Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Today's Posts

A "Double Decision" for Life

"We just don't know what to do."

There had already been 8 or 9 clients go into the grisly-looking abortion mill and it was only 8:15. Up top near the entrance were Claire and Quint Coppi. Beside me on the sidewalk along Mission Avenue was Bill Coker. Due to arrive for the second shift in awhile were Carol, Val and Mark. As always, I had with me a big sign with a smiling infant and the word "Life" emblazoned at the top. To the drivers going east, I showed a pink banner with black words reading, "Mom, we care for you and your baby."

Bill and I were talking about his Sunday School class the morning before when another car pulled into the parking lot with a man and woman inside. They parked along a row quite near the steps leading to the entrance. There were three cars between us as well as a bit of parking lot. However, the windows on both the passenger and driver's side had been down when they first drove in and the street traffic had diminished quite a bit since earlier in the morning. So I decided to go ahead and speak across to them.

I spoke of the alternatives to abortion we could offer them, of the facts about the procedure that would be denied them inside. I spoke of the physical development of the child, how the heart was beating even now and how little time would be needed before they could cuddle this precious son or daughter in their arms. I spoke too of the dangers of abortion to the mom's own health and future, of the much higher risks of breast cancer and miscarriage, of the heartbreak and regret she would experience for the rest of her life.

And throughout my attempts to speak to them, I regularly repeated that we truly cared about them, that everything we offered was free of charge, that everything we spoke about was true and in their best interests. I explained that Jesus loved them and that He loved their baby -- and we did too. Wouldn't they please let us help them through this difficult time? I informed them that right down the street was a pregnancy center that could see them right now, a place of safety and peace where they could see their child via ultrasound and hear about the whole range of services the Christian pro-life community could provide for them.

To be honest, I didn't know if they were hearing me or not. Yes, the parking lot was quiet enough but from my vantage point I couldn't tell if their windows were still open or not. Beside me, Bill was earnestly praying for the couple. And up top, Claire and Quint were praying too. In the quiet of the morning, they could hear everything I was saying and they could see into the car. They also knew what Bill and I didn't; namely, that the couple were seriously taking in what I was saying. The woman was crying.

After about 10 or 15 minutes the young man got out of the car. I urged him to come over and talk to me. And he did. I introduced myself and Bill. I reached out my hand and he reciprocated. We shook hands and I told him, "Everything I've been telling you guys is true and from the bottom of my heart I mean what I say about helping you through whatever difficulties you're dealing with. But you know, man, taking the life of that child in the womb isn't the answer."

He nodded. "We just don't know what to do."

As I asked questions, the story came out. They had three other children. There were financial problems. They were being strongly pressured by a family member to abort. There was confusion and fear but they also understood that what I was telling them was true. They really weren't keen on abortion. In fact, he explained that this was their third appointment with the abortionist! For various reasons they hadn't gone through with it the other two.

Bill said to the young man, "Doesn't that tell you a lot? God has delivered you two times already and now He is giving you a third chance. And this time we can take you right over to the CPC where you can get all the help you need."

It also came out in the conversation that the abortion was costing $600. Why so high? Because the procedure involved killing two children. His wife was bearing twins!

The conversation ended when he decided to take us up on our offer. I told him to drive up to where Claire was and she would escort them over to A Woman's Touch Pregnancy Center just around the corner. She would also introduce them to the counselor there. Bill accompanied them too.

Not surprisingly, the warm-hearted counselor at A Woman's Touch was able to deal with the various issues put before her. While over in the parking lot, I had spoken to the young man at some length about the loving choice of adoption. That seemed to strongly resonate with him but whatever course they will take, it looks very likely that it won't be abortion.

When I last saw the young man, it was in the CPC. His wife was back talking to the counselor and having ultrasound pictures taken of their twin babies. He was reading through pro-life literature out front. I wrote down my name and information about Faith Bible Church where I'm preaching. I told him, "In addition to directing Vital Signs Ministries (that's my job), I'm also a preacher. Now don't freak out at that," I laughed, "Preachers can be very helpful. And so if you're looking for a bigger safety net, here's a small church with a big heart that can help you guys get through this...and more."

He thanked me again for being there this morning and for caring about them. And again he shook my hand. I left him with this: "You were a real champ today, my friend. And I'm proud of you. So thank you for listening. And thanks for doing the right thing. And you've got that information about how to get in touch with me, so I hope this isn't the last time I see you."

One last thing I should mention before signing off here. In the activity and excitement of this whole event, something had completely slipped my mind until we were sitting at a coffee shop "debriefing" later in the morning. "Hey, Bill. What about that little gray car with the young couple?" While I had been talking to the others, this car had slowly driven around the lot looking for a place to park. They finally settled into a place. But they were there for no more than a minute or two. Then they drove away. "Did they ever come back in?"

Bill said no. And the sidewalk counselors on the second shift later confirmed that they had never come back. Had someone else decided against abortion? Had yet another preborn baby been delivered by the mercy of God as the parents were held back, like the other couple had been twice before, from the brink of destruction?

We can only hope...and pray...and stay faithful to the call of God to stand as witnesses to His truth, His holiness, and His grace.

For all of you who pray for us as we sidewalk counsel outside the abortion clinics, for all of you who financially support Vital Signs Ministries and other pro-life organizations (especially CPCs), for all of you who raise up His standard in your spheres of influence -- thank you.

Open Letter to Ben Nelson: S.R. 519

What a P.A.L. Night!

Though there were only 7 of us sitting around the table and though it only took about an hour and a half of actual writing, we produced over 160 letters! Sure, that involves carbon copies of letters that will be sent on to others, but still 160 letters will be received by Senators, Congressmen, the President, business leaders and Christians in Communist and Islamic countries who are imprisoned for their faith. That's fantastic production.

But just think how much higher the count would have been had you shown up!

In the next few days I will be printing a few of those letters, beginning with this one and a couple in the subsequent posts below.

Dear Senator (Ben) Nelson,

I notice that you are
not a co-sponsor of Senator DeMint's resolution (S.R. 519) which opposes ratification of the notorious and badly misnamed U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

For goodness sakes, why not?

