Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today's Posts

Children’s Literature: It's Definitely Not Just For Kids

Barack Obama's Fantastic Family

Are Young Christians Enamored With Drinking?

It's the Science, Stupid.

You Want Americans Judged By American Law? You Racist!

Children’s Literature: It's Definitely Not Just For Kids

Among my regular reading every Christmastide is “Dulce Domum,” an absolutely charming chapter from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. And probably every other year or so I enjoy the pleasures of the whole novel. Well, recently I again took that magical pilgrimage into the River Bank and the Wild Wood, meeting once again with those characters that are among my favorites in all of literature: Ratty, Badger, Mole, Otter and yes, even that pretentious spendthrift, Mr. Toad.

I am convinced that the best literature is truly “ageless,” not merely in its having a staying power throughout numerous generations of readers but also in being able to impact readers of all ages.

Thus, gems like Winnie the Pooh, Kidnapped, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Iliad, Kon-Tiki, Peter Pan, Beau Geste, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” A Christmas Carol, the stories about Sherlock Holmes, Witness for the Prosecution, and Wind in the Willows were all discoveries of my childhood -- but my appreciation of their respective strengths is greater than ever before.

Yes, it takes more life experience as well as stronger skills in patience, vocabulary, literary criticism, etc. to appreciate the likes of Shakespeare, Solzhenitsyn or Tom Wolfe. But even such tremendous “adult reads” should never push aside those works of quality literature which truly transcend age.

So, let’s give careful attention to The Brothers Karamazov but make sure we always have room for The Brothers Grimm as well.

After all, great children’s literature is just too great to be left...well, to children.

Barack Obama's Fantastic Family

Mr. Obama’s “Uncle Omar” has been arrested and detained in the Boston area. Recall that before the election, Mr. Obama’s Aunt Zeituni was also located in the Boston area. Both of these relatives, half-sister and brother of the President’s father, were here illegally at the time of their discovery (Aunt Zeituni has since been granted legal status) and living on the public dole. Uncle Omar even has a driver’s license and Social Security number.

What’s with this ever-surprising nutty family?

I recently read Angelo Codevilla’s jaw-dropping history of the Zeituni-Dunham-Saetoro-Obama family for a clue to how to unravel this weird clan. Seems that the Rosetta Stone for understanding anything Obama (and there is still much we do not know about the President) is his maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham. She is the one who choreographed her daughter Ann’s (Obama’s mother) hegira through a series of affairs and foreign appointments that in turn shaped the destiny of the enfant adoree we know so well today.

Far from being the wind-chime, hippy socialist she is often portrayed to be, Ann Dunham was part of a complex web of ultra-left-wing high rollers who populated, and still populate, the State Department and philanthropic arms of the government. Did you know that she once worked for Peter Geithner, father of the current Treasury Secretary?

There is little doubt that Barack Obama’s persona is, as they say, a construct, an amalgam that blends a mythical African-ness with various artificial flavors, including liberation theology, community activism, self-righteous gravitas, and the bottled pietism of the establishment Left. This is usually a formula for an authoritarian personality. I wonder what rock they’ll turn over next in the saga of this bizarre man.

(Jack Niewold)

Are Young Christians Enamored With Drinking?

Dr. John MacArthur, an esteemed and popular Bible teacher, one who is particularly beloved among Christians adhering to the Reformed traditions, has recently penned a warning to his friends about the dangers of making booze fashionable.


I too had noticed young Christians flirting with liquor. Of particular concern was how they were trying to create an air of sophistication and hipness about it. Having personally experienced, in the days before I became a Christian, the dangers, degradations and disastrous decisions influenced by strong drink, I found this trend more than a little troubling. After reading MacArthur's comments, however, I'm thinking I wasn't troubled enough.

MacArthur suggests that a "beer-loving passion" has become a "prominent badge of identity" for many young Reformed Christians. In fact, these guys tend to make it a badge of freedom, a declaration against the legalistic views of their elders. They even boast about drinking being an important spiritual entry into the youth culture.

And that's not all.  Drinking beer is just one of several activities that the young Reformed community has adopted and "redeemed," writes MacArthur. "Tobacco, tattoos, gambling, mixed martial arts, profane language, and lots of explicit talk about sex," are some of the other activities.

Does the church want to be known for these?

"We surely ought to be able to say that controlled substances and other symbols of secular society's seamy side are not what the church of Jesus Christ ought to wish to be known for," he detailed. "In fact, until fairly recently, no credible believer in the entire church age would ever have suggested that so many features evoking the ambiance of a pool hall or a casino could also be suitable insignia for the people of God."

Putting it bluntly, MacArthur, who has ministered to hundreds of former alcohol addicts, called pub outreaches and the like "bad missional strategy" and "a bad testimony" as it cultivates an appetite for beer or a reputation for loving liquor.

"This tendency to emblazon oneself with symbols of carnal indulgence as if they were valid badges of spiritual identity is one of the more troubling aspects of the YRR movement's trademark restlessness," he said plainly. "It is wrong-headed, carnal, and immature to imagine that bad-boy behavior makes good missional strategy. The image of beer-drinking Bohemianism does nothing to advance the cause of Christ's kingdom."...

He added, "There is no suggestion in Scripture that Jesus purposely assumed the look and lifestyle of a publican in order to gain acceptance in a godless subculture. He didn't."

In Monday's follow-up post, Allen acknowledged that some may view MacArthur's article as an attempt to "convert everyone into grumpy, fundamentalist teetotalers."

But he offered this to the young, restless and Reformed: "It’s not about stealing joy; it’s about promoting pastoral wisdom and compassion for people. Church leaders must consider the consequences of what they approve and promote."

It's the Science, Stupid.

"He who denies that human life begins with conception does not need to contend with religion, but science. To deny this certainty of biology is not to express a lack of faith, but a lack of basic knowledge of human genetics, something that is even known by the general public." (Ecuadorian Federation of Societies of Gynecology and Obstetrics)

You Want Americans Judged By American Law? You Racist!

With leftist judges and politicians increasingly inserting the influence of foreign laws into American life, a few Michigan legislators introduced "American Laws for American Courts." It's a simple and eminently just concept, one which shouldn't even be necessary; namely, insuring that Americans need only obey laws that originate from the democratic process and which pass Constitutional muster. The United States Constitution, that is.

Is such a law necessary? Well, in a word, yes. Just ask the Gibson Guitar Company. (1, 2) They were raided last week by the Obama administration's Department of Justice -- not for supposed infractions of American law, but Indian law! Gibson thought they were protected because they are an American company on American soil conducting themselves correctly according to American laws. But this wasn't enough. The U.S. government decided to call out the dogs in order to enforce the laws of India -- in Memphis and Nashville!

