Senate holds hearing on reducing its size

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about reducing the size of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the largest full-time legislature in the nation. Read More

Getting state legislators to work is costly

State Rep. Mike Veon took at least 44 commercial flights on state business in the first six months of last year and charged taxpayers $13,006 for the tickets. Read More

FDA Considers Morning-After Pill Sales

The government is considering allowing over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill, but only to women 18 and older. The surprise move Monday revives efforts to widen access to the emergency contraceptive almost a year after it was thought doomed.

The Food and Drug Administration notified manufacturer Barr Laboratories Inc. early Monday that it wanted to meet within seven days to iron out new steps the company must take in its three-year battle to sell the pill, called Plan B, without a prescription to at least some women.



To say the least. And it likely won’t end soon. From the LA Times: His most immediate issue is with Walt Disney Co., which is distributing "Apocalypto" and which also, through its ABC television network, has a development deal with his company to make a miniseries about the Holocaust.

The Los Angeles Times story does note Hollywood’s ability to forgive those who sexually abuse children. (LA Times) Ari Emanuel, a powerful Hollywood agent, wrote “People in the entertainment community, whether Jew or gentile, need to demonstrate that they understand how much is at stake in this by professionally shunning Mel Gibson and refusing to work with him, even if it means a sacrifice to their bottom line.” Caution, there’s foul language in the post.

Ari Emanuel also happens to be Michael Moore’s agent. (Huffington Post) Others don’t believe his career is over. (AP) From ABC News: "You know, I'm not a done deal. I'm a work in progress," Gibson said in 2004. "And I'm extremely flawed. And I better continue to think that way, too, because — because it's the truth." (ABC News)

Monday, Monday

Well Monday will bring some changes to the airwaves. I can't tell you much and things are still developing but be sure to tune in to a new show at a new time on Monday at 4PM 101.5 WORD FM.

The journey continues ........

States silence musical copycats

Platters pretenders and conning Coasters beware -- states are cracking down on copycat musical groups who steal gigs from authentic artists and cheat fans. Five states have laws requiring that performing groups include at least one original member in order to use a group’s name in advertisements or performances, and more states are considering following suit.

Read More

Ballot deadline looms for gubernatorial hopeful

ANNVILLE, Pa. - Russ Diamond sat in his shop yesterday in downtown Annville and waited for the mailman to arrive. Diamond is hoping to get on the fall election ballot as an independent candidate for governor. He gained notoriety for channeling voters' anger over last summer's legislative pay raise into an effort to oust those lawmakers. Read More

Lobbyist says his children will sell stake in slots firm

Influential lobbyist Stephen Wojdak's two children will no longer have a financial stake in a slot-machine distributorship, their father said yesterday. Read More


Even to a small degree. From the story: Too many parents, however, don't want to be told when their kids do something wrong. They are defensive, worrying that any criticism reflects poorly on them. Or they are overprotective, fearing every stranger is a potential predator. Or they are indulgent, thinking they must protect their little darlings' self-esteem.



Where pitcher John Smoltz will give his testimony after the game.

CBS News


Passed by both the House and Senate. From the story: Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at the Family Research Council, suggested that Democrats planned to block the bill all along, so that some of their members could vote for the popular measure while knowing it wouldn't become law.
Washington Times


Not sure how Gore will blame this on us. ABC News


Despite warnings that many large stores will close and others will stop building plans. (Chicago Sun-Times) They also voted in a pay raise for themselves. (Chicago Sun-Times)


The other brother, this time. The story notes “Mr. Rodham, one of Mrs. Clinton's two brothers, received $107,000 in loans from United Shows of America Inc. after its owners obtained the presidential pardon over the objections of the Justice Department.”

Washington Times


Same thing they said before – the story notes “It's a compilation of positions the party has staked out over the past few months on income, national security, energy, education, health care and retirement accounts.”

FOX News


Hezbollah got some encouragement from al-Zawahri. (USA Today) And Israel faces more trouble. From another story: Palestinian gunmen in Lebanon are set to join the fighting against the IDF, the leader of the Fatah faction in Lebanon, Sultan Abu al-Aynain, announced on Tuesday. (Jerusalem Post) Meanwhile, volunteers from Iran head toward Lebanon. (CNN) And Iranian weapons and war equipment are found. (NY Post) And Hezbollah is highly organized. (Washington Times)

Ask Powerball

Dear Powerball:

I heard you in the past say you were in favor of the death penalty. This is hypocritical to oppose abortion and at the same time support the death penalty. Doesn't this go against the Catholic Church teachings?