After all, this Convention is severely undermining not only national sovereignty but even the sanctity of the home. For instance, as you are no doubt aware by reading Sen. DeMint's Resolution, the U.K. was determined to be in violation of the Convention because British law allowed parents to opt their children out of sex ed classes they deemed inappropriate or offensive.

Bad form, indeed.

So, Senator Nelson, please take this common-sense stand
for freedom (which is clearly in the best interests of the United States) and take a stand against mind-numbing schemes of tyranny as hatched by foreign bureaucrats. Please become a co-sponsor of S.R. 519 today.

Or, at the very least, please explain to me why you wouldn't do such an honorable and responsible thing, one that a large majority of Nebraskans would certainly want you to do?

Sincerely etc...

cc: Senator Mike Johanns U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice

Open Letter to Nebr. AG Jon Bruning: Regulating Abortion Clinics

Dear Attorney General Bruning,

I’m enclosing a printed copy of a recent Vital Signs Blog post which concerns the action taken by the Virginia Attorney General to begin regulating abortion facilities at hospitals and surgery centers.

What a terrific move! And yet it just makes for common sense.

So why can’t you do that here in Nebraska?

I know you’ve responded to letters from my friends (as well as to me) that suggest this matter isn’t really your responsibility. But requiring tough actions by the Nebraska health officials
is your responsibility! So how about it?

Political representatives that are pro-life at public meetings and banquets but not in the actual practice of their jobs just aren’t good enough. We need aggressive, principled and intelligent champions to lead the way.

Please…let’s get moving on this ASAP.

cc: Virginia Attorney General K.T. Cuccinelli II

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman

Nebraska Right to Life

Nebraska Family Council

Nebraska Catholic Conference

Open Letter to Eric Holder: Prison Rape

Dear Attorney General Holder,

Would you please resign?

There are several reasons for that request but the one that has prompted me to write is your
unconscionable delay in setting new and higher standards to prevent the scourge of sexual violence in prisons.

Please sir, either because of simple incompetence or because your leftist ideology so ill serves the American people, you are not up to this job.

Please resign. Soon.

Most sincerely,

Denny Hartford

cc: President Barack Obama

Want to Keep Kids in School? Pay 'Em.

By the time I reached my senior year, I discovered I didn't much care for the academic element of school. And so I skipped class a lot, a fairly reckless thing to do in a day when there still existed truant officers and outraged parents.

How different that experience might have been had I the luxury of attending school in the 21st Century where some lucky kids are being paid to attend class and take tests. In some places, like St. Louis here, even their families get government cash to sign their kids up for certain schools.

So the next time you complain about high property taxes, taxes that are (given the lousy productivity of your local government school) a lot higher than they should be, be comforted by this thought. Your taxes are not only paying for buildings, teachers, security guards, value-free sex ed curricula (and the condoms accompanying it), leftist-oriented textbooks, athletic equipment for 19 sports, computers, busses, psychologists and a gaggle of administrators -- you may also be contributing to local government's payola schemes, bribing kids and parents to make it to class.

So there's my excuse to Mr. Musciano and the others who tried to keep me from ducking out for an Orange Julius or a swim in the lake, I was just born too late.

Had the price been right, I would have had a terrific attendance record.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today's Posts

Of Memories Treasured, Letters Written and Lives Saved

Blogging is light today because of 1) sidewalk counseling this morning; 2) the need to finish the next edition of "When Swing Was King" for tomorrow's presentation at Life Care Center; and 3) the need to prepare for tonight's P.A.L. Night, Vital Signs' regular letter-writing meeting that will begin at our place at 7 o'clock. As always, we will be writing letters to politicians, business leaders, editors and more -- letters, I assure you, that make a real difference.

If you're interested in joining us to do "a little shining instead of a little whining," give us a ring. We provide the action targets, the stationary and stamps, the coffee and cookies....and the convivial atmosphere of like-minded friends.

And, by the way, the sidewalk counseling team experienced yet another dramatic turn-away from the Bellevue abortion mill this morning. Remember Claire's report from last week? Well, on tomorrow's blog, we'll fill you in on the miracle that happened today -- a miracle that involved twins!

Don't miss it!

The Bizarre Selectivity of U.S. Immigration Policy

The AP brusquely reports, " The U.S. Coast Guard has returned to Cuba 25 migrants found floating off Florida shores.

The United States government absolutely refuses to act against the flood of illegal aliens which pours across the Mexican border every day.

But they find time, resources and dedication to catching and returning illegal aliens to Communist Cuba at every opportunity. This despite the proven willingness of Cuban refugees to obtain legal status in the U.S. as soon as possible along with a desire to work hard and become productive citizens of their adopted country.

And this despite the cruel fate which awaits many of those who have made the dramatic and dangerous flight from the oppressive, unjust regime which tyrannizes Cuba.

Today's case in point?

8 peaceful political dissidents have been imprisoned in recent days by Castro's police, three during a protest at the University of Havana and five others for attending a political meeting at a private home.

So why the selective attitude by the U.S. government? Why is it "hands off" when it comes to thousands of Mexican illegals, even those violent criminals attached to drug gangs, but very much "hands on" when it comes to dozens of Cubans desperately trying to escape a cruel and corrupt Communism?

So What Will the Republicans DO If They Win in November?

There's a lot of talk about the Republicans taking back the House of Representatives in the November elections. Though that seemed impossible a year ago, Team Obama and their Democrat pals in Congress have sickened voters with bailouts, boondoggles, outrageous overspending, ineptitude, arrogance, scandals, markedly un-American values, disregard for the protection of the citizenry, wheeling and dealing, lies, and blaming their every failure on George W. Bush.

The opinion polls certainly suggest that Democrats are truly in trouble.

But this begs two important questions? Will conservatives become overconfident, so much so that they fail to overcome the 11th-hour schemes hatched by Democrats and the leftist press? We can't let that happen. The next two months must see our most fervent prayers, our generous financial support of solid candidates and our hardest work to pass the word along. We must inform, mobilize and motivate. We must create a margin of victory wide enough to overcome the dirty tricks that will inevitably be played by Team Obama and company.

