Saturday, March 21, 2009

Too Tired to Blog-Regulating IVF and Creation and Care of Embryos

I had to get up early this morning (before 4 early) and drive to San Antonio to fire weapons. I'm old and this stuff doesn't sit well with anymore. I'm tired and cranky. Go read Euripides, or And Sometimes Tea, or Beetle or anybody else on the right side of the blog. Or try a new one on the state of "a new phase of a very old war, " at Gates of Vienna.
I'll be back tomorrow or Monday after a good nights sleep...

But before I head to bed...

Are we inconsistant in our opposition to embryonic stem cell research and abortion while we remain largely silent on IVF?

Define embryos as human
from USAToday.

Now is the time for pro-lifers to introduce legislation in their states regulating IVF and, with it, the creation and care of embryos. A bill introduced in the Georgia Senate this month had perfect model language. It would have limited the number of embryos implanted to the same number fertilized, up to a maximum of three. That would stop the practice of freezing human embryos and would curtail "selective reductions," the abortion of some.

Though that language did not survive, it remains a model for other states. The bill still importantly defines embryos outside the uterus as human beings, so court disputes must be decided in the best interest of the embryo, not either parent fighting over the embryo.

A movement in this direction is gathering force. Louisiana has had a law since 1986 defining ex-utero embryos as human beings with inherent rights. Embryos cannot be destroyed for research. Court disputes over abandoned embryos must be decided in the best interest of the embryo. At least five other states are considering legislation defining an embryo as a person. (more)

Friday, March 20, 2009

EDITORIAL: ACORN to count heads for Census

The fox is in the henhouse. The Obama administration is till trying to get its hands on the census. The allocation of congressional seats is at stake..

From the Washington Times:

First it was President Obama trying to break all precedent and run the 2010 census from within the White House. While the administration finally backed down from that politicization of the census, it clearly hasn't learned its lesson. Now it is having ACORN officially "partner" with the Census to help count the number of Americans in the country. It's like Santa trusting a child to tell him how many times he or she has been good in the past year. ...

...King County (Seattle) election officials were forced to remove 1,762 voter registrations submitted by one group of ACORN employees. Five employees were sentenced to jail. The Delaware County Times noted that out of 2,000 fraudulent voter registration forms in that Pennsylvania county, nearly every single one was filed by ACORN. Chicago had 10,000 false registrations. Criminal indictments and convictions have been leveled in numerous states.

Last year alone, voter fraud investigations took place in 12 states: Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. ...

...The concern is why the Census should be "partnering" with an organization that has so frequently bribed people to register voters.

For a nonpartisan organization such as the Census, ACORN's political connections are also troubling.

Last year, the Obama campaign paid ACORN $800,000 to register voters and do other work. ABC News' Jake Tapper caught Obama campaign officials in numerous attempts to hide Mr. Obama's past connections with ACORN. Mr. Obama also gave ACORN money when he served on the board of the Woods Fund in Chicago. For all the work that he has done for ACORN over the years, Investor's Business Daily called Mr. Obama "ACORN's Senator." ...
(go here and read the entire article)

Kerry, Boxer: U.S. ‘Needs’ Cap-and-Trade on Carbon Emissions Even if Energy Costs Rise

From CNSNews:

Washington ( – Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Barbara Boxer told that the nation must adopt the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade proposal to reduce carbon emissions, even if it results in massive increases in gasoline and electricity prices....

...When confronted the former Democratic presidential nominee with admissions from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House budget chief Peter Orszag that the plan would most certainly raise energy prices for Americans – Kerry maintained his support for the controversial initiative.... (more)

Tax Day tea parties expected to number more than 1,000

Updates on nation wide TEA parties from WND:

While WND has been tracking 170 individual tea parties across the nation, one group has announced it is planning rallies in 1,000 cities and towns on April 15.

American Family Association, or AFA, is coordinating 1,000 Taxed Enough Already, or TEA, parties to be held at 12 p.m. in front of city halls across the nation.

The Myth of the 46 Million Uninsured

The American Spectator article below shines some light on the large numbers thrown around by the Administration concerning health insurance. It also references 9 million people included in those numbers that are not American citizens. For details on what that means for one state (California) please see this article from Judicial Watch:

Budget Crisis Forces Cut In Free Illegal Immigrant Health Care

No wonder California is in financial distress.

Don't look for any change reference immigration reform though:

Pelosi: Un-American To Enforce Immigration Laws

Now back to the myth of the 46 million from Am Spec:

...When all of these factors are put together, the 2003 BlueCross BlueShield study determined that 8.2 million Americans are actually without coverage for the long haul, because they are too poor to purchase health care but earn too much to qualify for government assistance. Even being without insurance still doesn't mean they won't have access to care, because federal law forbids hospitals from denying treatment to patients who show up at the emergency rooms.

This exercise isn't about downplaying the problems facing the American health care system, but a necessary part of devising the proper remedies. Under current state laws, mandates force insurers to provide certain benefits, meaning that young and healthy Americans must choose between paying exorbitant premiums to cover treatments that they don't need or going without health insurance. Many of these so-called "young invincibles" who are included in the ranks of the uninsured could be wooed into the market were they allowed to purchase catastrophic insurance with lower monthly premiums.

Right now, the tax code exempts people from paying taxes on health care benefits purchased through their employer, while denying the same tax advantages to individuals. Ending this discrimination would make health care more affordable to those who are self-employed or not covered through their workplace. In addition, this would allow Americans to have health care policies that are portable, so it would reduce the gaps in coverage people can face when they quit or lose a job.

Those pushing for a major government intervention in health care are distorting the 46-million statistic to boost their cause, and by disseminating it so widely without further elaboration, the media is rigging the game in their favor.

According to a CNN poll more than 8 out of 10 Americans are satisfied with their healthcare:

More than eight in 10 Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday said they're satisfied with the quality of health care they receive.
And nearly three out of four said they're happy with their overall health care coverage

American Spectator comments on the poll and the headline here.

They Couldn't Be That Dumb. Could They?

The headline above is over at Power Line and references the Obama admiistrations gift giving to British PM Brown. The headline from the Telegraph read:

Barack Obama 'too tired' to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown

Apparently his staff was pretty tired too...

At the time, some wondered whether North American DVDs will even play in European machines. But that seemed too wacky to be true. As Mark Steyn says, "at the back of my mind, I didn't quite believe that even the Obamateur Hour crowd at the White House could be that clueless."

Only--oops--it turns out they could be:

While not exactly a film buff, Gordon Brown was touched when Barack Obama gave him a set of 25 classic American movies - including Psycho, starring Anthony Perkins on his recent visit to Washington. Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.

