Friday, March 30, 2007

Highway Patrol Chief: "It's Time to Get Tough on Speeders"

The Age of Wilberforce

“I must awake to my dangerous state, and never be at rest till I have made my peace with God. My heart is so hard, my blindness so great, that I cannot get a due hatred of sin, though I see I am all corrupt, and blinded to the perception of spiritual things.

So writes William Wilberforce a few months before his conversion.

Greek scholar Gilbert Murray writes in Religio Grammatici, “[T]he moving force in human progress is not widespread…the uplifting of man has ever been the work of a chosen few.” And we can certainly see how true his idea was during William Wilberforce’s lifetime (1759-1833). After living an extravagant lifestyle, Wilberforce converted to Christianity and God was able to use him help change a nation...

Thus begins a stirring piece from the Breakpoint web site written by Kim Robbins Moreland, a project manager and research associate for the Wilberforce Forum. It is a very good overview of Wilberforce's career and motivations. Check it out right here.

Roosevelt’s or Reagan’s America?

Here is a very thoughtful, very timely article from the Imprimis published by Hillsdale College. It is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale in January during a seminar on the topic, “America’s Entitlement Society,” co-sponsored by the Center for Constructive Alternatives and the Ludwig von Mises Lecture Series. The talk was given (and the article written) by Dr. John Marini, author and professor of political science at the University of Nevada.

I heartily recommend it.

The Price Was Right: The Sell-Out of the Blue Dog Democrats

Last week, when the House passed their pork-stuffed Iraq spending bill that establishes a date certain for withdrawal of American troops, only seven of the 43-member Blue Dog Democrats -- a group that purports to fight for fiscal responsibility and strong national security -- voted against the bill.

Do the math: that means 36 voted for it. Several members who were reluctant to require withdrawal of U.S. troops by a firm deadline made deals that were greased with bacon from Democratic leadership in exchange for their vote. The final House bill that narrowly passed, 218-212 contained a whopping $24 billion in earmarks that will pay for many pet projects in the home districts of several Blue Dogs...

Amanda B. Carpenter's column exploring the details of last week's "cut and run from Iraq" bill is an important one. Just click on the title of this post to go read it.

Hypocrisy of the Deadliest Sort

As I have noted several times over the last couple of years here at Vital Signs Blog, Amnesty International has launched itself on a tragic course of hypocrisy and rank injustice as it seeks to openly advocate the killing of preborn children.

A more wrenchingly ironic prostitution of principle cannot be imagined.

Here's the LifeNews story on the UK branch of Amnesty International formally "going over to the dark side."

And here, from November of 2006, is one of those Vital Signs Blog posts on the issue, complete with contact information so that you can register your opinions with Amnesty International. Please do.

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

From the Family Research Council's news update file comes this punchy expose'...

Girls Just Wanna Have Funds

Of all the contentious government programs, surely everyone would agree on an initiative to promote responsible fatherhood, right?


The National Organization for Women (NOW) has filed a formal complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for funding fatherhood programs that "discriminate" against women. Kathy Rodgers, the president of Legal Momentum, which joined the protest, said, "What we're asking them to do is to make sure that the grantees provide equal services to men and women. It should be a parenthood initiative."

Theirs is an interesting suggestion, seeing as the Food and Drug Administration was recently hammered by leading feminists for providing less funds for its Office of Women's Health. If NOW were truly an equal-opportunity watchdog, why hasn't its leadership launched a similar grievance against the FDA? Where is NOW's campaign for an Office of People's Health?

Unfortunately, their anti-father crusade only exposes the group's true agenda--to treat fathers as having no special role to play in children's lives. As HHS says, "Helping men become better fathers will benefit women and children too." Furthermore, the initiative is modestly funded when compared to other government programs, many of which rake in far more than $50 million--and without the direct benefit to families. As part of Promoting Responsible Fatherhood, men, many of whom are low-income, receive job and parent training, substance-abuse prevention and treatment, and educational opportunities. What's more, there is no official ban on women in the program. One HHS official said the programs were advised to accept females if they applied.

NOW claims to be a "voice" for women everywhere, the effect of which has been nothing less than a shriek by a group of fringe "feminists" taking aim not at discrimination, injustice, or chauvinism but motherhood, healthy sexuality, and traditional families.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Sssh! Emperor Darwin Has No Clothes On!

...There is a lawyer's adage that says, "If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If the law is on your side, argue the law. If neither are on your side, change the subject and go after the motives of your opponent." Bingo! Right out of the Darwinist playbook.

Now, this business of going after your opponent's motives can be tricky. While your objective may be to expose your opponent's hidden agenda, there is a real risk that instead, you will expose your own worst fears...

This article by Joe Renick describes how extreme is the paranoia among Darwinians. Sure, they hate Creationism. And yes, they even get shivers when Intelligent Design is brought up. But to use subterfuge, slander and strong-arm coercion to stifle the very thought of academic freedom?

Man, these guys certainly don't play like they've got the winning hand.

Scientology Mounts a European Offensive

Scientology, the most feisty and far-fetched fantasy among modern cults, is making a bold effort to win over a skeptical Europe. With dramatic new headquarters, new propaganda, even a new German-oriented mega-flick starring Tom Cruise, the religion of the extraterrestial Thetans come to earth is showing a keen desire to make Europe its new landing area.

Here's how the English-language edition of Der Spiegel views the developments (note too the little box with related stories at the foot of the page) and here, as a side story, is a bit about how the Cruise biopic is upsetting the family of the man Cruise portrays.

And, as far as Scientology as a religion goes, I suggest you connect back to this Vital Signs Blog post of a couple of years ago, What's Behind Tom Cruise's Religion? A Hard Look at Scientology.

Dianne Feinstein Caught. MSM Yawns.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has abruptly walked away from her responsibilities with the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee after a report linked her votes to the financial well-being of her husband's companies, which received billions of dollars worth of military construction contracts she approved...

Here are various takes on this story from the ultra-conservative World Net Daily, the ultra-liberal Bohemian, Judicial Watch, and the local newspaper which apparantly broke the story, MetroActive.

But where-oh-where is the MSM regarding this very important, very juicy kind of tale? Is there no media interest in the "culture of corruption" when it involves (as is so often does) a Democrat?

"Sea-Changing Trial for the Field": Adult Stem Cells Increase Effeciency of Heart Patients

Osiris Therapeutics Inc.'s easy-to-administer stem cell treatment helped patients recover after a heart attack and eased their symptoms in a study.

The cells were given intravenously to patients who had a heart attack within the past 10 days, researchers said. The hearts of those who got the cells pumped 25 percent more efficiently both three months and six months after treatment, according to research presented today at a science meeting.

The study, using adult cells gathered from bone marrow, is the first to transfer stem cells from donors to heart patients. Since an IV line delivers the cells, rather than a complex heart procedure, ``they could be given at a community hospital'' rather than an academic center, said Marc Penn, director of the Bakken Heart Brain Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.

