Friday, August 30, 2013

Today's Posts

Here's 9 Things About Planned Parenthood Everyone Should Know

Joe Carter over at the Gospel Coalition notes "9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood."

1. Planned Parenthood Federation of America has 95 affiliates and 865 health centers, according to its latest annual report, which covers the 2008-09 fiscal year. They require that at least one clinic per affiliate must perform abortions. PP performs over 320,000 abortions a year. [That's surgical abortions alone. The number of preborn kids killed through PP chemicals is incalculable.]

2. The motto for this year's PP gala is "Our past is our prologue." Part of the past the organization will be celebrating includes its founding by the notorious racist and eugenicist Margaret Sanger. Sanger wanted to control the reproduction of immigrants, the poor, certain religious groups, and anyone else she thought was from an "unacceptable" heritage. Sanger referred to such people as reckless breeders who were "unceasingly spawning a class of human beings who never should have been born at all..." 

In 1939 Sanger started the "Negro Project" and attempted to get Christian ministers to aid her effort. As she wrote in a letter to a fellow eugenicist, "we do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members."

3. Last year PP reported excess revenue of $87.4 million and $1.2 billion in total assets. Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood's CEO, makes nearly $400,000 a year.
[She actually makes over $500,000.)

4. The amount of taxpayer money PP got in 2012 ($542,000,000) equates to $61,836 an hour, 24 hours a day for 365 days.

5. PP has repeatedly and consistently turned a blind eye to reports of statutory rape.

6. PP strongly opposes sex education that focuses on abstinence and has gone so far as to file lawsuits against school districts that have decided to implement abstinence-only programs. The organization claims to offer "value-neutral" sex education. (As an example, on their website aimed at teenagers, they include an article ("All About the Anus") which teaches kids that, "Some straight couples use anal sex as a way to preserve the woman's virginity.")

7. Last month a Planned Parenthood of Florida lobbyist, testifying against Florida's Born Alive Infants Protection Act, told lawmakers that if a baby survives an abortion, it is debatable whether that baby should live or die.

8. Some Planned Parenthood clinics have demonstrated a willingness to partner with pimps and sex traffickers to exploit young women instead of safeguarding their health and safety.

9. While in the Illinois state senate, Obama worked with PP to determine how he should vote on a partial-birth abortion legislation. With Planned Parenthood's blessing, he voted "present" to protect his "100 percent" record on pro-abortion votes.

Cholera in Haiti -- Thanks to the United Nations

...The disease had been unknown in Haiti for more than a century. In October 2010, United Nations peacekeepers leaked cholera-infected fecal waste into a tributary of Haiti’s largest river—the same river countless Haitians use for bathing, cooking, and drinking. Eight thousand Haitians have died as a result, and counting. The number spiked as recently as spring of 2013 during Haiti’s wet season.

The United Nations’ responsibility for the outbreak has been confirmed in study after study. Epidemiological research shows that a combination of inadequate screening of peacekeepers from Nepal—where cholera is endemic—and poor sanitation practices at the U.N. base in central Haiti caused the outbreak. Microbiological studies demonstrate that the strain of cholera that seeped into Haiti’s waters perfectly matches the strain of cholera prevalent in South Asia...

However, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, the U.N. continues to deny its role. Previously, the organization rejected claims for relief from more than 5,000 cholera victims, simply declaring that the claims were “not receivable.” This week, U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky responded to renewed calls for accountability by asking the international community to donate money to help Haiti recover from the “double tragedy of earthquake and cholera” while saying nothing about the part the U.N. played in visiting this tragedy upon the country in the first place...

(From "The United Nations’ Shameful History in Haiti" by Charanya Krishnaswami, published in Slate.)

Pre-Weekend Reading (Get the Tough Stuff Out of the Way)

* "IRS continues to hound Tea Party Patriots, demands more data for tax-exempt status" (Ben Wolfgang, Washington Times)

* "Former Church Council Chief Urges Christianity to Abandon 'Exclusivity'" (Mark Tooley, Juicy Ecumenism

* "President Obama’s (Un)Memorial Speech" (Hans von Spakovsky, National Review)

* "Gay Spouses in All States Now Married Under U.S. Tax Law" (Richard Rubin & Margaret Collins, Bloomberg)

* "Chicago Public Schools Mandates Sexual, Health Education For Kindergarten" (Channel 2 News, Local CBS station)

* "Obama's Affordable Care Act Looking a Bit Unaffordable: Independent National Journal analysis finds premiums higher under Obamacare as employers weigh dropping coverage." (Clara Ritger, National Journal)

* "LA Times claims Democrats led passage of Civil Rights Act; Larry Elder rebuts." (Twitchy)

* "Barack Obama uses the March on Washington to attack his opponents. This man is shameless." (Tim Stanley, Telegraph)

Do Rotten Teeth Prove That Dentists Don't Exist?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Today's Posts

Recommending "The Impossible Spy"

With the headlines filled with war in the Middle East, Syria, the Muslim Brotherhood, Arab nationalism, the vulnerability of Israel, and so on, Claire and I decided late last night to watch (via Amazon at $1.99) "The Impossible Spy," a movie made for the BBC by Harvey Chertok in 1987. The film, which starred John Shea and Eli Wallach, was at the time the largest film production in Israel and it remains to this day the BBC's best-selling movie.

The film depicts the true story of Eli Cohen, an Egyptian-born Jew who became one of Israel's most important spies. Indeed, the secrets he obtained became crucial in Israel's victory in the Six Day War of 1967.

The film, except for a couple of a details, is remarkably accurate and was approved by Mossad and by Cohen's widow.

We found the film riveting.

Beware the Next Wave Against Freedom of Religious Speech

Being a pro-life activist for over 30 years, I have faced numerous challenges to the supposedly guaranteed freedom of speech in America.

I've been tossed in jail for silently praying on the steps of the Supreme Court (when the Court wasn't even in session and where a large and raucous pro-abortion crowd had been allowed to have a public rally just hours before).

I've been tossed in jail for praying on a public sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic (again, a place where police allowed pro-abortion demonstrators to assemble en masse with nasty signs and screaming obscenities through bullhorns).

I have campaigned against the city of Omaha whose prosecutor and police were using an unconstitutional law (one designed long ago for use against labor picketers) to prohibit the freedoms of speech, association and even the peaceful presence of pro-life advocates on a public sidewalk. Thankfully, we eventually won that case.

But I've also lost a court case against an abortionist who was using water sprinklers to, quite literally, "dampen" free speech. The ridiculous ruling from the judge declared that the abortionist was allowed to spray water over the public sidewalks (and into the streets) as long as the water did not spray higher than the neck level of a tall man; namely, me. (I'm not kidding.)

And finally, I have faced opposition to free speech on college campuses, in print, over radio airwaves, and more. So when I hear people dismiss the threat to free speech that is represented by the politically-correct police of the left, I cringe. For the dangers to free speech on not on the Orwellian horizon...they're already here.

With all of this said though, I believe that the repression of free speech in the public square that Christian pro-life activists like myself have faced over the last few decades is but a shadow of the sinister forces of repression that are gathering now -- forces that are planning to suppress not only the freedom of speech but of conscience and religion.