The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words "wrong region" came up on his screen. Although he mournfully had to put the popcorn away, he is unlikely to jeopardise the special relationship - or "special partnership", as we are now supposed to call it - by registering a complaint.

Well, one good thing--thank goodness we have smart, sophisticated Democrats on the White House staff now, instead of those yahoo Republicans. Then again, maybe not: (more)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

AIDS Researcher: Pope is Correct About Condoms

Over at Mere Comments they have the news that I'm sure will be in th eheadlines tomorrow...yeah, right. Risk compensation- could that also begin to explain the rise in teen pregnancy?

Thank you, Kathryn Jean Lopez, at NRO, for pointing out the shockingly candid remarks by Edward C. Green, director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, in response to papal press comments en route to Africa this wee.

“The pope is correct,” Green told National Review Online Wednesday, “or put it a better way, the best evidence we have supports the pope’s comments. He stresses that “condoms have been proven to not be effective at the ‘level of population.’” “There is,” Green adds, “a consistent association shown by our best studies, including the U.S.-funded ‘Demographic Health Surveys,’ between greater availability and use of condoms and higher (not lower) HIV-infection rates. This may be due in part to a phenomenon known as risk compensation, meaning that when one uses a risk-reduction ‘technology’ such as condoms, one often loses the benefit (reduction in risk) by ‘compensating’ or taking greater chances than one would take without the risk-reduction technology.”

It gets better. Read the whole story.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Self Evident Truths' Snarky Files

Over at Self Evident Truths, Euripides has started a new feature called the Snarky Files. It's good fun and a good read on the latest headlines from a fellow, self described "curmudgeon". Euripides is fast becoming one of the top 10 bloggers I'd like to have a beer with. I can relate to his outlook as my wife said (when I had appendicitis) that she could tell I was sick because, as she lovingly pointed out, "you're always cranky, you were just cranky in a different way." But I digress.

good stuff over there and a good conversation starter. Rather than hijack his comments section I've included a bit of his list here with some comments:


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics released statistics that show that single mother birth rate is on the rise. Anti-male and anti-family feminism is taking its toll. The institution of the family is decaying before our eyes. Startling is that nearly 40% of total births are to single moms. Shameful is the statistic of 71.6 percent of black babies and 51.3 percent of Hispanic babies born to unwed mothers. Where are the dads and what's happened to the responsibility of fatherhood? Isn't anyone else alarmed by these numbers? Children have a right to be raised by a mother and a father.

Over at the Washington Times there is a good article on this issue, specifically the executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. Marybeth Hicks says that
what we really need is a White House Council on Men and Boys:

If Mr. Obama wanted to actually do something significant for American's women and girls, he would have created instead a White House Council on Men and Boys....

... A council on men and boys would promote stable marriage as the best avenue to improve the lives and living conditions of America's women and families. A council on men and boys would address the crisis in American manhood that results in the scourge of infidelity, divorce, lack of commitment and fatherhood with multiple partners.

A council on men and boys would seek to eliminate the objectification of women in the media. It would battle our hypersexual culture by fighting against the “hook-up” mentality that defines the way in which young men view young women. And most importantly, it would stamp out the violence against women that emanates from men's widespread exposure and growing addiction to pornography.

Such a council would work to train a new generation of boys to become real men, who honor and uphold women as equals in the workplace, the community and the home - not because the government regulates such an attitude, but because it's right.

A council on men and boys also would address the underlying problems that create “women's issues” such as child care, inadequate pay and domestic violence. These aren't “women's issues,” but issues related to the systemic collapse of the American family. ...(more)

Of course a feminist agenda that seeks to make women the same and not just equal is an important discussion as well. One I'm sure the Council will not address...

One more from the list:


The US capital struggles with an increasing AIDS epidemic. Why-oh-why is there a continuing epidemic of AIDS in cities such as DC (30.5 per 100,000), Miami (33.1 per 100,000), Baltimore (29.6 per 100,000), New York (27.1 per 100,000), or San Franscisco (26 per 100,000)? And why is the epidemic so prevalent among blacks (76% of total DC infections) and gays (37% of total DC infections)? Beats me since everyone keeps assuring me that AIDS is not related.

The cluster of AIDS in the urban centers reminds me of one of the most convincing arguments against the claim that homosexuality is genetic in nature. If it were genetic in nature (and no study has ever said that conclusively then we should expect it to be equally spread amongst the population. (like blue eyes for example)

But its not. It too, clusters around the urban areas where the laise fare attitude toward sexuality specifically and morality in general is more common.

Anyway, check the rest of the list out over there.

The 5 biggest myths about Obama

Waking up to reality over at Politico:

By trade if not by choice, I have become something of a Barack Obama aficionado. POLITICO’s Mike Allen wrote last week that I have “probably listened to more President Obama speeches than any human besides [White House spokesman Robert] Gibbs.” Working at the Republican National Committee last year, I closely watched every public appearance by Obama. And I learned a lot about our new president along the way.

1. Obama is bold. Actually, he is overly cautious. It’s no coincidence the first bills he signed into law were the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, two populist favorites. Signing these bills was not an act of courage any more than attacking lobbyists or selecting Joe Biden as a running mate. In fact, Obama’s entire agenda is cautious (sometimes to a fault, in the case of his housing and banking bailouts). Are the numbers in his proposed budget eye-popping? Yes. But eye-popping budgets are well within the Democratic mainstream now.

2. Obama is a great communicator. Cut away the soaring rhetoric in his speeches, and the resulting policy statements are often vague, lawyerly and confusing. He is not plain-spoken: He parses his language so much that a casual listener will miss important caveats. That’s in part why he uses teleprompters for routine policy statements: He chooses his words carefully, relying heavily on ill-defined terms like “deficit reduction” (which means tax increases, rather than actual “savings”) and “combat troops” (as opposed to “all troops in harm’s way”).

3. Obamaland is a team of rivals. Obama earned the label “No-Drama Obama” for a reason. His closest advisers — those who actually shape his thinking, strategy and policies — are loyal and, by all accounts, like-minded. Obviously, they regularly disagree with each other, as any group of smart individuals does. But reading the (many) profiles of Obama aides written since the election, it’s striking that there are no anecdotes of serious disputes inside Obamaland. Obama does try to bring political foes into the fold when it’s convenient, but his team is primarily made up of political friends. (read the rest of the list here)

(Former?) CNN Producer's Anti Israel Bias on Video

Also, the lies of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) and Roseanne Barr’s latest anti-Semitic conspiracy over at Tom Gross' Mideast Dispatch:


Rafa is an Israeli Arab, born in the Haifa area, and is well-known around town not only as a CNN producer but also as an extremely vocal critic of Israel. For example, she engaged in another anti-Israeli outburst at an IPCRI (Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information) event in Jerusalem in February.