`It's very exciting, perhaps a sea-changing trial for the field,'' said Penn, who was not involved with the study and has no relationship with Osiris. Because the cells don't come from the patients themselves, they can be made in large batches ``offering the chance for an off-the-shelf product,'' he said.

Two-thirds of 53 patients in the study, reported at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans, got stem cells. The others got a look-alike solution. Patients who didn't get the cells were four times more likely to have problems with irregular heartbeats and five times more likely to have premature contractions, the research found...

Read the entirety of this news story right here.

NY Governor Wants More Abortions Still?

Governor Elliot Spitzer pledged today that he will continue to press to keep abortion legal in New York.

"We are on the cusp of losing Roe vs. Wade," the democrat governor said.

Spitzer, addressing the annual conference of the abortion-rights supporting Family Planning Advocates, said President Bush's appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court put the 34-year-old landmark abortion rights decision in danger of being overturned.
And, while Spitzer noted abortion has been legal even longer in New York, he said the state's laws needed to be updated.

''They do not go far enough and so we will make it our vision this term, this year to expand New York's law to give us all the protections that are necessary,'' he said, a pledge that drew cheers from the hundreds at the conference.

German Chancellor Agrees with Pope Benedict that EU Should Honor its Christian Heritage

Pope Benedict strongly criticized the European Union on Saturday for excluding a mention of God and Europe's Christian roots in declarations marking the 50th anniversary of its founding.

In a toughly-worded speech to European bishops, Benedict said Europe was committing a form of "apostasy of itself" and was thus doubting its own identity.

The Pope, who like his predecessor John Paul often calls for a mention of God and Christianity in the European Constitution, said leaders could not exclude values that helped forge the "very soul" of the continent...

...One of the Pope's compatriots, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, aims to relaunch the EU constitution and last month made a plea for the bloc to include references to Christian roots.
Plans to include such a reference in the original EU treaty, rejected by French and Dutch voters in 2005, were blocked by French President Jacques Chirac.

Merkel, as holder of the EU's rotating presidency, is now in the process of reviving the constitution. Comments from Merkel, the daughter of a pastor, have encouraged religious leaders around Europe to redouble efforts to modify the constitution...

Here's the Reuters story on this interesting development.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Colleen Slevin, writing for the Associated Press, describes the latest salvos between a local Colorado parish and the increasingly heterodox leadership of the Anglican Church.

Colorado's largest Episcopal congregation was left in turmoil after leaders voted to leave the denomination and the bishop responded by dismissing the parish's leadership.

The controversy at Colorado Springs' Grace Episcopal Church and St. Stephen's Parish is the latest in a tense dispute among Episcopalians and their fellow Anglicans worldwide over how they should interpret what the Bible says about sexuality and other issues.

The vestry of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish on Monday voted to bolt from the national church and instead join a conservative Anglican church based in Nigeria. The move came three months after its pastor was placed on suspension amid an investigation of church finances.

Bishop Robert O'Neill rejected the church's move, dismissing the local leaders and saying the Colorado Springs parish would remain part of the Episcopal Church.
''The fact is people may leave the Episcopal Church but parishes cannot,'' O'Neill said in a statement.

The church's longtime rector, the Rev. Donald Armstrong III, who was suspended late last year, said O'Neill no longer has jurisdiction over the parish.
''He doesn't have an army. The courts will not interfere in an internal church dispute and the congregation is solidly behind us,'' Armstrong said...

The rest of the report is here.

The Bizzare and Bloated Budget Bill

Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry writes of today's fight over the Democrat's budget bill, "It proposes the largest tax increase in American history and will raise taxes on the average Nebraska family by $2,200."

Specifically the Pelosi Budget would:

- increase each tax bracket

- cut the child tax credit

- increase the marriage penalty

- increase Capital Gains taxes

- increase the death tax to 2003 levels

"Americans have demanded fiscal discipline from this new Congress, yet they are receiving tax hikes," Terry says. He pledges to fight against and vote against this reckless, feckless bill.

Liberals Worrying About Upcoming World Congress of Families

From yesterday's WCF press release:

Why is the left so agitated over World Congress of Families IV (Warsaw , May 11-13)? Why has the Warsaw Congress become a target of anti-family forces?

In a recent commentary in The Nation (“Europeans Do It Better” by Katha Pollitt), WCF International Secretary Allan Carlson was described as a “right-wing ‘family-values’ ideologue.” The article goes on to charge that World Congress of Families “inveighs against abortion, same-sex marriage and secularism and promotes large ‘natural families’ and ‘religious orthodoxy’” – largely accurate, except for the pejoratives.

In a March 15th interview published at, Michelle Goldberg (author of “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism”) observed: “There’s also been an attempt to create an International Religious Right (through) the World Congress of Families, which is a group that brings together fundamentalists of different religions to form a common front against secularism and liberalism.”

The Sex Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) says: “Groups (opposed to its agenda) continue to claim that marriage benefits individuals, children and society (as if this was even open to debate) … Arguably the most prominent international meeting of opposition forces is the World Congress of Families, held in 1997, 1999 and 2004.”

Feminists, militant secularists and the vanguard of the sexual revolution agree that the World Congress of Families is a threat to their agenda.
They worry about WCF following their example by networking with allies in Europe and the Third World and working together for common goals.

At the Warsaw Congress (May 11-13) the international pro-family movement will come of age.
More than 3,500 from over 70 countries are expected to attend WCF IV. We will work together to protect human life (from conception to natural death), preserve traditional marriage, strengthen the natural family and oppose threats thereto (including pornography, Hollywood and anti-family bureaucrats)...

As mentioned in an earlier post, Claire and I will be attending this great event and keeping you informed of some of its highlights via Vital Signs Blog. Until then (and throughout the event) please pray for God to use WCF IV in mighty ways.

It's not too late (if you hustle) to get in on this dramatic and important event. Just go the WCF web site for details.

Tom Scratches Hillary's Back And Then...

Sen. Hillary Clinton has agreed to help former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who endorsed her Monday, pay off his $400,000 campaign debt.

Clinton (D-N.Y.) will put the arm on her donor network for Vilsack, who quit the presidential race Feb. 23 citing financial difficulties.

Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said it was a normal gesture to make and called suggestions of any endorsement quid pro quo "ridiculous."...


Yes, Virginia; There Is A Hell

And it lasts a really, really long time.

Here's a brief news report about Pope Benedict's recent reminder that hell "really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more".

This declaration (hardly a surprise to those who have bothered to read the Bible which, of course, speaks an awful lot about a literal hell) is nevertheless a disappointment to some of the pseudo-religious who hoped that the Pope's beliefs about hell might be a bit more flexible. For instance, last October, the Pope indicated that purgatory was "only a theological hypothesis" and not a "definitive truth of the faith".

But, quite unlike theories of purgatory or limbo, the Bible's clarity and emphasis on hell is inescapable. The Pope's comments are therefore only a restatement of orthodox Christian doctrine.

