Monday, January 31, 2011

Today's Posts


"How the Abortion Industry Became the Least Regulated in America."

We can thank, in large part, the Supreme Court, after 38 years of Roe v. Wade, for the lurid reports coming out of Philadelphia.

Since the fall of 2009, officials have investigated the conditions in an abortion clinic run by Dr. Kermit B. Gosnell.

The Philadelphia District Attorney has charged Gosnell with murder for killing an abortion patient and seven babies after they were born. The grand jury report found, among other things, that there had been reports of the exceedingly vile practices at the clinic for nearly 20 years without any action being taken.Philadelphia’s clinic conditions and lackadaisical approach to regulating clinics are the direct result of the “fine print” in Roe.

Because the Justices who decided Roe foolishly believed that abortion had few risks and that doctors should have complete discretion to decide how to do abortions in the first trimester, they basically said that state and local officials can’t regulate in the first trimester, when 90 percent of abortions are done, and that they can try in the second trimester—if they dare.

But the Justices then empowered the federal courts and attorneys for abortion providers to thwart every effort by public health officials to regulate. Federal courts across the country spent the next decade implementing that edict, and by the end of the 1980s, the federal courts had struck down attempts by Chicago and many other cities to regulate clinics in the first trimester. As Edward F. King, the Deputy Director of the Chicago Medical Society told the Chicago Sun Times in 1978, “The courts very effectively knocked the Department of Health out of the picture.

We’re not even entitled to cross the threshold of these clinics.”...

Please don't stop. Read the whole of Clark Forsythe's superb article, "The Supreme Court’s Back Alley Runs Through Philadelphia" in the Weekly Standard.

Why Won't the Press Notice Obama's Dyed Hair?

The issue has come up before in the blogosphere but the mainstream press absolutelty refuses to take notice of the black again, gray again nature of the President's hair. Funny -- they never had a problem raising the "Does he or doesn't he?" hair question to Ronald Reagan even after Reagan, Nancy, close friends and Reagan's barber all insisted there was no dye in the White House.

But Obama? Even when the evidence is as plain as...well, as the hair on his head? Ignore it.

How Not To Have Church

And you thought you had an active church service yesterday morning? Then check out this brief news story  about how a disagreement over the pastor's role ended in yelling, punching and about 30 cops showing up to restore order.

(BTW, I chose this source because of the TV video clip available there. But it reports that more than a dozen police were called to the scene whereas other, later reports suggest 30.)

"Hey, We'll Do the Groping Around here" -- TSA Boss Nixes Competition

You may have missed this little nugget of news this weekend that illustrates the federal government's ever-increasing move to monopolize...everything!

The story involves the program that allowed airports to replace the objectionably intrusive Transportation Security Administration with private screeners. And yes, I'm afraid I used the past tense in that sentence because TSA boss John Pistole has now nixed the whole program.

You ask, how can a lone bureaucrat, a mere unelected clerk make a decision that directly and uncomfortably affects millions of Americans?

Welcome to the new and improved Nanny State.

Pro-Life CPCs Win an Important Free Speech Victory (For Now)

Planned Parenthood wanted to silence their competition and they persuaded the dim-witted City Council of Baltimore to go along. It was an ironic move, of course, because it is not the CPCs but Planned Parenthood itself that operates in the dark...even to the extreme point of protecting stautory rapists from facing the law.

But when the law was reviewed by U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis, he decided the huge, tax-supported pro-abortion organization's assault on free speech had gone way too far.

"Whether a provider of pregnancy-related services is 'pro-life' or 'pro-choice,' it is for the provider, not the government, to decide when and how to discuss abortion and birth-control method. The Government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, require a 'pro-life' pregnancy-related service center to post a sign."

The feminist mayor of Baltimore, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood promise to appeal the ruling because they won't be happy until they have a complete monopoly on the unexpected pregnancy "market." For their desire is that women not hear about alternatives to abortion, not learn the facts about the dangers and long-term effects of abortion, not hear about the loving choice of adoption, and not develop friendships with people who want to help them rather than exploit them.

No, Planned Parenthood, this multi-billion dollar business that talks so much about "choice," has a desperate need to eliminate genuine choice from a woman's decision-making. And, like other racketeers, Planned Parenthood will employ fraud, cover-up, collusion with unethical partners and overt coercion to get their money.

Here's more on Judge Garbis' ruling.

Morgan Brittany on the Intolerance of Hollywood

"I'd go out on location with the 'Dallas' crew," Morgan Brittany told members of the California Congress of Republicans in Valencia on Saturday. "Everybody in the van was bashing (President Reagan). I never said anything because I thought I'd lose my job. And I probably would have lost my job. I got to a point later on, after 'Dallas' was over and I had my two children, that I said, 'enough is enough. I'm not going to be silent any longer'," she said.

"If I'm silent then I'm enabling these people and I'm letting them win. They need to know that we're out there. That we're strong and that we have ideas and solutions."

The reaction to her newfound political courage back then wasn't pretty.

"Oh man, the flack I took from the people, the agencies -- 'oh, you can't say that. You can't do that. Casting people might see you. And directors!"'

"What is this, the blacklist?" she said. "They're not going to hire me because I have an opinion? That's the way Hollywood is and, unfortunately, I got that. But I still wasn't going to back down."

Brittany, who was one of the most visible celebrities supporting the McCain-Palin Republican ticket during the last presidential election, has a daughter in her 20s who is a struggling actress. Her advice to her is: "Don't tell them you're my daughter."

Brittany told of building a friendship with actor Ed Asner, a sometimes activist for progressive causes, when the two starred in a stage-play together during the infamous Florida recount that put Republican George W. Bush in the White House over Democrat Al Gore. And she told how she lost Asner's friendship due to politics.

"Every night he just loved me and came in and gave me a big hug," she said. "Then one night he was going crazy about Gore and Bush and stealing the election. I'm backstage and I said, 'Ed, chill, not everybody thinks the way you do'."

"Well, where do I begin?" I swear. It was like a light switch," she said. "He turned to me and said, 'you're not a Republican?' I said, 'yep.' And he said, 'I can't even look at you. I can't even talk to you'.

"From that moment on, he never spoke to me again, except on stage," she said. "This is what we're dealing with. The intolerance of the left."

She said that while a starlet in her 20s she met with the late Jay Bernstein, who managed the careers of Farrah Fawcett and Suzanne Somers back in the day, but the meeting went awry after Bernstein noticed the cross Brittany wore around her neck.

She said Bernstein told her: "You're going to have to lose that, honey.

In this town, you can't be religious, and you can't be conservative."

"He was a star-making manager, but I couldn't sign on with him," Brittany said...