On other occasions in 2007 and 2008, while employed by CNN, she has publicly called for Israel to cease to exist as a Jewish state. Several years ago, in an article on how Western reporters interview Palestinians about their views on terrorism, Israel’s leading liberal paper Ha’aretz noted that “Nidal Rafa [then working for another American TV network] decides what to translate [from Arabic for the American correspondent] and what to leave untranslated.”
“The person who finally decided what the news channel would broadcast from Bartaa was Nidal Rafa,” observed Ha’aretz.

In the past, Rafa has also worked on programs for the BBC and NPR.

I spoke with Kevin Flower, the Jerusalem Bureau chief for CNN, and he says Rafa’s contract with CNN has been discontinued though he declined to provide a specific reason.

Despite this, Rafa handed out her CNN business card to several people, including myself, after her outburst against Danny Ayalon, and said she was still working for CNN. Even if she no longer works there, the question is why CNN employed someone like this for at least the last two years?

(There are many examples of anti-Israeli articles co-authored by Rafa on For example, “Jewish settlers on ‘terror’ rampage,” December 4, 2008.)...(more)


I have previously outlined on this website the concoctions of the well-funded UN body UNRWA which have resulted in defamations of Israel and physical attacks on Jews in many different countries around the world.

For example, UNRWA has now admitted that their claim that Israel shelled a school in Gaza in January and killed 32 Palestinian civilians is completely false. The shell in question, it turns out, was in response to Palestinian mortar fire at civilians in Israel and killed nine Palestinian adults, none of whom were in the school. Seven of those killed were armed operatives and two were civilians.

The sensational and false claims of UNRWA led to headlines around the world such as “UN accuses Israel of herding 110 Palestinians into a house then shelling it, leaving 30 dead” (London Daily Mail Online UK, Jan 9 2009 11:59AM GMT).

The false reports led to anti-Israel riots and attacks on Jews in all six continents of the world.(more)

Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning Hollywood actress Roseanne Barr is one of a small but vociferous band of academics, journalists and celebrities who are using their Jewish origin as an excuse to spread vicious anti-Israel (and often anti-Semitic) slurs.

In Roseanne Barr’s latest posting on her popular blog, she states that the rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel are actually being fired by Israeli forces, not by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Such a conspiracy is almost on a par with the anti-Semitic slur that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks....(more)

House Democrats Vote to Let AIG Keep Bonuses and other Various Updates

Some updates to various posts here at TGITW:

CTO Vivek Kundra Back On The Job -petty theft record not withstanding... after the FBI raided his office, arresting Yusuf Acar, the acting chief security officer of the D.C. Office of the CTO, who was later charged with bribery of a public official, money laundering, wire fraud and conflict of interest. The FBI reported finding $70,000 in Acar's Northwest D.C. home. (original story here)

Obama drops his "soak the vets" plan.

President Obama, after an uproar by veterans groups, has scrapped a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs for the treatment of troops injured in service.... (story at Fox News)

And more on the bonuses..

House Democrats Vote to Let AIG Keep Bonuses

presumably because if they didn't they would have to go after Fannie and Freddy next...

Fannie Mae plans bonuses of up to $611,000 for 4 executives; Freddie Mac has similar plans

and last but not least, as an update to Revenge of the Teleprompter

No Boiled Carrots
Barack Obama even needs a teleprompter to get mad.

Obama Administration to Endorse Decriminalization of Homosexual Acts

What next? The international court calling states to task? Is that an extreme reading? hmmm...

Lots of folks picking up on this but the first I saw was over at Beetle Blogger:

I thought it wasn’t cool for the U.S. to be bossing other nations. But I guess not because the Obama Administration is going to sign a UN declaration calling for world wide forced acceptance of homosexual acts. No matter the cultural/religious and/or societal traditions of other nations.
The declaration is problematic for many reasons. One, it makes comment on other nations’ laws (based on their citizens’ morality). Two, the declaration conflicts with U.S. state and federal laws:

Gay rights and other groups had criticized the Bush administration when it refused to sign the declaration when it was presented at the United Nations on Dec. 19. U.S. officials said then that the U.S. opposed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but that parts of the declaration raised legal questions that needed further review. (more)

Voice of the Nation- Debuts Thursday

You just knew Beetle was something special when you visited the site. This just underscores it.
They are partnering with UFI to start a radio show for family issues on blog talk radio.

Voice of the Nation

United Families International (UFI) and the Digital Network Army (DNA) are pleased to announce the new BlogTalkRadio show: Voice Of The Nation, on Family Values Blog Talk Radio.

Voice Of The Nation will be hosted by UFI Media Director, Drew Conrad and DNA Director, Angela Rockwood. The on-line talk radio show will highlight current Family Values news and discusses the logic behind the Pro-Family Movement.

The inaugural show will be on Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 2:00 PST. Voice Of The Nation will discuss same-sex marriage initiatives that are taking root across the country as well as summarize the recent happenings regarding the assault on the family at the UN.

UFI International Policy Director, Laura Knaperek, who was one of several UFI representatives at the UN during CSW, will be a guest on the show. Prior to joining UFI, Mrs. Knaperek served in the Arizona State Legislature for ten years. During her tenure as a State Representative, she established herself as an advocate for children, families and the disabled.



Was the Pope Misquoted?

Here is an interesting article that suggest not only was the Pope misquoted, but...

wait for it...

the Pope is Catholic.

Let's get serious...what were people thinking he would say?

Are They Serious?

Pope Benedict XVI, just prior to his trip to Africa, has said that condoms are not the answer to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and can make the problem worse. "You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane heading to Yaounde. "On the contrary, it increases the problem." The pope said a responsible and moral attitude toward sex would help fight the disease....

Now comes the backlash...

Rebecca Hodes with the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa said, "Instead, his opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans."

False dichotomy! It is not a matter of human lives on one hand and religious dogma on the other. Jesus rightly pointed out, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4, NIV) True life and the teaching of the church are inextricably linked.

"Talking about the nonuse of condoms is out of place. We need condoms to protect ourselves against diseases and AIDS," teacher Narcisse Takou said in Yaounde. Stanley Obale Okpu, a civil servant working in the ministry of urban development in Cameroon, said, "You need condoms to prevent AIDS and birth control."

Are they kidding? This is simple logic, folks. The verb "need" has connections with "necessary," and in a strictly logical sense, that which is necessary is a sine qua non, a "without-which-not." For example, oxygen is a necessary cause for the function of human breathing. Without oxygen, a person cannot breathe.

