Friday, September 30, 2005

Abortion Endangers Mothers

The harm performed on a preborn child by an abortionist is, of course, lethal.

But the harm doesn't stop there.

As I told abortion clients just this morning (giving them the facts about abortion that certainly will be denied them inside the abortionist's building), the violent, remarkably unnatural act of abortion also results in terrible risks to the woman's health. In both the long and short term, a woman putting her pregnant body in the hands of an abortion profiteer faces a whole host of dangers -- not to mention the grave spiritual consequences of such an act.

The dangers posed by abortion to mothers should never be a mere "side issue" for sidewalk counselors, CPC workers and other pro-life advocates who hold high the banner for the sanctity of life. This is both because we require her change of mind to save her baby's life but also because our concern for her must be authentic and passionate.

Abortion hurts...even the survivor.

And that is one of our most important messages.

For a review of just how abortion hurts women, check out these lists from the Elliot Institute which present both the physical effects and the psychological effects. There's more at the fine web site of the Elliot Institute so why not stop by and do a little homework there. It will better equip you to speak truths of life to those who desperately need to know.

Following the Dover Trial? So Is William Dembski

Not waiting for the case involving an Intelligent Design textbook to get to the judge, the witty and wise proponent of I.D. gives his predictions -- and the significance thereof. A helpful article.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The NEA Won't Like This Myth-Busting Book

Front Page Magazine has a informative interview with Jay P. Greene, the head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and author of numerous books including his latest, Education Myths: What Special-Interest Groups Want You to Believe About Our Schools and Why It Isn't So.

"Umblical Cord Stem Cells Key to Curing Diseases" -- Detroit Free Press

Newborn donors give gift of life
Umbilical cord stem cells key to curing diseases

Nice headlines to see in the MSM, right? The truths about medical treatments using adult stem cells continue to squeeze through the ESCR-dominated coverage and find the light of day. Here's a nifty example from Patricia Anstett in The Detroit Free Press.

Thanks for the alert to this story go to Stem-Cell-Blog.

FYI -- Details on the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 (H.R. 2520), already passed by the House and now looking for a Senate vote can be found at the Coalition of Responsible Cord Blood Donation site. Basically, the proposed legislation would authorize a national system for cord blood banking and transplantation as well as appropriating some federal funds to increase the national inventory of cord blood units.

"Doc" Coburn Needs a Little Help Delivering Babies...From You!

Tom Coburn continued his medical practice during his years as a Congressman from Oklahoma. He was a hard worker and very efficient in performing his elected duties but he also wanted to keep some degree of normal contact with his constituents. So, he delivered a few babies. Nice.

Representative Coburn impressed the people of his district and was awarded high marks for his tenure. In fact, he impressed the entire state and easily won election as one of Oklahoma's Senators. In that campaign, by the way, he pledged over and again to keep his medical practice current and continue to give a handful of hours a week to his OB/GYN services. The public liked that promise, as did supporters of "Doc" Coburn all over America.

Now, Senator Dr. Tom Coburn spends 60-70 hours every week in performance of his elected duties. He's doing a fine job. However, he is a maverick at times and his principled, consistent conservatism has irked not only the Democrats, but even some of his Republican colleagues. Therefore, when his continuing to deliver babies raised the hackles of some critics (enough to draw the risk of Senate censure under new and foolish rules), he was denied the forceful defense from Republican leadership he thoroughly deserved.

You can read more about this sad state of the Senate in Kathryn Jean Lopez' column over at National Review Online. But I hope you'll then stand in Senator Coburn's defense by sending along a couple of letters expressing your support of his legal and very laudable position. For e-mail addresses, look right here ---> "Doc" Coburn ... Bill Frist ... and your local representatives too.

Big Labor's Demise Greatly Exaggerated

Indeed, the "old guard" labor unions have seen their day (40% of the work force in the 1950's compared to less than 8% today) and, on the surface, that looks like bad news for Democrats. However, the comparitively tame liberalism of union leadership in their heyday has morphed into a more sinister and passionate socialism and the bodies it now occupies (government unions) pose a much greater threat to freedom.

Samuel Cook, writing in Human Events, has the story.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

CWA Urges Bush, Republicans to Stand Firm for Pro-Life Nominee

"Unless the President nominates Howard Dean, Barbra Streisand or Al Gore, the Democrats can be expected to filibuster," said Jan LaRue, CWA's chief counsel. "Any nominee who thinks the text of the Constitution should be taken more seriously than a supermarket tabloid is filibuster fodder. It isn't about the nominee--it's about the President. And the seven Republicans in the 'Gang of 14' need to remember that."

Stem Cell Research: Ten Easy Lessons

Core Ethics has drawn new attention to the excellent set of one-page apologetic papers prepared by the coalition, Do No Harm. These easy-to-understand fact sheets were sent to all members of the United States Congress earlier this year. Each page takes on a particular argument promoted by supporters of embryonic stem cell research and then responds with the actual science involved.

These ten lessons are a great way to enlighten and sharpen your own advocacy of adult stem cell research over that research which so callously (and counter-productively) exploits human embryos.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Saying "No" to Norplant

One woman's personal experience.