But there's another critical question to be answered, one that burns in the minds of conservatives who have so often seen the G.O.P. squander away the opportunities the voters give them.

Larry Kudlow puts the question like this, "What might a newly ascendant congressional Republican majority actually stand for?"

And then, in this fine article for National Review, Kudlow answers it by looking closely at John Boehner's speech at the City Club of Cleveland last week. It's good reading, providing an agenda that we need to make sure the Republicans get firmly behind.

Indeed, I'm suggesting not only that you read Kudlow's article but then that you also pass it along to those running on the Republican ticket in your area. Forward it to their e-mail addresses or send along a print copy to their offices.

And accompany it by a quick note of your own -- something that might sound like the one I'm sending along to "my" Republicans:

Dear _________,

Are you really wanting to make a positive difference when you get (get back) to Washington? Or is it going to be G.O.P. business as usual, i.e.; moving deeper into the failed Nanny State but at a bit slower rate than that advocated by Democrats? We can't afford that any longer.

It's way past time to take America back; to begin a policy of paying as we go; to protecting our national interests, our borders, our children; and to start saying 'Nuts' to the globalists, the abortionists, the ACLU, the rogue states that take our money and give us back terrorism, and the editors of the New York Times.

No, we need genuine, consistent, bold, creative and hard-working conservatives in the Republican Party. Enough of the RINOs, Rockefellers and country-clubbers. We've enjoyed the tea parties and the rallies. But now we need a new agenda (the one John Boehner and Paul Ryan are laying out will do just fine to start with) and then get down to making America work again. What d'ya say?


Denny Hartford

David Limbaugh: "Is Obama a Christian?"

Definitely for the must-read file.

First, let me confess that we can't possibly know for sure whether someone is a Christian, in the sense that we can't read another person's soul. We can sometimes get a pretty good idea based on someone's statements, professions and actions, but ultimately, Christianity is about an individual's beliefs and his faith and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

With that disclaimer and the further admission that I'm no expert on Islam, let me share with you some factors that I believe merit our consideration on the question of whether he is Muslim, Christian or neither.

In some ways, Obama exhibits a worldview that more closely resembles a secularist than it does either a Muslim or a Christian, especially in his views on social issues. Also, he seems to place a great deal of confidence in himself and in government to bring about transformational change.

How many God-fearing people have you known who would say "we (meaning I) are the ones we've been waiting for" or "generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"? The staggering conceit of these statements cannot be overstated...

Are you more comfortable with a chief executive who, along with the overwhelming majority of Americans, humbly admits to reliance on God or one who projects the impression that he himself is messianic? Which has a firmer grip on reality or comes closer to your own worldview?...

In office, Obama has rarely attended church and has routinely snubbed Christianity and Christian symbols while consistently espousing values inconsistent with the biblical ethic. On the other hand, he has gone out of his way to glorify Islam. He told us in one of his books that the Muslim call to prayer was the sweetest sound he'd ever heard.

More significantly, he said in his Cairo speech to the Muslim world that Islam is a revealed religion. I'm amazed this didn't get more attention because it is extremely anomalous for a believing Christian to refer to Islam as a revealed religion.

The word "revealed" had to have been carefully chosen and was absolutely unnecessary to convey his overtures to the Muslim world. One needn't affirm another person's religion to extend him a hand of friendship and peace.

Words have meaning, and if Obama believes Islam was revealed, then he most certainly believes it was revealed by God. If it was revealed by God more than 600 years after Christ was on earth and contains beliefs wholly inconsistent with doctrinal Christianity -- such as that Christ was not God, but a mere prophet -- then, in that essential particular, it cannot possibly be reconciled with Christianity.

If Obama truly believes Islam was revealed by God, I can't fathom how he could be a believing Christian. I don't know that Obama is not a Christian, but I am dubious.

(Davd Limbaugh, "Is Obama a Christian?", Washington Examiner)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Today's Posts

A Long To-Do List for the Weekend

I'd love to look towards the weekend as a respite from the tough going of the last several days but, alas, that's not to be. But that's okay. As Grandma Ellsworth used to say as she handed me a rag or a dust mop, "There's rest on the other side of the Jordan, Dennis. But on this side, you've got work to do!"

You're right, Grandma. And focusing on the future helps give strength for today's tasks. And the tasks for this weekend are a'stackin' up: looking after Mom (who has had a much tougher week than I have); getting Sunday's sermon ready; reading Nevil Shute's "No Highway" for literary club on Saturday night; helping Claire with some cleaning and fix-it projects since the book club meeting is at our place; compiling and sending out the Top Ten from Vital Signs Blog; watering the lawn; editing the background music for a "Church History and Abortion" Power Point we've put together for the internet; and finishing the next edition of "When Swing Was King" so that we can go through it a few times before presenting it at a nursing home on Tuesday afternoon.

Sometimes that far shore of the Jordan looks even sweeter than normal.

Jim Wallis: Leftist, Apostate, Dissembler...But Babs Likes Him

Following up on other posts about Jim Wallis and the sell out of so-called evangelicals to the far left (including yesterday's "The Left Is Buying Evangelicals Too" and last Monday's "Jim Wallis Caught Lying About Soros Money; Then Lies Some More"), here's an excerpt from another important article published in National Review Online by Jay Richards: "Soros Funding of Sojourners Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg."

...The “clarification” of his earlier statement is equally unsatisfying. First, Wallis is still trying to claim that his organization transcends the Manichean political divide of left and right. They just do “biblical social justice,” he insists. But again, as I show in much more detail elsewhere, Wallis and Sojourners regularly couple strained, narrow readings of scriptural texts and a vaguely Marxist economic foundation to arrive at political and economic positions that are well left of center and far afield of a far more nuanced charity and justice tradition stretching back through almost 2,000 years of orthodox Christian thought...