Liberals who want to reshape society have been frustrated by those two aforementioned obstacles: voters and the Constitution. And their strategy of the last few decades has concentrated on what Bible scholars call eisogesis, a reading into the text of things that aren't really there. Indeed, liberals have stretched the Constitution (and case precedents) all out of whack, absurdly discovering principles which would have horrified the founding fathers. Like the right to an abortion, homosexual marriage or the removal of Christianity from the public square.

But finding emanations from the penumbra of hidden crystals in the Constitution isn't enough for progressives nowadays. And so they are adding new strategies. They are, like Barack Obama has done with energy exploration, illegal immigration and the Defense of Marriage Act, simply ignoring existing law.

But added to that, the left is trying to make Americans subject to treaties and laws of foreign origin, making Americans kowtow to policies decreed by the United Nations, the laws of other nations, and Islamic clerics who insist that Sharia law be given higher claim than laws made by mere men.

I ask again, is such a law as "American Laws for American Courts" necessary? Well, legislators throughout America think so. Legislation similar to that of Michigan's has been introduced in 25 states. Balanced. Simple. Rational. Legislation seeking to protect the way of life that Americans have fought and died for, a way of life marked by democracy, freedom and national sovereignty.

And yet what is the charge being thrown at those who would stand behind such legislation? You guessed it. Racists!

Here's the sad story from the Detroit News:

Opposition is mounting among Muslims against pending legislation that would ban Michigan courts from considering "foreign laws" — including Sharia, or Islamic law. Muslim and community leaders gathered Tuesday in Midtown to denounce legislation from state Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville, as divisive, unnecessary and mean-spirited.

"This plan goes against our country's core values of accepting people from all races and walks of life," said state Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, who is Muslim. "We simply cannot move forward with this plan. It's racism at its core."

Another sponsor of the Michigan bill, Rep. Martin Knollenberg, R-Troy, said the legislation is necessary because "we shouldn't allow other laws to usurp the state constitution." He scoffed at critics who called the bill racist: "Where does it say (in the bill) it's anti-Muslim?" Agema last week called the accusations of bigotry "hogwash."

A House committee has yet to take up discussion of the bill. The Council of American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter announced Tuesday it would sue if it becomes law. Gov. Rick Snyder's office hasn't done an analysis of the measure, said his spokeswoman, Geralyn Lasher. "We don't know if this is an issue taking place or whether there is a need" for a law, she said.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee also encouraged members Tuesday to contact their state representatives and urge them to oppose the bill.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Today's Posts


Behind the Slogans: Here's a Planned Parenthood "Termination of Pregnancy"

Fear had started to kick in. No, no and no. To the table we went. It was old, brown and the room seemed not very sterile honestly looking back. The room had a weird metal window that I didn’t notice until later, a curtain hung poorly from the wall to the floor – where you get dressed and undressed.

The doctor who I’d not even seen or known his name walked in. Looked at my chart and started to mess with things. He did a very rough exam of my body, it became clear to me at this point that the medication was NOT working anymore. This was also despite the cervix shot they give you to supposedly numb the area, trust me when I say this made little to no difference pain wise (or so it seemed considering what they were doing) or consequence wise.

I expressed my concerns to the doctor but he wouldn’t look at me or talk to me. He acted as though I said nothing or that I wasn’t even there. There was no HIPPA stuff, there was no verifying my name or DOB, nothing like that. Next thing I know I felt the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I heard the sounds of a vacuum, it seemed. Honestly I thought we were doing the D and C so when I hear suctioning I was a bit surprised. The doctor smiled at me in the creepiest of ways as I (literally) screamed in pain as he sucked the life, literally out of my body...

Here is a Planned Parenthood abortion from the perspective of a woman who underwent the agonizing and shameful operation. It is, of course, the perspective that Planned Parenthood, in it's heartless passion for financial profit, is determined to keep from being better known to the American public.

So, c'mon let's do our part and expose and oppose them at every turn.

The Left's Desperate Attempt to "Make" New Abortionists

The Sunday New York Times Magazine featured an interesting article entitled “The New Abortion Providers,” which details efforts by supporters of legal abortion to cultivate a new generation of physicians who perform abortions. Unsurprisingly, the article painted a very sympathetic picture, but it still makes interesting reading for pro-lifers, because it demonstrates that the pro-life movement has been quietly effective in ways that often receive little media attention. It also shows that the effort to encourage young physicians to perform abortions may well achieve little success.

One unheralded success of the pro-life movement is that it has convinced many Americans that abortion is wrong. Now, obviously, not everyone wants to see abortion banned. Some individuals see abortion as a necessary evil; others think that keeping abortion legal reduces the amount of misery and suffering in the country. But the fact that many Americans think abortion is immoral has paid some important dividends...

For instance, as this article nicely demonstrates, ever since Roe v. Wade, abortion has been effectively divorced from mainstream medicine. Many hospitals will not allow abortions to be performed on their premises; a very high percentage of doctors have no interest in performing abortions at all; most abortions are performed in clinics away from doctor’s offices and hospitals. This has done some good things for the pro-life movement: It has further stigmatized abortion; it has made it easier for sidewalk counselors to identify and approach abortion-minded women; it has also made abortions more difficult to obtain in many parts of the country.

Supporters of legal abortion realize that abortion has become increasingly stigmatized and marginalized within the medical community — indeed, the number of abortion providers has fallen by over a third since 1982 — and that younger physicians are less likely to perform abortions than their older counterparts. Furthermore, there are relatively few abortion providers in rural areas. The two programs this article highlights, the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program and the Family Planning Fellowship, are intended to reverse this trend.

But although both of these programs are well funded and have received generous donations from a foundation started by Warren Buffett, their efforts may not be effective at expanding access to abortion...

Regardless, pro-lifers should take heart. Our efforts may not result in puff pieces in The New York Times Magazine, but this article indicates that our efforts have made a real difference, in the medical community and elsewhere. Every January, the media seems surprised at how many young people attend the March for Life; those of us in the pro-life movement are not surprised at all. The fact that supporters of legal abortion have to make such substantial investments on medical-school campuses is perhaps the best evidence of the gains pro-lifers have made among America’s youth.

Read the rest of Michael New's illuminating, encouraging NRO article right here.

To Protect Your Home from Flooding? 5 Sandbags Ought To Do It.

No, of course, you won't be surprised to find ironic hypocrisies in the doings of liberal politicians and bureaucrats -- they are everywhere -- but sometimes they are so over the top that you've got to highlight them, laugh at them and then use them as educational illustrations for your kids. Here's one of those.

Warner Todd Huston passes along a Twitter message from Alexa (who blogs at Alexa Shrugged) who noted a glaring inconsistency in the Washington, D.C. bureaucracy when it came to preparing for Hurricane Irene. It seems that officials required citizens to show proper identification in order to pick up sandbags to protect their properties. The citizens picked these up at the parking lot of RFK Stadium and were limited to 5 bags per household.