Is Miss Takou serious that condoms are a sine qua non, that people cannot protect themselves against diseases and AIDS without them? Is Mr. Okpu serious that AIDS and births cannot be prevented without condoms? Set aside whether or not you support condom use. These statements are utterly untenable.

Then there is this from syndicated columnist Roland S. Martin, "But for the church to continue to ignore the definitive research that condoms play a huge role in decreasing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases is mind-boggling."

Well, of course there is research to this effect. No one challenges this, least of all the Pope in his recent statement. He is simply saying that condoms are not the answer. Again, set aside your own feeling on the issue. Mr. Martin is guilty of eisegesis...reading more into the Pope's statement than is there. Carl Spackler, the character Bill Murray played in Caddyshack, could give ample evidence that dynamite plays a huge role in decreasing the spread of gophers on a golf course. A person who suggests that there is a better way to deal with the furry critters is not denying such evidence.

Mr. Martin continues, "As a layman and the husband of a pastor, I know the difference between utopia and reality, and it is the responsibility of the faith community to deal with the real world.
And frankly, Pope Benedict clearly shows he doesn't get it. What we need today are our church leaders preaching, teaching and imploring their members not to go to bed with anyone and everyone. We also need church leaders who are willing to stand up and tell folks that if they do choose to sin -- that's what the church and other faith leaders consider sex outside of marriage -- then you had better take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

I am in slack-jawed amazement. Is his position seriously that pastors should say the equivalent of, "You shouldn't murder, but if you do, be sure to use a silencer and wipe down any prints you may have left to protect yourself from arrest?"

Webster Redefines Marriage

If there was any doubt left in your mind about the culture war that we are involved in, check out the entry for "marriage" at Merriam-Webster. H/T Doctor Bulldog:

\ˈmer-ij, ˈma-rij\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English mariage, from Anglo-French, from marier to marry
Date: 14th century
1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding
ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities3: an intimate or close union

Stimulus Bill Explicitly Guarantees Contractual Bonuses

Hypocrites. The Obama administration writes a bill that allow for AIG to pay bonuses, then excoriates them for doing so to further their own agenda. But they waited two days to do so...

AIG- sensing the trap and the coming PR mess, asks lawyers to review the plan and tell them whether to pay the bonuses or back off. Lawyers tell them they are contractually obligated to pay the bonuses and risk being sued and thus paying punitive damages in addition to the bonuses.

Don't get me wrong. I think failing businesses should be allowed to fail. I am no fan of bail-outs for business or private individuals. But this whole thing stinks.

From Campaign Spot:

Who in their right mind would codify in law that bonus payments to executives at bailed-out companies could not be prohibited?

Well, Chris Dodd.

From page H1412 of the Final Stimulus Bill, “SEC. 111. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE:
'(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009, as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.” This amendment provides an exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009, which exempts the very AIG bonuses Obama is condemning every single chance he gets. The amendment is in the final version and is law.

Of course the money that AIG paid to Obam and Dodd had nothing to do with it I'm sure...
Mr. Dodd, who is facing a tough re-election campaign in 2010, was the largest beneficiary of campaign cash in the 2008 election cycle. Mr. Dodd received $103,000 from AIG, while Mr. Obama came in a close second at $101,332. (the bulletin)
And the lies continue:
The Wall Street Journal reports Obama "knew he had little power to stop AIG from issuing the bonuses, even as he stood before television cameras and vowed Monday to 'block these bonuses,' White House officials said," and "by the end of the day, the White House acknowledged its limited options."
The AP says, "So far, the administration has been unable to match its actions to Obama's tough rhetoric on executive compensation."
The Washington Post reports on its front page, "Senior White House officials said last night that...Obama did not learn" about the impending bonuses "until Thursday, one day before they were issued and two days after" Treasury Secretary Geithner "was informed that the payments were going forward." (US News)
The US News article is particularly telling. Since the bonuses were part of the Asministrations plan they either are lieing or in way over their heads and can't keep up with the substance of thier own bills. I figure its both..

Revenge of the Teleprompter

While not agreeing with everything Bush did or how he did it, I was never one of the kool-aid drinking Bush haters and actually have a lot of respect for Bush as president. But, he sure could mangle a phrase and was usually good for a chuckle when he spoke.

We've been hearing how Obama is continuing many of Bush's policys regarding the economy and Iraq. Apparently he is continuing with the humor as well:

From the Times online (overseas) :

O'Bama and Cowen: the new comedy duo

Pot of shamrock smuggled through customs? Check. Matching tasteful green ties? Check. O'Bama and Brian Cowen united in their Irish roots? Check.
But the otherwise smooth St Patrick's Day ceremony at the White House hit a slight bump when it came to the speeches.

Shortly after Obama got up and extolled the relationship between Ireland and the States, Cowen got up and extolled the relationship between Ireland and the States. Word for word.
No, it wasn't a bit too much celebratory Guinness. Turns out Cowen was reading Obama's speech from an unchanged teleprompter.

Still the luck of the Irish held strong. Obama rescued the Prime Minister by offering Cowen's own speech for him, thanking himself in the process and thoroughly confusing everyone else. (more)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Islam and the West: Lines of Demarcation

Excellent article over at Azure that accurately describes many of the root causes of the conflict with Islam and the challenges that lie ahead. Interestingly it also describes the cause of much of our societies demise in the second paragraph: "..and they have lost confidence in their way of life. Indeed, they are no longer sure what that way of life requires of them."

The first three paragaphs follow. Follow the links for the entire article.

The West today is involved in a protracted and violent struggle with the forces of radical Islam. This conflict is intensely difficult, both because of our enemy’s dedication to his cause, and also, perhaps most of all, because of the enormous cultural shift that has occurred in Europe and America since the end of the Vietnam War. Put simply, the citizens of Western states have lost their appetite for foreign wars; they have lost the hope of scoring any but temporary victories; and they have lost confidence in their way of life. Indeed, they are no longer sure what that way of life requires of them.

At the same time, they have been confronted with a new opponent, one who believes that the Western way of life is profoundly flawed, and perhaps even an offense against God. In a “fit of absence of mind,” Western societies have allowed this opponent to gather in their midst; sometimes, as in France, Britain, and the Netherlands, in ghettos which bear only tenuous and largely antagonistic relations to the surrounding political order. And in both America and Europe there has been a growing desire for appeasement: a habit of public contrition; an acceptance, though with heavy heart, of the censorious edicts of the mullahs; and a further escalation in the official repudiation of our cultural and religious inheritance. Twenty years ago, it would have been inconceivable that the archbishop of Canterbury would give a public lecture advocating the incorporation of Islamic religious law (shari’ah) into the English legal system. Today, however, many people consider this to be an arguable point, and perhaps the next step on the way to peaceful compromise.

