Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today's Posts

Christmas Continues

Our computer woes continue around here with things really in a mess. We're trying one more source for assistance and then it's on to the drastic step of gutting the computer and starting over.

Actually, I want to go more drastic still and go buy a Mac -- but Isaac has thus far kept me from taking that particular action.

It's been a difficult week for other reasons too (some health-related, problems with both cars, a few fresh worries about my Mom, etc.) and so we have been especially grateful for the fellowship of dear Christian friends in these last few days. We have had three Christmas dinner parties the last three evenings that have provided us much warmth, inspiration, laughter, memory sharing, encouragement and stimulation. Sunday night was our re-scheduled Christmas Day One dinner with Patrice & Linda, Jonathan & Meelom, Innocent, Cephas & his French fiance, Dave, Allen & Cindy...and 6 little kids. Monday night was Howard and Kathy Deever and their youngest daughter, Joanna. Tuesday night was Dick & Jan Loneman and Ron & Linda Scheffler. In all cases, we felt our hearts lifted and our motivations revived by these dear friends -- some we just met, some we've known from our two years at Faith Bible Church, some we've known for 20, 30 and 38 years!

Since I'm naming folks, perhaps I should mention that in the Christmas parties and "Santa runs" so far this season we've enjoyed fellowship with my Mom (several times), Dick Wilson, Quint & Carol Coppi (2x), Pam Yaksich, Perly & Sandy Schoville, Karla Struble (2x), Carol Larsen, Lucille Henson, Judy Bledsoe, Don & Cathy Conley, Chet Thomas (2x), numerous residents of Life Care Center, Matt & Laura Troutman, Allen & Cindy Nelson (3x), Bill & Karin Coker, Ruth Denzler, Mark Morin, and John & Barb Malek (2x).

That means only a few more "Santa runs" and three more Christmas dinner parties including our Epiphany party on January 6th which finally closes out the holiday season for us. Sure, it's a bit to tackle. But what splendid joys, consolations and inspiration Christmas brings to us! We really love this time of year.

Finally, let me also say here that among the late December fellowship blessings we've treasured so much have been some lovely Christmas cards and end-of-year letters as well as several generous donations to Vital Signs Ministries which will really help our beleaguered budget. Not surprising with the economy, the VSM income was down considerably this year so this last flurry has been of tremendous assistance. Thank you all. And thanks also to Zach, Melissa and Perry who used EFT Plus to make online donations to Vital Signs. That too was terrific and greatly appreciated.

Well, that's enough for one blogging session. I've got a Mom to visit, a car to get to the mechanics, a sermon to study for, correspondence to type and send, and a Mac computer to shop for.

Just kidding on that last bit, Isaac.

Merry 6th Day of Christmas!

The Top Ten Pro-Life Stories of the Year

In this column (found at her website and also printed by World Net Daily), Jill Stanek gives a quick review of the Top Ten pro-life stories of the year. The events described show how vibrant and principled the pro-life movement remains even after nearly 40 years of abortion on demand but it also underscores the need to fight on with greater zeal, intelligence, unity and dependence upon God.

Early Sex Experiences Linked to Greater Cancer Risk -- And Value-Free Sex Ed Sure Isn't Helping

The findings come from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The study leader, Dr Silvia Franceschi, said that early infection gives the human papillomavirus (HPV) more time to “produce the long sequence of events that are needed for cancer development”.

Dr Lesley Walker at Cancer Research UK said: “Infections at a very young age may be especially dangerous as they have more time to cause damage that eventually leads to cancer.”

The Government plans to increase the number of sex education lessons. However critics have attacked the content of the lessons as likely to make the situation worse, not better.

The Family Education Trust argues that young people do not need to be presented with a menu of sexual options from which they can make “informed choices”.

Instead the whole issue should be approached with modesty and “within a clear moral framework that shows a proper respect for parents and for marriage”...

Earlier this year a Government-backed scheme spent £6 million on sex education and contraception advice for a group of teenagers. Yet the rate of teenage pregnancies among the group more than doubled.

At the end of the scheme there were more teenage pregnancies among the youngsters who had taken part than among a comparable group who hadn’t.

("Early Sex Linked with Cancer Risk," Christian Institute, December 22)

Danish Newspaper: "Obama Is, Of Course, Greater Than Jesus."

And just when you thought the cult of Obama couldn't get more absurd, here comes an editorial from Denmark's second-leading newspaper, Politiken. And, no; it isn't satire.

He is provocative in insisting on an outstretched hand, where others only see animosity.

His tangible results in the short time that he has been active – are few and far between. His greatest results have been created with words and speeches – words that remain in the consciousness of their audience and have long-term effects.

He comes from humble beginnings and defends the weak and vulnerable, because he can identify himself with their conditions.

And no we are not thinking of Jesus Christ, whose birthday has just been celebrated - - but rather the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama...

If such a comparison were to be made, it would, of course, inevitably be to Obama’s advantage.

Today, his historic Health Reform is being passed through the American Senate – a welfare policy breakthrough that several of his predecessors have been unable to manage.

Despite all the compromises, it has finally been possible to ensure something so fundamental, as the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails them. Add to that the biggest ever financial support package in America’s history, a major disarmament agreement and the quickest-ever re-establishment of American reputation.

On the other hand, we have Jesus’ miracles that everyone still remembers, but which only benefitted a few. At the same time, we have the wonderful parables about his life and deeds that we know from the New Testament, but which have been interpreted so differently over the past 2000 years that it is impossible to give an unequivocal result of his work.

Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game. But it is probably more meaningful to insist that with today’s domestic triumph, that he has already assured himself a place in the history books – a space he has good chances of expanding considerably in coming years.

Without, however, ever attaining the heavens...

"Marriage is Unnecessary in a Mobile Society Like Ours.”

Karen Crouse followed Tiger Woods around the golf course for several weeks this year and wrote two articles focusing on his fatherhood. Crouse described Woods as a new man who had found joy and success as a dad and was so changed by the experience that he was a warmer, more engaging person even on the golf course.

In her latest article,
published in the New York Times, Crouse admits that after the revelations of his many adulterous flings, the titles of those two articles now sound like punch lines: “The Family Guy Is Back on the Course” and “All Eyes Are on Tiger, the Father.”

But she then goes on to record this very sobering assessment.

