The Pope is Coming to America

Baltimore's Cardinal William Keeler, has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will likely visit the United States next year. In an announcement on WBAL radio, the Cardinal said that he made inquiries while in Rome two weeks ago and was informed that the Pope, "is planning to come to the United States next year.

Vatican experts have suggested that the likely date for the visit will be October which would coincide with the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York. Others, however, have suggested that the Papal visit may come as early as May, 2007.

Ignorance can be Funny

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, a potential presidential candidate, said Monday he meant no offense to homosexuals when he used the word ``fruits'' in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

In a lengthy profile titled ``God's Senator,'' the magazine quotes the Kansas Republican as criticizing countries like Sweden that have legalized gay marriage.

``You'll know them by their fruits,'' Brownback said, quoting a biblical passage from Matthew 7:19. But you see, the good folks at "RS" don't read the bible because it does not have any stories about Ziggy Marley or Brittney Spears.

Rolling Stone writer Jeff Sharlet said in the story, appearing in the magazine's current issue, that Brownback appeared to be calling gay Swedes fruits.

After gay and lesbian advocacy groups denounced the comments last week, Brownback issued a statement Monday saying his quote ``was in no way referring to sexual orientation.'' There is another group that doesn't read the Bible because "Heather has two Mom's" is much more entertaining.

Please stick to reviewing bad music!

Swann may lock up GOP endorsement

The Pennsylvania Republican Party's position in the governor's race could effectively be decided this evening as GOP officials from southwestern Pennsylvania gather in Monroeville to be counted in the battle between Lynn Swann and former Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton.

A strong showing for Mr. Swann could put him over the top in unofficial tallies for the state party's endorsement, to be decided in voting in Harrisburg on Feb. 11.

The southwest regional meeting comes a day after Kenneth Davis, Republican chairman of Montgomery County, announced his support for Mr. Swann and predicted that all 24 members of his county's delegation, largest in the state, would vote for the former broadcaster and Steelers receiver next month.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sweeping anti-abortion laws proposed

Legislators in at least five states are proposing bold anti-abortion measures as the Bush administration reshapes the U.S. Supreme Court, a report said.

With the goal of challenging the Roe vs. Wade ruling that ensured a woman's right to an abortion, lawmakers in Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee propose banning all abortions except when the woman's life is in danger, Stateline.org reported.

If enacted, legal experts said the laws would be the first absolute abortion bans since the landmark 1973 ruling

Democrats courting Catholics

The Democratic Party's intensifying efforts to reach out to Catholic voters will hit a high-water mark tonight, when party leaders turn to Virginia's newly installed governor to deliver the response to President Bush's State of the Union address.

Governor Timothy M. Kaine, a devout Catholic who spoke openly about his faith during his election campaign last year, will speak about his work as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras, said Delacey Skinner, a Kaine spokeswoman. Kaine said that experience during his time as a Harvard Law School student inspired him to enter public service.

After Democratic Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts -- the party's first Catholic nominee since John F. Kennedy in 1960 -- lost the Catholic vote to Bush, a Methodist, in the last presidential election, national Democrats want to recast the party's image. They say their positions on key issues like the Iraq war, immigration, the environment, and poverty are in synch with church teachings.

Until recently, most Catholic voters were loyal Democrats, dating back to President Franklin Roosevelt. Many defected to vote for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, but Bill Clinton won them back in 1992 and 1996.

But Republicans aggressively courted the largely Catholic Hispanic vote, and stood against abortion and gay marriage, which the Vatican also opposes. The move paid dividends: Bush's 2004 reelection campaign won 52 percent of all Catholic voters, according to exit polls. Many Democrats acknowledge they must reach voters on so-called ''values" issues, and winning back Catholics is a priority.

The Boston Globe

She is Out of Her Mind

Echoing the accusations of musician Harry Belafonte and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan on Monday wondered aloud whether President Bush is "10 times the bigger terrorist than Osama bin Laden."
In December, Bush estimated that 30,000 Iraqis have died since the beginning of combat in March 2003. "On Sept. 11," Sheehan said, "3,000 Americans were killed, so does that make George Bush 10 times the bigger terrorist than Osama bin Laden?"

See Video

Sheehan posed the rhetorical question during a mock impeachment forum organized by several liberal groups, including Democracy Rising and ImpeachPAC. Democracy Rising founder and quadrennial presidential candidate Ralph Nader was scheduled to participate with Sheehan but did not show.

Sheehan, who lives in Berkeley, Calif., has announced that she is considering challenging Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein because of Feinstein''s support for war funding and her refusal to support a filibuster of Alito.

CNS NEWS

Alito CONFIRMED!


The U.S. Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court, with a handful of Democrats crossing party lines to vote aye. The vote came one day after a Democrat filibuster attempt fizzled.

Follow Up on Plan B

My post on "Plan B" the "Emergency contraceptive" garnered many responses and it prompted me to dig a bit deeper on this.

To briefly recap the story, Pharmacists across the nation are being fired and in some cases sued if they refuse to sell birth control based on moral or religious objections.

The Pharmacists for Life International is defending the right of pharmacists to refuse to refer a woman who is looking to fill a prescription to another pharmacist.

Here is what they said:
"A pharmacist by virtue of properly understood conscience cannot be licitly compelled to cooperate in such a fashion with what he knows will result in a chemical abortion and, hence, a dead baby. Such activity is called material cooperation. Further, it is not an inconvenience to refuse to refer such a client since the pharmacist is doing the woman and her pre-born child a favor in terms of physical and spiritual health."

I did talk to a couple area pharmacists who said they would not fill prescription for Plan B. Their objections are not strictly based on an actual chemical abortion, they also include any and all forms of contraception. The pharmacists believe that human life begins at conception, however dispensing any drug that would prevent ovulation, implantation or fertilization would require them to participate in the moral equivalent of abortion.

Plan B does not affect a fertilized egg that is already attached to the uterus, according to Plan B's Web site. The problem is this drug is so new, independent studies do not exist.

I wrote a similar piece back in 2004 that I think everyone should read. You may look at the entire issue of "birth control" differently.

You can read it here

NEW HAMPSHIRE BILL TARGETS CONFESSIONAL

The New Hampshire state legislature is currently considering a bill (House Bill 1127) sponsored by Representative Mary Stuart Gile that would mandate all members of the clergy to report instances of suspected child abuse to the authorities, allowing of no exceptions. The bill seeks to remove the priest-penitent privilege that has traditionally been granted by legislators.

Should this be allowed??????

Pornographers targeting youthful iPod users

The ever-expanding pornography industry is now targeting America's children – via the wildly popular iPod devices – in its latest quest for new customers, according to a former federal prosecutor and a veteran government consultant on pornography.

The popularity of Apple's new video-capable portable technology has driven porn industry providers to introduce iPod-compatible video content. Already at least three companies have divisions dedicated solely to adult content for these portable players.

"Like other forms of entertainment, consumers want to watch programming that interests them at their convenience, so we expect that people will watch porn films in places other than the privacy of their bedroom," David Joseph, CEO of several "adult entertainment" companies, recently told Adult Video News. "Technology gives us the opportunity to provide this service," he added. "We're calling this porn on the pod."

Alarmed at the pornographers' apparent targeting of youth, former Justice Department prosecutor Patrick Truman and Judith Reisman Ph.D., a veteran federal consultant and former Commission on Pornography member, are both warning parents to protect their kids.

"Apple has the responsibility to avoid providing porn content," said Truman, adding "the public (should) turn against them if they do not." Knowing that children are especially vulnerable to the portable forms of transmission iPods can provide, Truman says government should require companies to provide some sort of digital transfer management so parents can control content.

Asked if it planned on providing such safeguards, Apple Corporation responded with no comment.

WorldNetDaily

Is al-Qaida going to the Super Bowl?

There is a high likelihood of a major terrorist attack next Sunday, say international terror analysts and intelligence sources.


There is increased "chatter" in the terrorist world about a major new attack in the West – a sign often leading to an impending strike.
The date Feb. 5 has been specifically referenced in some of this chatter.

The date is significant to Osama bin Laden. Feb. 5, 1989, was the day the last Soviet troops withdrew from Kabul, Afghanistan, signaling their defeat at the hand of the mujahedeen. Kabul was the capital of Osama's adopted country and was a major win for him and Islam. Significantly, perhaps, in bin Laden's audio release he referenced the U.S. withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Much of the western world will be watching television that day.

The release of al-Qaida videotapes seems to provide clues about the dates of future attacks and, in this scenario, Feb. 5 becomes the most likely near-term terror strike date.