Besides the Soros grants, for instance, there are two 2006 grants from the infamous Tides Foundation totaling $72,106; a Ford Foundation grant in 2008 for $100,000; a Rockefeller Brothers Fund grant for $100,000 in 2005; and a $50,000 grant from the Wallace Global Fund in 2008. The Wallace Global Fund also supports ACORN and a cornucopia of population-control groups.

Three grants, totaling $20,000 between 2005 and 2007, are from the Streisand Foundation in California. Yes, that Streisand foundation. (That’s just funny.) Other recipients of Streisand philanthropy include People for the American Way and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. This is very left-wing company.

Apparently Wallis thinks the range from left to far left represents a “broad spectrum.”...

To be clear, I am not saying that because the Streisand Foundation gives to both Sojourners and Planned Parenthood, Sojourners secretly supports Planned Parenthood. I am saying it is dishonest for Wallis to keep claiming he’s above the political fray. You don’t have to be keen-witted to figure out that Sojourners is overwhelmingly a left-wing operation, optimized to brand left-wing ideas for Christians, ideologically moored on the left, and funded to a significant degree by secular, left-wing donors with little interest in the health of the church. ..

Zuckerman Writes of "The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History."

Mort Zuckerman is at it again.

And the "it" in question is bashing the Obama administration. Zuckerman does so in a compelling essay written for U.S. News & World (the magazine of which he is the chairman and editor in chief) which has the ominous title, "The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History."

Pretty strong, huh? Particularly when you're reminded that Mort Zuckerman isn't speaking from the conservative side of the aisle.

No, as the editor of the U.S. News & World Report and publisher of the New York Daily News, Zuckerman has a long history of supporting Democrats. And he was once a strong supporter of Barack Obama. Zuckerman embraced Obama's promises of hope, positive change, non-partisanship, unity, transparency, fiscal responsibility, and restoring America's image in the eyes of the world. But Mort Zuckerman went further still. He went out on the limb for Obama, consistently and energetically promoting Obama's candidacy. His newspaper endorsed him.

But then Obama took office.

And, like so many others, Mort Zuckerman began to see signs that Obama was an illusion. And as Obama's first year in office wore on, the president's arrogance, incompetence, secrecy, indifference (if not disdain) towards Israel, rabid devotion to leftist ideology over practical concerns, and several other things made Zuckerman turn.

Zuckerman's first shot across the bow was an essay published last January, "He's Done Everything Wrong." Then there was another major salvo in June, "World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur."

And now this doozy, "The Most Fiscally Irresponsible Government in U.S. History."

Perhaps this explains why President Obama plays so much golf and takes so many vacations. For when as influential a MSM journalist as Mort Zuckerman turns his guns on you, especially when that influence helped immeasurably to get you elected, escapism becomes very attractive indeed.

MSM Finally Finds "The ICE Story"

Yes, the MSM has finally "discovered" one of the most remarkable, most newsworthy stories of the year, that of a government employees union (the one representing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) dramatically protesting the ineptitude and corruption of the Obama administration.

But even though they finally got to the story, the Washington Post managed to hem and haw, spit and spin, overlook and overcook the whole issue. It's a lousy story which omits entirely the main features of the controversy, a story written by Andrew Becker which tries to cover for the Obama administration's monumental failures by ignoring facts, accepting excuses and presenting the matter as a tempest in a bureaucratic teapot.

Had I turned in such a story when I was a freshman, reporting for the Trinidad State Junior College paper (fall of '69) -- a story that was poorly written, which altogether missed the salient points, and which was 3 weeks late to boot, I would have been dropped from the program.

Would that such a fate befall Becker, let alone the editors who let it be published.

But since that's not going to happen -- and since the MSM will continue to ignore this devastating story -- I suggest you check out this Vital Signs post from August 10th ("Obama Administration Is Cold as ICE") and that those of you on Facebook make a "Friend" status with Stand With Arizona (and Against Illegal Immigration).

Accurate information yields power -- and we need to empower voters come November to start reclaiming our country.

Obama Administration Knowingly Endangers America's Youth

Following up on Wednesday's post ("Govt Sex Ed: More Flim Flam from Team Obama") is a Life News story on just how many abstinence education programs are going to be chopped by the Obama administration -- 176. And this following the disclosure of the government's own study showing how effective those programs are in helping teens develop self-respect, plan for their future, and avoid the heartbreak, STDs and pregnancies that come from premarital sexual activity.

This means the Obama administration knows full well that cutting funding for these programs endangers America's youth. But because he and his team have so embraced immoral doctrines about sexuality, including the aggressive promotion of sexual perversions and abortion, they don't care.

Far more important to Barack Obama than the health and well-being of America's teenagers is the applause of Planned Parenthood and the LGBT lobby.

There's no doubt about it; we have worse than incompetents and liars running the country -- though they are certainly that. These guys are flat out wicked.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Today's Posts

We Can't Afford to Be the World's Patsy Anymore

Let's talk about foolish government spending. And I mean really foolish government spending. For while America languishes in a terrible economy, her government continues to send billions of dollars to undeserving regimes across the globe.

Case in point:

The Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), the U.S. government agency that provides large-scale grants to the chosen countries to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth, will begin distributing $540 million in aid next month to Senegal despite persistent questions from members of Congress and others about the African nation's commitment to good government and democracy.

Although MCC says control of corruption is the single most important indicator by which a nation is deemed qualified for aid money, a review of the State Department's most recent report on human rights reveals that Senegal — and virtually every country receiving similar grants — has been criticized for government corruption...

Sheila Herrling, MCC vice president for policy and evaluation, said the organization takes corruption seriously and continues to monitor countries that receive the grants. "Corruption is a fact of life, not an if, in all countries," she said. "The question is how we deal with it."

But how they "deal with it" is 1) to ignore it completely while 2) giving out more millions of American taxpayer money to foreign thugs. For the fact is that MCC has never terminated (not even suspended) aid to any country because of corruption.

Oh, Sheila.

