Saturday, April 27, 2013

Barack Obama: The Abortionist's Friend

President Obama took a combative stance during his speech to Planned Parenthood today, pledging his unconditional support to the abortion giant, and, at more than one point, taking a swipe at pro-life activists who oppose the organization.

“No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the opposition, there’s one thing that the past few years have shown,” said President Obama, “that Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere today. It’s not going anywhere tomorrow."

He continued: “As long as we’ve got to fight to make sure women have access to quality affordable healthcare, and as long as we’ve got to fight to protect a women’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be with you fighting with you every step of the way.”

Obama was greeted enthusiastically by the crowd of some 1,000 Planned Parenthood supporters. "You're making me blush," he said in response to the protracted standing ovation...

Obama had been widely criticized for speaking to Planned Parenthood in the shadow of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who stands accused of murdering several newborn babies after botched late-term abortions. During his speech, the president made no reference to the trial, and avoided any direct mention of the word abortion, instead referencing "choice."...

In his speech he also pleaded with Planned Parenthood clinic workers to help him get the word out about his health care reform law. Initial reports are suggesting that enrollment for the law's health care exchanges are dismally low, putting the whole law in jeopardy.

He concluded his speech saying, "Thank you Planned Parenthood. God bless you." 

Read the rest of John Jalsevac's Life Site News story here. And then please take a look at this brief CNS News report also.

My response...

America, as a Illinois state senator, Barack Obama voted to protect infanticide. As your President, he has connived, coerced, and lied to protect any and all abortions. As your President, he has been Cheerleader in Chief for Planned Parenthood, the corrupt and bloated business that kills thousands of preborn boys and girls every day. And yet he's still admired by half of the country.

It's time to shudder at the judgment that awaits us.

Boston Terror: Why Won't the White House (& the Press) Connect the Dots?

A detailed analysis of the bombs used at the Boston Marathon and during a firefight between the suspects and law enforcement shows how closely the bombmakers followed instructions from the digital al Qaeda magazine “Inspire,” according to a government document obtained by NBC News.

The unclassified report from the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center found that the pipe bombs allegedly thrown from a car by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev during last Friday’s chase through Watertown, Mass., resembled the design described in “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom,” an article in the first issue of the English-language magazine. At least one of the Watertown bombs used an elbow pipe wrapped in black tape, as discussed in “Inspire.”
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“The use of elbow pipes specifically is unique,” states the report, “and rare in other extremist and anarchist literature.”

“How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” also provided instructions on how to build bombs with kitchen pressure cookers. The bombs detonated at the marathon on April 15 were constructed from pressure cookers, as was a bomb authorities say the suspects threw at police during the Watertown shootout...

According to the TEDAC analysis, the pressure-cooker bombs also match the “Inspire” designs in their use of spherical shrapnel and gunpowder from fireworks, as well as the possible use of Christmas tree lights as an initiator...

Team Obama (which sadly includes the nation's press) refuses to acknowledge the obvious; namely, that terrorism is being inspired, promoted, justified, and directly enabled by radical Islam. In the case of the Boston Marathon murderers, liberals are deliberately ignoring the connections to al Qaeda as they emphasize that the Tsarnaev brothers acted alone.

What would they need to see the connection? A W-2 form? A team photo?

Certainly, one of the primary strategies being applied by Islamic jihad is individual action -- assassination, arson, stealth bombs, suicide bombs -- but it is individual action that is tied together by the arrogance, intolerance and lethal violence taught by extremist Islam all over the world.

It is the very nature of the thing that terrorism comes not in organized military campaigns (generals conducting battalions of professional soldiers into battle) but in single crimes designed to create havoc and fear among the targeted population, retribution for imagined wrongs, and death. But these single crimes are intimately linked by the motives and methods of Islamic jihad.

It's the ideology, stupid. And the fact that President Barack Hussein Obama, Attorney General Holder, the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and most of the American media obstinately, irrationally refuse to admit this only paves the way for more violence.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Today's Posts

Remembering the Steps

I wasn’t sure what was happening.  We were at a new nursing home yesterday and nearing the end of a “When Swing Was King” program for a crowd of 30 residents or so. 

But off to my right, a woman was somewhat agitated and trying to get up out of her wheelchair.  She was very weak and unstable and, from the rapid movement of the staff members to the lady’s side, it was clear she wasn’t supposed to get up by herself.  The lady was from a special unit in the facility for Alzheimer’s and other serious dementia and it became clear that the staff was unsuccessfully trying to persuade her to resume her seat. 

The reason she wouldn't sit down?  She wanted to dance!

And, as the staff reluctantly (and nervously) allowed her, dance she did!  With an aide holding her on one side, the activities director holding her on the other side, and other staff members arranged in front and behind, Charlotte danced to the boisterous sounds of Benny Goodman’s “Don’t Be That Way” and then Dean Martin’s “Cha Cha Cha d’Amor.” 

It was a marvelous moment in what we've already seen to be a most marvelous ministry – seeing how the power of music reaches even into the mysterious depths of dementia and recalls memories, self-awareness, and joy.  Charlotte was loving it, her broad smile and swaying movements clearly showing her delight to everyone in the place. 

This was just one of the indications that it was right to add this particular facility to our monthly schedule. (This one, Bethany Lutheran Home in Council Bluffs, now makes it thirteen places every month!) For one thing, the contraption we designed to block out the sunlight from a stained glass window high on the south wall worked great. We had made it with just a few dollars worth of PVC pipe, fittings, and the same kind of black plastic sheet we use in a few of our other venues. The facility's chaplain was especially impressed with the rig. "Now why didn't we ever think of something like that? That is really helpful."

Other proofs were the exuberant responses of the staff (and we were very impressed with them too), the many complements and thank-yous from the residents, and very pleasanr visits afterwards with such folks as Lloyd, Robert and Arlene.