Terror attacks seem to follow the release of al-Qaida videos by about 30 days. Some intelligence analysts are noting the significance of the release of videos recently by both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Zawahiri released his last video Jan. 6, making Feb. 5 the most likely target date, according to past attacks. It also happens to be Super Bowl Sunday, when the eyes of the entire world will be watching America. Some analysts suggest the release of communiqu├ęs by both al-Zawahiri and bin Laden might be the precursor to a mega-attack – something even rivaling Sept. 11 in scope and devastation.

Despite the recent taped messages, authorities say there are "no credible threats against the Super Bowl."

WorldNetDaily

Overtime pay cost Pittsburgh $21.2 million last year!

Understaffing among Pittsburgh's firefighters, police and paramedics has helped push the city's premium pay costs -- primarily overtime -- to $21.2 million in 2005, with 63 firefighters making more than $100,000.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Terror in Texas?

UPDATE:
The man who died in an Arlington hospital - ostensibly from natural caues - was identified by authorities as Richard Wayne FOWLER (a/k/a Richard DAVELYNN). FOWLER might originally be from Oklahoma (based on the issuance of his social security number), although most recently might have lived in the 19000 block of Preston Road, Dallas, Texas before moving to Arlington. Investigation found a number of different addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers associated with his name. Various reports list his age as 53.

ORIGINAL POST:

Police and fire officials have identified the man who left two “fairly sophisticated explosive devices” at the InTown Suites extended stay hotel, 1727 Oak Village Boulevard, Arlington, Texas last week, but they are withholding public identification pending notification of relatives.

Reports detailed two cylindrical bombs, a duffel bag of ammunition and other items were found in the room of a man who died at an Arlington hospital earlier in the week. The management of the hotel notified police at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Friday and reported what they found inside the man’s room. Authorities described the bomb assembly as two cylinders “about 15 inches long, about 3 inches in diameter and connected to each other by 10 to 12 feet of wire. The bombs were filled with black powder, gunshot pellets and enough bullets to create a spray of shrapnel if exploded.”

Deputy Fire Marshal Darin Niederhaus told the media that “there is no evidence that the man was a terrorist,” adding that “the ingredients for the two bombs that were detonated are not difficult to find, but can be tricky to manipulate.” According to Niederhaus: “The purpose of this was to create as much havoc as possible, so that innocent bystanders are hurt.” “We were lucky.”

According to reports made public by the local police, the man arrived in Arlington, Texas about a month ago and obtained a job at a local business.. Most interestingly, however, the vehicle he was driving had Louisiana license plates, but the man had driver’s licenses from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Vatican may have found Pope John Paul's "miracle"

The Vatican may have found the "miracle" they need to put the late Pope John Paul one step closer to sainthood -- the medically inexplicable healing of a French nun with the same Parkinson's disease that afflicted him.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Catholic Church official in charge of promoting the cause to declare the late Pope a saint of the Church, told Reuters on Monday that an investigation into the healing had cleared an initial probe by doctors.

Oder said the "relatively young" nun, whom he said he could not identify for now, was inexplicably cured of Parkinson's after praying to John Paul after his death last April 2.
"I was moved," Oder said in a telephone interview. "To think that this was the same illness that destroyed the Holy Father and it also kept this poor nun from carrying out her work."

John Paul suffered from Parkinson's Disease during the last decade of his life. His body trembled violently and he could not pronounce his words or control his facial muscles. "To me, this is another sign of God's creativity," he said, adding that the nun worked with children. He said Church investigators would now start a more formal and detailed probe of the suspected miracle cure.

The process that could lead to sainthood for John Paul began in May when Rome archdiocese published an edict asking Catholics to come forward with evidence "in favor or against" John Paul's reputation of holiness.

One proven miracle is required after John Paul's death for the cause to lead to beatification.
It must be the result of prayers asking the dead Pope to intercede with God. Miracles are usually a physical healing that doctors are at a loss to explain.

Another miracle would be necessary between beatification and eventual sainthood.

Reuters

A Few Conditions

Los Angeles's top talkradio station is under fire from a Muslim group because of comments made earlier this month by morning man Bill Handel. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has demanded an apology from Handel for making fun of a stampede that killed hundreds of Muslims during an annual pilgrimage.

Handel will apologize IF the Council on American-Islamic Relations:
1) Decries all acts of terror (described specifically, not generally)
2) Agrees that Israel is a sovereign nation with the right to defensible borders
3) CAIR has no ties of any sort, financially or otherwise, to any terror orgs or individiuals.

MANAGEMENT STATEMENT: KFI-AM does not condone making light of the deaths of people engaged in religious observances. We regret that listeners found the comments of one of our on-air hosts to be insensitive. KFI does not censor its hosts, nor does it tell them what to say or not to say. KFI is a strong and passionate believer in 1st amendment rights and that is at the very core of this radio station.

EU states warned to accept same-sex marriage

Catholic World News
http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=41919

Strasburg, Jan. 20 (CWNews.com) - The justice minister of the European Union, Franco Frattini, announced this week at the EU parliament in Strasburg that member states which do not eliminate all forms of discrimination against homosexuals, including the refusal to approve “marriage” and unions between same-sex couples, would be subject to sanctions and eventual expulsion from the EU.

According to a report by the Archdioceses of Madrid’s news service Analisis Digital, the commissioner’s statements came as the governments of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland ruled against legalizing homosexual “marriage.”

“Homophobia is a violation of human rights and we are watching member states on this issue and reporting on cases in which our efforts have been unsuccessful,” Fratti said. In this way “the Commission and the European Parliament seek to make any refusal to grant homosexual couples the same rights as a married couple a crime of ‘homophobia’,” the report warned.

Frattini-- who was elected EU commissioner after the EU parliament rejected the nomination of the Catholic intellectual Rocco Buttiglione because of his opposition to homosexual unions-- has proposed “designating 2007 as the year of Equal Opportunity. The objectives would be to inform the public about their rights, promote diversity and, as a value of the Union, make this goal a priority.”

Some EU parliamentarians demanded specific sanctions against states that do not follow the anti-discrimination law and refuse to call homosexual unions “marriage,” for example. Michael Cashman, President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, proposed expulsion from of the EU of those countries that “do not adhere to anti-discrimination legislation.”

“If we do nothing we are accomplices in the crimes of violence that we see occurring in many member states,” said Cashman, who is also vice president of the organization Gay & Lesbian Humanists. The organization’s website says it is at war with “Catholic-inspired homophobia.”
Nevertheless, reports Analisis Digital, these proposals have been contested by Polish EU representative Jan Tadeusz Masiel, who called the adoption of children by homosexual couples “repulsive” and “shocking.” Likewise, her fellow Polish EU representative, Barbara Kurdycka, said the EU Parliament had no business telling people what they should think about homosexuality.

Help Needed in PA

Dear Friend of Life,

I am writing to you on behalf of Fr Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. We need volunteers in Pennsylvania to show the reality of abortion during this election year. As Fr Frank says, "America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion." This is the main idea of the gallery of images on the Priests for Life website at www.priestsforlife.org/images

Fr. Frank has teamed up with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) to bring the "Reproductive Choice Campaign" to Pennsylvania from February until November. Information about this campaign is found on the CBR website, which also contains graphic images of abortion: www.abortionno.org

Fr. Frank is in need of your volunteer help to make this project a reality!

#1 Primary need: Drivers Would you consider taking on a 3-6 month "Truth Truck" driving tour across Pennsylvania? How about doing a driving tour in your local area for a few days? Long term or short term, CBR needs volunteers to drive their"Truth Trucks" across Pennsylvania. You don't need a special driver's license. CBR will provide training and insurance.
#2:Also needed: Housing for drivers
Do you have an extra bedroom or vacant apartment? CBR is looking for people who are willing to host volunteer drivers in their home for a few days or a weekend.

If you are interested in the possibility of driving a "Truth Truck" or hosting any volunteer driver(s) in your home, please email me at: john@priestsforlife.org

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Life.
Sincerely,John Fagundes
Priests for Life Outreach Associate
888-735-3448 ext 297

PUBLIC FAVORS ATTACK ON IRAN

According to the LA Times the public is in favor of attacking Iran if their nuke program continues. 57 percent of people would support action.

LA Times

What do you think?

Pharmacist Fired

A Target pharmacist has lost her job for refusing to dispense or refer for the abortifacient morning-after pill.

