Friday, September 28, 2012

Today's Posts

Lest We Forget: Barack Obama's Support of Infanticide

There wasn’t any question about what was happening. The abortions were going wrong. The babies weren’t cooperating. They wouldn’t die as planned. Or, as Illinois state senator Barack Obama so touchingly put it, there was “movement or some indication that, in fact, they’re not just coming out limp and dead.”

No, Senator. They wouldn’t go along with the program. They wouldn’t just come out limp and dead.

They were coming out alive. Born alive. Babies. Vulnerable human beings Obama, in his detached pomposity, might otherwise include among “the least of my brothers.” But of course, an abortion extremist can’t very well be invoking Saint Matthew, can he? So, for Obama, the shunning of these least of our brothers and sisters — millions of them — is somehow not among America’s greatest moral failings.

No. In Obama’s hardball, hard-Left world, these least become “that fetus, or child — however you want to describe it.”

Most of us, of course, opt for “child,” particularly when the “it” is born and living and breathing and in need of our help. Particularly when the “it” is clinging not to guns or religion but to life.

But not Barack Obama. As an Illinois state senator, he voted to permit infanticide. And now, running for president, he banks on media adulation to insulate him from his past.

The record, however, doesn’t lie...


This is an excerpt from Andrew McCarthy's challenging (make that, chilling) NRO article, "Why Obama Really Voted For Infanticide." I posted it back in August of 2008. But, in the heat of this present election season, when a lot of your church friends are still thinking of Barack Obama as a nice, kindly man, I figured it was a good time to post it again. Follow the link above (it still works) and then pass it along to those in your circle who are yet tragically uniformed.

The Obama/Clinton Libyan Cover Up Is Unraveling

The wheels appear to be coming off a two week attempt by the Obama Administration to cover up its fatal security failures at our consulate in Libya and to cover up the very fact that this was a successful pre-planned terrorist attack that cost four American lives, including that of our Libyan Ambassador, Christopher Stevens.

Not only has the scandal picked up steam in the mainstream press, but high-ranking members of the President's own party are now demanding answers. This includes the man most often cited as a likely Secretary of State should Obama win a second term, Senator John Kerry...


Here's more.

5 Ways Steve McGarrett is Unlike Barack Obama

Yes, Steve McGarrett and Barack Obama both lived in Hawaii for a part of their lives. But that's about the only thing they have in common. Here, however, are the five most important differences between the two.

1) Steve McGarrett was a genuine public servant who sought the common good rather than personal aggrandizement.

2) Steve McGarrett was a hard worker who very rarely took vacations and never used business time to raise money for himself.

3) Steve McGarrett surrounded himself with intelligent, highly-principled teammates who, like himself, respected and obeyed the law.

4) Steve McGarrett had real girlfriends, not invented composites.

And 5) Steve McGarrett knew that Chinese Communists were enemies of justice, human rights and democracy. Unlike Barack Obama, Steve McGarrett did not believe that "China's peaceful rise is good for the world, and it's good for America."

I side with McGarrett. How about you?

What Was the "Obama Phone Lady" Talking About?

You may have already viewed yesterday's video clip of the "Obama phone lady," the shouting lady who was part of a raucous anti-Romney rally in Cleveland. (If not, take a deep breath and do so right here.)

You'll be interested to know that this rally was organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) which represents health care workers, property service workers and, of course, government employees.

But yesterday's rally included a bunch of other folks too; that is, people hired by the union from off street corners and from door-to-door canvassing who were paid $11 an hour to hold signs, march and chant. Whether the "Obama phone lady" was from this group or maybe from the local DMV office, I don't know.

But this much seems clear -- union dues paid by government employees (whose salaries are paid by you) were used for the most partisan (and unseemly) of political purposes.

Your tax dollars at work.

And, speaking of tax dollars (like about $1.25 billion of them), please check out the short video clip I'm posting below. It's made by Republican Congressman Tim Griffin from Arkansas and it explains just what the "Obama phone lady" was yelling about; namely, a hugely wasteful federal government giveaway that you're paying for from the Universal Service Fee that's part of your monthly phone bill.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today's Posts

Sanctity of Life Spoken Here

I think it's time to pass this clip around again.


The Latest LifeSharer Is Ready

The latest LifeSharer letter is up on the Vital Signs Ministries website.

Check it out.

Elizabeth Warren: The Fake Cherokee Turns Out to Be a Fake Lawyer Too!

Democrat Elizabeth Warren has framed her race in Massachusetts against Sen. Scott Brown around integrity and intellect, as if she's a cut above other pols. In fact, she's beneath even the sleaziest.

On top of fraudulently claiming minority Indian status without any documented ancestry, the Harvard law professor has now been busted practicing law in Massachusetts without a state license...

The hypocrisy is bad enough. But Warren represented her corporate Wall Street clients without a law license. This also comes as a surprise to the law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, which listed her as "of counsel" in briefs filed on behalf of its corporate clients.

Asked about it on a Boston radio show, Warren admitted she's not licensed to practice law in Massachusetts.

She's also written scholarly papers on health care and bankruptcy without showing her data, and crafted federal health and banking regulations without a brain. Warren is the intellectual architect of the massively unpopular Dodd-Frank Act and ObamaCare, both of which are dragging down the U.S. recovery.

She's been accused by several law professors of "repeated instances of scientific misconduct" in authoring papers that have provided the academic underpinnings for financial and health reforms. Peer reviews have dismissed her research as "deeply flawed."

The Atlantic magazine, moreover, found a disturbing "pattern" of using bogus metrics to inflate the case for her leftist nostrums. Despite repeated requests, Warren has refused to provide the data she has used in her shabby research. In a word, she's a hack.

She's also a charlatan. In fact, in a new ad she doubles down on her oft-told lie that she's a Cherokee Indian, even while admitting she has zero proof. "As a kid, I never asked my mom for documentation when she talked about our Native American heritage," Warren explained. "What kid would?"

Sure, maybe a kid wouldn't, but an adult would, especially before checking a box saying she's a minority. Warren listed herself as an Indian minority in a national law directory used for faculty recruiting. Soon after, Harvard hired her and publicized her minority status.

What lawyer makes such an outlandish claim without first putting in the research to verify it? Warren expects us to believe her legal skills are so poor she doesn't know how to look up her own genealogy? Please.

Warren is a proven liar, hypocrite and fraud, and ought not darken the halls of the U.S. Senate as an expert witness let alone a member of that august body...


(Investor's Business Daily editorial)

Parents, Will Liberals Take All of Your Rights Away?

An ACLU lawsuit claims that father-daughter banquets are against Rhode Island law. In New York City, schools have been caught distributing free abortifacient drugs without bothering to tell parents.  Down in Texas, one of Tammy Cooper's neighbors called the cops with a "neglectful parenting" complaint because Cooper's kids were riding motorized scooters in the cul-de-sac in front of the house. Before being released (without charges, by the way) Mrs. Cooper was held in jail for 18 hours overnight.

