I'm honored to be invited to join the Pittsburgh Steelers with the President at the White House. I will be there on Friday 6/2 along with Sen Rick Santourm. I will be doing a live report that afternoon during the show on 101.5 WORD FM. I will post pictures from the event when I return.
From Washington D.C. I am traveling on to the Outer Banks for some R&R. While I'm away, the news will be updated everyday on PowerBlog! and as always the Talk Back Forum is there for you.
On June 1st we have a great interview on "The Prison Angel" Tune in to hear about Mother Antonia and her life of servcie in Mexican Prisons. Also coming up on June 6th Ruth Ghaham, the daughter of Billy Graham will be in the studio for an interview.
I will be back and posting on June 12th. Till then, play nice!
“I believe this is one of the most important elections in the history of our state,” said Governor Ridge. “Lynn Swann has what it takes to get Pennsylvania back on track. He has a clear, positive vision for the future, and he stands ready to make the tough decisions we need to help meet the promise of Pennsylvania.”
Ridge joined Swann and his running mate, Jim Matthews, for a day-long, statewide swing stopping in Philadelphia, Scranton, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Erie.
“I am honored to have the support of Governor Tom Ridge as I continue my campaign for change and reform in Pennsylvania,” said Swann. “Governor Ridge has established a legacy of service to our state and to our nation, and he understands what it will take to get Pennsylvania back on track. Under his leadership, our state was making great progress, and I am committed to continuing that progress as Pennsylvania’s next Governor.”
During each stop, Swann outlined his policy proposals to reform Pennsylvania’s property tax system, jump start anemic job creation, establish greater accountability and transparency in state government, and improve Pennsylvania’s education system.
Memorial Day visitors to the website found Google's standard logo – but no mention of Memorial Day. This was true as well at the company's news-search site.
"If you go back through the Google archives, you'll find that, although it has over the years commemorated Shichi-go-san being celebrated in Japan, Bastille Day in France, and Korean Liberation Day, it appears that Google has never dressed up its logo for Memorial Day," wrote Newsbusters blogger Noel Sheppard.
Mourn those brave soldiers who have died, but thank God that they had lived and gave their life for our freedom & Security.
FREEDOM ISN'T FREE... God Bless America
First Law: When Orthodoxy and Catholicism agree, Protestantism loses.
Second Law: When the Bible alone is our authority, the Bible ceases to be our authority.
Third Law: It’s one thing to read Scripture and the Fathers; it’s quite another thing to read Scripture through the Fathers.
Fourth Law: A church that does not understand itself as the Church, outside of which there is no salvation, is not the Church but a denomination or sect.
Fifth Law: When it comes to doctrine, earlier is better, except when it’s not.
Sixth Law: When the Church Fathers and the Rabbis of the Talmud agree on a commandment of God, odds are God spoke it.
Seventh Law: Justification by faith is not a theory of salvation; it is the verbal and sacramental enactment of salvation.
Eighth Law: Any christology, soteriology, or ecclesiology that undermines the Church’s evangelistic mission to the heathen and their baptismal conversion to Jesus Christ is wrong.
Ninth Law: If a Catholic cannot name at least one article of faith that he believes principally on the basis of the authoritative teaching of the Magisterium, he’s either a saint or a Protestant.
Tenth Law: All dogmas of the Church Catholic are infallible, but some are more infallible than others.
The Coalition is comprised of all eight U.S. Catholic cardinals, as well as officials of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of God in Christ, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and the National Association of Evangelicals. While diverse in many ways, the groups represented share a singleness of purpose -- the protection of traditional marriage.
The Coalition has also launched a website (ReligiousCoalitionforMarriage.org) that enables church members to send messages urging their senators to approve the Federal Marriage Amendment, and a major grassroots postcard writing campaign is under way as well. Campaign organizers are predicting the Senate will receive millions of postcards and messages expressing support for the amendment.
The school had a different conviction: "The ideal is to kind of practice what we preach," said Leonard DeFiore, an education professor at Catholic University and past president of the National Catholic Education Association. If the teacher sues, will the school’s position be upheld?
Are Evangelicals appalled at the “ghastly injustice” of the free market?
This is the latest twist in Santorum's long-running clash with a local Democratic couple that Santorum accuses of trespassing and peeking into windows in a bid to prove he doesn't really live there.
Erin Vecchio is the Penn Hills Democratic chairwoman whose husband was quoted in news reports as saying Santorum's home was emptied of furniture and had no curtains until days ago. Vecchio was also the Penn Hills School Board member who tried to force Santorum to repay the district thousands of dollars it had to pay for his kids' cyber schooling.
Santorum's staff said the Capitol Police visit was to ensure the safety and security of the Santorum family home.
"In the event that Americans attack Iran anywhere, Iran will respond with an attack in that place," he told a joint news conference with Iraq's speaker of parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.
But he suggested he did not believe the United States would attack Iran, saying: "We don't see that America is in a position where it would create a new crisis for the American tax payer."
The United States and Iran are fiercely at odds over Western accusations that Iran's nuclear power program is a cover for making weapons. Iran denies the accusations and says it has a right to a peaceful nuclear program.
Fred Phelps, the head of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas and creator of the "God Hates Fags" website, claimed to be undeterred Thursday, hours after both the House and Senate passed a bill prohibiting his followers from demonstrating at military funerals held on federal property. Full Story
Conservatives (+16 percent) have grown more disillusioned faster than liberals (+9). Small wonder. We are seeing widespread contempt for law in the immigration debate. There are corruption scandals on Capitol Hill. Hollywood no longer "pushes the envelope," it crawls through a gaping hole. The President cannot change all of this, but he can change some of it.
For example, the recent signing of the Cord Blood Bill was a low-key affair. It was a missed opportunity for using the White House as the Bully Pulpit Teddy Roosevelt called it. Congress is poised to pass important indecency legislation and may pass a tough ban on Internet gambling.