“For me, life begins with two cells,” said Heather Williams, explaining that the so-called emergency contraception pill, Plan B by Barr Pharmaceuticals, often prevents implantation of a newly formed human embryo within the uterine wall – which, of course, constitutes abortion. The same mechanism is responsible for the sometimes abortifacient effect of the regular birth-control-pill.

According to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report, Williams has refused to dispense or refer for the abortifacient for the past five years while working as a part-time Target pharmacy employee. She argues that to refer patients to a dispensary where they can find them is equally immoral. “I just can’t be a link in the chain at all,” Williams said.

Williams, who is a mother of three, lost her job over the issue as of January 1. She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of Missouri. She says, however, that the blame for her dismissal belongs to Planned Parenthood, not the Target store. Planned Parenthood has spearheaded efforts across the US to mandate that pharmacists co-operate in chemical abortion.

Lifesite

Related Story

My attempt to help Nancy Pelosi

At the National Press Club yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi commented on President Bush’s upcoming State of the Union address. In doing so, she touched on the subject of values and religion.

Referring to Democrats, she said that the “best way…for us to speak to people of faith is in terms of the work we do; in terms of the budget, for example. The budget is a document that’s supposed to be a statement of our national values.”

By “people of faith,” Pelosi meant people like the 114 protesters who were arrested last month for blocking the entrance to the Capitol. “We had the people of faith working against this budget. They had events in the Capitol, they were arrested on the steps of the Cannon Building….”

Nancy, please read this carefully. It will really help you. The public policy issues that motivate ‘people of faith’ are things like abortion, same-sex marriage, assisted suicide, drugs, etc. Not the federal budget. Don't call people of faith who are pro-life ‘anti-choice.’ It's degrading to us.

In 2004 after John Kerry lost the election you said, ‘As a devout Catholic, I observe with great regret the intervention of some Catholic bishops who joined evangelical leaders in the political arena.’ Well Nancy, there was much more then just Catholic Bishops who adhered to the pro-life teaching of the Catholic Church. I

I, as a devout Catholic, do not wish for you to represent me or people of faith until you can define what that means. We will not be mocked, degraded or considered a threat to democracy. People of Faith are Americans who hold firm to the Word of God, the teachings of his church and don't make decisions based upon the latest opinion polls. If you and the rest of the Democratic party embrace this reality, it may serve to slow the rapid departure of ‘people of faith’ from your cause.

The Rev. Brendan Malloy Dies

The Rev. Brendan Malloy, the Capuchin-Franciscan friar who as three-term minister provincial steered the order through a period of significant transition, died Sunday from cancer. He was 77.

Father Malloy's passions came in many forms, the first being a strong devotion to God, but a close second was his devotion to all things baseball, and most notably, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Father Malloy joined the seminary at 14. His parents, Irish immigrants with strong ties to the Catholic Church, were proud of his early decision.

It was Father Malloy's determined spirit which led him through some of the church's most contentious times. In 1971, he was elected minister provincial of the St. Augustine Province of Capuchin-Franciscan Friars, with headquarters in Lawrenceville.

Father Malloy is survived by his brother and one sister, Mary Theresa.

Ed finds Money under the Sofa Cushions

On a day his Pennsylvania Transportation and Reform Commission was in Pittsburgh looking for ways to raise money, Gov. Ed Rendell announced he has found an extra $130 million for roads and bridges.

Wait. He FOUND $130 million dollars??? Was it in his pocket and went through the wash? Was it in the change compartment of his car? Did it fall behind some desk in Harrisburg. I've found a few bucks in my time but never $130 million of them!

Where did he find $130 million?

He said $64 million is from a surplus accumulated over a decade in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's "tort fund," used to pay legal claims. The balance is from savings and below-budget spending in a number of categories, a result of "good PennDOT management," he said.

The extra money, along with more funding from new federal transportation legislation, will raise overall PennDOT spending to $4.8 billion in the upcoming budget year.

We should be able to paved the streets with gold for 4.8 billion.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Prove Jesus Exsisted

An Italian judge heard arguments Friday on whether a small-town parish priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed.

The priest's atheist accuser, Luigi Cascioli, says the Roman Catholic Church has been deceiving people for 2,000 years with a fable that Christ existed, and that the Rev. Enrico Righi violated two Italian laws by reasserting the claim.

Lawyers for Righi and Cascioli, old schoolmates, made their arguments in a brief, closed-door hearing before Judge Gaetano Mautone in Viterbo, north of Rome. They said they expected the judge to decide quickly.

Cascioli filed a criminal complaint in 2002 after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus did indeed exist, and that he was born of a couple named Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth.

NewsMax.com

Iran: We'll Put Israel in 'Eternal Coma'

Iran's defense minister is threatening to put Israel in an "eternal coma" if the Jewish state tries to launch a preemptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

In a televised interview Tuesday night, Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar declared: "Israel does not have the courage to attack Iran, and if it commits such a big mistake, the defenders of Islamic Iran will put Israel in an eternal coma like [Ariel] Sharon."

NewsMax.com

Attention Bloggers: Don't be Stupid

The judge had chastised nine students caught drinking at a Troy high school prom last spring. That would be the end of it, he figured.

It was, until Judge Michael Martone stumbled across a Web site weeks after the students had been sentenced to probation. Leering back at him from his computer screen were some of the same students from Troy Athens High School, now in college.

On the site, they were giving him the finger. They were toasting him with cups of beer and chugging shots of Jagermeister liqueur. They were posing with beer cans stacked almost to the ceiling, and retching into toilets at Michigan State University.

The Web site's headline said: "F U Martone. ... Night after court/ Hahaaa." The girls -- two of whom were honor students -- were from a top high school known for its drinking-prevention programs and where Martone had addressed the student body just days before the prom.

The Web site, shown to police and probation officers, immediately became legal evidence for charging the three young women with contempt of court "for disobeying my direct order not to consume alcohol," Martone said. The students were brought before Martone again. He lugged the evidence into court, inside his laptop.

He sentenced the Web-site creator to 30 days in the Oakland County Jail. She was marched off in handcuffs, to spend Christmas and New Year's Day behind bars. The second girl was sentenced to 15 days. The two become cellmates. Last week, the last of the friends, appeared before Martone to face a new sentence.

Detroit Free Press

More March for Life Pics

My thanks to Michael O'Connor for sending his pics from DC.

Here is the link to the pictures he took at the 2006 Marchfor Life http://photos.mikeoconnor.net/thumbnails.php?album=48

Iraq Official: Saddam Moved WMD to Syria

The former number two official in Saddam Hussein's Iraqi air force claims the former Iraqi dictator moved weapons of mass destruction from Iraq to Syria in the months preceding the current Iraq war.

Georges Sada revealed the charges in an interview Wednesday with the New York Sun. They are detailed in his new book, "Saddam’s Secrets.”

"Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming," Sada told the Sun. "They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians.” The former Iraqi general said Special Republican Guard brigades loaded WMDs onto two converted Iraqi Airways planes.

He said he was told of the operation by two pilots that helped transport the materials. Sada says 56 flights were made, and were accompanied by a ground convoy of trucks carrying similar materials.

NewsMax.com

Book of Daniel CLOSED

Rack another one up for the AFA. NBC has closed the book on ‘Daniel.’

This show has received some support from Episcopalian clergy who believe that it demonstrates the humanity of church leaders and tolerance of the Episcopal church. The Episcopal Diocese of Washington has launched “The Blog of Daniel” to encourage dialog among its parishioners about issues raised on the show.

In contrast, a spokesman for the evangelical organization Focus on the Family compared the show’s depiction of Jesus to a “namby-pamby frat boy,” saying that “Having previewed the pilot and an additional episode, I find NBC’s new television show, The Book of Daniel, extremely repulsive in its portrayal of Jesus Christ and intentionally offensive in its flippant attitude toward behaviors almost universally agreed upon as unhealthy to society.”

Some Catholics and others have taken exception to the depiction of Daniel’s Catholic counterpart, Father Frankie (Dan Hedaya). Fr. Frankie is an Italian priest who has connections to the mob. They see this as unhealthy stereotyping of both Italians and Catholics.

The New York Times has reported NBC is having difficulty selling advertising during the program, even after offering significant rate discounts, because of the controversial content.

Juicenews

Seton Hall prospects directed to 'hot girls'

Foreign students looking for help applying to Seton Hall University instead got an offer to talk to "hot, horny girls" thanks to a misprinted phone number in the Catholic university's admissions application.