But how bold and refreshing it is to hear a Christian leader make such restatements! Thank you, Pope Benedict.

Congressional Addiction to Pork Shows Even in Iraq Retreat Bill

You gotta' laugh...or you'll start crying.

James Lileks has a darkly humorous piece on that most darkly humorous of all American institutions: the greedy, goofy and glory-seeking United States Congress. In particular, he examines the many and various "earmark" spending items that the Congress inserted into the Iraq retreat bill. It's a funny but ultimately infuriating article.

Having signaled the desire to court defeat in Iraq, the Democrats have passed a goody-laden bill that shows their desire to lose the battle against wasteful spending.

Pork: It's the other white flag!

Don't worry — this ammunition-appropriations bill actually spends money on ammunition; Congress wants the troops to have sufficient bullets to cover their retreat. What's really getting all the attention, besides the requirement that the U.S. quit the field by 2008, are the payouts given to various members of Congress who wanted their palms greased before they voted YES to supply the troops. Let's examine some of the delights contained in the bill's rich nougat center...

Read the rest of Mr. Lileks column here.

And please let your Congressmen know your opinions on this atrocious action, especially those like Chuck Hagel who voted for it. Here's a very helpful page for contact information.

Tony Blankley: Hillary Will Win "War of Attrition"

This is an interesting, well-argued piece that Mr. Blankley has written for the Washington Times. You'll find it right here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

British "Experts" Want Nurses To Perform Abortions

We knew it was coming.

With abortionists dying out and very few young physicians wanting to bear the notoriety (not to mention the stains on the soul) of killing preborn children, the clamor of the abortion lobby would certainly begin that people other than doctors be allowed to perform the grisly deed.

And we go. This Guardian Unlimited story (quite biased, it's no shock) explains how "experts" are calling for nurses to be now given the go.

Is Global Warming Causing Brain Fever in the Evangelical Left?

...For centuries, evangelicals in America have endured charlatan preachers, apocalyptic warnings, and dubious social reformers. One hundred years ago, William Jennings Bryan was telling evangelicals that Jesus definitely favored nationalizing the railroads. Today, with similar urgency, his successors want evangelicals to hearken to their expansive Global Warming agenda, including its hostility to economic growth and enthusiasm for an enlarged regulatory state...

Mark Tooley's article on the recent tilt to the left by some American evangelicals (most notably, the National Association of Evangelicals' naive embrace of global warming) is quite good. It appeared in yesterday's online edition of The American Spectator.

From Whence the Islamification of Germany?

A human-rights activist dedicated to debunking the overpopulation myth says even the German government admits that a low birth rate and Islamic immigration may forever change the face of the German nation. The Germans, he says, have nobody to blame but themselves.

German journalist and university lecturer Udo Ulfkotte recently warned that Islam is slowly but surely taking a grip on the European culture. He said more and more institutions are making allowances for Muslims, and even Islamic "sharia" law is beginning to take hold because 40 percent of Germany's Muslims are convinced the country's constitution is incompatible with Islam.

Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, says while he mourns the loss of Christian Europe, he says the demographic changes there are the result of the fact that two generations ago, Europeans "lost their way." He contends that their refusal to have children has paved the way for the eventual Islamic domination of the continent. And with a much higher birth rate among Muslims, it is easy how Islamic influence will continue to grow in Germany, he says.

"If one people has babies and the other doesn't, the shift in population can occur in the blink of an eye," he shares. "The loss of Christian Europe is not being caused by Muslims; it's being caused by the fact Europeans lost their way..."

Read the rest of this report right here.

Planned Parenthood's Newest Chemical Abortion Campaign

From Judie Brown's blog over at the American Life League website comes this take on Planned Parenthood's latest sinister shenanigans.

Well, there they go again! Everytime Planned Parenthood launches another project, it winds up sounding nice but rendering preborn children at risk of death. Their most recent foray is dubbed the "pill patrol" and the purpose is to make sure emergency "contraception" [read abortion] is available in every neighborhood in America. They will make a whole lot of money selling the pills, or if they choose to give them away, then Uncle Sam will most probably underwrite the charity. So money is one reason.

The second reason has a whole to do with Planned Parenthood's ongoing commitment to sex whenever and wherever two people feel so inclined. There are no moral or ethical concerns to trouble anyone's mind as far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, and this latest project proves it.

Many reporters fall into the Planned Parenthood rhetorical trap as well. One report on the Pill Patrol reads, "Pro-life groups such as Concerned Women for America consider emergency contraception an abortifacient because it can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus."

Hold it! A "fertilized egg" dehumanizes the human being the writer is attempting to discuss and relegates the preborn child to something similar to a grocery store commodity. For heaven's sake, let's get these details worked out.

What the writer should have said was, "It can prevent an embryonic child from implanting in the uterus." By buying into the popular jargon, the reporter is inadvertently playing right into the hands of Planned Parenthood and their not-so-obvious agenda...

To sign ALL's online petition to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation's #1 abortionist, go here.

Global Warming Debate Shows the Effectiveness of Facts Over Fiction

In case you missed the Oxford-style debate over global warming that aired on NPR last week -- and who didn't? The national listening audience of NPR could just about fit in my living room. -- I suggest you take a listen now.

The question before the forum was "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis" with three debaters on each side of the issue. They included (arguing in favor of the motion) Richard S. Lindzen, professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Michael Crichton, author and filmmaker; and Philip Stott, emeritus professor of bio-geography at the University of London. Their opponents were Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists; Gavin Schmidt, a climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Richard C.J. Somerville, oceanography professor at the University of California, San Diego.

The debate was a classic example of how effectively facts can be used to dispel the even the huge amount of hype, hysteria and Hollywood trendiness that has been invested in the global warming craze. For in a vote taken among the audience before the debate, only 30% agreed with the motion, while 57 % were against and 13% admitted to indecision. After the debate, however, the number agreeing to the motion jumped to 46% agreed with the motion, 42% were opposed and 12% were undecided.

Now you can make up your own mind.

Here is the NPR page dealing with the program. It includes links to the debate (both the full and a condensed version), information about the speakers, and more.

Let's hope the guys over at the National Association of Evangelicals give a listen.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Biblical Blueprints Announces Omaha Pro-Life Conference

Biblical Blueprints (in cooperation with the Nebraska Family Council and our own organization, Vital Signs Ministries) has just announced Turning the Tide, an engaging one-day pro-life conference coming up on May 19th at Grace University in Omaha.

As described by Biblical Blueprints' Mike Elliott in their promotional material:

This one-day conference aims to...
1) give hope -- to see what Christ commands and how He empowers

and 2) equip -- to do what He commands with the power He gives.

This conference will cast the vision and provide strategies so that every Christian citizen can make a difference in the effort to bring culture into conformity with Christ.

Each session builds on the previous to give a well-rounded day of training. Dr. Kayser will begin the day explaining the theological basis for christian action. Denny Hartford will share from over 25 years of experience in the Pro-Life movement. Al Riskowski will speak from his persepective impacting policy on the state level. Dr. Hammond will cap it off with an inspiring and challenging session on the clash between Christ's kingdom and the forces of darkness in Africa. We will finish the day with a Q/A session to address particular points of interest to the audience.