There's more (including remarks by Clint Howard) in this Newsmax article, "Conservative Actors Bemoan Intolerant Hollywood." 

The Islamification of Great Britain

Think on these things for a moment -- and shudder.

In Great Britain, an average of 30 Anglican churches are closing every year. Meanwhile, 70 new mosques are being created in the country.

And the "Islamification" of Britain isn't happening merely by immigration but by conversion too. 56% of the converts to the religion are white. 62% are female.

Alan Wisdom, director of the Presbyterian Action committee and vice president for research and programs at The Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD), isn't surprised. But he is certainly dismayed. "When you have a spiritual vacuum, something is going to fill it. And the Church of England, and Christianity in Great Britain in general, has become very weak in its proclamation of the gospel. On the other hand, Islam comes in through immigration originally, not afraid to call people to conversion, and the result is that numbers of Britons are converting to Islam. It may be now that the numbers of Muslims who worship every week are greater than the numbers of people worshiping in the Church of England."

The D.C. March for Life in One Minute

Year after year, the mainstream media completely ignores this incredible, enduring pro-life demonstration -- even when hundreds of thousands show up. There isn't a clearer example of media bias (no, make that outright fear) than this glaring obfuscation.

Check out this remarkable time-lapse movie of the March for Life as it made its way up Constitution Avenue. And, if you can pick out Claire and I in the crowd, you win a lollipop.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today's Posts

Christian Clergy Must Not "Fall Silent" on Abortion

Over at his fine blog, Christian author and Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries Randy Alcorn quotes a letter he received from Timothy Eaton, the director of a Verite Studios film called "The Life Project."

Eaton wrote, "Pastors know that roughly one out of five women in their congregations have had an abortion.  Many pastors have had abortions in their families.  Many pastors may not have counseled unwed pregnant women strongly enough against aborting their babies.  It is a subject fraught with pain for any congregation. 'Social justice' issues in the form of helping the poor and homeless have carried the day, because there is little or no guilt associated with them and everyone can feel good at the end of the day.

No question that helping the poor is a Biblical mandate.  But with abortion, there is a tremendous tension between compassion for women and men who have killed their babies on the one hand, and telling the truth to rouse believers to action on the other.  'Compassion' has won the day in most churches.  The problem with that outcome is that the status quo prevails; we have been killing 1.2 million babies every year in America since 1973, and the methods we have tried to stem the tide are an abject failure."

Randy's reply should be read in full. But let me emphasize the remarks that he directs to pastors:

"Let me interject here a word to pastors and church leaders. I plead with you to not play it safe, to not be people pleasers, and to fail to speak prophetically into people’s lives. If we do not periodically allow people the option of seeing what abortion really is (not just hearing about it), will we be held accountable for this before God? “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)

I wonder how many children’s lives have been lost, how many women’s lives have been horribly scarred, because church leaders feared the criticisms that would come from people if they allowed terrible pictures to be seen in the assembly. People’s preferences to not see photos can be easily accommodated—just as I’m doing in this blog—since they can be warned in advance and told they can close their eyes when the short video or photos are shown. How odd and illogical, then, that we would not show such photos to any of our people, preventing many who could have come to grips with abortion for the first time from even having the opportunity to keep their eyes open and be touched deeply by what they see. The way to respect both groups of people is to show the photos and allow people to choose for themselves.

The same thing applies to showing pictures of starving children. It is unpleasant, it makes us feel guilty about our lifestyles, and we want people to feel safe and comfortable in our church services.  But does God call us to make people feel safe and comfortable, or sometimes to feel profoundly uncomfortable so that we might be moved to obey God? The truth that makes us uncomfortable is ultimately the truth that sets us free. And Satan, the liar from the beginning, wins his biggest victories when God’s people don’t come to terms with the truth—including that he is not only a liar but a murderer. John 8 says it all. It isn’t our job to simply make each other feel good, but to help each other be good. It is our job to prepare our people to stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  And to prepare ourselves as well."

An Illegitimate Government, An Apathetic Church

...Where does a government get its legitimacy? Where does a government find its raison d’etre? If a Government is deficient in the most basic area of protecting the life of its citizens, then what legitimate purpose can it serve? There is no higher purpose for a government. When it fails in this regard, it de-legitimizes itself and subjects itself to the wrath and judgment of God. This is where we stand thirty-seven years post Roe v. Wade...

What a tragedy, what a loss! When I consider the righteousness of God, I tremble for my nation. I know that He is not blind and although He is patient, His justice will not be held in check by His mercy forever. There will be a reckoning.

Although I see the evidence of His judgment already, I still hold out hope that we may stay His harshest judgment by turning away from this gruesome practice. It will take the church interceding on behalf of our nation, of fasting, confessing our sins and asking God to forgive us. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

The church does have a role to play and the biggest role at that and it may mean stepping into the political realm and electing public officials who will say no to death and yes to life. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. That admonition by Paul to the Galatians is just as appropriate now and to this situation as it has ever been...

(John Malek, on Life, from his blog In Pursuit of Reason.) 

On What Issue Was Obama Most Unnaturally Silent Last Night?

It certainly was no surprise that Barack Obama's State of the Union speech failed to mention the Philadelphia horror story uncovered last week. But he should have. Indeed, for a President who so desperately wants Americans to believe he is a kind-hearted, moral idealist, a condemnation of the evil violence of abortionist Kermit Gosnell would have been a natural addition to his speech.

Obama could have also taken the opportunity to forcefully criticize the lack of oversight of medical, health and government authorities in letting Gosnell and his employees get away with these incredible crimes over and over again. In keeping with his new emphasis on social civility and his previous insistency that he wants abortion to be "safe but rare," the President should have spoken of the need to treat women and their unborn children with compassion and fairness and justice.

A State of the Union speech that was supposed to reflect a new willingness to work with the political opposition should have mentioned the hundreds of thousands who had, the very day before, marched through the streets of Washington against abortion. After all, it was their convictions that were most responsible for America's exchanging Nancy Pelosi's radically pro-abortion Congress for one that is probably the most energetically pro-life Congress in recent decades.

Again, all of these things would have been natural for the President to have mentioned last night.

But then, Barack Obama has a most unnatural devotion to abortion.

God help him. And God help America to oppose his grievous social agenda.

Among other responses to the President's speech that I think you'll find very valuable are these:

* "Spinning the Future: President Obama’s State of Union" by Congressman Thaddeus G. McCotter in Human Events.

* Calvin Woodward's story for the AP, "Fact Check: Obama and his imbalanced ledger."

* Janet Daley's "Obama's State of the Union Speech: underwhelming with a lukewarm reception" for the Telegraph.