Tens of thousands of undergraduate applications for the South Orange university list an 800 number for overseas students to call to get their high school transcripts approved. But the number is a recorded advertisement for a phone-sex line.

Embarrassed Seton Hall officials said it appears two digits in the phone number were swapped on the undergraduate application.

I predicted a sudden rash of foreign students at Seton Hall!

Episcopal Nominees Backed Gay Bishop

The Episcopal Church named four nominees to be its new leader Wednesday, three of whom approved the consecration of the denomination's first openly gay bishop.

The group includes Bishop J. Neil Alexander of Atlanta; Bishop Edwin F. Gulick Jr. of Louisville, Ky; and Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Las Vegas, all of whom approved V. Gene Robinson's consecration as bishop in New Hampshire in 2003.Schori is the first woman nominated to be the church's presiding bishop.The only nominee to vote against Robinson was Bishop Henry N. Parsley Jr. of Birmingham, Ala.

The new presiding bishop, who succeeds the retiring Frank Griswold, will be elected June 19 during the church's General Convention for a term extending to 2015.

Robinson's consecration later that year provoked ongoing protest from the denomination's conservative wing and among Anglicans internationally.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the international Anglican Communion and its presiding bishop is part of its body of 38 "primates." Anglican leaders and churches overseas, particularly in Africa, broke ties with the American church over Robinson's elevation and denounced Griswold for leading Robinson's consecration ceremony.

AP

Casey Backs Alito

Patriot News 1.25.06
Casey risks angering base, joins Rendell in backing Alito
By Brett Lieberman

WASHINGTON - Robert P. Casey Jr. might have turned the Democratic base against him when he announced yesterday that he supports confirming Judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After refusing to say whether he would support Alito, Casey's decision puts him at odds with abortion-rights advocates, a group whose support is seen as critical to his campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

"It's very disturbing and should worry, I think, Pennsylvania women and civil rights advocates and people concerned about unchecked executive power to wiretap and eavesdrop on Americans," said Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"It will make his job more difficult in the state of Pennsylvania as he tries to appeal to progressive voters, and it should make his job harder," she said.

Casey's decision demonstrates that women "cannot count on a Senator Casey to protect our liberties," said Michelman, a former head of Planned Parenthood of Harrisburg.

Casey's announcement came hours after Gov. Ed Rendell, an abortion-rights supporter and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said he thinks Alito ought to be confirmed.

Rendell's declaration provided Casey "cover," but is unlikely to soothe many Democrats' concerns about views that are frequently in sync with Santorum, political analyst Jennifer Duffy said.

"If you're a Democrat and you had your doubts about supporting Casey on the basis of ideology, this did not help," she said.

Casey's opposition to abortion rights has kept many traditional Democratic groups at arm's length.

"I believe a senator should consider and carefully weigh several factors, including the nominee's character, academic credentials, legal experience, judicial temperament, and judicial philosophy," Casey said in a statement that mirrored Rendell's remarks.
"I do not agree with everything that Judge Samuel Alito has done or said -- particularly many of his rulings which too often result in corporate power prevailing over the interests of consumers and workers," he said.

But, Casey said, "the arguments against Judge Alito do not rise to the level that would require a vote denying him a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court."

Republicans responded with glee and attacks on what Santorum's campaign called Casey's lack of leadership.

Rendell, whose wife Midge serves with Alito on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, said Alito's possible vote against abortion rights is not enough to disqualify him.

The Alito Game

Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., is a step closer to becoming Justice Alito now that the Judiciary Committee voted 10-8 to approve his nomination and send it to the floor for a final vote of the full Senate.

To say the party-line vote was a disappointment is an understatement. The hearings exposed a strain of viciousness and partisan bitterness. Over and over, committee Democrats tried to insinuate that the judge was a racist, a bigot and a crook. It got them nowhere. Even Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) expressed his frustration, telling The National Journal "we should not even have these hearings." Meanwhile, in The Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan said the hearings were not a defeat but a disaster for the Democrats.

Most Americans see Alito, she writes, and say "He's like me." The liberals' "snarly" attacks on Alito failed, Noonan writes, because the liberal monopoly of the media has been broken. A CNN-Gallup poll showed that more Americans favored Alito's confirmation after the hearings (54%) than before (49%). At the outset of the hearings committee Democrats hoped to paint Judge Alito as outside the mainstream, but the picture that Americans now see is that today's Democratic Party is outside the mainstream.

We commend Judge Alito--and especially Mrs. Alito--for their dignity and courage through this whole episode.

Democrats and Republicans Both Adept at Ignoring Facts

Thanks to Dan from Monongahela PA for this post:

Democrats and Republicans alike are adept at making decisions without letting the facts get in the way, a new study shows.

And they get quite a rush from ignoring information that's contrary to their point of view.
Researchers asked staunch party members from both sides to evaluate information that threatened their preferred candidate prior to the 2004 Presidential election. The subjects' brains were monitored while they pondered.

The full article is available at Live Science

Sheehan hails Venezuela's Chavez

Have pity on her, her son died they all said. I continued to say "She is Nuts" even if her son was killed. You make your own determination.

Anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, mother of a US soldier killed in
Iraq'joined more than 10,000 anti-globalization activists in Caracas, where she hailed Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez.

"I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling," said Sheehan.

Sheehan was among more than 10,000 people from across the Americas who took to the streets of the Venezuelan capital Tuesday in an anti-war protest that launched the six-day Caracas World Social Forum (WSF).

Maybe Ms. Sheehan should look into moving there. A nice apartment overlooking a dictatorship would do her good.

AFP

Pope Warns About Loveless Sex

Pope Benedict XVI warned in his first encyclical Wednesday that sex without unconditional love risked turning men and women into merchandise.

In the 71-page document "God is Love," Benedict explored the relationship between the erotic love between man and woman, referred to by the term "eros," and the Greek word for the unconditional, self- giving love, "agape" (pronounced AH-gah-pay).

He said the two concepts are most unified in marriage between man and woman, in which a covetous love grows into the self-giving love of the other, as well as God's unconditional love for mankind.

He acknowledged that Christianity in the past has been criticized "as having been opposed to the body," _ the erotic form of love _ "and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed."

But he says the current way of exalting bodily love is deceptive. "Eros, reduced to pure 'sex' has become a commodity, a mere 'thing' to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself has become a commodity."

"Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere," he said.

Benedict explored the two aspects of love to then explain how the Roman Catholic Church's charitable activities are based on love and are a fundamental part of its mission. He said the church had no desire to govern states, but at the same time couldn't remain silent in political life because its charity is needed to ease suffering.

AP

March for Life Pics


On the 33rd anniversary of the Supreme Court's infamous Roe v. Wade decision, WORD FM listeners joined with people from across the country for the the 33rd annual March for Life in Washington D.C. on January, 23, 2006. Thousands of pro-life Americans rallied at the Mall and 7th Street and then Marched for Life along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court and Congress.




President Speaks at 30th Annual March for Life

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Nellie. I want to thank you very much for including me in the celebration of life. I want to thank the good folks there on the Mall today. I'm calling you from St. Louis, Missouri. I know there are some from Missouri there and, like many others, you've made great sacrifices to come to Washington today. A lot of you have ridden buses all night long and I know you're braving the cold. And I admire your perseverance and I admire your devotion to the cause of life.

You all are gathered today on the National Mall, which is not far from the monument to Thomas Jefferson who, as you all know, is author of our Declaration of Independence. And the March for Life upholds the self-evident truth of that Declaration -- that all are created equal, given the unalienable rights of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that principle of America needs defenders in every place and every generation.
In our time, respect for the right to life calls us to defend the sick and the dying, persons with disabilities and birth defects, and all who are weak and vulnerable. And this self-evident truth calls us to value and to protect the lives of innocent children waiting to be born. (Applause.)

You and I share a commitment to building a culture of life in America, and we're making progress. As the President, I have signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, opposed the destruction of embryos for stem cell research, and refused to spend taxpayer money on international programs that promote abortion overseas. (Applause.)

MS. GRAY: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: My administration is challenging the Oregon law that permits physician-assisted suicide. (Applause.)

MS. GRAY: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: We support abstinence education, and crisis pregnancy programs, and parental notification laws. We offer compassionate alternatives to abortion by promoting adoption and extending state health care coverage for unborn children.