And those muzzlers of free speech are not content with controlling the public square anymore. Oh, no. Motivated by their irrational zeal against natural sexuality and marriage, the silencers are coming right into your church sanctuary.

Please read this brief post from National Review Online written by Erik Stanley, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.

The Associated Press reports that some churches are taking steps to change their bylaws after the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act out of a desire to protect themselves from potential claims by same-sex couples. The article reported that some critics argued that such changes were unnecessary and amount to “a solution looking for a problem.”

But as an attorney who defends the constitutional freedoms of churches on a daily basis, all the assurances of those who have been actively seeking to redefine marriage that they will not target churches ring hollow in light of what is already happening. For example, Hawaii passed a civil-unions law that took effect last year. One of the provisions of the law specifies that if a church allows members of the public to use its facilities for weddings, then it cannot deny a same-sex couple the ability to use the church building for a same-sex ceremony. Just last year, the city of Hutchinson, Kansas, attempted to pass an ordinance mandating the same thing.  The FAQs for the ordinance specifically stated: “For example, if a church has a parish hall that they rent out to the general public, they could not discriminate against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.”

Across the pond, a same-sex couple is planning to sue the Church of England to force the church to host its ceremony.

Those who imply that churches are silly or misguided in seeking to protect their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms by proactively adopting bylaw changes simply do not understand the coming threat – or even just simple prudence. There is reason for churches to act now to be prepared.  Alliance Defending Freedom offers free resources to help churches in this process.

Don’t listen to those who claim that churches should do nothing because no threat exists. It doesn’t take an attorney to know that the evidence speaks for itself.

And for the latest example of what we're talking about, read the Heritage Foundation report from Ryan T. Anderson, "Same-Sex Marriage Trumps Religious Liberty in New Mexico."

Back to School Reading (It Ain't Pretty)

Here' a few recent items dealing with the increasing expensive,
increasingly powerful, and decreasing effective government school system.

Remember, it's all about the kids.

* "Why Democrats Love Failing Schools: Because Unions Pay Them To" (Michael Schaus, Town Hall)

* "Wisconsin schools introduce masturbation in fourth grade, everything else by sixth" (Ryan Ekvall, Human Events)   

* "Kentucky students to first lady Michelle Obama: Your food ‘tastes like vomit’" (Eric Owens, Education Editor at Daily Caller)

* "Meet the Radical Lawyers Suing Bobby Jindal to Block School Choice" (J. Christian Adams, PJ Media)

Slogans Aside, Planned Parenthood Doesn't Care

Since 2008, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been offering webcam abortions throughout Iowa with no doctor on site, consulting only by webcam from Des Moines or elsewhere. The woman is given a set of chemicals that starve an unborn baby to death by causing the nutrient lining of the uterus to disintegrate. The second set of pills, taken after the woman leaves the clinic, causes the baby to be expelled days later.

How can PP’s “Care. No Matter What.” apply when they send Iowa women home ALONE to complete an abortion?

(Christopher Bell)

Wednesday Tea Break ( Keith & Kristyn Getty)

And you thought I had stopped posting the Wednesday Tea Breaks altogether. Not quite. In fact, here's a very uplifting one today starring the excellent musical ministry of Keith & Kristyn Getty.

So brew up. Look up. And enjoy.

For more on Keith & Kristy, the Irish singers and songwriters who are helping restore solid theology and quality musical composition to modern hymns, visit their website here.

And finally, for another clip of the Gettys preforming their great song, "In Christ Alone," check out this post from Vital Signs Blog from a couple weeks back. You'll also read there about the character of these faithful Christian servants.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Today's Posts

President Obama, Take a Walk

(Hat tip to Ralph & Linda Aldrich.)

Planned Parenthood Just Hates These "Remarkable Babies" Stories

Meghan Holohan at NBC News reports on some exciting discoveries about those...uh, those "intrauterine contents" that Planned Parenthood and other abortion zealots work so hard to dehumanize.

That's right -- what moral and rational people call "babies."

Expectant moms who coo and chat to their babies while they’re pregnant may be doing more than stimulating the fetus – they may be shaping their child’s brain, according to research published Monday.

A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reinforces what many people had believed—babies hear what their moms say and their brains recognize these words after birth…

This paper does more than simply find that babies in utero can hear; it shows that babies can detect subtle changes and process complex information…

The finding support the idea that an unborn fetus can learn and remember just as well as a newborn, the researchers said. It may be worthwhile to expose babies to more sounds before they are even born.

“The better we know how the fetus’ brain works, the more we’ll know [about] early development of language,” Partanen says. “If we know better how language develops very early, we may one day be able to develop very early interventions [for babies with abnormal development].”  

Pro-Life Activist Harassed by Christian College Receives Apology...And More

You perhaps heard about the outrageous treatment Diana Jimenez, a fourth year nursing school student at Biola University, received after displaying photos on campus which depicted the gruesome evil of abortion.

The young pro-life Christian was not only threatened with arrest for her peaceful, legal activity but the director of the nursing program attempted to sabotage Diana's nursing career by ordering her staff not to write letters of recommendation for her.

Bad, bad show, Biola.

But, thank the Lord, the story didn't end here. The president of Biola, Barry Corey, has now made a public apology for what happened to Diana and is taking specific (and encouraging) steps to heighten the college's understanding of pro-life issues.

Here are two reports about Corey's actions from a couple of outstanding pro-life activists themselves, Randy Alcorn and Jill Stanek.

Saeed's Appeal Rejected; Let's Step Up Our Intercession.

An appeals court in Tehran has rejected the appeal and even refused to reduce the 8-year prison sentence of Saeed Abedini, the Iranian-American pastor who has been unjustly imprisoned in Iran's brutal prison system.

“While we remained hopeful that Iran would use its own appeal process to finally show respect for Pastor Saeed's basic human rights, again Iran has demonstrated an utter disregard for the fundamentals of human rights,” said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ, which represents Pastor Saeed’s wife and their two children. “We are exploring all options with Pastor Saeed’s family, including options in this country and abroad to bring more pressure on Iran from the U.S. and other countries around the world. The decision is deeply troubling and underscores Iran’s continued violation of principles of freedom of religion, association, peaceful assembly, and expression.”

Sekulow added: “This legal decision also signals a new level of concern for Pastor Saeed’s safety. By keeping the 8-year prison sentence in place, Pastor Saeed, now potentially faces additional beatings and abuse inside Evin Prison – treatment that has significantly weakened him during his first year in prison.”

Let's step up the prayers and, as we've asked here before, let's also share our concerns with the temporal powers. For instance, write your Senators and Congressmen asking them to step up the pressure on Iran to free Saeed. (Contact info right here.) Write Secretary of State John Kerry with the same appeal. (Contact info below.) And go ahead and write Iran's diplomatic minister to the United States. Ask him to please urge his government to demonstrate genuine justice by immediately releasing Saeed Abedini.

U.S. Department of State
Attention: Secretary John Kerry
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520
Phone: 1-202-647-4000

Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington, DC United States
c/o Embassy of Pakistan
2209 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington D.C.20007
United States

"The Butler" -- Just Another Hollywood Hatchet Job

Thinking about seeing "The Butler"?

For the sake of honor and truth, please avoid plonking down good money to see a really bad movie. Don't let Hollywood play you for a sucker by manipulating your mind with a truly mean-spirited distortion of the Reagan White House.

