Terri's Watch: One Year Ago

Terri Schindler Schiavo December 3, 1963 - March 31, 2005

David Lee Roth - Welcome to Radio

Characterizing this morning's show as a "new format," DAVID LEE ROTH - claiming that he had been suspended for the last two days -- returned to the air this morning attempting to adhere to a new set of programming rules, while simultaneously criticizing them.

ROTH bemoaned the change, saying that the first version of ROTH RADIO had been up and running for about 90 days, and was just starting to gel, but now he would have to try to obey the corporate edicts instituted by "individuals in their late 50s who no longer have a connection to what's happening in the neighborhood."

ROTH shared a memo on-air from CBS NEW YORK programming honcho MARK CHERNOFF. Paraphrasing the key points, CHERNOFF says that DIAMOND DAVE needs to work on:

More Topical Interviews
Interview guests regarding subjects that are important to listeners, as opposed to sharing personal stories.
Shorter Bumpers
Bumper music runs too long... over a minute, and sometimes over two minutes.
Cut Back on the Use of Loops. D
on't use the same music under your breaks all the time.
Promote What's Coming Up - There's no promotion of upcoming elements.
Little Evidence of Prep - Improvement needed in this area.

The tone of CHERNOFF's email makes it clear that this isn't the first time he's discussed these matters with ROTH, and it threatens disciplinary action unless they are addressed. Obviously, the problems between ROTH and CBS RADIO run deep, as it is highly unusual for a new morning personality to be suspended - or to need a day off due to late night activities in MIAMI, depending on which story you believe -- on the first day of the SPRING book.

On ROTH's PHILADELPHIA affiliate, CBS RADIO's WYSP (94.1 FREE-FM), the BARSKY midday show took a potshot at ROTH, as BARSKY signed on by saying, "Is anybody listening?" Sidekick VINNE THE CRUMB chimed in: "Open the window and scream 'It's ten o'clock' so people know they can listen now.'"

Iran Test-Fires Radar-Proof Missile

Iran on Friday successfully test-fired a missile that can avoid radar and hit several targets simultaneously, the airforce chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards said.

"Today, a remarkable goal of the Islamic Republic of Iran's defence forces was realized with the successful test-firing of a new missile with greater technical and tactical capabilities than those previously produced," Gen. Hossein Salami said on state-run television.

Salami said the Iranian-made missile, which he did not name, was test-fired as large military maneuvers began in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian sea.


Mass. Court: Gays Can't Go There to Marry

The state's highest court, which made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage, ruled Thursday that same-sex couples from other states cannot marry here.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a challenge to a 1913 state law that forbids non-residents from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would not be recognized in their home state.


NASA HQ Raided In Kiddie Porn Probe

The Washington headquarters of NASA was raided as part of a kiddie porn probe targeting an executive with the space agency, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Federal investigators seized a laptop computer, a hard drive, CDs, and other material from the office of James Robinson, who was present when agents with NASA's inspector general executed a search warrant at his E Street office. According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Robinson, 42, used his office computer (and another in his Virginia home) to trade and examine illegal image and videos.

Robinson, a program executive with NASA's In-Space Propulsion, Mission and Systems Management Division, was snared last year in an online operation run by postal inspectors. In December, after being contacted by postal agents, NASA's inspector general opened its own probe of Robinson, which included a review of reports from the space agency's "web activity monitoring application."


From the story: At least half the students in this class of 14 don't believe him, though, and they're not about to let him off easy. Two decades of political and legal maneuvering on evolution has spilled over into public schools, and biology teachers are struggling to respond. Loyal to the accounts they've learned in church, students are taking it upon themselves to wedge creationism into the classroom, sometimes with snide comments but also with sophisticated questions — and a fervent faith
LA Times


As of this morning, many stories carried similar headlines – such as this from CBS News: “Prayers Unanswered for Patients.” But the story studied strangers praying a specific prayer for heart surgery patients. And one of the authors of the study noted it “did not move us forward or backward.” (CBS News) The USA Today headline: Study finds no healing power for prayer (USA Today)

Dear Powerball

Dear Powerball:
From your Catholic perspective, what is your take on the Purpose Driven life book?

I've noticed several pro-Catholic undercurrents in the book. Intentional or not, they are there. Within The Purpose Driven Life Warren quotes Roman Catholic figures such as Mother Teresa, Henri none, Brother Lawrence, John Main, St. John of the Cross and Madame Guyon. While I'm all in favor of a Catholic foundation, many of Warren's supporters would flee from anything having to do with the Catholic church.

Warren said last year in Pittsburgh, "I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican church, and say 'What can we do together that we have been unable to do by ourselves?'" That's great, but do his readers know that?

His use of scripture is a bit troubling. Rick Warren claims that he quotes the Bible over 1,200 times in the text of The Purpose Driven Life. To do so, he uses fifteen different translations and paraphrases. That alone at times can cause confusion. I would not be nearly so concerned about the use of multiple translations if Warren was consistently choosing translations that were close in meaning to the original manuscripts. The unavoidable fact is, though, that Warren consistently chooses translations that say what he feels needs to be said, regardless of the real meaning of a verse.

Many of the laypeople who began a study of The Purpose Driven Life through a 40 Days of Purpose program had no idea that they were part of a larger effort. It is entirely possible that by the time these people received their book, the church leadership had already begun implementing the Purpose Driven programs and had been doing so for several months. I am aware of several churches where this was done without the knowledge or consent of the congregation. The leadership simply decided to implement the program and went ahead. 40 Days of Purpose was one of the first steps in introducing an entire new paradigm for doing church. We now have "Purpose Driven Churches" and that can be a dangerous distraction.

From a strictly Catholic perspective, I find little to criticize in Pastor Warren's book. However,I still not a big fan of the book. I know millions love it, it's just not my cup of tea. Thanks for asking.

Nude Britney Spears Statue is Anything But Pro-Life

'As provocative as possible,' seems an apt moniker for Britney Spears and for the recently unveiled statue of the pop star giving birth in the nude. The sculpture by Daniel Edwards depicts Spears in the highly unlikely birthing - but highly sexually provocative - position of crouching on all fours.

The rub is that Edwards called his work 'Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston'.
Edwards sounds sincere in his proclamation that the sculpture is pro-life. "Britney provides inspiration for those struggling with the 'right choice'," he said in a press release touting the statue. "She was number one with Google last year, with good reason --- people are inspired by the beauty of a pregnant woman," said Edwards.

Sure, people are inspired by the beauty of a pregnant woman, but they are not thinking of the beauty of woman or of pregnancy when they view porn, even if it is 'pregnancy porn' popularized in 1991 by Demi Moore.

Pornography, which is the best description of Edwards' sculpture, is never art.


Swann ahead of Rendell

Republican challenger Lynn Swann held a slight lead over incumbent Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell in a statewide poll released today, with a third of registered voters indicating they were open to voting for either man.

Thirty-five percent of those surveyed in the IssuesPA/Pew Poll said they were likely to vote for Swann, the retired Pittsburgh Steelers star and former college football television analyst. Twenty-nine percent said they would probably support Rendell, and 34 percent were considered up for grabs.

Associated Press

PowerBlog! Contest

It's time once again to boost PowerBlog! readership by giving away free stuff! (And the crowd goes wild)
You have till next Friday 3/31 to drop me an email
Put "Contest" in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, and complete address.
Random winners will be chosen.
If you refer some to PowerBlog, make sure they include your name on their entry. It will make you eligible for an additional prize.
Tell em' what we have for them Johnny...........
We have some great books, CD's and two lucky winners will pick up the 50th Anniversary edition of the "TEN COMMANDMENTS". It's a 3 DVD set!
Winners will be posted on PowerBlog!


Thousands of Iranian troops will on Friday start a week-long military manoeuvre in the Gulf to ready armed forces for warding off "threats", a senior commander announced on state television.

On Wednesday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that any attempt at using force or coercion to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme would be counter-productive.

Iran's defence minister, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, said nearly two months ago that Islamic republic will give an "extremely quick and destructive response" to any attack against its nuclear facilities.


City casino competitors escalate war of words

It's only March. Months, if not a full year, may pass before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awards slot machine casino licenses. And yet Pittsburgh First, the coalition that wants to bring a casino and new arena to the Hill District, says it's already fed up with the "negative attack ads" published by Harrah's Entertainment and Forest City Enterprises, which want to build a Station Square casino. Read More

Is taxing Swann's sales a political football?