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em: The New Spending-Addicted G.O.P.

I know that I've posted several articles on the new "generosity" of Washington D.C. Republicans and some readers might wonder why such an issue is featured in a blog that emphasizes moral concerns. Well, the answer is that justice (a rather important foundation of morality!) is very much involved here.

More specifically, the corecive requisition of another's earnings and proprty by anybody (be he a common robber, con artist, or even politician) is itself a very serious injustice, let alone the spending of those monies in ways that are unconstitutional, wasteful and, in cases like government funds given to Planned Parenthood, downright wicked.

So, yes...among the religious and cultural concerns that are dealt with in Vital Signs Blog, I'll continue to highlight those dangerously short-sighted fiscal policies of our political leaders -- policies that create false hopes in our citizenry and endanger the stability of the republic.

And with that said, here's the article I want to highlight today. It is written by Mona Charen, a woman who retains enough loyalty to conservative principles that she dares criticize her own party for its sad abandonment of those principles.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Adult Stem Cell Research in Korea Highly Successful

The Korea Herald reports that in spite of the recent hype over Professor Hwang Woo-suk's cloning research, researchers using the ethical alternative of adult stem cells are making "big strides forward, yielding more tangible results".

The latest success in adult stem cell research involves treatment of 74 patients. Five had cerebral infarction, 23 had Buerger's disease (a disorder of the blood vessels at the hands or feet), 11 had femur head avascular necrosis (a disease resulting from the temporary or permanent loss of the blood supply to the bones in upper legs), and 35 suffered from nonunion of bone fractures.

Moral Considerations Aside...

A report published in the new issue of the oh-so-prestigious New England Journal of Medicine suggests that Communist China should finally end its one-child population control policy that has resulted in forced abortions and sterilizations for those who violate it. Why?

"With the freedoms that have resulted from wealth and globalization, the one-child policy seems increasingly anachronistic," says the NEJM repor. "A relaxation of the one-child policy would be desirable."

Hmm...Forcing parents to kill their children isn't described by the NEJM as barbarity of the cruelest kind. Nor is it presented as a horrible affront to a holy God. No, the Red's violently coercive abortion policy should stop ( the report actually says only "relaxed") because it is outdated... so 1970's. Sigh.

New Academic Book Argues For Pedophilia

A new book published by Haworth Press features multiple Ph.D. "experts" claiming that sex with children "can benefit" boys and even serve a "mentoring function."

"Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West" features "scholarly" treatises by a raft of mostly-PhD academics, all praising earlier civilizations - particularly Greece and Rome - for the role homosexuality played in those ancient cultures.

In the chapter titled "Pederasty: An Integration of Cross-Cultural, Cross-Species, and Empirical Data," Bruce Rind Ph.D. lauds the rampant child molestation that reportedly occurred in those societies, at one point citing evolution as supporting a pro-pedophilia worldview.

Read the entire World Net Daily article here.

"Hate Crimes" Bill: Still Time To Oppose It

From the FRC daily update service comes some very helpful items to use in your letters, e-mails and phone calls to your respective political reps.

The Family Research Council strongly opposes any legislation that implies that homosexual behavior, cross-dressing, or sex-change operations are equivalent to inborn characteristics like race, or that implies that disapproval of such behaviors constitutes "hate." Those are good enough reasons to oppose the so-called "hate crimes" amendment that was slipped into a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Such laws also punish people for their thoughts in addition to their actions, and this bill would greatly expand federal authority in an area long reserved to the states and local government--namely, criminal law.

What the federal government currently does is collect "hate crime" statistics from the states and apply "sentencing enhancements" when a federal crime is also bias-related. But this bill, for the first time ever, would allow federal prosecution of any "hate" crime--including ones already prosecuted in state court. FRC continues to urge the Republican Congress to strip this affirmation of homosexuality, criminalization of thoughts, and massive federal power grab from the final bill.

By the way, clicking on the title of this post will take you to an excellent analysis of the push to use "hate crimes" legislation to promote a homosexual agenda. It is written by Leah Farish for FRC.

Everybody! March Like a Penguin

Yesterday we met the Coppis for lunch and then went to see March of the Penguins. It was every bit as moving, fascinating and enjoyable as I had heard. We all pass on our highest recommendations to see this incredible film.

And I also pass on my recommendations to read Jill Stanek's terrific blog post about March of the Penguins. She gives there some very interesting links to other reviews of the documentary but her own comments are most perceptive and provocative. Just click on the title of this post to read Jill's take.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Go East, Young Man

Here is an alarming story about an evangelical (perhaps formerly evangelical) organization (Youth Specialties) promoting practices which are definitely more Hindu than they are Christian.

What a sad sign of our times. It is yet another example that if a Christian doesn't stand for the Word of God, he will fall for the silliest doctrines around.

Hey Big Spender!

Peggy Noonan writes with insight and wit about the "dinosaur conservatives" being eclipsed by those new (and mighty generous) Republicans. And yes, the most generous of the bunch (giving away your money, of course) is George W.

As one of the dinosaurs who has regularly complained about this counter-productive new spirit of the G.O.P., I really appreciate Peggy's warnings. You go, girl.