All this suggests that we in the West stand on the edge of a dangerous period of concession, in which the legitimate claims of our own culture and inheritance will be ignored or downplayed in an attempt to prove our peaceful intentions. It will be some time before the truth will be allowed to play its all-important role of rectifying our current mistakes and preparing the way for the next ones. This means that it is more necessary than ever for us to rehearse the truth and come to a clear and objective understanding of what is at stake. I will, therefore, spell out in what follows some of the critical features of the Western inheritance which must be understood and defended in our current confrontation. Each of these features marks a point of contrast, and possibly of conflict, with the traditional Islamic vision of society, and each has played a vital part in creating the modern world. Islamist belligerence stems from having found no secure place in that world, and from turning for refuge to precepts and values that are at odds with the Western way of life. This does not mean that we should renounce or repudiate the distinguishing features of our civilization, as many would have us do. On the contrary, it means that we must be all the more vigilant in their defense. (more)

Religion Has Become An Ugly thing

Leonard Pitts over at the Miami Herald has written what he calls a "wake up call for organized religion." After discussing the American Religious Identification Survey, conducted by researchers at Trinity College of Hartford, Conn which is the poll of over 54,000 American adults that supposedly found a sharp erosion in the number of people claiming religious affiliation, he then submits a litany of failures of organized religion prefacing the whole thing with "religion has become an ugly thing."

To his credit, he does put the numbers in perspective:

"..It is important to reiterate that we are talking about overall percentages. In raw numbers, there are actually about 22 million more Christians now than in 1990. Still, the trend is clear, particularly as illustrated in one telling statistic: In 1990, 8.2 percent (about 14 million) of us said ''none'' when asked to specify their religion. Last year, 15 percent (34 million) did."
22 million more Christians and whether the fact that 7% more of those polled said "none" when asked to specify their religion actually translates to less Christians (or simply less that identify with a particular denomination) not withstanding, Pitts seems to want to focus on all that is wrong with organized religion and thus blame religion's ugliness as to why folks are staying away. which I mean a seemingly endless cycle of scandal, controversy, hypocrisy, violence and TV preachers saying idiot things ...
...And people of faith should ask themselves: What is the cumulative effect upon outside observers of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker living like lords on the largess of the poor, multiplied by Jimmy Swaggart's pornography addiction, plus Eric Rudolph bombing Olympians and gays in the name of God, plus Muslims hijacking airplanes in the name of God, multiplied by the church that kicked out some members because they voted Democrat, divided by people caterwauling on courthouse steps as a rock bearing the Ten Commandments was removed, multiplied by the square root of Catholic priests preying on little boys while the church looked on and did nothing, multiplied by Muslims rioting over cartoons, plus the ongoing demonization of gay men and lesbians, divided by all those ''traditional values'' coalitions and ''family values'' councils that try to bully public schools into becoming worship houses, with morning prayers and science lessons from the book of Genesis? Then subtract selflessness, service, sacrifice, holiness and hope.
Do the math, and I bet you'll draw the same conclusion the researchers did...

Ah yes, do the math indeed.. Can one honestly equate the bombings of Eric Rudolph with the widespread institutionalized terror that is codified in Islamic teaching and carried out by thousands?

And while it is true that the church (Catholic and otherwise) has had to address the tragedy of child abuse is it fair to ignore the "ugliness" in our school systems? For example the 2007 Associated Press report, and the 2007 Annual Report prepared by the Catholic bishops and based upon an outside audit, that the problem of childhood sexual abuse within Catholic institutions is largely resolved while the problem of childhood sexual abuse within public schools is ongoing and growing. The proof lies in the numbers:

an annual average of 1.875 allegations of abuse occurring within the Catholic Church for the years 2000 to 2007 versus an annual average of 514 documented cases of public school teachers having their licenses “taken away, denied, surrendered voluntarily or restricted” as a result of sexual misconduct with minors during the years 2001 to 2005.

Or the report, from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, that states that around 66 percent of those who sexually abuse children are parents, other relatives, unmarried partners, friends or neighbors, and that only 0.5 percent are professionals, of which clergy are a subset, and Catholic clergy a further, and by definition, smaller subset.

Charol Shakeshaft- cites in her book-that “the physical sexual abuse of students in [public] schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” (First Things)

Do the math. Do the charlatans such as Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker and the Jimmy Swaggart's really equate or outweigh the good done by Catholic hospitals, the Salvation Army (Methodist) or the Irish nuns spoken of this morning in the Boston Globe:

She was sitting on a bench on the fishing pier on Castle Island the other day, trying to explain why she does what she does, and what she does is go wherever people are dying and tries to save their lives....

...She slept in tents at night and played God by day. She looked into the eyes of the people struggling to get in the feeding center, feeling how hard they pushed against her, gauging who was the strongest, because there wasn't enough food.
She did things she couldn't back home. She stuffed children's prolapsed rectums back inside them, because if she didn't they would die. Sometimes they did anyway. She stuck needles in the bloated bellies of children to relieve pain. She slept as she spent every waking hour, haunted by death.

And when she was done in Ethiopia, she went to Sudan. Then Cambodia, Somalia. Everywhere she went, no matter where it was, no matter how bad it was, she met Irish nuns, women in their 70s who left when they were her age.

Unlike her, they never went home. She was in awe. (full story)

Do the math. Does the demonic influence in the gay/lesbian debate rest with those who reject the premise that one should get special rights based on their sexual preferences or with those who ignore the fact that such choices lead to death.

In fact, multiple studies have established that homosexual conduct, especially among males, is considerably more hazardous to one’s health than a lifetime of chain smoking.To the consternation of “gay” activist flat-earthers and homosexual AIDS holocaust deniers everywhere, one such study — conducted by pro-“gay” researchers in Canada — was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE) in 1997.While the medical consensus is that smoking knocks from two to 10 years off an individual’s life expectancy, the IJE study found that homosexual conduct shortens the lifespan of “gays” by an astounding “8 to 20 years” — more than twice that of smoking.“[U]nder even the most liberal assumptions,” concluded the study, “gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871. … [L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men.” (Townhall)

In the middle of his commentary Mr. Pitts answers his own question. But he is too busy working his calculator to notice:

"If all I knew of God was what I had seen in the headlines, I would not be eager to make His acquaintance."