The Rendell administration insists there's no political motive behind an inquiry into whether Lynn Swann's online football merchandising business should begin to charge and collect state sales tax. Read More


Even though he doesn’t want to divorce his wife of eleven years. With every paragraph, this story out of India becomes more strange.



As the “stop snitching” movement grows. From the story: The hip-hop star (Busta Rhymes) has refused to cooperate with police investigating the slaying of his bodyguard Feb. 5 outside a Brooklyn studio where Rhymes was recording a video with performers such as Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige. Police say that although Rhymes and as many as 50 others may have seen the shooting, no one came forward — an echo of the silence that followed the unsolved murders of rappers Tupac Shakur, the Notorious B.I.G. and Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay. It's the code of the street: To be a credible rapper, you have to know when to shut up.

USA Today


While many stories cover the conflict on the Republican side, Dems have several problems. One is that the AFL-CIO is strongly against Guest Worker programs. (AP) And the public is concerned about immigration. (AP) Obviously, border problems are security problems. But in an attempt to convince Americans they’ll be tough on terrorism, congressional Democrats have promised to “eliminate” bin Laden. (FOX News)


ST. PAUL - Marshmallow Peeps have been multiplying outside City Hall as a symbol of protest over last week's decision to evict the Easter Bunny.

A handful of employees have placed the spongy chick- and rabbit-shaped candies around a City Hall statue of American Indians, along with two signs that temporarily rename the "Vision of Peace" statue as the "Vision of Peeps."

"From a building standpoint, no comment!" said a laughing Jolly Mangine, Ramsey County's director of property management. "We're just going to let it ride."
Just Born, the company that manufactures Peeps, issued a statement after being informed of the display.

"It is a shame that the Easter Bunny hopping through City Hall has caused such a disturbance. We are sure that the regal 'Vision of Peace' statue does not mind sharing a little glory and spring fever with us - the Peeps," the company said.

Last week, a small Easter display was removed from the building's lobby out of concern that the items would offend non-Christians. The display - a cloth bunny, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter" - were put up by a City Council secretary. They weren't purchased with city money.

Tyrone Terrill, the city's human rights director, asked that the decorations be removed. He has since said his only problem with the display involved the "Happy Easter" sign.

It's not the first time a holiday symbol has been removed from City Hall. In 2001, red poinsettias were briefly banned from a holiday display because they were associated with Christmas.



The story notes “A Christian monitoring group reported that there have been new fundamentalist Muslim attacks on Christians in Afghanistan in the wake of the international uproar over the case of Abdul Rahman, who was arrested last month for apostasy for leaving Islam for Christianity 16 years ago.” Later in the story: Compass, a California-based news service that tracks persecution of Christians around the world, reported that two other Afghan Christians had been arrested in recent days, while others had been subjected to beatings and police raids. (Washington Times) Prager looks at the dangers of radical Islam: One is the number of people who believe in it. This is a new phenomenon among organized evils. Far fewer people believed in Nazism or in communism than believe in Islam generally or in authoritarian Islam specifically. Later: But there is yet a second difference that is at least as significant and at least as frightening: Nazis and Communists wanted to live and feared death; Islamic authoritarians love death and loathe life. (Townhall)


In the midst of this immigration argument, this story hits. CNN explains “The investigators posed as employees of a fictitious company and brought the materials into the United States through checkpoints on the northern and southern borders, the report stated.”



One political organizer calling it “the beginning of an immigration civil rights movement.” (Washington Times) Bush spoke on immigration. Transcript: (White House)

According to one story, “More than 36,000 students from throughout Los Angeles County skipped classes and marched through streets and on various freeways Monday to protest an immigration bill being debated in Congress.” (NBC 4) The big weekend rally was fueled by Spanish radio. (LA Times) Immigrant/Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger weighed in on the controversy with an Op Ed, writing “We learned on 9/11 that not all those who cross our borders want to share in the American dream. A few want to replace it with a nightmare. If we don't know who is coming over our borders, we won't know what they might do. And in a post-Sept. 11 world, that is a risk we cannot take. Congress must strengthen our borders.” Later: “Immigrants are here to work and contribute. I support efforts to ensure that our businesses have the workers they need and that immigrants are treated with the respect they deserve. We should pass a common-sense temporary worker program so that every person in our nation is documented.” (LA Times) Earlier this month, a poll showed “A sampling of polls reveals that most Americans are concerned about the financial impact of illegal immigration and fret over porous borders, lax enforcement and easygoing policies that could reward or encourage lawbreakers.” (Washington Times) From Rich Lowry: A core element of the American creed has always been a belief in the dignity of labor — at least until now. Supporters of a guest-worker program for Mexican laborers say that "there are jobs that no Americans will do." This is an argument that is a step away from suggesting that there are jobs that Americans shouldn't do. (NRO)


The man is in prison for molesting an 8-year-old girl. A maddening moment in the story: The state is already providing Grey with 2 milligrams a day of estrace, which softens his skin, and 50 milligrams of aldactone, which suppresses testosterone and promotes breast growth. He and 18 other transgendered Colorado inmates get the medicine or special psychological counseling. Those who get the medicine do so because they were already using it before their convictions and it would cause too much emotional upheaval in their lives if it were denied.

Denver Post

Death Penalty for Repeat Molesters

A drive in South Carolina seeks to impose the death penalty for second convictions of raping children under age of 11.

Although Florida teacher Debra LaFave recently avoided jail time after being charged with sexual assault involving a 14-year-old boy, more states are imposing harsher sentences for child molesters.

Some say that the death penalty would encourage the offenders to kill child victims because they would face the death penalty anyway. Other critics say the punishment does not fit the crime.

The last execution for a sex crime was for a 1964 Missouri rape. The U.S. Supreme Court declared Missouri's law unconstitutional in 1977 because it was disproportionate to the crime.
If South Carolina and Oklahoma pass these laws, the Supreme Court could be asked again to decide whether they are legal.


Terri's Watch: A Life That Matters

I spent the weekend reading "A Life That Matter's" The Legacy of Terri Schiavo. The book is due out to the public tomorrow but after being sent an advance copy I read it cover to cover.

This book is written by Terri's family. Her parents, Mary and Bob Schindler and her brother and sister Suzanne and Bobby. Any of you how have read this blog on a regular basis know I followed Terri's story and still do to this day under the "Terri's Watch" posts.

Her husband, Michael Schiavo also has a book out (I was not sent a copy and have not read it). He was making the media rounds this morning and has not said what he plans to do with the money from his book.

I can only imagine how painful it must have been for the Shindler's to write this book. To have to recall and in essence relive what no person should have to endure even once, much less twice, had to be agonizing.

Two things come to mind as I read this book. One, how twisted and cold blooded our legal system is when it come to these matters. We are pretty good and imposing punishment on criminals in most cases, but when it comes to compassion, that's a foreign concept within the American legal system. Sometimes the laws of the land are in direct conflict with morals, sympathy and the human aspect is buried under case law and legalesse.

Second is how a some in the Roman Catholic church abandoned Terri's and her family in a time of their greatest need. Father Frank Pavone and Pope John Paul II did speak and defend Terri. However. Terri's own Bishop, Bishop Lynch remained silent and refused to assist. Father Gerard Murphy spoke in favor of the termination of human life by removing Terri's feeding tube.

This obvious lack of clear Church teaching by a Bishop is an outrage. If we can not count on our clergy to defend the sanctity of human life, give a voice to the voiceless, and defend those who are too weak to defend themselves, then we have failed in our Christian mission to each other and the God.

Terri's story is not about one person or one family. This is about all of us. We have handed over the right to decide what life has value to a heartless and Godless legal system built upon power, greed and totally devoid of compassion that is not scripted into approved case law.

I do believe their is a higher court. Higher than the highest court in the land. Someday all those responsible of the murder of Terri Schiavo will stand before that court to plead their own case. May God show afford them more mercy then they gave Terri.

Terri's Watch: An Open Letter to Michael Schiavo

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, and an eyewitness to Terri Schiavo’s final hours, released the following open letter to Michael Schiavo. Fr. Pavone read it to a worldwide audience on his internationally broadcast religious service on Sunday morning, March 26.

Dear Michael,
A year ago this week, I stood by the bedside of the woman you married and promised to love in good times and bad, in sickness and health. She was enduring a very bad time, because she hadn’t been given food or drink in nearly two weeks. And you were the one insisting that she continue to be deprived of food and water, right up to her death. I watched her face for hours on end, right up to moments before her last breath. Her death was not peaceful, nor was it beautiful. If you saw her too, and noticed what her eyes were doing, you know that to describe her last agony as peaceful is a lie.