Instead, read this review of someone who was there -- Ronald Reagan's son, Michael.

There you go again, Hollywood.

You’ve taken a great story about a real person and real events and twisted it into a bunch of lies.

You took the true story of Eugene Allen, the White House butler who served eight presidents from 1952 to 1986, and turned it into a clichéd “message movie.”

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler’” stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, a fictional character supposedly based on Eugene Allen’s real life.

But let’s compare the two White House butlers.

Guess which one grew up in segregated Virginia, got a job at the White House and rose to become maître d hote, the highest position in White House service?

Guess which one had a happy, quiet life and was married to the same woman for 65 years? And who had one son who served honorably in Vietnam and never made a peep of protest through the pre- and post-civil rights era?

Now guess which butler grew up on a Georgia farm, watched the boss rape his mother and then, when his father protested the rape, watched the boss put a bullet through his father’s head?

Guess which butler feels the pain of America’s racial injustices so deeply that he quits his White House job and joins his son in a protest movement?

And guess which butler has a wife (Oprah Winfrey) who becomes an alcoholic and has a cheap affair with the guy next door? (I’m surprised it wasn’t the vice president.)

After comparing Hollywood’s absurd version of Eugene Allen’s life story with the truth, you wonder why the producers didn’t just call it “The Butler from Another Planet.”...

The real story of the White House butler doesn’t imply racism at all. It’s simply Hollywood liberals wanting to believe something about my father that was never there...

But facts don’t matter to Hollywood’s creative propagandists. Truth is too complicated and not dramatic enough for scriptwriters, who think in minute terms, not the big picture, when it comes to a conservative.

Yes to Religious Experience; No to Religious Knowledge

I spent part of my pastoral life as a youth pastor and I witnessed firsthand the challenge young people face in high school (and especially in college). When I first began as a youth pastor, I expressed my creative inclinations robustly (I have a degree in design and a master’s degree in Architecture). My weekend services were a visual and audible extravaganza. I was focused entirely on experience. About a year into my pastorate I realized the incredible deficiencies of this approach. The seniors graduated from my ministry and eventually graduated from Christianity altogether. They were simply not prepared to respond to the challenges they faced from skeptics in the university setting. They needed answers, and I wasn’t providing them; I changed my approach to youth ministry completely.

I began to share the evidence I found so compelling when I was a skeptic, and I started responding to the objections and questions my students already had (but were sometimes afraid to express). Many of my youth pastor colleagues thought I was crazy to make “apologetics” the sole focus of my weekend meetings, but the students we prepared in this way were ready for life in the “real world”. I discovered something important: Students want the truth. Don’t let the pundits or cultural observers fool you into thinking students are more concerned about experience, entertainment or storytelling. Students want answers. In fact, I think young people want answers more than the Church knows or understands...

I get the chance now to travel all over the country sharing the case for Christianity. I recognize the difference between student and adult congregations. While the Church seems to be satisfied with undemanding Sunday experiences, young people want so much more: They want answers. They are willing and ready to roll up their sleeves and prepare themselves. They want their own doubts answered and they want to respond to the skeptics in their lives. Sadly, the Church doesn’t seem to recognize this yet, and it definitely seems ill-equipped to meet the challenge…

(From the post "Students Love Answers More Than the Church Loves Answers" by J. Warner Wallace at his blog, Cold Case Christianity.)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Today's Posts

Chemical Abortions Don't Count

Pam Tebow Visits Omaha

Despite Media Cover, Planned Parenthood's Scandals Are Hurting the Brand

Zombies By Choice?

Outrageous: DOJ Training Manual Brands Founding Fathers as "Extremists"

Chemical Abortions Don't Count

An Associated Press story reports that "Abortions in Nebraska have fallen to at least a 20-year low." Unfortunately, the article reveals the pro-abortion bias common with the AP (such as an overt skepticism towards pro-life leaders while touting contrary views) but, more important, it fails to honestly discuss the most relevant fact of all.

That fact?

It is only surgical abortions that are counted in these official tallies. Those abortions performed using various drugs (drugs which the article repeatedly and inaccurately refer to as mere "birth-control" and which are increasingly the "means of choice" of Planned Parenthood and other abortionists to "terminate" pregnancies) are not counted by state health officials.

America's downward trend in the abortion rate over the last two decades certainly involves several factors, including the effects of pro-life laws, the spread of pro-life education, the increased awareness of fetal development through ultrasound and fetal surgery, and the compassionate work of pro-life pregnancy aid centers.

But the main reason the abortion numbers are down is that the numbers are conveniently cooked. And that manipulated math not only provides cover for the chemical abortion industry, I'm afraid it too often provides false comfort to pro-life advocates.

Sorry, but that's the cold, hard truth.

The preborn children who are killed by chemicals like RU-486 and the "morning after" pill, let alone the vast numbers whose lives are ended by the abortifacient properties of the misnamed "birth-control" pill itself, deserve to be counted. They deserve to be mourned. And they deserve our best efforts and persistent prayers to prevent other preborn boys and girls from falling victim to the same cruel chemicals.

If you're interested in knowing more, including how to best communicate to others the dangers of abortifacient drugs, please check out these sources from Vital Signs Ministries:

The New Abortionists: Chemical Abortion in Contemporary Culture

"The Profane Politics of RU-486

 Gambling With Life

Pam Tebow Visits Omaha

Claire sent this report out to her Facebook friends Saturday and I thought I'd pass it along here too. Neat stuff.

I just returned from a breakfast sponsored by Essential Pregnancy Services (EPS).  It was held at the Omaha Community Playhouse with a mini-continental breakfast catered by Wheatfields.  Over 600 folks milled around as they ate, drank coffee and looked at some of the informational tables set up.  We then went into the theater for the program.

There was a very impressive report via video of the wonderful life-saving work EPS has done in 2013.  The pictures and testimonies from some of the clients were heart-warming.  Then the main speaker was introduced after a short video about her family.  When the lights came on, Pam Tebow was at the podium.

Pam was a delightful woman who unashamedly talked about Jesus Christ.  She told her story of how she and her husband met at college and then went to the mission field in the Philippines.  Of course, everyone wanted to hear the story of football hero Tim, her youngest son, and his difficult entrance into the world.  Pam and her husband chose not to abort their Tim because they cherished life and had already dedicated Tim to the Lord.  At one point in Pam’s pregnancy, the doctor said that Tim wasn’t a baby yet, just a tumor.  So, in an interview Tim and his Mom did with Robin Roberts, they told the story of how his brothers and sisters called him Timmy Tumor for the first bit of his childhood. 

Tim’s accomplishments in football have not only given him a platform for spreading God’s Word but also for his Mom and Dad to do the same.  Pam has a strong passion for the pro-life mission and has taken this on by speaking around the country and personally being involved in a pregnancy center in her hometown. She was very passionate about how everyone in the audience needs to get involved in some way in a life-saving ministry and spoke highly of the great work EPS has done and will do.

Naturally, Pam told a few Tim Tebow stories.  And she was a proud mother of her son for all of his accomplishments but her main emphasis was how Tim was doing God’s work, first as a Heisman Trophy winner and now in the NFL by his testimony and his godly example on and off the field.  