* Andrew Malcolm's "The laundry list from Obama's non-laundry-list State of the Union address" in the LA Times.

* "What Obama didn’t mention in his speech" from the PJ Tatler. (Very interesting.)

* And, of course, the official Republican response given by Congressman Paul Ryan and the Tea Party response given by Michele Bachmann.

The MSM's Deliberate Distortions

The Facts of Death

( - Statistics compiled over the past decade show that the number of abortions in the United States has dropped precipitously since the early 1980s, but the procedure still remains a prevalent form of birth control in this country and around the world.

According to the U.S .Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, there were 846,181 abortions in the U.S. in 2006, the latest year for which government records are available.

The pro-abortion rights Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that there have been nearly 50 million abortions performed since 1973, the year the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade decision ushering in legal abortion nationwide.

In 2008, Guttmacher says, there were 1.2 million "legally terminated pregnancies" in the United States, based on reports complied from state and local health agencies -- down from 1.3 million the year previous.

According to Guttmacher, 35 percent of all U.S. women will have had an abortion by age 45.

Guttmacher also reports that 93 percent of all abortions occur for “social reasons” such as a mother’s decision that the child is unwanted or “inconvenient.”

Both Guttmacher and CDC say that black women are more than four times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely...

Guttmacher says that there are 1,793 abortion “providers” in the United States and that the average amount paid for an abortion is $413.

-- Over 60 percent of abortions are among women who have had one or more children, and 90 percent of abortions occur within the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy.

-- About 20 percent of women having an abortion report using Medicaid to pay for abortions despite laws that prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to fund abortions.

-- One significant change that has occurred over the last decade comes as a result of the development of the drug RU-486 or the “Morning After Pill.”

-- Guttmacher estimates that use of the pill has risen significantly since 2005 and now accounts for 17 percent of all abortion procedures.

Obama's Sputtering "Sputnik Moment"

...Invoking space race metaphors is a risky proposition for Mr. Obama. On his watch NASA killed its plan to return to the moon and has scaled back most of its other programs. But competition in space is alive and well. Last October China sent an unmanned probe into Moon orbit to map possible landing sites. The People’s Republic is expected to make a manned moon landing sometime this decade. The Obama administration has done its best to curry favor with Beijing, which in return has exploited American technology and open markets, and treated the United States with disdain.

Maybe when the red flag is flying on the lunar surface the United States will have a true Sputnik moment, the shocked realization that while the rest of mankind is making giant leaps, Obama’s America can manage only small steps.

(The rest of this excellent Washington Times editorial is here.)

Also regarding Obama's very strange metaphor, here's the take of Andrew Malcolm in the LA Times:

It's strange for a president who's basically gutting NASA's manned space program to call for another Sputnik moment to galvanize the nation to do something he apparently thinks we can't afford anymore.

All the national unity, innovations, new products, jobs, medical lessons, pride and science that he cites coming out of that vast space undertaking were so good for the country that after the last shuttle mission this summer we'll be renting seats on Russian rockets.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today's Posts

No, I didn't get around to writing up my observations of yesterday's March for Life and ProLifeCon in Washington, D.C. I will by tomorrow, okay? Until then, here's today's other posts.

Fear the Facebook? Social Networking Under New Scrutiny

Turkle's thesis is simple: technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human. Under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, it is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world.

The way in which people frantically communicate online via Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging can be seen as a form of modern madness, according to a leading American sociologist.

"A behaviour that has become typical may still express the problems that once caused us to see it as pathological," MIT professor Sherry Turkle writes in her new book, Alone Together, which is leading an attack on the information age...

But Turkle's book is far from the only work of its kind. An intellectual backlash in America is calling for a rejection of some of the values and methods of modern communications. "It is a huge backlash. The different kinds of communication that people are using have become something that scares people," said Professor William Kist, an education expert at Kent State University, Ohio.

The list of attacks on social media is a long one and comes from all corners of academia and popular culture. A recent bestseller in the US, The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, suggested that use of the internet was altering the way we think to make us less capable of digesting large and complex amounts of information, such as books and magazine articles. The book was based on an essay that Carr wrote in the Atlantic magazine. It was just as emphatic and was headlined: Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Another strand of thought in the field of cyber-scepticism is found in The Net Delusion, by Evgeny Morozov. He argues that social media has bred a generation of "slacktivists". It has made people lazy and enshrined the illusion that clicking a mouse is a form of activism equal to real world donations of money and time.

Other books include The Dumbest Generation by Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein – in which he claims "the intellectual future of the US looks dim"– and We Have Met the Enemy by Daniel Akst, which describes the problems of self-control in the modern world, of which the proliferation of communication tools is a key component.

The backlash has crossed the Atlantic. In Cyburbia, published in Britain last year, James Harkin surveyed the modern technological world and found some dangerous possibilities. While Harkin was no pure cyber-sceptic, he found many reasons to be worried as well as pleased about the new technological era...

(Paul Harris, "Social networking under fresh attack as tide of cyber-scepticism sweeps US," Guardian)

The Chinese Tiger Feasts on American Dove

Barack Obama gave Communist China President Hu Jintao a luxurious state dinner, a 21-gun salute and a treasure trove of propaganda for China's emergence as the new star on the world's stage.

What did Obama get in return? Absolutely nothing!

Writes Charles Hurt in the New York Post:

Who did you think would come out on top if you put a tiger and a dove in the same room together to work out their differences?

Yes, those were white bird feathers sticking out of the tiger's mouth at the lavish state dinner hosted by President Obama at the White House this week.

President Hu Jintao is a Tiger Leader. That's kind of like a Tiger Mother, only less nurturing and more demanding.

President Obama is a Dove Leader. He speaks endlessly and carries no stick. And he likes to do a lot of bowing and scraping. Kind of like the way Hu Jintao likes to do a lot of not smiling.

If you see all that together in one room, bet on the Tiger...

Hurt then goes to detail the latest cave-ins of the American government to that of Communist China. Sad, infuriating reading.

In a related story, there were some efforts to hold Hu Jintao accountable for China's cruel abuses of human rights but they didn't come from the White House. They came rather from Congressional leaders like John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.

Not surprisingly, of course, Hu treated the questions with his usual haughty disrespect and disregard. For, let's face it, the Chinese dragon does whatever it wants nowadays. It persecutes Christians and others of conscience. It employs a draconian one-child policy that forces mothers to abort their babies. It runs slave labor camps. It murders prisoners and sells their organs on the open market. It spies on America; steals her military and technological secrets; undermines her policies around the world; supports terrorism against her; runs an amazing trade deficit; devalues her currency; and buys up her real estate.