These things need to be highlighted by President Bush. He needs to speak out on marriage. His official--and unofficial--family have surely had their say. As Harry Truman put it: The Buck Stops Here. President Bush's position is actually quite good on many of these life and family issues--but he needs to get out front on them. The Values Voters are waiting Mr. President.
What’s interesting about this latest piece of hate mail, which said “I look forward to the day when you pigs get your throats cut….,” is that when the IP of the commenter was traced, it was from Reuters. Yes, that Reuters. The same Reuters that some joke around and call Al-Reuters. Looks like the joke is a bit less funny today and more truthful.
You can read the post on the subject as he traces the email to Sweeden and then to England and run the IP yourself if you don’t believe it could have come from Reuters.
A mainline Presbyterian who teaches at an Evangelical Lutheran seminary says the future of both denominations is threatened by divisions over homosexuality and same-sex "marriage." But Rev. Katie Day does not want the issue settled with a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
While traditionalists would welcome an end to challenges to their churches' historic teachings, Day told reporters on Capitol Hill that she would not want a constitutional ban on homosexual marriage to "chill" the debate. Day is a professor of church and society at The Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
Southern Baptist churches in the U.S., meanwhile, have been asked by one of their denomination's agencies to observe June 4 as "Marriage Protection Sunday." Pastors in those churches are being asked to address same-sex marriage on that day, and to encourage their congregations to ask their senators to support the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.
The Senate will begin debating the proposed federal marriage amendment the week of June 5.
Speaking at a business awards ceremony in London he slammed the Catholic Church's anti-condom stance, called on big business to help battle against Aids and applauded the government's commitment to provide funds for free education in Africa.
He said, "We don't have a medical vaccine but we have a social vaccine and it's called education." He failed to include in his so-called education platform that condoms may be a leading reason for the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Even leading health experts at the United Nations have acknowledged that condoms have an estimated 10% failure rate.
I'm not quite sure why his friends would follow the Catholic teaching forbiding condoms, but ignore all other teachings on sexuality. Suppose Elton's 60 friends had followed the entire Catholic teaching of sexuality. How many of them would be dead of AIDS today?
By the way, if your looking at the picture, Elton is the one on the left.
Santorum has challenged Casey to 10 debates, four on national TV and six in the state. Casey will have to accept some of those debates if only to show he is not afraid of Santorum. Make no mistake, this is the most important race. If Democrats have any hope of winning the six Senate seats they need to take control of the U.S. Senate during the last two years of the Bush administration, it begins right here in Pennsylvania.
The Democrats also must win 15 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to take it back after 12 years of Republican control, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has its eyes set on Pennsylvania for many of those 15 seats.
You participation in the campaigns and election will chart the course for the entire country!
Shero, 43, has been the assistant general manager in Nashville for the past eight years. Before that, he spent seven seasons as assistant GM in Ottawa after breaking into the business as a player agent. He is the son of former NHL coach Fred Shero.
Zolpidem is usually used to treat insomnia. However, South African researchers, writing in the NeuroRehabilitation, looked at the effects on three patients of using the drug for up to six years.
The report indicated "all patients were aroused transiently every morning after Zolpidem.”
Their conclusion was that Zolpidem appeared to be effective in restoring some brain function to patients previously determined to be in a persistent vegetative state.
The family of Terri Schiavo had pleaded for years with Terri’s guardian, Michael Schiavo, and the courts to try and use different treatments or medicines that could possibly help improve Terri’s condition, but were denied. The Foundation has been contacted by dozens of families with similar stories of patients improving significantly after being wrongly diagnosed in this PVS condition.
In December 2000, Patricia White Bull, after given the drug Amantadine (used to stimulate people with Parkinson's disease and brain damage) awoke after 16 years of being in what doctors were calling a persistent vegetative state.
“Sadly, we will never know if any of any of these drugs or treatments that were available would have improved Terri’s condition,” says Bobby Schindler.
This recent finding and other studies in the past demonstrate the dangers of this subjective and often incorrect diagnosis. A report released by the British Medical Journal in 1996, found that 43% of the diagnosed cases of PVS they studied were, in fact, misdiagnosed.
“We at the Foundation are seeing that the PVS diagnosis is being commonly misdiagnosed. Consequently, it has become very obvious we don’t know enough about this so-called diagnosis, and common sense dictates that the removal of food and water based on this misclassification must end until further studies can be conducted.” Robert Schindler, Sr.
Mary and Robert Schindler as well as Suzanne Schindler Vitadamo and Bobby Schindler now work for The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation Center for Health Care Ethics in St. Petersburg, Florida, an organization dedicated to ensuring the rights of disabled, elderly and vulnerable citizens against care rationing, euthanasia and medical killing.
Less than two weeks from today the U.S. Senate will vote on S. J. Res. 1, the Marriage Protection Amendment to the Constitution. Marriage is an indispensable institution, and this is a vote of surpassing importance. In the decades to come, our children and our grandchildren will turn to us and ask, "When the issue of marriage was decided, were you involved? Where did you stand?"
I've written lengthy emails on this issue before, but this one will be short. We need at least 13,000 more signers of our online petition to reach our goal. These petitions will be presented to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Monday, June 5. I would like to count your name, and those of your family and friends, among the signers. Please take a few seconds to add your name to this petition in support of the Marriage Protection Amendment.
Let's all take the actions needed to answer the question the rising generations will ask us: "Where did you stand?"
P.S. The Family Research Council website at www.frc.org is keeping a running tally of signers of our petition in support of S. J. Res. 1. Our goal is a minimum of 50,000 names. Can we count on you to forward this email to your family and friends so they can sign the petition? Thank you and God bless you.
