won-rae. The protesters said they will launch a signature-collection campaign against MBC.

Fearing further public rancor, 11 out of 12 advertisers for the MBC program have decided to withdraw their advertisements.."

Even the South Korean President, Roh Moo-hyun, weighed in on the matter. He too was bothered by the MBC documentary presenting Woo-suk in a negative light (the President knows this represents fewer investment dollars coming into the South Korean economy) yet he was obliged to decry the intolerance and fear fostered by the pro-ESCR leaders.

Let's face it; embryonic stem cell research has not had a good year. Despite the MSM's best efforts to keep the hype up, the public's belief in ESCR's benefits are waning. The results simply haven't come through. The developments utilizing adult stem cells, however, have been truly amazing with medical treatments (not mere potential or grand promises) already helping thousands of people. Adding the ethics violations of Hwang Woo-suk to sour the public even further on ESCR shenanigans paints an even bleaker picture for the field.

Don't figure on the movement's leaders and their media allies giving up easily though. In a recent USA Today story highlighting how embryonic stem cell scientists around the world were worried about further funding of their own projects after Woo-suk's lies about the egg donations, there was this observation:

"...Paul Root Wolpe of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania points out that Hwang did not resign because he used eggs from his researchers but because he lied about it and brought shame "in a country where public shame is so powerful.

He is not the only one to note that Hwang's findings have not been compromised. "While ethical issues about (egg) donation should be debated and the process regulated, the scientific conclusions of Dr. Hwang's research remain intact," Schatten said in a statement..."

But what if Hwang Woo-Suk lied about more than the egg donations?

New reports of his lying about the scientific findings of his much-publicized research have been made -- and again by MBC. And these lies go right to the heart of his ESCR and cloning claims.

Here's an excerpt from today's report from LifeNews:

A Korean television station whose investigative report was the nail in the coffin that prompted human cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk to admit he lied about egg donations his researchers made says he may have lied about the results of his research as well.

Last year, Hwang's team said it successfully cloned a human embryo from embryonic stem cells. The report came in the scientific journal Science, which also exposed the egg donation coverup.

However, Korean television station MBC has conducted interviews with an unnamed member of Hwang's research team who says the cells were never cloned successfully. The researcher called the reports a "collection of falsehoods."

According to MBC, the scientist "maintains that Hwang's team fabricated data because in reality it failed to clone a somatic cell and instead used a frozen embryo from the hospital to make stem cells."

The researcher also said Hwang's team did not successfully clone a cow, as had been reported. Hwang's team also claims to have successfully cloned a dog, the first time scientists have ever been able to do it.

A report in the Chosun Ilbo newspaper in Korea says MBC was able to win over members of Hwang's team by claiming it was producing a documentary on stem cell research. The paper says the television station was able to use hidden cameras to dig up dirt on Hwang and his team members by talking to some scientists.

It will be interesting to see the story play out. But no matter how the pro-ESCR media try to spin a way out of these latest revelations, Hwang Woo-suk looks likely to finally go from the movement's hero to its goat.

Like I said, it's been a bad year for ESCR.

Does Capital Punishment Actually Save Lives?

Proponents of capital punishment (like myself) usually argue their case according to the ideals of justice. They often include in their presentation also the critical need of a society to uphold the sanctity of human life; i.e., if murdering an innocent doesn't deserve the ultimate punishment, what signal does that send to the whole culture about the value of a human being?

Related to this second argument is today's Dennis Prager column which includes yet another persuasive element in the case for capital punishment -- sheer pragmatics.

Family Research Council: Update on the Grinch Movement

The Assault on Christmas

Boston's Mayor and Parks Commissioner has yielded to cries from people across the country: Beantown's "holiday tree" will be a Christmas tree, after all. The Christmas tree is an annual gift from Nova Scotia to thank the people of Boston for their great generosity following the explosion of a munitions ship in Halifax harbor during World War I. When he heard that the tree would no longer be called a Christmas tree, the Canadian donor said he'd rather put the majestic evergreen "in the chipper." Meanwhile on the West Coast, Encinitas, California, Mayor Dan Dalager braved criticism from the politically correct crowd. He renamed that city's holiday parade a Christmas parade. That's the name it proudly wore for decades, the Mayor explained. Mayor Dalager, a lifelong resident of the thriving coastal city, upset the local Girl Scouts council as well as the vice president of the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southern California. The dog club veep identified herself as an atheist. She did not, apparently, poll the dogs. Many of us think the celebration of Christmas is going to the dogs in this country when we see news stories about shoppers on "Black Friday" scuffling with Wal-Mart security guards. Fighting for what? A cheaper toy? A discounted laptop? The latest X-box? At times, it seems we went to sleep in George Bailey's friendly hometown in It's a Wonderful Life--and woke up in nasty Potterville!

Southern Baptist Convention's Patience Wearing Thin with Liberal Schools

Here's a brief report for Family News in Focus by Kim Trobee:

Southern Baptists are tiring of colleges that take their money and ignore their teaching. An increasing number of state Baptist conventions are finding themselves severing ties with Baptist colleges and universities over differences in doctrine. The latest example is in Georgia where the state association voted overwhelmingly to discontinue funding to Mercer University.