It was yet another great time with "When Swing Was King." But those delightful dance moves of Charlotte will be something we treasure for a long time.

Kristol: "The New Normal" is the New Excuse for Subpar Performance

Here's an excerpt from a scathing (but spot on) criticism penned for The Weekly Standard by William Kristol, "Against the 'New Normal.'"

Are you alarmed by the counterterrorism failures increasingly evident as we learn more about the Boston terror attack? Don’t be. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has helpfully explained, “This tragedy is the new normal.”

Are you surprised that a whole city was ordered to “shelter in place” as one “knockoff jihadi,” in Vice President Biden’s term, roamed the streets? Don’t be. It’s the new normal. Are you shocked by the Obama administration’s dissembling in response to terror attacks in Benghazi? Don’t be naïve. It’s the new normal. Are you worried that the president proclaims “red lines” to deter dictators from, e.g., using chemical weapons, then does nothing to enforce them? Don’t be unsophisticated. As Rep. Adam Smith, ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, explained, “The president said it was a red line. What the president never said was what that meant exactly.” It’s the new normal. Are you startled that the commander in chief accepts defense cuts that the president’s own defense secretary said would be “devastating” and “a disaster” and “would inflict severe damage to our national defense”? Don’t be foolish. It’s the new normal.

And do you think, back home, that we might do better than slow economic growth, high long-term unemployment, mountains of debt, and a massive health care reform that’s a “train wreck,” in the felicitous term of the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee who helped shepherd it through Congress? Didn’t you get the memo? It’s all the new normal.

By the way, the new normal is bipartisan. It’s of course true that the administration in power during this period of national decline has a particular interest in selling the concept of a new normal. It’s true that the idea fits uncommonly well with the fatalism that, beneath the airy talk of hope and change, lies at the heart of modern liberalism. But Republican elites aren’t immune to the charms of the new normal, which excuses subpar performance in so many areas.

So it’s apparently the new normal for GOP leaders in Congress to be more interested in exempting themselves from Obamacare than in laying the groundwork for repealing it, and thereby exempting all Americans. It’s apparently the new normal for GOP elites to spend all their time, money, and effort trying to quickly muscle through a poorly crafted immigration bill—which once passed will have irreversible effects—than trying to do anything significant for American workers or against crony capitalism. It’s apparently the new normal for GOP leaders, at once terrified and contemptuous of their own base, equally intimidated by donors and voters but uninterested in treating either group as grownups, to think they too can simply shelter in place, under the awning of the new normal…

Here's the rest of the essay. Don't miss it.

Barack Obama: Overloading on Arrogance

Tuesday morning, a peculiar announcement trickled out of the White House press office: President Barack Obama would be holding a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston bombings. At the White House. By himself. No press or other intruders allowed.

Except the White House photographer.

That Obama assumed Americans would want an iconic photo of him privately mourning the victims of the bombings was emblematic of a kind of hubris that has enveloped the president and his White House as the president commences his second term.

Hubris in a leader is an obnoxious thing, leading to imperiousness in governing. And it’s also a dangerous thing for a second-term president, often spelling trouble.

Unfortunately, this president’s acts of high handedness and self-absorption have been accumulating in the past several months at a blistering pace…

Note -- the above did not appear in the Washington Times or National Review. No, it appeared in one of the "mainstream" media's favorite web sites, Politico.  Read the rest of Keith Koffler's "Obama's Hubris Problem" right here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today's Posts

The Nanny State's Unending Quest for Power

To liberal politicians, the overarching passion is not to protect the safety
and Constitutional rights of the citizen nor is it to promote their general welfare. No, the overarching goal of liberal politicians is simply to establish dominion over the citizens, to create a Nanny State in which the collective smothers individual freedom, initiative and responsibility.

The trick, of course, is to persuade citizens to surrender their rights (and even religious convictions) to the government. Fears are heavily played upon. Big lies are told. Tasty carrots are offered.

But, in the end, liberal politicians know that force must be applied. Elections are bought and rigged.  Unelected judges dismiss existing law, justice and the will of the majority in order to create completely new (yet forever binding) rules. Government clerks invade every area of the citizens' life. The taxman takes, takes and takes some more.

And, if necessary, punishment will be dealt to those who yet refuse to bow the knee.

It's happened before in other countries with violent, heartbreaking, disastrous results.

And it's now happening

Important Reads

* "Planned Parenthood and NARAL spin webs around Gosnell murders." (Kristi Burton Brown, Live Action News)   

* "Where is the mob of Muslim-hating Americans going crazy after Boston? It's a figment of liberals' imaginations." (Brendan O'Neill, Telegraph)

* "Boston Marathon bombing lesson – political correctness kills." (Jay Sekulow, Fox News)

* "The Price of Obama’s Islamophilia." (George Neumayr, American Spectator)

* "Immigration Reform Is Starting to Roll." (Fred Barnes, Wall Street Journal)

New Brain Cells? Yet Another Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough.

When will the politicians, academicians and foundations get hip to the
fact that it's adult stem cells and not embryonic stem cells that provide the best hope for radical improvements in health care?

While ESCR experiments continue to produce a lot of politically-correct jargon but no substantial medical progress at all, adult stem cells are not only providing remarkable advances in theory, they are being used in hundreds of applications that are saving lives right now.

Here's news on the latest development; namely, the discovery of an antibody "that can turn stem cells from a patient's bone marrow directly into brain cells, a potential breakthrough in the treatment of neurological diseases and injuries."

Where Do Wealthy Countries Go for their Defense Dollars? To the American Taxpayer.

A Sign of the Times

Did you catch the story about the signs posted at a North Carolina campground which explain to visitors that the place is closed because of an “operational change due to sequestration”?  I post a picture of the sign below from the Daily Caller news story and then I print what, in an honest world, the sign should say.