To show those supporting traditional marriage they mean business, Ford sponsored the June 6 issue of the homosexual publication The Advocate. The cover reads: "Polygamy & Gay Men. Dirty laundry or sexual freedom? How gay men handle multiple partners."
The article promotes homosexual polygamy. Ford sponsored the publication with a full page back cover advertising Ford Motor company product Volvo and a full page ad for all Ford brands with the line: "Ford Motor Company. Standing strong with America's families and communities."
Ford's support for the magazine's promotion of homosexual polygamy leaves no doubt that Ford means to continue pushing the homosexual agenda, even including homosexual polygamy.
To see the front cover, the contents page and the ads for Ford and Volvo, click here. I must warn you, it will be offensive to many. The pages show the contents of the magazine which Ford helped sponsor with two full-page ads, but I felt we must include the proof. If you don't want to see it, please don't click the link.
At their stockholders meeting on May 11, Ford voted 95% of the ballots cast to continue their support of the homosexual agenda rather than be neutral in the cultural battle.
The American Family Association called for a boycott of Ford. The value of Ford stock has gone down 13% since the boycott began, while sales continue to drop. If you are looking to buy a car, you might want to keep this info in mind.
Rooney's brother is Dan Rooney, owner of Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers and co-chair of the search committee looking to replace the retiring Paul Tagliabue.
"I met with Mr. Rooney and I said, `I'm doing my job until I'm finished and then I'm going to consider other things,'" Bush told the newspaper.
Tagliabue, who has been commissioner since 1989, announced in March his decision to retire. Although he originally set a July 31 deadline to be out of the job, he has indicated his willingness to stay on longer.
The administration is leading the effort to crack down on Iran financially – WITHOUT the U.N Security Council's involvement – by forcing European banks to stop dealing with the Iranian regime. Because Russia and China continue to block any meaningful action in the Security Council, the U.N. may be done for when it comes to confronting threats and terrorism.
Tuesday night, Iran conducted a test of an intermediate-range missile just hours before President Bush met with Israeli leader Ehud Olmert. The missile’s range is approximately 900 miles – great enough to reach Israel and American interests in the region.
I don't mind these challenges. They serve to strengthen me in my faith and understanding. Some challenges are harsher then others, but the only thing I can control is my response to them.
I was asked to respond to a post by an anti-Catholic ministry (Apprising Ministries). Here is the beginning of that post:
In this generation Evangelical Protestants must come to a unified consensus,
once and for all, as to how to approach this subject of the Church of Rome if we
are to have any hopes of reaching those who are trapped .
Perhaps the best way to begin is to remember that to be Protestant means
that we are "protesting" the dogmas of the Church at Rome. Specifically
we protest their claim that the Roman Pontiff, better known as the Pope, is the
head of the entire universal Church. And contrary to the opinions of most people
you will run into, that is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church herself still
Well now, I could write a book just based on these few words. Why is "this generation of Evangelical Protestants" any different than past generations? All Christians seem to be easily distracted and spend our time taking shots at other Christians, while the rest of the world starves for the saving message of Christ. Shame on all of us.
I would publicly declare at this time that I am not trapped within any false system of religion. When I go to mass, they do not lock the doors behind me. There is no wall capped with barbed wire surrounding me. I can leave, reject, renounce the Roman Catholic Church anytime I choose to do so. However, I have prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to lead me on the path of truth. Those prayers have been answered and I remain in the Roman Catholic Church.
It is not a perfect church. It has it's failings because man is involved. It is also a church under attack. From pedofiles, homosexuals, and those who seek to weaken or destroy the church under the guise of "ministry".
For those of you who are Protestant, were you aware that to be Protestant means that you are "protesting" the dogmas of the Church at Rome? That's the mission. I find that very interesting. Most Protestants I know are not only against the Roman Catholic Church, they are also against some aspect of every other Protestant denomination other than their own. The like to protest.
How does one become Protestant? Is something passed on from generation to generation? Is it a choice after careful study? Or does the Holy Spirit lead you there? I suspect it can be any one of the three. It's the same way people end up in the Roamn Catholic Church. Some for the right reasons, some for the wrong reasons.
Catholic literaly means "universal". There are over one billion Catholics around the world. The pope is the head of the universal church for one billion Christians. He is also a fine example for all people of what a life dedicated to God should be.
Christians should never seek to "free" other Christians. Instead we should speak God's truth and live the life that God has called us to live. We should be an inviting example to all we encounter. Go where God leads you. Any false church will not stand the test of time. Where is our faith if we doubt that?
The Rev. Robert D. Schmidtberger, of Rose Point Road in New Castle, is also charged with three counts of distributing child pornography and three counts of criminal use of a communications facility, stemming from his alleged use of the Internet to send e-mails containing child pornography.
The Rev. Schmidtberger, 50, was the pastor of Rose Point Reformed Presbyterian Church in New Castle from November 1994 until his resignation April 22, according to the church's Web site.
State police in Butler began an investigation in May 2005 after being alerted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that the Rev. Schmidtberger may have distributed child pornography by e-mail. America Online had notified the center after allegedly discovering pornographic images of children attached to three e-mails sent by Mr. Schmidtberger in March 2005.
America Online routinely searches e-mails sent over its system for child pornography, according to state police.
State police executed a search warrant on the Rev. Schmidtberger's house in June 2005, confiscating a computer, ZIP drives and CD-ROMs.
The Rev. Schmidtberger was arrested Thursday and released on his own recognizance.
Senior DoD members and 9/11 Commission officials have implied that these documents were destroyed or can no longer be located, according to a report posted to NavySeals.com.
Scott Malone of NavySeals.com, the author of the report, and Christopher Law of PublicEdCenter.org have long been following the Able Danger story. Back in November, Law submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all documents and e-mails that could be located related to Able Danger.