This week, tens of millions of Americans will remember those agonizing days last year, and will scratch their heads trying to figure out why you didn’t simply let Terri’s mom, dad, and siblings take care of her, as they were willing to do. They offered you, again and again, the option to simply let them care for Terri, without asking anything of you. But you refused and continued to insist that Terri’s feeding be stopped. She had no terminal illness. She was simply a disabled woman who needed extra care that you weren’t willing to give.

I speak to you today on behalf of the tens of millions of Americans who still wonder why. I speak to you today to express their anger, their dismay, their outraged astonishment at your behavior in the midst of this tragedy. Most people will wonder about these questions in silence, but as one of only a few people who were eyewitnesses to Terri’s dehydration, I have to speak.

I have spoken to you before, not in person, but through mass media. Before Terri’s feeding tube was removed for the last time, I appealed to you with respect, asking you not to continue on the road you were pursuing, urging you to reconsider your decisions, in the light of the damage you were doing. I invited you to talk. But you did not respond.

Then, after Terri died, I called her death a killing, and I called you a murderer because you knew – as we all did – that ceasing to feed Terri would kill her. We watched, but you had the power to save her. Her life was in your hands, but you threw it away, with the willing cooperation of attorneys and judges who were as heartless as you were. Some have demanded that I apologize to you for calling you a murderer. Not only will I not apologize, I will repeat it again. Your decision to have Terri dehydrated to death was a decision to kill her. It doesn’t matter if Judge Greer said it was legal. No judge, no court, no power on earth can legitimize what you did. It makes no difference if what you did was legal in the eyes of men; it was murder in the eyes of God and of millions of your fellow Americans and countless more around the world. You are the one who owes all of us an apology.

Your actions offend us. Not only have you killed Terri and deeply wounded her family, but you have disgraced our nation, betrayed the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and undermined the principles that hold us together as a civilized society. You have offended those who struggle on a daily basis to care for loved ones who are dying, and who sometimes have to make the very legitimate decision to discontinue futile treatment. You have offended them by trying to confuse Terri’s circumstances with theirs. Terri’s case was not one of judging treatment to be worthless – which is sometimes the case; rather, it was about judging a life to be worthless, which is never the case.

You have made your mark on history, but sadly, it is an ugly stain. In the name of millions around the world, I call on you today to embrace a life of repentance, and to ask forgiveness from the Lord, who holds the lives of each of us in His hands.

Fr. Frank Pavone

Priests for Life is the nation's largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.


The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org has heard that that Abdul Rahman’s case has been dismissed by the Afghan court and that he will be freed between today (Sunday) and Tuesday. Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, releases the following statement:

"He is going to be released on legal grounds (poor evidence, holes in the case etc). Technically he will still be in danger as the case is being turned back to the prosecutor for review but we understand that this is a technicality."

"Please keep Rahman in prayer. He will be in grave danger as long as he remains in the country. The fundamentalists will seek to kill him regardless of what the courts say. He is an apostate and must be killed according to Islamic law."

"ICC wishes to thank the media and journalists of the world that took up the case of one persecuted Christian and became a voice for the voiceless. We ask them to keep in mind the millions of others that suffer due to their religious convictions in China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sudan, and many other countries."

"Please express your thanks to the Afghanistan Embassy in Washington DC for upholding the principle of religious freedom."

Embassy of Afghanistan
2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202.483.6410
Fax: 202.483.6488

Bush Backing Santourm

President Bush will visit Sewickley Heights tonight in his second trip to Pennsylvania to raise money for Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., the incumbent being targeted by Democrats. But with his approval ratings at all-time lows, Bush brings baggage as well as benefits.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Suit alleges Capitol ties for Uncleansweep.com

The founder of PaCleanSweep is claiming in papers filed with federal court that a Web site created to discredit him has ties to computers inside the Capitol.

Russ Diamond, the chairman of PaCleanSweep, last month sued GOP House staffer Bob Nye for libel after it was determined that he had created the Web site Uncleansweep.com.

After lawmakers gave themselves a raise this summer, Diamond founded PaCleanSweep to field candidates to run against incumbents in the upcoming election. The pay raise has since been rescinded. But many of Diamond's candidates are now on the May primary ballot.


Bunny Gets the Boot

A small Easter display was removed from the City Hall lobby in ST. PAUL, Minn. out of concern that it would offend non-Christians.

The display - a cloth Easter bunny, pastel-colored eggs and a sign with the words "Happy Easter'' - was put up by a City Council secretary.

Council Member Dave Thune called it a shame. "This has just gone too far,'' he said. "We can't celebrate spring with bunnies and fake grass?''

You tell em' Dave! Nothing says Christ has risen like big bunny in the lobby.......

In 2001, red poinsettias were briefly banned from a holiday display because they were associated with Christmas.



From the story: Adoption agencies should energetically recruit gays and lesbians, including them in outreach programs and parenting panels, the institute said. (ABC News) In 2004, Executive Director Adam Pertman called a FOX television show “homophobic.” (INCIID) And just last year, the group sponsored an adoption conference that highlighted several gay groups and the ACLU, all pushing for gay adoption. (NY Law School)


From the story: Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, concurred. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled." "Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left." (CNN) Meanwhile, another story declares “American Muslims are gaining a foothold in politics.” (USA Today)

Ask Powerball

Do you believe that the Catholic / Orthodox sacrament of penance is the only way to have sins forgiven in this life? What does the Catholic church teach on this?

First, thanks for the question. There are two differnet things here. There is forgiveness from our brothers and sisters in the church in this life. Then there is eternal forgiveness through the blood of Christ. So, yes I do believe you must confess and repent to be forgiven on earth.

Catholics confess theor sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Penance. There are many reason for this. First, there is the Church's guarantee of forgiveness (we are forgiven by our brothers and sisters), which private confessions do not provide; secondly, there is the sacramental grace which private confessions do not provide; and thirdly, there is the expert spiritual counseling which private confessions do not provide. I know many other Christians do not understand why we do this.

Catholics confess their sins to priests because God in the Person of Jesus Christ authorized the priests of His Church to hear confessions and empowered them to forgive sins in His Name. To the Apostles, the first priests of His Church, Christ said: ``Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.... Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.'' (John 20:21-23). Then again: ``Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.'' (Matt. 18:18).

When Catholics confess their sins to a priest they are, in reality, confessing their sins to God, for God hears their confessions and it is He who, in the final analysis, does the forgiving. If their confessions are not sincere, their sins are not forgiven.

That's not to say that Catholics not do confess their sins directly to God as Protestants do.

As for what the Church teaches, Catholics are taught to make an act of contrition at least every night to ask God to forgive them their sins of that day. Catholics are also taught to say this same prayer of contrition if they should have the misfortune to commit a serious sin (called a ``mortal sin'' by Catholics). For those of you who are wondering what an "act of contrition" is ....

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.

Who's Insane?

The latest development in the case of Christian convert Abdul Rahman is the Afghan government's trial balloon that he may be spared the death penalty if he is ruled insane. A top religious advisor to President Hamid Kharzai has said Rahman will undergo a psychological examination. "If he is mentally unfit," said Moayuddin Baluch, "he must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

Recall that Afghanistan was occupied by the Soviets for a decade (1979-1989). This is exactly what the Soviets did to dissidents, declaring them insane and placing them in "asylums". Many of the dissidents were Christians and Jews. Declaring Mr. Rahman insane may be a convenient way to dispel international criticism, but it does not resolve the greater damage done to democracy in the Islamic world if religious freedom remains only a dream.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed "deep concern" over Rahman's fate and pledged to intervene if necessary. The Italian Foreign Ministry said, "Italy will move at the highest level to prevent something [happening to Rahman] which is incompatible with...human rights and fundamental freedoms." German and Italian troops have joined the United States in Operation Enduring Freedom there. And what is our own State Department saying?

"This is a question of the Afghan constitution and its laws," says spokesman Sean McCormack. Another tepid response. This is serious. If we do not resolve this case satisfactorily for freedom, the core purpose of the Global War on Terror will be at risk. What is terror but the willingness to murder innocent people who happen to disagree with you so that others like them will cower in fear?