And there's the rub, eh? If all I knew of organized religion was what I read in the headlines, I might be jaded too. Lesson: look somewhere else for your information. I won't disagree that many who claim to worship God are in fact worshipping themselves, or money or their sexuality or as Pitts says:

...religion worships and serves that which has nothing to do with Him, worships money and serves politics, worships charisma and serves ego, worships intolerance and serves self.

Because the institution of religion is made up of (acknowledged) sinful, fallen people rest assured it will continue to make headlines. But the Christian Church offers a chance to change and heal brokenness in our lives. It reaches beyond itself to help others and remains God's chosen instrument of salvation and hope in a world filled with ugliness.

"aborted fetuses offer 'at least a temporary solution' to the shortage of available organs for people in need of transplants."

It worked for Embryos so... A frighteningly accurate post by STR. Folks we need to wake up and fight...

Let's apply the same reasoning to unwanted fetuses. At least, that's what Oxford professor Richard Gardner is advocating, saying that "aborted fetuses offer 'at least a temporary solution' to the shortage of available organs for people in need of transplants."

From a Slate
Two arguments have persuaded the United States to fund stem-cell research using destroyed embryos. One is that the research will save lives. The other is that the embryos, left over from fertility treatments, will otherwise be wasted. Both arguments are now being applied to fetuses.

Apparently, "it is a shame to waste their organs," since they're going to die anyway.
We have reached a seemingly impassable great divide in Western culture--the divide at the root of conflict after conflict between the two sides. One side sees human life as intrinsically valuable, the other does not. One side has an unshakable grounding for human rights in a Creator, ensuring that no mere human or group of humans will be granted the authority to pick and choose which human beings are worthy or unworthy of rights based on whichever characteristics they happen to favor. The other pays lip service to the idea of human rights and dignity because the idea still feels good, but little by little lets those rights slip away when pressed by expediency. In the end, on their side, there is no real human value. Instead, the value lies in what a human can do, either alive or dead. And we get to decide in which of these two categories a human being will do the most good. This kind of value is not objective, but subjective, based on the preference of others. And since rights are granted by other humans, they can be taken away for a "good cause."

And that side will take away. I guarantee you this is only the beginning. (more)

Obama Security Breech

A follow-up to the Politico story on the 13th, from the Spectator


The Obama Administration is worried that yet another senior appointee has run into potential ethics issues one week into his new job.

According to one White House source, the Obama Administration asked its newly appointed chief technology officer to take a leave until the Department of Justice could provide the administration with additional information surrounding an FBI raid at the officer's former workplace, the Washington, D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

CTO Vivek Kundra had resigned from his D.C. post earlier this month to take the White House job; last Thursday the FBI raided the D.C. office, arresting Yusuf Acar, the acting chief security officer of the D.C. Office of the CTO, who was later charged with bribery of a public official, money laundering, wire fraud and conflict of interest. The FBI reported finding $70,000 in Acar's Northwest D.C. home.

When the White House was given head's up about the raid, the Justice Department informed the White House that Kundra was not a target of the investigation, but there are concerns at 1600 Pennsylvania that as more people are swept up in the burgeoning scandal, their appointee may get caught.

Also arrested, and complicating the White House's issues with Kundra, was Sushil Bansal, CEO of Advanced Integrated Technologies Corporation (AITC), who also faces bribery related charges.
Bansal is not a U.S. citizen, and is working here on a visa provided to foreign workers in "specialty" professions. Bansal's company has done work for the D.C. government since 2004, prior to Kundra's taking over the technology office. But when Kundra did take over the office, AITC's business more than doubled.

"What concerns us and the White House Counsel's office is that Kundra and Bansal seem to have a very tight relationship that was not discussed during the vetting process," says the White House source. (more)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dramatic advances in public attitudes are sweeping Iraq

I thought Senator Reid said we had lost this one? Oh yeah, that was before the election..

Dramatic advances in public attitudes are sweeping Iraq, with declining violence, rising economic well-being and improved services lifting optimism, fueling confidence in public institutions and bolstering support for democracy. ...

...While deep difficulties remain, the advances are remarkable. Eighty-four percent of Iraqis now rate security in their own area positively, nearly double its August 2007 level. Seventy-eight percent say their protection from crime is good, more than double its low. Three-quarters say they can go where they want safely – triple what it's been. ...

...Optimism and confidence have followed. Sixty-five percent of Iraqis say things are going well in their own lives, up from 39 percent in 2007 (albeit still a bit below its 2005 peak). Fifty-eight percent say things are going well for Iraq – a new high, up from only 22 percent in 2007. Expectations for the year ahead, at the national and personal levels, also have soared, after crashing in 2007. And the sharpest advances have come among Sunni Arabs, the favored group under Saddam Hussein, deeply alienated by his overthrow, now re-engaging in Iraq's national life. (more)

Redefining Marriage Fight in Vermont

Thanks to Pearl Diver for this heads-up:

The Salt Lake Tribune published an article today heralding a week of hearings in Vermont over legalizing same-sex marriage. If you live in Vermont and you value marriage for the protection of children and society, please stand up and speak up. Call your legislators to let them know that you will not accept runaway politicians who act and speak according to their own agendas rather than representing the people who voted them into office. (More)

Backing away from the American commitment to wounded veterans.

Thanks to Hot Air for this story. Anything for a revenue stream I guess. Of course this hits home personally as I have friends who have been wounded. The Obama administration explains that it wants private insurers who sell coverage to vets to pay their fair share. Unbelievable.

Apparently, the Obama administration hasn’t backed away from its plans to start offloading costs for wounded veterans to third-party insurance, which will make acquiring such insurance nearly impossible. The commander of the American Legion emerged from a meeting with President Obama “angered” at Obama’s insistence on generating revenue from those who sacrificed for American security:

The leader of the nation’s largest veterans organization says he is “deeply disappointed and concerned” after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.
“It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan,” said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. “He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”
The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, “This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘ to care for him who shall have borne the battle’ given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America’s veterans!”
Commander Rehbein was among a group of senior officials from veterans service organizations joining the President, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group’s early afternoon conversation at The White House was precipitated by a letter of protest presented to the President earlier this month. The letter, co-signed by Commander Rehbein and the heads of ten colleague organizations, read, in part, ” There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran’s personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide. While we understand the fiscal difficulties this country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable.”

The Obama administration explains that it wants private insurers who sell coverage to vets to pay their fair share, but there are two things wrong with that argument. (more)

FOCA Under the Radar

Over at MereComments a fair warning on what we can look forward to for the next few years:

Local media doesn't seem to pick up on it much. With all the attention on The District and what The District dictates, and among pro-lifers what Obama's promised FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act), a local, that is, a state FOCA bill of our own in Illinois is being crafted. Not just one, but two sites have been established in opposition. As I see it, on the federal and local level, a multiplicity of new initiatives and bills will keep cultural conservatives so busy that much will be done "under the radar" while the major media reports the "regular" news.