J. Robert White, the Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention, said "This is just another in a long history of incompatible experiences that have taken place... I think the convention is weary of being told that things are corrected and then learning later that things have merely continued but underground." The agency will withdraw nearly 3.5 million dollars in annual support to Mercer and sever all ties with the school.

Kenyn Cureton of the Southern Baptist Convention stated, "When a majority of the state convention messengers decide that a college or university no longer reflects their Biblical foundations, it's not uncommon for them to withdraw their support. We back up their decision whatever it is."

Wake Forest, Baylor and Belmont are also no longer supported by their state conventions because of liberal policies.

Black Out: Polish Newspapers Protest Repression in Belarus

From Radio Free Europe --

Two major Polish dailies, "Rzeczpospolita" and "Gazeta Wyborcza," blacked out large sections of their front pages on November 23 to follow an Amnesty International-led protest against media repression in Belarus. A black marker was run through headlines, photographs, and text in the two newspapers, suggesting that a censor worked on them. At the bottom of the two front pages, Amnesty International ran a caption: "This is what freedom of speech looks like in Belarus." The dailies printed their front page in full on page three, and carried commentaries and reports about human rights abuses in Belarus.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Too Many Babies Surviving Abortion in the U.K.?

In what provides very chilling reading, the Times (U.K.) reports on a new study by the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health which deals with babies who survive abortion -- perhaps 5o a year. The article suggests that the greatest concerns of doctors and health officials are not appropriate care of preborn children, nor are they anything else that relates to morality, character, or quality health care standards. Oh no; the concerns are litigation and that...well, unpleasantness of dealing with the bodies of aborted babies.

Note, for instance, what the article says about the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This group, which regulates methods of abortion in the U.K. (and so is rather miffed at the implications of this new report), argues that the problem of live births could be avoided if doctors simply paid closer attention to the Society's abortion directions.

Its guidelines say that babies aborted after more than 21 weeks and six days of gestation should have their hearts stopped by an injection of potassium chloride before being delivered. In practice, few doctors are willing or able to perform the delicate procedure.

For the abortion of younger foetuses, labour is induced by drugs in the expectation that the infant will not survive the birth process. Guidelines say that doctors should ensure that the drugs they use prevent such babies being alive at birth.

Putting aside the issue of the Times' reporter describing the injection of a vile poison into the heart of a living baby as simply a "delicate procedure", the arrogant barbarism of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists should, by any standards of decency, be denounced and opposed.

The article concludes with an announcement that just such opposition to the anti-life attitude of the RCOG is increasing, including an upcoming visit to Parliament by an old friend of Vital Signs Ministries.

The issue will be highlighted by Gianna Jessen, 28, who survived an attempt to abort her. She is to speak at a parliamentary meeting on December 6 organised by the Alive and Kicking campaign, which is lobbying for a reduction of the abortion limit to 18 weeks.

Jessen, a musician from Nashville, Tennessee, was left with cerebral palsy but is to run in the London marathon next April to raise funds for fellow sufferers.

“If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were my rights?” she asked.

“If people are going to talk about abortion, then it’s important for them to know that these are babies that can be born alive and survive.”

Of course, if there's absolutely no conscience left in the RCOG, Gianna's example could merely cause the organization to push all the harder for "more effective termination" policies before birth. After all, the troubling presence of other Giannas could be avoided altogether -- if only the abortions were more thoroughly performed in the first place.

God, give eloquence and power to Your faithful servant, Gianna Jesson, and to all others who are serving You by speaking out against the horror of abortion -- any abortion -- in the United Kingdom. Let Your Spirit enlighten the members of Parliament, the press, and the British public with their message of compassion and justice for the unborn.

And, dear Father, please break the stone-cold hearts of those leading the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and let them return to the virtues of caring and healing that once marked their organization.

The European Connection

To what extent is the United States following the political and cultural trends generated by a post-Christian Europe? Michael Barone takes a quick look at our respective positions on taxation, pensions, employment, health care and politics. He could, of course, also take up entertainment, education, religion, litigation, sanctity of life, marriage, and so many other issues...but he's only got so much space. Don'y worry, though; what he does have time to say is quite important and well presented.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Not Enough Abortion Among TV Characters Says Village Voice Writer

Rebecca Raber is flat out ticked off at television producers and writers for not having enough abortions among their characters. No kidding.

African AIDS: A Front Line Report

Licia Corbella from the Calgary Sun has a compelling column here which tells the story of a Christian physician who left his nice home and lucrative practice in Calgary, Canada, to serve the Lord by serving the poor people of Malawi. It is an enlightening, convicting piece.

Islamic Indoctrination In Schools Okayed by 9th Circuit Court

Religion must be removed from the public square -- oh, sorry. I mean Christianity must be removed from the public square. Islam, Scientology, Kaballah, animism, New Age crystalization, goddess worship, Buddhism, various tribal religions, Shinto, voodoo, secular humanism, wicca, Hinduism, Darwinism, Tao, pantheism, and others may kindly take their places at the table.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Religion Under Attack in America? The ADL Is Bummed.

I gotta' laugh.

This poll, conducted by the Anti-Defamation League, reveals American attitudes about the role of religion in the public square that are anything but what the ADL wanted to find.

For instance, the poll found that 64% of the American people believe that religion is "under attack" in our nation; 53% believe that religion as a whole is "losing its influence in American life;" 47% desire organized prayer in public school; 56% think creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the government schools; and 64% want religious symbols such as the Ten Commandments displayed in public buildings.