There's Got to Be a Morning After

...Meanwhile, these same activist groups fail to mention the real facts about Plan B. They continue to state that the morning after pill is just contraception, that it doesn't cause an abortion even though they say that Plan B works by "inhibiting implantation."

Eggs don't implant. Sperm don't implant. But embryos do. The linguistic loophole they've created suggests that pregnancy doesn't begin until the embryo has implanted. Basic biology, on the other hand, confirms that a unique living human organism exists from the moment of conception. Abortion means ending a pregnancy with the specific intention of destroying an unborn life, no matter how young it may be...

Pia de Solenni cuts through the fog created by Susan Wood to give the basic facts about the "morning after" pill -- facts deliberately hidden by NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the rest of the usual suspects...including aforesaid Ms. Wood. This is a very good piece from the American Spectator.

ACLU Campaigns Against Abstinence Curricula

The lead-in to the Washington Times story...

The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday began a campaign to urge officials in 18 states to reject abstinence-only sex-education programs.

Many abstinence programs contain false or misleading information, discriminate against homosexual youth and promote religion, ACLU leaders said, citing a December report issued by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, California Democrat...

Goodness me! Does this organization have no direction, no motive, no energy that is NOT wicked?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Liam Fox: Stop U.K. Abortions After 12-Weeks

Here's a report from The Guardian (U.K.) describing a recent move by Conservative Party M.P. Liam Fox to limit abortions to 12-weeks gestational age. It is an important story, one that indicates that abortion will simply not disappear as a political/cultural issue, no matter how hard the left insists on abortion rights.

The Guardian's
pro-abortion bias certainly isn't hidden in this piece bit it is still worth the read.

The MSM's Manipulation of Katrina

Dan Rather, in his embarassing teary-eyed awards speech the other evening, praised the mainstream media for the coverage of Hurrican Katrina and its aftermath. In doing so, he concluded with a line I've seen over and over in recent days; namely, this is what the media does best.


Patrick Hynes believes differently.

Boondoggles and Bureaucrats

In the wake of Katrina, John Stossel takes a good look (and a good whack) at government incompetence.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Rumaisa & Hiba!

From the A.P. --- MAYWOOD, Ill. - A baby born weighing less than a soda can and believed to be the smallest baby ever to survive has celebrated her first birthday.

Rumaisa Rahman, who weighed just 8.6 ounces at birth and was less than 10 inches long, turned a year old on Monday. She now weighs 13 pounds and is 24 inches tall.

Loyola University Medical Center, the suburban Chicago hospital where the girl received treatment until she was discharged in February, hosted a birthday party for Rumaisa and her fraternal twin sister, Hiba.

Hiba, who was discharged from the hospital a month before Rumaisa, was only 1 pound, 4 ounces at birth. She now weighs 17 pounds and is 26 inches tall.
Full-term, 1-year-old babies usually weigh around 20 pounds.

Doctors who cared for Rumaisa and Hiba said both are doing well.
"I feel very optimistic that I don't think that either of them will have any significant handicaps," said Dr. Jonathan Muraskas...

Madeline Mann, who was also born at Loyola, was the previous record holder. She weighed 9.9 ounces when she was born in 1989. She is now a high school honor student in the Chicago area.

Rumaisa and Hiba were delivered by Caesarean section 14 weeks early at just 26 weeks' gestation after their mother, Mahajabeen Shaik, developed pre-eclampsia, involving dangerously high blood pressure.

(Note: Remember Sandra Day O'Connor's comments about Roe v Wade's system of trimesters being on a "collision course with itself"? Rumaisa and Hiba are two of the latest examples of how "weighty" are the consequences of America's refusal to correct that course.)

Adult Stem Cell Treatment -- Great Success Stories

Here are excerpts from Steve Ertelt's report on the adult stem cell research (actually, let's make that stem cell treatment) being performed at the Fred Hutchinson Center...

...Clinical trials of treatments of patients using adult stem cells shows positive results, but doctors have not known whether patients will continue showing progress long-term. A new study of blood cancer patients who had stem cell transplants are nearly as healthy as their peers 10 years later.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Research Cancer Center examined 137 patients a decade after their procedures.
Reporting their results in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers say they were "largely indistinguishable" from the general population.

The finding is important because more than 45,000 receive the adult stem cell transplants each year. No one has benefited from embryonic stem cells, which have caused tumors, convulsions, and patients to reject the cells when inserted.

This study looked at patients who had received haematopoietic cell transplants (HCTs) to replace diseased blood-forming cells produced in the bone marrow, according to the BBC.

Dr. Karen Syrjala, who led the study, said, "Ten years after HCT, the 137 survivors were indistinguishable from case-matched controls in many areas of health and psychosocial functioning."

The researchers also found that the 10 percent of transplant recipients who suffered relapse were in remission by the time of the study.
"The fact that patients can relapse and still have healthy, full lives 10 years later and look like everyone else who has gone through a transplant without relapse is really good news," Syrjala said.

All of the patients received the adult stem cell transplants between March 1987 and March 1990...

It's All About Abortion

Forget the code words. Dismiss the nuance. Ignore even the other mantras interminably intoned by the left.

It's all about abortion.