Kauffman's Out, Nordstrom's In

Ross Park Mall officials are expected to unveil plans for a makeover for the 20-year-old shopping center that will include a Nordstrom department store. Seattle-based retailer Nordstrom has been named as the replacement for the Macy's department store -- formerly a Lazarus and initially a Joseph Horne store -- that closed there earlier this week.

In addition, Dick's Sporting Goods is expected to take the empty Media Play location as the base for a new two-level store.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Death penalty: lethal injection on trial

The death penalty is on hold in eight of the 38 states to adopt capital punishment since 1977 as courts and state lawmakers wrestle with fears of executing the innocent, the emerging role of DNA evidence and new assaults on use of lethal injection.
Although the public still favors capital punishment, support has slipped and the number of executions and new death sentences is trending down. A fresh batch of legal obstacles -- including new court scrutiny of the use of lethal injection and of doctors’ role in administering fatal doses – clouds what still is a controversial social issue in the United States.

Currently, death penalty laws in New York and Kansas have been struck down by those states' Supreme Courts. Moratoriums against the death penalty are in place in Illinois and New Jersey. And executions are temporarily suspended in California, Florida, Louisiana and Missouri pending court rulings on challenges against lethal injection.

The outcome of these cases may address several emerging issues concerning lethal injection, including how much pain it causes and what role medical professionals should play in ending the lives of prisoners.


Hillary Clinton: GOP Immigration Bill Would 'Criminalize Jesus'

Hillary Clinton is blasting a GOP-backed immigration bill, claiming bizarrely that the legislation would "literally criminalize . . . . probably even Jesus himself."

Clinton invoked the biblical theme on Wednesday while restating her opposition to a bill sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner that would make illegally entering the U.S. a felony.

"It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures," she declared, before adding: "This bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself."

The legislation would instruct law enforcement to seek out illegal aliens and cut federal funding for cities, such as San Francisco, that have sanctuary laws.

Other provisions include the creation of a border fence, the elimination of the diversity visa lottery system and the indefinite detention of some immigrants.



The story opens: Today was supposed to be Diversity Day at Viroqua High School in Wisconsin. It was called off, not by angry parents, but by a simple request to allow former homosexuals speak to students along with gay activists.


Kaufmann's Funeral

After a 135-year shopping era, Kaufmann's department stores are closing. Most are already closed. The website is shut down and another vacum in the Pittsburgh retail arena is born.

The stores are being shut down as part of a company merger with the parent of the Macy's chain. It's makes you feel a bit old to think back on G.C Murphy's, Hills, Ames, Horne's, Thrift Drug and Phar-Mor, Service Mechandise, Media Play, National Record Mart, Zayre and I know I missed several others. But hey, casinos are coming!

How many more deaths?

AgapePress - "How many more deaths?" That's the question that pro-lifers are asking following the latest reports of more deaths that may be attributable to the abortion pill known as RU 486, which the federal government approved for distribution amidst political accusations shortly before Bill Clinton left office.

Danco Laboratories, which markets RU 486 (a.k.a. "Mifepristone") in the United States, announced to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday that two more women died recently after taking RU 486, the first of two drugs taken to abort an unborn child chemically. That brings the number of deaths in the U.S. to at least seven women after taking the two-step regimen since it was approved by the FDA in September 2000.

The federal agency's response following these latest reports? Convene a workshop for early May to discuss research on the infection that killed four of the women last July.

And instead of yanking the drug it approved in the waning days of the Clinton administration, the FDA has issued a statement saying it is investigating the circumstances of the deaths. "All providers of medical abortion and their patients need to be aware of the specific circumstances and directions for use of this drug and all risks including sepsis when considering treatment," states the agency website. "In particular, physicians and their patients should fully discuss early potential signs and symptoms that may warrant immediate medical evaluation."

The FDA's response has triggered outrage from the halls of Congress to the offices of pro-life groups, with criticism beginning with variations on the phrase: How many more deaths will it take?

Dear Powerball

I spoke to you on the phone the other day and you mentioned you do not believe that all sin is equal. Would you please explain your reasoning?

I'd be happy to. I have often heard the Protestant stance on "sin being sin" with no matter of "degree" of evil or wickedness. Many will tell you there is no "difference" if one steals a nickel or commits mass murder?

I disagree. I believe God is a fair and just judge (Deut. 32:4; John 5:30). At the time of judgment, I find it hard to believe that He would treat the two sinners the same under those circumstances as that would be anything, but "just."

We have biblical proof of this in Exodus as God specifically differentiates "punishments" for different sins. All sins are not equal in the eyes of God. Why is the punishment for ALL sins in the above passages from Exodus, not death?

How can the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah be "very grievous" in Genesis 18:20 if all sins are the same? The words "very grievous" themselves distinguish the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah.

What is a "great" sin as opposed to another sin in Genesis 20:9? Again, "great" is a word distinguishing a "lesser" sin from a "greater" one.

In John 19:11, Jesus Himself uses the words "greater sin." If all sins are the same, how can one be "greater" than the other? I hope this explains why I believe not all sin is equal.

N.Korean defector says disabled newborns are killed

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has no people with physical disabilities because they are killed almost as soon as they are born, a physician who defected from the communist state said on Wednesday.

Ri Kwang-chol, who fled to the South last year, told a forum of rights activists that the practice of killing newborns was widespread but denied he himself took part in it.

"There are no people with physical defects in North Korea," Ri told members of the New Right Union, which groups local activists and North Korean refugees.

He said babies born with physical disabilities were killed in infancy in hospitals or in homes and were quickly buried.

The practice is encouraged by the state, Ri said, as a way of purifying the masses and eliminating people who might be considered "different."

Catholic voters face questions

During the 2004 U.S. election, some bishops insisted that Catholics should obey church teachings in deciding how to vote.

Some bishops even declared that pro-choice Catholic politicians should be denied Communion. A stance I tend to agree on. I had some very serious dissussion with Catholic clergy over all this and many good men had very different answers for me.

These deep questions alway seem to resurface every time an election approaches. Which church teachings on what issues ought to matter most? How should Catholics decide between candidates? If Catholic politicians are obliged to follow church teachings when making laws, are Catholic judges also supposed to “vote Catholic” in deciding cases?

About 44 percent of Catholics, compared to 42 percent of all Americans, identify as Democrats; 41 percent of Catholics, compared to 38 percent of all Americans, identify as Republicans; and 15 percent of Catholics, versus 20 percent of all Americans, identify as Independents. You can see where the confusion happens.

There are big political divides between Catholic bishops and their flocks on controversial issues. For instance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church condemns and forbids abortion. The first entry in the subject index says it all: “Abortion: condemnation in the early church; excommunication as penalty; inalienable right to life; protection of human life from the moment of conception.”

Yet, in a June 2004 survey of Catholics likely to cast votes in the November 2004 national elections, about 60 percent of Catholics agreed that abortion should be legal under some or all circumstances, and roughly three-quarters of Catholics denied that Catholics have a religious obligation to vote against pro-choice candidates. Asked whether Communion should be denied to Catholic politicians who support abortion’s legality under some or all circumstances, Catholics were more likely to disagree (78 percent). If few Catholics follow the teaching of the Church, why would they expect theor elcted officals to do so?

There is a great article that goes in deapth on this subject here.


From the story: "As we declared, our strong revolutionary might put in place all measures to counter possible U.S. pre-emptive strike," the spokesman said, according to the Korean Central News Agency. "Pre-emptive strike is not the monopoly of the United States."

CBS News


From the story: Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, wrote a letter to Karzai asking him to intervene and uphold "core democratic principles and fundamental human rights." "In a country where soldiers from all faiths, including Christianity, are dying in defense of your government, I find it outrageous that Mr. Rahman is being prosecuted and facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity.” (CNN) Malkin: U.S. is already late in defense of this man. (Townhall) From Chuck Colson: “The irony is inescapable: This is the country that we rid of the Taliban because of its religious oppression. This is the country in which we have spent at least $70 billion to establish a free democratic government. This is the country whose freedom cost us three hundred American lives and eight hundred casualties. And this is the country that is preparing to execute a man for becoming a Christian after he witnessed other Christians caring for his countrymen. Is this the fruit of democracy?” (Townhall)


Though the sexual part isn’t taught until the 4th grade. The story ends: Parents do have the option of opting out of the prevention part of the curriculum -- like lessons on condom use -- as long as they promise to teach it at home. Many of the parents CBS 2 spoke with in Glendale actually asked to opt out of the whole thing, but it's unlikely they'll be able to.