Pam and her husband wanted their children to know God’s Word so when they were little she would put different Scriptures to music and sing them to her kids. (Now she does it with her 5 grandkids too.)  She was very clear about the manual God has given us in the Bible to help us know the truth and to live the truth.

At the end of her talk, she prayed a prayer her son-in-law wrote that explained again the importance of knowing Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Throughout the talk, Pam was strong in her faith, her love for God, her love for her family (and football!) and her love for life. 

Despite Media Cover, Planned Parenthood's Scandals Are Hurting the Brand

“Abortion numbers are down so there is less demand for Planned
Parenthood. Couple that with recent scandals involving Planned Parenthood that have resulted increased disapproval of their abortion business and it’s easy to see why these clinics are closing on such a large scale. While Planned Parenthood officials like to portray these closings as the end of the world for women, in reality, there are plenty of other competent health care providers who are not in business to sell them abortions that stand at the ready to assist women.” (Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue)

Read the rest of Cheryl Sullenger's article, "Scandals Contribute to a Record Number of Planned Parenthood Clinic Closures."

Zombies By Choice?

Neil Postman, in his prophetic book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse In The Age of Show Business (1985) compares two views of a dystopian future: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and George Orwell’s 1984 (1949) Though we lump these two works into a single category along with other such books, there are profound differences between Huxley’s and Orwell’s  visions.

Orwell wrote about a society ruled by fear and repression; Huxley wrote about one benumbed by entertainment and trivia. In one, books are banned; in the other, banning is not needed because nobody bothers to read anyway.

Both societies lead, in their own way, to the death of the soul. And though there are plenty of instances of repression and intimidation in contemporary western society, especially in the form of politically correct expectations, it is through the media’s trivialization of our daily lives that our civilization is most imperiled. In our choices of popular music, TV, movies, and cultural obsessions, we are becoming, nearly literally, the very zombies that are currently so fascinating to our young, and not-so-young…

Oh, my. Jack Niewold's columns are as sharp, provocative, and relevant as always. Don't miss out -- read the rest of  "Who Was Right, Orwell or Huxley?" You'll be thinking about it for days. And, if you'd like, you can even talk about the article with a couple of like-minded souls. Pat Osborne and I are going to make it the featured part of this Thursday morning's coffee confab at Westroad's Panera's.

Outrageous: DOJ Training Manual Brands Founding Fathers as "Extremists"

You couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

A Department of Defense teaching guide meant to fight extremism advises students that rather than “dressing in sheets” modern-day radicals “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place,” and describes 18th-century American patriots seeking freedom from the British as belonging to “extremist ideologies.”

The guide comes from documents obtained by Judicial Watch and is authored by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, a DoD-funded diversity training center.

Under a section titled “extremist ideologies,” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

Besides a brief reference to 9/11 and another to the Sudanese civil war, the guide makes no mention of Islamic extremism.

The guide also repeatedly tells readers to use the Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource in identifying hate groups. The SPLC has previously come under fire for its leftist bias and tendency to identify conservative organizations such as the American Family Association as hate groups.

In August 2012, an attempted terrorist attack occurred at the Family Research Council, another conservative organization the SPLC has branded a hate group. FRC president Tony Perkins said the SPLC’s designation prompted the attack, stating the gunman “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”…

(Charles Rollet, Daily Caller)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Today's Posts

About Those Heaven Travelogues

Those Oberlin College Racist Incidents? Faked By Liberal Students.

As the World Turns (Recommended Reading)

About Those Heaven Travelogues

Boy, am I sick and tired of these "I died and went to heaven and now I'm back to give you the straight skinny about the place because, unfortunately, the Lord made a mistake of not telling you enough in the Bible. It's a pretty cool spot: a lot of light, warm fuzzy feelings, and mellow know, Mantovani, Percy Faith kind of stuff. Oh yeah, there's angels too. Now, plonk down the $19.95 please."

A much better path? Read one (or both!) of these two books which carefully, respectfully, and gratefully detail the rich teaching about heaven contained in the Bible itself.  Read Joni Eareckson Tada's Heaven: Your Real Home and Randy Alcorn's Heaven.

Believe me, you will find both of these books an inspiring treasure.

And, for another take on these first-person celestial travelogues, please check out the following essays from pastor, researcher and acclaimed author Randy Alcorn over at the Eternal Perspective Ministries site.

* "Proof of Heaven and the Dangerous Downward Spiral of My-Visit-to-Heaven Books"

* "'Heaven Is for Real,' '90 Minutes in Heaven,' and other books about visits to Heaven or Hell"

Those Oberlin College Racist Incidents? Faked By Liberal Students.

Do you remember Oberlin College canceling classes last February in
order to hold special "teach-ins" to deal with the outbreak of racist and anti-Semitic screeds which had suddenly started to appear on campus?

The thing got a lot of national attention; indeed, it prompted news stories, commentaries and copycat seminars around the country. For if menacing, ugly attitudes of this kind could occur at a school with such an ultra-liberal history as Oberlin, it must be proof that racism was on the rise and in need of massive government response.

Well, it turns out that the whole thing was a hoax.

And, even more disturbing, it was a hoax that was perpetrated by a couple of students who are zealous supporters of President Barack Obama.

In fact, one of the fellows was the founder and former president of the Ithaca High School for Obama Club, a member of the Oberlin College Democrats, and a self-described “atheist/pacifist/environmentalist/libertarian socialist/consequentialist" who organized a voter registration drive on behalf of Barack Obama.

Hmm. Does the progressive version of "community organizing" now include putting up signs featuring swastikas, the N-word and threatening messages in the dead of night?

But wait; the second remarkably disturbing item is even worse.

It seems that Oberlin officials (and even the local cops) knew the identity of the yahoos behind the signs, graffiti, and threats -- and said absolutely nothing! They allowed the circus to roll on as if the whole despicable campaign was real.


And even now, when the facts are known about this vicious hoax, where are the mainstream media reports? They are very, very few.

So for the real dope on these Oberlin dopes, you've got to go to articles like "The Great Oberlin College Racism Hoax of 2013" (William A. Jacobson at the blog Legal Insurrection) and "Meet the privileged Obama-supporting white kids who perpetrated cruel Oberlin race hoax" (Chuck Ross, Daily Caller).

Please do.

As the World Turns (Recommended Reading)

Wow. And wow again. Besides the links you'll find in the above posts, be sure to note these important articles also.

* "United States is raising a nation of savages" (Todd Starnes, Fox News)

* "Media Downplay Anti-Christian Violence In Egypt" (John Nolte, Breitbart)

* "Only in California: State Taxes the Tax Break They Gave Years Ago" (Michael Schaus, syndicated column)

* "Recklessly Living in a Carlos Danger City: On giving abortion drugs to 11-year old girls in the government schools" (Kathryn Jean Lopez, NRO)   

* "8 Outrageous Things Planned Parenthood Was Caught Doing" (Buzz Feed)

* "ObamaCare Delivers Bad News To UPS Workers" (Investor's Business Daily editorial)

* "Taxpayer cost of housing NYC prisoners last year: $167,000 per inmate" (Rebecca Harshbarger, New York Post)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Today's Posts

Oppose Persecution -- At All Levels

It's About Time: Chancellor Merkel Visits Dachau

Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected to warn Europeans about the dangers of right-wing extremism Tuesday as she visited the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau - but drew criticism for doing so during an election campaign.