Please keep in mind that in America's lousy economy, people are losing jobs, homes and savings. The country's infrastructure is crumbling, cops and firefighters are being laid off, medical services to the elderly are being curtailed. And yet, foreign aid programs are taking billions out of the country, much of which is invested in ungrateful nations, corrupt regimes, states guilty of horrendous human rights abuses, and even some governments that are sworn enemies of the U.S.

November can't come soon enough.

But then, unless November brings new blood into Washington, blood that boils over this kind of outrageous, counter-productive spending, America will continue to play the paternalistic patsy for every cash hungry government on earth.

Until, that is, there's just nothing left to give.

Read more in this Chuck Neubauer/Matthew Cella Washington Times story.

Democrat's Michigan Strategy Includes Voter Fraud

Warner Todd Huston over at Publius Forum writes, "In a 'see-I-told-you-so moment,' one of the organizers of fake Tea Party candidates that got on the 2010 ballot in Michigan has been fully revealed to be a Democrat attempting an election dirty trick."

He's got the story and links to even more of the details right here.

(Hat tip: Blogs Lucianne Loves)

Okay, Lady. Get Rid of the Cross.

The 20 foot tall cross is their own. They erected it on their own Vermont property. But the neighbors and the government now insist it must be removed.

The new world order isn't on the horizon. It's here.

Check out this Fox News clip and the sweet, big-hearted woman who is undergoing the persecution from neighbors and bigoted bureaucrats.

(By the way, this is an example of just how crucial has been Fox News in the culture wars. For this remarkable story of religious intolerance is being covered by nobody else in the news business. Nobody.)

Living Life Unplugged

The research firm of SNL Kagan has reported that, for the first time ever, the number of American subscribers to cable, satellite and telecom TV services has taken a tumble. And quite a tumble at that -- cable TV firms lost 711,000 subscribers last quarter.

Is it the economy? People disgusted with the lack of quality offered on cable and satellite TV? The provision of better, more competitive programs from the networks? More time spent on computers and other technology? The increased competition from internet TV, which most analysts believe is the future of the market?

I'd sure like to think it's because people have decided to turn off the tube and get back into real life -- you know: family time, talking to friends and neighbors, reading, listening to fine music, exercise, hobbies and playing games, helping others, church involvement, and so on.

But I'm afraid we all know that's not the reason.

(It is, in fact, a combination of the earlier suggestions, with a particular emphasis on the latter two.)

But that doesn't mean that a few of us can't break free and live unplugged. And who knows? Maybe if only a few of us can show others how winsome, fruitful and satisfying real life can be, we can start a trend. So what d'ya say? Let's turn off the TVs and computers and iPods -- and go play kick the can!

Play "Real or Fake" on Govt Spending Projects


Inside A Democrat Incumbent's Office

The Left Is Buying Evangelicals Too

Remember Richard Cizik, one of the key leaders in the National Association of Evangelicals whose left-leaning, heterodox pronouncements finally forced the organization to drop him?

Not that the NAE was keen to do so. They had, after all, allowed Cizik to serve as their lead lobbyist in Washington for decades, long after his religion had made a sharp turn to the left. And they grievously bemoaned his exit, praising and defending him as much as possible.

If only he hadn't gone on National Public Radio and endorsed homosexual unions, putting at risk the flow of money to the NAE from all those fuddy-duddy fundamentalist churches who still take the Bible seriously -- and who aren't aware of how the NAE has "evolved" in recent years.

Well, Richard Cizik managed to land on his feet and with his apostate sentiments not only intact but strengthened. For his first gig after leaving the evangelicals was working with humanist, globalist extraordinaire, pro-abortion zealot and the man who owns more American soil than anyone else, Ted Turner.

But now Cizik is relying on even deeper pockets. He, like Jim Wallis of Sojourners and a few apostate Catholics, is now working for George Soros.

Mark Tooley has the story here in The Weekly Standard. And for a few more examples of the National Association of Evangelicals losing its way, check out this post and its various links.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today's Posts

My Goodness! What They Said!

* On CBS’ “The Late Show” Tuesday night, David Letterman took a jab at the president, saying: “He’ll have plenty of time for vacations after his one term is up.”

* Democrat Senator Max Baucus takes credit for "essentially writing" the Democrat health care bill but then, incredibly, admits he didn't even read the thing! “I don’t think you want me to waste my time to read every page of the health care bill. You know why? It’s statutory language. We hire experts.”

* Amnesty by bureaucratic sleight of hand? Susan Carroll reports for the Houston Chronicle, "The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts.

Culling the immigration court system dockets of noncriminals started in earnest in Houston about a month ago and has stunned local immigration attorneys, who have reported coming to court anticipating clients' deportations only to learn that the government was dismissing their cases..."

* Vice-President Joe Biden "conceded that the economic recovery was not proceeding as fast as the administration had hoped, but claimed there was 'no doubt we're moving in the right direction.'

* What can we expect from ObamaCare based on the European socialist programs it's based on? Try this. At a hospital in Sundsvall, Sweden, Elin Andersson was required to clean up her own hospital room before she was dismissed. And this was but two days after birthing her child via a Cesarean section! Furthermore, the baby's had been enrolled to help with her care while in hospital. Outlandish? Of course. Exaggerated? No. Explained Gunnel Westerlund, one of the staff midwives at the hospital of Andersson's story, ”She describes precisely those bits that we don't have time for.”

* Regarding the leak of financial information that has left Jeffrey Loria and David Samson embarrassed (these guys don't feel genuine shame) and taxpayers of Florida enraged, reporter Jeff Passan writes, "The swindlers who run the Florida Marlins got exposed...Corporate fraud is alive and well in Major League Baseball."

* “Balanced, fair, impactful.” That's what Cal Thomas said. James Sire, author of The Universe Next Door, used the word, “Astounding” while Gene Edward Veith went with the more British adjective, “Brilliant.” David Limbaugh, one of my favorites, put it this way: “May be Nancy’s best book yet, and that’s saying something." So...what are these guys all talking about? Nancy Pearcey's new book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning. Here's more info.