Woods’s parenting role model was his father, Earl, who was committed to rearing him after having two sons and a daughter in a failed first marriage. Earl, a retired Army officer, attributed the divorce to military obligations that took him away from the family. Asked how he would manage to be there for his children when golf takes him away from home so much, Woods told me, “It’s going to be a lot more difficult, there’s no doubt.”

Maybe it is impossible. Perhaps Woods was destined to be like his father, only not in the way he had hoped. Over lunch on the veranda at the Masters one year, Earl Woods said, “I’ve told Tiger that marriage is unnecessary in a mobile society like ours.”

The way Woods talked about his children, I was sure he was going to prove his father wrong.

Even the MSM Is Getting Worried About a Weak, Indecisive Commander in Chief

The following excerpt doesn't come from the New York Post, National Review or the American Spectator. It comes rather from the New York Daily News and is yet another signal that Barack Obama's out-of-touch (and increasingly dangerous) performance as President is finally breaking through to even the mainstream press.

The attempt to blow Northwest Flight 253 out of the air was planned as an attack on the United States and very nearly succeeded in accomplishing that horrific goal. The moment demanded inspiring, decisive presidential leadership.

America waited four days for a glimmer.

President Obama's initial response Monday was too long in coming, too cool in delivery and too removed from the extreme gravity of the plot.
Tuesday, he spoke more assertively, acknowledging what everyone else had long ago concluded: that unacceptable security failures had enabled 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to smuggle high explosives onto a Detroit-bound jet.

Before his first remarks on Monday, Obama had left a vacuum, and into that 76-hour empty space rushed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, whose ineptitude made a mockery of her position and threw millions of fliers into continuing states of confusion.

What the public was left with was a never-to-be-repeated case study in crisis mismanagement. It's time to get a grip, Mr. President...

The rest of the editorial is here.

Ben Nelson Wants Nebraskans to Trust Him Again

Democrat Senator Ben Nelson will introduce a 30-second TV commercial during the Nebraska/Arizona football game tonight in which he defends his vote for the Obama/Reid "health care" bill. The spot will then run on other Nebraska TV stations for at least a few days.

He's doing this in an effort to keep his reputation from falling even farther than it already has.

The spot is only 30-seconds because the Senator has no substantial basis for his support of the bill nor any reasonable arguments for so cravenly forsaking his pro-life principles and concerns for the Constitution. Therefore, his ad is a quick, folksy appearance in which he can mouth a few generalities and not have to explain further his catastrophic cave-in.

So how should Nebraskans respond to Nelson's little ploy? Simple.

1) Keep doing what you've been doing; namely, calling, writing and e-mailing the Senator and expressing your opinions about this and the many other budget-busting, boneheaded, boondoggle Democrat bills he has supported.

2) Follow up by sending similar letters to editors. Keep the dissonance public. And realize that with the left-leaning bias of the press (yes, even here in Nebraska), there will have to be a large and steady stream of such letters to insure that a few are actually published.

And finally 3) Make it clear to family and friends that this is what happens when you vote Democrats into office. For no matter what they claim when back home, their "conservative" or "moderate" positions melt when they get to Washington and they end up toeing the party line.

And the line of the modern Democrat Party (led by the likes of Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Baucus, Rangel, Boxer, Clinton, and Franken) is marked by an aggressive support of abortion and embryonic stem cell experimentation, an expansion of the homosexual agenda, intolerance of Christianity, antagonism to freedoms of speech and assembly when they involve conservatives, an expansion of the welfare state, support of judicial activism, a dedication to an ever-burgeoning government spending spree (except for national defense), ongoing assaults on the free market, and so on.

So, turn Ben Nelson's greedy, perfidious ways with this misnamed "health care reform" bill into an opportunity to educate your fellow Nebraskans about the dangers unavoidably inherent in voting Democrat these days.

Your Wednesday Tea Break (Christmas Unusuals)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Today's Posts

Why Care for Patients When Killing Them Is So Much Easier & Cheaper?

Stuart Cunliffe reports -- Els Borst, who was Dutch Health Minister when the Netherlands became the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia...has now said that legalising euthanasia was a mistake, and they should first have focused on palliative care.

Care for the terminally ill had declined, she said, since euthanasia became legal, and more should have been done to give legal protection to those who wanted a natural death.

In 2008, Dutch doctors reported 2,331 cases of euthanasia, 400 cases of assisted suicide and 550 deaths without request. There is, of course, no record of the cases that weren't reported.

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Dutch Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, said that even today effective palliative care was not in place in the Netherlands.

The country's politicians had denied there had been a "slippery slope." But how could you say that, he said, when euthanasia was originally only for the terminally ill and was now for the mentally ill and newborn babies?

After Climate Scams, Can Science Make a Comeback?

Finances Are Just Fine with the First Family

Jeremy Wiggins wonders about the propriety of the Obamas spending their holiday vacation in a $4,000 a night Hawaii mansion (plus also renting the two houses next door) when 10% of the country's citizenry is unemployed and the deepening recession forced most American families to cut back on their Christmas?

For all the hype about hope, change, transparency, unity, idealism and so on, this guy is really out of touch.

A Fearful, Superstitious (Yet Faithless) Generation

One of the things I used to hear frequently from people saddened to learn that Claire and I didn't subscribe to cable TV was, "Oh, Denny. With your background and your interests, I'm sure you would absolutely fall in love with the History Channel." I would just smile and, like I do in many awkward situations, say, "I'm sorry but I just remembered I left the hamsters in the oven" and quickly make for the exit.

I say this as an opening for you to read Chuck Colson's Breakpoint commentary today. It's an interesting little piece about the current preoccupation of the History Channel with, of all people, the pseudo-seer Nostradamus. But I also was moved by Chuck's summation:

It’s not much to go on, but then again, this isn’t about facts or reason—it’s about fear. It’s about understandable anxiety made worse because in rejecting Christianity, the West has rejected the basis of its hope. A world in which God’s purposes are being fulfilled for our good has been replaced by one that leaves man in charge, mostly for ill.

The world has become literally senseless to us. We live in, as theologian Robert Jensen once put, a meaningless world wishing we could believe in something. The more events seem to spin out of control, the more we succumb to superstition and irrationality. And of course there’s always a media conglomerate ready to sell the credulous what they crave.

Gun Sales Rise. Crime Rate Falls. Coincidence?

Which of these bumper sticker slogans do you tend to believe? 1) "More guns = more crime" or 2)"When guns are criminalized, only criminals will have guns."