Yes, that's right. 5 bags. You can imagine how useful 5 bags are going to be in turning away the floodwater racing towards your house.

But put that wickedly inefficient point aside for a moment and consider this one. The bureaucrats of Washington D.C. believe that voting privileges are worth...well, they're worth less than 5 lousy sandbags anyhow. Because to get the bags you need to show I.D....but not when you come to vote.

WTH then adds a Twitter response which adds perceives another angle to the story.

"What is the main criticism that lefties have about voter I.D. laws? It is that 'the poor' are being kept from voting because it is a 'poll tax' to have the onerous requirement of getting a state I.D. So, why are Democrats in D.C. now forcing 'the poor' to lose their homes in a storm because they have that oppressive requirement of having an ID to get their five little sandbags?"

Sigh. You can't make this stuff up.

Cops Arrest Pair "For Lack of Common Sense"

The Daily Mail reports that a pair of flood adventurers named Pete and Pat were stopped by Philadelphia police (after telling a local television reporter they were just looking to have some fun). Minutes after they were interviewed, police ordered Pete and Pat to "shore" and hauled them away in handcuffs.

When asked why the men were being arrested, the officers replied: "for lack of common sense." Wow. Are the cops really going to start arresting people who display a lack of common sense?

Hardly; the jails can't hold that many Democrats.

Chuck Colson Wants An Investigation of "Abortion Giant" Planned Parenthood

Americans United for Life recommends that Congress conduct a full-scale investigation of the abortion giant. I agree — it's long overdue. 

But we should also ask ourselves why Planned Parenthood has become such a negative force. Well, it all comes down to worldview.

The modern, secular view promotes the idea of total sexual autonomy even for young girls — that they have a right to sexual activity — and should be encouraged to engage in sex as soon as they feel “ready,” regardless of their age and marital status. This view says even the youngest girls ought to be allowed to undergo treatment for sexually transmitted disease (STDs) and even have abortions without their parents' knowledge.

By contrast, the biblical view teaches that sex should be reserved for marriage, and that young girls need to be protected from those who would exploit their innocence. This is why the ancient Israelites carefully protected young, unmarried women, encouraging modesty of dress and behavior.

They knew that without this protection, unscrupulous men would take advantage of them. The same protections were built into did virtually every other culture — protections that have been stripped away during the last half century of sexual liberation.

The question is: Which view lines up more closely with reality? Millions of abortions and out-of-wedlock births, one in every four teens infected with an STD, teens lured into forced prostitution, these provide the sobering answer. Young girls need protection from those who would exploit them.
So yes, ask your lawmakers to investigate Planned Parenthood. But we should also teach our children the worldview lesson behind the tragic exploitation of our nation's daughters — first by men, and then by the profit-seeking women of Planned Parenthood.

This is very good advice from Chuck Colson. So why not act on it by doing what he suggests; namely, writing your lawmakers and asking them to investigate Planned Parenthood? Ask them to pursue criminal proceedings against Planned Parenthood employees when appropriate. Ask them to require strict financial accounting of the millions given them from government funds every year. And ask them to stop that flow of taxpayer funding completely and forever.

What If It's Perry vs Obama?

Conservative activist/writer John Hawkins is well aware that the G.O.P. contest is far from over and that every person in the running (including Texas Governor Rick Perry) has flaws that need to be carefully considered. Nevertheless, with the Perry momentum beginning to build, it is important to review just what a contest between Rick Perry and our current President would look like.

Hawkins does just that in this insightful Townhall column, "6 Reasons For Conservatives to Support Rick Perry in 2012." Check it out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Today's Posts

Vandalism. Intimidation. Rage. The Hallmarks of Public Unions?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, and the students and staff at Messmer Preparatory Catholic School were all targets of a bitter and obnoxious protest last Friday by public union goons.

And the night before the protest the school was targeted by vandals. Just a coincidence? Well, the school has not experienced any kind of vandalism for 11 years.

I suggest you watch this video clip. Note the violent anger of the union protesters, their irrationality and their eagerness to intimidate and threaten others.  Then you take a guess at who might have attacked the school under the cover of darkness.

One wonders, "Where were the 'regular' press who should be reporting the unjust and extremely coercive nature of these union bums? And, for that matter, where were the local cops to keep that smug thug from getting in that lady's face and threatening her?"

America, you are in some serious trouble.

The Plot Thickens: Gibson Guitars vs The Nanny State

Last Friday I posted an alarming item here showing what a bizarro Nanny State we're living in nowadays. The story concerned a federal raid on Gibson Guitar factories in Nashville and Memphis because the Department of Justice believed the company was breaking a law about using improperly finished wood from India in the making of their guitars. But even if true (and the company denies it is), no laws would actually be broken.

Well, no American laws anyhow.

As unbelievable as it seems, the Obama administration is now in the business of enforcing Indian law! The same administration that thumbs its nose at American laws and the Constitution itself is cracking down on Gibson's American operation because, in the mind of Eric Holder, it's not conforming to the laws of a foreign country!

Well, over the weekend the Gibson Guitar raid was featured across the web. Well, the conservative blogosphere anyhow. And I wanted to draw your attention to some of the best of that news and commentary.

* It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next...

The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.

It's not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What's the bridge made of? If it's ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar's headstock bone, or could it be ivory? "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," Prof. Thomas has written. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration...

Consider the recent experience of Pascal Vieillard, whose Atlanta-area company, A-440 Pianos, imported several antique Bösendorfers. Mr. Vieillard asked officials at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species how to fill out the correct paperwork—which simply encouraged them to alert U.S. Customs to give his shipment added scrutiny.

There was never any question that the instruments were old enough to have grandfathered ivory keys. But Mr. Vieillard didn't have his paperwork straight when two-dozen federal agents came calling.

Facing criminal charges that might have put him in prison for years, Mr. Vieillard pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of violating the Lacey Act, and was handed a $17,500 fine and three years probation...

(Eric Felten, "Guitar Frets: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear," Wall Street Journal)

* One of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Company. The C.E.O., Chris Martin IV, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the DNC over the past couple of election cycles. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood.” In case you were wondering, that is the exact same wood in at least ten of Gibson’s guitars.

The Gibson facility wasn’t raided over allegations of tax evasion, charges of embezzlement, or even something as drab as child labor. Not even close. It was raided over what the DOJ deems an inability to follow a vague domestic trade law in India (one that apparently the Indian government didn’t seem too concerned about enforcing) regarding a specific type of wood. Not illegal wood, just wood with obscenely specific procedural guidelines.

Stand with Gibson: They have the Law on their side, just not the government.