Yipes! This was bad news to the largely anti-religion Anti-Defamation League who immediately proceeded to distort the meaning of their own poll -- when they weren't simply ignoring its findings altogether!

"The findings suggest that American public opinion is starkly divided when it comes to the role of religion in the public square, and that our nation's proud tradition of church-state separation is threatened as never before," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Unfortunately, too many people believe that religion is under attack in America, when in fact according to all measurements, religion is stronger in the United States than in any other Western country."

The survey comes at a time when ADL has begun questioning the role of some on the religious right in seeking to impose their beliefs in the public square while attempting to throw out the constitutional balance that protects our nation's religious freedom.

Ethics Violation Sinks Stem Cell Researcher

File this one in the Straining at Gnats While Swallowing Camels Category:

From the point of view of the press (who are on this story all over the web today), the ethics violation involved here is that the Korean veterinarian, Hwang Woo-Suk, obtained human female eggs for his experimentation from members of his staff. Okay...but does no one dare report that the most grievous and barbaric ethics violation committed by Mr. Woo-Suk is his destroying human lives in the subsequent course of his research?

Error Charged to Democrat Governor

You'd think you'd know if you were drafted by a Major League Baseball team, right?

Well, it seems Democrat Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, frequently mentioned as a potential nominee for President, only recently realized that he has been falsifying his biography. Actually, he only"realized" it when the Albuquerque Journal uncovered his lie and informed him the jig was up.

"After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's," he [Governor Richardson] said.

Of course, because of Gov. Richardson's political affiliation, this will be ignored by the MSM or, if it must come up, be treated as a simple misunderstanding. But imagine the howls, Saturday Night Live sketches, and calls for resignation if the fellow was of another party.

Charities to Be Stamped Out?

The new increases mandated by the U.S.Post Office are, of course, simply new taxes levied on the public by non-elected bureaucrats. A bum deal for everybody. But perhaps most affected are 1) older Americans who prefer regular mail to computers, text messaging, and other new communication technologies, and 2) charities whose income is generated primarily through the U.S. Postal Service. An interesting story on the latter issue is right here from the Greensboro News-Record.

Below are the new charges:

First-Class Letter (1 oz.) 37¢ to 39¢
First-Class Letter (2 oz.) 60¢ to 63¢
Postcard 23¢ to 24¢
Priority Mail (1 lb.) $3.85 to $4.05
Express Mail (1/2 lb) $13.65 to $14.40
Express Mail (2 lb) $17.85 to $18.80

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Family Research Council's Thanksgiving Message

A Time to be Thankful - To God

Thanksgiving is uniquely American. There are of course regional twists to the holiday. Ours consists of fried turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potato crunch and my favorite - sweet potato pie. It is a time for families to gather together in prayer around the table. As you join with family and friends, take time and reflect on that first Thanksgiving. William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, proclaimed the first official day of Thanksgiving in October of 1621. What were they thankful for? One year after arriving, the Pilgrims stood at about half their original number. Not quite one year earlier they had arrived in New England from Holland after a 66-day journey across the North Atlantic. During that first winter 47 of the 102 Pilgrims were lost to disease and starvation. If it hadn't been for Squanto, the young Patuxent Indian, the second winter might have claimed them all. Squanto had been taken captive by slave traders, but monks in Spain purchased his freedom and taught him the Christian faith. He made his way to England, learned our language, and thence returned to America. He was there to welcome the Pilgrims shortly after their arrival. Squanto taught them how to plant corn in New England's rocky soil. He shared his special knowledge of forests and rivers. Governor Bradford said Squanto had been sent by God to be the little band's Joseph.

We trace not only our Christian heritage to this brave band of Pilgrims, but also our country's solid foundation of self-government. The Mayflower Compact was signed even before the Pilgrims landed. It laid out the ideals of government by consent of the governed and made clear their purpose, "undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith." Plymouth Rock is the place where those Pilgrims first set foot on America's shores. The great French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about this scene. In his classic 1835 book, Democracy in America:

This rock has become an object of veneration in the United States...Does this not show very clearly that the power and greatness of man is wholly in his soul? Here is the stone that the feet of some miserable persons touched for an instant, and this stone becomes celebrated; it attracts the regard of a great people; they venerate its remnants; they parcel out its dust in the distance. What has become of the thresholds of so many palaces? Who cares about them?

Tocqueville was one of the first Europeans to recognize the change that was taking place "in the course of human events" in America. He wrote that religious freedom was the key to understanding democracy in America. Today, there are those who think that religion and democracy are at odds with one another. Tocqueville knew that a firm foundation of faith was essential to the rise of democracy.

Family Research Council is dedicated to the defense of faith, family and freedom. Today, more than ever, that cause is grounded on the solid rock of God's grace. One final note as your family assembles on this Thanksgiving Day. Literally tens of thousands of Americans are serving our country in the U.S. military who will not be with their families. They are fighting for freedom or standing watch over our liberties. Their thanksgiving dinner may be eaten in a tent, in a tank, on board an aircraft carrier, or even in a military hospital. Let's be sure to thank God for them, especially, on this day.