Putting the hypocrite accusation aside, the death penalty has not been outlawed by the Catholic Church. In fact, I believe it to be perfectly consistant in being pro-life and pro-death penalty. The punishment of death displays how valuable life is.

The Church's traditional position is that society has the authority to inflict punishments upon its members, and even to deprive a criminal of his life for specific reasons:
(1) to vindicate the moral order
(2) to defend itself
(3) to deter other would-be-offenders
(4) to reform the criminal.

Given these purposes, an execution may take place if the following conditions are met:
(a) the guilt of the prisoner is certain
(b) the crime is of major gravity
(c) the penalty is to be inflicted, after due process, by State authority, not by private individuals or by lynching
(d) the prisoner is given the opportunity to make his peace with God.

Pope Pius XII answered it this way: "Even in the question of the execution of a man condemned to death, the State does not dispose of the individual's right to life. It then falls to the public authority to deprive the condemned man of the good of life in expiation of his fault after he, by his crime, has already deprived himself of his right to life."

Companies/Universities Offering Same-sex Benefits – The Cincinnati Post reports that most of the region’s major employers offer the same benefits package to co-habiting homosexual partners as to legally married couples.

While the federal government deliberates on a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex “marriage” and individual states are being turned into legal battlefields, businesses and service organizations across the country have been quietly rendering the struggle moot for years. The Post reports that Procter & Gamble, Health Alliance, Toyota and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Ashland, Federated Department Stores, Delta Air Lines and E.W. Scripps all offer marriage or domestic partner benefits to employees.

This is despite the fact that in 2004, Ohio passed one of the strongest prohibitions against equating in any way homosexual partnerings with true marriage. The law not only prohibits the state from recognizing as legitimate gay “marriages,” but forbids benefits for “domestic partners” for state employees, including cohabiting heterosexual couples. The legal ban in Ohio does not put a prohibition on such benefits in private companies.

The Post reports that Ohio’s Miami University is being sued by Republican state Rep. Tom Brinkman of Cincinnati to halt its recently established domestic partner benefits policy.


Maurice S. Owens, a Washington lawyer, has filed a complaint with the IRS against the Missouri Catholic Conference alleging “illegal political interference.” The Catholic group is urging candidates for state office to return contributions received from an organization, Supporters of Health Research and Treatment, that promotes embryonic stem cell research and human cloning.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“The ruthlessness of this IRS complaint, which is bogus on the face of it, should mobilize all principled civil libertarians to protest its implications for free speech. Regardless of whether one supports or objects to the intentional killing of human embryos, the immediate issue is a First Amendment matter: All non-profit organizations that speak to public policy issues have a stake in this debate.

“IRS issued a fact sheet in February regarding ‘Election Year Activities and the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention for Section 501 (c) (3) Organizations.’ Nothing in that document suggests that it is a violation of the IRS tax-exempt code for a religious group to urge candidates for public office to return contributions from any individual or organization. Indeed, it would be impossible to mandate such a stricture without trespassing on the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and religious liberty.

“If the Missouri Catholic Conference were advocating that candidates for public office return monies donated by the Klan, no IRS complaint would have been filed. But because the Catholic group is fighting the fat cats—millions have been raised in Missouri by PAC’s promoting all kinds of genetic research—the censors are out in force. Not only do they seek to advance a utilitarian agenda, they seek to promote a gag rule on those who disagree with them.

“Missouri is blessed to have such courageous bishops and an equally courageous Catholic Conference.”

Lynn Swann: Time to Get to Work

Most people are somewhat familiar with the name of football great Lynn Swann. Kids who wore his jersey to school now have their own kids are will be voting in November for a governor in Pennsylvania. Even though some were shocked to find their childhood hero was a conservative, Lynn Swann wants (needs) their vote.

I've seen Swann and his campaign go through the motions. They had some great national attention because of the celebrity status of Swann himself. The bus tour is rolling. Swann is making stops across PA. However, celebrity will only carry you so far before you must prove yourself. That time has come.

In order to win, Swann must defeat Ed Rendell by a decisive margin in the western part of the state. He will also have to run close in the southeastern section of the state in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs.