"Due to the refusal of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet to responsibly adjust the priorities of government spending, this park must cut its hours. Well, actually, cutting the hours isn't necessary at all. We have the money to run the park but then, you see, we're also throwing a lot of it away on completely foolish, wasteful projects. And we've also got a lot of overpaid (though unnecessary) staff that soak up the cash you give us. 

The real reason is that we're trying to embarrass the Republicans and get you to blame them for their efforts to bring some sense of sanity to government spending. And that's how we liberals are -- we don't mind hurting you if it helps us get our way. Get the idea? The park is closed now so go home…and write a letter to your Republican congressman and tell him your kids hate him for ruining their day. Thank you." 

Park Staff

Who's Next? (Euthanasia's Connection to Abortion)

This profoundly moving video clip was created by our friends at Pro-Life Action Ministries in Minnesota.

Team Obama Purposefully Hurts America (In Order to Hurt G.O.P.)

President Obama's sequester scare strategy has been a political flop, but his government keeps trying. The latest gambit is to force airline flight delays until enough travellers stuck on tarmacs browbeat enough Republicans to raise taxes again.

This week the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began furloughing each of its air-traffic controllers for one day out of every 10 to achieve roughly $600 million in savings this fiscal year. The White House dubiously claims that the furloughs are required by the sequester spending cuts enacted in 2011.

Capitol Hill Republicans say the White House is free to make other cuts instead. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster suggests the FAA first take a whack at the $500 million it's spending on consultants, or perhaps the $325 million it blows on supplies and travel.

In case there's any doubt about the President's ability to prioritize, at least two GOP Senators, Jerry Moran and Roy Blunt, have written bills to clarify Mr. Obama's authority to make sensible spending decisions. He's not interested, and Senate Democrats have blocked such reforms. Making smart choices about federal sending would spoil the fun of creating flight delays and then blaming Republicans…

On Monday, as flight delays were hitting travelers at airports around the country due to these allegedly unavoidable cuts, the top story on the Department of Transportation's website announced a $474 million grant program that promises to "make communities more livable and sustainable."

How about awarding grants to the control towers at Hartsfield and O'Hare? The community of air travelers would likely agree that sitting in a departure lounge at Newark Airport may be livable, but it's not sustainable...

From the Wall Street Journal editorial, "Flight Delays as Political Strategy."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Today's Posts

A "Walk in the Park" This Week?

Blogging is light today because we have a meeting this morning with Congressman Lee Terry, a Volunteer Appreciation event this afternoon at Life Care Center, and work on this month's LifeSharer letter in between and after.

Indeed, it looks like a pretty busy week ahead. But, after the hectic and stressful pace of last week (a speaking engagement at UNMC, writing, blogging, 2 morning shifts of prayer at the abortion clinic, doctor visits, responses to the news out of Boston and Texas, and doing 5 "When Swing Was King" presentations), this week almost looks like a stroll in the park!

We'll see.

Where Does All That Education Money Go?

"The education BLOB – that immovable jelly-like ball of teachers' and janitors' unions, school board bureaucrats, PTAs, etc. – just keeps growing. The number of students has increased 96%, but administrative staff increased 702%!" (Journalist John Stossel)

And, by the way, Johnny still can't read, write 
or work a geometry problem.

The Round Up (A Few Must-Reads from the Weekend)

Here's a few recommendations from the weekend's must-read file:

* "Make No Mistake, It Was Jihad" by former Attorney General of the U.S. Michael B. Mukasey at the Wall Street Journal.

* "Barbarism in Philadelphia: The crimes of Kermit Gosnell" by Jon A. Shields at The Weekly Standard.

* "Don’t Rule Out Anything" by Stephen Hayes at American Thinker.

* "It doesn’t matter why they hate us, they just do" by Kevin Cullen at the Boston Globe.

* "New study: TV increased U.S. support for same-sex 'marriage'" by Kirsten Andersen at LifeSiteNews. (Uh, did we really need a study to tell us this?)

* "Obama Fizzles Out" by Richard Butrick at American Thinker.

* "Without healthy families you can kiss the Great American Economy goodbye" by Patrick F. Fagan at Mercator.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Today's Posts

Praying for Missionaries

Okay, once again you've heard a reminder from your preacher to pray for the missionaries supported by the church. And you want to do that. So where do you start? Below are a few of the "target areas" I suggest.

Please keep in mind two things, however, as you read through these ideas.

1) You will be even more motivated (and more effective) in praying for missionaries if you know them! So pay attention to their letters. In fact, try writing them yourself once in awhile in order to encourage them and deepen your friendship. You'll find that they will come to your mind a lot more frequently and you'll be sending up a lot more prayers in their behalf. And, because you'll be more aware of their situations, your prayers will be more specific.

2) The following "target ideas" are terrific for any Christian leaders. In fact, they're terrific for any and all Christians -- period. They can help you pray with greater care, being much more relevant and relational that just a bland "Lord, bless 'em" prayer. So, if you would like to be more faithful and effective in intercessory prayer for missionaries (and God's people in general), try thinking along these lines.

* True Spirituality

Pray that the missionary will be faithful to Christ, humbly depending on Him and seeking to carefully learn and obey God’s Word. Simply "being" a missionary does not guarantee true spirituality. So help them by praying for victory in their lives over the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil. Pray too that they are liberated from "easily besetting sins."

* The Whole Life

Prayers for the health and safety of missionaries are always important. They often live in areas devoid of excellent medical care and sometimes must deal with unclean air, food and water. Travel can be hazardous. In some places, missionaries are endangered by repression from government officials and local communities who are opposed to Christianity. All of these things make prayers in their behalf a very important task.

Pray also that they continually seek Christ's bountiful blessings for the emotional health of each member of the missionary family.  Ask the Lord to deliver them from homesickness, alienation, fear, discouragement, and worry.