The nationally syndicated sage, Bill Murchison, has the liberals' number -- and it adds up to the barbaric, tragic insistence on terminating preborn kids.

...From the looks of things, the Senate will end up confirming Roberts anyway. That still doesn't dislodge the apprehension -- which if anything should be growing -- that the United States of America is in servitude to a narrow cultural dogma. Whatever else modern America stands for has nothing like the centrality in our affairs of the right to abort a pregnancy.

The Constitution, it almost seems, exists to make sure no woman has to have a baby she doesn't want. No sucker game of this magnitude was ever before played on the citizens of a great democracy. It all comes down to abortion. Oh, boy....

Just click on the title of this post to read the rest of Bill Murchison's excellent column.

The Family That Eats Together...

Here's some sobering findings from the Howard Center about what happens to the individual members of a family when they stop having meals together. You will see there that the omission is a very serious matter.

A few years ago I had author, Christian apologist and former L'Abri staff leader, Os Guinness, on the Vital Signs Weekend radio program. Among the comments he made in that interview that really struck a chord with listeners was how significant a factor in the decline of the West was this error; namely, that families hadn't enough cohesion to even eat a meal together. He suggested this issue was more important a factor in the breakdown of the family than many others that get more attention.

Check out the brief Howard Center items by clicking on the title of this post. But if you'd also like to hear that 10-minute interview with Os Guinness, click right here.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Pictures of Death in the Service of Life

Scott Klusendorf of Life Training Institute has an insightful and very relevant article on the LTI blog about when it is appropriate to use pictures which reveal the barbarity of abortion. As a pro-life advocate well experienced in sidewalk counseling as well as CPC leadership, I found Scott's comments very wise and helpful. I think you will too. Just click on the title of this post to check it out.

$2.3 Million Study Says Chicago High Schools Need to Improve Drastically

Congratulations, Chicago Public Schools! You are the runaway winner of this month's "Stating the Obvious -- But Bilking the Taxpaying Rubes Out of a Gang of Cash to Pay For It" Award.

Read the Chicago Sun-Times story and weep.

Stem Cell Hype vs Stem Cell Hope

Here's a brief but penetrating piece from pro-life hero, Congressman Chris Smith. It deals with "one of the best-kept secrets in medicine today"; namely that while embryonic stem cell research has yet to yield one actual medical treatment, stem cells from umbilical cord-blood and other "adult" sources are already curing people from terrible conditions and diseases.

The article, by the way, was printed in an important media outlet: The Hill, the "Newspaper for and about Congress." Check it out.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Yes, Virginia; There ARE Stupid Questions

The funniest stories are often the true ones. And, unfortunately, they are sometimes the saddest too. Here is the courageous giant-killer, Professor Mike Adams, profoundly disproving the cliché', "There are no stupid questions."

For Sale: Baby Body Parts

The nightmares get worse with each passing day...but they are not, in fact, dreams but true accounts of our modern era's barbarity.

Here is the Times (U.K.) story about a Ukranian "research institute" that is advertizing and selling body parts from preborn children over the internet.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

The institute [Institute for Problems of Cryobiology and Cryomedicine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, in Kharkov], one of the biggest and most famous in its field, says that the materials are produced legally using early aborted foetuses which are otherwise disposed of as biowaste.

But its highly specialised and controversial research is now under scrutiny after renewed allegations that live babies — or their dead bodies — have disappeared from maternity hospitals in Kharkov.

...Juliya Kopeika, who used to work there and is now doing research in Britain, told The Times that Ukrainian scientists in the field had long benefited from a more relaxed approach to ethical issues...

John Roberts: "A Disturber of Democrats"

Interesting comments from the Family Research Council's regular e-update service:

As FRC and others have noted, the Democrat Party is now hostage to extremist groups that have hijacked its agenda and dictate its agenda. That was never more in evidence than at the third day of the hearings on the nomination of John Roberts to serve as Chief Justice.

Several such groups testified, and showed just how radical, unreasonable and one-sided they are. For instance, Marcia Greenberger, President of the Women's National Law Center, was forced to admit, under questioning from Senator Orrin Hatch, that her organization had never endorsed a Republican nominee to the Supreme Court. Likewise, Karen Pearl, interim president of Planned Parenthood, weakly defended the fact that they, too, had never endorsed a Republican nominee to the Court by asserting they had not opposed the nomination of Sandra Day-O'Connor.

In fact, Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) introduced a New York Times article from 2001 that asserted that Greenberger urged the Democrats to change the rules of the game regarding Republican nominees to the Supreme Court - to oppose nominees who were "merely" well-qualified. Sessions suggested Greenberger may be the unacknowledged "mother" of the Democrats' discreditable filibuster tactics against well-qualified women and men nominated by President Bush to the federal judiciary.

Pearl and Greenberger asserted that Roe v. Wade was beyond question and that Roberts should have endorsed it despite the facts (a) that more than half of Americans disagree with that view, (b) as does one major political party, and (c) while cases challenging various aspects of Roe's pro-abortion legacy are pending before the very court on which Roberts is supposed to sit as an impartial jurist. Pearl's and Greenberger's extreme pro- abortion positions seemed even to frustrate abortion advocates Arlen Specter and Diane Feinstein.