Bush asked about apocalypse

President Bush said he hasn't considered the global war on terrorism in light of Bible prophecy.
Asked by a questioner following his speech on the War on Terror at the City Club of Cleveland whether the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocaplyse, Bush responded, "The answer is – I haven't really thought of it that way."

"My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips, in his latest book, 'American Theocracy,' discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics," asked an unidentified woman. "He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?"

The president responded: "Here's how I think of it. The first I've heard of that, by the way. I guess I'm more of a practical fellow. I vowed after September the 11th, that I would do everything I could to protect the American people. And my attitude, of course, was affected by the attacks. I knew we were at war. I knew that the enemy, obviously, had to be sophisticated and lethal to fly hijacked airplanes into facilities that would be killing thousands of people, innocent people, doing nothing, just sitting there going to work."

"I also knew this about this war on terror, that the farther we got away from September the 11th, the more likely it is people would seek comfort and not think about this global war on terror as a global war on terror," he said. "And that's good, by the way. It's hard to take risk if you're a small business owner, for example, if you're worried that the next attack is going to come tomorrow. I understand that. But I also understand my most important job, the most important job of any president today, and I predict down the road, is to protect America."

He continued: "And so I told the American people that we would find the terrorists and bring them to justice, and that we needed to defeat them overseas so we didn't have to face them here at home. I also understood that the war on terror requires some clear doctrine. And one of the doctrines that I laid out was, if you harbor a terrorist, you're equally as guilty as the terrorist. And the first time that doctrine was really challenged was in Afghanistan. I guess the Taliban didn't believe us – or me. And so we acted. Twenty-five million people are now free, and Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for the terrorists. And the other doctrine that's really important, and it's a change of attitude – it's going to require a change of attitude for a while – is that, when you see a threat, you got to deal with it before it hurts you. Foreign policy used to be dictated by the fact we had two oceans protecting us. If we saw a threat, you could deal with it if you needed to, you think – or not. But we'd be safe."

Sex, Lies and the CDC

For those of you who have been involved in the HIV Prevention/Sex education issue, and fighting the monster at the state and local levels... here's something I just discovered.

I'm probably way behind many of you, but I thought I would share this for those who may be able to use it or have more information.

The pro-condom, pro-homosexuality, pro-abortion folks at CDC and elsewhere in our public health community are incredibly clever, it seems. In Ohio several years ago, conservatives objected to the use of Centers for Disease Control (CDC) endorsed sex ed curricula directed to youth that were explicit, oriented toward condom use, and either minimized abstinence or mocked it (remember "Reducing the Risk"?).

These CDC-recommended curricula were called "Programs that Work." And in Ohio, hard-working conservatives were able to get these de-funded in the annual state budget. (I'm simplifying this, but that's basically how it went.)

Well, I am now looking at the grant request from the Ohio Department of Health to the CDC for 2005 and guess what? The CDC has just changed the package name of these same condom-based curricula, from "Programs that Work" to "Compendium of HIV Prevention Interventions." The "interventions" for the Youth audience are the same old, same old curricula---- "Reducing the Risk," "Be Proud, Be Responsible" "Becoming a Responsible Teen," and some others, like "Focus on Kids."

You can see them listed on this page

Am I missing something, or have we been had?

Top Orthodox Church official dismissed

Confronted by allegations of financial misconduct, the head of the Orthodox Church in America has dismissed a priest from a top administrative post and hired a major law firm to investigate.

Several church insiders, including a former treasurer and a former head of the church's audit committee, have claimed that Father Kondratick and former Metropolitan Theodosius diverted millions of dollars in grants, bequests and designated charitable contributions into unaudited discretionary accounts that were used for everything from paying down deficits in the church operating budget to blackmail.

A prominent critic of the church's financial practices praised the moves, while an attorney for the Rev. Robert Kondratick, the ousted chancellor, said his client is a scapegoat.

Mark Stokoe, whose Orthodox Christians for Accountability Web site has detailed the accusations, was encouraged that Metropolitan Herman retained a law firm known for investigating corporate misdeeds.

After six years of failed attempts to bring the issues before the church's Metropolitan Council of laity, clergy and bishops, critics set up a Web site at www.ocanews.org. They said there had been no full, independent, certified audit of the church's books since 1996.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wrath of God behind Israel bird flu?

Whenever something bad happens God always gets the blame. If something good happens, everyone wants to take credit.

An outbreak of deadly bird flu in Israel is God's punishment for calls in election ads to legalize gay marriages, according to Rabbi David Basri, a prominent sage preaching Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism.

Basri said he hoped the deaths of hundreds of thousands of turkeys and chickens would help atone for what he called the sins of left-wing Israeli political parties.

Ahhh, whatever.......

Americans Rally Around Afghan Christian

(CNSNews.com) - The plight of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan man who faces execution for converting to Christianity, has energized American Christians. The American Family Association is circulating an online petition, urging readers to contact President Bush and ask him to intervene in Rahman's case. The AFA message includes an email link to the White House, along with the following letter to President George W. Bush: "Dear Mr. President," the form letter says. "I ask that you intervene with the government of Afghanistan to save the life of Abdul Rahman who has been tried and found guilty of converting to Christianity from Islam 16 years ago. When told the charges would be dropped if he converted back to Islam, Mr. Rahman refused. The prosecutor in his trial has asked for the death penalty. Thank you for doing what you can to save this man's life."

New PowerBall Show

Hey movers and groovers, we're back with a brand new edition of "The PowerBall Show" on Rock-it Radio! Just click on the Ol' Rock Box and dance away.
You don't even need a dime!

Islam: Death Penalty for Christians

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faiths, but to become dominant. The Qur’an….should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth." - Omar Ahmad, former chairman, Council on American Islamic Relations (July 1998)

There is an active movement by many Islamic organizations and intellectuals to insinuate Sharia law into Western society, always with the assurance that Sharia law and democracy can co-exist. It appears that those who argue on behalf of Sharia law want to see constitutional or civil law subjugated to the tenets of Islam; one such argument is embraced by Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of International Studies at Adrian College in Michigan. Dr. Khan asserts that it is possible to give primacy to Sharia law and still have a democratic society.

This debate can be easily settled by citing the current situation in Afghanistan, where Sharia law has been incorporated into the constitution of that country when ratified in 2004, after the country was liberated from the barbaric clutches of the Taliban. Although freedom of religion is assured by the constitution, it is subjugated by Sharia law.

According to the constitution of Afghanistan, “no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam.” As a result, Abdur Rahman faces the death penalty for converting to Christianity from Islam. Rahman was arrested after his family reported his conversion to police.

According to Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada, Rahman will be charged with abandoning Islam. The judge also noted that “the prosecutor says he should be executed on the basis of the constitution," although suggested that his life could be spared if he returned to Islam. "If he does not, he will be punished."

Once again we see the "religion of peace" in action.


From the story: "If you think about it, three years ago Saddam Hussein was still in charge of the country. Now he's on trial, and will be held accountable by the Iraqi people," Gen. Casey said on "Fox News Sunday." (Washington Times)

But the media, as of this morning, chose to highlight problems. Meanwhile, an Air America host claims “This is a murder trip, this is murder … This is on a level with the Hitlerian attitudes towards the Jews and towards the Russians. This is just butchery, this is just murder…” Yet, more documents show what a killer Iraq had in Saddam. (Boston Globe)

Two more deaths from RU-486

Two new deaths have been reported after women took the abortion pill known as RU-486 but officials do not know if the fatalities are connected to the drug, U.S. regulators said on Friday.

Four previously reported deaths were linked to complications from a bacterial infection that developed after the women took the abortion pill, which is sold by privately held Danco Laboratories.


Now That's An Odd Defense

Before Chicago cops threw the book at him, Jakub Fik threw something at them -- his penis!

Fik, 33, cut off his own penis during a rampage. When confronted by police, Fik hurled several knives and his severed organ at the officers. He told paramedics he was distraught over problems with his girlfriend. Add one more problem that list Fik. Officers stunned him with a Taser and took him into custody.

They have both been charged. :0

Maybe he should hang out with this guy. Now that is a man who keeps his word.......