* Family Matters

Pray for a happy, life-giving marriage. Pray that each spouse demonstrate love, wisdom, patience, and encouragement to one another. Pray for abundant spiritual growth in their children. And pray too for the extended families who were left at home.

* Effectiveness of the Mission

Pray for the missionary's intelligence, creativity, adaptability, and winsomeness. Remember they are frequently speaking a language and living in a culture that is not their own. And they are often seeking to perform big jobs but with little funds, little help, and little experience. They are frequently required to be a pioneer, a teacher, a counselor, and a "Jack of all trades" all wrapped up in one. So, your coming alongside them in prayer can be a huge help!

Ask the Lord also to grant them good partners, open doors and fruitfulness in their service. Keep in mind that most missions want to eventually work themselves out of a job; that is, to develop local Christian leadership that will take what's been started and go forward themselves. So pray for rapid but substantial growth among the local church members.

Why the West's Indifference to Middle East Christians?

In 2010 an al-Qaeda front group attacked one of Baghdad's main cathedrals during Sunday mass. More than 50 people were slaughtered. The militants had a clear and simple explanation for this atrocity: "All Christian centres, organisations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the muhajideen wherever they can reach them. We will open upon them the doors of destruction and rivers of blood."

In this environment, it’s no wonder that Christianity is dying in the land of its birth.

What’s more puzzling is why the Western world couldn’t care less.

As recently as a century ago Christians made up 20 percent of the population of the Middle East, with thriving communities in what is now Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, and Egypt. Today thanks to persecution and instability, that estimate has fallen to less than 5 percent. But instead of alarm bells- or even a flicker of interest -- this calamitous decline has been greeted with yawns by the Western media.

The United States, where 76 percent of the population still describes itself as nominally Christian, has been surprisingly indifferent…

Read the rest of Lars Brownworth's detailed, thoughtful and alarming article, "Indifference to the fate of Middle East Christians has ancient roots" right here at Mercator. By the way, Brownworth is the author of Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire that Rescued Western Civilization which you might find of interest as well.

Make No Mistake, All Abortion Clinics Are Houses of Horror

Jeannie DeAngelis calls things as they are in her American Thinker article, "Kermit Gosnell: Secret Hero of the Left."  Here are a few of the paragraphs from that piece:

...Countless Americans falsely believe that disposing of a pre-born infant is more about women's life choices than tiny crumpled corpses filling red biohazard bags.  Therefore, without much resistance, every day in America, 3,500 babies are aborted, discarded, and promptly carted off to the crematorium.  Now, much to the dismay of liberals, Gosnell's murder trial is providing an up-close guided tour of a "baby charnel house" and in the process is exposing those in denial to the harsh reality that, regardless of gestational status, abortion means that babies die excruciating deaths.

It also means that, contrary to what Nancy Pelosi says, women in the throes of exercising the sacred right to choose occasionally muck up the works by dying on the floor...

Yet even the most ardent pro-choice advocate would be hard-pressed to argue that flipping over a wriggling newborn and taking scissors to its spinal cord is not horrendous, but how much less painful is it for a 14-week-old fetus to writhe within its mother's womb for 24 hours while being scorched to death by saline?  Or how different is it for a fragile infant to be torn apart by a suction device at 22 weeks in utero, or dismembered in the first trimester by a stainless steel scalpel?

And wasn't it America's renowned champion of choice, Barack Obama, who once said that caring for a child born alive in a botched abortion undermines the 'original intent' of the abortion? Hence, Kermit Gosnell's actions could merely have been the West Philly abortionist's way of adhering to Barack Obama's philosophy to respect the 'original intent' of the woman's right to choose.

Who can forget the indignant racially charged comments Barack Obama made after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates, Jr.? In defense of women, America's über-concerned president even found the time between tee-offs to dial up free-birth-control shill Sandra Fluke. Yet Kermit Gosnell packing a freezer with the body parts of fetuses has yet to elicit any response whatsoever from our self-appointed defender of minorities, women, and murdered children.

Therefore, if the president -- who voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act as an Illinois senator -- really does see himself as the self-appointed savior of little ones, maybe he'll prove it by initiating a teary-eyed Sandy Hook-type memorial service for the Jeannie DeAngelis butchered infants whose frail remains were jammed into Gosnell's freezer."...

 Not only that, but wouldn't it be a tad hypocritical for a media that supports a president who insists on funneling millions of dollars into the coffers of Planned Parenthood to turn around and openly condemn Kermit Gosnell, who served his community by killing babies for profit under the guise of providing medical care to poor women?  The only difference between the two is that Kermit's digs were a little rougher, his victims a little older, and his freezer packed with something other than orange juice and ice chips.

So, based on the obvious lack of interest, it might be safe to assume that if poor black women and children should happen to die as the result of a botched abortion, the usually death-obsessed left isn't all that upset.

Ultimately, Kermit Gosnell may end up being the abortion industry's sacrificial lamb and find himself living out his remaining years on death row.  Meanwhile, what's certain is that the always-predictable left will likely argue that henceforth, legalized killing must be carried out in cheery, hygienic, government-regulated facilities.  Then stricter mandates can be put in place to ensure that properly trained abortionists have mastered the fine art of ensuring that the mothers live and the babies destined for the biohazard bag emerge dead from the womb as intended.

"Fallen" by Little Bird Studios: A Free Download

"Fallen" is another of the superbly-crafted songs created by a longtime friend of Vital Signs Ministries who generously offers it as a free download throughout the month of May.

(But it's actually available right now too!)

Be forewarned -- the music produced by Little Bird Studios is not your typical church song or campfire chorus. They create true art: complex, careful, intellectual, and biblical. It is music which engages the mind as well as the spirit. You can listen to samples at the Studio website right here.