Join us for an unprecedented gathering of warriors for Christ, and be inspired and equipped to join the ranks.

Read more about this event on this web page, including how to sign up. Whether you are an interested novice, seasoned intercessor, or veteran pro-life activist, this conference will be a helpful, encouraging time, so please plan on joining us.

We really hope to see you there!

It's Monday

Are Environmentalists Engaging in "Immoral Eco-Imperialism"?

...A year ago, the USAID and World Health Organization finally began supporting DDT use once again. But ED, Pesticide Action Network and other agitators still promote ridiculous anti-DDT themes on their websites, claiming for instance that it is "associated with" low birth weights in babies and shortened lactation in nursing mothers.

Even if true, notes Uganda's Fiona Kobusingye, these risks "are nothing compared to the constant danger of losing more babies and mothers to malaria." She speaks from bitter experience. She’s had malaria at least 20 times and lost her son and two sisters to the disease, which also claimed a fifth nephew just last week.

"How can US environmentalists tell us we should be more worried about insecticides than about malaria?" she asks. "Their attitudes are immoral eco-imperialism – a crime against humanity."

None of these pressure groups has ever apologized for their disingenuous campaigns or atoned in any way for the misery and death they helped perpetuate –much less been held accountable. They won’t even promise to be more honest in future campaigns and fund-raising appeals...

Read the entirety of Paul Driessen's column (and it's a very good one) right here. Also, over here is a more detailed piece about DDT and malaria written by Mr. Driessen last summer.

The Democrats' "Slow Bleed" Policy

Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry on the latest Democrat attempts to force the U.S. to "cut and run" from Iraq:

The House of Representatives has just approved by a vote of 218 to 212 H.R. 1591, which takes a "slow-bleed" approach to end U.S. efforts in Iraq . I voted against this deplorable bill and urged my colleagues to demand from the House Leadership a "clean" emergency spending bill that will meet the needs of our troops.

H.R. 1591 continues Speaker Pelosi's and Congressman John Murtha's publicly announced strategy to cut funding to our troops to prevent them from accomplishing their mission in Iraq , and to force U.S. withdrawal due to a lack of resources. This "slow bleed" approach harms our troops. It gives hope to those in that part of the world whose stated objective is the defeat the United States and the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government in Iraq . In addition, billions of dollars of unrelated spending was included for special interests. Please find attached my full statement in opposition to H.R. 1591.

Congressman Sam Johnson, a former Vietnam POW, urged Members to vote this bill down. "Marines never quit," Johnson said. "Neither should we."

The full text of Lee Terry's press release can be read here and the full video of Congressman Johnson's full remarks can be viewed right here.

Computers and Abortion: A Pro-Life Testimony

My friend Tim Kumpost couldn't get to sleep the other night and ended up at his computer where he typed out the following reflections. I asked him if I could post his comments here and he graciously gave his consent. Tim's insomnia thus becomes our blessing.

Computers and Abortion. They don’t seem to have much in common, do they? One is an information-processing machine capable of performing a multitude of tasks, and the other is a procedure for ending a pregnancy. For me, they will always be connected. I’m a computer programmer, and it was my knowledge of computers that helped me understand the abortion issue.

Everything that computers do is based upon adding, subtracting, and comparing strings of ones and zeroes. One or zero, true or false, plus or minus: this is binary logic.

When I first started thinking about the abortion issue, I quickly became confused and overwhelmed by all the arguments made by both sides. Then, I applied the same binary logic I use when working with computers to the abortion debate. All the arguments boiled down to one simple question: Did I believe the fetus in the womb was alive or not?

I’ve heard expectant mothers say that their baby is kicking. I’ve seen sonograms of fetuses in the womb. This convinces me that the unborn child is alive. Binary logic leaves no room for “maybes” or moral ambiguities. It doesn’t care about political correctness or opinion polls. A condition is either True, or it is False. So, if — as in the cases cited above—the unborn child is alive, then the unborn child must always be alive!

Computers do not get to choose how they act; they simply execute a series of instructions—literally, precisely, and quickly. We have a choice. One or Zero, Yes or No, Life of Death. Choose Life!

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Impact of Francis Schaeffer

Here is an excellent piece about the unique Christian philosopher/apologist/activist Francis Schaeffer which is both a great introduction to the man's ministry and a fruitful reflection that will be enjoyed even by longtime fans.

Written by journalist J. Richard Pearcey, the article gives an insider's look at Schaeffer's basic approach to Christianity, his key tenets of apologetics, and the ongoing effects of L'Abri.

Another Key Conservative Touts Thompson

Hmm. Mona Charen is the latest to cheer the Fred Thompson bandwagon. And, unlike others, her arguments include more than just his charisma and the "unelectability" of the Gang of Three. Interesting reading, especially about Thompson's legal and political careers before Hollywood.

Al Gore: Global Warming Has Been Very, Very Good For Me

Al Gore is well schooled at manipulating the levers of power and money to his benefit. Heads or tails Al Gore almost never loses. It's been this way pretty much all his life. Starting when Daddy Al set up him in fine style, including an annuity from a Zinc Mine Pop finagled with Armand Hammer, the Communists' favorite capitalist, Al's always been well taken care of. By hook or crook, Gore has reputedly piled up more than $200 million in his bank account since his 2000 Presidential run.

It has been said that Donald Trump is an excellent example of what a shrewd man can accomplish when he inherits $40 million. Al Gore is also an excellent example of what one can accomplish with unusually good hereditary access to capital, of the monetary and political sort...

Christopher Alleva is in a "take-no-prisoners" mode in this American Thinker article.

The Higher Costs of Birth Control

Here's a story that emphasizes a couple of the very saddest of the signs of our times; namely, the outrageous promiscuity of our youth AND the attitude that the costs of that promiscuity are some kind of entitlement that other taxpayers should underwrite! Read it and weep.

Millions of college students are suddenly facing sharply higher prices for birth control, prompting concerns among health officials that some will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them altogether.

Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.

“It’s a tremendous problem for our students because not every student has a platinum card,” said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the health center at Indiana University.

There, he said, women are paying about $22 per month for prescriptions that cost $10 a few months ago. “Some of our students have two jobs, have children,” Jessop said. “To increase this by 100 percent or more overnight, which is what happened, is a huge shock to them and to their system.”

At some schools women could see prices rise several hundred dollars per year.

About 39 percent of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives, according to an estimate by the American College Health Association based on survey data.

Many students could shift to generics but experts said they might still pay twice the previous rate.

“It’s terrible, because these are students who are working very hard to pay for their tuition and books at a time when tuition costs are edging up as well,” said Linda Lekawski, director of the university health center at Texas A&M, where the old price for birth control pills of about $15 per month is expected to triple. “This is one thing they’ve been able to benefit from for years...”