And what action does the U.S. President take? "You enjoy that Nebraska steak, Jinny? Here have another shrimp. And some spinach that Michelle grew. We will do everything we can -- and I do mean, everything -- to keep you happy."

Celebration of Chinese Victory Over American "Jackals" Part of Obama/Hu Dinner

As explained in the post above, the socialist, apologetic Dove (Barack Obama) absolutely refuses to be offended by the Chinese Tiger -- no matter what that Tiger gobbles up or how mean-spirited his brutish actions.

You know this. Nevertheless, this story will still knock you down.

By the way, in addition to the American POWs captured (as shown in this photo), the U.S. 7th Infantry Division lost 365 soldiers killed in action in this battle.Many of our South Korean allies were killed and wounded too.

And a song celebrating this Chinese victory is sung at a lavish state dinner in the White House? And White House staffers are not indignant even after the fact? You couldn't make this stuff up!

Abortion Mill Horrors Protected By "Progressive" Government

It was a house of horrors -- all abortion clinics are -- but butcher Kermit Gosnell's Philadelphia abortion business shocked the whole nation because the gruesome violence and callousness towards women was openly exhibited to the public.

But among the gross tragedies is that these horrors were discovered by accident. That's right, though many had warned authorities about Gosnell and the other vicious criminals who worked with him, they had received a free pass from the government.

In the corrupt culture in which we live, business, the arts, education and politicians have all learned to tolerate the greedy barbarism that Roe v Wade set loose. Abortionists are getting away, quite literally, with murder.

Here's details (and not from a pro-life source) about how a Democrat governor protected thugs like Gosnell and let the horrors continue unabated.

By Any Other Name: Is Barack Obama Really Barry Soetero?

We've all wondered why Barack Obama would refuse to release his birth certificate and certain school records.

I mean, why create a problem -- if there was no problem?

Well, drew attention last weekend to this fascinating speculation from HillBuzz that has a possible answer. And I pass it on with a hope that somebody, somewhere in the mainstream media will finally begin to put some pressure on the White House to tell the truth.

Is it Barack or Barry who is leading the United States?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Today's Posts


Important Pro-Life Events: Washington, D.C and Lincoln, Nebraska

We're hustling today and tomorrow to get the blogging done, the Top Ten sent out, the January LifeSharer letter printed and mailed, a letter to the Vital Signs Board out, a visit to Mom's, dig out from tomorrow's snowstorm, and my studies finished for Sunday morning's sermon -- in order to fly to Washington, D.C. on Sunday afternoon for the March for Life.

Unlike many of the other years that we've been there, it will be a very quick trip. Indeed, we'll be in the area less than 24 hours. But the national March for Life is an important event to be a part of and we're very pleased to be able to go. We'll have some photos and commentary for Tuesday's blog.

And for you locals, please plan on joining us and thousands of other pro-life Nebraskans for the annual Walk for Life in Lincoln on Saturday, January 29th. Sponsored by Nebraska Right to Life but joined in by pro-life groups, churches, schools and individuals throughout the state, the exciting event begins on the west steps of the Capitol at 10 AM. From there the crowd walks through the streets of Lincoln to the UNL Student Union where there is a special speaker, information booths and more.

Don't miss it. In fact, contact us so that we can meet up down there. It is a very important testimony to our state, to the media and especially to the lawmakers doing business in Lincoln. With the amount of work required to pass this year's pro-life bills, your participation in the Walk for Life is more important than ever. So, come on -- join us!

Ernest Borgnine On His Craft

Ernest Borgnine is still working. At 94 years old. And he has some interesting opinions about his industry.

"You want to see real acting, watch the movies on TCM."

"The one who stands out in my mind is Gary Cooper. If you watch him, you can see him listening and then answering in turn. The same is true for Spencer Tracy. He listened before talking. That's what acting is all about. Many actors today don't listen. They speak because it's their turn to speak."

Borgnine isn't sure he'd be an actor if he were starting out today. It's not simply the savage competitiveness throughout the industry, he says, but the kind of movies some producers are making. They are not entertaining and leave no impact, he asserts, suggesting they shortchange actors of quality. "If I were starting over, maybe I'd have spent my career in the Navy," he says. "And by now I'd be getting a pension."

But he is still going strong. Indeed, he has several new projects in the hopper. And he is never too old to learn: He says mastering the art of animation for "SpongeBob SquarePants" was a challenge. When kids are told he is Mermaid Man, "They can't take pictures fast enough," Borgnine notes. "Here I am at 94, still taking bows."

How Is the Internet Changing You?

Surfing the net. Facebook. Text messaging. Tweeting. Are these things merely changes in technology, changes in the way we communicate with one another?

Or are they changing much more besides?

Here's a fascinating book review in the Wall Street Journal of John Brockman's "Is the Internet Changing the Way You Think?"

Donald Trump: Obama's Praise of China's Rise Is "Absolutely Insane."

I'm not much of a Donald Trump fan but I certainly appreciate his comments about President Obama's big party for Red China's President Hu Jintao.

Calling in to "Fox & Friends," an animated Trump had this to say: "For us to be holding state dinners for people who are just totally manipulating their currency is hard to believe. You don't give dinners to the enemy and that's what they're doing."

If it were up to a President Trump? "I would say, 'Get off your plane, come to my office and let's talk.'" If that didn't go so well, Trump had a back-up plan: "I would have sent them to McDonalds if we didn't make a deal and say, 'Go home.' The fact is they're laughing at our leadership and we're letting them get away with murder."

In more ways than one, Mr. Trump. In more ways than one.

Read and view here. And follow these next links to hear some of Trump's other recent remarks about China's manipulation of the United States:

"China thinks we're a bunch of dumb SOBs."

China Is Laughing at America.

And, talking here to Stuart Varney, Trump specifically speaks to Obama's praise of China's rise. "It's absolutely insane" for Obama to have made that statement. "If we don't get smart quickly, China will destroy our country. And they'll do it with a smile. And our people have no idea what's happening."

Michelle Malkin: How Mass Murder Gets a Pass

...Echoing the same kind of dark euphemisms plied by Planned Parenthood propagandists who refer to unborn life as "fetal and uterine material," Gosnell referred to his deadly trade as "ensuring fetal demise." Reminiscent of the word wizards who refer to the skull-crushing partial-birth abortion procedure as "intact dilation and evacuation" and "intrauterine cranial decompression," Gosnell described his destruction of babies' spinal cords as "snipping." He rationalized his macabre habit of cutting off dead babies' feet and saving them in rows and rows of specimen jars as "research." His guilt-ridden employees then took photos of some of the victims before dumping them in shoeboxes, paper bags, one-gallon spring-water bottles and glass jars.