My, How Things Have Changed -- The Congressional Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1782

"IT being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interpositions of his providence in their behalf:

Therefore the United States in Congress assembled, taking into their consideration the many instances of divine goodness to these States, in the course of the important conflict in which they have been so long engaged; the present happy and promising state of public affairs; and the events of the war, in the course of the year now drawing to a close; particularly the harmony of the public Councils, which is so necessary to the success of the public cause; the perfect union and good understanding which has hitherto subsisted between them and their Allies, notwithstanding the artful and unwearied attempts of the common enemy to divide them; the success of the arms of the United States, and those of their Allies, and the acknowledgment of their independence by another European power, whose friendship and commerce must be of great and lasting advantage to these States:

Do hereby recommend to the inhabitants of these States in general, to observe, and request the several States to interpose their authority in appointing and commanding the observation of THURSDAY the twenty-eight day of NOVEMBER next, as a day of solemn THANKSGIVING to GOD for all his mercies: and they do further recommend to all ranks, to testify to their gratitude to GOD for his goodness, by a cheerful obedience of his laws, and by promoting, each in his station, and by his influence, the practice of true and undefiled religion, which is the great foundation of public prosperity and national happiness.

Done in Congress, at Philadelphia, the eleventh day of October, in the year of our LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, and of our Sovereignty and Independence, the seventh.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Dickens Scholar: A Pro-Life Mini-Play

The Dickens Scholar is a short piece using two female characters which can easily be performed for school, church or organizational audiences. The question explored in the drama is what happens when one person's lifestyle and ambitions change for the greater good of loving another.

On "Advances" in Aborting Imperfect Kids

Jill Stanek expertly addresses the article in the New England Journal of Medicine (and a follow up story in the Boston Globe) which hails new "advances" in pre-natal genetic screening. This gets "must read" status.

Clarence Thomas on the Confirmation Process of Federal Judges

From Lousiana Weekly...

"The whole process of trying to ferret out the personal agenda through the confirmation process isn't an endeavor that I think is worth the price we are paying," said Thomas. "I think the only thing it does is rats out the agenda of the people asking the questions."

Thomas, who opposes the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, said the fight he faced during his own confirmation hearings in 1991 went back to abortion politics. Thomas was accused of sexual harassment, charges he referred to at the time as a "high-tech lynching" for an "uppity" black man.

"I think we all should be honest with one another that the only issue, the central issue in all of this, is abortion. It's not the other things that people throw out," he said. "The whole judiciary now is being held, in a sense, hostage to that one issue."

Living in a Culture of Decadence: One Sad Example

Jurgen Van Acker is 27 years old and severely handicapped. He cannot walk, talk, sit or eat, but mentally there is nothing wrong with him. With the help of his computer he can communicate. Recently he became a television celebrity in Belgium when he asked that the welfare office pay his prostitutes.

When Jurgen turned 18, his mother Frie Van Acker told him all about sex and asked whether he would like to have sex. Jurgen indicated “No.” One evening three years later, however, he wrote on his computer: “I want sex.” That same evening, Frie contacted a prostitute. Every month for the past six years prostitutes have come to the house for Jurgen. They charge 100 euros for half an hour. Jurgen finds one session a month inadequate. He wants sex at least once a week, but his mother cannot pay that much. Jurgen and his Mum are now demanding that the government subsidize the sex sessions, but the Fund for the Social Integration of the Handicapped only finances masturbation equipment, including vibrators and pumps, for the handicapped in Belgium, but not prostitutes.

The rest of this story (disturbing on several levels) is here in the Brussels Journal.

"Desperate for Defeat"

From George Neumayr's American Spectator column...

The foreign policy of the Democratic Party verges on deliberate defeatism: afraid of American "dominance" in the world, many Democrats would prefer that America tie wars than win them.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Christmas Wars

From the San Francisco Gate comes a decidedly liberal story on what is nevertheless an interesting and important attempt of some evangelical leaders to win a bit of the public square back for Christmas.

Yet More (Adult) Stem Cell Success Stories

From an issue of last week's The Guardian (U.K.) comes another great breakthrough report for the use of adult stem cells -- not potential; not maybe; not a study that shows a bit of a long hope for eventual use -- but treatment that is already underway and greatly helping patients. Here's an excerpt...

The first clinical trial to implant blood vessels grown entirely from a patient's own cells was declared a success yesterday by a team of American scientists.

Two patients have so far received transplant blood vessels that were grown in a dish from a clump of their own skin cells. In both cases, the patients were said to be progressing well after their operations and the blood vessels were performing "perfectly".

John Lennon's Murder: " One of the Most Heinous Crimes of the Century"?

Uh, yes...murder is no light matter but how do NBC's Dateline reporters keep a straight face in describing a single killing as "one of the most heinous crimes of the century"? Even if one grants Dateline's belief that John Lennon was the "voice of a generation" (quite a reach there), describing Lennon's murder in such terms is a grossly irresponsible diminution of the crimes of Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, various serial killers, and, of course, the worldwide horrors of abortion, infanticide, and torture murders.

By all means, castigate Mark Chapman for his wicked, senseless act of murder. But do not neglect (as the MSM has done for decades) those "killing fields" that are much, much more monstrous.

The Democrats' "Big Lie"

Well, let's face it -- the Democrats are actually engaged in several "big lies", not one, but this article by Michael Barone focuses on the one they're telling about George Bush getting us into a unwinnable Iraqi war on false pretenses.