Pork Rules!

Donald Lambro's column examining the pork spending in the Democrat military appropriations bill is a very good one. Here's a teaser:

House Democratic leaders want to add $24.6 billion to President Bush's $95 billion request for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it's not for more weaponry or life-saving armor.

Most of the added money stuffed into the emergency supplemental bill, which was expected to come up for a vote this Thursday, is for the kind of costly, pork-barrel, special-interest, vote-buying handouts that Democrats promised they would end if they won control of Congress.

But less than three months after taking over the House leadership, the Democrats returned to the old logrolling practice of buying votes for a bill whose micromanaging war provisions to ultimately defund our troops has raised deeply troubling doubts in the minds of many of their members.

The bill contains $25 million in subsidies for spinach growers hurt by last year's E. coli outbreak to persuade Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., to hold his nose and vote for it. There's another $75 million "to ensure proper storage for peanuts" to convince three conservative Democrats from Georgia to do likewise.

Other doubting Democrats were offered $1.48 billion for livestock ranchers, plus $20 million to reclaim damaged farmlands, $500 million for "urgent wildland fire suppression" and $120 million for shrimp and Atlantic fishing interests.

With so much at stake in the latest attempt to reduce the violence in Iraq and give the Iraqi government time to regain some semblance of control over the country, the spectacle of Democrats using a war-funding bill for pure political vote-buying pork was sickening...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Germany’s Top News Anchorwoman Leads “Anti-Feminist” Revolution

A leading German TV-moderator and anchorwoman of the country’s top newscast caused an uproar last year when she admitted to regretting her three divorces, and condemned abortion, Die-Tagespost reported.

Eva Herman published her account of the fatal flaws in a career-oriented lifestyle in a bestselling book entitled “The Eva-Principle: Towards a New Femininity”, released last year. Now she’s published a second book, this one containing letters from women supporting her rejection of feminist self-fulfillment propaganda, reported The Spiegal news magazine.

Her sequel, Dear Eva Herman, captures the responses of women who welcomed the admission that professional success had not compensated for the loss of genuine family life.

“The fact you’ve been criticized as being a traitor towards women shows just what sort of femi-fascism we have to live under nowadays,” one woman wrote...

Read more about Eva Herman's story here at LifeSite.

While Georgia Tech Authorities Sit On Their Hands, Death Threats Continue to Haunt Conservative Professor

One would certainly think that a proud "Old South" university would be a haven for idealism, freedom and such traditional American values of courtesy and fair play.

But then...such virtues are way out-of-date in the new world of socialist academia. Check out this disturbing example of individually targeted terrorism at Georgia Tech.

...David French, [Dr. Ruth Malhotra's] lawyer in this case and a longtime litigator in matters of free speech and student rights, is also stunned by what has happened to Malhotra: "I’ve never seen anything quite like this. The tolerant left at Georgia Tech seems to have decided that Ruth must be destroyed to protect `tolerance.’ The administration sees one of its own threatened by death and rape and they just sit there. I’ve seen conservative students suffer a lot of abuse for their beliefs. But I’ve never seen abuse cross over into threats. And I’ve never seen an administration sit on its hands while one of its students is threatened by death and rape. It makes you wonder: have we gone past simple intimidation to death threats now? Is this sort of thing going to become a standard part of left’s playbook in intimidating conservative students? How far will they go?"...

South Carolina Ultrasound Law Passes First Test

This is an important victory.

And that the abortion lobby is so upset about such a reasonable, enlightening, woman-respecting law demonstrates as starkly as anything that abortion is, in fact, all about the profitable exploitation of women and not their liberation.

Congratulations, South Carolina!

LA Times Fumbles the Facts in Abortion Story

The lies were horrid enough when they were first told but when journalists continue to tell them, despite abundant and clear facts to the contrary, the sin is compounded still further. Such is the case with today's Stephanie Simon story in the Los Angeles Times in which she denies that radical eugenicist and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger ever promoted coercive means in controlling population.

The facts trump the lies.

Here's the Simon piece while over here at is a short (but superb) post which sets the record straight. (Thanks, by the way, to Ken Shepherd for the alert.)

Deerly Beloved

One of our pro-life colleagues from across the Missouri River, Jessica Dykstra, makes a special "guest blogger" appearance today as she examines government's penchant for the weird and wacky.

Deerly Beloved

Oh, deer! Yes, it’s a bad pun, but it's not without a reason for right here in our peaceful little state of Iowa, we have something of a deer problem, and our legislature has an idea of how we can fix it. But I’m not quite sure what would be worse: the problem or the solution.

For those of you who have not yet heard the news, some parts of Iowa including the Iowa City and Council Bluffs areas are being faced with deer infestation caused by (no surprise) an excess in the number of fawns being born. The increasing deer population results in damage to property; to lawns, (you may want to put on shoes before going outside); and gardens (apparently deer like veggies better than many children). But, most seriously, the uncontrolled deer population poses a very real threat to vehicles and the human beings riding within. The accompanying photos serve as a reminder of just how dangerous the situation is.

All this damage and risk has had the effect of making people unhappy, and once people get unhappy enough, they contact their legislators.

I’ll admit I really don’t know exactly how the following idea got into the legislature, and I certainly don’t know how far it will be taken, but there has been a solution offered to this ever-increasing deer population -- we must stop so many deer from reproducing! This seems simple enough, right? Just declare an open season for a while. Revenue will come in for all the deer tags hunters buy, and the deer population goes down. "Lead injection" is cheap, effective, and permanent.

In short, it is everything the deer population control plan which has actually surfaced in the legislature is not because the proposal being considered involves the shooting of contraceptives into deer! That's right, contraceptives that will sterilize either male or female deer for a period of two years at a cost of $300 plus per animal. And, of course, during these two years the sterile deer (if and when the drug works) will still be able to trample fences, chew up gardens (that is, unless some legislator decides the deer should also be injected with an appetite suppressant) and, saddest of all, pose a grim threat to traveling families.

Thanks, Jessica. Your comments are clever and light-hearted but they go straight to the point as well. Government should look to common sense, cost-effective measures to protect human life and property. This bizarre plan to temporarily sterilize the deer is neither.

Singin' Those Democrat Tax Hike Blues -- Again

Writing in today's Washington Times, Jon Kyl, the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, takes a common sense view of the Democrat budget plan -- and common sense is one thing the Democrats have certainly left out of their equations.

If there's one thing every American on a budget knows, it's that you can't have it all. Ordinary Americans know that if you increase spending in one area of your budget, you have to decrease spending in another area, or risk going into debt. And they know that if you're already in debt, you have to trim your expenditures to pay back the money you owe. Unfortunately, the budget proposal that the Democrats introduced last week fails to understand this important principle.

The Democrats' budget sends one message loud and clear: You can have it all. You can increase spending to the tune of $150 billion, pay down the deficit and create a budget surplus all at the same time. What the Democrats' budget isn't as clear on is how to actually pay for all this. The proposal conveniently disguises the fact that Democrats are prepared to allow massive tax increases to pay for their increased spending...