"Fallen" is an example of that craftsmanship. It courageously explores how the powers of darkness seek to mesmerize, dominate and, ultimately, damn the sons of men. It therefore serves as a profound wake-up call to the Church.

Again, the song is offered free to visitors to the Vital Signs Ministries website...although the song's creator does hope it leads you to consider making a contribution to Vital Signs Ministries in order to help us continue our fight against the enveloping darkness. A link to the form for contributions is there on the front page of the VSM website as is the link to the download of "Fallen." Check it out.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Extremely Light Penalty for DUI Baseball Star

Another baseball player allegedly drove drunk Tuesday. This wasn't just dawdling near the legally acceptable line of intoxication. This was full-blown, God's own drunk, nearly three times the legal limit, the sort of drunk a man can get when the consequences in his state are laughable and those at his workplace nonexistent.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo will pay the government $778 in fines, or .0001 of his salary this season, for filling himself so full of beer that he blew a 0.22 blood-alcohol level and proceeded to swerve his heavy-duty Ford F-150 in and out of lanes, according to a police report. He could also face a nominal charge from the Brewers for breaking curfew. His penalties will end there...

Simply (and tragically) put, driving drunk is no big deal to law least until someone is maimed or killed.

And, all too frequently, not even then.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Today's Posts

This Kid Gets It -- The Rock Solid Bible

This remarkable delivery of "The Rock Solid Bible" was given by Douglas Nichols, a 14-year old student at Faith Academy in the Philippines. I was alerted to the presentation by his (rightly) proud grandfather, missionary hero Doug Nichols of Action International Ministries.

I loved Douglas' speech, given with such conviction, enthusiasm and skill. So I asked permission to share it on the blog, on Facebook and with the congregation of my church.

Aren't you glad I did?

Iran's Ongoing Torture of American Pastor, Saeed Abedini

"He is now continually attacked and threatened. The Iranian government should know that we are watching and aware of what they are doing to Saeed inside Evin prison. We need to speak louder until Saeed is home safely on U.S. soil," Naghmeh Abedini said…

On Monday, Abedini told family members during their weekly prison visit that he was severely beaten the day prison officials took him to the hospital. The beatings and internal injuries are causing Abedini to experience frequent fainting spells, he told them.  

Iranian officials are telling Abedini it could be an additional two months before he will receive medical treatment, according to his attorneys.

“Such a delay is inhumane and a gross violation of Iran’s international obligations,” said Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, the organization representing Abedini’s U.S.-based family.

“In addition to refusing to give Pastor Saeed the medical care he needs, it now appears authorities are stepping up their physical abuse and psychological torture. The daily threat that his life could be taken by his internal injuries or by the hands of cellmates, weighs heavily on Pastor Saeed.”

What can you do? 1) Pray. 2) Inform others and urge them to pray. And 3) Write letters to Iranian and American authorities by using the contact info from this previous Vital Signs Blog post.

The Iron Lady and a Petty President

Protocol: President Obama declined to send a high-level delegation to Wednesday's funeral of Britain's Margaret Thatcher. It's a measure of how little he values the special relationship — and a sign of his own smallness.

Back in more gracious times, vice presidents routinely attended funerals of foreign dignitaries. As such, the presence of Vice President Joe Biden — if not Obama himself — would seem fitting for as significant a U.S. ally as the late Prime Minister Thatcher, if not out of warmth of feeling, then simply to represent the U.S.' gratitude. Thatcher's uncompromising friendship with the U.S. helped to set off a free-market revolution, end the Cold War, and left the U.S. and U.K. the standard-bearers for freedom in the world — the very basis of the power Obama now enjoys.

But appallingly, not even Biden could be spared for the funeral of the most consequential British prime minister since Winston Churchill.

On Tuesday, the White House announced that gun control was a more pressing issue, so there'll be no high-level representation from the Obama administration at the funeral that will be attended by Queen Elizabeth.

Instead, an ex-ambassador, an embassy charge d'affaires and two respected former Secretaries of State from decades past will represent us.

That's a lower-level delegation than the one he sent to Caracas for the funeral of Venezuela's anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez last month, which saw a sitting congressman there to represent the U.S.

This snub shows Obama places partisan politics above leadership or statecraft.

Do read the rest of this Investor's Business Daily editorial, "Obama's Official Snub Of Thatcher Funeral Shows How Small He Is."

Listening to a Baby's Heartbeat? "Not at Planned Parenthood!"

One of our ever-recurring prayers over the years has been that God open the eyes and hearts of people working inside the cruel chambers of Planned Parenthood and other abortionists.

Here is one of the answers to those prayers.

...It happened one day when a young woman came in 20 weeks pregnant and bleeding. I examined her, listened with the monitor for the baby's heartbeat, and realized it wasn't beating. I sent her to the ER where they found that the baby had died. 

A few days later, Planned Parenthood's supervising Nurse Practitioner came to my office inquiring why I had used a fetal heart Doppler to allow my patient to hear her baby's heartbeat. When I said it was part of the routine prenatal exam, she said, "not at Planned Parenthood, it isn't! We do not allow the patients to hear the heartbeats of their baby because it may sway their decision."

When I commented that it was probably good in this instance because the patient got to the ER where she needed to be, she questioned why I did not send her to Dallas for an abortion. I said, "You would have done a sonogram and told her that her baby was dead." She said, "No we wouldn't have. By the time we do the sonogram, she has already signed consent for the abortion. We don't tell them if it is dead or alive, twins or triplets."...

From "A second chance: how God called me out of Planned Parenthood, to a crisis pregnancy center" over at LifeSiteNews.

First, Destroy the Language...

Imagine if, during the campaign of 2008, someone had written the following: “If Barack Obama is elected president, then each year from now on the federal budget will be a trillion dollars in the red. He will pile up in two terms more debt than all previous presidents combined. Interest rates will stay at near zero; 7.6 percent unemployment will be proof of progress in creating jobs. Record use of food stamps, unemployment, and disability insurance will be hallmarks of recovery."