Last week, Law’s request was finally denied. DOD refused to turn over a single document - but admitted there were at least 9,500 pages of data responsive to his request.
"The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, has determined that approximately 9,500 pages of these collected documents are potentially responsive to your FOIA request,” cited the denial letter.
Able Danger was a classified military intelligence program created as a result of a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1999 to develop an Information Operations Campaign Plan against transnational terrorism, specifically al-Qaida.
With the Senate headed toward a final vote on an immigration bill this week, a leader of House conservatives is asking his colleagues to support a free-market plan aimed at bridging the gulf between the versions in the two chambers. The proposal by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), provided to TIME ahead of an unveiling speech at the Heritage Foundation, is arguably less compassionate than the version being debated in the Senate and supported in principle by President George W. Bush. But it looks to be more palatable to House Republicans, many of whom have opposed creating a guest worker program before new border crackdowns have been given a chance to work.
Pence, a rising star in the House, is suggesting a temporary worker program based on a data base run by private industry. And unlike the leading plan in the Senate and the blueprint sketched by Bush, his “Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act” would require all applicants to leave the country first. Pence tweaks a phrase from Bush’s address to the nation by calling the compromise “a REAL rational middle ground.” Even though Bush has said his preferred solution “ain’t amnesty,” Pence appeals to hard-liners by calling the compromise a “no-amnesty solution.”
As war in Iraq loomed, Maines told the London audience: "Just so you know, we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."
The remarks led to death threats and a backlash from other country stars, including a high-profile spat with Toby Keith. It also stalled what until then had been the group's smashingly successful career.
UPDATE: Country radio nixes Dixie Chicks
NASHVILLLE, Tenn., May 22 (UPI) -- It appears the war U.S. country radio stations mounted against the politically outspoken Dixie Chicks has not abated in the least.
The band is promoting "Taking the Long Way," its first album since Natalie Maines told a London audience in 2003 she was ashamed to be from the same state as U.S. President George Bush. The comment sparked a radio boycott of the group's music.
Although the album hits stores Tuesday, the first two singles from the album are not getting widespread airplay, Billboard.com reported Monday.
The first single, "Not Ready to Make Nice," only peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the second single, "Everybody Knows," is moving downward after its peak at No. 48.
WKIS FM in Miami reported it pulled "Not Ready to Make Nice" due to listener complaints after only one week.
The program director at KUBL/KKAT in Salt Lake City told Billboard he was angered by its "self-indulgent and selfish lyrics."
The constitutional amendment, passed overwhelmingly by 76% of the voters in Georgia, is now null and void. The homosexuals are determined to win this battle. They know they will never win if the people have an opportunity to vote. So they are turning to liberal activist judges to force their will on the people. They intend to force homosexual marriage down the throats of Americans. They feel our children must be indoctrinated beginning in kindergarten that homosexuality is normal behavior.
On June 6 the U.S. Senate will vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) which defines marriage as being only between one man and one woman. Because of a power grab by activist judges like the one in Georgia, the MPA is the only way that the sacred institution of marriage will remain between one man and one woman.
Please call your two U.S. Senators today and tell them to vote for the MPA. If your Senator's lines are busy, please keep trying. They need to hear from you personally. The liberal senators who want to legalize homosexual marriage will give you the political run-around. Don't be fooled.
Just remember this: If your senator does not vote for the MPA he or she is voting for homosexual marriage. Regardless of the political jargon you get from a liberal senator; that is the bottom line. Tell them to vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment. Print out their phone numbers and distribute in your church and Sunday school. Ask others to call! The time to act is now. We must not let a handful of activist, liberal, pro-homosexual marriage judges force homosexual marriage on us and our children.
Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA)
SH-711Washington, D.C. 20510-3802
Phone: (202) 224-4254
Fax: (202) 228-1229
Main District Office:
600 Arch St., #9400Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: (215) 597-7200
Fax: (215) 597-0406
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)
SD-511Washington, D.C. 20510-3804
Phone: (202) 224-6324
Fax: (202) 228-0604
Main District Office:
Landmarks Bldg., 100 W. Station Sq. Dr., Ste. 250
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (412) 562-0533
Fax: (412) 562-4313
In a speech to the Pennsylvania Press Club in Harrisburg,
Lynn Swann detailed his plan for long term reform of Pennsylvania’s property tax system, including property tax relief for every homeowner in the first year of his Administration and eliminates current assessments in favor of a new system that sets property taxes according to the actual purchase price of one’s home.
“After almost four years under Ed Rendell, Pennsylvanians have seen their school property taxes jump by a total of almost $1.5 billion dollars,” he said. “I believe that we cannot afford another four years before we take real action to meet the promise of Pennsylvania.”
“As Governor, I will work to accomplish two simple goals – to provide property tax relief to every homeowner during the first year of a Swann Administration, and to set a course for long-term reform of a system that today places an onerous and unfair burden on those who can least afford it.”
During his remarks, Swann outlined a four point plan he said would serve as the key principles of necessary reform of a system he called “onerous” and “unfair.” The four key points of Swann’s plan are as follows:
Immediately reduce school property taxes for our most burdened property taxpayers.
Constrain spending and infuse predictability by prohibiting any increases greater than the rate of inflation.
Eliminate the current arbitrary system of property tax assessments and replace it with an understandable system based on the purchase price of the property.
Reform the current local taxing structure for all property owners to create a fair and predictable system.
Swann and his Lt. Governor running mate, Jim Matthews, have been traveling across the Commonwealth highlighting their policy proposals to make Pennsylvania more competitive, create more and higher paying jobs, and to meet the needs of a changing Pennsylvania.
As the son of an Italian immigrant who came to the United States in 1930, I understand the important and valuable contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to our country. I have great respect for those who have legally come to our nation seeking a better life for their families, just as my grandfather and father did.