Marybeth Hicks concludes, "It’s been an eventful week at the intersection of parenting and politics, that busy corner where decision-making often is affected by the onslaught of traffic from social engineers, liberal educators, public health experts, and civil rights activists who know better than parents what’s best for their kids. [These] news stories seem to indicate that America’s moms and dads are losing ground in the effort to raise their children as they see fit."

Here's more of Hick's column.

Journalist Vandalizes Pro-Israel Sign, Calls It "Freedom of Expression"

Ah, life in modern America.

Mona Eltahawy, a journalist who is frequently featured on CNN and MSNBC talk shows, is bothered by a pro-Israel sign that is posted in a NYC subway.

So, in an act of self-righteousness and intolerance that is illustrative of the same thing we see daily from liberals in the media, education establishment, the unions, the abortion lobby, and government bureaucracies, Ms. Eltahawy tries to obliterate the sign's message…because she doesn't like it.

And she calls her vandalism "freedom of expression."

You see, to modern "progressives," the only values that deserve to be protected, the only beliefs that deserve a full and fair hearing by the public are their own.

The pro-Israel sign that Ms. Eltahawy vandalized is shown at the right above. And the video tape of the ugly incident where the journalist's crime (yes, vandalism is a crime) is interrupted by a supporter of Israel is shown below.

Ms. Eltahawy, as you might expect, has been freed after being charged with a simple misdemeanor. And what do you bet she will be more popular on the TV talk shows than ever? Indeed, the news coverage so far tends to be treating her as a hero.

Watch the tape below and then check out more on the story from Newsbusters right here. (But one caution about the story. Unfortunately, the reporter refers to the subway sign as an "anti-Muslim ad." That is not correct. Read it again for yourself. It is an "anti-jihad" and "pro-Israel" message.)


Tolerate Everything...Except Christian Values & Expression

...As the effects of Christianity have steadily eroded, the tentacles of secularization (its proponents would call it an “enlightened” secularization) has taken hold. It is marked by egalitarianism and utopian fantasies, but especially tolerance.

Tolerance for everything, except that which is intolerable, of course.

And at this particular turn in the road, a hotel policy that won’t allow two unmarried people to share a bed is at the apex of what will not be tolerated.

In fact, a British appeals court just upheld a £3,600 ($5,800) fine against the Bulls over their policy. This stems from a 2008 complaint against them, filed when they refused to rent Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy a double room because they are not married.

Hall and Preddy countered that they are in a civil union and that the refusal to rent them a room violates the U.K.’s 2007 Equality Act.

That act, like so many acts similarly impacting freedom of religion and conscience, “exempts some religious institutions from some nondiscrimination laws, but commercial guesthouses” aren’t among those receiving exemptions.

It’s the same act that allowed practicing Sikhs to carry their ceremonial swords on passenger airplanes but made no room for British Airways’ employee Nadia Eweida to wear a cross.

And this is when the intolerance of Christianity comes into full view. The same British government that said a secularly-owned business has no obligation to allow a Christian to wear her cross has now gone the extra step—in the Bulls’ case—to claim that no one forces Christians to start a business and, therefore, they can’t object when the government wants to force them to violate their consciences.

In other words, if you’re a secularist, you and the law are going to get along just fine. But if you are a Christian, you start a business at your own peril…

That’s the new face of “tolerance” that has replaced “Victorian,” biblical ideals like freedom of expression and religion.


(From "Has Christianity Become Intolerable?" by Benjamin Bull, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, published at Town Hall.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Today's Posts

How's This for an Idea? Stopping the Drunk Driver BEFORE He Kills Someone.

With his truck lights turned off -- indeed, with his mind turned off by a blood-alcohol limit nearly three times the limit -- Paul A. Newton roared down Easton Street in Canton, Ohio until he crashed into the car driven by Sondra Oldfield and her grandson. There were no skid marks whatsoever indicating he tried to brake his vehicle. Newton had blasted down the road completely oblivious to anyone who might get in his way.

Mrs. Oldfield's grandson survived the horrific crash. She did not.

The 48-year old drunk driver ended up pleading guilty to:
1) aggravated vehicular homicide
2) failure to stop after an accident ("Sheriff’s deputies caught Newton after he jumped into a creek and tried to flee.")
3) driving under a suspended license, and
4) operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. ("Investigators also recovered an open bottle of beer that still was cold.")

The drunk driver was given a 13-year prison sentence.

Too stiff? Not at all. He killed somebody.

And, oh yes; the fellow had five prior convictions for driving drunk.

This is so tragic…and so typical. A drunk driver commits his crime frequently. And only occasionally gets caught. But even when he or she is busted, the penalties are not sufficient to keep them off the road. The drunk driver does it again…and again…and again…

Until someone is killed.

Sigh.

Why do lawmakers, cops, prosecutors, media and judges so foolishly ignore the cost of drunk drivers in America?

Consider the thousands of deaths that drunk drivers cause every year. Yes, thousands. We average one death by drunk drivers every 50 minutes. And remember too the suffering experienced by those victims that don't die -- those that must try to go forward with severed limbs, brain damage, paralysis, and on and on.

Consider too the devastated families. No one ever gets over the death of a loved one caused by a drunk driver. Believe me, I know.

And, while it is a minor factor compared to the others, society's leaders and supposed protectors should count up the huge economic losses caused by drunk drivers. That's hundreds of billions of dollars...and counting.

Dealing effectively with these crimes will require more effective education, the requirement of ignition locks on vehicles, more efficient police methods, and tougher sentences. All are do-able.

There are only a few stupider, more irresponsible things than driving drunk.  And one of them...is to ignore the terrible crises it creates.

John Calvin on Abortion

"The fetus carried in the mother's womb is already a man; and it is quite unnatural that a life be destroyed of one who has not yet seen its enjoyment.

For it seems more unworthy that a man be killed in his home rather than in his field because for each man his home is his safest refuge. How much more abominable ought it to be considered to kill a fetus in the womb who has not yet been brought into the light."

"Brain Death" Scam: Did Organ Harvesters Have a Quota?

Sadly, given the numerous criteria used for determining "brain death" (all of which are unscientific and all of which seek to re-define death so as to make way for easier access to a person's organs), this story not at all surprising.

The New York Organ Donor Network pressured hospital staffers to declare patients brain dead so their body parts could be harvested — and even hired “coaches” to train staffers how to be more persuasive, a bombshell lawsuit charged yesterday.

The federally funded nonprofit used a “quota” system, and leaned heavily on the next of kin to sign consent forms when patients were not registered as organ donors, the suit charged.

“They’re playing God,” said plaintiff Patrick McMahon, 50, an Air Force combat veteran and nurse practitioner who claims he was fired as a transplant coordinator after just four months for protesting the practice.


Here's the rest.

And here's a report on the problems of "brain death" written by a friend of ours from way back, Dr. Paul Byrne: "Help! Organs Taken from Living People."

Think These Kids Can Make It In the Pros?

Can you guess who the kids in this photo are?

Actually, if you watch golf, it's not a very hard test because the men that these boys grew up to be (now in their forties) still retain their boyish features.