As Barone explains, the lie is so brazen and unsound that the Democrats can't be sure of success in foisting it on the American people -- even with the conniving assistance of the MSM.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Bridges to Nowhere Went...Nowhere!

In the big picture of pork-barrel politics, the decision to forego the now-infamous Alaskan "Bridges to Nowhere" isn't much. Or is it? After all, recalling the observation of one old wag, $229 million here and $223 million there -- pretty soon, you're talking some real money!

And secondly, maybe the wake up call is beginning to be heard by taxpayers who are tired of paying up and shutting up. Let's hope.

Here's the story from Citizens Against Government Waste.

Whatever Happened to "Do No Harm"?

Western culture continues to follow its most "progressive" leaders towards a complete rejection of an intrinsic sanctity of human life ethic. Abortion was the vanguard of this movement but quickly following in its wake has been an acceptance of infanticide, a brazen sense of adventure regarding genetic engineering, and the embrace of euthanasia.

In this article from World Net Daily, one tragic case is used to exemplify the trends among medical practitioners to promote death as a solution to aging, disability, sickness, suffering, and even high medical costs.

A Nation Without Roe v Wade?

Here is a most interesting editorial from WSJ's Online Journal about what might happen with Roberts, Alito and other constitutionalists on the Supreme Court.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Alito, Roe and the Democrat's Dedication to Abortion

Ben Shapiro discusses Sam Alito's chances of Senate confirmation and why the judge must steer clear of Robert Bork's example of honesty and courage if he ever hopes to get a chance to do something about legalized abortion.

It is a good column but it raises a very troubling question; namely, must the cowardice and hypocrisy of the Republican "Noodles" in the Senate become precedents for everyone in public service?

Have You Read Meghan Yet?

Thank the Lord for watchmen on the wall...and watchwomen too!

Here's a Power Line heads-up about a writer for the New York Sun who is really making some waves. Her name is Meghan Clyne and the stories she's producing suggest how the new conservative spirit is invading even the MSM.

Straight Talk on Morrow, McCarthy and the All-Too-Real Communist Threat in the 1950's

Ann Coulter challenges the oft-repeated lies about Joe McCarthy's "witch hunt" -- lies most recently promoted by the new George Clooney movie, "Good Night, and Good Luck".

A Belarussian Update -- And It Ain't Pretty

U.S. Ambassador to Belarus George Krol recently told journalists in Minsk that Belarus's state media alleges on a daily basis that the United States desires to destabilize the situation in the country, stir up a revolution, and subject the Belarusians to America's "imperial" will. Krol noted that government-controlled media outlets portray U.S. diplomats as spies whose only aim is to destabilize Belarus.

The ambassador also said the state media does not inform the public but seeks to turn the Belarusian public against the United States as well as the values of democracy and free choice. "We would like to see an independent, sovereign, democratic, and economically prosperous Belarus, as an equal partner addressing common challenges," Krol said. "What's so destabilizing about that?"

Ambassador Krol also told the journalists that he doubts that Belarus's 2006 presidential election will be free and democratic, Belapan reported. Krol said the state media currently does not provide the Belarusian public with comments and news on events in the political sphere.

He went on to say that the state media (virtually the only media now allowed to exist) does not cover the activities of Alyaksandr Milinkevich, the opposition's single presidential candidate, and other opposition leaders. "This information blockade is disturbing,"

When Pharmacists Are Forced to Become Abortionists

Preborn babies are routinely killed in America by suction machines, curettes and poisons. All of these methods of abortion (and more) also pose extremely harmful effects on the babies' mothers.

But the tragic state of political affairs in the United States is such that not only are these barbaric actions completely legal, they are increasingly becoming mandated. For instance, even when a medical student or pharmacist abhors the medical (and moral) consequences of abortive drugs and devices, the law is forcing them to participate. The only other choices? Quit the profession and leave the field entirely to the amoral or... go to jail for failing to join the abortion circus.

As we knew it would, the abortion movement has quickly gone from "You Can" to "You Should" to "You Must."

Jill Stanek takes a hard look at what's happening.

The Spirit of Defeatism Returns to the Senate

Let's face it, there is no greater threat to the conservative cause than the Republican "Noodles" who sit in the U.S. Congress. Worse than apathy; worse than the sinister slant of the MSM (mainstream media); worse even than the Democrats are those Republicans who seize but then squander away the hopes, money and votes of conservative citizens.

Tony Blankley's column shows how the Senate's Republican "Noodles" (soft, tasteless, yielding) are cowardly caving in on Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Conspiracy to "Christianize" America

Don Feder is a conservative. Don Feder is a very religious man. But Don Feder is not a Christian; he is an observant Jew. Thus, his rebuke of a Jewish official from the Anti-Defamation League who is ranting about Christians trying to overtake America is especially efficient.

Senator "Doc" Coburn: FDA "Continues to Promote Inconclusive Assurances" About Condoms

Some lies are more dangerous than others.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Hero Goes Home: Adrian Rogers Dies

Along with so many orthodox Christians throughout the country, I mourn the passing today of Dr. Adrian Rogers. Dr. Rogers was a trailblazer in many ways, but the trails he uncovered and led us along were always back...back to the authority of Holy Scripture; back to the virtues of being obedient to the Lord Jesus rather than being dupes of a decadent culture; back to the uplifting of holiness, the sanctity of life, and the liberating power of Christ's sacrifice for sinners.