However, as the Senate continues the important debate on an immigration bill, I firmly believe that the rule of law and our safety and security must be given paramount importance when considering how to deal with the continuous flood of illegal immigrants entering our country each and every day.
My plan is built around four sensible principles:
SECURE THE BORDER - I cosponsored and voted for a successful amendment that authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to construct 370 miles of triple-layer fence and 500 miles of vehicle barriers at strategic locations along our southern border.
NO AMNESTY - I cosponsored -- and voted for -- an amendment that would remove provisions from the Senate bill that grants legalization, a green card, and a chance for naturalization to most unauthorized aliens currently residing in the United States. Furthermore, I will not vote for a final bill that provides amnesty.
NO REWARDS FOR ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR - Whether it's tightening visa requirements or preventing illegal immigrants from accruing Social Security benefits when they present fraudulent information, I believe we should not reward people for their illegal behavior.
KEEP THE COUNTRY SAFE FROM CRIMINALS AND OTHER DANGEROUS PERSONS - I voted for a successful amendment that clarifies who is ineligible for a green card -- including anyone convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors, subject of a final removal order, or constitutes a danger to the United States (as determined by the Department of Homeland Security).
Few question that religious issues have played a prominent role in the presidency of George W. Bush. Some even accuse Bush of being a Christian zealot who wants to remake America according to his religious views. Although Bush’s faith has helped shape his electoral strategy, political agenda, and relationships at home and abroad, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, has urged Bush to reevaluate his Middle East policies in light of his religious convictions. The U.S. president may want to ask his Iranian counterpart to reassess his own policies in light of the letter he recently sent Bush.
Ironically, many Iranians worry that their president is a religious fanatic who wants to take their nation’s Islamic theocracy to a more radical level. Ahmadinejad anticipates the return of the Shiite messiah, the 12th imam, who will lead the exploited to revolt against their oppressors. And he has alarmed many Westerners by his inflammatory claim that “Israel should be wiped off the map.”
In his letter 18-page epistle on religion, philosophy and history, Ahmadinejad asked Bush how his actions in the Middle East could be reconciled with his claim to “be a follower of Jesus Christ,” “the great Messenger of God,” the herald “of peace and forgiveness.” Could a disciple of Jesus attack other countries and destroy entire villages “on the slight chance” of capturing a few criminals? If the billions of dollars the U.S. spent on security and military campaigns were instead used to improve health services and education, create jobs, alleviate poverty, mediate between disputing states, and extinguish “the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts,” the Iranian president asked, would the world not be a much better place? If such prophets as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, or Jesus Christ “were with us today,” how would they judge America’s priorities?
Ahmadinejad rejoiced that hundreds of millions of Christians and Muslims and millions of Jews throughout the world share a “belief in a single God.” He insisted that the holy scriptures command everyone to “worship one God” who “is above all powers in the world” and to “follow the teachings of divine prophets.” “Do you not think,” Ahmadinejad asked Bush, that if all people accept and abide by the principles of “monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, [and] belief in the Last Day, we can overcome the present problems of the world—that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets? Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice?”
Although Bush will probably not respond to Ahmadinejad’s missive, he does share many of his convictions about God and the importance of faith and justice.
Bush has argued that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all seek to create “a kind, just, tolerant society” and emphasize the “universal call to love your neighbor.” He has frequently insisted that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful.” Bush hosted the first-ever White House dinner to recognize the beginning of Ramadan, has met frequently with American Muslim leaders, and praised Islam for inspiring “countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality.” Like Ahmadinejad, Bush has often emphasized God’s control of the universe. In his 2003 State of the Union Address, the president declared, for example, “Behind all of life and all of history, there’s a … purpose, set by the hand of a just and faithful God.”
Both presidents are inspired by their faith and seek to determine God’s will for their administrations and countries. Both want the Middle East to become a just, stable, and prosperous region.
Unlike Ahmandinejad, however, Bush has never claimed that he definitely knows God’s will for particular situations.
American leaders quickly dismissed Ahmadinejad’s “rambling” correspondence as irrelevant because it contained no proposals to resolve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program. At a deeper level, however, his letter calls attention to the crucial issues of America’s global priorities and whether religious communities, especially Islam, can help promote justice, the rule of law, and toleration.
Given the many ideological, ethnic, and political divisions in our world and the Middle East’s repressive governments, let us hope that Islam can play a role in establishing republican governments with broad political participation, equal justice, and civil liberties in this region. Perhaps Bush should challenge Ahmadinejad and other Middle Eastern leaders to foster the principles the Iranian president delineates.
Dr. Gary Scott Smith is a professor of history at Grove City College and author of Faith and the Presidency from George Washington to George W. Bush (Oxford University Press, August 2006).
Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday that low birth rates in Canada are the result of the "pervasive effects of secularism" and asked the country's bishops to counter the trend by preaching the truth of Christ.
Benedict, who has spoken out several times in favor of large families, blamed Canada's low birth rate on social ills and moral ambiguities that result from secular ideology.
"Like many countries ... Canada is today suffering from the pervasive effects of secularism," Benedict told visiting bishops from Canada. "One of the more dramatic symptoms of this mentality, clearly evident in your own region, is the plummeting birth rate."
Canada's birth rate in 2005 was 10.5 births for every 1,000 people, according to Statistics Canada.
Thanks to birth control pills and other hormonal contraceptives, a growing number of women are now able to avoid their menstrual period.
22-year-old Stephanie Sardinha uses Nuvaring, a vaginal contraceptive ring. After the hormones run out in three weeks, she replaces the ring right away instead of following instructions to leave the ring out for a week to allow bleeding. She says it has been great for her marriage, preventing monthly crankiness and improving her sex life. Red flag anyone?
I would never go back," said Sardinha, who got the idea from her aunt, a nurse practitioner.