Swann will have to do a great deal to reach out to black voters who never vote for any GOP candidate. If Lynn Swann can't win those voters in the southeastern part of the state this November, then Swann will not will.

It's high time we begin to hear Lynn Swann speak to the issues. Not in some press conference or photo op. Not at some pre-game party in a parking lot. Get real and get to the people. Talk to us Mr. Swann. Tell us who you are and why we should vote for you. Then keep the promises you make. I get alot of "fluff" and promises of "big things to come" from the Swann campaign. Now it's time to run the race Mr. Swann.

Conservative Democrats aim to rule out Pa. stem cell funds

President Bush's veto of a bill that would have expanded federal support for embryonic stem cell research has put states in position to take a lead on funding research that many believe would lead to cures for a host of debilitating diseases. But in Pennsylvania, a group of self-described "pro-life Democrats" began an effort yesterday to see to it that Pennsylvania doesn't join the growing list of states that fund embryonic stem cell research. Read More

The Pot Called The Kettle

An especially vitriolic editorial appeared on the opinion section of al Jazeera’s web site, condemning the content of Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s speech he gave at the National Press Club. You know if al Jazeera doesn't like it ,it's got to be good.

The criticism was written by Pennsylvania resident Mohammed KHAKU, who is also the past president of the Al-Ahad Islamic Center and the Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Pennsylvania (SIJPA). KHAKU is associated with the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley, of which the Stroudsburg Islamic Center is also associated. His writings have appeared on the web site of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a top Wahhabi organization with numerous ties to radical Islam.

During his speech on Wednesday, July 19, 2006, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum called for regime change in Iran and described "Islamic fascism" as the "great test" of this generation, as threatening to the United States as last century's German Nazism and Soviet communism. Way to go Rick!

In response to the speech by Senator Santorum, KHAHU described the statements as “prejudicial remarks (that) were derogatory, and highly unbecoming for a member of US senate. KHAKU added, “The Senator rhetoric in a public forum demeans both himself and the party he represents, particularly at a time when entire Middle East is in turmoil. Muslim of Lehigh Valley strongly condemned Senator remarks outrageous, inflammatory and un-American. The Senator's inflammatory comments do nothing to advance America's role in the world as the leading voice for tolerance and religious freedom and should be soundly condemned as election rhetoric and appeasing the neo-conservatives and American extremism…”

Mohammed KHAKU further stated: “True to form, Senator Santorum has crossed the line and shows his clear hatred of Muslims. It is irresponsible that such comments are coming from someone who self-righteously claims to be holier than thou. Elected officials should be a voice of moderation and peace, not a voice of hatred and violence… His speech was irresponsible and ill informed, and he remarks are likely to fan hatred of Americans in parts of the Middle East. Senator’s goal was to instill fear… Zionist and the pro-Israel lobby continue to instill fear in Americans by escalating unsubstantiated threats against them and fabricating a vast web of lies to justify their actions against Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran."

Well now, let’s take a look at some of Mohammed KHAKU’S associations and recent writings. First, if by Senator Santorum remarks he has shown “his clear hatred of Muslims,” than by Mohammed KHAKU’s own writings, he has shown “his clear hatred of Jews.” KHAKU is an outspoken critic against Israel, accusing them of engaging in “war crimes.”

In a recent editorial published in the Express Times and posted on, KHAKU states, “The U.N., the international community and U.S. must repudiate and condemn Israel's aggression, especially the targeting of the Palestinian civilian infrastructure, which is considered a war crime and must be condemned by the Bush administration.”

More importantly, it was less than two weeks before Senator Santorum’s speech that the Stroudsburg Islamic Center, in association with the Muslim Association of Lehigh Valley had a fundraising event that featured Siraj WAHHAJ, Imam of the Masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn, NY as the keynote speaker.

WAHHAJ, the first Muslim to deliver the daily prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991, later preached to an audience of New Jersey Muslims that if only Muslims were more clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate. "If we were united and strong, we'd elect our own emir [leader] and give allegiance to him. . . . [T]ake my word, if 6-8 million Muslims unite in America, the country will come to us."

Incredibly the same Imam who presided over a prayer session in the U.S. House of Representatives, WAHHAJ also served as a character witness in the trial for the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel RAHMAN in 1995.