Wait. Before you answer, you might want to read this Christian Science Monitor article which explores how the dramatic increase in gun sales in America over the last year has occurred at the same time as the overall crime rate (including crimes involving guns) has decreased.

Capture a Terrorist, Release Him to "Art Therapy," and Wait for His Next Attack

In a story that will make you want to scream, cry and then head for the hills, ABC News reports on how Muslim terrorists would rather blow up airliners than play with crayons.

Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an "art therapy rehabilitation program" and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.

Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, and prisoner #372, Said Ali Shari, were sent to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 9, 2007, according to the Defense Department log of detainees who were released from American custody. Al-Harbi has since changed his name to Muhamad al-Awfi.
Both Saudi nationals have since emerged in leadership roles in Yemen, according to U.S. officials and the men's own statements on al Qaeda propaganda tapes.

Both of the former Guantanamo detainees are described as military commanders and appear on a January, 2009 video along with the man described as the top leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, Abu Basir Naser al-Wahishi, formerly Osama bin Laden's personal secretary.

In its Monday statement claiming responsibility for the Northwest bombing, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula called bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab a "hero" and a "martyr" and lauded him for beating U.S. intelligence.

The two-page written claim included a photo of Abdulmutallab and boasted of Al Qaeda's success in designing "advanced explosive packages" that can pass through airport screening undetected.

The statement also asks for attacks upon Americans in the Arabian peninsula, and promises further attacks on the American people...

Saudi officials concede its program has had its "failures" but insist that, overall, the effort has helped return potential terrorists to a meaningful life.

One program gives the former detainees paints and crayons as part of the rehabilitation regimen.

A similar rehabilitation program in Yemen was stopped because so many of the detainees quickly joined with al Qaeda or its affiliates, the official said.

Woe Is My Computer

For the last several days we have been experiencing tremendous difficulties on this computer: extremely slow going, frequent freezing and shutdowns, interminably long times in re-starting, and regular web pages that no longer "remember" me.

Then, to add insult to injury, Qwest called us yesterday to inform us that a virus is being spread from our IP number! Thankfully, our computer tech (Isaac Serafino) was here at the time and talked to the guy for 45 minutes and explained that our virus protection programs show no evidence of successful attack. And there was some confusion over the IP number Qwest said was ours and the one Isaac tracked down. So we're still struggling for answers.

As some of you may know, we have been the target of hackers before including a very sophisticated attack from an anti-Christian source based in Turkey a couple of years ago. That one captured the Vital Signs Ministries web page and we were forced to shut it down for a month while re-formatting the entire site.

So, are we again under the thumb of some hacker? Are we the victim of an arbitrary viral attack? Or is Qwest wrong and we're simply dealing with a severe hardware problem? I hope we'll learn the answers soon. Please pray for wisdom, patience, and freedom from these hassles. Thanks.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Today's Posts

Was Christmas Canceled? Not Quite.

Sure, there were a few challenges thrown at us this Christmas (particularly, the crashing of my computer, frigid temperatures, and a blizzard that brought down 15 inches of blowing, drifting snow to Omaha -- the photo at left shows my buried Oldsmobile with rabbit tracks on the top of the car!) but we managed to have a serene and very enjoyable holiday nevertheless.

Plus, we were able ro re-schedule every one of the Christmas social events that the weather forced us to postpone. It all made for a merry Christmas indeed. And since Claire and I celebrate all Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany, we're just getting started!

The first item to be affected by the snowstorm was our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast down in Lincoln. Because the sleet and freezing rain of Wednesday brought travel advisories throughout our area, we decided to skip the 24th and have the breakfast sometime this week.

Then the snow really hit hard. By Christmas morning, Omaha was pretty well shut down. We called off our visit to Mom's nursing home and also our Christmas dinner party for which we had 17 planned. There was just no way to safely pull off either function. However, we were able to schedule Christmas with Mom on the evening of the 26th and the Christmas dinner (with even one more attendee) on Sunday night the 27th. More on those in a sec.

So Christmas Eve was spent quietly here at home. The computer had broken down so we enjoyed reading, music, conversation, and a couple of Christmas movies. On Christmas Day, as we sat between the brilliance of the Christmas tree and the burning logs in the fireplace, we caught up with a few "listening projects" we had fallen behind on. First up was listening to Petula Clark's first-ever Christmas album (purchased just a few weeks ago). Then we played a talk given by James Woodruff at the American Chesterton Society Conference a year and a half ago. Terrific. I had listened to the presentation ("Chesterton and Pascal") once before but it was in the car and so I hadn't got the full effect. I had long had it on the "to-do" list but I'm kinda' glad that we didn't get around to until Friday because it made a really neat part of our Christmas. James' talk was very informative, funny, insightful, and moving. His diction, inflection and timing (being on the radio all those years makes me notice that kind of stuff) was flawless and the ways he tied in these two Christian heroes was fascinating.

But, trust probably don't need the fire or the Christmas tree to make James' presentation really worthwhile. So go on over to the ACS web site and send an e-mail to Dale Ahlquist asking him how you can obtain James' talk. It will be worth the trouble.

Next up on Christmas Day was listening to the music of my old friend Dave Mirro. These too we had listened to previously but it was in the car on our way to and from Colorado in October so we wanted to have an opportunity to hear them again. Like with James' lecture, the tree, the fire, the scented Russian tea, and the sounds of the blizzard outside made the most splendid atmosphere for listening to Dave's music (mostly hymns and worship songs). We are really grateful to both James and Dave for making our Christmas brighter and more interesting. We were kinda' shut off from the world that day (except for numerous phone calls to family) but your CDs brought a nice warmth of friendship into our midst. Thank you.

The rest of the day involved books. One of my Christmas presents to Claire this year is to read at least one in the Mitford series that she loves so well. I began with the first one and so far find it very pleasant and touching.

And, oh yes...we had saved "Christmas in Connecticut" for the evening and we loved it every bit as much as the last 2o times we've watched it.

On Christmas Day Two, we had a nice party of sorts over at the Life Care Center, visiting residents and opening presents with Mom. She got new nightgowns, a stuffed squirrel, candy, a cool animal pictue puzzle, scarf, and a few other items from my sister Linda's family in California; food items, notepads, bedspread, stuffed animal chain, and so on from my sister Sherry's family in Kansas; and a few presents from Claire and I. We brought along a tape player and so Bing Crosby sang Christmas carols throughout our visit.