Using the pill or other contraceptives to block periods is becoming more popular, particularly among young women and those entering menopause, doctors say."I have a ton of young girls in college who are doing this," says Dr. Mindy Wiser-Estin, a gynecologist in Little Silver, N.J., who did it herself for years. "There's no reason you need a period."
Such medical jury-rigging soon will be unnecessary. Already, the Seasonale birth control pill limits periods to four a year. The first continuous-use birth control pill, Lybrel, likely will soon be on the U.S. market and drug companies are lining up other ways to limit or eliminate the period. Wyeth is hoping by late June to get Food and Drug Administration approval to sell Lybrel, its low-dose, continuous birth control pill; approval also is pending in Canada and Europe.
Today's birth control pills contain far less estrogen and progestin than those two generations ago, but still increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.
I don't often go to see a movie in a theatre. It's too expensive, the floors are sticky, the chairs squeak and someone with a big head always sits in front off me. I can wait for a bit, rent it for 3 bucks, sit in my living room and rewind when I missed something.
So I saw Narnia. It was good. I wasn't overly impressed. I'm still scratching my head as to why people were drooling over this film. The story was not original. It's the story of Christ. (Christ as a lion, but still the same idea) It's fine entertainment, but I'd much rather see Jesus on the move than Aslan any day. Not bad for a rental. Now I have to wait for Da Vinci to come out on DVD.
"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," said the feisty chairman as Feingold stalked out of the cramped hearing room. "Good riddance," the chairman called after Feingold, as the possible liberal contender for the 2008 presidential nomination departed. There was some humor, though, in the meeting. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he'd rather be working on something more important, like judicial nominations. That's hilarious.
"Stop wasting my time on something so trivial as a marriage amendment and let me get back to blocking Bush's judges--so the Clinton judges I voted for can overturn marriage." At least that's how I'd translate Leahy's remarks. How transparent.
I am very pleased that the MPA has now been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This clears the hurdle for action on the Senate floor. But it is very troubling that all committee Democrats voted against it. When 76 percent of Georgians and Texas and 59 percent of Californians vote for marriage, you know those numbers include millions of Democrats. This should not be a partisan issue. Unfortunately, Leahy and company are making it one.
The Legionaries said in a statement that the Rev. Marcial Maciel, while declaring himself innocent of charges spanning several decades, accepted the Vatican decision "with faith, complete serenity and tranquility of conscience."
Pope Benedict XVI approved the sanctions against Maciel _ making it the first major sexual abuse disciplinary case he has handled since taking office last year. The move was first reported Thursday by the U.S. newspaper National Catholic Reporter.
The House late Thursday rejected an attempt to end the quarter-century ban on oil and natural gas drilling that has been in effect for 85 percent of the country's coastal waters from Alaska to New England despite arguments that new supplies are needed to lower energy costs.
Lawmakers from Florida and California, who led the fight to continue the drilling moratorium, said they feared energy projects as close as three miles from shore could jeopardize multibillion-dollar tourism industries in their states.
After careful consideration, I will boycott the boycotts. All the talk, all the contoversy, the anti-The Da Vinci Code books, DVD's and progams are a publicity dream come ture for Sony. Christians are being used as a catalyst for box office success.
Have we forgotten the swirling controversy over Mel Gibson’s "The Passion of the Christ?" The Anti Defamation League was responsible in part for "The Passion" becoming the all-time box office winner for R-rated productions. Even my words here plays into the hands of Sony’s controversy promotion. We must shift the debate away from Dan Brown to the Christian community — Protestant and Catholic alike.
If Dan Brown is capable of passing fiction for fact because Christians don’t know their faith, that’s not Mr. Brown’s fault. If the millions of readers and viewers of "The Da Vinci Code" knew the Christian faith, Dan Brown would be unable to muddle fact and fiction in the way he has.
If some Christians stay away from the theaters, deciding thier money is better spent elsewhere that's fine, but we must also allow others to go and see the movie out of curiosity or for simple entertainment without condeming them.
I predict the net result will be a positive one, despite all the bad intentions. Anything that causes Christians and non-belivers to consider what they belive and why they believe it is a good thing. God uses all things for his glory.
Over 2,000 people in the greater Pittsburgh area are poor, hungry and homeless. An extraordinary, life changing opportunity awaits each and every one of them at Light of Life Rescue Mission.
Summer is a time of the year when homelessness often increases, and our area's need is great now. Won't you help feed and care for a fellow Pittsburgher this summer with a donation today?
Light of Life Rescue Mission offers a lonely, hungry person much more than a plate of food and a warm bed. In a Christ-centered environment, the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of broken people are addressed by a skilled and caring staff. Lives ravaged by poverty, addiction and hopelessness are restored through the extension of God's love and specialized programs.
In December 2005, a federal judge ruled in favor of government schools indoctrinating children with Darwinian dogmatism. It is self-evident that secular humanism and its concomitant moral relativism has become the official state sponsored religion in government schools.
Enter the Southern Baptists.
Last year at the 2005 SBC Annual Meeting, the messengers adopted a resolution urging churches and parents to investigate their public schools to determine, among other things, whether they are endangering children in their care by collaborating with homosexual activists.
Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, weighed in on the controversy stating that "We have no reason to believe that next year will not bring even more urgent concerns related to public education" and declaring that it is time for responsible Southern Baptists to develop an exit strategy from the public schools.
Roger Moran, a member of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee and a leader in the Missouri Baptist Convention, and Dr. Bruce N. Shortt, co-sponsor of the 2004 and 2005 Christian Education Resolutions and author of The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, have submitted a resolution for consideration at the 2006 SBC Annual Meeting urging churches to heed Dr. Mohler's call to develop an exit strategy from the public schools that will give particular attention to the needs of orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged. This year's SBC Annual Meeting will be held June 13-14 in Greensboro, North Carolina, and indeed all eyes will be on Greensborough.