With the hearings concluded, you can be sure such extremist groups will be pressuring Democratic senators to oppose Roberts and all future nominees from President Bush. Will the Democratic Party continue to listen to them? The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the Roberts' nomination on September 22, with the full Senate to take a final vote the following week.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Bush Denies Money to UN Population Fund Because of China's Forced Abortion Policy

Right on, Mr. President!

Abortion & Coercion

From Jill Stanek's excellent blog, here's her Quote of the Day:

"Doctors who morally object to abortion should be required to refer patients to other physicians who will provide the appropriate care."

~ Excerpt from letter written on August 30 to all U.S. senators by Dr. Michael Mennuti, President of the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in support of amending the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act to force doctors to refer for abortion.

Natural Family Planning Info From An Unlikely Source

Natural family planning "is a completely natural way to prevent or plan a pregnancy, and has the added bonus of getting you more in touch with your body."

Yes, certainly. But who would have expected a fact sheet about NFP to be prepared by the U.K.'s Family Planning Association --- and then posted on the web site of the BBC?

The Media's Mishandling of Katrina Crisis

Lucianne Goldberg drew attention this morning to a really fine piece in Jewish World Review about the hype, distortions, and political manipulation in the media's coverage of the Katrina aftermath. The author of the column is Victor David Hanson, one of the Hoover Institution's finest. An excellent read.

Also, be sure and check out another perceptive piece written by Jonathan Cohen for The American Thinker.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sidewalk Counseling: An Audio Primer

Here's a terrific review of the methods and purposes of Christian sidewalk counselors outside abortion clinics. It comes in a 10-minute "Vital Signs" radio presentation by a 25 year veteran of sidewalk counseling. Good stuff.

That's Right! Yet More (Adult) Stem Cell Success

I've just discovered another good source of information about the ever-increasing number of scientific developments using adult stem cells. It is the series of "ASC Breakthrough Bulletins" over at the web site of the Culture of Life Foundation and Institute.

Clicking on the title of this post will take you to the latest bulletin which contains stories on how ASCs from bone marrow can grow blood vessels in eyes and another about a study conducted by researchers from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Bonn (Germany) suggesting the hopeful treatment of Muscular Dystrophy using ASCs from muscle.

More on the (Overlooked by the MSM) Air America Scandal

With the next entry in the continuing investigative series of Air America's outrageous loan mess, here's Brian Maloney and Michelle Malkin.

Who Is Spending Your Money? Republicans!

Fiscal responsibility? Look for Republican politicians to promise a lot of it and even make false claims that they're trying to do it. But they're actually spending your money like a...well, like a Democrat!

Here's a realistic look at the problem from Debra Saunders.

The World of Tomorrow Is Here Today: The Safe-T-Dome!

Sometimes the truth can best be stated with humor. A very clever piece by Warren Bell.

Gore's Greenies and Katrina Blame

This from Emmett Tyrrell's column...

The very day he [Al Gore] spoke a congressional task force reported that the levees that failed in New Orleans would have been raised higher and strengthened in 1996 by the Army Corps of Engineers were it not for a lawsuit filed by environmentalists led by who else but the Sierra Club. Among those "leaders of our country" to "be held accountable" for the flooding of New Orleans, would Al include the Sierra Club? How about the Save the Wetlands stalwarts? According to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times, a 1977 lawsuit filed by Save the Wetlands stopped a congressionally-funded plan to protect New Orleans with a "massive hurricane barrier." A judge found that New Orleans' hurricane barrier would have to wait until the Army Corps of Engineers filed a better environmental-impact statement.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Da Vinci Code: It Is Not , I Repeat, Not A Harmless Diversion

Over at The Book Den, I've dropped in a post to Dr. Ron Rhodes' exhaustive rebuttal of David Brown's many blasphemies contained in the novel, The Da Vinci Code. It is an excellent piece; one to carefully go through and pray about, especially as the debut of the film version draws nigh.

Violent Palestinian Youths Target Christians

The invaluable Daniel Pipes describes the latest travesty in the West Bank as Palestinian Muslims attack a village of Arab Christians.

Could #88 Become A Pro-Life Governor of Pennsylvania?

From comes a review of the potential political prowess of NFL Hall of Fame receiver, Lynn Swann. An excerpt...

...The lack of specifics early on has led to some awkward moments. At the Westmoreland County Republican dinner in late February, Swann had his first major opportunity to publicly discuss his potential run for governor. Addressing the crowd, he called himself a conservative but declined to provide his position on gun control or taxes or even abortion.

"Until I decide to step out and run for a position," he said, "I don't think it is necessary for me to go out and take a particular position."

Minutes later, he returned to tell the reporters gathered at the dinner that he opposed abortion rights -- putting him in line with most Republicans.

"I wasn't supposed to be born," Swann said, explaining that his father had wanted only two children, but his mother wanted a third. "I was born. That's enough for me to be pro-life..."

Let's keep an eye on this story.