Here's the rest.

Brother Gore's Traveling Salvation Show Hits Washington

...If you establish that the Earth is warming, it doesn't necessarily follow that we have a moral duty to reduce emissions. What should follow is an informed debate about the costs and benefits of various policies to address that warming - reducing emissions is just one possible answer. Another debate should focus on those policies' economic costs.

Al Gore doesn't want to have those debates, because the majority of evidence suggests that emissions reduction will be very costly and will have little effect. Kyoto, fully enacted by all its parties, would for all its cost reduce global warming by a mere 0.07 degrees Celsius by 2050 - a barely detectable amount.

Meanwhile, 2 billion people around the world go without electricity. About 3 million die each year because of fumes given off by primitive stoves. The U.S. economy sneezes when gasoline hits $3 a gallon.

If we have a moral duty, it's to keep energy affordable here and to expand access to it overseas. That's the real moral truth, however inconvenient for Al Gore.

Read the entirety of this strong New York Post column right here. It is written by Iain Murray, a senior fellow in Energy, Science and Technology at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Episcopal Bishops Choose Homosexuality Over Unity, Tradition...And, Oh Yeah, The Bible

Episcopal bishops risked losing their place in the global Anglican family Wednesday by affirming their support for gays and rejecting a key demand that they give up some authority to theological conservatives outside the U.S. church.

In strong and direct language, the Episcopal House of Bishops said it views the Gospel as teaching that "all God's children, including gay and lesbian persons, are full and equal participants" in the church...

...The Rev. Susan Russell of the Episcopal gay advocacy group Integrity compared the bishops' statement to a "coming out process."

"This was a huge step that the American church was not willing to go back into the closet about its inclusion of gay and lesbian people in order to capitulate to those who would exclude us," Russell said.

Click on the title of this post to read the brief AP story.

John Stossel on the "Fear Industrial Complex"

John Stossel's latest column is the first of what he promises will be a two-parter dealing with the MSM's perverse passion for panic attacks. Here it is and here is a quick teaser:

I'm embarrassed by my profession.

We consumer reporters should warn you about life's important risks, but instead, we mislead you about dubious risks.

I first started thinking about this when interviewing Ralph Nader years ago, before he stopped speaking to me. Nader worried about almost everything: Food? "It can spoil in your own refrigerator," Chicken? "[It's] contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides." Flying? "Inadequate maintenance." Carpets? "Rugs are dirt collectors. And dirt collectors mean internal, indoor air pollution." Coffee? "Caffeine is not very good for you."

He went on and on. Just interviewing him was exhausting. Nader and interest groups like his fuel the Fear Industrial Complex: the network of activists, government bureaucrats, and trial lawyers who profit by scaring people...

John Edward's "Hair Today and Gone Tomorrow" Video

Presidential aspirant John Edwards gets caught primping (and primping endlessly, it seems) before a television appearance and, though his behavior is completely innocent, the effect may prove disastrous to his already weak chances.

Lesson for politicians in this You Tube era: assume the cameras are always on.

Oh yes, one more item, Mr. Edwards...isn't all that hair spray you're using pretty bad for the ozone layer?

A Pork Spending Protest

The Family Research Council is asking that your voice be raised against the latest round of "secret" pork barrel spending by our noble solons in government.

The new Congress came into town promising to end business as usual. It hasn't happened. With debate underway on an emergency supplemental funding bill to supply our troops in Iraq, liberals in Congress have been merrily larding it up with a raft of pork projects designed to buy votes for the bill's real goal: setting a deadline for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq next year.

As a result, The Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007 is laden with measures like:

$74 million for peanut storage costs.

$25 million for spinach growers.

$25 million for livestock (2005 Hurricane Livestock Indemnity program)

Let's tell Congress to get its act together and focus on our troops overseas. Their need for equipment and weapons is a real emergency - peanut storage and spinach subsidies aren't. Let's also tell our members of Congress that it's time to hop off the earmark gravy train and stop the explosion in pork barrel projects that has put the reputation of the U.S. House and Senate at new lows...

You can answer FRC's call by calling and writing your Congressmen and Senators today.

Fighting the Doctors: Emilio Gonzalez Gets a Temporary Reprieve

A dying toddler facing removal of his life support system received a reprieve Tuesday when hospital officials agreed to keep his breathing device running until at least April 10.

The decision came hours after attorneys for Emilio Gonzales, a 16-month-old who doctors believe has Leigh's disease, filed a temporary restraining order request to prevent removal of his life support. Gonzales, who has been at Children's Hospital in Austin since December, was scheduled to be taken off life support Friday.

The deadline extension also came hours after Catarina Gonzales, Emilio's mother, appeared at the Capitol with lawmakers who support a bill that would prohibit hospitals from stopping life-sustaining treatment while a family pursues a transfer or other care.

Under the current law, doctors are obligated to give only 10 days notice before withdrawing treatment when further care is deemed medically futile, even over the wishes of the patient and family...

With medical costs drastically increasing at the same time that spirituality, compassion and the respect for the inherent dignity of human life are decreasing, we can expect a lot more of this in the days to come.

God help us.

Wesley J. Smith comments on this development here.

Can Sam Break Through?

How's Sam Brownback doing in Iowa? This AP story tries to answer this question.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New York Times Continues Extreme Anti-Israel Bias

...One would think that, in a 75-paragraph story on the culture of violence among Palestinian youth, the Times might break its long silence about Palestinian inculcation of hate. But all Erlanger offers is, in paragraph 11: "Many Israelis agree that the current generation of young Palestinians has been thoroughly radicalized, but say that is the product of Palestinian political and religious leaders who have sanctioned and promoted violence and terrorism against Israel."

That's it...

Read the rest of this excellent FrontPage Magazine article right here.

Hey! It's Not Fair to Quote Me! New Orleans Mayor Seeks to Escape Racial Conspiracy Remarks

The Times-Picayune is following up on the New Orleans Mayor's recent warnings of some kind of race conspiracy:

...The Washington Post article, which recounted New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's speech Thursday to the National Newspaper Publishers Association, an industry group of papers that target African-American readers, said Nagin "has suggested that the slow recovery and rebuilding of New Orleans" is "part of a plan to change the racial makeup and political leadership of his and other cities."

That article supported the premise with a quote attributed to Nagin: "Ladies and gentlemen, what happened in New Orleans could happen anywhere. They are studying this model of natural disasters, dispersing the community and changing the electoral process in that community."

While Nagin didn't deny the comment, he accused the writer of the story, Hamil Harris, of purposely using it out of context in an effort to be provocative. He said his speech -- no copy was available Monday -- covered a broad range of obstacles the city has yet to surmount in its fledgling recovery. A racial plot was not one of them, Nagin maintained.

"My take on it is that it was some young reporter in the back of the room, looking for some way to get a nice story out," Nagin said. "He jumbled everything I said up, and brought some things in the middle of the talk to the front, and painted this picture that was just not what I intended to do, nor would I say..."