A Change of Pace

Here are a few links you might find useful or at least interesting:

Recession putting a crimp in your pizza runs? H/T Lifehacker
Over at SimpleDollar A Guide to Making Inexpensive and Delicious Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza night is a weekly occurrence at our house. For us, there is simply nothing that quite matches homemade pizza for appealing to all of us - it’s infinitely flexible, incredibly cheap, fun to make (and it gets everyone involved, even the small children), and quite delicious. Best of all, if you plan ahead a bit, it doesn’t take long to make, either - you can have a made-from-scratch pizza on the table in a half an hour if you’ve done some reasonable prep work the night before.
Here’s a step-by-step guide (along with some surprising and unusual hints) for making some great homemade pizza for your family.

Lifehacker also has The Five-Minute Prison Workout Keeps You Fit in Any Space (cell mate not included)
Mike Rowe from Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs demonstrates how to get a great workout in any space by performing several sets of descending repetitions of the classic "burpie."

Over at Dumb Little Man:
Ditch Google For A Day: 10 Amazing Search Engines To Try out
As much as Google has evolved since its inception, the internet too has changed drastically and has spawned upon a huge number of alternative search engines, some of them being really good in what they do.

And finally over at STR a list of places to study apologetics

Cooperation with evil?

Over at GetReligion there is a story about the controversy that has raged in the Archdiocese of Boston over a proposed joint venture between the Catholic hospital chain and a non-Catholic insurance provider.

GetReligions take is that it provides an excellent example of how journalists could/should use their blogs to give readers the bigger picture of the story. For what its worth (not much) I agree.

In the process we are provided with some really good links to

1) the original article:

Critics of a proposed joint venture between the local Catholic hospital chain and a secular insurance company say they are concerned about the arrangement because of one major issue: abortion.

But supporters say there is another issue at stake in the discussion of whether Caritas Christi Health Care should take part in providing insurance to low-income people in Massachusetts: poverty....(more)

and 2) some really good discussion (if you are so inclined) on moral theology at the journalist's blog Articles of Faith. For example, Rev. James Bretzke, professor of moral theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry writes:

...Pope John Paul II writes in Evangelium Vitae, Paragraph 73 the following in regards to civil legislation which may allow for abortion:
'A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations—particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation—there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.'

Now I believe we have a fairly clear analogous case here in the current brouhaha with the Caritas hospital case. Both Cardinal O'Malley's opposition to abortion and that of Caritas are well-known and well-documented. Thus there is no REASONABLE possibility of scandal, which would mean that someone might be led to believe (mistakenly) that either the Cardinal or Caritas in fact condone abortion. (more)

No one knows how many terrorists are currently in the United States

FrontPage Interview with Ben R. Furman, the FBI's Former Counterterrorism Chief. He writes a blog at blackhawkpress.

What is the state of this problem as we speak?

BF: No one knows how many terrorists are currently in the United States, but that they are here is not debatable, and the tally goes up each day. It’s natural to be swept away by the frightening battle occurring along our southern border, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the flood of illegal aliens crossing over that are eluding capture, but there’s a similar problem on our northern border that can’t be overlooked and it is equally as serious.

Terrorist infiltration is a deadly ongoing problem that our counterterrorism and law enforcement agencies face, both externally and internally, and in many respects the internal obstacles are the most troubling. Rooting out terrorists is a difficult job under the best of circumstances, but it’s made more difficult by the “open border” crowd that labels the agencies or anyone trying to control illegal immigration as racists, xenophobes and bigots. And the current mantra of political correctness has darn near beaten common sense police work to death.

Let me give you an example. Ahmed Ressam, the Algerian who plotted to blow up the Los Angeles Airport on the eve of the millennium was arrested in Port Angeles as he drove off a ferry from British Columbia with a trunk full of bomb-making materials. The agent responsible for the arrest said it had little to do with the man’s nationality, rather that he was sweating (it was December and at the northern border), made no eye contact, became belligerent as she peppered him with questions, and he gave lousy answers. She followed her training and applied common sense to the situation. Would this same incident be considered racial profiling today? I suspect the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) would use it as another example of Muslims being targeted by racist jack-booted cops.

Fox News reported that in October 2008 the Border Patrol began conducting random roadside stops of buses that pick up passengers at the Port Angeles ferry terminal, across the strait from Victoria, BC, to check for illegal aliens. Michael Mermudez, the Border Patrol spokesman said, “These are the places that terrorists or criminals would use to egress away from the border.”

Again, the Border Patrol’s actions make sense to most of us, but not to the ACLU, which has joined forces with left-leaning groups in Washington State, who say these measures have infringed on people’s civil liberties. So what are they doing to thwart the efforts of the Border Patrol? They’re installing signs in all the buses informing riders of their rights to ignore Border Patrol agents.

The way I see it, the ACLU has just handed the terrorists a playbook for evading federal law enforcement agents who are working to secure one of the most dangerous and porous borders in the country at a time when the threat to national security is particularly high. And, let’s not forget, in 2010 the Winter Olympics will be held in Vancouver; terrorists love the world stage and visions of the 1972 Olympics come to mind. (more)

Pick Your Protest- Or Make Your Own

Tea Parties, We Surround Them/9.12 Project and Red Envelope Day.
Americans are fed up and doing something about it. Pick one or all three or start your own but do something..

First some news on the nation wide tea parties From WND:

'Bailing out' reckless businesses and individuals is neither the burden of responsible, hard-working American taxpayers nor the role of government

A revolution is brewing as American patriots and free-market advocates unite in protest against out-of-control government spending – with a wildfire movement of more than 150 nationwide tea parties.

The New American Tea Party website states, "This isn't a conservative or liberal thing. This is about government forking over billions of dollars, our money, to businesses that should have failed. This is about taking money from responsible people and handing it over to CEOs who squandered their own."
Another organization, the Political Exploration and Awareness Committee, or PEACPAC, formed a website known as
ReTeaParty and accepts tea party registrations from across the nation. It also provides detailed information on how to organize tea parties and posts photos of the events.
Tax Day Tea Party, a national collaborative grassroots effort organized by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter, the DontGo Movement and many other online groups, is also promoting the events.
WND has also launched its own tea party forum so citizens may exchange ideas, information and announcements about the "revolution." After reviewing various website protest listings, WND found more than 150 tea parties scheduled for upcoming months and compiled one of the most complete lists on the Internet. Here are some scheduled tea parties: ...

go here to see the list

Glenn Beck is starting his own protest movement- We Surround Them and the 9/12 Project h/t to Pearl Diver.
and Beetle Blogger has the Fox videos

Today Glenn asks, “Which kind of American are you?”