Of course, I should mention that travel on the 26th was still awfully difficult. And we couldn't even get out of our driveway until more than 3 hours of work with snow shovels and my fabulous Yard Man snow blower. I know my Presbyterian friends talk about the "dominion mandate" more than I do -- but until they've taken this snow blower to a snow drift, they don't have a full understanding of what the term means. The accompanying photos will illustrate our driveway and sidewalk experience.

When we got home later that night we found that Chet Thomas had called and left a message asking if church services were still on for the next morning. We called back and said we were sure they would be. But just to be certain, Claire turned on the TV. And, sure enough, KETV was saying that Faith Bible Church would be closed the next morning! We checked a few other news sources: one said the church was one of the many that had canceled services but others (including the religious station KGBI that is usually used for these things) had no such postings. We made a couple of phone calls to other church folks but they hadn't heard anything either. Was it is a mistake then? Yes, the roads were still very bad but we thought it just too strange that the leaders would cancel church and not bother to inform the preacher!

We eventually learned that an e-mail had been sent round. But since many in our church don't check their e-mails regularly and since some in our church don't even have home computers, this system isn't very efficient. But we've been assured a phone tree will be put in place to rectify the problem. There probably won't be a need for it for another 20 years...but when more than two feet of snow has already fallen in December, we might need that phone tree sooner than we think.

So no church on Sunday morning. But we felt confident enough to go ahead with our Christmas dinner rescheduled for Sunday night.

And it turned out to be a wonderful evening. Delicious appetizers provided by Allen and Cindy Nelson kept our guests' appetites at bay until we finished our preparations. And then with kids settled in at a card table in the living room (Claire and I sitting alongside them), we squeezed in the adults for a repast of ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry relish, and pineapple/cottage cheese fluff. Ice cream sundaes with a whole gang of toppings available were served for dessert but only after a lot of conversation and the festive singing of Christmas songs from Burkina Faso (performed mostly in French but one or two in Mòoré). And then coffee and tea, more conversation, some word games, and finally some more serious Christmas reflections and prayers. So Christmas wasn't canceled after all. In fact, the awareness of how close we came to missing it perhaps made our fellowship all the sweeter.

As I mentioned earlier, we celebrate Christmas throughout December and for all 12 days of the Yuletide so we still have plenty of activities before us. The Christmas dinner made the fifth party we've held so far with a few "Santa runs" where we take the party to individual friends thrown in for good measure. We've got a few more of those left on the list as well as 4 more "official" parties scheduled.'s been a grand start to Christmas (despite the weather's attempt to snow on our parade) and things look swell for the next round too. Merry Christmas!

The "Year of Darwin" Ends But the Preaching of His Pseudo-Science Goes On

As 2009 comes to an end, so does the delirium of “Darwin Year.” From “Darwin Day” on February 12 (Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday) to November 24 (the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species), Darwin’s disciples spared no expense (using mostly taxpayers’ money) in their exuberant celebrations, even though most of Darwin’s ideas were mistaken and his contributions to science were insignificant compared to those of hundreds of others—including (to name just a few) Isaac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, and Albert Einstein in physics; Robert Boyle, Antoine Lavoisier and Willard Gibbs in chemistry; and Carolus Linnaeus, Georges Cuvier and Gregor Mendel in biology.

What Darwin promoted was not empirical science but materialistic philosophy. As historian Neal C. Gillespie wrote in 1979, “It is sometimes said that Darwin converted the scientific world to evolution by showing them the process by which it had occurred,” but “it was more Darwin's insistence on totally natural explanations than on natural selection that won their adherence.” (Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation, p.147) The Darwinian revolution was primarily philosophical, and Darwin's philosophy limited science to “the discovery of laws which reflected the operation of purely natural or ‘secondary’ causes.” Furthermore, “there could be no out-of-bounds signs... When sufficient natural or physical causes were not known they must nonetheless be assumed to exist to the exclusion of other causes.”

But the assumption that everything can be explained by natural causes is characteristic of materialistic philosophy. This is why atheists want to establish Darwin Day as a secular alternative to Christmas...

(Continue reading Jonathan Wells' PBS: Pushing Bad Science right here.)

FRC Challenges the Misnamed "Health Care" Bill

Here is a brief but excellent description of what the Senate "health care" bill involves for morally-minded Americans. It was written by Tony Perkins and his colleagues at Family Research Council and I pass it on to you for your use in letters to editors, politicians, clergy (who have yet to find their voice on this ominous power grab) and anybody else you can think of.

FRC Statement on the Christmas Eve Passage of the Health Care 'Reform' Bill

This morning the United State Senate voted 60-39 in favor of final passage of HR 3590, the so-called "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Today's Christmas Eve vote may signal the end of the debate in the Senate, but it's far from the end of the debate at large. Since Senator Reid's bad bill is substantially different from the House's bad bill, the lower chamber will have to vote on the plan again. The Senate bill's massive funding for elective abortions and the construction of abortion facilities are among the most radical differences. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted in an interview that the Senate health care bill will force 'everybody' in the exchange to pay an abortion premium. The so-called Nelson 'compromise' ensures that everyone will pay for abortion--no matter how the funds are divided up.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Americans--by a huge three to one margin--are overwhelmingly opposed to using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Seventy-two percent of the country is now firmly on the side of Congressman Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) solution to ban the government's financial involvement in the deadly procedure. House and Senate conferees would do well to heed that warning when they come together to iron out their differences with the final bill, else this bill could collapse because of it.

Disagreement over abortion funding is one of the many reasons this fight is far from over. Both House and Senate versions of the bill are seriously flawed. Both bills still allow rationing of health care for seniors, raise health costs for families, mandate that families purchase under threat of fines and penalties, offer counsel about assisted suicide in some states, do not offer broad conscience protections for health care workers and seek to insert the federal government into all aspects of citizen's lives. Additionally, the bills would place a crushing debt on both current and future generations.

Despite Abortion Promotion, Some Catholic Groups Accept Senate Health Care Bill

I recently had a cyber-discussion with a friend (and fellow evangelical) about just what constitutes being consistently Catholic. He had taken issue with a statement I made in this post about the Catholic Church needing to act as if uncompromising opposition to abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell experimentation, etc. are critical elements of true Christianity. My friend claimed that Catholics did, in fact, oppose these things and that I was therefore slandering them in my implication that they were not.