My hope is that the United States Congress will pass a bill this year banning partial-birth abortion, which I will sign. (Applause.) Partial-birth abortion is an abhorrent procedure that offends human dignity. I also urge the Congress to ban all human cloning. We must not create life to destroy life. Human beings are not research material to be used in a cruel and reckless experiment. (Applause.) For 30 years, the March for Life has been sustained by constant prayer and abiding hope, that one day, every child will be born into a family that loves that child and a nation that protects that child. And when that day arrives, you will have the gratitude of millions -- especially those who know the gift of life because you cared and you kept faith. May God bless you all and may God continue to bless America.

MS. GRAY: Thank you, Mr. President.

West Poses As Jesus

Kanye West, with a crown of thorns atop his head, poses as Jesus Christ on the cover of the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone.

The outspoken rapper defends his brash attitude inside the magazine's pages, on newsstands Friday. He is also pictured posing as Muhammad Ali.

"In America, they want you to accomplish these great feats, to pull off these David Copperfield-type stunts," he says. "You want me to be great, but you don't ever want me to say I'm great?"

West also says his hit song "Gold Digger" was the best song last year and that it should have been nominated for the Grammy's best rap song category: "That's a gimme Grammy."

The strangest tangent of the Rolling Stone story, however, is when West says he's addicted to pornography. He remembers first seeing his father's Playboy magazine when he was 5 years old.
"Right then," West says, laughing, "it was like, `Houston, we have a problem.'"

Gee, ya think?????
AP

Back from DC

Well it was a bit cold and a little damp but it was great to see thousands of people from across the nation in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. I was really impressed at all the young groups. It's great to know you guys are out there. I want to thak Senator Rick Santorm for all his help and his consistant pro-life message.

I was blessed to meet Father Frank Pavone from Priests for Life along with Sen. Santourm. Rep. Mellissa Hart spoke to crowd as well as President Bush. We need to take message we heard yesterday and expect our elected officals to value life.

Getting Even for Christmas

Back before Christmas I wrote a piece about how dangerous it was to enter the parking lot of any major retail establishment at that time of the year. People who are normal 11 months out of the year go insane the two weeks before Christmas.

Feds indict Wecht

Another shining example of corruption in Pittsburgh:

A federal grand jury this morning handed up an 84-count indictment against Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, alleging he used his office as coroner to conduct private pathology business and used public employees to perform some of that work.

The indictment also accuses Dr. Wecht of falsely billing several private clients for such items as transportation to and from the Pittsburgh airport when he was, in fact, driven there by county employees.

The indictment accuses him of mail and wire fraud; theft of honest services; and theft from an organization that receives federal funds.

In a related indictment, George Hollis, a former chief histologist in the coroner's office, was also charged with four counts of theft from an organization receiving federal funds; willful failure to file taxes; and making false statements.

Pathologist and longtime Wecht associate Leon Rozin was charged in a separate and unrelated indictment with a count of mail fraud for filing what prosecutors said were false mileage reimbursements.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

CNN Hires 3 Conservatives

CNN has begun to implement more personalities into its lineup, with the hirings of three prominent conservative commentators as contributors.

On January 5, the weblog TVNewser reported that Bill Bennett had been hired by the network as a political analyst.

On January 17, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that CNN Headline News was hiring radio host Glenn Beck to host a new primetime show.

CNN also announced that former Republican congressman J.C. Watts was joining the network as a political analyst.

Why the sudden change? CNN has been in a fierce ratings competition with the FOX News Channel, which has steadily begun gaining market share against the network.

I say Ol' Chap, Is that a whale I spy?

A seven-ton whale has made its way up the Thames to central London.

The 16-18ftnorthern bottle-nosed whale, which is usually found in deep sea waters, has been seen as far upstream as Chelsea.

A rescue boat has been sent to protect the whale and rescuers have been trying to keep it away from the river banks.

Specialist equipment, including inflatable tubes to re-direct the animal downstream, are being sent.

BBC

Swann Flies

In a Wall Street Journal - John Zogby poll Lynn Swann is in a dead heat (43.6%) with Ed Rendell (43.9%) for the governorship, while the other Republican candidate trails the governor by 8 points.

Since he announced on January 4th Lynn has taken off. It all started with an announcement tour where huge crowds in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Lancaster met Lynn. Adding to the excitement was huge interest the media showed in Lynn Swann, totaling over 800 stories in just the first three days of his candidacy.

The Swann momentum continued when he was endorsed by the Republican Central Caucus by an overwhelming 77 to 32 vote. Adding to that impressive tally, Swann landed another victory this past weekend winning the Northwestern Caucus by a vote of 22 to 7.

The polls, the news stories, and the Caucus endorsements prove that Lynn Swann is a contender to beat Ed Rendell and demonstrate that Lynn is marching toward the Republican State Central Committee endorsement.

Wilson Pickett Dead at the age of 64

Click Photo to listen
Wilson Pickett, the soul pioneer best known for the fiery hits “Mustang Sally” and “In The Midnight Hour,” has died.
Pickett — known as the “Wicked Pickett” — became a star with his soulful hits in the 1960s. “In the Midnight Hour” made the top 25 on the Billboard pop charts in 1965 and “Mustang Sally” did the same the following year.
“A fellow Detroiter, Wilson Pickett was one of the greatest soul singers of all time,” Aretha Franklin said in a statement. “He will absolutely be missed. I am thankful that I got the chance to speak to him not too long ago.”
Pickett was defined by his raspy voice and passionate delivery. But the Alabama-born Pickett got his start singing gospel music in church. After moving to Detroit as a teen, he joined the group the Falcons, which scored the hit “I Found a Love” with Pickett on lead vocals in 1962.
He went solo a year later, and would soon find his greatest success. In 1965, he linked with legendary soul producer Jerry Wexler at the equally legendary soul label Stax Records in Memphis, and recorded one of his greatest hits, “In the Midnight Hour,” for Atlantic Records. A string of hits followed, including “634-5789,” “Funky Broadway” and “Mustang Sally.”
Besides his induction into the Hall of Fame in 1991, he was also given the Pioneer award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation two years later. He also cast a long shadow and served as a role model in “The Commitments” in 1991.
“If I wasn’t in show business I don’t know what I would have been — a wanderer or something, you know?” he said in a 2001 interview. “But God blessed me with the talent and the chance. I knocked on enough doors, and this is what I can give myself credit for.”

Running with Rick

PowerBlog! is honored to be teaming with U.S. Sen. Rick Sanoturm. We have been added to his blog roll and will bring you updates throughout the campaign.


Rick has been a champion for PA families, fighting for the Partial Birth Abortion ban and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

Rick is a compassionate leader working in the Senate to encourage our communities to reach out and help one another.

Rick has worked to provide students, parents, and teachers the tools for a high-quality education for children across Pennsylvania.

Rick has been a leader on Pennsylvanians' healthcare priorities, including giving individuals more control over their health care.

Rick is committed to lower taxes to strengthen the economy and allow workers to keep more of their hard-earned money.

He is also a pro-life Catholic who does not check his faith at the door. It is for these reson PowerBlog! is proud to be "Running with Rick".

Check out the "Running with Rick".blog here.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Here is a edited translation of Benedict XVI's address at today's general audience, held in Paul VI Hall, in which the Pope opened the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven" (Matthew 18:19). This solemn assurance of Jesus to his disciples sustains our prayer. Today begins the by-now traditional Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an important appointment to reflect on the tragedy of the division of the Christian community and to pray with Jesus himself "that they may all be one so that the world may believe" (John 17:21). We also do so here, in harmony with a great multitude in the world. The prayer "for the unity of all" involves, in different ways and times, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants, united by faith in Jesus Christ, only Lord and Savior.

The elements that, despite the lasting division, continue to unite Christians sustain the possibility to raise a common prayer to God. This communion in Christ sustains the whole ecumenical movement and indicates the objective of the search for the unity of all Christians in the Church of God. This distinguishes the ecumenical movement from any other initiative of dialogue or of relations with other religions and ideologies.

The Holy Father John Paul II, of happy memory, who did so much and suffered for the ecumenical question, taught us opportunely that "An appreciation of how much God has already given is the condition which disposes us to receive those gifts still indispensable for bringing to completion the ecumenical work of unity" ("Ut Unum Sint," No. 41). Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us continue to pray so as to be aware that the holy cause of the re-establishment of Christian unity exceeds our poor human efforts and that unity, finally, is a gift of God.

4 churches in Pittsburgh area form Ministry Network

The pastors of four congregations in western Pennsylvania have formed what they call the nation's first ministry network for mutual support, encouragement and joint ministry based on the documents of the New Wineskins Initiative.

The network also has prepared what it calls a "Ministry Network Development Strategy" that may serve as a blueprint for other congregations considering forming such a network, as well as a covenant that participating congregations sign.