(Andrew Lawton, "CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican donor; Democrat competitor uses same wood," Landmark Report)

The News You Didn't Hear: Barack Obama's Uncle Omar Arrested for DUI; Tried to Call White House

John Hill from Stand With Arizona Against Illegal Immigration writes:

Another one? You can’t be serious.

Americans were enraged last year by the story of Barack Obama’s illegal alien Aunt Zeituni.
[I must disagree with John here. I would argue that only a handful of Americans were enraged because the press completely stonewalled the story. But let's let John get back to it.] Zeituni had mooched the system in Boston for public housing, welfare and food stamps for years. All while ignoring deportation orders and skipping immigration hearings, before a judge (in an unprecedented closed hearing) granted her asylum in May 2010. You may recall that Obama’s grifter Aunt wasn’t exactly humble or grateful about her experience.

Now is has been reported that Obama has another close relative in the U.S.  illegally who is gaming the system in the sanctuary state of Massachusetts.

Onyango Obama, 67, is the “Uncle Omar” mentioned in the president’s book, “Dreams From My Father.” He is also from from Kenya and is the brother of Zeituni. And last week, “Uncle Omar” Obama was arrested in Framingham, Mass. for DUI  and nearly colliding with a police car...

As if there was any doubt about his connection with the President, “Uncle Omar” cleared that up right away when he was booked: "Framingham Public Information Officer Lieutenant Delaney said when Onyango Obama was asked at the station if he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange for bail, he replied: 'I think I will call the White House.'"

Well, how nice for him. And how do we know he is here illegally? "Obama has a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement warrant for his arrest. ICE has previously ordered him to be deported back to Kenya…. Judge Douglas Stoddart did not set any bail on the driving charges but ordered him held on the ICE warrant."

Sound familiar? That is what Aunt Zeituni faced as well, minus the DUI of course. In fact, it has now been reported that “Uncle Omar” has retained Cleveland lawyer Margaret Wong – the same immigration attorney who successfully represented Mr. Obama’s sister Zeituni, when she managed to avoid deportation to Kenya.

Now it's true that Jimmy Carter had his bumbling, beer-guzzling brother. And Bill Clinton...Well, Bill had his oversexed, insincere self. But even rolled together, these guys cannot match the kind of bizarre, dysfunctional and downright ugly behavior provided by the family of Barack Obama.

I know, I know. You can't pick your kin. And so I'm not going to blame poor Barack for the antics of these goofballs. Guilt by association shouldn't be applied when it concerns relatives.

However, there is one group that does deserve blame and that's the American "mainstream media" who absolutely refuses to tell the American people anything about these guys. If they belonged to Republicans, these knuckleheads would be on a first name basis with Katie Couric. They'd be well known in every household from news shows, talk shows and sleazy reality series.

Even Democrats Jimmy and Bubba were obliged to perform some kind of damage control. But Mr. Obama has received and continues to receive nothing but positive, even adulatory treatment for everything connected with him. And those things that can in no conceivable way be spun into a puff piece for President Obama? They are carefully, unconditionally ignored.

And, by the way, if you don't think this particular story could get any weirder, check out this Washington Times article for more.

Weathering the Hurricane...and the Hype

Once again, we must depend on the British press to give a rational, balanced look at things. In this case, it's Toby Harnden at the Telegraph showing the egg on the faces of journalists and politicians who over-hyped Hurricane Irene.

For the television reporter, clad in his red cagoule emblazoned with the CNN logo, it was a dramatic on-air moment, broadcasting live from Long Island, New York during a hurricane that also threatened Manhattan.

“We are in, right, now…the right eye wall, no doubt about that…there you see the surf,” he said breathlessly. “That tells a story right there.”

Stumbling and apparently buffeted by ferocious gusts, he took shelter next to a building. “This is our protection from the wind,” he explained. “It’s been truly remarkable to watch the power of the ocean here.”

The surf may have told a story but so too did the sight behind the reporter of people chatting and ambling along the sea front and just goofing around. There was a man in a t-shirt, a woman waving her arms and then walking backwards. Then someone on a bicycle glided past.

Across the screen, the “Breaking News: Irene Batters Long Island” caption was replaced by stern advice from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): “Stay inside, stay safe.”

The images summed up Hurricane Irene – the media and the United States federal government trying to live up to their own doom-laden warnings and predictions while a sizeable number of ordinary Americans just carried on as normal and even made gentle fun of all the fuss...

Harnden's description reminds me of my favorite storm-related photo hype. Remember?

Truth Or Coexistence

We had been on the sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill for quite awhile before the security guard arrived. Several abortionist staff had showed up already as had a few clients. Alongside me on the sidewalk were Catholic pro-lifers as well as several evangelicals who are part of the Vital Signs team: Keith, Carol, Bev, Quint, Val, Chet and Claire. We had been praying and, when possible at this difficult facility, talking to the clients across the parking lot.

When the guard pulled in, he swung his truck over to us and rolled down his window. Trying to strike a commanding pose, as security guards are so prone to do, he said in his best Jack Webb voice, "Good morning, Mr. Hartford." (I was "Denny" last week.) "It seems like things are going fine here and they will as long as you and the others keep to the sidewalks."

I smiled and made sure we had strong eye contact before replying, "No kidding? Is that how it works? You know, after 30 years of doing this, I thought that was the procedure but it's awfully nice of you to come over and remind us. Thanks."

"Well, I just wanted things to be clear. You all have your opinions and they have theirs and...well, it is what it is. We just have to coexist."

"Oh, coexistence is fine as far as it goes," I said. "But the most important things in life -- issues of morality, where we stand with God, what happens to us when we die -- those things matter. And you and I have to take these things up with the God Who created us. The Bible warns us that it is appointed to every man to die and then to face God's judgment. So, you know, it's not coexistence with one another that is the priority, man; it's getting right with God."

I spoke calmly and had bent down a bit so as to have a more direct conversation. I kept holding my sign with its beautiful baby picture as well as my pink banner which reads, "Mom, We Care for You and Your Baby." I was being as friendly as I could be, trying to build on the brief conversation we had had a week ago. Also, I was confident that my friends were lifting up this conversation in prayer.

He answered. "I hear you, Mr. Hartford. And I want you to know that I appreciate your civility. It's a whole lot nicer than being screamed at for being a baby-killer or being told that I'm going to hell."

I laughed. "Well, don't mistake my civility for confidence that you're not going to hell. Man alive, that's what I'm talking about. You and I have to answer for what we believe, what we do, how we respond to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made when He died on the cross to pay for our sins. I'll tell you what. I'm preaching every Sunday about this stuff down at Faith Bible Church on south 27th Street. Rather than us trying to 'coexist' out here across the parking lot, why don't you come by some Sunday morning -- the service starts at 10:30 but I don't start preaching until 11 or so -- and listen in. Then I'll take you out to lunch and we can kick around what I talked about. You can tell me too what you think, what you believe. Tell me your life story. No pressure. No hard sell. Just one conversation if you want. What do you say?"