Eggsploitation! Women Endangered by Bad Science

Chuck Colson writes, "You’ve probably seen them—most of us have. Ads soliciting women to donate their eggs for in vitro fertilization are everywhere: in newspapers, on the Internet, on college campus bulletin boards. Most people don’t even think twice about it. An opportunity for young women to earn a little cash and do something nice for an infertile couple, and it’s all supervised by doctors. What could be wrong with that?

Plenty, according to a new documentary. Eggsploitation, a film produced by the Center for Bioethics and Culture, tears down the fa├žade to show the dark side of egg donation."

And let me add, this isn't even mentioning the deadliest element of all of in vitro fertilization; namely, the destruction of all those "extra embryos."

Here is Colson's Breakpoint article with more information. Here's another from Jennifer Lahl. Over here is the website for the shocking new documentary, "Eggsploitation." And right below is the trailer for the film.

Below that are links to related Vital Signs posts about IVF.

Guys, let's get the basic facts about this dangerous new scheme and start spreading the word.

Why Will No One Inform Couples About the Health Risks of IVF?

In Vitro Fertlization: Regulation (Even Understanding) Is Overdue

Uncomfortable Truths About In Vitro Fertilization

Ova Freezing as a Lifestyle Choice

Culling Embryos to Get a Perfect Baby

In Vitro's Monstrous Secret

What Happens to the "Extra" Embryos?

From Green to Blue: Al Gore Has Had a Bad Year

His wife walked away. He's become a tabloid headline. They make fun of him on the late night talk shows, the news blogs and the floor of the U.S. Senate.

As Kermit tried to warn him, it's not easy being green.

And yet if all that wasn't enough to make you take the smiley face pin off your lapel, Mr. Gore has witnessed this year not only the collapse of his beloved "cap-and-trade" dreams, but the dramatic discrediting of the whole global warming...thing.

Matt Patterson, editor of Green Watch, summarizes a few of the "things gone wrong" in this Washington Times piece.

The fortunes of Mr. Gore's global-warming crusade certainly are in decline: A recent Rasmussen poll found that just 34 percent of respondents "feel human activity is the main contributor" to global warming and that the percentage of those who consider global warming a "serious issue" has "trended down slightly since last November."

Mr. Gore himself is to blame for at least some of the public backlash against global-warming orthodoxy: Using bad science to justify bad policy will inevitably rub people the wrong way. And Mr. Gore has not helped his cause by consistently expressing outrageous falsehoods ("the debate is over") and shamelessly trying to shield his assertions from legitimate criticism by claiming "settled science." All the while, he has enriched himself and pushed a left-wing economic agenda...

Fortunately, thanks largely to the tireless work of independent researchers Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, the flaws in the statistical methodology used to create the various hockey-stick graphs have received widespread attention, and the once-iconic symbol of global warming has since been largely marginalized in the climate-change debate.

But not before it helped Al Gore to earn an Academy Award, a Nobel Peace Prize and an undeserved reputation as a scientific guru. As The Washington Post once noted of Mr. Gore's academic credentials: "For all of Gore's later fascination with science and technology, he often struggled academically in those subjects. The political champion of the natural world received [a] sophomore D in Natural Sciences 6 ... and then got a C-plus in Natural Sciences 118 his senior year."

Imagine: We nearly let this former politician, who barely passed sophomore science at Harvard, persuade us to acquiesce to the monstrous statism of cap-and-trade, which would have resulted in higher energy and food prices and imposed yet another economic hardship on the poorest members of our society. All in the name of bad science.

Shame on him. And thank God he failed.

From the Hymnal of the First Church of the Lukewarm

Please note, however, that if you're young, if you were converted in the last 30 years or so, or if you attend an emergent church that meets in a coffee shop and is entertained by a "worship team," these probably won't mean much to you since the names of the standard hymns that are parodied here haven't been sung in churches for decades. But you'll get the idea.

1) Blest Be The Tie That Doesn't Cramp My Style
2) Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for Me
3) I Surrender Some
4 ) I'm Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
5 ) Sit Up, Sit Up For Jesus
6) Take My Life and Let Me Be
7) What An Acquaintance We Have In Jesus
8) Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following
9) He's Quite a Bit To Me
10) Oh, How I Like Jesus
11) Fill My Spoon, Lord
12) It Is My Secret What God Can Do

Govt Sex Ed: More Flim Flam from Team Obama

It's yet another example of the Obama administration taking Americans' money to then give them government programs they neither need or want. And, oh yes, trying to keep the whole thing hidden from view.

Oh, Prunella; are these not the greasiest scalawags that ever slithered into Washington!

In this particular case, Team Obama was trying to keep the lid on an HHS study about sex education programs that revealed the administration (ever beholden to the radical agenda of the Planned Parenthood/LGBT crowd) was arrogantly ignoring the values of 70% of the nation's parents.

America wants abstinence-based sex ed programs because 1) they better reflect their values and 2) they work! But since when does the Obama administration care about either public opinion or efficiency? Therefore, when their own study shows them at such dramatic odds with the public, the administration tosses the study in the back of a drawer and goes about its business to remake America in its own image.

Except this time they got caught. But did they get caught too late?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reluctantly bowed to public pressure on Monday and released a pivotal abstinence study with results that fly in the face of the Obama administration’s policy of “zeroing out” all abstinence-education funding.

CitizenLink and pro-family organizations alerted people Wednesday that the administration had refused to release the study. The HHS website was shut down on Friday, due to the overwhelming response. On Monday, the study was posted online.

The taxpayer-funded research, “The National Survey of Adolescents and Their Parents,” comes as critical funding for abstinence programs is set to end Sept. 30.

The U.S. Congress and the administration canceled all abstinence-centered program grants for the FY2010 budget, putting at risk more than 2 million students who are expected to attend 176 abstinence programs this fall...

Read more here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Whole World Is Changed -- A Child Is Saved

Claire Hartford provides this guest column as she describes a momentous incident happening yesterday at the Bellevue abortion mill.