She will become the first incumbent German chancellor to visit the site, hours ahead of an evening election rally in a beer tent in the nearby Bavarian city of Munich.

She is scheduled to give a short speech, tour the site museum, lay a wreath and meet with a small group of survivors.

"I know that this will not be an easy visit," she said in her weekly podcast ahead of the trip. The visit would be conducted with a sense of "shame and dismay," she said...

Not surprisingly, political opponents of the Chancellor are being boorishly critical of the visit. They insist that it's all a stunt to win votes. But in failing to show proper respect and appreciation for the visit to a concentration camp (an extremely rare thing for German politicians), the public cannot help to see that it is Merkel's critics who are playing politics here.

It's a bad show on their part. Indeed, Chancellor Merkel is making the visit at the express invitation of Dachau officials, including 93-year old survivor Max Mannheimer, the president of the committee of former prisoners.

"Mrs. Merkel's visit sends a strong signal, reflecting the estimation for the survivors and the work of the memorial site," said Dr. Gabriele Hammermann, director of the Dachau commemoration site.

"The chancellor is making good for the necessary attention that her predecessors neglected in the past," he added.

While former chancellor Helmut Kohl visited the former concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen with US president Ronald Reagan in 1985 and Merkel visited Buchenwald with President Obama in 2009, no German chancellor has ever been to Dachau in the past.

Duck Dynasty Doings

Here's a couple of Duck Dynasty reviews you'll want to read through -- and watch.

The first comes from Sarah Palin's Facebook page.

Like those 3:00 am wake up calls to join my dad duck hunting in the canoe before the school day began, it's time our politicians wake up and hear some Duck calls from far outside the beltway. The self-made, hugely successful businessmen (and women) of Duck Dynasty made history this week with the "most watched non-fiction series" in TV history. What's most interesting and inspiring is to see the number of young people tuning in to watch this all-American, hard working family -- and learn the key to their success (as well as tips on how best to bag the ducks!).

Todd and I had a great time meeting Duck Commander Willie Robertson at this year's NRA convention. And just the other day, Phil Robertson offered some of their refreshing trademark plainspoken talk that so many crave from our leaders in Washington. Speaking on the issue of the sanctity of life, Phil reminds us that all life is God-given, no matter how small or how special. Watch Phil's entire remarks on the abortion culture here.

To our GOP leaders in Washington, especially -- this is what Americans desire and deserve; we're not rooting for your social truces. As Phil so rightly asks, "What in the world has happened to us?"

Kudos to these Duck dudes for speaking their minds, and for their boldness in living the American dream of LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- reminding us all that it's only with freedom that anything is possible.

And the second Duck Dynasty review I want to point out is "Til Duck Do Us Part" written by Lee Habeeb and published over at NRO.

What happened last Wednesday night on A&E? 

The backwoods reality show Duck Dynasty drew 11.8 million viewers, which happens to be the most ever for a nonfiction telecast on cable television…

How did this show about a bunch of bearded men dressed in camo who spend some of their time making high-quality duck calls, and the rest goofing off, beat those shows that media critics swoon over endlessly?

It’s simple. Duck Dynasty didn’t spring from the head of some screenwriter in New York or Los Angeles. It isn’t dark or cynical or ironic. It’s earthy and optimistic and light-hearted and funny, like the Robertson family itself. Like America itself.

No screenwriter could imagine the Robertsons. No screenwriter could dream up a family as funny as this one, doing what it does for a living, and carrying on the way it carries on. A family as fun-loving and soulful. A family as dedicated to the notion of family.

That each show ends around the family dinner table with three generations sitting side by side, with the meal blessed by the family patriarch, makes Duck Dynasty different from anything else on TV…

But they are also something else: They’re fiercely countercultural. If Woodstock was a rebellion against everything Americans had cherished in the 1950s, Duck Dynasty is the rebellion against the rebellion. A rebellion against the culture of divorce, rudeness, and the sexualization of everything. Duck Dynasty dares to be -- wholesome...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Today's Posts

Who Cares About Women's Health? Not Abortionists.

A court challenge to a Mississippi law that could close the last remaining abortion clinic in that state has been set for trial beginning on March 3, 2014. At issue is a provision of the law that requires abortionists to maintain local hospital privileges.

[Good grief, why so long to go to trial?]

The Jackson Women's Health Organization, owned by Diane Derzis, cannot comply with the new law and sued to block its enforcement in 2012. Derzis employs out-of-state abortionists who fly into Jackson, Mississippi, to do abortions then fly out, leaving women suffering complications without continuity of care.

That issue was dramatically illustrated earlier this month when an abortion patient suffering a medical emergency was transported from JWHO to a local hospital by ambulance. The abortionist of record, Bruce Elliot Norman, has no hospital privileges in Mississippi. Neither does any other abortionist employed by Derzis. Jackson area hospitals have refused to extend privileges to these out-of-state abortionists due to liability issues.

"Derzis' emergency plan is to ship injured women off to the hospital and let the emergency room physicians figure it out. This can delay emergency treatment and further endanger the lives of women." said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, who first recommended the hospital privilege requirement to lobbyists in Mississippi…

Read the rest of Cheryl Sullenger's article here.

WSWK Update: "You Can Never Have Too Many Friends"

After 5 presentations last week of the latest "When Swing Was King" volume, we have another 6 going on this week! With such a hectic pace (for we still have all the rest of our tasks with Vital Signs Ministries to perform), we would certainly be tuckered out were it not for this one important fact -- we're having a rollicking good time!

It's true. Entertaining and interacting with the residents of the nursing homes and the other senior living facilities that we go to (13 places every month) has proven to energize rather than exhaust us. Claire and I love the music. We love the old photos. We love the chance to engage in some pop culture history. But, most of all, we love providing a quality program for people that quickly become our friends.

Along the way, "When Swing Was King" has received some wonderful praise by the geriatric care professionals who have experienced it. They cite the exceptional entertainment value of the program, the mental stimulation and memory enhancement it provides, the boost to morale and self-esteem, and the opportunity for effective socialization. They also love the respectful, comfortable ways in which way we engage the residents.

To hear these things delights us to no end and we are continually thanking the Lord for creating this unique ministry -- and for letting us be involved. And the invitation for you to be involved (whenever you'd like to be) is a standing invitation. (The schedule for each month's "When Swing Was King" can be found on the Vital Signs Ministries web site.)

We think you will find it fun and interesting but, more important, we know you would be warmly welcomed by the residents of these facilities. After all, one can never have too many friends. And that's never as true or relevant as it is to people living in a nursing home or assisted living facility where loneliness, boredom, and the rigors of aging and ill health are so common.

By the way, here is the current playlist for this month's "When Swing Was King."