They weren't the only ones who adopted a see-no-evil stance:

-- The Pennsylvania Department of Health knew of clinic violations dating back decades, but did nothing.

-- The Pennsylvania Department of State was "repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell" -- including the clinic's unclean, unsterile conditions, unlicensed workers, unsupervised sedation, underage abortion patients and over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street -- "and repeatedly chose to do nothing."

-- Philadelphia Department of Public Health officials who regularly visited Gosnell's human waste-clogged offices did nothing.

-- Nearby hospital officials who treated some of the pregnant mothers who suffered grave complications from Gosnell's butchery did nothing.

-- An unnamed evaluator with the National Abortion Federation, the leading association of abortion providers that is supposed to uphold strict health and legal standards, determined that Gosnell's chamber of horrors was "the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected" -- but did nothing.

Meanwhile, the death racketeers have launched a legislative and regulatory assault across the country on pro-life crisis pregnancy centers from New York City to Baltimore, Austin and Seattle that offer abortion alternatives, counseling and family services to mostly poor, vulnerable minority women.

Already, left-wing journalists and activists have rushed to explain that these abortion atrocities ignored for four decades by abortion radicals and rationalizers are not really about abortion. A Time magazine writer argued that the Philadelphia Horror was "about poverty, not Roe v. Wade." A University of Minnesota professor declared: "This is not about abortion."

But the grand jury itself pointed out that loosened oversight of abortion clinics enacted under pro-choice former GOP Gov. Tom Ridge enabled Gosnell's criminal enterprise -- and led to the heartless execution of hundreds of babies. Mass murder got a pass in the name of expanding "access" and appeasing abortion lobbyists...

Deadly indifference to protecting life isn't tangential to the abortion industry's existence -- it's at the core of it. The Philadelphia Horror is no anomaly. It's the logical, bloodcurdling consequence of an evil, eugenics-rooted enterprise wrapped in feminist clothing. 

(From Michelle Malkin's profound column, "The Philadelphia Horror: How Mass Murder Gets a Pass.")

Rep. James Lankford: Persuasive Pro-Life Apologetic

I can easily understand why our friends down in Oklahoma are so delighted to have this young gentleman representing them in Congress. This brief presentation on the House floor is not only one of the best I've heard there -- it's one of the best I've heard, period.

In honor of the upcoming Sanctity of Life Day, pass it along.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today's Posts

China Takes Over. And Obama Is Just Fine With It.

Why I Don't Buy Girl Scout Cookies. (And Why You Shouldn't Either.)

Pro-life hero Dr. Jack Willke explains in this article several reasons why the Boy Scouts of America have distanced themselves from the Girl Scouts and have instead forged a new alliance with American Heritage Girls. Those reasons for the split include the Girl Scouts' penchant for New Age doctrines, training in post-modern feminism, and support for value-free sex ed programs and abortion.

I've had several posts in past years on the emergence of immorality in the Girl Scouts (I'll list a few below) but they all point to the same thing; namely, get your girls in another program and discontinue any support for the organization.

And that includes finding your sweet treats somewhere else.

Among Those Promoting Abortion? The Girl Scouts!

Girl Scouts Team Up with Planned Parenthood

The Girl Scouts of America: Adrift in a New Age Sea

More on the Girls Scouts' Embrace of New Age Nuttiness

These Sure Aren't Your Mom's Girl Scouts!

China Takes Over. And Obama Is Just Fine With It.

''If China becomes the world's No. 1 nation ... ." That was the headline in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, The People's Daily, on the eve of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Washington. The article went on to boast how "China's emergence is increasingly shifting to debate over how the world will treat China, which is the world No. 1 and has overtaken the U.S."

A story like this does not appear by accident in the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper on the eve of a state visit to the world's (current) No. 1 power, the United States.

It was a signal. The latest and boldest signal yet that China intends to become the world's No. 1 power.

President Obama took the occasion of his first visit to China to show "humility" and to assure his Shanghai audience that "we do not seek to contain China's rise."

The Chinese communists are taking the occasion of their first visit to the Obama White House - not to show humility, as Mr. Obama did to them - but to openly show their clear intention to dominate the world from the Middle Kingdom...

The above is taken from an important Washington Times story by Micahael Prell. And the next paragraphs (from CBS News "Political Hotsheet) emphasize how downright enthusiastic Barack Obama is about China's new position as #1. 

China's rapid growth is often painted as a threat to American interests. But President Obama said today that the country's economic progress benefits the United States and opens the door to greater international stability and humanitarian progress.

"We welcome China's rise," Mr. Obama said at a press conference at the White House with Chinese President Hu Jintao. "I absolutely believe that China's peaceful rise is good for the world, and it's good for America."

He added, "We just want to make sure that that rise occurs in a way that reinforces international norms and international rules, and enhances security and peace, as opposed to it being a source of conflict either in the region or around the world."

And how to insure this power shift goes smoothly? Surrender with a smile. Throw a big party for the winners. And try and convince the American people that China will be good to them.

Communist China -- a dictatorial power with slave labor camps, forced abortion, shoddy goods, the takeover of Hong Kong and the constant saber-rattling regarding Taiwan, a long history of persecuting Christians and others, a long history of spying on the United States and working against her interests, a long history of supporting terrorism -- is taking us over!

And without a whimper from the Obama administration. Or, for that matter, from the crowds of Americans who cannot see past today's Made in China bargains at Wal-Mart.

In addition to America's moral collapse (rampant rates of abortion and divorce, violence in the streets, coddling of criminals, the welfare state, the marginalization of Christianity while promoting false religions and secularism, materialism)...indeed, probably because of America's moral collapse, its political and economic elite are willingly surrendering to thugs.

America, it was nice while it lasted.

Those Deported Criminals Just Keep Comin' Back

How many times is this happening?

The guy found passed out in a St. Paul bus shelter near the University of St. Thomas with a drained bottle of vodka in his coat pocket was not just any homeless drunk.

Mario Montalban-Ramirez, 61, was convicted of manslaughter in Illinois in 1982, convicted of murder in Texas in 1984 and sent back to his native Mexico three times -- in 1996, 1997 and 2003 -- for being in the United States illegally. He also has been a frequent customer in local jails, locked up for such offenses as DWI, theft, assault and being a fugitive from justice.

So how is it that Montalban-Ramirez, who often goes by the name of Oscar Yturria, has been able to spend much of the past two decades in Minnesota -- including several visits to jail since his last deportation?

Federal and local officials acknowledge that they don't know why...