"[Also], the government will take over health care, and the costs will skyrocket. During Obama’s second term, ammunition will vanish from America’s store shelves in panic buying. Gay marriage will become uncontroversial. Women will be eligible for infantry combat. The only question about amnesty for illegal aliens will be when, not if, it is enacted. States will begin legalizing marijuana.” 

Obviously, such a conspiracist would have been dismissed as an unhinged nut.

You may object that Obama himself has hardly been responsible for all these radical transformations. True, but he helped to create, in brilliant fashion, a “hope and change,” quasi-revolutionary climate — the political cover, if you will, for the media, the universities, federal judges, state legislatures, and Congress to reinvent American popular culture and tradition in a manner rarely if ever seen in the past.

How, then, did the Obama team do that?

First were the necessary changes in language. In the Obama age, as in Orwell’s 1984, the natural meanings of words had to change...

(Victor Davis Hanson has another must-read column here. Finish it up and then pass it along.)

All the News That's Fit to Print: Ignoring the Horrors of Abortion

Refusing to report on the barbaric cruelty and injustice of abortion is, pun intended, "old news" to the American media. Indeed, the press not only refuses to deal with the lethal realities of abortion (Have you yet seen the mainstream media print pictures of abortion's results?), it actually acts as an arm of the abortion industry, aggressively fighting for such things as public funding of abortion, free access by minors to surgical and chemical abortions, the inclusion of abortion in foreign aid, elimination of any and all restrictions on abortion, and a total denial of abortion's long term damages to women, families and culture.

Yet even with this history of abortion zealotry, a new low has been struck with the media blackout of one of "the most shocking medical malpractice and human rights violations stories in recent U.S. history." The Kermit Gosnell horror story has been playing out in a Philadelphia courtroom for a month now but you wouldn’t know it if your only source of news came from the "mainstream" news organizations. 

Here, however, are four excellent articles from "the alternative media" (practically the only place where genuine journalism survives nowadays) that do explore this double injustice...and do it responsibly and well.

* "Quiet, please. Complacency at work!" by Carolyn Moynihan. (Mercator)

...The New York Times used a similar tactic when the Gosnell scandal first broke in January 2011. As Michael Cook pointed out at the time, they buried the story in the back of the paper and instead prominently displayed a feature that began: “Congratulations, New York City, did you hear the news? … This is officially the abortion capital of America.” You can’t state your priorities more brashly than that...

* "Unspeakable Things Unspoken" by the Editors of National Review Online.

...Television networks and major newspapers have been slow to cover this case; they are turning to it only now, after having been browbeaten by pro-life critics. The defense some journalists are making for ignoring the story — that conservative media outlets have paid it little attention either — is both false (we have given it plenty of coverage) and rather damning (the Washington Post may not be what it once was, but surely it has a few more resources to deploy than does NR). Another defense, that the story is too disgusting for reporters or the news-consuming public, would have weight if nobody had covered, for example, the Sandusky crimes...

* "An Abortion Ghoul's Chamber of Horrors" by Ken Connor. (A superb column.)

...And, of course, the mainstream media has largely ignored the story. They don't want to know – and they don't want you to know – where their logic leads, and so they too have cast a blind eye and a deaf ear to the abhorrent facts of this case. Their silence is a tacit endorsement of Gosnell's practice.

To say we've fallen down a dark and dreadful rabbit hole is an understatement. Powerful forces are arrayed against those who champion the protection of innocent life. The culture has betrayed us, the media is in bed with the doctors of death and their radical feminist apologists, and the courts are well on their way down the same path…

* "An Abortionist's Unglamorous Victims" by Ashley Herzog. (Syndicated column.)

...It’s not hard to understand why viewers would avoid the Gosnell story. For starters, it exposes the gruesomeness of late-term abortions, which involve killing and dismembering fetuses in a much more brutal procedure (euphemistically called “dilation and evacuation”) than Gosnell’s method. Half of America voted for a president who supports late-term abortions, and voted against the Born Alive Infants Protection Act on the grounds that it would undermine abortion rights.

Who wants to turn on CNN and confront such a reality?

No, we prefer stories that titillate and entertain. We have wall-to-wall coverage of Jodi Arias, a lone nut who admits to killing her boyfriend in Arizona, but a blackout on Kermit Gosnell...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Today's Posts

ObamaCare: It's Even Worse Than You Feared

Democrat Joe Klein isn’t the only advocate of Obamacare to finally notice that this hopelessly Byzantine health care “reform” law is an implementation nightmare.

Even the Secretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) has admitted as much. But, whereas Klein correctly assigns responsibility to the President, Commissar Sebelius places the blame on evil Republicans: “It is very difficult when people live in a state where there is a daily declaration, ‘We will not participate in the law.’” Other Democrats have been more candid. Senator Jay Rockefeller, who played an important role in getting the law passed, called Obamacare “so complicated that if it isn’t done right the first time, it will just simply get worse.”

And it most emphatically isn’t getting done right the first time…

Read more of David Catron's spot on American Spectator article ("The Wheels Come Off Obamacare") right here.

The Progressive-Collective Grab for Your Kids

Rich Lowry from NRO responds,

The TV cable-news network MSNBC runs sermonettes from its anchors during commercial breaks. They are like public-service announcements illuminating the progressive mind, and perhaps none has ever been as revealing and remarkable as the one cut by weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry.

Harris-Perry set out to explain what is, by her lights, the failure to invest adequately in public education. She located the source of the problem in the insidious idea of parental responsibility for children…

This impulse toward the state as über-parent is based on a profound fallacy and a profound truth. The fallacy is that anyone can care about someone else’s children as much as his own. The former Texas Republican senator Phil Gramm liked to illustrate the hollowness of professions to the contrary with a story. He told a woman, “My educational policies are based on the fact that I care more about my children than you do.” She said, “No, you don’t.” Gramm replied, “Okay: What are their names?”