Dr. Rogers is enjoying his forever rewards now and I would not begrudge he or the Lord the sweetness of their fellowship today.

But, Lord, may I presume upon Your grace to ask You to recompense our loss on this side of the Jordan by raising up many more like-minded heroes to help us along? Thank You.

Music to Preborn Ears

From Mumbai, India (still known by many Westerners as Bombay) comes a story of how Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (a young maestro whose skills on the santoor are claiming a worldwide audience) includes among his audience of fans unborn children!

Indeed, Sharma claims the santoor, an Indian version of the hammered dulcimer, is the favorite instrument of the preborn. Agreement to this belief apparently comes from award-winning pediatric surgeon and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Mumbai, Dr. Snehalata Deshmukh, who has been experimenting with different types of music as therapy for children yet in the womb.

Of course, whether it's the santoor or the saxaphone that preborn kids like most, the critical fact is that they do hear and respond to the gift of music. It is a simple but beautiful piece of evidence of the unmistakable humanity of the preborn.

On Darwin's Home Ground

Interested in taking a lively, fascinating journey to the Galapagos Islands without leaving your living room? A trip that will give you insight into just what Charles Darwin saw there that so captivated his interest -- and which led him to make such erroneous scientific conclusions?

Then, click right here to read about (and view) the visit to the Galapagos by Dr. Ray Bohlin and his wife, Sue. The Bohlins work with Probe Ministries, an excellent Christian resource center which presents relevant, scientifically-accurate, and biblically-based information about such subjects as...evolutionary theory. Have fun.

"Moderate" Republicans Rule the Roost

Bob Novak's Town Hall column gives specific examples of how conservative Rebublicans who refuse to excercise their power are being rumbled by their "weaker brethren".

Gee! Anti-War Propaganda from Hollywood?

From Oliver North's column about the new movie, "Jarhead".

It's pretty clear that those making movies in Tinsel Town don't know any real men like Aaron Mankin. They apparently prefer cowardice over courage; witless whiners to real patriots; gutless wimps and hollow phonies to men who know the meaning of self-sacrifice and integrity. That's the only conclusion one can draw after seeing Hollywood's latest anti-military travesty -- "Jarhead."

The newly-released film is loosely based on an anti-Marine screed crafted by Anthony Swofford, who purports to be a "veteran" of Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990 and 1991. Mr. Swofford maintains it is an accurate depiction of his military experience, from boot camp -- where he claims to have been abused and belittled by a maniacal drill instructor -- to his mutinous "tour of duty" in Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.

A New Home for Lenin?

Here's the latest entry in the "It's About Time, Comrade" Department:

According to a poll conducted earlier this month by the Russian government, a majority of Russians now favor removing Vladmir Lenin from his gaudy "display crypt" and finally putting him in the ground. 52% favored the burial while 37% were opposed.

However, only 9% suggested they might take to the streets to oppose Lenin's burial. My, my; how the Red embers have cooled... except, I'm afraid, in the place where Mr. Lenin may now reside.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Intelligent Design and More from Pope Benedict XVI

In what will be a frustration for those "modernists" whose primary religious belief is a denial of a personal God, Pope Benedict XVI's sermon of a couple of days ago spoke to the evidence of God's power and mercy shown in His intricately created order.

Taking as his texts Psalms 135 and 136, the Pope explained, "God does not appear in the Bible as an impassible and implacable Lord, or an obscure and indecipherable being, or fate, against whose mysterious force it is useless to struggle." Indeed, he continued, God manifests himself "as a Person Who loves His creatures, He watches over them, He follows them in the course of history and suffers because of the infidelity with which the people often oppose His hesed, his merciful and paternal love."

"The first sign of this divine charity," he noted, quoting the psalmist, must be "sought in creation: … the heavens, the earth, the waters, the sun, the moon and the stars...There is, therefore, a divine message secretly inscribed in creation," a sign of "the loving faithfulness of God who gives his creatures being and life, water and food, light and time," he added. "From created works one ascends ... to the greatness of God, to his loving mercy."

After his formal sermon, Pope Benedict delved further into the controversy that swirls around evolution, intelligent design, and the deist concept of a disinterested watchmaker deity. He did so by setting aside his notes and commenting on St. Basil the Great who said that some, "deceived by the atheism they bear within them, imagined the universe deprived of a guide and order, at the mercy of chance."

"I believe the words of this fourth-century Father are of amazing timeliness," said Benedict XVI. "How many are these 'some' today?"

"Deceived by atheism, they believe and try to demonstrate that it is scientific to think that everything lacks a guide and order," he continued. "The Lord, with sacred Scripture, awakens the drowsy reason and says to us: In the beginning is the creative Word. In the beginning the creative Word -- this Word that has created everything, which has created this intelligent plan, the cosmos -- is also Love."

The Pontiff concluded with an encouragement to his listeners to allow themselves "to be awakened by this Word of God" and invited them to pray that "he clear our minds so that we will be able to perceive the message of creation, inscribed also in our hearts: The beginning of everything is creative Wisdom and this Wisdom is love and goodness."

Disrupting the "Snooze of Cozy Denial"

How much more of the world needs to be in flames before the MSM and its pal politicos admit the cause? Sigh. Check out Wes Pruden's Washington Times column. It is my selection for today's "must-read."