I explained to my friend that the issue I was highlighting was the consistency of Catholic teaching as believed and acted upon by confessed Catholics. I pointed out the quite un-Catholic actions of people like Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden and, relevant to that particular post, Joseph Califano and how the Catholic Church (the NCCB, individual clergy, periodicals, institutions, schools, and so on) had not properly responded to such dramatic dissident action.

I think I got through.

But, in case I didn't, here is another case which clearly illustrates my point. It is the momentous disagreement as to what is "acceptably Catholic" between the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (liberal-oriented nuns, don't you know) vis a vis the Conference of Bishops' position on the Senate health care bill.

Correcting the "Cooked" Numbers: Will the Democrats Deign to Notice?

Mark Hemingway has a nifty article in Commentary entitled "The Massive Accounting Blunder That Should Sink Health Care Reform."

The key word there, of course, is "Should."

Read the piece and then start praying that citizens, editors and even some of those willfully blind politicians we've sent to Washington will act according to the facts Hemingway talks about.

Charlie Sheen's Get Out of Jail Card Was Phoned In

Though only 44 years old, Charlie Sheen has created quite a resumé. He is, for instance, the highest paid actor on television, receiving somewhere about $20 million annually for his part in a sleazy sit-com. He has won awards for his acting, established lucrative endorsements with companies like Hanes and created his own profitable line of kid's clothing.

But there's a few other items he's assembled as well.

He is an outspoken devotee of conspiracy theories, particularly the extremely wacky belief that the George W. Bush administration was responsible for the World Trade Center attacks in 2001.

And then there's the 5 children sired with various mothers, three marriages, affairs with several women (including porn stars), a history of drug abuse (including a cocaine overdose), and instances of domestic violence including the two felony charges laid on him this past weekend for allegedly roughing up his present wife and threatening her with a knife.

Quite a record. And yet Sheen managed to get out of a Pitkin County, Colorado jail on Christmas and fly back to L.A. by way of a sympathetic judge who conducted a hearing...get a telephone conference. What do you think your chances would be to get similar treatment if busted for anything in Aspen, let alone felonious assault.


Let judges strike a pose and talk about honor and justice. But money and fame (even the squalid kind of fame Charlie Sheen has won) still grease the skids.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Today's Posts

Will Christmas Be Canceled?

The impending storm is causing a few jitters for those of us here in Omaha and, quite likely, for many of you in other parts of the country. But we're still hopeful that travel will be do-able here in the area and our plans for our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast down in Lincoln and our Christmas Day dinner here (with, at last count, 12 guests) will be realized.

So far, it's been a very pleasant Christmas season and with Claire and I celebrating through Epiphany, we're just getting started!

We've only had three dinner parties so far. That's down a bit from recent years but we will be making up for our slow start by increasing the number of parties we throw in the 12 Days of Christmas. People seem to prefer that -- less pressure, more time. We've also watched several Christmas movies, read Christmas books and poetry, listened to carols, and decorated our house and Mom's room at the nursing home.

We've had nice times with Mom talking about Christmas, reading poems and short stories, and giving her brief recaps of my Advent-oriented sermons. We had an especially sweet time at a Christmas tea the staff put together last Thursday evening. Yesterday we were there to visit and bring her 55 large candy bars which she is using for Christmas gifts to friends and staff.

Claire and I were also able to have a delightful time yesterday with Quint and Carol Coppi: a superb lunch at Kona Grill, a gift exchange, and great conversation. We also spent time with a lady from our church who has recently moved to an assisted living home. It's a very nice place and she really needs the attention, security and medical oversight they provide. But that doesn't mean she accepts those facts! So our time there was partly assurance, partly encouragement, and partly distraction. And, because she complained of not getting to church, she too got a re-cap of Sunday's Christmas-themed sermon! Be careful what you ask.

Finally, we also hit the stores to be fully prepared for our scheduled Christmas activities: cookie decorating items, all the fixings for ice cream sundaes, several side dishes, and chicken to go with the ham -- most of our dinner guests will be from Burkina Faso and they love Claire's chicken. We also stocked up on those items we'll need if the storm socks us in: extra coffee, gasoline and a new spark plug for the snowblower, ice melt for the driveway, etc.

So yes; we're ready for whichever Christmas fate befalls us. But, as to Christmas being canceled? No way. Our individual circumstances can certainly be altered, postponed and maybe even called off altogether. But Christmas itself is too precious, too universal, too critically-necessary for the world to ever be canceled.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:8-20 KJV)

Christmas Jokes (No Groaning, Please)

Here, for your kids and grandkids (as if you're not going to read through them too!) are a few Christmas jokes. They're silly but we've often been told this page is among those most appreciated from our "Making the Most of Christmas" packets.

Who was the meanest of Santa's reindeer?
Answer? Olive. Remember what the song told us about this reindeer's attitude towards Rudolph? ("Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names.")

It was Christmas and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, "What are you charged with?"
"Just doing my Christmas shopping early," replied the defendant. "That's certainly no offense," said the judge to the prosecuting attorney.
The lawyer answered, "Well, your honor, it depends on what you mean early. You see, the defendant here was doing his shopping WAY early, like before the store was opened!"

Earl: Just what nationality is Santa Claus anyhow?
Pearl: Don't you know? He's North Polish, of course.

Just before Christmas, there was a completely altruistic politician, a kind-hearted and honest lawyer and Santa Claus walking along 5th Avenue when they noticed a diamond bracelet lying in the curb. Which of them picked up the bracelet with a view to returning it to its rightful owner? Of course, the answer is Santa. The other two characters in the story don't really exist!

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve? Because it soots him well to do so.

A word of warning from Denny & Claire -- Remember kids, when you stop believing in Santa, you start getting clothes for Christmas!

What kind of Christmas candle burns longer, the green ones or the red ones? Neither. All candles burn shorter!

Oh, Mom; can I please have a dog for Christmas? No, honey; you have to have turkey like everyone else!

What do you call a reindeer with cotton wool in his ears? It really doesn't matter. He won't hear you!

"Doctor, Doctor, with all the excitement of Christmas I can't sleep."
"Try lying on the edge of your bed; you'll soon drop off!"

Earl: My problem is that I keep stealing things when I go Christmas shopping. Doc, can you give me something for it!
Doctor: Well, try this medicine. But if it doesn't work, come back soon... and bring me a new video camera.

Man: That train set looks fantastic. I'll take one.
Assistant: I'm sure your son will love it, Sir!
Man: (sighs) Oh, yes; I suppose he would. You'd better give me two, then.