He didn't say anything for a moment. But then he thanked me for inviting him and said he might do that someday.  "Well please know I'm quite sincere," I concluded. "I'd love to talk to you about these things and about how my whole life was radically changed for the better when I became a Christian. And you don't have to come to church either. I'll do lunch anytime we can fit it in."

He thanked me again and left, parking his truck up near the building and then going inside. We prayed for him together and recalled other security guards who have been employed by abortionists over the years. Some of them have been sadistic thugs but a few responded positively to our challenges to forego helping these barbaric businesses. We recalled one in particular who gradually changed her mind about abortion, about pro-life advocates and about her own life. She eventually quit but for months before she did, she had begun helping us in certain situations, even urging women to come talk to us about alternatives to abortion. We reminded each other of the importance of dealing with our opponents as courteously as possible. Not compromising or making light of sin but making sure that our demeanor is balanced, winsome and under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Conversions happen. And among all kinds of sinners. So please pray with us that this security guard is among that company. And let's pray -- fervently and frequently -- that that many, many more would walk away from the shame of this brutal industry and into the light of Christ's mercy.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

Friday, August 26, 2011

Today's Posts

"Why Is Abortion Still Such a Big Deal in America?"

The one question that most perplexed the Norwegian TV crew that was interviewing me in my living room was "Why, after so long a time, is abortion still such a desperate controversy here in the United States?" Their experience in Europe gave them few clues. After all, abortion had come to most Western European countries, been rapidly accepted and was now off the political agenda altogether. So they were sincerely trying to figure out why four decades had elapsed since abortion had begun to be legalized in the U.S. and yet abortion was still, as Jan described, "issue number one for America's people."

My answer, given in 20-30 second bursts as we explored this issue, centered on three things.

1) The deep religious faith of a large section of the American people. I explained that for these Christians (Catholic, evangelical, Orthodox), defending the sanctity of life is a biblical command. It is our Christian obligation. Therefore, no matter what politicians or judges or celebrities or the opinion polls may say, we have a motivation for our pro-life activity that is transcendent. They seemed to like my biological illustration in which I explained that though secularists tend to be like amphibians, that is, cold-blooded animals whose body temperature adapts to that of their surroundings, genuine Christians exemplify quite human qualities; namely, their blood runs warm until it ceases to run at all. Christians seek a higher goal, accept the fact of a higher judgment and depend upon a higher power. Thus, the pro-life movement in America remains strong, vibrant and uncompromising because of its starkly religious nature.

2) Technology has proven to be a tremendous ally of our movement. No one with any sense of responsibility or honesty (make that any sense, period) still tries to say that the unborn child is just a clump of cells or mass of undifferentiated tissue. And the stubborn fools who still do talk like this have been marginalized to the nutty fringe of the debate. Fetal photography, fetal surgery, techniques and equipment which are used to help earlier and earlier "preemie" babies and, most of all, the development of ultrasound has given the pro-life movement, which always held the higher moral ground (i.e., justice, compassion, opposition to barbaric violence) the higher scientific ground as well.

And 3) I told the interviewers that though Europeans might have a harder time identifying with this third foundation, it was of critical importance to their question. It was simply this -- Americans have always held as ideals the right of self-determination, liberty, equality, democracy. It is why most Americans still treasure the Declaration of Independence with its heralding of the God-given, unalienable right to life and the Constitution with its separation of powers. Thus when an unscientific, unjust, wildly unpopular law is forced upon all Americans by a mere 7 people in black robes (which thus, in one swipe, uprooted every abortion restriction ever passed by any of the 50 states), it is bound to generate enormous and long-lasting antipathy. Tyranny doesn't set well with us.

No, I confirmed to the TV crew, because of these three things (the depth of our religious faith, the ever-advancing power of technology, and the incontrovertibly unconstitutional nature of legalized abortion), the pro-life movement will only become stronger in the years to come.

(Denny Hartford, Vital Signs Ministries LifeSharer letter, March 2010)

Michelle Obama's "Unhealthy Sense of Entitlement" to Your Money

Thankfully, the British press will say what the American press, still besotted with the Obamas, fails to say.

Here's Nile Gardiner in the Telegraph.
...There does appear to be an unhealthy sense of entitlement on the part of the First Lady, which seems in poor taste at a time when 14 million Americans are out of work, the housing market is collapsing, and the United States is facing the strong possibility of a double-dip recession.

Perhaps Mrs Obama could take a few tips on austerity as well as humility from her British counterpart Samantha Cameron, who has just one assistant, in contrast to at least 17 personal staff for the First Lady, and doesn’t feel the need to travel en masse with an entourage at taxpayers’ expense.

The vast majority of Americans are making significant sacrifices at this time of economic turmoil, and tens of millions are struggling even to make ends meet. It’s time for both the President and the First Lady to exercise a bit of fiscal responsibility, not least when they are spending other people’s hard-earned money.

Komen for the Cure Gave $569,000 to Planned Parenthood Last Year

New figures from 2010 show 18 Komen for the Cure affiliates giving over a half million dollars to the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. While this number is down from 2009 – when a whopping $731,303 was donated to fund abortions – it is still an extraordinarily large sum of money and shows a clear connection between the two organizations.

The real question is: why would an organization so dedicated to stopping breast cancer continue to pour money into Planned Parenthood: a group that profits off of pushing abortions and contraceptives (both proven to be directly linked BACK to breast cancer). Doesn’t seem to make much sense.

(Live Action)

Obama Administration Raids American Company on American Soil -- For Breaking Foreign Law!

Jim Hoft reports on an alarming item that shows us what a bizarro Nanny State we're living in nowadays. The story is about a federal raid on Gibson Guitar factories in Nashville and Memphis because the Department of Justice believed the company was breaking a law about using improperly finished wood from India in the making of their guitars. But even if true (and the company denies it is), no laws would actually be broken.

Well, no American laws anyhow.

As unbelievable as it seems, the Obama administration is now in the business of enforcing Indian law! The same administration that thumbs its nose at American laws and the Constitution itself is cracking down on Gibson's American operation because, in the mind of Eric Holder, it's not conforming to the laws of a foreign country!

The raids forced Gibson to close up shop and send workers home for the day as armed agents executed the search warrants. No charges were filed.

And get this -- this bullying action was taken without the support or consent of the government in India. The Obama administration all on its own just wanted to make a bit of trouble for an American company.