1) Glenn Miller Orchestra -- "A String of Pearls"

2) Duke Ellington Orchestra -- "Satin Doll"

3) Bing Crosby -- "Now Is the Hour"

4) The Mills Brothers -- "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You"

5) Larry Clinton Orchestra (vocals by Bea Wain) -- "My Reverie"

6) Artie Shaw Orchestra -- "Temptation"

7) Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocals by Kenny Gardner) -- "Nevertheless"

8) Ted Weems Orchestra (vocals by Perry Como) -- "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now"

9) Harry James Orchestra -- "Ciribiribin"

10) Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (vocals by Frank Sinatra)  -- "I'll Be Seeing You"

11) Benny Goodman Orchestra (vocals by Martha Tilton) -- "And the Angels Sing"

12) The Andrew Sisters -- "Beer Barrel Polka"

Forget the Critics, the GOP Needs Sarah Palin

Recently, Bill Kristol appeared on ABC. He answered a reader's question about Sarah Palin and spoke of her value to the party, her loyal supporters, and her potential in politics. He went on to suggest that she "rehabilitate" herself by running for the Senate in 2014.

"Rehabilitate" isn't exactly the term one would use when thinking of Sarah Palin's contribution to conservatism. In fact, as proven in election after election, the only folks who seem to need rehabilitating are some of the experts in the GOP. Despite their criticism, the former Alaska governor has made great strides in reshaping the House and Senate. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Tim Scott, and Deb Fischer are just a few she helped across the finish line.

So it's absurd to claim that Palin needs to seek any kind of rehabilitation from the party. To the contrary, the GOP should be sucking up to her. And instead of smugly suggesting that they'd be doing her the favor in supporting a Senate run, the fact is that establishment Republicans almost need her to fulfill their hopes of a Senate takeover in 2014…

Steve Flesher has an excellent article here in the American Thinker. So check it out -- read the rest of "How Senator Palin Could 'Rehabilitate' the GOP" right here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Today's Posts

Opposing Boko Haram's Vicious Persecution of Christians

I'm pleased to pass along a call for prayer and action from Faith McDonnell, a veteran human rights advocate whose concentration is on the persecuted church.

Attacks by Boko Haram, the northern Nigerian jihadists dedicated to eliminating the Christian presence in northern Nigeria and establishing Sharia throughout the country, continue every week. And still the U.S. State Department will not designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

Some good news, though, is that U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) has drafted a new bill in Congress to “impose sanctions against persons who knowingly provide material support or resources to Boko Haram or its affiliates, associated groups, or agents, or for other purposes.”...

Before introducing the bill, we would like to see many other members of House sign on as co-sponsors. You could send a copy of this article or any other others on Juicy Ecumenism describing the horror that Boko Haram is visiting upon the Christians of northern Nigeria, and how it is affiliated with all of the other jihadist Islamist supremacist groups around the globe. Encourage your member of Congress to be a co-sponsor of this important piece of legislation.

Those congressional contacts Faith suggests can be found right here.

The TSA Is Still Out of Control

Vital Signs Blog has been posting news and commentary about the
shameful, sophomoric and counter-productive activities of Janet Napolitano’s TSA agents since late 2009. Indeed, because the TSA's bullying of innocent American citizens has been so brazen and bizarre, I'm afraid that there have been an awful lot of posts here protesting their behavior.

And it looks like there will be plenty more. For despite the agency's promises to better screen their screeners, improve the efficiency and demeanor of TSA agents, eliminate the most explicit bodyscanners and invasive patdowns, and so on...the TSA just keeps getting worse.

And get ready -- the TSA's reach (pun intended) is now becoming much more comprehensive. No kidding. If you thought that being stressed, harassed and humiliated at the airport was bad, just wait until the TSA agents start pawing you while you're waiting to get in the concert, the circus, the cruise ship, or anywhere else where people need to queue up.

Here's more from a recent Katie Kieffer column.

Between 2010 and 2012, TSA misconduct increased by 26 percent, according to a report released this summer from the Government Accountability Office. If a business experienced a similar increase in misconduct, it would address the problem by firing all culpable employees. If a government agency experiences a rise in misconduct, everyone gets a raise: Despite 26 percent more TSA misbehavior, Big Sis Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is now using more of your money so she can expand Operation Creeper. Isn’t that terrific?...

Back in 2005, our government authorized the creation of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams under the purview of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). VIPR teams were supposed to conduct random sweeps at transportation centers other than airports.

Now, the Obama administration has expanded the VIPR program to unconstitutional and unprecedented levels. VIPR teams will conduct security clearances in more places where the TSA is not—which is pretty much anywhere human beings gather or move outside of airports. For example, rodeos, music festivals and train stations...

In 2008, there were 10 VIPR teams and today there are 37 VIPR teams. The VIPR program has a $100 million annual budget and was responsible for—wait for it—“8,800 unannounced checkpoints…outside of airports last year,” reports the New York Times.

In other words, the VIPR teams made 8,800 unauthorized passes at Americans in 2012 in addition to and completely separate from all the gropey and unconstitutional TSA searches that were conducted in 2012.

Chicago Tribune: ObamaCare is a "Clumsy Monstrosity"

Bottom line: Let's delay and rewrite this ill-conceived law. Congress need not start from scratch. Lawmakers can build on what all of us have learned from three years of painful trial and error. Three years of attempting, but failing, to make this clumsy monstrosity work for the American people.

That's the concluding paragraph of Sunday's editorial from the Chicago Tribune. Pretty strong stuff, huh? But then ObamaCare has proven to be so unfair, so expensive, and so doggone unworkable that even some members of the mainstream media are beginning to come round.

And that concluding paragraph wasn't all the Trib had to say. Here's a bit more of that editorial which, by the way, was entitled, "How President Obama is flouting Obamacare."

...The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is a hugely complex law that sets up online health insurance marketplaces, requires people to have coverage or pay penalties, and doles out subsidies and incentives to nearly everyone in health care. Doctors, hospitals and insurers have spent large sums to gear up for its requirements. Employers are mulling: Hire? Fire? Cut workers' hours?

Millions of Americans, that is, stand to gain or lose from how this law is enforced — with the Obama administration bending that enforcement in ways that test, and arguably exceed, the boundaries of lawful conduct.

Every time the White House undercuts one provision of Obamacare, there is a massive ripple effect on other provisions. It's generally a zero-sum game: When someone gains, someone else loses. Example: When employers are relieved of their mandate to provide insurance, taxpayers risk having to subsidize more of those companies' employees.

The administration asserts that it can make these changes under the president's broad executive authority. Yet critics make a compelling argument that the president is stretching the limits. Former federal appellate Judge Michael McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, writes in The Wall Street Journal about a different sort of mandate: the mandate in Article II of the Constitution that the president "'shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.' This is a duty, not a discretionary power. ... As the Supreme Court wrote long ago (Kendall v. United States, 1838), allowing the president to refuse to enforce statutes 'would be clothing the president with a power to control the legislation of Congress, and paralyze the administration of justice.'"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Today's Posts

Randy Alcorn's Books Provide a Double Blessing

Randy Alcorn is one of the most popular Christian writers of our day and, in works of both fiction and non-fiction, he has illuminated and challenged hundreds of thousands. Indeed, nearly 7 million of his books are in print and audio formats. Therefore, I have little doubt that many of you have been inspired by such Alcorn books as Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments, Heaven, Deadline, Dominion, Lord Foulgrin's Letters, and Safely Home.

But are you aware that by buying a Randy Alcorn book, you are not only opening a blessing for yourself but for others as well? That’s because all of the royalties from Alcorn's books go to Eternal Perspective Ministries, the Christian organization that has long been among the finest pro-life, pro-family, pro-missions ministries around. And what does EPM then do with those royalties? Quite remarkably, they give away 100% of them to support missionaries and other Christian organizations around the world!