Campolo is Just Too Camp

Having been one of the few who have tried to call attention to Tony Campolo's continual slide into the weird and the wacky, I still winced at seeing an example of just how far he's gone. Check it out over at Between Two Worlds.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

On C.S. Lewis' "The Problem of Pain"

I've dropped in a brief review of Lewis' classic apologetic work over at The Book Den. And it's not all positive. So, if you're interested in Lewis, you might find it of value.

Yes, Virginia; There Is an Alternative to the Girl Scouts

In addition to complaining about the tenets of the modern Girl Scouts organization (secularism, abortion rights, disdain for religion and traditional morality, etc.), conservatives should be loudly and enthusiastically heralding a tremendous alternative as well.

That alternative? The American Heritage Girls.

American Heritage Girls is the premier scouting organization for young women that provides a program which embraces time honored moral standards while encouraging each member to grow in their faith in God, personal integrity, family values, citizenship and community service.

And how about this -- an actual Statement of Faith!

American Heritage Girls is a Christ centered scouting organization. The following Statement of Faith applies to all American Heritage Girls Charter Organizations, Adult Members and Adult Leaders.

We believe that there is One Triune God – Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit – Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old/New Testament) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshipping God. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a Godly life. We believe that each individual is called to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves. We believe that each individual is called to live a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrity.

The American Heritage Girls has actually been around for 10 years but it is an organization whose time has definitely come now.

Here locally, there's a chapter at Community Bible Church but chapters are located around the nation. And it's not that difficult to get one started. So, if you have daughters and/or if you care about the spiritual development of America's youth, check out AHG soon. And help spread the word.

Os Guiness Blasts "Kissing Judases"

Author, apologist and L'Abri alum, Os Guiness took the occasion of the Kairos Awards dinner to strongly criticize the Episcopal Church and other modernists who hide beneath the banner of Christianity

"Surrender to the spirit of the age leads to infidelity – what the Scriptures speak of as apostasy-as-adultery, cheating on God as a husband or wife cheats on his or her spouse. Surrender to the spirit of the age undermines the authority of faith, so that “Sola Scriptura” is replaced by “Sola Cultura” and the church has no fulcrum outside the world from which to speak and act in the world..."

...Guinness said that surrender to the spirit of the age severs the continuity of faith, cutting off its advocates from the faith of their fathers and mothers and making them captives to their culture and children of their times. "Surrender to the spirit of the age destroys the credibility of faith. There is little distinctively Christian to believe, and the intellectual of today can say as Oscar Wilde said to a trendy clergyman of his day, 'I not only follow you, I precede you...'"

There's more of this story at Virtue Online. Just click the title of this post to go there.

What Will the Roberts Court Mean to Democrats?

Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of The American Thinker, has a thoughtful, hopeful essay on the possiblility of a major turn-around in our culture. It's good reading.

PC Antics at Indiana/Purdue Law School

If you want to get your blood boiling today, take a look at how the liberals (professors and administrators) play the thought police on this campus. Fairness, honesty, merit -- all these mean absolutely nothing to these guys as they persecute an Apache war veteran whose academic record far surpasses what they (the liberal bullies themselves) have acheived.

And the only reason they hate him so? He ain't one of them.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Gaza Synagogues Torched

This MSM report, though admitting that synagogues are being burned down by gleeful Palestinians, glosses over the significance of these horrendous actions and concentrates instead on the victorious celebrations following the withdrawl of Israeli troops "after 38 years of occupation."

Recall the difference in tone when the outraged MSM reported on vandalism of the Koran?

Another Example of (Adult) Stem Cell Progress

From DNC's Health News...

Human tissue grown from stem cells may be available for transplant within the next four years, say the University of Liverpool scientists leading a major European clinical-engineering initiative to accomplish the goal.

Heart failure, diabetes, chronic ulcers and neurodegenerative disorders are just a few of the diseases and conditions that could be treated using the new technology...

This is but the latest in a string of very hopeful developments in this breakthrough science. However, simply because it does involve adult stem cells, the news isn't covered well by the MSM. Even in this article, the fact that the research involves adult stem cells isn't even mentioned until the last couple of lines. Thus, one can see how even when such a story does get through to the public, confusion results. As always, it's up to us to clearly and frequently explain the difference between research that is both moral and successful (those actions which utilize "adult" stem cells) and that which exploits living human embryos.

And Yet Another...Example of (Adult) Stem Cell Progress, That Is.

Very encouraging.

This AP story concerns researchers in Japan who are exploring heart tissue and seeing new ways to treat heart disease and avoid transplants.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Katrina Blame Game

There are, amid all of the goofy liberal ranting in the MSM, some voices of reason yet out there who are speaking of Katrina's aftermath with reason, factual information, and emotional balance. Charles Krauthammer has one of the best but don't miss Oliver North's fine column, Mary Ham's warnings about responsible fiscal policies, and Rich Lowery's musings on FEMA being like the local DMV.

Girl Scouts' National Convention to Feature Pro-Abortion, Pro-Lesbian Speakers

From comes this item:

The 50th annual convention in Atlanta will showcase the group's drift into radical feminism.

Dr. Johnnetta Cole, a woman whose radical views forced the Clinton administration to withdraw her name from consideration for Education Secretary, will be one of three keynote speakers at the Girl Scouts USA national convention in Atlanta from October 7-10.