Should We Hand Over Control of the Internet to the U.N.?

Check out Peter Brown's comments in the Orlando Sentinel about the little-publicized but hugely important struggle being waged for the future of the world wide web.

Student-Teacher Sex Can Be Beneficial Says U.K. Educator

Ah, another voice from the enlightened left.

Break all the taboos; remove all the ancient boundaries; deny all vestiges of outdated morality. Indeed, gleefully, boldly open all Pandora's boxes.

And then try (in vain) to hide from the resulting terrors -- terrors that will not hesitate a moment to engulf even those who freed them.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Search & Destroy Missions Encouraged by JAMA

Down's Syndrome babies are in greater danger than ever thanks to a heartless (but brutally effecient) medical community. If you're sick, elderly, weak, ugly or otherwise imperfect in the America of "Desperate Housewives", beware.

You'll find the Washington Post coverage of the Journal of American Medical Association's published study explaining "advances" in first trimester screening for imperfect children here.

The Father Who Was, Then Wasn't and Now Is Again

Theodore Dalrymple is becoming one of my favorite social commentators. Here he examines one very strange example of the moral schizophrenia affecting Western culture.

Are Conservatives the Mere Dupes of the G.O.P.?

Of course, conservative voters are bothered by Democrats. But that's to be expected.

What is becoming increasingly newsworthy is how upset conservatives are becoming with Republicans! With little being done (or even attempted) by Republican politicians about the ever-worsening social sins of our nation and with their spending policies being virtually indistinguishable from the liberals, conservatives' loyalty to the G.O.P. is under greater strain than ever before.

This piece,The Party of Sam's Club: Isn't it time the Republicans did something for their voters?, is a gem. Written by Ross Douthat & Reihan Salam for the Weekly Standard, it hits the nail on the head.

"Doc" Coburn's Fight Against the Senate: An Update

Kate O' Beirne over at National Review has the latest news about embattled conservative Tom Coburn standing up to the weird, mean-spirited power brokers of the Senate.

(For a review of previous Vital Signs Blog entries about the noble "Doc" Coburn, please see 1), 2) and 3).

Religious Freedom Under Fire: The U.S. State Department's 2005 Report

The document is thorough and detailed so don't look for a short read here. Nevertheless, it is an important guide for our prayers and our grassroots advocacy. Click on the title of this post to go to the Executive Summary of the report.

In the Summary portion, you'll see classified under the heading "Totalitarian or Authoritarian Actions to Control Religious Belief or Practice" the following offenders: Burma, China, Cuba and Noth Korea. They are the worst of the worst.

But that's just the beginning. "Some governments, while not implementing full control over minority religions, nevertheless are hostile and repressive towards certain groups or identify them as "security threats." These governments implement policies designed to demand adherents to recant their faith, cause religious group members to flee the country, or intimidate and harass certain religious groups, or have as their principal effect the intimidation and harassment of certain religious groups." In this category are Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

We are still not through, however. The State Department report describes how severe persecution of religious believers is also continuing in Bangladesh, Egypt, India and Sri Lanka while specific religious groups are targeted by the ruling powers in in other nations including Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brunei, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey.

The report also has a section explaining hopeful signs of improvement in certain countries and what actions have been taken in 2005 by the State Department and others to move the cause of religious freedom forward.

Overall, though, this State Department report shows a very gloomy picture. And it is not hard to guess what two "religions" are most at work to denigrate, persecute and seek the destruction of all others: Islam and Communism.

As I said, prayers and more work (education and political pressure) are much needed.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Christianity Today Article Exposes "Birth Control " Pills

Agnieszka Tennant has written a clever and impassioned argument for Christianity Today about the abortifacient properties of oral "contraceptives". It is really an engaging article and I urge you to check it out and then use it. It will make a very effective pass-around piece.

This is really good news for those who understand the abortifacient properties of the tragically misnamed birth contol pill, so please write quickly and thank CT and the article's author. (letters@ChristianityToday.com)

For more on this crucial issue, see these articles over at Vital Signs Ministries' web site: Gambling with Life and The New Abortionists. Also, a terrific online reference is a condensation of Randy Alcorn's penetrating expose' of the pill from his internet home, Eternal Perspective Ministries. You can find that right here. And, for a free copy (while they last) of Randy Alcorn's thorough study, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?, contact us at vitalsigns@vitalsignsministries.org.

Does There HAVE to Be a Morning After?

From LifeNews...

Abortion advocates in Congress last month floated an amendment that would force an investigation of the FDA's delay on approving the morning after pill for over the counter access. But, they quickly dropped those demands when a pro-life lawmaker floated an amendment to investigate the rapid approval process of the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug at the end of the Clinton administration.

For more, see this brief story.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More on American Girl Doll's Abortion Promotion

You may have been following this story about the extremely popular American Girl Dolls' connection to the pro-abortion group, Girls, Inc. (Vital Signs Blog first posted a story on this sad situation , complete with a copy of my letter to the organization on October 13th.)

Well, though the boycott is spreading and the information about this weird link between the wholesome American Girl Dolls and the loathsome abortion promotion they're involved in, the company is trying to hide the story rather than change its position.

Bad move once. Bad move twice. Therefore, extend the boycott and keep the letters going.