10 Most Important "Sea Clashes" of All History? TIME Lists "Freedom Flotilla" Stunt!

Sure, it's just another in a long series of outrageous lunacies from the ideologically-driven press, but it's a doozy nevertheless. Here from the blog, I Own the World:

According to the moonbats rewriting history for Time magazine, the sinking of the Lusitania, which helped bring the USA into World War I, does not qualify as one of the all-time top 10 clashes at sea. Neither does the sinking of the Bismarck, which was key to establishing Allied naval superiority in World War II. What does make the list is a publicity stunt by a pathetic collection of pro-terrorist moonbats calling themselves the “Freedom Flotilla.”

To give an idea of the level of progressive self-parody involved in the Freedom Flotilla, one of the ships was named after the martyred moonbat Rachel Corrie, who became Saint Pancake by standing in the way of an Israeli bulldozer whose driver had no way of seeing her as she agitated on behalf of Palestinian terrorists. [snip]

While violating a weapons blockade of the Gaza Strip, the maritime moonbats managed to goad Israeli security forces into killing nine of them. To call this one of the 10 greatest sea battles of all time is as absurd as the Flotsam Flotilla itself. Yet Time lists this at the very top, before Midway, before Trafalgar, before the defeat of the Spanish Armada. With the “mainstream” media, pushing a juvenile left-wing agenda always comes first.

Praying for Pigs

SEOUL, South Korea – Hundreds of South Korean Buddhist monks and believers offered prayers Wednesday for more than 1.93 million cows, pigs and other animals that have been put to death in the country's worst outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

The Buddhists endured subfreezing temperatures to hold the rite at Jogye Temple, the headquarters of the Jogye Order, South Korea's largest Buddhist sect.

Some monks clad in gray and saffron robes offered white chrysanthemums — a traditional Korean symbol of grief — and bowed in front of photos of animals inside the temple in central Seoul.

They also bowed toward two big golden statues of Buddha and chanted sutras before circling around a pagoda and burning mortuary tablets and incense.

The animals — mostly pigs — have been killed in an attempt to halt the outbreak, which was reported in November, according to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.

The highly infectious disease is often fatal for cloven-hoofed animals including cows, sheep, pigs and goats, causing blisters on the mouth and feet.

A monk named Hyechong said the temple held the rite to help guide the spirits of the animals to heaven...

After praying at the temple, Park Young-hae, 74, wrote a message of condolence on a small, white banner and attached it to a bulletin board. "I hope that the dead animals will go to paradise," she said.

Another banner read: "It must have been painful and you cried a lot. I hope that you go to a good place and enjoy happiness."

Abortionist & Staff Arrested for Murder, Drugs. Authorities Ignored Earlier Complaints.

You have probably read the grisly details about the actions of wealthy Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, arrested earlier this week for killing babies that were already born. But whether you have or haven't, I suggest you read through Barb Malek's latest Erase the Need column. She tells enough of the story itself to make you informed but she also goes beyond it to examine the question of why.

Related items? THis post from Red State and this news clip:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Decline and Fall of the English-Speaking Peoples

In order to draw your intensified attention to this must-read article by Mark Steyn, It's the only post I'm creating for today's Vital Signs Blog. It is an extremely somber read but one which I believe is of the utmost importance.

For until one realizes he's in serious trouble, he won't look for solutions.This is an article to consider carefully, to talk about with friends, and to use as a stimulation to more fervent prayer, more holy living and more dedication to recovering the ancient boundary stones.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's Posts

Why the Increase in Abortion?

The most recent Guttmacher report on abortion (using demographics from 2008) showed a slight increase in the number of surgical abortions performed in the U.S. The numbers had been decreasing for several years previous to that.

Why the change? I've been thinking a lot about that and here's a few factors that I think are relevant.

1) There is no doubt that the recession has had an effect on the abortion increase. Couples fear the costs of bearing a child in hard economic times, especially if unemployment is part of the picture. And the worst case scenarios that have become popular fodder for news programs have only increased the dread. As any pro-life activist knows, finances have always provided a motive for abortion -- even when times were rosy and the parents had plenty of dough for big houses, nice cars and plenty of toys. So it's no surprise that when times are bleak, those abortion decisions related to finances will increase.

2) Planned Parenthood has recently become more aggressive and more organized. They have opened (with much hurrah) "mega-centers" which have increased the abortion rates in every location where they are placed. And they have dramatically stepped up their national sales pitch, especially regarding such chemical abortifacients as RU-486 and the "morning after" pill. Women are led to believe that taking pills is an easy, simple, inexpensive way to get rid of their unexpected pregnancy. They can more easily convince themselves that if a pill is the answer, then it isn't a real baby being destroyed.

But, of course, it is. And then these women often end up discovering that they need a "surgical" abortion after all. The preborn child doesn't just dissolve. The womb must be invaded by the tools of the abortionist anyway. Thus, as the sales of abortion chemicals go up (greatly encouraged by the general media, ineffective sex ed programs, liberal politicians like Barack Obama, etc.), the resultant number of surgical abortions go up also.

3) Also to be considered in the increase in abortions is the general "cooling down" of the issue in the general culture. Among the effects of this are hospitals that were very scared of negative publicity in the 1980s, so scared that they stopped doing abortions for fear of losing customers, are now back in the abortion business. They do not trumpet the news but they're involved. In the same way, more organizations and businesses that avoided connections with Planned Parenthood in the 1980s are now openly engaged in partnerships with the abortion conglomerate. The Girl Scouts and the Susan G. Kommen Foundation are just two of the many sad cases in point.

Abortion as a political issue has cooled too. This has resulted in less stringent investigation of abortion businesses for criminal activity (even health and sanitation); less internal policing of the industry from established medical groups; and more generosity from business, government and charitable foundations to abortion organizations. And that money is then used to sell abortion.

4) Finally, a fourth and very important factor involved in the increase of abortions is the increasing apathy of the Church. Abortion mills which once had peaceful protests and pro-life sidewalk counselors outside to help dissuade people from having their children killed now operate without the slightest notice of neighborhood churches.

Christians have stopped participating in Life Chain, Walks for Life, Sanctity of Life Sunday, and fund-raising events for pro-life pregnancy centers. Christian pro-life organizations have withered, failing to receive the support that was there in the 1980s when so many first discovered the horrors of legalized abortion and wanted desperately to do something about it.

Church youth groups have stopped inviting chastity speakers. They no longer invite kids to participate in local pro-life activities. Preachers, never very outspoken about abortion anyhow, have decided to never even mention the subject.

And alas, James Dobson is no longer on the air to stimulate the Christian conscience and mobilize unified pro-life efforts. Indeed, Christian radio in the post-Dobson era has gone the way of the post-modern Church: oriented to entertainment, self-esteem, happiness enhancement and being popular with everybody in town.

The salt has lost its savor. The cultural rot escalates. And that includes an upswing in the abortion numbers.