When Satire Hits Home

UPDATE: Last week Isaac Hayes, a practicing Scientologist who has long been the voice of the character Chef on "South Park", quit after objecting to an episode called "Trapped in the Closet," which lampooned both the religion and Tom Crusie.
The skirmish continued this week, when Comedy Central abruptly pulled a repeat of that episode that was scheduled to air Wednesday evening.
Blog reports pegged the mysterious episode switch to objections raised by Cruise, who, the reports stated, threatened to not promote "Mission: Impossible 3," the summer tentpole for Viacom-owned Paramount.
Original Post:
Outspoken Scientologist Isaac Hayes, an Oscar-winning singer heard by millions in recent years as the "Chef" character on "South Park," has quit the cartoon four months after an episode spoofing Scientology.

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer said in a statement.

Wait a second Isaac, I seem to recall many an episode in which Christan, Jewish and Muslim faiths were fair game. In an interview with the Associated Press, "South Park" co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply, saying, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology. ... He has no problem – and he's cashed plenty of checks – with our show making fun of Christians."

He said he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

So I guess part of Scientology is having thin skin. Well I'm going to out a few of them here. If you run into any of these celebrities be sure not to offend their Scientology beliefs:

Kirstie Alley, actress
Beck, singer
Mary Bono, congresswoman
Chick Corea, musician
Tom Cruise, actor (formerly Catholic, according to Parade)
Jenna Elfman, actress, formerly Catholic, and her husband Bodhi, actor
Chaka Khan, singer
Jason Lee, actor and professional skateboarder
Juliette Lewis, actress
George Lucas, director
Bernadette Peters, actress and singer
Lisa Marie Presley, singer (sort of) and daughter of Elvis
Priscilla Presley, actress and wife of Elvis
Kelly Preston, actress and John Travolta's wife
Leah Remini, actress
Patrick Swayze, actor
Greta Van Susteren, host of FNC
John Travolta, actor
Edgar Winter, musician

The Truth (Slowly) Comes Out

Nine Iraqi documents from Saddam Hussein's government were released this week. There is is a ton of information that is just begining to be made public. It would take me months to go through it all, but there are already some very interesting highlights.

The documents discuss Osama bin Laden, weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda and more.

An Iraqi intelligence service document saying that their Afghani informant, who's only identified by a number, told them that the Afghani Consul Ahmed Dahastani claimed the following in front of him:

That OBL and the Taliban are in contact with Iraq and that a group of Taliban and bin Laden group members visited Iraq.

That the U.S. has proof the Iraqi government and "bin Laden's group" agreed to cooperate to attack targets inside America.

That in case the Taliban and bin Laden's group turn out to be involved in "these destructive operations," the U.S. may strike Iraq and Afghanistan.

That the Afghani consul heard about the issue of Iraq's relationship with "bin Laden's group" while he was in Iran.

I'm sure recall that FRANCE was opposed to any action in Iraq. Now we discover correspondence regarding election campaigns in France. This includes a document from the Iraqi intelligence service classified as "secret," ordering the translation of important parts of a 1997 report about campaign financing laws in France. It also includes a document from the foreign minister's office indicating the report was attached. The attached translated report included very detailed information about all the regulations regarding financing of election campaigns in France.

A letter from the Iraqi intelligence service to directors and managers advising them to follow certain procedures in case of a search by the U.N. team, including:

Removing correspondence with the atomic energy and military industry departments concerning the prohibited weapons (proposals, research, studies, catalogs, etc.).

Removing prohibited materials and equipment, including documents and catalogs and making sure to clear labs and storages of any traces of chemical or biological materials that were previously used or stored. Doing so through a committee which will decide whether to destroy the documents. Removing files from computers.

A number of correspondences to check rumors that some members of al Qaeda organization have entered Iraq. Three letters say this information cannot be confirmed. The letter on page seven, however, says that information coming from "a trustworthy source" indicates that subjects who are interested in dealing with al Qaeda are in Iraq and have several passports.

The full documents can be found on the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office Web site:

Islam 101

As the battle rages on in Iraq and we enter into verbal a sparing match with Iran, it would do all Americans good to review a few things.

The Bush Administration has from the beginning insisted that we are fighting a Global War On Terrorism. They have denied this is a war between Judeo-Christianity and Islam, or a war between the western civilization and the civilization of the Arabs and Islam.

Well, the two may not be so separate. How can we wage war against a idea? The US can take on any nation in the world. We are not so good at taking on individuals. Terrorism is not a nation, is a method to achieve a goal.

Islam is an ideology disguised as a religion. The agenda of Islam is nothing less than total global domination. That domination would occur under a theo-autocratic, dictatorial Islamic Caliphate (Khalifa), a global Islamic State. That's the goal folks.

We can use all of our advanced technology to defeat an enemy nation in record time. However, fighting ideas will take several decades if not longer.

All of the terrorists we are fighting are Muslim. While it might not be very politically correct, we must consider that fact and examine Islam.

The entire terror notion comes directly from the Qur'an. The methods Islam is required to use to achieve the goal are TERRORISM, DISSIMULATIVE RHETORIC, and OPEN WARFARE. These terrorists have figured out how to attack, gain public support and use our own laws, morals and system of governance against us.

While Americans debate treatment of prisoners, wire taps, impeachment, war under false pretense, number of troops and the length of the war, the enemy watches, plans and learns.

Terrorists donÂ’t think like us. They see the world very differently. I'm not going to blow myself up for a promise of 72 virgins or any other reason. They will. That leaves us asking some very tough questions.

Why, for example, would people who believe they have the one, true religion, blow up mosques and other holy places? Why would they attack weddings and funerals? Why is beheading so popular among terrorists? Why would a few cartoons set off rioting and killing? And what does all this mean to us in terms of the threat it represents? Does all this make them more dedicated or just plain stupid? That depends on who you ask. We can not apply rationality, logic, and common sense where they do notexistt.

True believers in Islam hold all other religions in contempt. A person is either a Muslim or an infidel and, by definition, a threat to Islam until you convert or are killed. Forget this "religion of peace" garbage.

We are attempting to change this through a mixture of war and good will efforts. We strike aspreciselyy as possible and then build a new school in the aftermath. But what we see as an improvement in the lives of millions of Muslims, they see as a threat. We introduce womenÂ’s rights, educate people, improve health and living conditions. These are all things that Westerners embrace, not Arabs. That's why the Middle East is stuck in the past. They are threatened by the modern world. Our world.

We can not offer them the profits of peace, for they are not interested. In order for America to truly win the war on terror, Muslims must be willing to let go of their culture, history, faith and everything they have ever known. They will be required to do so under the banner of defeat and surrender. No wonder the prosepect of peace does not seem overly appealing.

Is Preemptive War Acceptable?

President Bush is once again restating his doctrine of preemptive war against terrorists and hostile states with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

The strategy has shifted U.S. foreign policy away from deterrence and containment toward a more aggressive stance of attacking enemies before they attack the United States.

This bring up a whole sereis of questions that I'dlike to pose to you. Do you support this? Is it right for a person with Christian beliefs to "strike first" and how do we decide when pre-emptive action is warranted?

Can this be a legitimate part of self defense when the consequences of an attack are potentially so devastating, we cannot afford to stand idly by?

Polygamy Is 'Next Civil Rights Battle'

(CNSNews.com) - Nearly three years after U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) argued that a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas ban on sodomy would be used to legitimize other sexual practices outside traditional marriage, Santorum's prediction may be coming to pass.

Since the high court issued its 6-3 ruling in June 2003 in the Lawrence v. Texas case, national attention has focused on the issue of same-sex marriage. However, a Christian group claims the ruling guarantees that polygamy -- the union of one man with more than one woman -- is "the next civil rights battle."

Six months after the Lawrence decision, three members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sought a marriage license at the clerk's office in Salt Lake County, Utah. G. Lee Cook wrote on his application that he was already married but wanted to legally wed a second wife.As a result, the clerks refused to issue the license and refunded the fee. The trio then sued, claiming that their constitutional rights to religious expression, privacy and intimate expression had been violated.

Here we go......

Iraq Attack

Reuters reports the U.S. military has launched a major air assault in Iraq, the largest assault of its kind since the invasion three years ago. The move comes amid predictions that the country is on the brink of Sunni-Shiite civil war. On Thursday, the Iraqi parliament held its first session, but bickering between the parties continues to prevent the formation of a unity government. According to the BBC, Thursday's inaugural session of parliament ended after 30 minutes, and members were not even able to elect a speaker.

How to Murder a Child

You know there are some things that make me angry or sad. At times even things quite tragic make me laugh. (So long as they don't happen to me.) Every once in awhile I find something that just leaves me in stunned silence.