For a very clear, complete presentation of what's involved here, check out this piece by a former fan of American Girl Dolls, the great writer and super-mom, Rebecca Hagelin.

Why Paris Burns

Thomas Sowell's insight into the riots in France are profound. I print below a couple of excerpts but you can read the entire article right here.

...In the name of tolerance, these countries have imported intolerance, of which growing antisemitism in Europe is just one example. In the name of respecting all cultures, Western nations have welcomed people who respect neither the cultures nor the rights of the population among whom they have settled...

...No one should have been shocked. There are people who will not stop until they get stopped -- and much of the media, the political classes, and the cultural elites of the West cannot bring themselves to even criticize, much less stop, the dangers or degeneracy among groups viewed sympathetically as underdogs...

You'll also find a good piece dealing with this matter written by Debra Saunders. And don't overlook the Nov. 5th Vital Signs Blog post which also concerns the failure of the MSM to report just who is setting the fires. That post is right here.

Lesbianism & Women's Athletics

This is a disconcerting topic, no doubt about it, and one should always be concerned about generalizations. Nevertheless, this well-documented article by Bryce Christensen in The Family in America's online edition presents some important warnings for parents, educators...and all the rest of us.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A New Pro-Life Jimmy Carter?

Last week several pro-life sites trumpeted Jimmy Carter's recent statements against abortion but most of them failed to remind their readers of Carter's longstanding support of abortion and other extreme positions of the left.

So, how to explain Carter's seemingly pro-life statement? A genuine conversion on the issue, complete with tearful repentance for his past efforts to promote the most radical of pro-abortion policies?

Uh, no. The fact is that Jimmy is selling a book.

And Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis is a book the former President is hoping to sell to Christian readers as well as his traditional pals. Thus, the overture to what he hopes will be a sucker audience.

Albert Mohler's excellent commentary sheds some much-needed light on Mr. Carter's real positions, including his ongoing disdain of those old-fashioned Christians who are so unsophisticated as to let the Scriptures guide everything in their lives, including their politics. That, of course, is a social blunder the sanctimonious Sunday School teacher from Plains never committed.

By the way, there's another good review of Carter's latest over at WSJ's Opinion page written by Bret Stephens. Check it out via this post over at The Book Den.

Toasting the Success of Adult Stem Cell Research

Michael Fumento, writing in Tech Central Station, has a nice review of recent breakthroughs in the medical research using adult stem cells plus a few pointed comments about the MSM's poor reporting of those crucial developments.

Muslim Terrorists Disguised by the MSM as "Somali Pirates"

Christian-bashing is a popular sport in the MSM (mainstream media) but these same liberal reporters can't bear to seem critical of Islam, no matter how they have to dodge, dissemble or even deny altogether the bald facts of a story.

Here's the invaluable Debbie Schlussel with one of the latest travesties.

Free vs Forbidden Speech at America's Universities

My pick for today's "must read" Town Hall column goes to Suzanne Fields.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

"Yes on 73" Web Site is Terrific!

Prop 73 is the parental notification initiative being voted on by Californians this coming Tuesday. It is extremely important to inform your California relatives and friends about the value of their vote. And a splendid resource to use is this tremendous web site. Testimony from Patrica Heaton, Ben Stein and others -- even provocative video clips -- are all there for your use.

So, c'mon. Visit the site yourself and then call all your Left Coast friends and tell them to check out the site too!

Vintage Blasphemy

High level CBS producer Bruce Rheins is marketing a new wine under the blasphemous trade name, "Jesus Juice," and using a picture on the label that portrays pop singer Michael Jackson in a crucifixion pose! (The name is a reference to what Jackson allegedly called the wine he served to underage children.)

Can you imagine the outrage if such crude insensitivity was exhibited by a conservative? Here's a report from News Busters, an excellent media watchdog group.

Bork Weighs In On the Alito Nomination

Sam Alito's record includes some troubling aspects for thorough pro-life advocates like myself who assume the Constitution trumps case precedent -- and who believe that a morality requiring strict prohibitions against murdering preborn children trumps even the Constitution.

Nevertheless, most conservative leaders are advocating Alito's confirmation and this article by Robert Bork is one of the most important endorsements of all.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Okay, Paris is Burning -- But Who is Lighting the Fires?

If you were to simply read the wire service reports and other MSM sources, you'd think the arson attacks going on in Paris and other French cities was due to poverty, anger towards the Interior Minister, or mere hooliganism. No, you would never be told from the above "news stories" that the fuel for the fires is Islamic rage.

For a clearer, more accurate (that is, a less politically-correct) review, check out this story in the New York Post and this one written for Fox News.

Where's the Real Scandal?

Don't miss Herbert Meyer's insider look at the real scandal in the CIA. It is published in the American Thinker. If you wonder how the "intelligence community" interacts with politics and personal ambition, this article is an excellent source of enlightenment.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Abortion Issue Even Pro-Abortionists Are Ashamed Of: Discarding the "Imperfect"

In case you missed this article from last week's Washington Post, check it out right here.

The ESCR Connection to Eugenics

From the San Francisco Gate comes an unexpected story showing the historical (and philosophical) links of the modern hullabaloo over embryonic stem cell research to the racist eugenics movement of the early 20th Century. This is "old news" to pro-life advocates but a MSM report even suggesting such a connection is an unusual event.