But before I leave the subject, let me give you one valuable word of encouragement that comes, surprisingly enough, from this same Guttmacher study.

Our friend, Eric Scheidler (Joe's son) pointed out to me that, in the finer print of the study's findings, it showed that abortion rates had not increased in the region of the country where pro-life activism is most common; namely, the Midwest. 85% of abortionists in the Midwest report that active pro-life opposition still exists to their business. That means sidewalk counselors, people with picket signs, and people who gather outside the abortion mills to pray. The abortionists call such things “harassment.” We know that it is better called a principled protest of evil, an outshining of the righteousness of God's teachings of the sanctity of life, a merciful outreach to people facing unexpected pregnancies, and a ministry which seeks to "deliver those being dragged away to death."

This means that even the demographers working for the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute admit that pro-life activism of the kind Vital Signs Ministries has engaged in since our founding (and still engages in) works! It does effect the abortion rates by dissuading people from the wicked violence of abortion.

In other words, despite the economy, despite the aggressiveness of Planned Parenthood, despite the cooling of the general culture to life issues, and even despite the tragic indifference to abortion shown by the Church at large, we are making a difference!

Our passions need not cool. Our resolve need not be shaken. Our "vital" pro-life ministry need not wither on the vine.

In 2011, Vital Signs Ministries will continue to provide a winsome pro-life testimony outside the Bellevue abortion clinic. In addition, we will take on a pro-life presence outside the new Planned Parenthood abortion center in northwest Omaha. We will keep the educational, motivational work going on Vital Signs Blog. We will keep up our letter-writing parties, our prayer meetings, our discipleship activities, our writing and speaking.

We will move forward in providing Bible studies and pro-life material for our Russian-language web site. We will keep producing pro-life presentations for You Tube and other venues. We will keep networking with other pro-life activists to provide a unified, effective voice. We will continue expanding our new "When Swing Was King" outreach into area retirement centers and nursing homes.

We will, by God's rich grace and empowerment, keep making a difference for His Name's sake. And we know, as you are able, you'll help us do so.

Up Close and Personal: Getting Acquainted with the Preborn Child

For an absolutely stunning peek into the world of a child in utero, check out this interview with Dr. Carlo Bellieni, Department of Neonatal Intensive Therapy of the University Polyclinic Santa Maria Le Scotte of Siena.

You'll learn of the child's senses, experience of pain, capability of memory and dreams, and more. It is a fascinating article which dramatically illustrates the oft-quoted truths from Psalm 139. Very cool!

The Manic Minority Rules: Eliminate Graveyard Crosses

In a much-publicized decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently decided that a memorial cross at the Mount Soledad veterans’ memorial violated the Federal Constitution. In particular, the Court looked at the First Amendment and examined the issue under the so-called “separation of church and state” mantra. The decision may not seem like much when reported as a news story, but its implications are staggering. Let’s see why.

Imagine a balance scale capable of weighing arguments, so that the weightier side prevails. Here’s the alignment of interests. On one side of the scale, we have a location where a memorial cross honoring veterans has stood, in one form or another, since 1913 – nearly a century. The current memorial has been at the location since 1954, and the area surrounding the memorial is filled with numerous walls of plaques honoring individual veterans. After nearly two decades of relentless lawsuits by the ACLU, the property with the memorial was taken by the Federal Government in an act of Congress to establish a federal memorial for all veterans. By Congressional standards, the action was a marvel of both speed and consensus. More than 80 per cent of representatives in the House voted for it.  The Senate approved the transfer in a unanimous  vote –see many of those lately?

On the same side of the scale with a unified Congress, we also have enormous community support and the opinion of the largest veterans’ organizations in the nation, representing literally millions of veterans.  In fact, the veterans’ groups forcefully described the ACLU lawsuit as an insult to the honor and memory of veterans everywhere. They expressed the surprisingly easy-to-grasp concept that veterans should be able to say how they would like to honor their own. So, on one side we have long-standing tradition, Congress and the President, local residents, and veterans.

What could possibly be placed on the opposite side of the scale to tip the balance? The answer is a handful of individuals who claim to be “offended” by the sight of the memorial. This is not a misprint or misstatement, and now, if this three judge panel has its way, it will be the law for much of the country...

(Read the rest of "Sense and Sensitivity: When a Cross Causes Offence" right here at Mercator. It is written by the Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel, Joseph P. Infranco.)

It's Welcome Week for Dictators at the White House

The same Barack Obama who has difficulty giving credit to America's allies and who has committed so many outright snubs of these allies doesn't have the same problem when it comes to Communist dictators. In fact, it's a gala week for such thugs in Washington as the U.S. President gave the murdering Fidel Castro a huge gift and then announced plans for the lavish party he's going to throw for Red China's despot, Hu Jintao.

Obama couldn't have been more insidious about his motives for financially propping up the brutal dictatorship of the Brothers Castro. Said Obama with a smile, the present was an "effort to support the Cuban people's desire to freely determine their own future."

And the eager desire to please the Communist leader of China? "Obama needs China's help in turning the US economy round."

But what of China's continual spying on the United States? What about their forced abortion policies, their slave labor camps, their persecution and torture of Christians and others prisoners of conscience?

Well, as I've pointed out before, Barack Obama will not let concern for human rights spoil a good party.

The black-tie dinner at the White House on Wednesday night contrasts with George Bush's workmanlike lunch in 2006. According to Chinese media reports at the time, Hu, who, like other Chinese leaders, places a lot of importance on protocol, saw Bush's arrangements as insulting. Bush was unwilling to host a state dinner in part because he was conscious of US public concern over China's human rights record.

Unlike 2006, this will be a state visit, with all the ceremony that entails. It will be the first US state dinner for a Chinese leader in 13 years. The president and first lady will greet Hu on arrival at the White House, followed by a review of troops, lengthy talks, a joint press conference and the dinner. The White House has not yet released details of who will be the chef or who will provide the entertainment.

Liberal Racism

Once again we see the ugly, arrogant and hypocritical face of liberal racism. Here is a clip from NPR (you know, the government-sponsored radio network who fired Juan Williams) with the host explaining "It's safe to say there was a collective sigh of 'brown relief' when the Tucson killer turned out to be a 'gringo.'"

The "All Things Considered" speaker goes on to describe what racism really is; namely, any opposition to illegal immigration.

Good grief. Can these people go any lower, get any more irrational...or be any more protected by their insipid peers in the press?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Today's Posts

Thinking About Missions

Where Does Matter Come From? (It Matters!)

After 2 Years of Obama, the World Is More Dangerous, Less Free

Empty Cradles: Infanticide in Pakistan

Public Schools? Private Schools? Let's Go to the Golden Globes.