Did you hear about the stupid turkey? It was looking forward to Christmas!

Wife: Darling, you know that shockproof, waterproof, anti-magnetic, un-breakable watch you bought me for Christmas?
Husband: Yes. What about it? Wife: Well, it caught fire.

Why was Santa's little helper so depressed?
It turns out he had very low elf esteem.

What reindeer can jump higher than a house?
They all can! Houses can't jump!

What do you call someone who is afraid of Santa? Claustrophobic!

It's a Start

"I believe our nation is at a crossroads and I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt."

(Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith, speaking about his decision to leave the Democrat Party and become a Republican.)

Is There a Light At the End of the "Health Care" Tunnel?

Are you thinking that Team Obama's unprecedented power grab with the so-called "health care reform" bill is the end of the road for America?

If so, sit down. Take a breath. Eat a Christmas cookie.

And then read Peter Wehner's provocative and hopeful article ("The Health-Care Backlash") in Commentary Magazine.

The Religion of Planned Parenthood

Vandal Who Attacked Democrat Headquarters Let Off Easy

When the windows of the Democrat Party headquarters in Denver were smashed last year during the party's convention, Democrats were quick to scream about Republican hate, racism and dangerous violence. And the media dutifully played up the story from this angle.

The story that the criminal eventually caught and accused of the attacks was actually a transgendered leftist whom Denver Bash Back (a GLBT protest group) proudly calls one of its "friends and comrades," a person who had been paid for working for one Democrat politician (maybe more) -- well, that story has been given much, much less ink.

And, not surprisingly, there have been no apologies for the slander thrown at Republicans by Colorado Democrat leaders.

Well, the goon has finally had his day in court. And it ended up in an awfully nice deal for him too. Maurice Joseph Schwenkler, 24, (known by his buddies in the anarchist movement as Ariel Attack) pleaded guilty yesterday to the vandalism. But though the damage was $11,000 (he took a hammer to 11 plate-glass windows), Schwenkler was only charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Nothing for hate crime, political intimidation, public endangerment, conspiracy (there was at least one other criminal involved in the action), disturbing the public order, or incitement. The fellow will serve no jail time whatsoever.

In fact, he only has to pay for half of the damage.

Imagine the differences in press coverage and judicial action if the culprit had been found to be a pro-lifer, a member of the NRA or a fan of Sarah Palin.

Will State Attorney Generals Take Action Against Sleazy "Health Care Bill" Deals?

Of course, the MSM will try and treat this story as an example of Republican obstruction and vindictiveness but the attorney generals of 7 states talking about the possible illegality of the "Nebraska compromise" (and, by implication, its unconstitutionality) is nevertheless an excellent move.

For no matter how the Dems and their pals in the press try to spin this thing, the story inevitably sheds greater light on the sleazy bribes, backroom deals, mean-spirited extortion and power lust that is running the Democrats in Congress.

This AP story, for instance, made the Yahoo Headlines. That's a lot of readers who were informed of the facts surrounding Ben Nelson's remarkably crass sellout.

And the greedy self-interest which stains the modern Democrat party, one which completely overrides fair play and democracy, is even more pronounced by imbecilic confessions like that of Jim Clyburn, the South Carolina Congressman who serves as the U.S. House Majority Whip. Clyburn's response to the complaints of vote buying was merely about making sure he gets his share. "Rather than sitting here and carping about what Nelson got for Nebraska," Clyburn said, " I would say to my friends on the other side of the aisle: Let's get together and see what we can get for South Carolina."

Really? Is this what we voted for? To send pigs to Washington to get the most they could from the public trough?

Senator Clyburn may think it's comic to thumb his nose at the Constitution and rip off the American taxpayer. And Ben Nelson may think himself clever for selling his superficial pro-life principles for Medicaid bucks. But this move by the state attorney generals will help the public to see what Washington has become under Barack Obama -- more secretive, more perverse, and more disgustingly irresponsible than ever.

Spread the word.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Today's Posts

Christmas Quiz Number Three

Christmas Quiz --- Number Three

1) In what year did Charles Dickens write "A Christmas Carol"? A) 1790 B) 1843 C) 1890 D) 1933

2) Which popular Christmas song was actually written for Thanksgiving? A) "Frosty the Snowman" B) "Winter Wonderland" C) "Jingle Bells" D) "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" E) "Deck the Halls"

3) In "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Linus reads about the real reason for the season from what book? A) The gospel of Luke B) The gospel of Matthew C) "The Little Drummer Boy" D) "A Christmas Carol"

4) After worshiping the baby Jesus, the magi from the east were warned by God in a dream not to return to: A) Egypt B) Parthia C) Jerusalem D) Bethlehem

5) "Adeste Fideles" is more commonly known as: A) "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful" B) "Frosty the Snowman" C) "The Christmas Song" D) "Silver Bells"

6) Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus the Savior literally means: A) Salvation B) House of bread C) Without a home D) Anointed home

7) Who wrote the short story, "The Gift of the Magi"? A) Charles Dickens B) Lewis Carroll C) O. Henry D) Clement Moore E) Mark Twain

8) The Messiah, George Frederick Handel's beloved Christmas oratorio, was first performed in 1742. In what city was it performed? A) London, England B) Jerusalem in what was then known as Palestine C) Dublin, Ireland D) Berlin, Germany

9) One of the marvelous adventures of the great detective, Sherlock Holmes, is set in the Christmas season. The story involves: A) The murder of a man disguised as Father Christmas B) A valuable gem discovered in a dead goose C) A secret message hidden in a child's doll D) A bomb in a Yule log designed to assassinate the King of England.