We knew early that it was going to be a tough day when three abortion workers and a client pulled into the parking lot at 7:30. Denny stayed on the sidewalk between the parking lot and Mission Avenue with his baby sign and banner while Quint Coppi and I headed up to the building's east side. That's closer to the building entrance and sometimes abortion clients will park on the street nearby. Before too long Bill Coker and Chet Thomas arrived too. Chet joined Denny and Bill stayed up top with us. Other members of our prayer and sidewalk counseling team take the "second shift" so Val Prater and Carol Moran joined us a bit later. (Others of our little band were not able to be there yesterday: Ruth Denzler is in Minnesota; Larry Booth's wife, Jeannie, is undergoing a medical procedure; and Mark Morin was on a job.)

By 9:30, there were 11 clients that went into the abortion building. Four of them parked on the street and we were able to walk with them from their cars to the abortion clinic -- offering our help, telling them of the alternatives to abortion and showing them the beautiful model which represents exactly what an unborn baby looks like at 10-weeks gestation. Among these were a couple of angry people so, along with the normal excuses and lies about their intentions, we got some pretty salty language and threats. One woman, after hearing us explain the miraculous development of her baby, brazenly said, "So, I'm killing my baby. What of it?"

Down by the parking lot itself, Denny was able to briefly speak to the women, husbands and boyfriends too. But since they all come in the east door, we were able to speak to those clients as well.

One of the young women who was just "dropped off" at the door went into the abortionist, but then came out after just a few minutes. She sat on the bench by the door and smoked a cigarette. I quietly shared with her what happens during the abortion, the uniqueness and beauty of her child, what her son or daughter might be doing right now in her womb, potential dangers to her own health from the abortion (like a greater incidence of breast cancer), and especially about how we could take her right across the street to A Woman’s Touch Pregnancy Center. There she could to sit in a pleasant, unpressured, safe place and talk to the counselor there about her alternatives to abortion.

I reminded her that the three of us there were all praying for her right now to not get an abortion, to let us help her and her baby. Periodically, the young lady would look up as I was talking and, after she finished her cigarette, she just sat there with her chin on her hand. She looked quite lost and far away but she kept looking up at us too like she was about to speak.

Bill shared a little bit with her too and in a very kind, fatherly way that he has. I've been doing this kind of thing for an awful lot of years but my heart was still pounding as I prayed for this lady and her child...and even her boyfriend. I also felt a tremendous sense of pride and appreciation for the pro-life friends who are on our team and taking on this crucial challenge.

Then Quint decided to tell the young woman a compelling story from his own life, one that was of the utmost relevance and value. I'll let him summarize what he had to say:

"Young lady, my daughter became pregnant in high school and gave birth to a little girl. My wife Carol and I had the privilege of seeing our little granddaughter as a newborn. This would be our only chance to see her, since my daughter had arranged for her to be adopted. Since this was the case, we knew that, more than likely, we might never see her again.

However, she had other plans. She remembered in earlier correspondence with my daughter, that my wife was an artist in Omaha. She googled "Omaha Artist", and found my wife's e-mail. Earlier this year, we received an e-mail from her, asking my wife if she was my daughter's mother. She wanted to re-establish contact with her again, and asked if we would send her our daughter's address.

The upshot of this was that, that little newborn, now a young woman in her thirties, came to Omaha, spent a day with my daughter, and the next day came and visited with us. Now she has a husband and children of her own. Through recent e-mails, she has let us know that she would like to stay in contact with us often. My wife and I are very thankful for this turn of events.

Your child could have this same opportunity; to live, marry, and have children. This could not happen if you proceed along the path of abortion. Your child will have no opportunity to live, to marry or have a family. Please reconsider, come over to the CPC, and listen to the options that are open to you. They will help you to make a much better decision than abortion. Believe me, in time, you will be grateful that you saved your baby's life."

I already knew Quint's story, of course, but it was thrilling to hear him relate it to this young woman. I knew Bill had been praying hard as Quint told it. I reminded her that we cared very much for her and really wanted her best. I also emphasized that there was no charge, no risk, no obligation to go over and at least talk to the counselor at A Woman's Touch.

She looked up and suddenly asked if you needed an appointment over at A Woman’s Touch. We told her no, not at all. In fact, I would be glad to walk her over and introduce her. She sat a few minutes longer then she grabbed her purse and walked over to me and said, “I would like to go over there.” I handed Bill my sign and introduced myself. She, in turn, told me her name. As we walked over, I found out a little about her, including the fact that both she and her boyfriend had been hesitant to get an abortion. But she did have an appointment for one there that morning.

As we walked into A Woman’s Touch, I introduced her to the counselor there. The counselor immediately sat next to the young lady and said that she was glad that she had come in and asked her to fill out some forms so she would know how to help her. It was difficult for me to leave her. After all those years of counseling at the AAA CPC, I wanted to be a part of the session too. But I didn't want to be a distraction and I was confident of how the counselor would minister to her. I told the young lady that I would leave her in good hands and that we would continue to pray for her. And that anytime she wanted my help, she could count on it.

It was a great joy to go back across the street to share with Denny and the rest of the team what was happening, to let them know that this young mom had escaped the devil's trap and that her baby wasn't going to be killed. Indeed, she was now getting the full range of counseling, alternatives and assistance the pro-life community can give. There was great rejoicing there on the street yesterday morning as well as in the heavenlies! Thank You, Lord Jesus!

We ask for ongoing prayers for this young couple and their baby. And you might also say a prayer for the two other clients who left yesterday morning without having the abortion. Neither wanted to stop and talk to us (although one of the young women gave Denny a smile and a little wave) so we don't know what transpired. And please say a prayer for the impact of our sidewalk counseling team when the Lord brings us to mind. We sure would like to relate to you more miracle stories like this one.

Denny, thanks for the blog space!

NYC Mayor Backs Ground Zero Mosque Yet Stridently Opposes Small Churches

Mayor Bloomberg was eloquent in his defense of religious freedom when he spoke up for the mosque near the World Trade Center site. We wish his fervor extended to the small church congregations that only want to rent vacant public school auditoriums in New York City for Sunday services.