I came across a do-it-yourself abortion guide on a blog. (Take a moment to let that sink in.) A women named "Molly" has taken it upon herslef to "assist" women in South Dakota, where abortion is not available.

Molly writes, "An abortion, especially for an early pregnancy, is a relatively easy procedure to perform."

Is Molly a doctor? She does not claim to be. In fact she describes herslef as a "former journalist turned phone sex operator." She also says, "I am not a medical practitioner. I do not believe a person needs to be in order to know medicine and how to perform basic medical procedures -- including minor surgery."

Despite no medical training, Molly lists all the nessacry instruments needed and their uses, procedures, sedative medication and promises future articles with directions for performing vacuum aspiration for first-trimester pregnancies and inducing miscarriages.

She goes on to write, " I am sorry we live in times where it is necessary to publish this material, but if women work together, an abortion ban doesn't mean that women and girls are left with no choices."

Molly has just endanged the life of the women she claims to want to help. All moral arguments aside, any person who is not a doctor should NEVER attempt to perform any surgical procedure.

It is my sincere hope that no person will ever use any of this information. If you choose to view her blog please do so with caution. It is not my intention to promote her, only to educate the extreme nature of some of those on the so called "pro-choice" side of the debate.
Link: Use Caution

Terri's Watch: Her Real Story

More excerpts from the new book written by Terri Schiavo's family have come out. Written mostly from the perspective of Terri's mother, Mary Schindler, they tell the day of a family desperately wanting to care for the daughter and sister they loved but facing a daunting legal world that showed no compassion.

The book, titled A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo--A Lesson for Us All, is due out in bookstores on March 28.

The family talks abbot their lack of experience in and understanding of the legal world that soon devoured their lives.
"I felt I was living in a parallel world, where a different language -- legalese -- spoke a set of incomprehensible rules," Mary Schindler relates, according to an AP report.

"I felt no connection to this world, yet knew that Terri's fate would be decided by those rules, and not by anything that governed MY world, where humanity has less to do with the law than with the heart," she explained.

Terri's husband Michael Schivao is also coming out with his own book. The book promises to explain why Terri collapsed and why Michael had an affair with Centonze (who he has now married) for years before Terri died.

Pittsburgh Concert Line Up

The lineup

Chevrolet Amphitheatre, Station Square:
Fall Out Boy, with All American Rejects, Hawthorne Heights, 6:30 p.m. April 22. Sold out.
Avenged Sevenfold, Coheed and Cambria, 7 p.m. May 14. $28.50.
Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, 8 p.m. June 3. $20.
Bobby Vinton, 7 p.m. June 4. $13.20 to $40.
Donnie Iris & the Cruisers, 7:30 p.m. June 10, $15 and $22.50.
WAMO Summer Jam, July 22, artists, time and ticket prices to be announced.
Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Sept 8-10, artists, time and ticket prices to be announced.
The Clarks and George Romero's Fright Nights, dates and times to be announced.

Post-Gazette Pavilion, Burgettstown:
Rascal Flatts, Gary Allan, 7:30 p.m. May 27, individual ticket prices to be announced.*
Brooks & Dunn, individual ticket prices and time to be announced. June 3. *
Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band, 8 p.m. June 6 -- Sold out.
Dave Matthews Band, with G. Love and Special Sauce, 7 p.m. June 9 and 10, $36.50, $56.50.
Gretchen Wilson, Blaine Larsen, individual ticket prices and time to be announced, June 17. *
Nine Inch Nails, time to be announced, June 30, $20 to $49.50.
Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, time and individual ticket prices to be announced, July 7. *
Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, 3 p.m. July 9, $9.37 to $50.
Vans Warped Tour, time and ticket prices to be announced, July 27.
Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley, time and individual ticket prices to be announced, July 30. *
Froggy Fest featuring Trace Adkins, time and individual ticket prices to be announced, Aug. 5. *
Toby Keith, Joe Nichols, 8 p.m. Aug. 25, individual ticket prices to be announced. *
Ozzfest and Lynyrd Skynrd with 3 Doors Down, Chicago with Huey Lewis, dates and times to be announced.

Lynn Swann Tied in Pa. Race

The latest poll of Pennsylvania voters shows that Republican Lynn Swann is tied with incumbent Democatic Gov. Ed Rendell.

Strategic Vision, LLC, an Atlanta-headquartered public relations and public affairs agency announced the results of a three-day poll of 1,200 likely voters in Pennsylvania on various political issues. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In a match-up between Governor Rendell and Republican Lynn Swann, the results were Rendell 44 percent; Swann 44 percent; and 2 percent went to "other candidate," with 10 percent undecided.

Follow the Leader: States consider a ban on gay adoptions

In the two decades since it's been a licensed state adoption agency, Catholic Charities of Boston has placed a tiny number of children with gay parents: 13 of 720 adoptions. But when those adoptions became public knowledge, the archdiocese's bishops - following a Vatican directive - announced they had to stop.

The result was a showdown with lawmakers as the bishops tried to get an exemption from the state's nondiscrimination clause and, ultimately, decided to exit the adoption business entirely.

Catholic Charities' withdrawal is the most recent and the most dramatic development on a topic that some see as the next wedge issue in the culture wars. But it may prove less divisive than gay marriage, many observers say.

In the wake of successful constitutional amendments or laws banning gay marriage, several states are considering laws targeting gay adoption. Catholic Charities in San Francisco is under similar pressure to halt gay adoptions. Observers are watching to see if other faith-based organizations follow suit.

Seven states introduced bills last year that would prevent gays or lesbians from adopting, and a few states - Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, among others - have indicated a willingness to introduce constitutional amendments in future years.

The Christian Science Monitor

Homosexuality is Not a Sin

Homosexuality is not a sin, at least not according to 1,400 Protestant congregations. Those who have amended the Word of God now include some Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal and Lutheran churches.

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle lists the primary mission of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force as convincing believers that homosexuality is not a sin. The mission seems to be working.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, announced that a religious organization representing 1,400 Protestant congregations that unconditionally welcome gays and lesbians has merged with the task force.

"It's a very proud and happy day for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is based in New York. "We see this as a critically important step in reclaiming the language of faith and moral values from those on the right that attempt to hijack faith and moral values."

Who is hijacking what here? This is the continued erosion of truth. We now have countless members of the clergy who are not qualified to be pastors, do not understand the Word of God and are far too willing to bow to the ways of the world.

You can not allow thousands of years of faith and truth to suddenly be labeled "discriminatory" and then use that claim to overrule the Word of God in the interest of "political progressiveness".

This entire forced acceptance campaign started under the guise of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". It was the 'I don't agree but go ahead and live however you like' mentality that open the flood gates. (I recall something about a little Levan.) Now it has grown into diversity education in grade schools, propaganda distribution through the media, movies and music, pride parades and public promotion of private sexuality. Now we stand on the brink of abandoning true faith. Lord have mercy on those that do so.

Schwarzenegger Paroles Killer 'Priest'

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has decided to parole a convicted murderer who became an Episcopal priest while behind bars, according to a spokeswoman.

Man, those Episcopals will let anyone become a priest. It's a joke, come on laugh a bit.

The state parole board voted last October to release James Tramel, 38, who was convicted in 1986 of killing a homeless man in Santa Barbara.

Tramel was convicted of killing Michael Stephenson, 29, in an unprovoked crime that the victim's family called a "thrill killing.” Tramel, who was a 17-year-old Santa Barbara prep school student at the time, was sentenced to 15 years to life for second-degree murder, as was another defendant, David Kurtzman, who stabbed Stephenson 17 times and remains incarcerated.

Tramel began counseling dying inmates in prison and in 1998 became the first prisoner to be accepted as a student at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, where he earned a master's degree in theological studies through an off-campus program.

The Brink of War

Disturbing news continues to come out of the North Korea and Iran. You may recall that along with Iraq, those two countries we're identified by President Bush as the "Axis of Evil".

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has the right to launch a pre-emptive attack against U.S.-backed South Korean forces because the two Koreas are technically still at war, the communist state's official media said on Tuesday.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader said Tuesday that Tehran's nuclear program was "irreversible" and warned that any retreat in the face of international pressure would "break the country's independence."

Catholic Charities pulls out of adoptions

The recent decision by Catholic Charities of the Boston Archdiocese to stop offering adoption services to avoid placing children with homosexuals is reverberating through child welfare circles and sparking fears that other Catholic Charities agencies may follow suit.