Guys, this is getting downright weird.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today's Posts


Abortion Crushes A Woman's Self-Esteem (And Her Unborn Child)

It's not good for women to go through the [abortion] procedure and have something living sucked out of their bodies. It belittles women. Even though some women say, "Oh, I don't mind to have one," every time a woman has an abortion, it just crushes her self-esteem smaller and smaller and smaller.

(Dolores O'Riordan, lead vocalist for The Cranberries)

Biden's Backtrack Is Woefully Insincere

Which is worse?

A) Joe Biden telling the Communist Chinese that he "understands" and accepts their brutal one-child-only policy?

Or B) Joe Biden, desperately trying to back off his remarks after being roundly criticized for them -- while he and the Obama administration is still promoting, even enabling with American tax dollars, China's barbaric persecution of her own people?

Reggie Littlejohn, though outraged at both, rightfully opts for the latter.

Blasted with criticism, Vice President Biden is trying to take back what he said in Sichuan, China: that he “fully understands” China’s one-child policy, but is “not second-guessing” it. Chastened, Biden now says that China’s coercive population-control program is “repugnant.” Indeed, his spokeswoman insists that the entire “Obama administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization.” Words spoken before the world in an official capacity cannot be unspoken. The bell, once rung, cannot be un-rung.

However, the Obama administration now has publicly admitted it knows that China practices forced abortion and sterilization...

If the Obama administration “strongly opposes” forced abortion in China, then why did they restore funding to UNFPA (United Nations Family Planning Fund), an operative “abortion provider” in China? In 2001, the U.S. cut funding to UNFPA because an investigation, headed by then–Secretary of State Colin Powell, found that UNFPA was complicit in the coercive implementation of China’s one-child policy. In 2008, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed that determination, and yet the Obama administration resumed funding in 2009. President Obama’s FY 2012 budget requests $47 million for UNFPA.

The current administration also funds the International Planned Parenthood Federation. The IPPF works hand in hand with the coercive Chinese Communist population-control machine. Their website declares, “The China Family Planning Association (CFPA) plays a very important role in China’s family planning programme. It supports the present family planning policy of the government . . .”

Funding UNFPA and IPPF is not “strong opposition” to coercive family planning. It is support. At issue are the true aims behind the actions of the Obama administration. Are they “pro-choice,” as they say, or is their real aim population control, even if coercive?...

If the Obama administration is sincere in saying it “strongly opposes . . . forced abortion and sterilization,” then it will either insist that UNFPA and IPPF cease operation in China, or it will defund these organizations.

Joe Biden's "Other" Cowardly Bow to Communist China

Joe Biden's unconscionable statement in a formal address before the Chinese people saying that he "understands" and refuses to "second guess" the government's one-child-only policies -- policies he well knows include forced abortion, forced sterilization, imprisonment and other techniques of terrorism -- shocked and disgusted most Americans. (See above post for how the Obama administration is anxiously, but quite insincerely, engaged in damage control.)

However, because Biden's comments in support of forced abortion were so stunningly despicable, other outrages in his very long speech have been overlooked. But not by Terence P. Jeffrey.

...At the same event, Biden congratulated Sichuan University for counting "amongst its alumni some of the most illustrious figures in recent Chinese history." He then hailed Sichuan's late graduate Zhu De as "one of the most illustrious figures and a founding father of the republic."

Zhu De, in fact, was the commander of the People's Liberation Army and a full partner with Chairman Mao in transforming the world's most populous nation into a communist dictatorship. "Zhu De was one of the most important members of the CPC's first generation of leading collective with Mao Zedong at the core," says the Communist Party of China Encyclopedia.

This "founding father of the republic," as Biden called him, was a key figure in a regime that outlawed the Roman Catholic Church to which Biden himself belongs.

While lauding Chinese communists in China, Biden was tongue-tied in trying to explain the greatness of America and our people.

"It's hard to define what an American is," Biden said in his speech at Sichuan. And apparently it is too hard for Biden.

What our vice president should have told the Chinese students was this: America became a great nation because it was founded on a true understanding of the nature of man and the purpose of government. We believe that all men are created equal and that God gives each and every one of us inalienable rights -- including the rights to life, liberty and private property -- and that it is the duty of the government to protect these rights. We believe God gave these same rights to every person here in China and that for China to become a truly great nation, the Chinese government must recognize these rights and protect them rather than deny them to its people.

Biden should have said to the Chinese regime: Tear down the wall between your people and their God-given rights.

He did not say that...

Here's the whole story from CNS News.

Michelle Obama Wants Change -- Your Change, And Lots Of It!

Warner Todd Huston weighs in on the spend-happy habits of America's insensitive First Lady:

A few days ago I wrote a post on my own site saying that the Obamas travel like South American dictators. Well, here is more evidence of this. Recent reports find that Michelle Obama alone has spent over $10 million of “Obama’s stash” — or rather $10 million of our tax dollars — just on vacations for herself and her kiddos.

Rush Limbaugh calls her “Moochele Obama” and that is starting to look like an apt handle for the wife of the biggest spender in Washington. With her trips around the world, her stays at luxurious 5-star resorts and hotels, her many shopping trips, she is looking more and more like the biggest mooch in presidential history.

Yet, where is the press to lambaste Moochelle Obama? Scolding first ladies for their spending of the people’s tax dollars on baubles and trips is a long tradition in the American press corp. As far back as Dolly Madison the press has attacked presidential wives for spending. Mary Lincoln was mercilessly slammed for buying china, housewares, and dresses during the Civil War. As recent as Ronald Reagan’s era the press slammed FLOTUS Nancy for her spending. Yet, Moochelle gets a pass?...

So how much has Moochelle spent? "The First Lady is believed to have taken 42 days of holiday in the past year, including a $375,000 break in Spain and a four-day ski trip to Vail, Colorado, where she spent $2,000 a night on a suite at the Sebastian hotel. And the first family’s nine-day stay in Martha’s Vineyard is also proving costly, with rental of the Blue Heron Farm property alone costing an estimated $50,000 a week."

And while we are all losing our jobs and our homes, Moochelle is flying about the planet drinking top shelf vodkas and expensive sparkling wines.

Must be nice...

Redistributing the Wealth? Liberal College Students Want to Keep What They Earned.

Have you caught the video clip created by young conservative activist Oliver Darcy? The one that cleverly exposes the hypocrisy of liberal college students who are all in favor of the rich being overtaxed in order to "share the wealth" but who strongly oppose such an idea when it is applied to their...grade point averages?

It's a very effective educational experiment.

Darcy, himself a recent college graduate, proposes that students with good grades contribute a few fractions of their GPA to underachieving classmates. He asks them to sign a petition to get this wealth redistribution plan in place and (on camera) points out that this is exactly how the federal government takes wealth from the country’s high wage earners and distributes it to low income earners.