For 15 years now, the city has been fighting the tiny Bronx Household of Faith, a small Christian congregation that has been having a difficult time finding a place to meet. It wants, consistent with its reading of the U.S. Constitution - and mine - to meet in a vacant public school space on weekends, just as all other community groups are allowed to.

The city flatly says no. It keeps losing this battle in court, but it won't quit. This is an astonishing situation given the mayor's declaration that "Political controversies come and go, but our values and our traditions endure, and there is no neighborhood in this city that is off-limits to God's love and mercy, as the religious leaders here with us can attest."

Granted, the facts are different. The mosque is to be built with private funds on private property. The church wants to use public school property, and that triggers some difficult questions. But five times now, starting in 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the government cannot exclude religious groups from public facilities when government has opened them to other community organizations.

It is difficult to conclude that anything but anti-religious bigotry underlies the city's intransigence...

Read more of this NY Daily News story by Tom Minnery right here.

The Tiger Tragedy

Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo Sports describes (unwittingly, I suspect) a serious misunderstanding of life's priorities as he hopes that Tiger Woods will get his game back in order now that his marriage is ended.

Wetzel writes, "Now, perhaps, with the trauma of attempted reconciliation and then the details of divorce finished, Tiger can return to championship form on the golf course and turn around his spiraling game...While the sensational details of his infidelities were fodder for the public, in the end Woods is a golfer. The sooner he is allowed to turn the focus onto his game, the better – at least if he begins winning again."

The fact is that Tiger Woods would have done much better to focus not on his golf game, but on the character and concerns of his spiritual life. As a husband and father, certainly. But foundational to those responsibilities, as a sinner who, like us all, desperately needed forgiveness from God and the power to live above ego, fears and carnal passions. And those gifts can be found in only one place -- the cross of Jesus Christ.

For contrary to Wetzel's comment, "in the end" Tiger Woods is not a golfer. He is a man who will (again, like all of us) face the judgment of God. And the Almighty will not be impressed with Woods' links legacy. He will not be asking for an autograph. And He will not be grading holiness on a curve shaped by the number of major tournaments Woods finally attains.

Furthermore, the failure of a marriage is a grave tragedy, one with the most terrible repurcussions on the spouses, the children, the extended family and friends. And infamous divorces, like ones involving such high-celebrity couples as Tiger and Elin, effect even the the surrounding culture by lowering the expectations of marriage vows...and increasing the justifications and excuses for divorce.

Wetzel doesn't help by spinning the Woods divorce as ultimately being a good career move. Even though that will likely happen. Because the return of Tiger's fan base, the spike in the PGA's television audience, and new millions won in prize money and endorsement deals (now shared by a legion of divorce lawyers) will never make up for what he, Elin and their kids have lost.

Wetzel hopes Tiger Woods can "turn around his spiraling game." That's fine. I'm sure that many others are too. But I'm praying that Woods will turn around his spiraling life, finding forgiveness and power in a relationship with God, a life that can bring healing to Tiger Woods' self-inflicted wounds...and even to his broken marriage.

While Obama Raises Money...

Courtesy of Andrew Malcolm, here's a couple of LA Times notes you might want to read through:

"Obama mosque stance hurting, Gallup finds, as Americans disapprove of it -- and him."

and "John Boehner calls for firing of Obama's entire economic team; time 'to put grownups in charge'"

While Rich Lowry over at the New York Post has one you'll find of interest, "The Cipher in Chief: Why Americans Don't Know O." It includes such passages as that below.

That a sliver of Americans believes Obama is a Muslim is not shocking in the context of other bizarre and stupid things they tell pollsters. In a rebuke to geography teachers everywhere, 10 percent of people either don't think Hawaii is part of the United States or aren't sure. Twenty percent believe aliens have contacted us here on Earth. And 11 percent have confidence in the United States Congress.

But the numbers tell us something important about President Obama: We don't know him. The most powerful and famous man in the country is still the mysterious stranger. He rose from nowhere, winning an election based partly on being an unknown quantity, and an unknown quantity he remains.

Is 36% A "Small" Risk?

Barb Malek's new blog (Erase the Need) is designed to 1) communicate essential pro-life truths to young persons who are not usually oriented to Christian or conservative sources of information and 2) to introduce them to the variety of services provided by a pro-life CPC, in this case, the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling.

Even though she's just starting out as a blogger, she has years of experience both in writing and in CPC ministry. Therefore, I think you'll find Erase the Need a very helpful resource. It's certainly one to pass around to youngsters, to youth pastors and the like. But Barb also provides information you can use as well as providing insight on how to best approach these issues with others.

Case in point? Check out the excerpt below from Barb's latest column:

...No matter where you stand on the issue of abortion, I think everyone can agree (at least I would hope so!) that women should have access to all the information they can, either positive or negative. However, in my opinion, when negative statistics about abortion are brought to light they tend to be downplayed or ignored altogether. One example of this is an article which just came out in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics.

In this article, Dr. Jay D. Iams, Professor and Vice Chair of the Ohio State University Department of OB/GYN, has drawn a clear link between abortion and the rate of pre-term births. The exact quote is: “Contrary to popular belief, population based studies have found that elective pregnancy terminations in the first and second trimesters are associated with a very small but apparently real increase in the risk of subsequent spontaneous preterm birth.” (You can find this article by clicking on the link to the American Journal of Obstetrics above.) In other words, having a first or second trimester abortion can increase the risk of having early deliveries for any future babies.

Not surprisingly, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists supported this article, but added some documentation to state that it did not go far enough. They point out (in the article you can find by clicking on their link) that there are currently over a hundred studies being performed which show a statistically significant link between induced abortions and early deliveries. In fact, there are no studies that prove that no link exists.

When Dr. Iams says it is a “small but significant” link, it really depends on what you think “small” means. In fact, one of the sources that he references shows a 36% increase, which I think sounds pretty big. For instance, if I had a 36% chance of having my plane crash or not surviving surgery, I would really rethink both. And, the risk increases the more abortions that a woman has...