This issue alone could be powerful enough to split this denomination. A resolution to the state Convention of Southern Baptists in Ohio in December of 2005 was presented, urging pastors to encourage parents to remove their children from public schools. There was a debate between those who could see the spiritual danger being wrought upon our children, and those who felt that "their schools were different." The Ohio resolution passed but stopped short of calling on parents to withdraw their children and instead urged parents, "to embrace their responsibility to educate their children by choosing a means of education that would "ensure their physical, moral, emotional, and spiritual well-being, with a goal of raising godly men and women who are thoroughly equipped to live as fully devoted followers of Christ"
Are the schools to blame if children don't become "fully devoted followers of Christ"? No one expects public schools to be teaching Christianity. At SBC's own 2002 annual meeting, the Southern Baptist Council on Family Life reported, that 88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave the church at or about age 18. It that the fault of the schools or the church?
We all must fight for our children. The question is do we defend them through isolation and withdrawal, or engagement and confronting the problems even non-Christian children face?
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance C. Russell ruled Tuesday that Georgia's two-year-old ban on same-sex marriages violates the state's constitution. The ballot proposition had been approved by Georgia's voters. But the ACLU and homosexual advocates rushed into court, claiming the initiative violated a provision that calls for ballot measures to confine themselves to a single subject.
Well, it did confine itself to a single subject: preserving marriage! The ballot proposition did no more than strengthen the law as it was then understood. Gov. Sonny Perdue (R) expressed his opposition to Judge Russell's ruling: "The people of Georgia knew exactly what they were doing when an overwhelming 76 percent voted in support of this constitutional amendment." What better illustration do we need that the federal Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA) needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate? Judges will continue to trample on state and federal constitutions until they are effectively reined in.
Sen. Bill Frist will bring this up for a vote on or about June 5th. Without massive support, it will not pass. PLEASE make your voice heard. Politicans fear this has faded from voters minds. Tell them it hasn't!
“Now that the general election is underway, maybe it’s time for ‘Silent Bob’ to articulate his positions on key issues. By contrast, it will be Rick Santorum’s clarity of conviction and proven record of results that will return him to the United States Senate.”
Casey Jr. Said He Didn’t Think The Race Should Be “A Discussion About Public Policy.”
Bob Casey, Jr.: “This isn’t a discussion about public policy, this is an election, and politics in this state is a contact sport.” (Roger Dupuis, “Casey Looking Ahead To November Race,” Scranton Times-Tribune, May 17, 2006)
Flashback To 2002 Campaign
A Philadelphia Daily News Editorial Criticized Casey Jr.’s 2002 Gubernatorial Campaign, Saying He Ran “A Dishonest, Insincere And Nasty Campaign” And “Spent Little Time Selling Himself.” (Editorial, Philadelphia Daily News, May 13, 2002)
While the officers were talking to the boy’s father, Alif CHOWDHURY became more agitated and according to witnesses at the airport, shouted "I have a bomb", "I want to die"' and "We're all going to die." As officers surrounded him with guns drawn, CHOWDHURY tore off his backpack and reached inside. At that point, officers wrestled him to the ground, subdued him and secured his backpack. Although there were no weapons or explosives found inside of his backpack, the teenager was carrying several cellular telephones.
The father and son, both of Middle Eastern descent, were waiting to return to their Garden City, Long Island home. The elder CHOWDHURY was reportedly in Buffalo to escort his son back home after visiting friends in the area. According to C. Douglas Hartmayer, the spokesman for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority that operates the Buffalo airport, Ehsan CHOWDHURY was cooperative when questioned by authorities, but his son become more agitated and combative. "He did say things like - apparently to his dad – “It's time to die. I'm not afraid to die," Hartmayer said. "And he ripped off his backpack and tried to pull something out of his backpack while saying, 'I'll kill you. It's time to die.'"
Officers arrested the teen, who was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and taken to Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo for a psychiatric evaluation. Investigation revealed that Ehsan CHOWDHURY was reportedly escorting his son back to their Long Island home following his son’s visit to friends in the Buffalo, NY area.
Matt Lauer, in his second day "On The Road With The Code," was in Cannes for the film festival, where the Code will have its debut. It has already been screened to some critics, who have given it decidedly mixed reviews.
Just who is that political strategist? Laura Bush. The first lady told "Fox News Sunday" that she thinks the American people want a debate on the issue. But, she said, "I don't think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously." "It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue -- a lot of sensitivity," she said.
The Senate will debate legislation that would have the Constitution define marriage as the union between a man and a woman early next month, Majority Leader Bill Frist said on CNN's "Late Edition." President Bush supports the amendment, but Vice President Dick Cheney does not.
Cheney's daughter, Mary, is a lesbian and has been speaking out against the marriage amendment as she promotes her new book, "Now It's My Turn." Mary Cheney wrote that she almost quit working on the Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004 because of Bush's position on gay marriage.
Asked Sunday about reports that White House political adviser Karl Rove and other Republicans want to use the issue to mobilize conservatives for the midterm election, Cheney said she hoped "no one would think about trying to amend the Constitution as a political strategy." "I certainly don't know what conversations have gone on between Karl and anybody up on the Hill," Cheney added in her appearance on Fox. "But you know, what I can say is look, amending the Constitution with this amendment, this piece of legislation, is a bad piece of legislation. It is writing discrimination into the Constitution, and, as I say, it is fundamentally wrong."
But Frist said he would defend the amendment even to Dick Cheney. "I basically say, Mr. Vice President, right now marriage is under attack in this country," Frist said on CNN. "And we've seen activist judges overturning state by state law, where state legislatures have passed laws defining marriage between a man and a woman, and that's being overturned by a handful of activist judges around the country. And that is why we need an amendment to come to the floor of the United States Senate to define marriage as that union between one man and one woman."