The truth is that parents are one of society’s most incorrigible sources of inequality. If you have two of them who stay married and are invested in your upbringing, you have hit life’s lottery. You will reap untold benefits denied to children who aren’t so lucky. That the family is so essential to the well-being of children has to be a constant source of frustration to the egalitarian statist, a reminder of the limits of his power.

The socialist president of France, François Hollande, proposed a small corrective to its influence last year. He inveighed against homework for schoolchildren. Work, he said, “must be done in the [school] facility rather than in the home if we want to support the children and reestablish equality.” His education minister explained that the state should “support all students in their personal work, rather than abandon them to their private resources, including financial, as is too often the case today.”

The proposal went nowhere. If the Left wants to equalize the investments in children that matter most, it should promote intact families and engaged parents, even if it means embracing shockingly old-fashioned private child-rearing.

Abortion's Stranglehold on the (Formerly) Free Press

In 2011, the journalist Mara Hvistendahl published Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, detailing the societal effects of sex-selective abortions that target women the world over and resulted in the absence of perhaps more than 100 million girls who by now should have been born. But Hvistendahl soon learned the downside to uncovering what many believe to be a shocking trend in human rights offenses: people will want to do something about it. And so she lashed out, declaring that “anti-abortion activists have been at work in a disingenuous game, using the stark reduction of women in the developing world” to argue for pro-life policies that could save those women.

Hvistendahl’s plaint recalled the incredible work of Edwin Black, most notably his book War Against the Weak, which detailed the role American eugenics played in the monstrous ethnic cleansing in Europe in the 20th century culminating in the Holocaust. One of the most important personalities in this terrible saga was the eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood. Yet like Hvistendahl, Black was concerned about the implications of what he had uncovered. In the introduction, he writes: “Opponents of a woman’s right to choose could easily seize upon Margaret Sanger’s eugenic rhetoric to discredit the admirable work of Planned Parenthood today; I oppose such misuse.”

But what Black and Hvistendahl betray in their defensiveness is an awareness that an ideology that supports unlimited (or practically unlimited) abortion has consequences, and those consequences are exacerbated immensely by the fact that the supposedly “progressive” practitioners of such an ideology resort to the denial of human life where it obviously exists. To dehumanize is to invite a world of trouble…

You may not have heard much about Kermit Gosnell’s case. That’s because the mainstream press has chosen by and large to ignore it. There is no area of American politics in which the press is more activist or biased or unethical than social issues, the so-called culture wars. And the culture of permissive abortion they favor has consequences, which they would rather not look squarely at, thank you very much…

The above comments (excellent ones, at that) come from Seth Mandel in his latest column for Commentary, "Why They Won’t Talk About Kermit Gosnell." Also, Mandel's article cites another very illuminating one about the outrageous media blackout of the Gosnell trial written by Kirsten Powers.

UPDATE: See also "Why Kermit Gosnell hasn’t been on Page One" by Melinda Henneberger.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Despite Obama's Screaming About the Sequester, He's Spending Like Crazy on Pet Projects

The absurdities abound.

As the world becomes ever more dangerous for the U.S. and her allies (think North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Russia, China, and the drug cartels), the Obama administration cuts ever more money from the U.S. military.

But all the while, this same administration spends trillions of dollars on the extremely wasteful and socially destructive programs of the welfare state.

And that's not to mention the President's especially egregious spending projects like foreign aid to our enemies; his administration's promotional (and judicial) efforts against marriage, chastity, and the 2nd Amendment; his endless White House parties; his family's lavish vacations; and completely unnecessary things like these (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc.).

And, oh yes, this -- and this: "Just over a week after sequestration took effect, the State Department allotted more than $700,000 for gardening at a U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Brussels, Belgium."


Monday, April 08, 2013

"When Swing Was King" Is Sprinking Stardust -- All Month Long

It looks like quite a week coming up. For besides getting the April LifeSharer letter out, blogging, a serious (and overdue) writing project,  having a couple of meetings with church folks, hosting a table at the AAA Center for Pregnancy Counseling banquet, and the regular preparation for Sunday's sermon, today begins a new month's worth of "When Swing Was King" presentations.

By the way, the schedule for those 13 presentations (five of them this week alone) can be found on the Vital Signs Ministries web page.  Please feel free to tag along for any of them. We can guarantee you'll have a good time and, even more important, that you will be warmly welcomed by the residents of these nursing homes and other senior living facilities.

And, for those of you who want a "When Swing Was King" preview, here's the song list for the latest volume:

1) Glenn Miller Orchestra: "Pennsylvania 6-5000"
2) Lionel Hampton Orchestra: "Flying Home"
3) Harry James Orchestra (Kitty Kallen, vocals):
"It's Been a Long, Long Time"
4) Glen Gray & the Casa Loma Orchestra: "Blue Room"
5) Larry Clinton Orchestra (Bea Wain, vocals): "Deep Purple"
6) Duke Ellington Orchestra: "Satin Doll"
7) Artie Shaw Orchestra: "Stardust"
8) The Mills Brothers: "Till Then"
9) Benny Goodman Orchestra: "Don't Be That Way"
10) Dean Martin: "Cha Cha Cha d'Amour"
11) Tommy Dorsey Orchestra: "Opus One"
12 Judy Garland: "The Trolley Song"  

(The photo above is Bea Wain.)

Did You Catch These?

* From the Rush Limbaugh program, "We Are Living in a Dying Country."

* "Man charged with killing bear in backyard."

An irrational Nanny State action? Animal rights extremism? Failure to respect the 2nd Amendment? This story has got it all.