Another speaker is Kavita Ramdas, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, which, among other things, promotes abortion and feminism. The third speaker is Ann Curry, news anchor for NBC's Today Show.

The choice of the first two speakers indicates that the Girl Scouts show no sign of slowing their plunge into hard-core feminism and political advocacy, at least at the national level. The Girl Scouts still sell cookies by the millions, conduct many worthwhile community activities, and involve many families that hold traditional values. But the national organization, like many others, has been captured by a liberal elite that sometimes tips its hand.

Embryonic Stem Cells: Check the Expiration Date

Those embryonic stem cells that researchers had such high hopes of utilizing in medical treatments are turning out to be a dead end in more ways than one. Researchers at John Hopkins have found that embryonic stem cells develop genetic mutations over time that would make them unusable.

Is this then the end of the idea of using embryonic stem cells and the beginning of a turn towards adult stem cells? We cannot necessarily expect that; after all the science community and the media have gone whole hog on the idea...but we can hope and pray that the evidence will become ever more overwhelming that the immoral exploitation of living human embryos is not the way to advance medical science.

Click the title of this post to read the latest from New Scientist.

The Truth Leaks Out About New Orleans

No, it's not the MSM reporting the facts about New Orleans, but then who in their right mind expects the MSM to report the facts about anything? Check out this excellent revealation from the Washington Times.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

From Video Violence to Real World Violence: Just a Small Step

These important items come from the Howard Center...

Item One: "Based on an examination of the research that shows the negative influences of violence in interactive media on youth, the American Psychological Association (APA) today adopted a resolution recommending that all violence be reduced in video games and interactive media marketed to children and youth. Additionally, the APA also encourages parents, educators and health care providers to help youth make more informed choices about which games to play.

...Research on media violence also revealed, that perpetrators go unpunished 73 percent of the time in all violent scenes. 'Showing violent acts without consequences teach youth that violence is an effective means of resolving conflict. Whereas, seeing pain and suffering as a consequence can inhibit aggressive behavior', says psychologist Elizabeth Carll, PhD, co-chair of the Committee on Violence in Video Games and Interactive Media."

(Source: "APA Calls for Reduction of Violence in Interactive Media used by Children and Adolescents," American Psychological Association Press Release, August 17, 2005; )

Item Two: "[V]ideo games differ from more passive mediums, such as comic books, in one important way. 'They are interactive, [Kimberly Thompson] said. 'When you play a video game you get feedback, you're rewarded.' In fact, her investigation into a wide range of popular, teen-rated games found that 'players were being rewarded for committing acts of violence. So basically, violence becomes just a part of how you move on in the game.'

Parents who are concerned that their child is spending too much time staring into a video game screen do have options, [Kevin] Kieffer said.
'Parents need to go out of their way to involve youth in other activities,' said Kieffer, who is also a counseling psychologist. Too often, he said, parents use gaming as a way of keeping kids occupied. 'It's easy to say "I'm going to plug you into your Gameboy or video game player -- go have a good time for a couple of hours so I can do what I need to do."'

...'The real issue is to set up a relationship with your children, a relationship where you can fully discuss these issues,' Kieffer said. 'It all boils down to communication, which a lot of families lack these days.'
'We do know that when it comes to kids and games, learning happens,' Thompson said. 'So you really have to ask, just what is it they are learning?'"

(Source: E.J. Mundell, "Violent Video Games Spur Aggression in Kids," HealthDay, August 19, 2005; )

Energized Futility -- Attemtpting to Eliminate the Effect from the Cause

Legal scholars will argue that the right to privacy upon which Roe v. Wade depends exists nowhere in the Constitution. I go one step further: the concept of “reproductive freedom” which Roe attempts to establish is incoherent. It truly is irrational to insist that nominees to the Supreme Court their allegiance to the doctrine of abortion on demand...

Jennifer Roback Morse's nifty column presents the simple, rational truth that causes (i.e. sexual activity) produce unavoidable effects (i.e. pregnancies). Sound too obvious to have to argue about? Well then you haven't been listening to the Democrats howling against the Roberts nomination!

Read the entirety of Jennifer's excellent presentation right here.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A Great Jurist Dies

William Rehnquist was an American hero.

A towering intellect on the Supreme Court, Rehnquist was also a man of noble character whose efforts in defending the U.S. Constitution were steadfast, eloquent and courageous. He will be sorely missed.

And unless the President, the G.O.P. and the American public get serious about appointing a like-spirited person to the Supreme Court, Rehnquist's passing will be a devastating blow to our nation.

Here's Power Line's Paul Mirengoff on William Rehnquist...

Chief Justice Rehnquist graced the Court for three and a half decades. I'm not sure that any Justice in our history has written as many good opinions. And even those who didn't like his opinions will remember him for his gentlemanly demeanor and excellent scholarship.

Unfortunately, Rehnquist was unable to put his stamp on the Rehnquist court. Indeed, it's a bit misleading to refer to such a thing. But that wasn't his fault; three different Republican administrations let him down. If Nixon, Reagan and Bush-I had done a better job picking Justices, the Rehnquist court would have been a fitting memorial to the man.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Bolton's Beat: Defending America's Interests

Today's must-read Town Hall column is that of Janice Shaw Crouse detailing the difficult, lonely battle John Bolton is waging against the imperialists of the United Nations. This fellow really needs our prayers, encouragement and vocal support.