After the studio finally let someone see the film. Many critics aren’t thrilled. Story notes “The Da Vinci Code" drew lukewarm praise, shrugs of indifference, some jeering laughter and a few derisive jabs Tuesday.” (AP) From TIME: Well, to resolve two mysteries at once (why the film was kept from critics and what my reaction is), it’s not very good — long (2hr.32min.) and mostly inert. (TIME) Another story on the affect of the book: “The best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code has seriously damaged people's faith in the Christian Church, a survey has found.” (Telegraph)
I spent the rest of the night at the campaign headquarters of Sen. Rick Santourm. Sen. John Pippy was there. He spoke is support of Sen, Santourm. Pippy expressed his disappointment in the low turnout. He said we have 130,00 troops fighting in Iraq and the least Americans can do is vote. He stressed that we are in crucial times and said, "It matters who is in charge"
Mike Turzai was also there. He told the crowd the Sen. Santourm is a role model to other elected officials. He called Santourm, "The number one principled leader in the senate"
After about a 10 min. video recalling past Santourm "underdog" victories Sen. Rick Santourm along with his wife Karen and his children came to the stage and spoke to the crowd. He thanked everyone for their hard work and said, "I never run to win elections, I run to win the people's trust". He re-issued a debate challenge to Bob Casey, Jr. and said the people deserve to know where Casey stands on the issues.
In other election news, that anger that all the pundits claimed would not last, did haunt some top GOP legislative leaders. Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer and Senate Majority Leader David Brightbill lost their party's nominations for re-election.
Jim Marshall will face pay raise supporter Rep. Mike Veon, of Beaver Falls.
Incumbents also lost in the state House of Representatives:
Gibson C. Armstrong, R-Lancaster.
Roy E. Baldwin, R-Lancaster.
Fred Belardi, D-Lackawanna.
Teresa E. Forcier, R-Crawford.
Dennis E. Leh, R-Berks.
Stephen R. Maitland, R-Adams.
Frank J. Pistella, D-Allegheny.
Kenneth W. Ruffing, D-Allegheny.
Paul W. Semmel, R-Lehigh.
Thomas L. Stevenson, R-Allegheny.
Peter J. Zug, R-Lebanon.
Longtime Democrat legislator Frank LaGrotta was defeated last night by political newcomer Jaret Gibbons.
Now it's on to Novemeber!
So eager for dialog with the proponents of Islamic conquest of the world, many of these people absolutely fail to recognize the direct threat implicit with the text of the communication. These individual pundits are blatant appeasers of Islamic totalitarianism and their view places all of us in extreme peril.
Categorically speaking, the “letter” from Ahmadi-Nejad is a de facto declaration of war upon America. The "problems" posed by the Hojjatieh regime of Iran are not really "problems" per se. Using the word "problem" is a soft-pedalling of the real issues. Iran and all of its proxy terrorist organizations (Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and HAMAS) are in fact unified-of-purpose direct threats to the security of the United States of America.
The letter from Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad to President Bush is one more in a series of "declarations of war" issued by the Iranian regime since 1979 against the US and, ultimately, all nations of the world which are democratically-principled societies. That is why we are now - like it or not, realize it or not - engaged in a World War.
This letter from Tehran is no different than the Islamic overtures of the same kind from Osama bin Laden - "reject your Judeo-Christian heritage and embrace Islam or be put to the sword", (i.e.: we will wage war upon you with no distinction between soldiers and civilians, men women or children). This is Mohammedism straight from the Qur'an in its purest from.
Here are the three opening paragraphs from the CRA Terrorism Assessment Center Daily Brief issued Monday, 15 May 2006. This assessment is read by movers and shakers at all levels of the US government as well as those involved individuals to whom America as we know it is a paramount concern:
"From a historical perspective, Islam has considered itself at war with non-Muslims since its founding in 622 A.D., and in the 'modern' epoch has been conducting terrorist attacks against the West since the 1960's (Palestinians) and more overtly in the name of Islam since 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini launched the Third Global Jihad with the overthrow of the Shah and the declaration of war on America by capturing the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
In spite of nearly 50 years of asymmetrical warfare against the West, few intelligence, security services or police agencies, and even fewer politicians have recognized either the state of war or its nature.
Most Western countries, including the U.S. insist on treating Islam's asymmetrical warfare as isolated criminal acts and respond with the resources of their justice systems and police agencies.
Since 1985, the FBI has been the designated 'lead agency' of the U.S. government to fight terrorism. While terrorists do engage in criminal activity, treating them as mere criminals ignores their greater menace as trained soldiers of a hostile global ideology. al-Qaeda has managed to link the 50+ 'jihadi' groups in the world (numbering more than 200,000 trained combatants) together in common objectives, with a common combat doctrine in which they have been trained. Most law enforcement agencies lack the education and training to combat such an enemy."
The message is, for the umpteenth time since 9/11 and even earlier - Islam has declared war against us; therefore we must officially recognize this fact and conduct ourselves accordingly to successfully engage the enemy and prevail. This is a war with an existential threat to our Republic, our war of life and our future generations. Any less of a commitment to defending ourselves against this threat is tantamount to placing these things in extreme jeopardy. We simply can no longer conduct our business as before until this threat is unconditionally removed from its own existence.
Taken by surveillance cameras in the Pentagon parking lot, the images have been the subject of lawsuits prompted in part by conspiracy theories surrounding the attack.
The Justice Department, which had blocked their release, agreed to turn over the video clips now that the trial of Al Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui has ended, a Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, said.
"Finally, we hope that this video will put to rest the conspiracy theories involving American Airlines Flight 77," he said in a statement. The group said it would post a copy of the video on its website, www.judicialwatch.org.