Are you a 9/10 American with your head stuffed into the sand?

Are you a 9/11 American, fearful and immobilized?

Or are you a 9/12 American, strong, united, and plenty intelligent enough to know what you want for your country and to know that we’re headed in the wrong direction to preserve our Constitution and the freedoms sanctified therein?...

...Says Glenn, “Our government told us to go shopping [to save the economy]. . . . but what we need is to reconnect with these nine principles and 12 values.”

The Nine Principles

1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3. I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.

12 Values









Hard Work


Personal Responsibility


During the report, Glenn also announced a new website, powered by the largest server Fox News could find, which after one commercial break had been completely overloaded. :0) I believe it is actually still inaccessible due to the large volumes of beleaguered Americans desperate for a glimmer of hope.

More here

And last but not least, Beetle Blogger also has a great idea:
Red Envelope Day

Barack Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event, uttering the now infamous line, "Well, the first thing I’d do as president is, is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. [Applause.] That’s the first thing that I’d do."

No matter how you feel about Obama, consider how you feel about abortion. The FOCA will eliminate all state restrictions on abortion (ie. what people in their own states decided about the issue).

What you can do:

Get a red envelope. You can buy them at Kinkos, or any party supply store, or
here. On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message:
This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion. It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.

Are You My Mother?

Good article over at "And Sometimes Tea." Highlighting the issue once again: "who is thinking about the children?"

I think just about every child knows the sweet story called Are You My Mother? Written by P.D. Eastman, the story follows a poor baby bird who has fallen from his nest in his mother's absence, and he asks just about everyone and everything he meets that same plaintive question (with results from the silly to the mildly scary). Just when the sad little bird is about to give up, his own real mother returns and finds him, and he is safe and secure once more.I thought of that story when reading this news brief:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Things are about to get crowded in Cat Cora's kitchen.
The "Iron Chef America" star says on her MySpace page that she and her partner, Jennifer, are each expecting sons.
"(Jennifer) carried my embryo and I carried hers," Cora told OK Magazine. "It's like surrogating, but obviously all of our kids are equal."
The same anonymous sperm donor fathered all four children.
The 41-year-old Food Network chef says she and her 37-year-old partner will deliver their babies about three months apart. The couple already has two sons: Zoran, 5 and Caje, 22 months.

Are you my mother? How do children in this sort of "arrangement" ever answer this question? How do the women answer? "Well, I'm your genetic mother, but to make things fair she's your birth mother--we didn't want there to be any messy custody fights over you if our relationship doesn't work out. So we were willing to take the chance of creating you outside either of our wombs; if you didn't survive implantation we had some leftovers in the freezer--so don't worry! We'd have gotten to experience the wonderfulness of parenthood even if you, personally, didn't end up making it. Your father? Some guy, we never found out his name. Why do you ask? Aren't two mommies enough for you?" Read the full post here

Redefining Gender

Ah, for the days when gender referred to words...

Over at the the Kingfisher Column by way of OneNewsNow.comthey are reporting on the legal battle in Gainsville Fla over a gender-identity ordinance passed by the city council.

The ordinance passed by the civic leaders defines gender as follows: "An inner sense of being a specific gender, or the expression of a gender identity by verbal statement, appearance, or mannerisms, or other gender-related characteristics of an individual with or without regard to the individual's designated sex at birth."Passage of the ordinance caused an uproar because, in essence, it permits people to use public facilities -- restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms -- based on their inner feeling about their gender. As Jim Gilbert with Citizens for Good Public Policy explains, that means men could use women's restrooms and women could use men's rooms. And outside of the obvious, that poses a real problem, he says.

This for the benefit of the "estimated 100 transgendered residents. " As quoted in this article The Battle for Transgendered Rights Starts in the Bathroom. WARNING- This site has some objectionable material. The title says it all "free of an agenda except for that gay one." At least they're honest.

This battle began about a year ago as reported by WND and is part of an ongoing world wide effort as WND and LifeSite articles point out ( Montgomery County, Md., ) “Gender Mainstreaming” Legislation Brewing in the Philippines just as a few examples.

Of course the UN is behind part of the effort to "deconstructing gender". What is "deconstructing gender"?:

At the women’s conference Beijing +5 in 1995 there was a big furor about defining gender. One of the delegates from Nicaragua, their minister for family, wanted gender defined as males and females, the normal understanding of how human beings come in two kinds. The debate went along the lines that gender was a socially malleable construct and that human beings couldn’t be restricted to male and female, that they were along a continuous spectrum and that there were all kinds of genders. They were up to five at that time. They may be up to seven or eleven by now. There were asexual, homosexual, bisexual, hermaphrodite, transvestite, transgendered. And the “transgendered” further divided into those who have had the hormones but not the surgery, those who have had both hormones and surgery, and those who have had the surgery but are not happy and want to go back. (from Lifesite)

Lifesite warned about this "silent revolution" back in November in an article entitled:

“Gender Mainstreaming”: A Silent Revolution Dismantling Civilization

November 25, 2008 ( – “Gender mainstreaming,” an ideology that proposes to erase the foundational unit of western society, the natural family, is being infiltrated into laws and institutions around the world under the rubric of “equality” legislation and guidelines, says author Gabrielle Kuby.
Kuby, the author of a 2003 book, endorsed by the former Cardinal Ratzinger, warning Christian parents of the danger of the Harry Potter book series, has written on the threat of the work of ideologues on the far left who are working to create a “new man” who can arbitrarily decide whether he is a man, a woman or some other “gender” unrelated to the natural distinctions of biology. “According to them,” she writes, “there are not two sexes, but six or more, depending on sexual preference.”

“Behind the facade” of equality, “lurks the general attack on the moral standards to which we owe the Western culture. Without it, neither the family nor Christianity can survive.”
In her article, “Gender Mainstreaming – The Secret Revolution,” to be published in German in this month’s edition of Vatican magazine, Kuby warns that the new ideology is being carefully inculcated into international law and particularly into the materials made available to educators to create school curricula. Kuby writes, “This view of freedom and sexuality, according to the will of the UN, EU and most European governments is to be imprinted onto the minds of children from the nursery onwards.”

In the case of one national government, Germany’s, the “gender mainstreaming” ideology is part of the guiding principles of every ministry of the government. The homepage of the German government’s Ministry of Science says, “The Federal Government has established an equal opportunities policy based on the political strategy of gender mainstreaming as a universal guiding principle.” (more)

You can read the paper on Gender Mainstreaming here.