Give up? They are Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson. And the photo was taken after the 1984 World Junior Championship at Torrey Pines where the 15-year old Ernie had just won over the 14-year old Phil.

But don't feel too sorry for Phil. He'd get back at his South African friend 20 years later with a dramatic putt that gave him a one-stroke victory over Ernie...at the Masters.

As a matter of fact, both of these kids have had sterling careers. Both men have already been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Both have won four major titles. And both are wealthy beyond their dreams. Phil, for instance,  has earned $66.4 million just in prize money from the PGA Tour. He's made a lot more than that through endorsements. Ernie hasn't fared too badly either. He's earned $44.5 million on the tour alone.


Both men have known trouble in their lives -- Phil's wife going through cancer and Ernie's son dealing with autism. Also, both golfers are generous and very active in giving back to the community. Phil's charitable work has found an awful lot of benefactors but he would probably point first to the Phil & Amy Mickelson Foundation through which they support numerous initiatives. Ernie's charities center on the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation and the Els for Autism Golf Challenge.

For me, looking at the photo of Ernie and Phil as boys reminds me of the adventure, the promise, and the challenge which life presents. And not just to people who eventually become celebrities, but to us all. And it reminds me too of life's brevity. It does go very fast.

That's all the more reason to dream big, work hard and lean into the grace and power offered by God through Christ. For with that foundation, anyone can be a great success.

What Really Happened Between Komen and the Bullies at Planned Parenthood

According to a new book, Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, written by former Komen vice president, Karen Handel, the reproductive health giant breached a “gentle-ladies agreement” with the breast cancer charity and incited a media firestorm surrounding Komen’s decision to halt their Planned Parenthood grants. The relentless pressure from the pro-abortion movement resulted in a reversal of Komen’s decision, despite the pro-life movement’s best efforts to support Komen by donating to their organization, sending supportive emails, and buying the Komen pink paraphernalia which pro-lifers had long resisted out of principle. Subsequently, Handel, a newer hire and a pro-lifer (which was publicly known due to her former political career) stepped down from her post at Komen.

In this tell-all, Komen insider book, among the many insights Handel offers, one point is made startlingly clear—the Komen vs. Planned Parenthood debacle was a calculated battle, instigated by Planned Parenthood as a tactic in the trumped up “War on Women” strategy. This “war” is a constructed narrative which says that anyone who doesn’t support unequivocally abortion, free contraception at the cost of religious freedom, or any other reproductive technology must not really care about women -- a claim that is patently absurd. Yet that is the narrative Planned Parenthood and friends seem to think is necessary.

In fact, as Handel explains, what should have been an easy decision to cut off Planned Parenthood was complicated by the politics and opinions regarding Planned Parenthood among even Komen members who were sympathetic to the influential women’s group. “Komen’s new communications vice president noted that Planned Parenthood was ‘under the gun,’” Handel explains, “and that if Komen ended the grants, our organization would deal Planned Parenthood ‘a body blow.’” This is a startling claim considering both how little Komen grants contributed to Planned Parenthood’s large budget and the fact that other organizations had be cut off by Komen for less severe violations of its rules.

But the fact of the matter is that Planned Parenthood was under intense national scrutiny because of the recently begun federal investigation, a sizable and growing young pro-life movement, and continued gains in legislation to inform mothers and protect the unborn child. A recent exposĂ©, coordinated by pro-life activist, Lila Rose, caught Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards lying when she claimed to offer mammograms to women. Even so, Komen wanted this break between the two women’s groups to go smoothly, without accusations of political bias or media furor for either organization…

Handel’s description of the bullying tactics shows what we are up against, but her fighting spirit will strike a chord with the many women who are sick of being “spoken for” by the reproductive health political establishment. As Handel says: “Planned Parenthood brought Komen to its knees, counting on no-one having the guts to stand up to them. Well, what Planned Parenthood didn’t count on is me.”


Meg T. McDonnell, "Planned Bullyhood," Mercator.

Barack and The Media Sitting in a Tree...

Election time in America has always been called the silly season. But in the era of Barack Obama, the darling of Planned Parenthood, Hugo Chavez, Madonna, and the most irreligious and sycophantic media we've known since Khrushchev's Pravda, I suggest a more appropriate term would be the sinister season.

Here's three important articles about this crude injustice that will help keep your wits -- and your morals -- about you.

* John Podhoretz,"Why Bam Can’t Gaffe: Media Refuse to Hear his Fumbles," New York Post.

Excerpt:

Sunday night, on “60 Minutes,” the president of the United States said several gaffe-like things that would instantly become the sole issues under public discussion, would lead to pained panel discussions among chin-scratching analysts on NPR and PBS about tone and comportment and leadership and policy . . . if President Obama were a Republican.

But he’s not, so they’re not gaffes...

Imagine if Mitt Romney had described the murder of US diplomats and former Navy SEALs in what might have been the most horrifying of conditions as akin to “bumps in the road.” Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Imagine if it’d been Paul Ryan. Or George W. Bush during his tenure. Or Sarah Palin. Or just about anybody.

You know what would happen. Democratic senators would emerge breathing fire, demanding an apology. Network newscasts would open with words like: “The political world was shaken today by the response of [NAME] to the murder of four Americans at the hands of terrorists in Libya.” MNSBC’s “Morning Joe” would devote three hours to the horror.

But not when it came to Obama...


* Mona Charen's "The Obama Press Votes Early," National Review.

Excerpt:

Mitt Romney is facing perhaps the most corrupt and tendentious coverage in presidential history as members of the fourth estate eschew any semblance of integrity in their attempt to skew interpretations in favor of their pinup, Mr. Obama. The examples would fill volumes…

* "Media Keep Doing Free PR Work for Obama," Editorial in Investor's Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Media Malfeasance: Want additional proof the mainstream media act more like PR agents for the Obama campaign than watchdogs who "speak truth to power"? Here are three fresh examples from the weekend...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Today's Posts

Next Up for the Sexual Revolution? Polygamy.

Care About the Culture? Have a Letter-Writing Party.

Obama's Top Ten Campaign Disasters. (Uh, Where's the Media?)

NY Schools Dispensing Abortifacients (Without Parent's Knowledge)

Next Up for the Sexual Revolution? Polygamy.

A few years ago, when the gay-marriage bandwagon got rolling, some of us argued that “if the sex of the participants is no longer relevant, why should the number be?” The same-sex-marriage crowd swatted the polygamy shtick aside as utterly irrelevant, even though there are far more takers for polygamy than there will ever be for gay marriage, and it is, de facto, already recognized to one degree or another by multiculti types in the British Government pensions department and the French welfare system.

So here we are in 2012, and the Toronto District School Board has a new poster called “Love Has No Gender“, full of happy couples but also happy triples. This poster is in every Toronto grade school...


(Mark Steyn, "Two’s Company, Three’s a Positive Role Model," National Review)

Care About the Culture? Have a Letter-Writing Party.

Last night 13 adults and a few kids got together in the Faith Bible Church gym for a very effective letter-writing party. We schedule these events a few times a year to provide to the Christians of our congregation encouragement and practical assistance in this important area of our public witness.