The Washington Post is standing by their story.

New Drug Promises to "Blue Pencil" Traumatic Memories

Booze, weed, psychiatrists, television and now Propranolol -- anything that helps you make it through the night, I guess.

Well, anything that is except prayer, repentance, perseverance, spiritual hope and the other virtues that can provide a healthy way out from mental anguish. But then, when it comes to issues of suffering, Americans will take escape over overcoming any time.

And, oh yes, notice how the ABC News story on this memory-erasing drug manages to manipulate the reader's feelings about, of all things, the war in Iraq.

Court Rules That Insurance Coverage Can Exclude Birth Control Pills

The Union Pacific Railroad Company did not discriminate against its female employees by excluding birth-control pills from its health insurance coverage, according to a federal appellate panel in St. Louis.

In the first federal appellate ruling on the issue, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled 2 to 1 on Thursday that because the railroad’s health insurance plans did not cover any types of contraception, for men or women, it did not violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, part of the federal law forbidding discrimination in employment.

“Union Pacific’s health plans do not cover any contraception used by women such as birth control, sponges, diaphragms, intrauterine devices or tubal ligations or any contraception used by men such as condoms and vasectomies,” the opinion said. “Therefore, the coverage provided to women is not less favorable than that provided to men.”

Thursday’s ruling grew out of several sex-discrimination lawsuits by female Union Pacific employees who used prescription contraception, including two railroad engineers, Brandi Standridge of Idaho and Kenya Phillips of Missouri. The suits were consolidated into a class-action suit on behalf of all the railroad’s females employees who used prescription contraception without insurance reimbursement.

In July 2005, a federal district court in Nebraska ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered Union Pacific to cover all prescription contraception approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Under Thursday’s ruling, the company could end that coverage. But a spokesman for Union Pacific, the nation’s largest rail line with more than 50,000 workers, said yesterday that the coverage would continue.
“We’re not going to take it away,” the spokesman, Mark Davis, said. The ruling covers all of the railroad’s unionized female employees.

The two appellate judges who ruled in favor of Union Pacific, Raymond W. Gruender III and Pasco M. Bowman II, were both appointed by Republican presidents, Judge Gruender by President Bush, and Judge Bowman by President Ronald Reagan.
The dissenter, Judge Kermit E. Bye, was appointed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat...

The rest of this New York Times story is here.

Just When Is the Funeral for the Conservative Evangelical Movement?

This Associated Press story follows the same line of argument that we've been seeing for several months now; namely, the insistence that evangelicals are no longer very interested in social conservatism. Travelers on the "gospel train" once led by engineers like James Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are now, this argument goes, either 1) tired of the fight; 2) too angry at Republican sell-outs to work for the party anymore; or 3) changing their political priorities as they listen to more "enlightened" evangelicals like Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, Rick Warren and the leaders in the National Association of Evangelicals.

The story does have some merit, of course. 21st Century evangelical leaders have been smitten badly by post-modern liberalism, including an insistence on personal peace over a commitment to justice, and a preference to the comfy, tolerant political-correctness found in the mega "worship centers" over obedience to the Bible's revelations about sin, righteousness and truth.

However, there is also no doubt that this argument keeps recurring in the MSM because modern journalists so want it to be true. They would relish having orthodox religionists out of the way because it has been only those kind of evangelicals (and their counterparts in the Roman Catholic Church) that have kept the culture from moving yet further into heterosexual and homosexual license, abortion, euthanasia, genetic engineering, repression of Constitutional freedoms, weakness of national defense, abandonment of Israel, and so much more.

Yes, were evangelicals to follow clerics more like Campolo and Wallis (in other words, clerics whose religion is more like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton), how much easier would be the job of the MSM in re-shaping the world?

Will evangelicals continue to stand firm in the defense of biblical values? Or will the wishful thinking reflected in news stories like this one become the reality of the future?

The jury is still out.

Monday, March 19, 2007

"Secret" Pork Spending Threatens the Safety of Our Ship of State

Letting the sunshine in on government pork spending? I guess not. Below are printed some excerpts from today's Bob Novak Town Hall column in which Novak explains how, despite the promises, the White House is conniving with the Democrats to hide pork barrel spending projects.

As part of "Sunshine Week" to promote transparent government, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last Monday was supposed to release a comprehensive database revealing the number and cost of earmarks since 2005. It did not. The word on Capitol Hill was that the OMB was muzzled by the White House for fear of offending powerful congressional appropriators.

Meanwhile, the new majority staffs of Senate appropriations subcommittees under Democratic control are privately soliciting individual senators for their requested earmarks, without much transparency. That would seem to make a sham of the pledge by Appropriations Chairman Robert C. Byrd to "place a moratorium on all earmarks until a reformed process is put in place."

Thanks partly to the outcome of the 2006 elections, members of Congress can no longer blithely earmark funds for unauthorized pet projects as they have done with increasing frequency. But in the dark recesses of Capitol Hill, lawmakers from both parties are continuing the pernicious practice as best they can. The question is whether they will be curbed by the Republican administration, the Democratic Congress, or both

OMB Director Rob Portman, a former member of the House Republican leadership, is a firm opponent of earmarks. On Jan. 25, he signed a memorandum for heads of departments on the collection of information about earmarks. It set forth a rigid timeline culminating in the posting March 12 of all this data on the "public Internet." What would be revealed would be a rare exposure of the murky world of congressional pork acquisition.

But just as the OMB was prepared to put out this information, it sent word to Capitol Hill that -- over its protests -- it was being kept under wraps by the White House to appease the appropriators. With Congress in the midst of the budget process, President Bush's team did not want to stir up the Hill.

All that was released last Monday was a compilation of earmarks in 2005, with few details. Portman publicly called it "an important first step towards providing greater transparency." In private, however, he said last week: "My hands are tied." Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, the scourge of earmarks, told me: "I think the American people should be very disappointed."

An even stronger example of the resiliency by the congressional pork purveyors is the Appropriators' non-compliance with the ethics bill that has passed the Senate 96 to 2 but has not yet been finally enacted. Coburn last Monday delivered a letter to Chairman Byrd, saying: "The committee's failure to make earmark information public would make a mockery of recently passed earmark reforms and would suggest to taxpayers that the Senate wants to continue to earmark funds in secret..."

Why not write the President and share your opinion about this manipulative move by the White House? It is one thing (and a very bad one at that) for Democrats to sneak around and spend "earmark" money against the law; it is another thing (and even more galling) that Republicans play the same game.

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Comment Line: 202-456-1111

Gagged Statues Across Europe "Speak" for a Free Belarus

In an effective public protest of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka's rigged re-election last year (for his third 6-year term), young people in more than 60 European cities gagged hundreds of statues and displayed the message "Give a Voice to the People of Belarus."