(Adult) Stem Cell Treatments At Work!

Wow! Check out this amazing list of current stem cell treatments which utilize cord blood cells. It is a concise but powerful argument in itself as to the way God will bless medical research when it's done the right way.

Selective Compassion

In the tragic wake of Hurricane Katrina, the public is being asked to show mercy to the needy, whatever it costs. But what about others of our fellow citizens who also need merciful attention but are being considered unworthy of any financial investment?

Here's the story of how Missouri Medicaid is "pulling the plug" on breathing machines, feeding tubes, crutches, cushions for people suffering bedsores, and more.

True compassion is consistent, sacrificial and no respecter of persons. C'mon, Missouri; show some heart.

Babies Without Pregnancies?

The next step into the brave new world may be babies conceived, nurtured and delivered -- all without the bother of a mother's womb. The (U.K.) Times discusses the possibilities.

Friday, September 02, 2005

GLAAD Demands More Homosexuals on Television --- Bad Math, Bad Morality

Brent Bozell cuts through the homosexual hype and shows GLAAD's hypocrisy and intolerance. Here's an excerpt...

Is GLAAD again promoting the myth that 10 percent of Americans are homosexuals? If so, it's rather curious. A raft of gay groups signed on to a 2003 amicus brief in the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy-law case before the Supreme Court that suggested otherwise. That brief touted: "The most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey. The NHSLS found that 2.8 percent of the male, and 1.4 percent of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual." That averages out to about two percent of the population, or exactly what GLAAD maintains Hollywood is depicting.

And guess who signed on the dotted line of this brief? Yes, GLAAD. How can they complain to Hollywood about "reality" when they're still debating it with themselves?

But there are further problems with the GLAAD character-counting method. First, a good chunk of these 710 characters they're counting are child actors not even old enough to be sexual. Second, how is it that we know that 98 percent of the 710 characters are, in fact, heterosexual? Do TV writers give us the inside details of every character's personal life on every show? Is every single character who is not explicitly gay therefore straight?

Try a different twist on this. How many TV characters are portrayed as practicing Catholics? Catholics make up almost 25 percent of our population. Can you name two characters on TV who are practicing Catholics? Using GLAAD's logic, Hollywood is failing to represent the reality of Catholics. Using real logic, however, we can conclude that if a character's religious orientation is irrelevant, it will be omitted from that character's identity. The same holds true for sexual orientation...

Katrina (And Its Aftermath) Properly Evaluated

Over at Tech Central Station is a collection of very informative, well-balanced articles dealing with the Katrina tragedies. With the MSM giving us as much politicizing as it accurate, relevant news, it is really helpful to have this TCS contribution.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Oh Look, Momma! It's the "Plague Species!"

You've all heard of the wild and wacky exhibit at the London Zoo in which people are playing as inmates. But you haven't got the full story (or one of the best commentaries about it) until you've read Debra Saunders, the wittiest classical language scholar around.

Katrina Relief: Planned Parenthood Style

"Did you escape the hurricane without your birth control?" asks Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas.

"As a courtesy to women fleeing Hurricane Katrina, we will offer one free cycle (one month) of birth control or one free Emergency Contraception kit to women" who come to a Houston-area Planned Parenthood clinic and produce a valid Louisiana or Mississippi driver's license.

The group's website says the offer is good until September 10...

Check out the rest of this story from CNS News right here.

Baby's Head Back on Display

When the Berne (Switzerland) Fine Arts Museum decided to toss to a panel of "experts" the controversy over a visting art exhibit -- an exhibit that featured an unborn child's head gruesomely attached to a seagull's torso -- one could have easily guessed the outcome. And so, yes...the exhibit is back, complete with testimonials from said "experts" in theology, art, philosophy, media and who knows what else.

The exhibit is also back with greatly added media attention, causing some to believe the temporary removal was more about publicity than it was about sensitivity to the public.

Critics had complained of the exhibit's disrespectful treatment of a person. The response?

Under Swiss law a foetus is not considered to be a person, Studer [Peter Studer, President of the Swiss Press Council and one of the panel of evaluating "experts"] said, so it was not appropriate to speak of the peace of the dead being disturbed...

"One always has to make the distinction between taste, ethics and law," Studer concluded. "The opponents of this exhibit have not made this distinction."

Illegality? No. But Studer's claim that there are not distinctions of taste or ethics in this matter is simply silly. This part baby, part bird monstrosity is but another example of decadence and/or political statement masquerading as art. There's no talent needed here; no skillful creativity; no patient genius working with stone or canvas. There is only shock value and pompous posing; ala the legendary Emperoror's new clothes.

And the only ones that can't admit to the joke are the timid, the duped and the fellow con "artists" who are hep to the gag.

We Have Met The Enemy...And He Is Us

When there is no moral anchor, a society is doomed either to destruction or to forced submission to the powers of a totalitarian state. The latest reports from New Orleans do not bode well for America's future..