* "Special ops veterans’ group calls for select probe of Benghazi attack."

* "Global Warming: Was It Just A Beautiful Dream After All?"

* White House Scraps Jewish Heritage Month Reception

* How America Lost Its Four Great Generals

"The treatment of these four remarkable generals at the hands of President Obama and his aides, whatever the merits of each individual case, is likely to rankle within the armed forces and leave those forces less prepared for future challenges."

* Eagle-Killing, Investment-Wasting ‘Renewable’ Energy

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The Nitwit Nanny State: Are We There Already? (A News Roundup)

* "Tens of thousands Obamacare 'navigators' to be hired" (Washington Examiner)

* $423,500 Stimulus Program on "Correct Condom Use" Yields Zero Jobs (The Weekly Standard)

* "Get Ready for Obamacare Premium Defaults: Exchanges coerce families living paycheck to paycheck to enroll in unaffordable plans." (American Spectator)

* "Media Encourage Elderly to Commit Suicide, Call it 'Rational'" (

* "Suicide of the West: Special edition" (Dealing with the travesty of President Obama pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to apologize to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan for Israel’s self-defense actions against Turkey-based jihadists.) (PowerLine)

* "Apparently Learning Nothing from the Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac Disaster, the Obama Administration Wants to Subsidize Banks to Make More Dodgy Loans" (International Liberty)

* "Where did all the money go? How $700 million in Katrina relief money went missing." (Yahoo News

When It Rains, You Pay

Really? A tax on rain?

The Drudge Report headline is a fairly accurate description of what Howard County in Maryland has just mandated. The tax is called a "stormwater fee" and will be used for water restoration projects. And it's a big tax too -- starting at $105 a year per property owner and going up from there.

Even for a blue state citizen who is already used to being pillaged by local government, that's a pretty substantial ouch. 

It's also alarming to learn how one of the county council members justifies this bold money grab; namely, "It is going to impact everyone in the county. I believe that what we have done is to create a fair system of assessment.”

Please note that this definition of fairness has nothing to do with a property owner's rights. It merely insists that the new and exorbitant tax is "fair" simply because the government manages to gouge every property owner.

"Fair? Of course, it's fair. It hurts everybody doesn't it?" That's a pretty perverted sense of justice...even for a Nanny State officeholder.

And so, in recognition of this particularly meddlesome action, I dedicate the following song to the Howard County Council members:

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Today's Posts

WSWK Update: "Could You Play Something Older?" and "Honoring a P-38 Mechanic"

I was holding M____'s hands after a "When Swing Was King" presentation, our very first at this facility. (It won't be our last, however. We were asked by the activities director if we might consider putting it on our regular monthly rota -- and we said yes. That now makes 13. The schedule, by the way, is right here.)

Anyway, Claire and I had already visited with several residents and Claire was on the other side of the room even now talking with a few ladies but M_____ wanted me to stay for awhile. She told me she wanted to chat a bit because I had interesting things to say...and because my hands were so warm!  M____ is mostly blind and seemed pretty fragile (she is, after all, 97-years old) but her mind and spirit were active, her smile was infectious, and she chuckled frequently as we talked.  In conversation, she leaned forward and turned her best ear towards me.

M____ was very enthusiastic about our program. "Oh, the music was so lovely and, even though I couldn't see the pictures, the things you talked about were so interesting. I've always loved music. From the days when we first got a piano, I've loved music and this was so nice to listen to today. Thank you so much for bringing it to us."

But M____ did have a request. "Is it possible you could play some music that isn't so modern? Maybe some music from the old days?" I laughed. With our musical offerings being from the 30s and 40s (with a few that slip into the 50s -- Jimmy Dorsey's "So Rare" from 1957 is the newest number in our collection), I had never been asked that question. And I wasn't quite sure how to handle it.

"Something not so modern, huh? Do you mean you'd like some ragtime or folk songs?" No, that wasn't exactly it, she said.  I tried again. "Do you mean songs like Sweet Adeline and By the Light of Silvery Moon?" She squeezed my hands and sat up, "There you are. Those would be wonderful to hear again!" Then, with a gracious sense of courtesy, she reassured me, "But I loved this music too. So anything you have to bring along, I know it will be just wonderful!"

Another very touching moment came when I stopped to talk with R____ and his daughter who had stopped in to visit him. Normally, R____ doesn't communicate much nor does he seem to be aware of a lot of what's going on around him. But, boy, did the music trigger something in him that afternoon and it was something that deeply moved his daughter and the activities director who had never seen him make such an attempt to talk.

The music had taken R___ back to the days of World War II and so, as I bent down besides his wheelchair, he struggled to tell me about being a mechanic on P-38 fighter planes while stationed in the Aleutian Islands. It was clearly hard for him to remember details and there were long pauses followed by repetitions but he did understand some of my questions and answered them the best he could. I let him know how impressed I was and how grateful I was for his service to our country and how honored I felt to meet him.

"R___, you know, to the boys of my generation the P-38 was such a heroic plane. We had heard so much about it and we knew how important it was in winning the war. Man, when we looked for model kits to put together, it was always the P-38 and the B-29 that we most wanted. And now, here I am shaking the hands of one of the guys who put that plane in the air and kept it flying! Wow, this is such an honor and I'm really thrilled to shake your hand." There was a smile and then a couple of tears -- first from him and then, in response, from me. But there were more than a few from R____'s daughter. Indeed, it was from her reaction that I saw how rare a moment this was, a moment for which I will be forever grateful.

When we started taking "When Swing Was King" into the nursing homes and other senior living facilities, we had little idea of the ministry that was going to flower. But we now know that music is more powerful than we had ever imagined. And so too are memories, visuals, touch, conversation, prayers, respect, time, and caring. Put these all together by the Spirit of God and you've really got something special. Thank you, Lord.