All four churches are members of Pittsburgh Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The Rev. Dr. Richard G. Wolling, a spokesman for the network, said the churches that have entered into the "ministry covenant" are Beverly Heights United Presbyterian Church in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon Presbyterian Church in West Mifflin, Mt. Vernon Community Presbyterian Church in McKeesport and Round Hill Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth. Wolling is the senior pastor of Beverly Heights United Presbyterian Church. The newly-formed group, called the New Wineskins Ministry Network of the South Hills, already has sponsored a joint worship service and has organized the directors of the congregations' student ministries for planning future youth activities. Joint efforts in missions and worship also are scheduled.

Prayer Vigil Marks 33 Years of Roe v. Wade

STEUBENVILLE, OHIO—On the eve of the thirty-third anniversary of Roe v. Wade, an evening prayer vigil for victims of abortion will mark the start of two days of pro-life activities by Franciscan University of Steubenville students. The vigil will take place this Sunday evening, January 22, at 6:30 p.m., in Christ the King Chapel. In addition to prayers and singing, pro-life activist Liz Brown will speak about the trauma she experienced after having an abortion and about her involvement in building a culture of life. The service will conclude with a candlelight procession to the nearby Tomb of the Unborn Child, which contains the remains of seven aborted infants, who were given to the University for proper burial by pro-life workers. Students from various households on campus will place 33 roses on the grave, one for each year since Roe v. Wade. The public is invited to attend the service.Around midnight, nearly 500 students will board buses for the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. The next morning, they will attend Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, then join thousands of participants for the annual March for Life.

Victory on Parental Notice

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning handed down a 9-0 ruling in the vitally important case of Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood. In this case, Planned Parenthood challenged a New Hampshire law that required abortionists to give parents of minor girls at least 48 hours notice prior to doing an abortion.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in what will likely be her last opinion as a member of the Supreme Court, wrote for the unanimous court. "We hold that invalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified..." In this instance, the Court stepped back from a radical ruling that would be truly horrifying.

Planned Parenthood demanded unrestricted access to minors. They wanted to shut out parents entirely from a daughter's decision that cannot help but have profound physical or psychological consequences. Remember this: Planned Parenthood is the most radically anti-parent organization in the world. Fortunately, our Supreme Court stepped back from the abyss.

This is an important victory. It comes on the eve of the vote to confirm Judge Samuel Alito as Justice O'Connor's replacement. Just as important, I must point out what the Court in this case did not do. O'Connor specifically said: "We do not revisit our abortion precedents today." That is the unfinished business of a future Supreme Court. But for today, we rejoice in this victory, and we thank God for it.

Terri's Watch: Comatose Girl Responds to Stimuli

Doctors say new tests are needed on a severely beaten 11-year-old girl, who officials said was responding to medical stimuli and breathing on her own a day after Massachusetts' highest court ruled the state had the authority to remove her from life support.

Haleigh's stepfather, Jason Strickland, is charged with beating the girl and could face a murder charge if she dies. He has fought to keep her on life support but lost his appeal Tuesday in the Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts' highest court.

The court ruled that the social services department had the authority to remove the ventilator and feeding tube after doctors said the girl was in an irreversible vegetative state. Haleigh's doctors have said her brain stem is damaged and she would die within a few days without a feeding tube.

Associated Press

It's Almost Funny

Penguins for Sale

Penguins owner Mario Lemieux said yesterday that he and his partners have been approached by "a few groups" interested in purchasing the franchise and that he plans to begin negotiating with them.

Even if the team is sold, Mr. Lemieux said, the new owners will be bound by agreements he and his partners have struck. That includes a promise to remain in Pittsburgh if a coalition assembled by the Penguins is awarded the license to run a slots parlor Downtown.

Post-Gazette


For Sale:
Professional Hockey Team
Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Evgeni Malkin included
"Creative" financing available
Seller will include aging hockey arena
Could be upgraded to include slots parlor
Buyer must be willing to relocate if "Creative" financing is not approved
Call Mr. Lemieux for more details

Bin Laden offers Americans truce

In an audio tape broadcast on Aljazeera, Osama bin Laden has warned that al-Qaida was preparing an attack very soon, but also offered Americans a "long-term truce".

"The new operations of al-Qaida has not happened not because we could not penetrate the security measures. It is being prepared and you'll see it in your homeland very soon," the voice attributed to bin Laden said, apparently addressing Americans.

But the voice on the tape, which appeared to be aimed at the American public, also offered a truce: "We do not mind establishing a long-term truce between us and you."
The tape, broadcast on Thursday but dated to December last year, comes after a year of silence from the al-Qaida leader.

"This message is about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how to end those wars," it began.
"It was not my intention to talk to you about this, because those wars are definitely going our way.

"But what triggered my desire to talk to you is the continuous deliberate misinformation given by your President [George] Bush, when it comes to polls made in your home country which reveal that the majority of your people are willing to withdraw US forces from Iraq."

Aljazeera

Blog for Life

Family Research Council will host Blogs4Life, the first annual conference of pro-life bloggers, on January 23rd, 2006 in Washington D.C.

The meeting will feature noted syndicated columnist and NRO Blogger Kathryn Jean Lopez and is an excellent opportunity for individuals and organizations to network with pro-life bloggers and develop an understanding about how weblog technology can be strategically used to promote life and turn ideas into action.

For more information about this years conference see: Facts, Details, Directions and Schedule. And, please be sure to register.

Terrorisim.com

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a terrorist organization that was responsible for the murder of Israeli tourism minister Raba’am Zevi a few years ago, along with several other murders of Israeli civilians and at least four US citizens in terrorist attacks. The US State Department also has the PFLP on its terrorism watch list.

Because of this, doing business with the PFLP or lending them logistical support is illegal. The Patriot Act also has provisions for dealing with terrorists.

The servers and web hosting for the PFLP terrorist website are handled by a large American internet company, GoDaddy Software, out of Scottsdale, Arizona. According to GoDaddy’s own website, Go Daddy “is widely recognized for its success, having been ranked #8 on the 2004 Inc. 500 list of the nation's fastest-growing privately held companies; #20 on the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (growing 8,274 percent!); and having won the CNET Editor's Choice award in 2001, the Name Intelligence Largest Net Gain Award in 2002, 2003 and 2005; the Name Intelligence Users' Choice Award in 2005 as well as the #1 Best Overall Registrar in 2003. Go Daddy also won the Arizona Corporate Excellence Award for fastest growing privately-held company in 2003 and Most Innovative Large Company in 2004.”

GoDaddy, in other words, is an efficient well-run company.Most disturbingly, GoDaddy, like all internet companies, has the means to decipher, through a search engine and client list, whether any of its clients are terrorist organizations. If any company typed in PFLP, Hamas or Al Qaeda, something will definitely pop up that demands scrutiny.

Here is the key: if Homeland Security would fine these companies big bucks for not doing these checks, these companies would do these checks. In this case, the registrant’s name is right there for anyone to read: and it is the official name of the registrant for the website www.pflp.net. It reads Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine! The website is one hundred pages deep with lots of useful information and news items for terrorists. The site even has sections praising Al Qaeda and shows that the PFLP is part of the same hydra’s head on international terrorism.

Oh Snap! The Bird Chirped.

London -- "Hiya, Gary!" the parrot trilled flirtatiously whenever Chris Taylor's girlfriend answered her cell phone.

But Taylor, the owner of the parrot, did not know anyone named Gary. And his girlfriend, Suzy Collins, who had moved into his apartment a year earlier, swore that she didn't, either. She stuck to her story even after the parrot, Ziggy, began making lovey-dovey, smooching noises when it heard the name Gary on television.

And so it went until the fateful day just before Christmas when, as Taylor and Collins snuggled together on the sofa, Ziggy blurted out, "I love you, Gary," his voice a dead ringer for Collins'.
"It sent a chill down my spine," Taylor, a 30-year-old computer programmer from Leeds, told British reporters on Monday. "I started laughing, but when I looked at Suzy I could tell something was up. Her face was like beet root, and she started to cry."

Gary, it turned out, was Collins' former colleague and current secret lover. And not only had Collins, a 25-year-old call-center worker, been cheating on Taylor, but she had been doing it in front of the bird.

"It makes my stomach churn to think about what he might have seen or heard them doing," Taylor said of Ziggy, as reported in the Daily Telegraph and other newspapers.

New York Times

Love should not be confused with lust

Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, expected in the next few days, warns believers not to confuse love with lust or degrade it "to mere sex".