10) The first people to receive a "formal announcement" of Jesus' birth were common laborers who were looked down upon as social inferiors. Who were they? A) Shepherds B) Tax collectors C) Reporters D) Actors

11) How many wise men visited the stable on the night Jesus was born? A) 3 B) 7 C) 12 D) None

12) In the poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," what headgear was worn by the Momma? A) Nightcap B) Red towel C) Christmas stocking D) Kerchief

13) In Victorian times, Londoners would have been familiar with a "goose club." What was that? A) Holly boughs wrapped up and set on the fire B) A three-stringed musical instrument C) A method of saving to buy a goose for Christmas D) A group of Christmas merry-makers, usually involved in mischief

14) For what singing cowboy was "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" a tremendous hit? A) Gene Autry B) Tex Ritter C) Hank Williams D) Roy Rogers E) Rex Allen

15) The flight into Egypt was: A) Saint Nicholas' escaping from the Turks B) The magi fleeing from Herod C) The nation of Israel being delivered from Pharaoh D) The Holy Family traveling to safety after a message from God

Answers: 1) B 2) C -- James Pierpont composed the song in 1857. It's original title? "One Horse Open Sleigh." 3) A 4) C – King Herod (in Jerusalem) had told the magi to return to him and give a report on Jesus' whereabouts. However, he wanted not to worship Jesus (as he had lied), but rather to murder him. 5) A 6) B 7) C 8) C -- Handel wrote the work to aid charities in Ireland. 9) B -- In "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," Holmes recovers a gorgeous diamond and, in the charitable spirit of the Christmas season, allows the repentant thief to escape imprisonment if he promises to leave England forever. 10) A 11) D – The Bible does not say how many magi there were who came to visit and worship Jesus. Most Bible scholars believe it was probably several. However, the visit of the magi almost certainly did not occur on Christmas night but many months after Jesus' birth. 12) D 13) C -- "Goose clubs" were popular with the working-class of London, who paid a small amount every week towards the purchase of a goose or turkey to eat for Christmas dinner. 14) A 15) D

2010 Pro-Lfe Blog Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners in the 2010 Pro-Life Blog Awards and our sincere thanks for those of you who were kind enough to vote for Vital Signs in that contest. As I mentioned last week when we found out we had been nominated, we were quite grateful. But the support of those of you who bothered to go through that voting process over there made us particularly appreciative. Thank you.

The winners were:

Best News and Reporting Award - Stand for Life

Pro-Life Instigator Award for Activism - Operation Rescue

Best Pro-Life Apologetics Award - Life Training Institute Blog

Pro-Life Whistleblower Award - Pro-Life Defender

Pro-Life Unity Award - Fr. Frank's Blog

And congratulations also to the winner of the Best Overall Pro-Life Blog - Catholic Fire!

The Polls Are Quite Clear. So What? reports that a Quinnipiac University poll (just issued yesterday) shows that 72% of Americans oppose paying for abortions with their tax dollars under the government-run health care bill in Congress.

Of course, this would be important news...if, that is, the Democrats in power gave a rip about the American public.

They don't.

For listening to the people would invariably bring up those tired old cliches about democracy, the Constitution, justice, fairness, fiscal responsibility, and morality.

And you sure can't have a socialist revolution with those things cluttering up the place.

Democrat Senator Delves to a New Low

The injustice, lies and totalitarian drive of the Left are all being played out in frightening detail in the once-venerable halls of our capitol.

Hello, Police? My Country Has Just Been Stolen From Me.

Robert Costa over at NRO's "The Corner," has a very sobering post quoting Republican Senator Judd Gregg on the ugly "New American Era" that we've been shoved into.

American government changed last night. “We are now functioning under a parliamentary form of government,” says Sen. Judd Gregg (R., N.H.) in a conversation with NRO. “An ideological supermajority in Congress, along with a government run by community organizers, has taken over.”

“They’ve taken over the student-loan program, they’ve taken over the automobile system, and now they’re taking over the health-care system. There is no limit to their belief that people should be controlled by smart bureaucrats in Washington,” says Gregg. “They’re putting our country on a path that will reduce the quality of life for the next generation, undermine our nation’s wonderful exceptionalism, and Europeanize our economy to curb its growth.”

Harry Reid’s health-care bill “was purchased,” says Gregg. “Our system of checks and balances is gone. We now have a government that lurches with great speed even though our system is founded upon incremental change.” And don’t hope that the House stops the runaway train, he says. “I think the House is ideologically even further to the Left than the Senate. There are many people there who are committed to taking us down the road toward nationalization.”

“In the future, discretionary dollars won’t be able to be spent on college or a new house, but on this massive new burden for Americans,” says Gregg. “Eventually, at some point, the pressures on the private sector will tip the scales so that employers offering private insurance send people over to the health-care exchange. It’s all part of their ultimate goal to get a vast amount of people subsidized by the government.”

This is an “unsustainable course for our nation,” says Gregg. “We can’t sustain the debt we’re adding. Soon we’ll reach banana-republic status.”

Experts in "Sustainable Living" Decree: Your Dog Has Got to Go

Back in October I gave you a post (A New Environmental Wacko Target? Dogs!) dealing with a wave-making book with the uncomfortable title, Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living.

Well, the book is still making waves as two groups find their usually compatible worldviews (both reflecting a pantheistic subhumanism) engaged in a serious clash of values.

Man's best friend could be one of the environment's worst enemies, according to a new study which says the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

But the revelation in the book "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living" by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale has angered pet owners who feel they are being singled out as troublemakers...

To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same. "Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat," Barrett said.

Other animals aren't much better for the environment, the Vales say. Cats have an eco-footprint of about 0.15 hectares, slightly less than driving a Volkswagen Golf for a year, while two hamsters equates to a plasma television and even the humble goldfish burns energy equivalent to two mobile telephones.

But Reha Huttin, president of France's 30 Million Friends animal rights foundation says the human impact of eliminating pets would be equally devastating. "Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly," Huttin told AFP. "Everyone should work out their own environmental impact. I should be allowed to say that I walk instead of using my car and that I don't eat meat, so why shouldn't I be allowed to have a little cat to alleviate my loneliness?"

Sylvie Comont, proud owner of seven cats and two dogs -- the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars -- says defiantly, "Our animals give us so much that I don't feel like a polluter at all. "I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations. I don't want a life without animals," she told AFP."

But sentiment isn't quantifiable. The impact of pets is.

And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.

Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, star
ving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life.

And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo -- owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease...

So then, is it at all possible for the "green-conscious" pet owner to find a solution?

But the best way of compensating for that paw or clawprint is to make sure your animal is dual purpose, the Vales urge. Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table.

"Rabbits are good, provided you eat them," said Robert Vale.

For more on these matters of radical environmentalism and animal rights (you preachers out there are always troweling for sermon illustrations), you may find the following Vital Signs posts of interest: Sexist, Irreligious, Hypocritical: PETA is the Pits; Secular Subhumanism; Think the Country is Going to the Dogs? The Animal Rights Lawyers Think That's Just Fine; and People vs Pets.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Today's Posts

"Obama is Possibly the Most Dangerous and Destructive President We Have Ever Had." (Nat Hentoff)

"I try to avoid hyperbole, but I think Obama is possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had." (Nat Hentoff)

Here's the interview John Whitehead did of the famed civil libertarian.