For letters make a real difference. They impart information. They urge action. They provide accountability. And, certainly not the least valuable, they clear the conscience. How? By frankly, kindly telling the truth to the powers that be -- instead of just privately grumbling behind their backs. By adding to one's prayers for a spiritual revival and reformation in our world a word of public testimony to that end -- instead of just touting our convictions to one another.

We take our citizenship responsibilities seriously by going beyond the vote. Yes, we pray -- fervently and frequently. But the Lord wants us to let our light shine before men, not hide it under a basket. He specifically bids us to bear public witness; to warn and rebuke when necessary; and to encourage and embolden when that is relevant. The Lord wants us to shine, not whine. Thus, the letter-writing parties that Vital Signs Ministries has hosted for almost 30 years.

Last night our "letter targets" included politicians, diplomats, prisoners in jail for their Christian faith, businessmen, journalists, missionaries our church supports, and others from our church and community who we thought could use a thank-you or other encouragement.

Interested in taking part? There's a few ways to do this. You can simply write letters, make phone calls, or zip e-mails on your own by following along with the Taking Action items here at Vital Signs Blog or at other sites. Last night, for instance, our church group used information from the Vital Signs posts listed below. But you can also use these sources and host a letter-writing party of your own. Do it at home with friends. Do one as a family. Christian school classes and home-school groups should do it. Churches and Sunday Schools too.

By the way, here's a primer on letter-writing that you might find useful.

And here are those posts we used last night.

Using Sex (and Weird Sex, At That) To Sell Candy
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
P.O. BOX 3900
Peoria, IL 61614

Office Depot Partners with Lady Gaga
Office Depot
6600 North Military Trail
Boca Raton, FL 33496

Saying "NO" to Starbucks
Starbucks Corporation
Howard D. Schultz, CEO
2401 Utah Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98134

Several of us also sent along thank-you notes to companies doing the right things! Among them were Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
David Green, CEO
7707 S.W. 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179

Chick-fil-A CARES
P.O. Box 500367
Atlanta, GA 31150

For contacting prisoners for Christ and the diplomatic powers that could act to insure religious freedom in their countries, we use several sources including Voice of the Martyrs.

Obama's Top Ten Campaign Disasters. (Uh, Where's the Media?)

Joel B. Pollak begins his Breitbart article, "Top Ten Obama Campaign Disasters -- So Far," with this:

The media insist that Mitt Romney is running a bad campaign. Whether that’s true or not, one thing is certain: Barack Obama’s campaign is undoubtedly worse. From day one, Obama’s re-election effort has been a microcosm of his failures in office. Here is a list of the top ten Obama campaign disasters--and there are still six weeks to go!

Pollack then goes on to briefly describe the worst of the worst in Obama's campaign. You'll guess several of the things in the Top Ten (like Obama's “You Didn’t Build That" remark, the sudden cancellation of the stadium rally, and the Democrats' raucous "No" vote on God) and you probably could add a few others (like Obama's preferring to meet with David Letterman and Beyonce instead of Benjamin Netanyahu, fumbling badly with the response to the Libyan disaster, and letting Joe Biden out in public). Nevertheless, the article makes for very instructive reading.

Of course, if just one of these things had happened to the Republican nominee, he would be toast by now.  But with the lapdog media working overtime to ignore the most outrageous sins, gaffes and failures of Team Obama and the Democrats, it's up to you and I to pass the word along.

Again, here's the article.

NY Schools Dispensing Abortifacients (Without Parent's Knowledge)

Are you concerned about the lethal effects of abortifacient drugs and devices -- including those that masquerade as simple contraceptives? What about the encroaching power of the Nanny State -- including the government school system that is trampling parental rights?

Here's a story from the New York Post that combines both of these sad and sinister things.

The Department of Education is giving morning-after pills and other birth-control drugs to students at 13 high schools, The Post has learned.

School nurse offices stocked with the contraceptives can dispense “Plan B” emergency contraception and other oral or injectable birth control to girls without telling their parents — unless parents opt out after getting a school informational letter about the new program...

While Big Apple high schools have long supplied free condoms to sexually active teens, this is the first time city schools have dispensed hormonal birth control and Plan B, which can prevent pregnancy if taken up to 72 hours after unprotected sex.
[My note -- these drugs do not always prevent pregnancy. They sometimes induce early abortion.]
 

This fall, students can also get Depo-Provera, a birth-control drug injected once every three months, officials said.

Oral and injectable contraceptives require prescriptions, which, in the CATCH program, are written by Health Department doctors…

Plan B is typically sold as an over-the-counter medication, but those under age 18 need a prescription. For the CATCH program, students can tell a trained school nurse they had unprotected sex. The student will then get a test to see if she is already pregnant; if not, the prescription is issued and she can walk out with the pill…

Teacher Rosa Chavez applauded CATCH, saying she had two pregnant students last year. Getting knocked up, she said, “is not cool and not accepted among peers.”

But Chavez worries that giving girls Plan B emergency contraception might encourage careless sex. “If they made a mistake, they could still do something about it,” she said...

But some school insiders dislike the CATCH program’s lack of parental involvement and fear medical complications.

“We can’t give out a Tylenol without a doctor’ s order,” said a school staffer. “Why should we give out hormonal preparations with far more serious possible side effects, such as blood clots and hypertension?”...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Today's Posts

Amsterdam Police to Prostitutes: Cover It Up a Bit Before Selling It.

If Fair's Fair in the NFL, Shouldn't It Be So in the Media Too?

A Coach for Football...and Life: Turner Gill

Does Euthanasia Have a Roe v Wade in the Works?

"The Obama You Don't Know" (Fox News Report)

The Top Five Revelations from the Fast & Furious Report


Amsterdam Police to Prostitutes: Cover It Up a Bit Before Selling It.

Here's news that Amsterdam police are going to start enforcing a dress code...for the city's prostitutes.

And you thought modesty was a thing of the past.

Now don't get the wrong idea. Amsterdam Mayor Daniel Termont is a progressive fellow who doesn't have a problem with prostitutes. Indeed, His Honor insists, "I'm not a puritan. Far from it! A city like Ghent needs prostitutes, but they have to respect certain rules."

Hmm.

Clean water, I can understand. Affordable housing. Traffic lights.

But does a city really "need" prostitutes?

And whence cometh these "certain rules" the mayor is talking about? If prostitution and other sexual perversion is approved, protected, even promoted by the Amsterdam city officials -- and it is -- does talking about any rules of morality make sense?

If Fair's Fair in the NFL, Shouldn't It Be So in the Media Too?

Warner Todd Huston sees an important lesson in the National Football League yanking a referee from last Sunday’s Saints vs Panthers game after being alerted to the fact that the ref's Facebook revealed he was a huge Saints fan.

Asks Huston, "One wonders if the Old Media establishment should do the same thing with its political coverage?…The League felt it was a clear conflict of interest and decided that the ref could not be a fair judge of a game featuring his favorite team. One would hope that the Old Media would take a lesson from the NFL. Shouldn’t the media bench anyone that is blatantly rooting for Obama and the Democrats?"