For instance, in just this last year, many thousands of Randy Alcorn’s books were given away to a variety of mission and para-church organizations -- as well as to individuals. Many more were sold at substantial discounts. And nearly half a million dollars from the books that were sold were given to worthy Christian ministries. In fact, the total given away since Eternal Perspective Ministries began is over six million dollars!

But that’s still not the whole story. EPM also provides their quarterly magazine for free. And they do not charge for reproducing their materials.  They are truly a remarkably generous and heavenly-minded group. So remember this when it comes time for you to buy another book – for yourself or as a gift.

Having read Randy Alcorn for years and having interviewed him several times in the days of "Vital Signs" radio programs, I can testify that his dedication as a researcher is superb and his courage in taking on subjects that other Christian authors studiously avoid is magnificent. The sales figures on his books prove that his writing and story-telling skills are first rate. And now you know that, in addition to all of these great reasons for reading Randy Alcorn, he and his EPM team’s generosity and vision for the Lord's work provide another great stimulation to get on board.

So it really is a double blessing that reading Randy Alcorn books creates. One will change and enrich your life as you read. And the second blessing is that the money you lay down for the book will be wisely invested in the Lord's work way beyond you.

By the way, Randy Alcorn books can be purchased right from the Eternal Perspective Ministries web site. It's a terrific place to learn more about the author, the EPM organization and a whole lot of very helpful information for Christians wanting to serve God to their very best.

Democrats Still Throwing Money to Planned Parenthood

Upon reading that one of the largest of the District of Columbia's  ObamaCare "health exchange" awards was given to Planned Parenthood ($375,000), I couldn't suppress a shudder of revulsion.

And it wasn't a revulsion of Planned Parenthood only, as cruel and corrupt a business as it is. It was a revulsion also of the political party that has, in recent decades, so lovingly aligned itself to the mega-abortion business.

The tragedy is that it just doesn't matter to Democrats that today's Planned Parenthood is still passionately intent on carrying out the racist, elitist eugenics program of its founders.

Nor does it matter that Planned Parenthood's primary business is killing hundreds of thousands of preborn boys and girls every year through its surgical abortionists and its deadly drugs.

It doesn't even matter to Democrats that Planned Parenthood is already receiving millions of taxpayer dollars every year -- even though the mega-abortion business is already dripping with abortion profits AND is proven to have been involved in criminal actions which rip off from the government millions more.

No, none of this matters. Democrat politicians still love and zealously, mindlessly support Planned Parenthood.

It's a sad fact that your Democrat friends need to be reminded of.

Muslim Brotherhood Torches Churches; Gets a Pass from Western Media

Andrew C. McCarthy writes in National Review Online:

In the familiar pattern, the Western media are focused on the military raids against Islamic supremacists in Egypt but ignoring the latter’s use of violence and of women and children as human shields. After all, the “protesters” say they are “peaceful.”

When not similarly ignored, Islamic supremacist aggression against Egypt’s Christians -- which was a prominent feature of Muslim Brotherhood governance -- is disingenuously reported.

Take this AFP report of the fact that the Brotherhood and its allies are torching Coptic churches. The AFP endeavors to exculpate the Islamic supremacists by editorializing, in the report, that these were “reprisal” attacks. But the Brotherhood was not ousted by the minority Copts. To be sure, the Copts far prefer to take their chances with a largely secular, technocratic government backed by the armed forces than the rampant persecution they endured while the Brotherhood was running the show. But it is the army, not the Copts, who ejected Morsi. 

AFP tries to obscure this by recounting that “the Coptic church backed Morsi’s removal, with Patriarch [i.e., Pope] Tawadros II appearing alongside army chief General Fattah al-Sisi as he announced the military coup.” As I observed in writing about the coup in the August 5 edition of National Review, however, Pope Tawadros was hardly alone — General Sisi also gathered by his side significant Islamic supremacist leaders: Grand Mufti Ahmed al-Tayeb of al-Azhar University and leaders of the Salafist al-Nour party (in addition to prominent secularists).

The Brotherhood is not “retaliating” against Christians. Islamic supremacists are persecuting Christians...which is what they do in Muslim-majority countries.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Today's Posts

Max Beerbohm's Endearing Invitation to G.K. Chesterton

One of the most interesting notes I've ever read was one I came across while looking through the G.K. Chesterton folders in the British Museum a few years ago.

The note was in beautifully flourished handwriting on a card. It was directed to Chesterton from the irrepressible drama critic, radio broadcaster, artist, sometimes author, and forever bon vivant, Max Beerbohm.

The date was May 4, 1902.

Dear Mr. Chesterton,

I have seldom wished to meet anyone in particular; but you I should very much like to meet.

I need not explain who I am for the name at the end of this note is one which you have more than once admitted rather warmly into your writings.

By way of personal and private introduction, I may say that my mother was a friend of your grandmother, Mrs. Grosjean and also of your mother. As I have said, I should like to meet you. On the other hand, it is quite possible that you have no reciprocal anxiety to meet me. In this case, nothing could be easier than for you to say that you are very busy, or unwell, or going out of town and so are not able as much as you would have liked to lunch with me either next Wednesday or next Saturday at 1:30.

I am, whether you come or not,

Yours admiringly,

Max Beerbohm

P.S. I am quite different from my writings (and so, I daresay are you from yours) so that we should not necessarily fail to hit it off. I, in the flesh, am modest, full of common sense, very genial and rather dull. What you are remains to be seen – or not to be seen by me according to your decision. Any answer to this note had better be directed to 48 Upper Berkley ST W for the porter of this club is very dilatory.

The View from Hump Day

This afternoon's "When Swing Was King" will be our fourth in three days but the week's activities (thus far) have also involved Sunday's sermon, Claire Marie helping Claire Nicole settle in to her new apartment, a meeting last night at church, my regular Tuesday Panera's discussion, blogging, watering the lawn, and getting this month's Vital Signs Ministries letter edited, printed up, stuffed and mailed.

The rest of the week will be busy too. We will take Thursday and Saturday mornings to pray and sidewalk counsel in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill; there's blogging to be done; sermon preparation; developing a new adult Sunday school class; a book discussion and the next Board meeting to organize; I need to mow the lawn; and there's a fifth "WSWK'" performance as well.

Whew. Is there nowhere to fit in a nap?

China's "Leftover" People

Using a variety of standards (height, age, education, salary, etc.), the sexist marriage grades in China are extremely important. Indeed, they determine your choice of a mate since the superior gender (the male) cannot marry a female from the same class. Thus, A grade men marry B grade women, B grade men marry C grade women, and C grade men marry D grade women.

That means it's just tough luck for the A grade women and D grade men.

It's just another of the culturally destructive combinations of Buddhist traditions and Communist tyranny -- a combination that also created China's barbaric one-child policy, a policy rife with forced abortion, massive sex-selection abortion, and mistreatment of women in general.

And yet that's still not all. Here's Marcus Roberts with more. 

The Devastating Death Toll of RU-486

A recent article, citing reports from the FDA and the Center for Disease Control report, explains that the powerful abortion drug RU-486 has killed nearly two million preborn children in the United States since its approval by Bill Clinton's administration.