The encyclical, a papal letter to bishops that sets out Roman Catholic policy, discusses the relationship between "eros", or erotic love, and "agape", a Greek word referring to unconditional, spiritual and selfless love.

"It is not totally negative on eros," a Vatican source said. "It argues that eros under the right circumstances is OK."

But the Pope issues a warning in the document, entitled Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), that eros risks being "degraded to mere sex" if it is not balanced with spiritual or divine love founded on the teachings of Jesus.

News Telegraph

Supreme Court Affirms N.H. Abortion Law

The Supreme Court steered clear of a major ruling on abortion Wednesday, instead giving New Hampshire a chance to save its parental notification law.

Justices, in a rare unanimous abortion ruling, agreed that the New Hampshire law could make it too hard for some ill minors to get an abortion, but at the same time they were hesitant about stepping in to fix the 2003 statute. They told a lower court to reconsider whether the entire law is unconstitutional.

AP

Racist Man Sentenced To Attend Black Church

CINCINNATI -- A judge has sentenced a suburban Cincinnati man to attend services for six weeks at a black church for threatening to punch a black cab driver and using racial slurs.
Judge William Mallory Jr. told 36-year-old Brett Haines, "It seems readily apparent to me that you don't like black people. That's OK with me. But you have to understand that you are at the whim and authority of a black judge."

Mallory let Haines choose between attending the black church for six Sundays or spending 30 days in jail. Haines said he'd try the church, although he doesn't usually worship on Sunday.
Mallory offered Haines the choice Friday after Haines was convicted of disorderly conduct. He was arrested in November after threatening cab driver David Wilson and Wilson's wife.

AP

Mayor Nagin is Insane

I had to think very carefully before I posted this. I did not want to over react or pull something out of context. I'm no mental health expert but I would suggest that someone who is, make an appointment with the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin.

Mayor Ray Nagin suggested that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other storms were a sign that "God is mad at America" and at black communities, too, for tearing themselves apart with violence and political infighting. Has he been watching re-runs of the 700 club?

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country," Nagin said as he and other city leaders marked Martin Luther King Day.

"Surely he doesn't approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We're not taking care of ourselves."

Let's not try to guess if God is mad at America. We are the most blessed nation in history. Hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, tsunami's and other disasters happen. They will happen if we are at not war or not.

Nagin also promised that New Orleans will be a "chocolate" city again. What? Can you imagine if a white Mayor said a city would be "Vanilla"? This was a storm Mr. Mayor, not an indictment of race.

"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans _ the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."

Bad English aside, the Mayor does not have the right to dictate who does and does not choose to live in the city. That sir is racism.

Nagin described an imaginary conversation with King, the late civil rights leader.
"I said, `What is it going to take for us to move on and live your dream and make it a reality?' He said, `I don't think that we need to pay attention any more as much about other folks and racists on the other side.' He said, `The thing we need to focus on as a community _ black folks I'm talking about _ is ourselves.'"

Nagin said he also asked: "Why is black-on-black crime such an issue? Why do our young men hate each other so much that they look their brother in the face and they will take a gun and kill him in cold blood?"

Now I can go with him on that one. The problem is we now have a whole generation of kids who have kids. People who don't know what it means to work hard and earn something. People who never had parent who taught them right from wrong. The government has handed them what others have earned in the form of food stamps, housing and "cash assistance". Why are we so surprised when they go out and take what they want? I'm not just talking blacks either. This is not exclusive to any one race.

The reply, Nagin said, was: "We as a people need to fix ourselves first." Nagin also said King would have been dismayed with black leaders who are "most of the time tearing each other down publicly for the delight of many."

You mean like a Mayor who makes irresponsible comments about American racism and social injustice?

Did I miss something?

Can you find the "oops"?

20/20 STORY EXPOSES PUBLIC SCHOOL NIGHTMARE

I hope you saw this. It's high time we demand change in our public education system and stop letting our children be used to put money in the pockets of unions that fail to produce results!

From the story: Jay Greene, author of "Education Myths," points out that "If money were the solution, the problem would already be solved … We've doubled per pupil spending, adjusting for inflation, over the last 30 years, and yet schools aren't better." He's absolutely right. National graduation rates and achievement scores are flat, while spending on education has increased more than 100 percent since 1971. More money hasn't helped American kids.

ABC News

Here We Go

Three Women ordained as "Roman Catholic priests"

Three of the nine women to be ordained as Roman Catholic priests and deacons lay on the floor during a ceremony on a boat in international waters on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Gananoque, Ontario. Nine North American Catholic women were ordained priests or deacons in what will amount to a test of Pope Benedict's determination to enforce the Vatican's ban on women's ordination.

According to a poll cited in Newsweek (April 1, 2002), 64% of Catholics in the United States support the ordination of women, despite a definitive ruling from the Church to the contrary. From this poll it is apparent that Catholics are: (1) abysmally ignorant of their Faith and/or (2) in open rebellion.

Concerning a male-only priesthood, the Church declared in 1976 that "the fact of conferring priestly ordination only on men, it is a question of an unbroken tradition throughout the history of the Church, universal in the East and in the West, and alert to repress abuses immediately. This norm, based on Christ's example, has been and is still observed because it is considered to conform to God's plan for his Church" The Catholic Church has never felt that priestly or episcopal ordination can be validly conferred on women. A few heretical sects in the first centuries, especially Gnostic ones, entrusted the exercise of the priestly ministry to women: this innovation was immediately noted and condemned by the Fathers, who considered it as unacceptable in the Church.

Those clamoring for women’s ordination not only err regarding Church doctrine, they also fail to understand that ordination is a gift, not a right. The 1976 Vatican document is clear: "The priesthood is not conferred for the honor or advantage of the recipient, but for the service of God and the Church; it is the object of a specific and totally gratuitous vocation: "You did not choose me, no, I chose you, and I commissioned you. . . " (Jn 15:16; cf. Heb 5:4)."

Religious Groups Must Pay for Contraceptives

A New York law passed in 2002 requires employers' insurance plans to cover prescription contraceptives. "Religious employers" are exempt—but it's the law's definition of a religious employer that's the trouble. The only groups that qualify under the "Women's Health and Wellness Act" are those where "(1) the inculcation of religious values is the purpose of the entity; (2) the entity primarily employs persons who share the religious tenets of the entity; (3) the entity serves primarily persons who share the religious tenets of the entity."

In other words, if you're a church, you're fine. If you're a parachurch ministry, you almost certainly don't qualify. It's not terribly surprising, then, that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (qualifies), which runs Catholic Charities (doesn't qualify), fought the law and sued over it when it was implemented. Perhaps more surprising is that the Catholics were joined by Baptist churches that don't oppose artificial contraception. They're concerned that the law lays the groundwork for requiring religious organizations to pay for abortion.

Appeals court says "health coverage" beats free exercise of religion

Qaddafi Urges Suicide Bombings

You remember Qaddafi from the 1980's. Well just like Duran Duran, he is back.

Libyan leader Mu'ammar Qaddafi is urging his people to become suicide bombers as the best defense against an attack on his country by the U.S. or any other major power.
In a rambling New Years Day address recently translated by the Middle Eastern Media Research Institute, the Libyan strongman told his people:

"We don't need missiles, airplanes, tanks, or cannon in order to fight in Palestine or Iraq . . . If the enemy is a superpower like NATO, America, Russia or China, which occupies Libya, I will not fight it with tanks, missiles or cannons. I will fight it with explosives belts, car bombs and Kalashnikovs."

"If every Libyan is booby-trapped, every car is booby-trapped, every house is booby-trapped and every road is booby-trapped - the enemy will not be able to survive. The enemy will be unable to use their nuclear bombs, their airplane carriers or their inter-continental missiles. They will not be able to use them against people who booby-trap themselves, and fight the enemy."

Now there's a plan. Blow yourself up to deny victory to your enemy.

Moments later, however, the erratic dictator called himself "a liberal" and insisted that he agreed with the U.S. on ridding the world of terrorism.

Is there something in the water over there that make people wacky or what?

NewsMax.com

Iran launches "Oil War"

Iran stepped up its defiance of international pressure over its nuclear program by warning of soaring oil prices if it is subjected to economic sanctions. As diplomats from the US, Europe, Russia, and China prepared to meet in London to discuss referring Tehran to the UN security council, Iran's economy minister, Davoud Danesh-Jafari, said the country's position as the world's fourth-largest oil producer meant such action would have grave consequences.