"Of course," Huston concludes, "if the Old Media were to bench every biased, left-wing journalist because of his obvious lean to the left, there may not be may of them left to do the reporting!"

A Coach for Football...and Life: Turner Gill

Hmm. If Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck would have offered just a bit more money in his contract negotiations with this young athlete, the University of Nebraska might never have landed one of it's most outstanding quarterbacks.

Check out this enlightening Sports Spectrum interview with Turner Gill.

A few highlights?

In ’85 I accepted Christ. One of my friends that I knew in Nebraska and also when I played in Montreal, that kinda helped put things in a lot better perspective, he helped me accept Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. And that helped me through the opportunities that I had. To look at it with joy, peace and comfort, knowing that I had a purpose in life. I had to understand my purpose and how I was wired. I was wired to teach the game of football and teach people about Jesus Christ and then to keep doing it in the right way. (To) change this profession, and change college football in a way that would be gratifying to God to help marriages and to help men to help them understand what their purpose is in life. Because those two areas in our society, and really three, spiritually, and being a father or husband and doing those things, those are so crucial according to God...

So for me, being a head football coach, God was teaching me that when I became a head football coach, “Make sure that your doing things to help marriages, don’t do things that are going to decrease the relationship with man and woman because of the time commitments.” And that’s any job, but definitely in the coaching profession. It is time consuming, and it is something that you have to be on top of in making time to spend with your spouse, your wife. And also trying to teach these young men what their purpose is.

In our society, according to God, what is each man’s purpose? Not just to go play football but it’s to prepare these young men to be, number one, men that love God, and men that know how to be the leader in the home and know how to treat women. So all of those things are what God has put on my heart and that’s my purpose as a coach, but really more as a man. That’s just what I do, I coach. But I’m a man of God trying to follow Christ and His teaching. And this job that he’s given me as being a coach is to help marriages, and to help young men know their purpose...

Does Euthanasia Have a Roe v Wade in the Works?

Is the Roe v Wade of euthanasia on the horizon?

It is.

Read "Hippocrates’ Last Stand: Preventing the Roe v. Wade of Doctor-prescribed Suicide" by Greg Pfundstein at National Review.

"The Obama You Don't Know" (Fox News Report)

Fox News reports below on the Washington Examiner's blockbuster new series, "The Obama You Don't Know." That series is really illuminating. Along with seeing the Dinesh D'Souza documentary movie, "2016: Obama's America," I suggest everyone who wants to know more of the mystery man who is Barack Obama to also read "The Obama You Don't Know."


The Top Five Revelations from the Fast & Furious Report

That long-overdue report from the Department of Justice's inspector general on Operation Fast and Furious was finally released earlier this week. But since it's almost 500 pages, you might want to do what I did; namely, look to Lachlan Markay over at the Heritage Foundation to summarize the report's five most important revelations.

Here's a few excerpts from Markay's article:

1. The report singles out top Department of Justice officials for wrongdoing...

The report faults 14 officials with various offenses, most for failing to adequately investigate the possibility that inappropriate tactics were being used. Since the report’s release, acting ATF director Kenneth Melson and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein have resigned.

2. The report appears to contradict sworn testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder...

While the report does not claim that Holder misled Congress, it does say that those affidavits suggested gunwalking took place. Holder says he read those affidavits, and that they suggested no such thing. If the inspector general is correct, both claims cannot be true — either Holder did not review the affidavits, or he was not truthful about their contents.

3. The report faults top Justice Department leadership with failing to adequately respond to the murder of an American border patrol agent...

4. The White House refused to disclose any internal communications to the inspector general…

5. The report fails to consider evidence that a top DOJ official knew the department misled Congress…

Why this matters

Operation Fast and Furious is by far the most serious scandal to rock the Justice Department. But there are other troubling developments that have happened on Holder’s watch. They include the misguided lawsuits against Texas and South Carolina over voter ID laws, an ongoing investigation of Pennsylvania’s statute, and legal campaigns mounted against states attempting to secure their borders from illegal immigration.

Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, who worked at the Justice Department as counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, last year documented in an 11-part series the politicized hiring at the Department of Justice – a liberal litmus test for all new career attorneys. It exposed the crass political agenda of Holder and his deputies. Now, the Fast and Furious report raises even more concerns about Holder’s leadership and judgment.

“For veterans of the department, it is another illustration of how low the professionalism and competence of a once-great law-enforcement agency has fallen,” von Spakovsky writes for National Review Online. “And it shows just how dangerous DOJ can be when its power is misused and abused.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today's Posts

What's This? A Hollywood Film That Bucks the Education Establishment?

Of the upcoming movie, "Won't Back Down," I wrote on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago, "Hmm. A Hollywood film that casts the incompetent, uncaring, NEA-dominated government school system as the baddie? I just might have to see this."

Well, despite the fact that there are at least a couple of outspoken liberals in the film's cast, the movie does seem to represent a revolutionary change from Hollywood's usual handling of the government schools. So, yes; we just might grab some friends and check it out.

Here's more from Kyle Olson. The comments are from his Town Hall column, "Government School PR Group Hammers 'Won’t Back Down' Movie."

The educational establishment is ramping up its attack of “Won’t Back Down,” a fictional movie of a parent and teacher teaming up to take over a failing school through a “parent trigger” law.

The movie will be released nationally on Sept. 28.

The National School Public Relations Association is now working with the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers in issuing talking points to members about how to best dismiss the point of the movie without actually looking like they’re attacking it.

“We urge you to consider applauding the passion and activism of parents in the movie. You know that your schools and your students will be far better off if this enthusiasm is focused in a collaborative fashion on the local needs of your students and community,” the group wrote.

Translation: It would be stupid to attack the sympathetic characters in the movie, just like it would be dumb to boo Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. But your applause - or approval - should not be directed at the false characterization of the teachers union as the evil force in the movie, or the idea that parents can somehow do a better job than professionals when it comes to educating children...


And here's the film's trailer...



Justin Bieber's Mom Rejected Abortion, Chose Life

Had it not been for the courage of a young woman and the compassionate care given her by a pro-life pregnancy center, Justin Bieber would not be one of the most successful musical performers in modern history.

Indeed, Justin Bieber wouldn't be. Period.

Here's more from LifeNews.com.


We Could Sure Use Some Hopalong Nowadays

Just how far have we traveled from those moral standards which were once the very foundations of Western culture?

Here's one particularly illuminating measuring stick.

It's a list of common-sense moral precepts that was promoted by an entertainment figure far more popular in his time than any TV bad boy, music diva, or hip-hopper from our present era could hope to be. Indeed, this guy was not just an entertainer to the baby boom generation, he was a hero and role model.

Read through the proverbs below and consider how extremely different is his advice to young people than that which would come from today's media icons.

"Ten Guidelines for Life" from Hopalong Cassidy:

1) The highest badge of honor a person can wear is honesty. Be truthful at all times.

2) Your parents are the best friends you have. Listen to them and obey their instructions.

3) If you want to be respected, you must respect others. Show good manners in every way.