And that number could actually be a low estimate.

Steven Artelt writes, "With the Planned Parenthood abortion business pushing increased usage of the mifepristone abortion pill via webcam abortions over the last few years, it’s likely the number of two million abortions involving the RU 486 abortion pill since its approval in the U.S. has already been surpassed."

RU-486 has no medical purpose whatsoever. It is just a kill drug, a poison, a chemical concoction that is used to dramatically increase the "fetal demise" industry. Indeed, RU-486 not only kills preborn boys and girls, it is an unstable drug that also harms (sometimes quite severely) the mothers who take it.

Check out this information I share on the Vital Signs Ministries web site.

The Profane Politics of RU-486

It was another case of ideology trumping science and common sense when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the dangerous abortion drug RU-486 (aka Mifepristone) for general use. I say dangerous in both the most obvious sense (preborn children are murdered by this powerful chemical) but also because of the alarming effects the drug has on expectant mothers.

The medical case detailing the damage done by the drug is quite clear, up to and including women’s deaths. Why then would the FDA act in contradiction to the facts? They did so because, like other government agencies, it had been taken captive by the radical left. “Progressive” ideology drives the government bureaucracies and the social service agencies nowadays as much as it does the media, the educational establishment, and the medical powers that be. Consider just the following science-related issues: mainstreaming homosexuality and other sexual perversions, women in combat, embryonic stem cell experimentation and other genetic engineering which denies human exceptionalism, the various battlegrounds involving “reproductive freedom.” In all of these, well-established scientific truths are being ignored for the sake of serving a liberal ideology.

The approval of RU-486 is an illustration of the desire to have the cake of the sexual revolution and eat it too. To do so, the social engineers of our post-Christian era are trying to eliminate anything (legal, moral, even biological!) that would govern sexual activity in any way. Among the targets? Modesty. Decency. Self-control. Marriage. Fidelity within the bonds of matrimony. Strictures against easy divorce. Pregnancy. Large families.

Into this headlong rush to destroy the Christian ethics of sexuality have come many players, including the practitioners and promoters of “junk science.” One of those was Dr. Etienne-Emile Baulieu, the discoverer of RU-486. Baulieu boasted that the drug was simple, inexpensive, and it avoided the widespread controversy revolving around surgical abortion. Indeed, Baulieu argued that his drug would soon make first trimester surgical abortion practically obsolete.

The sales approach taken by the drug’s manufacturer, however, was to avoid talk of abortion whenever possible. RU-486 was therefore introduced as a “morning after pill” with its actual effects shrouded in double-speak and half-truths. But it proved so wildly inaccurate as a backup contraceptive that this particular sales pitch was abandoned. RU-486 simply was not effective before the progesterone levels reached a critical threshold. The next move was to sell RU-486 as a “menstrual regulator” but that proved problematic also as it soon became evident that the drug produced a phenomenon in which a woman’s ovulatory and menstrual cycles became unlinked. And that significantly reduced RU-486’s power to end the least on its own. The drug was just not very effective after the seventh week of pregnancy or before the fourth.

Oh yes, one other matter. The drug’s manufacturer, feminist social engineers, abortion activists, and, of course, abortion profiteers like Planned Parenthood, all implied that RU-486 was a wonder drug, one that worked after sexual intercourse to prevent a pregnancy. In small doses, such sources suggested, RU-486 is an “emergency contraceptive.” They tried extremely hard to avoid admitting the scientific truth that the drug actually had another action; that is, it ended a pregnancy when it had already begun. * (See footnote 1.) True, the woman who trusted the contraceptive claims might not fully understand how RU-486 would work. But the overarching effect – that there would be no baby to worry about – would be achieved no matter what.

But that “other” action turned out to be very, very difficult to hide. For the alarming reality emerged that RU-486 routinely required “assistance” from prostaglandin drugs to complete the termination of pregnancy; that is, to terminate the life of a baby if it had been conceived. Those prostaglandin drugs create powerful uterine convulsions which expel the usually -- but not always -- dead baby from the mother’s body.

As you can see, this long list of failed intentions show RU-486 to be a far cry from the simple, stand-alone drug it is claimed to be. But again, RU-486 is just one example of the irrational passion to erase the sexual ethics taught in the Holy Scriptures. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that the general media is ignoring the full story of RU-486. Most journalists are in agreement with the abortion enthusiasm that marks the progressivism of the 21st Century. So they accept without investigation (and then dutifully pass along) the “junk science” arguments that defend the politically-correct goals.

If this were not the case, the press would long ago have penetrated the RU-486 hype and informed the public about such things as the international inquiry commission that in 1992 described the "best" case scenario of RU-486 might include as many as six visits to the physician! Again, this is certainly not the simple, do-it-yourself, at-home abortion drug that the press continues to sell. And that’s even when a journalist will admit to RU-486 being an abortion drug and not a mere contraceptive. The doctor visits described by the commission include one to confirm the pregnancy and administer the drug; another requiring up to 12 hours in hospital for prostaglandin injections; a third visit if help is needed to expel the body of the preborn child; a fourth, required in some cases, for repeat prostaglandin injections; the fifth visit if a surgical D & C is required; and then a sixth visit later on to insure all parts of the baby’s body have been removed from the uterus.

Can you see why Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses are driving to expand the use of RU-486? They stand to make an awful lot of money from the initial sales of the drug --and from all those subsequent services as well.

And I almost forgot to mention another well-documented potential of RU-486. That is the problem of excessive vaginal bleeding. That often requires a hospital stay also.

A joint committee of the French Republic (including the Director of General Health, the Director of Hospitals, and the Director of Pharmacy and Medicine) admitted that prostaglandins presented a significant danger to a patient’s cardiovascular action. For that reason (and in the face of other severe consequences of using RU-486), that group suggested that whenever prostaglandins are given a patient, cardiopulmonary resuscitation equipment be present…along with a defibrillator, calcium channel blockers and, because of the danger the prostaglandins present to the human heart, the monitoring of vital signs over a period of hours. These are things you’ll find in a hospital ER – but not in a home bathroom.

Do you get this picture when you read news stories about RU-486? Of course not. And that is because a dramatically liberal and distinctly dangerous ideology now has the helm of media and much of the medical/scientific structure. Health care safeguards, right to know options, and basic medical standards for women have been hijacked in the quest for total sexual freedom. The victims of this unnatural campaign are women, preborn babies, the consciences of health care workers, and the moral ideals that have been the crown of Western civilization. **

* Footnote 1) – Dr. Paul Byrne, well-known neonatologist and pediatrician, author, professor, founder of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, and past-President of the Catholic Medical Association, writes: “Several years ago, I searched to find evidence that these manufactured steroids (the pill, patch, etc) can inhibit ovulation when given on ovulation day. It did not exist then, and I doubt that it exists now.  Thus, either the ‘morning after’ approach does abortion or it does nothing.”

** Footnote 2) I passed along a draft of this article to a few long-time friends and colleagues in pro-life ministry, asking if they had any suggestions before I finished it. Notable suggestions which made it a better article came from Dr. Paul Byrne (especially, the quotation I’ve added in Footnote #1) and from Dr. Greg Gardner, a GP in private practice in Birmingham, United Kingdom.