The U.S. Post Office Is Feasting On Your Tax Dollars

In a post from last week ("I've Got A Bad Case of the Post Office Blues"), I described a few of my pet peeves with the modern U.S. Post Office. Here's one I hadn't heard about:

The U.S. Postal Service spent more than $792,000 "without justification" on meals and events in one five-month period even as it reported losing $3.8 billion this year, the agency's inspector general says in a report.

Employees spent $792,022 on meals and external events "without justification for food purchases, purchased alcohol without officer approval and exceeded the dollar limit for meals," the report says.

Among the purchases were crab cakes, beef Wellington and scallops at an installation ceremony for one of several postmasters in the United States, the report says.

Despite the Postal Service's mandate to curtail spending, its inspector general found that "imprudent spending continues to occur, including continued purchases of gift cards from unauthorized vendors and expensive items purchased as employee recognition awards and retirement gifts."

Nickelodeon Is Promoting Some Pretty Sick Games to Your Preschoolers

Nickelodeon, the children's media empire, is promoting sexualized and violent video games to children as young as preschoolers. Its popular gaming website,, features games such as Candy the Naughty Cheerleader, Bloody Day ("Back alley butchering has never been so much fun. . . . How many kills can you rack?") and the Perry the Sneak series, where gamers take the role of a peeping Tom trying to catch revealing glimpses of scantily clad and naked women. Nickelodeon promotes, and links directly to, on its website for children and even on, its website for preschoolers.

After some of the games - and Nick's links to them on its websites for children - were featured in this YouTube video and this report on Good Morning America, Nickelodeon pulled a few (e.g. Vanessa Naughty Pics and Whack Your Ex). But Nickelodeon was clearly more concerned about protecting its reputation than protecting children. They continue to link to on and, which boasts about its large collection of "naughty games" and "shooting games," continues to features many games with sexual and violent content, including the following. All descriptions are taken directly from

* Stick Figure Penalty Chamber 2: "Small, black, stick figure death can happen in so many different ways! Do you choose shotgun to the face, or acid in the lungs?"

* Naughty Classroom - "Hot for teacher?...Here's your chance to fulfill your ultimate childhood fantasy. Naughty Classroom will leave you begging for more homework."

* Dark Cut 2 - "More macho surgery! No anesthetic. No antiseptics. Just rusty knives, corn whiskey, and lots of blood!"

* Foxy Sniper - "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. Fear me, because I am a crack shot! Assassination isn't just a job; it's a way of life."

Please take a moment to demand that Nickelodeon stop promoting sexualized and violent videogames to young children. And be sure to let other parents know what Nick is up to. Please spread word to friends and family.

You can use the e-mail form on this page to register your protest to Nickelodeon.

Just In Time for Christmas: Ben Nelson's Sell-Out, Budget-Busting Boondoggles & Other Democrat Antics

* Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oka.) said it is “absolutely fictitious” that there is an anti-abortion provision in the Senate Democrats’ reworked healthcare reform bill. “The negotiations, whoever did them, threw unborn babies under the bus,” Coburn said.

* The federal ban on abortion funding that has been in effect under the Hyde Amendment since 1977 will be ended with Ben Nelson agreeing to the Senate bill. “The abortion language in this bill funds abortion for the first time since 1977,” said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas). “We are told this is a pro-life bill. It is not.”

* Democrat Senator Richard Burr was ticked off at Ben Nelson for working his hypocritical stance in order to get Nebraska a deal on Medicaid funds. “You have to compliment Ben Nelson for playing the price is right,” Burr said. “This isn’t the Louisiana Purchase. This is the Nebraska windfall.”

* Mark Steyn answered a Facebook friend who asked him, "Can we officially retire the phrases 'blue dog' democrats and 'pro life' democrats? Because there is no such thing:" Steyn said, "As I wrote back in the summer, 'Put not your trust in Blue Dog Democrats.' It was folly to bet the Republic on the likes of Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln and other 'moderates' who are, by definition, trimmers and accommodationists."

* Yuval Levin writes in NRO, "The story of the day is certainly Sen. Ben Nelson’s shameless perfidy — giving up his pro-life principles in return for swindling taxpayers in the other 49 states into paying all of Nebraska’s future new Medicaid costs. The deal he struck would undermine both the logic underlying the Hyde Amendment and the logic underlying the Medicaid system. There is no conceivable policy argument for the way the new bill treats Nebraska, it’s simply a case of a senator’s vote being purchased with taxpayer dollars."

* Finally, you'll certainly want to check out the Wall Street Journal's editorial bemoaning the new politics of shame. An excerpt:

...Mr. Obama promised a new era of transparent good government, yet on Saturday morning Mr. Reid threw out the 2,100-page bill that the world's greatest deliberative body spent just 17 days debating and replaced it with a new "manager's amendment" that was stapled together in covert partisan negotiations. Democrats are barely even bothering to pretend to care what's in it, not that any Senator had the chance to digest it in the 38 hours before the first cloture vote at 1 a.m. this morning. After procedural motions that allow for no amendments, the final vote could come at 9 p.m. on December 24.

Even in World War I there was a Christmas truce..

The Dangerous Joke That Was the Copenhagen Summit

As always, Gerald Warner is well worth reading. Here is the first part of his splendid evaluation of the Copenhagen summit. The entire column (and you'll want to read it, I guarantee) is right here.

When your attempt at recreating the Congress of Vienna with a third-rate cast of extras turns into a shambles, when the data with which you have tried to terrify the world is daily exposed as ever more phoney, when the blatant greed and self-interest of the participants has become obvious to all beholders, when those pesky polar bears just keep increasing and multiplying – what do you do?

No contest: stop issuing three rainforests of press releases every day, change the heading to James Bond-style “Do not distribute” and “leak” a single copy, in the knowledge that human nature is programmed to interest itself in anything it imagines it is not supposed to see, whereas it would bin the same document unread if it were distributed openly.

After that, get some unbiased, neutral observer, such as the executive director of Greenpeace, to say: “This is the single most important piece of paper in the world today.” Unfortunately, the response of all intelligent people will be to fall about laughing; but it was worth a try – everybody loves a tryer – and the climate alarmists are no longer in a position to pick and choose their tactics...

What's Next?