4) Only through hard work and study can you succeed. Don't be lazy.

5) Your good deeds always come to light. So don't boast or be a show-off.

6) If you waste time or money today, you will regret it tomorrow. Practice thrift in all ways.

7) Many animals are good and loyal companions. Be friendly and kind to them.

8) A strong, healthy body is a precious gift. Be neat and clean.

9) Our country's laws are made for your protection. Observe them carefully.

10) Children in many foreign lands are less fortunate than you. Be glad and proud you are an American.

More Scientists Defecting from Darwin

At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne is troubled by the increasingly unmanageable problem of high-level academic defectors from evolutionary theory…

The standard talking point among Darwin advocates had been that there exists no genuine scientific opposition to Darwinian theory, whether among molecular biologists or anyone else who isn't a "creationist" or otherwise under the spell of Iron Age religious beliefs. How easily and comfortably that idea used to tumble from the mouths of Darwin defenders and lobbyists.

But the party line has grown so obviously unsupportable that even Coyne is driven to take refuge in the rationalization that it's only (or "virtually" so) some molecular biologists who are somehow misled. Misled by what? By their own superior knowledge of the inner workings of life at its most basic levels, it seems. They fail to understand because, well, they understand too much!

That's a fallback position that, I think it's evident, isn't going to last long either.


(David Klinghoffer, "High-Level Defectors from Evolutionary Theory Leave a Top Darwin Defender Feeling 'Disturbed,'" Evolution News and Views.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today's Posts

"It's Called Reading"

Book Words: Those Extant and Those Needed

The "Abortion and Promiscuity Enablement Center" (aka Planned Parenthood)

What a Week for "When Swing Was King"

Obama Parties Like There's No Tomorrow... And With His Policies, Maybe There Isn't

Excuse Me, That Romney "Gaffe" Told the Simple Truth


"It's Called Reading"


Book Words: Those Extant and Those Needed

You’ve heard of bibliophiles. They’re book lovers, the Latin word being a composite of “biblio” (book) and "philo" (love). But how about a few other bibliotypes to add to your vocabulary?

There's a bibliographe, a person who writes about books, and the bibliophobe, one who harbors an irrational fear of books. But did you know there are words for those who read too much (bibliobibuli); a person who hides books (bibliotapbe); people who rip the pages from books (biblioclasts); and even the overactive guy or gal who throws books around (biblioriptos). Amazing, huh? But this isn't the end — not by a long shot.

A bibliognoste is a person learned in the minute details of a book's publication like colophons, editions, dates and place printed, and who printed it. A bibliomane is an indiscriminate accumulator of books. There's a few of those around certainly. A bibliolestes is a book-thief while a bibliophtbor is even worse, a book ravager or destroyer. Yipes. There's even a word (bibliopbage) to describe the foolishly famished fellow who eats books! No kidding.

Yet with all of these nifty words available, I'd like to suggest a few more of my own invention — words I think are necessary to cover the whole range of book-oriented activity.

For instance, what about the young wife who suffers from bibiloemeril, a love of cookbooks? Or the politician afflicted with bibliobiden, the use of books for purposes of plagiarism? And we should probably have a word to represent the common enough practice of using books from one's shelf (or closet) to give as a present when you haven’t had time to go shopping for something else. Let's go with biblioregifte.

A few others that I think would be serviceable:
* Bibliosupportos — an inventive person who uses a book to replace a missing couch leg.
* Bibioinsecticide — one who uses books to squash bugs.
* Bibliopest — someone who reads only one book a year but adamantly insists that all his friends read it also because "It's absolutely the best book I've read all year!"
* Bibiocorsagi — a young woman who only uses a book to press her prom flowers.
* Bibliocsi — the unwitting criminal who, in the process of committing a felony, leaves his fingerprints or other identifying evidence on a book.
* Bibiloliar — the person who claims they have read books that they never really have.

And before we leave this etymological enterprise concerning books, I also have a few additional bibliophobe categories to recommend. After all, I've never really come across a person who is afraid of books in general. However, I can see the need for more particular book-related phobias. Here's a few:

* The fear of long books. This is quite prevalent among students (and a few members of our literary society);
* The fear of the inter-library loan process;
* The fear of coming across in a book quotations or phrases which are written in another language;
* The fear of disappointment one experiences when he or she goes to see a Hollywood version of a treasured book;
* The fear of being asked an opinion about a book given as a gift but which was actually tossed (unread) into a box in the basement;
* The fear of receiving books from an e-Bay vendor that are advertised in "mint condition" but which probably are not;
* The fear experienced when a Mom asks her high-school son, "Why don't you ever bring any books home, dear?"

Feel free to start sprinkling these new book-oriented words into your vocabulary. You'll find that your friends will be very impressed to see what a bibliohipster you really are.

(Denny Hartford)

The "Abortion and Promiscuity Enablement Center" (aka Planned Parenthood)

Claire and I spent part of our morning praying in front of the "Abortion and Promiscuity Enablement Center" located on North 93rd Street.

Of course, the place is better known as Planned Parenthood.

We were there to give public witness against the exploitation, blasphemy and lethal violence that constitutes PP's regular business. We believe that Christians must never allow such evils as those perpetrated by Planned Parenthood to go without principled protest. If we were to do so, all of the Church's talk about standing for righteousness, justice and mercy would be rightly seen as hypocritical cant.

We were there also to provide factual information about abortion and abortion alternatives to would-be clients. For Planned Parenthood doesn't tell women the facts. They're in the business of selling abortion -- and they sell an awful lot of 'em -- and they don't let things like the facts of fetal development, the facts of abortion's danger, or the facts about abortion's enduring damage to a woman's psyche and soul to get in the way of their business.

And regarding abortion alternatives? Though pro-life, pro-woman pregnancy help centers must carry on without government funds, without profits of any kind (they are charities), and without even moral support from media, business and (too often) churches, they way outnumber abortion clinics. The alternatives are there and there are a lot of people willing to step up with real information, free ultrasounds, adoptive help, parenting programs, financial help, job training, spiritual resources, and so many other fruits of genuine compassion.

And we also stand in front of sad, sickening abortion mills like Planned Parenthood in order to pray. We pray for conversions of heart. We pray for deliverance of individuals even as we pray for judgment against the violent system. And we pray for spiritual reformation in Western culture.

We've been praying for these things outside abortion clinics for 30 years and, for most of those years, we've enjoyed the presence of a few like-minded Christian servants. Two of those standout champions of life were with us today, Carol Moran and Quint Coppi. And I suppose that makes yet a fourth reason for us to engage in such a ministry; that is, to be stimulated and encouraged by the fellowship of spiritual heroes. For, believe me; the fellowship of such saints is well worth hitting the streets for.

What a Week for "When Swing Was King"

This week is certainly a big one for our "When Swing Was King" outreach. Why? 1) Because we have 5 of them scheduled -- one for each day of the week. 2) Because we're debuting at a brand new nursing home and 3) Because Vital Signs hosted a special showing of "When Swing Was King" to about 50 of our supporters, several of whom brought along photos from their own family history for us to incorporate in the program.