What happens? Exactly what you would expect -- nobody wants to share the GPA points they worked for with students who, for whatever reason, did poorly. They insist, "That wouldn't be fair. I've earned my GPA. I've worked hard for it and I shouldn't be penalized or made responsible to raise everyone else's average."

Yet most of the students refuse to apply the same logic to wages.

The principles, of course, are the same. And kudos should go to Oliver Darcy for the clever method he devised for pointing out both the injustice of socialism as well as the inconsistency and hypocrisy of liberals. Here's a Fox News story about the experiment and over here on Exposing Leftists are still more of Darcy's sharply-edged social experiments.

Fewer Doctors Are Becoming Abortionists

The latest edition of the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology contains an article which is most relevant to the abortion industry's push in recent years towards chemical abortion, forced abortion training in medical schools and permission for people other than trained physicians to do abortion operations.

The reason? Well, in the last 15 years, science, technology and various successes of the pro-life movement have combined to greatly increase society's awareness of the humanity of the preborn. Therefore, abortion is increasingly understood as an unnecessary, cruel and mercenary action.

And that means fewer people want to be abortionists.

Here, direct from the abstract of the journal article, are the findings of the study.

We conducted a national probability sample mail survey of 1,800 practicing ob-gyns. Key variables included whether respondents ever encountered patients seeking abortions in their practice and whether they provided abortion services. Correlates of providing abortion included physician demographic characteristics, religious affiliation, religiosity, and the religious affiliation of the facility in which a physician primarily practices.

RESULTS: Among practicing ob-gyns, 97% encountered patients seeking abortions, whereas 14% performed them. Female physicians were more likely to provide abortions than were male (18.6% compared with 10.6%, adjusted odds ratio 2.54, 95% confidence interval 1.57–4.08), as were those in the youngest age group, those in the Northeast or West, those in highly urban postal codes, and those who identify as being Jewish. Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, non-Evangelical Protestants, and physicians with high religious motivation were less likely to provide abortions.

CONCLUSION: The proportion of U.S. ob-gyns who provide abortions may be lower than estimated in previous research. Access to abortion remains limited by the willingness of physicians to provide abortion services, particularly in rural communities and in the South and Midwest.

(Thanks to Live Action.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today's Posts

All's Well That Ends Well for "When Swing Was King" Gig

Yesterday's "When Swing Was King" didn't start off too well. First of all, we had to skip out of an important meeting in Lincoln to get back to Omaha in time for the presentation only to discover that it had been canceled.

Well, sorta'.

Let me explain. Our arrival at the place, a large and expensive assisted living complex where we've just started doing regular performances (this was our second), clearly surprised the fellow who was working at the front desk. He hadn't seen us on the schedule. Worse still, he told us that the AD (Activities Director) wasn't there because she had left for a family emergency. He then said that they couldn't announce over the in-house intercom that we were here and the program was still on. Hmm. It didn't look good.

Had we goofed up? No, Claire re-checked and saw that the AD had confirmed the program just the day before and we were set for 2 o'clock. It was now only 1:30 but we knew from experience that the absence of the AD would mean a smaller audience. The ADs and other staff are critical to a presentation's success because they promote the program, give frequent reminders and, in many cases, make sure they have help to get there. So with the AD gone and her assistant just sitting  in the cafeteria talking on her cell phone rather than helping direct people to the auditorium, we realized this afternoon's program was in serious jeopardy.

And our troubles weren't over yet. Indeed, it was our arrival at the auditorium that really got to us. For not only was it empty and not only were we left without any help in working the room's complicated lighting system, there was actually a sign on the door saying to residents that it was closed for repairs!

Well, it wasn't. It turned out that the repairs had been completed but no one in the place had bothered to remove the sign.Good grief.

What should we do? Well, since there was such an enthusiastic response the previous time we were here, we decided to set things up anyway just in case anybody stumbled in. We set everything up, figured out the lights and tested our sound levels. But when it was five minutes before our starting time and not a single soul was present, we figured it was going to be a wash. Still, we decided to go ahead anyway. For who knows? Maybe there would be a stray senior citizen wheeling by who would be attracted by the big band music wafting through the halls.

It worked! In fact, we ended up with seven engaging and fun people. No, it wasn't the 20-25 we usually have in "When Swing Was King" audiences and it was way short of what we had the last time we were in this facility but the folks that came really enjoyed themselves. And so did we.

"Oh, my how we love this music," said one dear lady. "You two are sure doing a wonderful thing in bringing it to us. Thank you so much." Another gal, who was accompanied by a non-resident friend, described how they used to jitterbug to the music of Benny Goodman. "Oh, that was good to hear him again! And that song by Artie Shaw!" Her friend jostled her arm, "I thought you said you liked the one by Doris Day best?" "Oh, yes; that one was wonderful too," her friend replied. "And the Nat King Cole was good too. And then that first one they played by Glenn Miller..." They went on that way, arm in arm and still naming songs as they walked out of the auditorium.

But my favorite moments of the afternoon came as I was talking to a 96-year old fellow named Bud who told me proudly that he was the oldest person in the place. "I wasn't when I came here 5 years ago but I am now! And you know, I don't why, but just by being as old as I am, people keep giving me some kind of award!" He was a really swell guy, a Navy veteran of WWII who loved big band music and crooners like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole and especially Perry Como. "You know, I've got 160 records but I can't play 'em too easily anymore so I'm expecting you two to keep comin' and playing this music for me!"

Wow. If we had to skip our meetings, drive back to Omaha and set up the whole program for Bud alone, it would have been well worth it. For such is the honor, the delight and the fulfillment we receive from bringing "When Swing Was King" to these guys. Thank You, Lord, for prompting us to begin this ministry and for blessing us so much as we've proceeded with it in this last year. And thank You for making sure we didn't pack up early yesterday. We would have missed out on some superb treasures indeed.

Obama's Department of Justice: Only the Far-Left Wing Need Apply

Since Eric Holder took the reins as Attorney General, the Justice Department has hired 15 career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division’s Employment Litigation Section. Every one of them boasts stellar left-wing ideological credentials. All have either associated themselves with prominent Democrats, worked for left-wing legal organizations, or staked out left-wing positions on controversial issues.

The complete political uniformity of this section aligns with DOJ’s hiring in four other sections of the Civil Rights Division. The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky has been documenting the left-wing dominance of the division in a flurry of posts at Pajamas Media. Not a single attorney hired during President Obama’s tenure in the five sections von Spakovsky has examined has deviated from the division’s left-wing ideology.

Here's more from the Heritage Foundation's Lachlan Markay.

The Three Deadliest Words in the World? "It's a Girl!"

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called "gendercide".