On Friday, leaders of the Boston Catholic Charities said they would not be renewing their nearly 20-year-old contract with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide adoption services, citing state law that says homosexuals must be allowed to adopt.

The Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI has called homosexual adoption "gravely immoral," in part because it deprives children of "the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood."

Recently, Massachusetts' Catholic bishops said Catholic agencies may not provide adoptions to same-sex couples. An attempt by Catholic Charities to obtain an exemption from state law failed in February.

Should one law apply to all or should there be exceptions for faith based groups?
Washington Times:

Romney shifts tone on gay adoption

Governor Mitt Romney, who frequently tells Republican audiences that every child has a right to have a mother and father, acknowledged yesterday that same-sex couples have ''a legitimate interest" in adopting children.

Romney said he would file a ''very narrow" bill aimed at letting Catholic Charities, the social service arm of the Boston Archdiocese, and other religious groups exclude same-sex couples from their adoption programs if including them violates religious tenets. But he also noted that gays and lesbians have a right to adopt.

Boston Globe

Terri's Watch: Schiavo Family Speaks

One year ago, everyone was talking about Terri Schiavo.

Now her family -- parents Robert and Mary Schindler, brother Bobby Schindler and sister Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo -- have collaborated on a new book that throws open the curtains on those emotional times as they fought to keep her alive and watched a private family feud culminate in a surreal public spectacle outside the hospice where she lived.

A Life That Matters: The Legacy of Terri Schiavo -- A Lesson For Us All, on sale March 28, drops no bombshells but offers an enlightening glimpse into the private lives and tremendous personal suffering of a family that became consumed with stopping their son-in-law, Michael Schiavo, from removing the feeding tube that kept Terri alive for 15 years.

Michael Schiavo, who recently remarried and is releasing his own book March 27, has repeatedly denied hurting his wife. He contended that he sought the court order to remove her feeding tube because he once promised her that he would never keep her alive by artificial means with no hope of recovery.

Associated Press

Calling the Bluff

Senate Democrats refused to allow a vote yesterday on a proposal by one of their own to censure President Bush for his warrantless terrorist-surveillance program.

Sen. Russell D. Feingold accused Mr. Bush yesterday of breaking the law and lying to Congress for ordering eavesdropping within the United States without warrants. The Wisconsin Democrat introduced in the Senate an official resolution to censure Mr. Bush, which by nightfall had been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Majority Leader Bill Frist dismissed the proposal as "political gamesmanship" and said that if the Senate was going to consider such a serious sanction, he wanted an immediate vote on the matter, which the Democrats would not permit.

I Love it! Give what they ask for and they don't know what to do.


Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life

Here is the "Statement on Responsibilities of Catholics in Public Life" issued Friday by the U.S. bishops' conference. * * *

A recent public statement by 55 Catholic and Democratic members of the House of Representatives offers an opportunity to address several important points about the responsibilities of Catholics in public life.

We welcome this and other efforts that seek to examine how Catholic legislators bring together their faith and their policy choices. As the Catholic bishops of the United States said in our June 2004 statement, "Catholics in Political Life": "We need to do more to persuade all people that human life is precious and human dignity must be defended. This requires more effective dialogue and engagement with all public officials, especially Catholic public officials. We welcome conversation initiated by political leaders themselves."

Therefore, we welcome the representatives' recognition that Catholics in public life must act seriously and responsibly on many important moral issues. Our faith has an integral unity that calls Catholics to defend human life and human dignity whenever they are threatened. A priority for the poor, the protection of family life, the pursuit of justice and the promotion of peace are fundamental priorities of the Catholic moral tradition which cannot be ignored or neglected. We encourage and will continue to work with those in both parties who seek to act on these essential principles in defense of the poor and vulnerable.

At the same time, we also need to reaffirm the Catholic Church's constant teaching that abortion is a grave violation of the most fundamental human right -- the right to life that is inherent in all human beings, and that grounds every other right we possess.

Pope John Paul II's apostolic exhortation on the vocation and mission of the laity, "Christifideles Laici," which the representatives' statement cites, declares: "The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God finds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination…. The human being is entitled to such rights, in every phase of development, from conception until natural death; and in every condition, whether healthy or sick, whole or handicapped, rich or poor" (38).

While it is always necessary to work to reduce the number of abortions by providing alternatives and help to vulnerable parents and children, Catholic teaching calls all Catholics to work actively to restrain, restrict and bring to an end the destruction of unborn human life.

As the Church carries out its central responsibility to teach clearly and to help form consciences, and as Catholic legislators seek to act in accord with their own consciences, it is essential to remember that conscience must be consistent with fundamental moral principles. As members of the Church, all Catholics are obliged to shape our consciences in accord with the moral teaching of the Church.

As bishops, we too are bound by our own consciences to teach faithfully and to recommit ourselves to continued reflection and discussion on how Catholic faith and public service can work together to promote human life and dignity and advance the common good. Through dialogue, especially the irreplaceable dialogue between Catholic political leaders and their own bishops, we hope to promote a better understanding of how the Church's teaching on human life and dignity challenges us all.

Cardinal William Keeler Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro Life Activities
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Chairman, USCCB Task Force on Catholic Bishops and Catholic Politicians
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio Chairman, USCCB Committee on Domestic Policy

Vatican backs Islamic hour

The Vatican has disconcerted Italian politicians - and some of the Roman Catholic church's most senior prelates - by endorsing a proposal by radical Muslims for a weekly "Islamic hour" in schools with a strong Muslim presence.

"If in a school there are 100 Muslim children, I don't see why their religion shouldn't be taught," said Cardinal Renato Martino, a minister in the Vatican's government, the Roman Curia.

The speaker of the Italian senate, Marcello Pera, who has launched a movement for the defence of Europe's Christian values, said the suggestion was "the diametric opposite of any kind of attempt at integration". In a note posted on the internet, he said it "tended, on the contrary, to reinforce the idea of an autonomous Muslim community inside the Italian state".


Discord swells candidate rolls to 591

The unpopular pay raise for top state officials came home to roost last week. Of the 146 state lawmakers who voted last summer to raise their pay and those of the executive branch and judges, 79 either face primary opponents or decided not to seek re-election.

Read More

Poll: Americans Inconsistent on Abortion

For all the recent tumult over abortion, one thing has remained surprisingly stable: Americans have proved extremely consistent in their beliefs about the procedure — and extremely conflicted in their views.

A solid majority long have felt that Roe v. Wade should be upheld. Yet most support at least some restrictions on when abortions can be performed. Most think having an abortion should be a personal choice. But they also think it is murder.

The arrival of two new justices on the Supreme Court has stoked speculation about how abortion laws could be affected. Also, there has been a flurry of action at the state level to ban or sharply restrict access to the procedure.

In 2005, states enacted 52 measures to restrict access to abortion, according to the private Guttmacher Institute, and more are pending. Most notably, South Dakota this month outlawed almost all abortions. Supporters hope the move will provoke a legal challenge that results in the new, more conservative Supreme Court overturning Roe.


The Crescent and Cross

A two-page color ad in Friday's (3/10/06) Washington Post celebrates the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding," a $20-million "think tank" at Georgetown University in the District of Columbia.

The ad shows one of Georgetown's beautiful Gothic buildings, topped by a stone cross. In the night sky, above Georgetown, is a crescent moon and star--the symbols of Islam. How better to show the kind of "understanding" we will have? Christianity is to be subordinated, Islam is raised high--at a Christian university.

Harvard also has a $20 million center from the Saudi billionaire prince. What about the compromise of American liberties? There is no reciprocity here. All the talk on this side of the ocean is about "understanding." Where are the study centers at Saudi universities?

Does anyone there present courses on James Madison's views of religious liberty? Does anyone there even suggest that feudal monarchies that deny their people fundamental human rights need to reform themselves? Saudi Arabia is one of the worst violators of human rights on earth. No Christian can even carry a Bible on any street in Saudi Arabia. Converts there are beheaded.

According to the U.S. State Department's latest report on global human rights "The [Saudi] government has not provided legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection did not exist." Ditto for the freedom to establish political parties. Yet, here we have major American universities bending the knee for Saudi petrodollars.

There have been persistent reports of Saudi-funded schools (madrassas) and mosques in America that teach hatred toward Christians and Jews. And one more thought: has anyone told campus liberals, some of whom went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to keep military recruiters off campus because of the military's "Don't Ask - Don't Tell policy, about Saudi Arabia's policy toward gays in the military?