In a provocative move, Iran also announced plans to convene a "scientific" conference to examine the evidence supporting the Holocaust. The news comes weeks after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad provoked a global outcry by describing the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazis in the second world war as a "myth".

And the nutball dictator of the year award goes to ..........


Who's Practicing McCarthyism Now?

I have to give three cheers to Pat for this one! This only part of the article. I suggest you follow the link at the end and read the entire piece.

by Patrick J. Buchanan

Why are the Democrats disgracing themselves and disgusting decent people with such tactics? Why are they desperate to kill the nomination of Sam Alito? The answer, in a word, is abortion. By the end of the third day of hearings, analysts had toted up the questions. The subject that had been brought up in more questions than any other was abortion. Why? Because, as Sen. Chuck Schumer fears, Judge Alito may just vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Why has the Democratic Party become a party of fanatics on abortion? Because the feminists of NARAL and NOW regard abortion as a sacrament and will cut dead any Democrat who fails to protect a woman's "right to choose" to kill her unborn baby.

Which brings us to the unspoken issue here. Judge Alito is Catholic. If confirmed, he will join three other Catholics on the bench: Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who have already voted to overturn Roe. On the Senate Judiciary Committee sit four Catholic Democrats: Leahy, Kennedy, Biden and Durbin. All have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records. All have attacked Alito out of fear he may overturn Roe.

Query: Why is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops so deathly silent in this war of Catholics to decide if abortion on demand is to remain the law of the land forever in God's Country? Where are the Catholic echoes of John Paul II's condemnations of the Culture of Death? Where is Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, who was designated to address the moral obligations of Catholic politicians? When John Kerry ran as the Democratic nominee, McCarrick's task force refused to tell priests to deny him Communion. Suddenly, pro-abortion Kerry was seen at the altar rail and won half the Catholic vote.

Sixty-six years ago, Bishop Clemens von Galen took to the pulpit of Munster Cathedral to damn Hitler's regime at the peak of its power for "plain murder" in its euthanasia program and to direct Catholics to "withdraw ourselves and our faithful from their (Nazi) influence so that we may not be contaminated by their ... ungodly behavior."

What is asked of you, Cardinal McCarrick, and your fellow bishops is less heroic. Just issue a statement before the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, 2006, declaring: "We pray to God that Roe v. Wade is overturned. We commend all Catholics and fellow citizens working toward that goal. We condemn any Catholic politician who would deny a seat on the Supreme Court to a fellow Catholic -- on the grounds that he might vote to overturn this abomination."

That too much to ask, Your Eminence? As Dante said, there is a special place in hell for those who, in times of moral crisis, fail to take a stand. By the way, Dante put a lot of bishops in there.

HUMAN EVENTS

The War in Iran

By now you have probably heard that Iran has threatened to block inspections of its nuclear sites if confronted by the U.N. Security Council over its atomic activities. The hard-line president reaffirmed his country's intention to produce nuclear energy.

The move came a day after France, Britain and Germany - backed by the United States - said that nuclear talks with Iran had reached a dead end after more than two years of fruitless negotiations. In a final attempt to reason most coutries are pushing for the issue to be referred to the Security Council.

Iran has a problem. Democracy and freedom is taking root in Iraq and that threatens those who rule Iran. They don't care for the idea of freedom being in the neighborhood.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said a "strong message" had to be sent to Tehran but said she was not ready to talk about what action should be taken to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions.

I doubt that you anyone will be able to reason with Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed talk of possible sanctions and said Iran will "continue the path of production of the nuclear energy."

"Iranian people do not allow foreigners to block their progress," state-run radio quoted him as saying.

I have often referred readers back to the "axix of evil" speech given by President Bush in 2002.

The President said, "Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom."

He also stated, "States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic. "

Iran was one of three countries on the list of terrorist states that must be confronted. As the U.S. begins to pull out of Iraq we must, as a nation, prepare to support military efforts in Iran. This is the logical continuation of the war on terror and needed to insure freedom and long term peace in the region.

Roadtrip! Join Powerball in Washington DC

I did this last year and we had such a great time (for a great cause) we are doing it again. This year YOU are invited.

Be part of this year's annual pro-life march in our nation's capital with me and other WORD·FM listeners by reserving your seat on the 101.5 WORD·FM LIFEbus. Sen. Rick Santourm is the Honorary WORD·FM LIFEbus Chairman and there will be a special message from him for the folks on our bus.

We'll leave early and return late on January 23. Be sure to dress for the weather as we will be outdoors most of the day. I'll be your guide in Washington, D.C., as we take part in the March between the White House and the Washington Monument, and then on to the Supreme Court. We'll hear encouragement from speakers and pro-life legislators, and join together in prayer that the tragic Roe vs. Wade verdict be overturned. Time permiting, we will attend a special reception hosted by Sen. Rick Santourm.

There are a limited number of seats so Call 1-800-891-4414 to reserve your seat today. It's only $14 per person. Cost does not include lunch, subway fare, and other personal expenses. the Bus will leave and return from Parkway Center Mall, in Green Tree.

Take a day and join me in Washington DC. I hope to see you you on the bus. Call 1-800-891-4414 to reserve your seat!

Wendy's Facing Tomato Shortage

Tomatoes are available by request only at Wendy's restaurants, a short-term policy that began in late December because of crop damage from hurricanes in Florida.

Hurricanes made 2005 one of the worst years in recent memory for agriculture in Florida, which supplies more than half of the nation's fresh vegetables between November and February.

"We use larger size tomatoes in sandwiches and haven't been able to secure them with the quality and quantity that we would like," said Bob Bertini, a spokesman for Wendy's International Inc. Signs posted in the restaurants advise customers of the shortage.

No word on a ketchup shortage yet!

NewsMax.com

Ted Kennedy's Club Discriminated

When Ted Kennedy tried to chastise Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito for his one-time membership in a group opposed to admitting more woman and minorities to Princeton, the pot was calling the kettle black:

Sen. Kennedy still belongs to a social club for Harvard students and alumni that was thrown off campus nearly 20 years ago after refusing to allow female members, an investigation by the Washington Times reveals.

According to the membership directory of the Owl Club, Kennedy updated his personal information as recently as September 7. Ironically, the Owl Club, long reviled at Harvard as "sexist,” was evicted from the campus in 1984 for violating federal anti-discrimination laws authored by Kennedy.

NewsMax.com

We're Back

Thanks to all of you you sent tips on how to bring this blog back to life. Things are pretty much back to normal. There are a few minor quirks I'm working on but it's good to be up and running again.

My thanks to all who offered help. PowerBlog! is back.

Crying Blog Tears

For some reason my Blog has crashed. Many links are gone and the whole thing is a mess. I will do my best to rebuild and I beg your patience in the process.

Jesus Accused of Being a Pothead

What are they smoking at High Times magazine? An article in the drug-culture publication, supposedly based on a study of "scriptural texts,” claims that Jesus was a pothead!

The anointing oil used by Jesus and his disciples contained an ingredient called kaneh-bosem, which has been identified as cannabis extract, according to the article.

"Although most modern people choose to smoke or eat pot, when its active ingredients are transferred into an oil-based carrier, it can be absorbed through the skin,” the article states.

The incense used by Jesus in ceremonies also contained an extract of the marijuana plant, says the story’s author, Chris Bennett.

NewsMax.com

Catholic Bishop: 'I Was Abused by Priest'

A Roman Catholic bishop has become the first in the U.S. to disclose that he was sexually abused by a priest.

Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit said the abuse occurred 60 years ago when he was in the ninth grade at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and spent weekends with a priest and another boy in a cabin.

He said he was "exploited as a teenager through inappropriate touching by a priest.”
The revelation came as Bishop Gumbleton, 75, called for state legislatures to temporarily remove time limits that have prevented many victims of sexual abuse from suing the church, the Washington Post reports.

NewsMax.com

Cancel the Theme Park

Israel will not do business with Pat Robertson after the evangelical leader suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke was divine punishment for the Gaza withdrawal, a tourism official said Wednesday.

Robertson is leading a group of evangelicals who have pledged to raise $50 million to build a large Christian tourism center in Israel's northern Galilee region, where tradition says Jesus lived and taught.

But Avi Hartuv, a spokesman for Tourism Minister Avraham Hirschson, said Israeli officials were furious with Robertson, a Christian broadcaster. A day after Sharon's Jan. 4 stroke, Robertson said the prime minister was being punished for "dividing God's land," - a reference to last summer's pullout from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.

There already is a theme park with "Goofy". Sorry Pat.

NewsMax.com