Here's a few details.

The pie social was held Monday night at Hope Church at 93rd and Maple. Because of the size of the room we had rented there (and because of the special purposes of the evening), we had not made it an open event like we usually do. Rather we sent out special invitations to those on our mailing list who are local and who are regular financial supporters of Vital Signs Ministries. We had almost the perfect number -- just right for the room and for the number of photo scanners we had in operation.

Most of those in attendance had heard a lot about our "When Swing Was King" ministry but few had actually "experienced" it and, man alive, were we touched by their enthusiastic complements! As a personal encouragement to Claire and I, it was really great. And, just as important, was the evening's direct help in making "When Swing Was King" even better through an influx of old photos.

About a dozen individuals and families provided us with photos from their family history of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Claire, Kurt, Keith and Steve all had scanners going to make copies of those pictures which were eventually transferred to Claire's computer. By the time the smoke cleared, we had over 150 great photos! Plus, we will be scanning yet more from other friends in the weeks to come. Who knows? Maybe we'll be getting help from some of you! Just give us a call.

Another highlight of this big "When Swing Was King" week" came yesterday when we debuted at a brand new place -- Brighton Gardens. We had an exceptional time. The first positive was that the place was well set up when we arrived. That's not always the case. We often have to play furniture movers before we play anything else! We were then warmly received by the Activities Director and received maximum cooperation from the rest of the staff too. Again, that's not a given.

There were a few residents already waiting for us but, as we set up our equipment, many more sauntered in, including a sizable group led in by staff from the Alzheimer's unit. By the time we started our first tune (always a Glenn Miller song), we had 30 or more involved. That's a terrific number.  And their response to the music and photos was wonderful. My introduction to almost every song triggered oohs and ahs, signalling both recognition and appreciation, and every song was applauded at the end. Along the way, we had several people joining in song, especially three of the ladies from the Alzheimer's unit. Our visits with residents following the program confirmed our hopes. It was a very enthusiastic reception with both residents and staff making strong appeals for us to come their way every month.

Well, well. What to do? We had recently cut one of the nursing homes from our schedule because of consistent problems with the staff there. With that place crossed off then, we decided we had room to say yes to this new request.  That means we are now back to 11 "When Swing Was King" presentations every month. And a 12th every once in awhile up in Blair. And another regular one maybe in the works.

As always, we direct you to the monthly schedule for "When Swing Was King" found at the Vital Signs Ministries web site if you'd like to come be a part of the ministry.

Obama Parties Like There's No Tomorrow... And With His Policies, Maybe There Isn't

The Middle East is boiling over but Barack Obama doesn't have room in his schedule to meet with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.

No, in the self-contained party that is Barack Obama's world, there are other things much more important. Like appearing on TV with David Letterman. Or popping corks with pop stars and taking money from that same super-rich class he pretends, in other situations, to disdain.

Here's more about the president's party from the New York Post.

Nix the flags and the podium. Cue the opulent 18-foot tower of gold-bottled French champagne.

When President Obama addresses an elite roster of hipsters and multimillionaires, including hosts BeyoncĂ© and Jay-Z, in New York tonight, he will do so next to a custom-designed tower of $800-per-bottle champagne that dominates the main room at Jay-Z’s 40/40 nightclub.

The 350-bottle champagne tower — designed by Jeffrey Beers — is a monument to Jay-Z’s favorite bubbly, Armand de Brignac, which is known colloquially by rappers, clubgoers and connoisseurs as Ace of Spades because of its gold-spade label…

But the White House, which meticulously controls Obama’s image, is not expected to release any photos of the president’s appearance at the lavish club.

Details of the party are “under lock and key,” according to the rep, and the White House was guarding the guest list as if it were the latest intelligence profile of Iran’s nuclear program.

Instead, only a White House pool reporter, allowed brief admittance, will file a report tonight during Obama’s ninth fund-raising trip to the Big Apple this year.

All the campaign would say yesterday was that the president would speak to about 100 people at the $40,000-per-person event, after addressing 200 donors at a $12,500-per-family reception at the Waldorf...


P.S. Where are those journalists who were so bothered by Nancy Reagan's dishes or Laura Bush's dresses?

Excuse Me, That Romney "Gaffe" Told the Simple Truth

In the video, Romney refers to “47 percent” of Americans and says that they are “dependent upon government” and “pay no income tax.” While these groups are not necessarily one in the same, there is overlap between the two, and the percentages on government dependency and non-tax-paying are very similar.

It is true that nearly half of all tax filers—those who are filing an income form with the IRS—pay no federal income tax. It’s also true that millions of Americans receive direct government support in a host of ways, including income, food, housing, medical care, school lunches, and more....


The outlook is grim: Government dependency is jumping for the fourth year in a row, and the Index has risen more than 31 percent in that time.

This is bad news for three reasons. First, the economy is so weak that people are going to the government for help. This is a stark repudiation of President Obama’s big-spending, “spread the wealth around” approach, because “giving everyone a shot” does not work unless the “shot” comes at the expense of the taxpayers.

Second, the nation can’t afford to continue increasing spending on these programs, as President Obama has proposed in each of his budgets. Federal spending is exploding—and it is already an eye-popping reality that 70.5 percent of federal spending goes to dependency-creating programs. We are spending more on dependency-creating programs while an ever-shrinking number of taxpayers are paying for them.

But third, and most importantly, it’s bad for Americans. The American Dream is about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, through independence—not dependence on government. Government dependency erodes human dignity and civil society.

These programs were originally designed to help those who fall on hard times and need a safety net. Public policy should head back in that direction. The welfare reform of 1996 helped lift recipients out of poverty and back into jobs by requiring, among other things, that they work. President Obama has undone that requirement. And there are dozens more anti-poverty programs that should be revamped to help those who are able toward self-sufficiency.

At the same time, we must address the looming entitlements crisis: 78 million baby boomers are heading into retirement, and many of them will be entirely dependent on Social Security and Medicare for their income and health care. This dependency is a huge driver of future budget deficits.

We cannot continue on a course of unlimited government spending when fewer and fewer taxpayers are paying for that spending. That is the financial fact. But we also cannot sustain the American Dream on this course—and that is a fact that is intensely personal for every American.


(From Amy Payne, "Government Dependency Rises As Number of Taxpayers Declines," The Foundry sponsored by the Heritage Foundation."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blogging Break

Because of a bit tougher schedule than usual, I'm on a "blog break" this week. On our agenda -- working on the upcoming Vital Signs Ministries pie social; putting together the literature tables for both that event and this weekend's Providential History Festival; writing an article for the church newsletter; preparing for Sunday's sermon and adult Sunday School class; and writing both a 7-minute speech and a 45-minute lecture for the aforementioned history event, "Frankenstein's Notebooks: The Mad Scientist in Literature."

And, oh yes...three presentations of "When Swing Was King."

See you here at the blog next Monday.    

Friday, September 07, 2012

Today's Posts

"When Swing Was King" Helps Celebrate a 99th Birthday!