The protests were organized by several groups including theYoung European Federalists whose vice-president Asa Gunven explained, "Youths from every corner of Europe are on the streets tonight to demand a democratic, free, and united Europe. This is European integration and international solidarity in action! It is time for Europe's leaders to also exchange words for action and take an active part in changing the reality for our muzzled European neighbors. A message shouted loud in 60 cities across the borders of Europe must not be neglected."

In the Steps of Wilberforce

Doug Patton's most recent column compares the ideals of William Wilberforce with those who serve to protect preborn children, their mothers and the culture at large from the exploitation of profiteering abortionists.

The News Isn't Good

This just in...the world is in a mess.

Any of you can point to a myriad of illustrations of this sad state of affairs, but here's a quick listing of a few from the newsroom over at

* Gene Robinson, the openly homosexual Episcopal bishop from New Hampshire who is part of the ever-deepening rift in the Anglican Church, continues to boast about his sexually deviant lifestyle as well as his part in the worldwide schism. "You see a mainline denomination risking its life for some people on the margins," said Robinson, and "It is my great privilege to be a small part of that."

* The homosexuality which Robinson practices, unnatural in the extreme and described by the Holy Bible as an abomination in the sight of God, is being defended by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. "Well, I've heard from a number of my friends, and I've certainly clarified with them any misunderstanding that anyone had, because I disagree with General Pace completely," Clinton told Bloomberg News. "I do not think homosexuality is immoral." Obama also released a statement on the issue. "I do not agree with General Pace that homosexuality is immoral. Attempts to divide people like this have consumed too much of our politics over the past six years."

* Two decisions by the 9th Circuit Court forbidding religious activities in public libraries and branding such terms as "natural family" and "marriage" as hate speech are being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

* Democrat Congressman from California Pete Stark has athiets celebrating after his public declaration that he doesn't believe in God. Stark, a member of Congress since 1973 and a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, made the unprecedented disclosure in response to an inquiry by the Secular Coalition of America (SCA). Stark acknowledged that he was a Unitarian - a creedless system that does not require belief in a deity. The SCA held a contest offering $1,000 to the person able to identify the nontheist holding the highest public office in the country.

* An Uzbek criminal court has sentenced Christian pastor Dmitry Shestakov to four years in a prison colony for alleged “illegal” religious activities. Judge M. Tulanov of the Andijan Criminal Court handed down the harsh verdict against Shestakov March 9. Yesterday one of the nation’s leading evangelical pastors said Shestakov’s unexpected conviction could have “grave consequences” for Protestant Christians in Uzbekistan. “Perhaps it already has,” the pastor told Compass, saying that over the past weekend, many more incidents had been initiated against Christians in a number of places across the country.

No, the news isn't good.

Except, of course, for the glorious fact that Christians, those who have received the gift of eternal salvation by trusting in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ for their sins, will live forever with God in His heaven.

And that news (the gospel) is certainly sufficient for Christians to battle bravely, joyfully and patiently against the forces which produce the earlier news items.

The Crisis in Elderly Care

In recent weeks, NBC Nightly News has begun a series of reports entitled "Trading Places: Caring for your Parents." The series began with the personal stories of NBC reporters like Brian Williams, Tim Russert, and Ann Curry, each of whom is dealing with an increasingly common question: what should I do with my aging parents? Baby boomers are beginning to experience sleepless nights as they worry about their mothers and fathers, and legislators should start to worry, too. The fact is that eldercare is already a national problem, and soon will become a national crisis.

The plight of elderly Americans is a top concern for the Center for a Just Society because this population is at significant risk of abuse and neglect. In my law practice, I have spent decades representing elderly men and women who have endured unspeakable nursing home abuse and neglect. Avoidable pressure ulcers, falls, fractures, infections, malnutrition, dehydration—all are common problems among the institutionalized elderly. Short staffing characterizes the operation of too many nursing homes and many corporate predators operating facilities put profits over people and revenue over residents. The care of the institutionalized elderly is becoming a national disgrace. If these conditions prevailed at Abu Ghraib or in our nation's daycare centers, members of both parties would be foaming at the mouth, calling for reform. However, because the abused and neglected victims are elderly and frequently "out of sight," the problem is all too often ignored...

Read the rest of Ken Connor's grave and compelling column here. And consider printing this off to pass around to the leaders in your church. As Connor suggests, Christians are increasingly in the dark about issues relating to the elderly and that's a failure we must work to correct quickly.

For more information on elderly abuse, you can begin by looking through the FAQs on this page.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Indispensable Reading

In this month's Vital Signs Ministries "LifeSharer" letter, I talk a bit about the critical importance of reading in the life of a Christian activist and I even give annotated lists of what I believe are the ultimate books of importance.

So to compare my lists (The Indispensables and The Pro-Life Indispensables) with the titles you'd put on YOUR lists, please zip over and check it out. (I'd love to hear your opinions.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Power of Television

Here from the "Vital Signs Radio" vault is a 2002 presentation that dares to challenge the ever-increasing power of "the box" in our culture, a power that almost everyone must admit has weakened our moral sensibilities, sold us a bill of goods we could not afford, and turned us into a people who consistently prefer to watch rather than do.

This interesting, illuminating 10-minute audio file can be a very important "wake-up call" as we are reminded of the huge amount of our time, our money and our minds that have needlessly, fruitlessly been handed over to the television.

Perhaps it might even encourage you to secure an audience from your church, Sunday school, small group, school class or whatever for my presentation, "Escaping the Power of the Tube." It's a fun, interesting and very helpful talk. What do you think?

Contact Denny Hartford at

Hillary's "Slash and Burn" Hero

Amanda Carpenter has read Hillary Clinton's Bachelor of Arts thesis on Saul Alinsky and therein finds a fascinating foreshadowing of Hillary's career. Here's Carpenter's Human Events column.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski to Open World Congress of Families IV

A press release from the World Congress of Families announced that Polish President Lech Kaczynski will give the opening address at WCF IV in Warsaw, May 11-13. President Kaczynski will also serve as Honorary Patron of the Congress. The theme of World Congress of Families IV is Beyond Demographic Winter: The Natural Family And The Springtime for Nations.

President Kaczynski has been critical of gay activism, recently noting that if the homosexual “approach to sexual life were to be promoted on a grand scale, the human race would disappear.” He has also expressed concern about falling birthrates across Europe and voiced strong support for religious values and the natural family.

Kaczynski assumed the office of President on December 23, 2005. In the 1970s, he was active in the Anti-Communist Workers’ Defense Committee, served as an advisor to the Solidarity movement, and later became an advisor to Poland’s first democratic president, Lech Walesa. In 2001, Kaczynski became Minister of Justice and was elected mayor of Warsaw in 2002. President Kaczynski is one of the founders of the governing Law and Justice Party.

The event is expected to bring more than 3,500 pro-family leaders, activists, scholars and parliamentarians to Warsaw in May. Among them, representing Vital Signs Ministries, will be Claire and I. We will be learning from the many provocative speakers lined up, interacting with other delegates in breakout sessions and social activities, blogging about the event, and helping out with the outreach there of Concerned Women for America.