This documentary film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters' lives, and of other mothers who would kill for a son. Global experts and grassroots activists put the stories in context and advocate different paths towards change, while collectively lamenting the lack of any truly effective action against this injustice.

Learn more about the film (scheduled for a 2012 release) and sign up for Facebook and e-mail updates right here.

Oh Yeah, Obama Is Creating Jobs. They're Just Not American Jobs.

Even John Broder over at the New York Times is bothered by the latest hypocrisy of the Obama administration:

In its hurry to transport millions of barrels of oil from federal stockpiles to stabilize world oil prices earlier this summer, the Obama administration has repeatedly bypassed federal law by allowing nearly all the oil to move on foreign-owned vessels, drawing protests from domestic maritime operators.

The domestic ship owners say that 46 times the administration has waived the Jones Act, a 90-year-old law requiring purely domestic cargo to move on United States-flagged ships except under extraordinary circumstances. Only once this summer has oil from the reserve moved on American barges.

Even as unemployment hovered over 9 percent, the administration approved dozens of applications to transport nearly 30 million barrels of domestic crude oil within the borders of the United States on tankers employing foreign crews and flying the flags of the Marshall Islands, Panama and other countries...

“This has literally flabbergasted the American maritime industry,” said Christopher Coakley, vice president for legislative affairs at the American Waterways Operators, an association of domestic ship and barge operators. “The idea was to create American jobs and help the economy. But all the profit from the sale of the oil has gone to traders and oil companies and all the profit from movement of the oil has gone to foreign shippers and crewmen, and that’s galling.”

Obama Administration Gives $75 Million for Promiscuity Training

This is the kind of sheer madness that marks the current administration -- 75 million dollars of taxpayer money is being dished out under the title of "Healthy Marriage and Relationship Grants" but those grants specifically and categorically deny funding to any programs that discourage sexual activity among youth!

As Keith Deltano writes, "Would the Obama administration actually ban sexual abstinence programs while promoting healthy relationships? Sounds kind of like banning seatbelts while promoting car safety."

Deltano's essay, published over at the Abstinence Clearinghouse blog, continues:

It seems that any type of activity is acceptable, except telling a thirteen year old that not having sex would be more likely to keep him/her “healthy”. If you don’t believe me here is the link to the actual HHS grant application. It’s a 42-page document, so go to section IV.5 to see the actual ban. It reads, “Applicant must include a written statement that specifically includes: A commitment to not use funds for unauthorized activities, including, but not limited to, an Abstinence Education program.” 

Kind of creepy isn’t it, you have to provide a “written statement” that you won’t encourage teens not to have sex.

So there it is, in writing buried deep in a federal grant application - you can pass out condoms to teenagers, but you can’t encourage those teenagers not to have sex. This contradiction is especially worrisome when one considers all the secular peer reviewed studies that show sex before marriage has a negative affect on marriage, the most recent is a very credible study coming out of the University of Iowa.

Now logic seems to be absent from the currant administrations approach to pregnancy prevention, disease prevention, and marriage promotion. It seems the Obama administration and the Health and Human Services Department in particular, feel that all three can be addressed with condom promotion, education, and distribution. This despite the overwhelming underreported evidence that condoms have a high cumulative failure rate. The University of Iowa study came out with some very logical findings, that’s probably why it was ignored by the administration as well as mainstream media...

Now here comes the real scary question. All these studies are available to HHS. The ones that show that abstinence education works, the ones that show multiple partners before marriage has a negative effect on marriage and the cumulative failure rates for condoms, are all part of academic literature. I believe that HHS is aware of all this science, yet they chose to ban abstinence education anyway. Why? Perhaps the questions should be asked, “What powerful group or groups benefit both politically and financially from teen pregnancy and how would those groups influence public policy?”

Putting the Donkey Days Behind Us

You'll love the clip below but then go on over and check out the website of Roger Williams, a genuine conservative who is running for Congress down in Fort Worth, Texas. He's a successful business owner with experience also in government (Secretary of State) and education (Board of Trustees at TCU) who is spot on with marriage and pro-life issues, abolishing earmarks, balancing the budget, getting rid of ObamaCare and more. His website also contains a blog which you'll find entertaining as well as informative. Good stuff.

And, by the way, the clip below was produced by Jonathan Kayser, the talented and principled political consultant who hails from right here in Omaha.Good job, J.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today's Posts


Have Time for a Few Prayers for the Persecuted Church?

One of the ongoing issues we highlight here at Vital Signs Blog is the persecution of Christian believers throughout the world. And we urge our visitors to pray fervently and frequently for these believers, their families, the churches they're a part of -- and even those that are persecuting them. We also encourage taking up the task to advocate for religious freedom and keeping informed of not only specific cases of persecution but the ominous trends in certain countries. To that letter end, we especially recommend Voice of the Martyrs, Open Doors, International Christian Concern, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Stuart Cunliffe, our British pro-life colleague who blogs at Diary of a WIP and who produces an e-mail Prayer Digest that I find of great value, shares this burden for the persecuted Church around the world. And here are a few of the specific cases he passed along this morning. Some of them I've mentioned before but please take a couple of minutes to send some prayers heavenward for the following:

* Christians are being harassed in more countries than any other faith group, according to a new report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Nearly a third of the world’s population live in countries where restrictions on religious beliefs and practices increased between 2006 and 2009. China, Egypt, France, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Kingdom were listed as countries where Christians were finding it more difficult to practice their faith.
* Christians in the Nuba mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in North Sudan, are being subjected to a campaign of ethnic cleansing. A leaked UN human rights report described ‘significant loss of human lives. . . abductions. . . arbitrary arrest and detentions; targeted killings; summary executions. . . mass graves; systematic destruction of dwellings; and attacks on churches.’

* A car bomb exploded outside a church in Kirkuk, Iraq, injuring 23 people. Car bombs outside two other churches were defused.

* More than 60 violent anti-Christian attacks were recorded in India during the first half of 2011, says the Evangelical Fellowship of India. Hindu extremists attacked churches, pastors and homes, disrupting services and beating up worshipers.

* There has been a fresh outbreak of violence in Nigeria, resulting in the death of at least 15 Christians. Police and army were said to be involved in the attacks. Members of a radical Islamic group have killed at least 10 Christians in Maiduguri, Nigeria, in the past two months. Most of the Christians are reported to have fled the city.

* Two churches on Zanzibar island were burned down within four days. Population of the Zanzibar archipelago is 99.9% Muslim. Pray the Christians there will stand firm in their faith.

* Pastor Vahik Abrahamian, in prison in Iran since September 2010 but cleared of all charges in April, has still not been released. There are fears for his health.

* Asia Bibi, the Christian mother on death row in Pakistan for allegedly making derogatory remarks about Mohammed, may be in jail for years awaiting her appeal, lawyers say.