To set up for every "When Swing Was King" presentation takes a while. We lug in the screen and (in two suitcases) the other equipment: Claire's laptop computer, the projector, the sound system, all the electrical cords, black plastic sheets to block excessive window light, a little fan, and a few other items. We then unpack and arrange everything on two separate tables. We start playing "prelude" music; bring up the Power Point program, make all the electrical connections; check sound levels; get on our knees to tape down the cords so that no one stumbles; and work with the distance and angles of the projector to the screen to get the biggest picture possible.

We've got it down to an art but it still takes 20-30 minutes to get ready. And, quite often, the nursing home or senior living residents start coming in to watch us and visit while we're doing our thing. It's really a very pleasant part of the whole "When Swing Was King" experience -- as is our visiting with residents after the program too. There are stories shared, jokes told, complements passed around, and other expressions of warm friendship. Really wonderful...and that's not even mentioning the music and memories!

So, yesterday we arrived at Immanuel Fontenelle (one of our favorite places) and we're expecting the usual state of affairs. But no, something was going on. The whole room was arranged differently. Uh oh. Had we slipped up and come on the wrong day? Had they forgotten that they had us scheduled?

No. Everything was cool. It turned out that they were using "When Swing Was King" as the first part of a party they were throwing in honor of one of the resident's 99th birthday! Wow, what an honor...and what fun. There were a couple of our favorite people absent but there was a big crowd, plenty of people singing along, fancy decorations, delicious cupcakes, and a little thank-you speech from the birthday girl. It was a lovely afternoon.

Keep in mind that you can get in on this scene also. The monthly schedule for "When Swing Was King" is posted on the Vital Signs Ministries web site so you can find a spot most convenient for your schedule to come join us. And be assured, Claire and I and all of those seniors just waiting to make your acquaintance would love to have you!

A Word of Warning

The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. 

People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. 

It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists. It is no answer to say, with a distant optimism, that the scheme is only in the air. A blow from a hatchet can only be parried while it is in the air.

(G.K. Chesterton, 1922)

Oh, You Can Be a Christian; You Just Can't Show It.

"Britain is a very tolerant country but we seem to be more tolerant to some groups than others and at the moment we’re not at all tolerant to Christians. You can have faith but not demonstrate it.”

Bruno Waterfield's article in the Telegraph describes the double standard operating in Great Britain when it comes to protecting religious rights. He explains how the British government (despite the previous promises of Prime Minister David Cameron to protect religious expression) has taken a position against Christians being able to express anything about their faith (even wearing a cross) in the workplace.

But to the government, that's not discrimination nor is it a denial of religious freedom because, after all: 1) You can still be a Christian. You just can't let anyone know it. Or 2) You're free to go get another less-conspicuous job.


Good grief.

Here's the article.

Removing God -- From the Democrat Platform and from Life

The authors of the Democratic platform have inadvertently revealed to the world the sea change that has taken place in that party we once knew....

The omission of God is being called an oversight. But the viral reaction to returning God, even when Obama asked that it be done, testifies that this was no accident. God was deleted deliberately.

This process has been under way for a decade. In the 2004 platform, there were seven references to God. In 2008, one.

Like the European Union, whose Christian heritage is being excised from official documents by its secularist elite, the country led by the Democratic Party of Obama is being de-Christianized.

Still, why would Democrats do something so seemingly stupid, something that will inevitably cause a backlash among believers?

Answer: Millions of Democrats are themselves offended when God is included, because for them, the God of the Old and New testaments is an impediment to the progressive march of mankind…


(Pat Buchanan, "A Godless Party Expels the Creator.")

The Great Planned Parenthood/Mammogram Scam Exposed...by the Obama Administration?

Casey Mattox from the Alliance Defense Fund has written an absolutely first-rate article exposing the deliberate lies of Planned Parenthood, Barack Obama, and Democrats everywhere, about mammograms.

This is most definitely pass around material.

A deliberate effort is underway to rebrand Planned Parenthood as an integral provider of healthcare services, without which untold millions of women would lack basic medical care, or so the story goes. Thus, whenever any effort is made to cut off funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider and stalwart financier of leftist politicians, we’re told there is a “war on women.”

But it’s not a “war on women” when a state simply places a higher priority on funds for true health services that Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform Take, for example, mammograms.

Yes, mammograms. Perhaps there is no greater falsehood than the deceitful, and largely successful, attempt to persuade Americans that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms. It doesn’t.

When the Komen Foundation announced in February that it would no longer provide grants to Planned Parenthood—partly due to the fact that Planned Parenthood does not directly provide mammograms - its ideological and political supporters sprang into action. They decried Komen’s decision to eliminate funding for this imagined provider of mammograms. Planned Parenthood’s Executive Director, Cecile Richards, , made the claim. So did President Obama. And an unsuspecting public was led to believe that such bold claims, by people who should know, must be true.

No matter that phone calls to Planned Parenthood from Live Action demonstrated clearly that this was not the case: Obama had spoken. And the president’s campaign together with Planned Parenthood’s ads continue to beat this drum (almost as if they were coordinated), building off the earlier confusion to frighten voters about the prospect of a Romney administration cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood’s “cancer screenings.”

Anytime someone suggests to you that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms, I encourage you to share with them this letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services demonstrating that it’s untrue.
[The link to the Pdf copy of the government's letter can be found in the article itself -- follow the link given above.] No Planned Parenthood clinic in the country is authorized to perform mammograms. If they are nevertheless performing them, they are violating federal law.

Under the federal Mammogram Quality Standards Act, administered by HHS, “[n]o facility may conduct an examination or procedure…involving mammography” without a certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While a 2004 amendment to this law permits some states to also authorize mammography facilities, these certificates are still issued under the authority of the FDA, and the FDA records all certificates and investigates facilities holding such certifications. In short, there is no uncertainty: if Planned Parenthood could perform mammograms, the FDA (and HHS) would know it.

When President Obama and other Planned Parenthood partisans were making their mammogram claims, Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request to seek any certificates held by any Planned Parenthood clinic or affiliate in the country. The response from President Obama’s own HHS is that no such certificates exist. No Planned Parenthood affiliate in the nation possesses the necessary certification to perform mammograms under federal law. Subsequent e-mails to the department further confirmed this fact…

Some Planned Parenthood clinics may provide much less effective manual breast exams. And some encourage women to perform self-exams, which breast cancer organizations like the Komen Foundation actually discourage as counterproductive to women’s health. And, in some cases, Planned Parenthood employees may tell a woman she should go get a mammogram from one of the public facilities that could have provided one to her in the first place. But in order to get a mammogram, a woman needs to go to someplace other than Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood and the politicians it supports must persuade Americans that Planned Parenthood is a full-service women’s health provider—a critical part of our health infrastructure—in order to keep the spigot of taxpayer dollars open. And so continues the deliberate campaign to deceive the public into believing the falsehood that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms for women who otherwise wouldn’t have them.

Planned Parenthood doesn’t perform mammograms. And President Obama’s own administration agrees. Perhaps with this lie exposed, we can now have a serious discussion about the hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies for Planned Parenthood and its political allies.