Thinking About Missions

A close friend who has recently been put on his church's mission committee asked me for some ideas about missions. He knows I have a rather eclectic perspective on missions -- I've been a lay minister since becoming a Christian in 1970; an employee of a para-church organization for almost 30 of those years; an enthusiastic supporter of missions activity in the States and abroad; a person who has made more than 2 dozen short-term mission trips abroad; and a teaching pastor of a missions-minded church for 3 years. The following is what I sent over to my friend. 

Things are changing dramatically in American missions.  Some of these changes reflect good news.  For instance, Christians in other countries have taken over many of the teaching and church leadership roles once performed by Westerners.  Also advances in communication technology have meant great improvements in training, networking, encouragement and more.

But some of the changes in missions are not at all good.  Some of these relate to increased religious intolerance from Muslim, Communist, Hindu and secularist governments.  However, other problems fall on us.  American churches have been terribly affected by lethargy, worldliness, a lack of vision, a lack of generosity and misplaced priorities.

American churches have become more inward, spending more of their time and money on their own programs, staff and buildings and less on global evangelism, less on relief efforts and less in supporting such “home missions” as para-church ministries and Christian higher education.

As is frequently mentioned, the words “mission” and “missionary” do not appear in most English translations of the Bible.  However, the examples of God calling, equipping and sending His people to specific tasks are all over the place.  Therefore, all Christians should take these examples very personally for we are all called to service in the Name of Christ and we all have the opportunity to be equipped to perform that calling well.  In this higher perspective, every Christian is a missionary.

All missionaries must undergo training – training that never stops.  Common to all faithful missionaries is Bible knowledge and practical training in righteous living.  We must all love God, obey Him and remain unstained by the world.  But beyond that is specialized training relevant to our individual mission field.  That could mean linguistics, leadership training, computer skills, agronomy, construction, engineering, medicine, child care and on and on.

The mission program of a local church must reflect this comprehensive, biblically-centered philosophy.  It must 1) emphasize lay missions (“equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry”) while also being sacrificially involved in 2) the testimony of the corporate Church in upholding standards of justice and compassion in the general culture and 3) in proclaiming the gospel and building the Church throughout the world.  In the local church I am involved in, this has meant partnerships with several missionaries serving in other countries, an evangelism/mercy ministry geared to needs in our own neighborhood, a Christ-centered pro-life agency and contributions for our denomination which helps domestic church plants and Christian higher education.

It is natural for a local church to consider the special needs of their community, the unique talents of their membership, and the specific opportunities that are given to them in determining their mission strategy.  But still, keeping the aforementioned philosophy as a foundation is very important.

One more point – the local church should put a priority on developing genuine partnerships with their “formal” missionaries.  Frequent communication is essential for this as is financial and even physical involvement as much as possible.  One of the reasons that American church support to missionaries has dropped off is that the church leadership has not been more proactive, consistent and enthusiastic in connecting the local church to their partners working elsewhere.

Where Does Matter Come From? (It Matters!)

Suppose you could take back everything in the world and compress it into a heavy molecule only three centimeters in each direction, and suppose that everything came from that. 

This is still no answer to man's basic problem, because it does not explain how that molecule came to be there or how from that molecule could come the form and complexity of the present universe, or something as personal and as mannish as man. 

For this the scriptural answer is needed.

(From Francis Schaeffer's Genesis in Space and Time)

After 2 Years of Obama, the World Is More Dangerous, Less Free

Freedom House is out with its latest review. And, despite the fact that Barack Obama is in the White House (he the world earnestly believed would be the visionary, unifying, high-minded leader who was going to turn the tides and bring government leaders to the peace table), the cause of freedom is in worse shape than ever.

Global freedom declined for a fifth straight year in 2010 as authoritarian regimes dug in worldwide and crime and unrest plagued democracies like Mexico, a US watchdog said Thursday. In "Freedom in the World 2011" the Washington-based Freedom House said it had documented the longest continuous period of decline since it began compiling the annual index nearly 40 years ago.

"A total of 25 countries showed significant declines in 2010, more than double the 11 countries exhibiting noteworthy gains," the group said. "Authoritarian regimes like those in China, Egypt, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela continued to step up repressive measures with little significant resistance from the democratic world."

Here's more.

Empty Cradles: Infanticide in Pakistan

Whether it is seen in the high rates of abortion in the West or such horrors as this story relates in Pakistan, the cheapening of human life is a most wicked thing.

More than 1,000 infants -- most of them girls -- were killed or abandoned to die in Pakistan last year according to conservative estimates by the Edhi Foundation, a charity working to reverse the grim trend. The infanticide figures are collected only from Pakistan's main cities, leaving out huge swathes of the largely rural nation, and the charity says that in December alone it found 40 dead babies left in garbage dumps and sewers."

It's an example of the coldheartedness of the media that such news is usually ignored altogether. But this AFP report (written by Hasan Mansoor) was included for a time in Yahoo News' featured headlines this morning. Perhaps this is because the writer concludes the article with a shout-out to something the media is almost always in favor of --  "Abortion is prohibited in Pakistan, except when the mother's life is at risk from her pregnancy, but advocates say that legalisation would reduce infanticide and save mothers from potentially fatal back-street terminations."

In other words, Pakistan could end this unconscionable immorality of infanticide if it would only kill the children a few weeks earlier.


Public Schools? Private Schools? Let's Go to the Golden Globes.

The only bit of the Golden Globes that we caught last night were the rambling, self-congratulatory comments of Robert De Niro. However, it turns out that as long as those two minutes seemed, we actually missed most of his remarks, including the jokes that were taken by many critics as strange, unwelcome and even racist.

But we did file away De Niro's departing line for it was a surprisingly candid admission of Hollywood's real opinion about education. For despite the politically-correct credos of the Left regarding government schooling, De Niro said (and I'm paraphrasing from memory), "After all, we're in this lucrative business so we can send our kids to private school."

Now I don't know if De Niro's remarks were supposed to be a joke (a self-deprecating reference to the vast wealth of movie stars) or not. But the fact is clear -- the liberal rich DO send their kids to private schools, even while they champion the Democrat party and its teachers' unions who fight tooth and nail against merit pay, school choice, school vouchers, and so on.

But what's a little hypocrisy between friends?

However, in reading reviews of the Golden Globes this morning, I did see that Ian Brennan, the executive producer of the Fox program “Glee," an edgy series portraying a public high school's glee club which competes on the show choir competition circuit, was more in sync with the party line. In receiving the award for best TV series in the comedy or musical category, Brennan singled out public school teachers: “You don’t get paid like it, but you’re doing the most important work in America."

Brennan has no children.