RAHMAN, of course, was found guilty of conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States.

An editorial in the New York Daily News described Imam WAHHAJ as "an unindicted co-conspirator linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing."Mohammed KHAKU, the very same Islamic leader who has condemned a United States Senator for his “hatred of Islam,” his position on Islamic fascism, and the terrorist regimes of Iran and Syria, is closely associated with an organization who is embracing an allegedly unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

No Same-Sex Marriage in Washington State

( - Washington will not become the second state to legalize same-sex marriage. The state's highest court on Wednesday upheld a 1998 law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It was a 5-4 decision -- a victory for supporters of traditional marriage and a blow to advocates of homosexuality, who asked the court to throw out Washington's Defense of Marriage Act.

Make it or break It?

One of the most popular videos on the Internet these days is by a young preacher who's starting a new church in Cleveland.
"Baby Got Book" is a rap video that celebrates girls who carry big Bibles. It's also a spoof on a somewhat less flatering pop song.

The Rev. Dan Smith who also calls himself "Southpaw" and "Whiteboy D.J." created the song and he has earned a spot on PowerBlog! HERE.

The question is will this be a hot or miss with Christians? Make it, or break it?


The law would make taking a pregnant girl to another state to evade parental notification laws punishable by fines and up to a year in jail. Ted Kennedy complained “Congress ought to have higher priorities than turning grandparents into criminals.”
FOX News

Action Alert: Wheels for the World

101.5 WORD·FM has teamed up with Joni Erickson Tada and the "Wheels for the World" ministry to supply wheelchairs to the handicapped and less fortunate around the world, while, at the same time, spreading to them the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Joni and Friends is a non-profit organization supported by friends like you who want to reach out to people affected by disability. We are grateful for those who support this work through generous gifts, both large and small. There is so much to be done. Every dollar you donate will help us ensure that the programs and services that we provide remain relevant and available to everyone.

Giving the Gift of Mobility with Christ's Love
The World Health Organization estimates that there is a need for 20-30 million wheelchairs around the world. In some of these countries the cost of a wheelchair can equal a year's wages, resulting in the impossibility for people affected by disability to ever receive one. Living in isolation, lacking simple mobility and cut off from life, many of the disabled are also tragically cut off from the local church. As a result, many have never heard the gospel message or experienced the love of Christ.

Wheels for the World aims to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the disabled around the world by providing wheelchairs and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. We also do this by connecting the disabled with the church through creating disabilty awareness and by educating and training the local churches in disability ministry.

Wheels for the World through the year 2005 has distributed over 35,000 wheelchairs to over 70 countries and have trained hundreds of ministry and community leaders, including people with disabilities. As a result many have placed their trust in Christ, are experiencing new life and purpose with their new mobility, and disability ministry is growing all over the world.

Please Help by clicking here or call 1-866-496-7336

PowerBlog! Fourm: Stay or Go?

After I started PowerBlog! many readers asked for a fourm to post topics and respond. That request became the Talk Back forum. As of late not much happens over there. Most responses are left in the comments section.

I'm thinking of dropping the forum but I want to know what you think? Should it stay or go?

Please let me know your thoughts.


Specter Pushes Bill to Sue President

A powerful Republican committee chairman who has led the fight against President Bush's signing statements said Monday he would have a bill ready by the end of the week allowing Congress to sue him in federal court.

"We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president's acts declared unconstitutional," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., said on the Senate floor.

Lubbock, Texas, plans to pray for rain

"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help," Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

The City Council and the Lubbock County commissioners are expected to adopt resolutions this week asking local residents to both pray and fast for rain this Sunday.

So far this year, Lubbock has received about half of its normal 10 inches. In the weeks since June 1, the growing season for cotton, rainfall has been a scant .75 inches, far less than the normal 4.43 inches.

Officials have tried prayers before and say they were answered. In January 2004, after a year of drought, the city and county set aside a Sunday to pray for rain and got the second-wettest year since records have been kept.


Religious Groups Outraged by Amnesty International

Famed for its human rights work, Amnesty International is under siege from religious groups outraged by a proposal that would expand Amnesty's mandate to include supporting access to abortion in cases such as sexual violence.

A small but growing band of anti-abortion campaigners and Roman Catholic clerics — including some who have backed Amnesty's activities in the past — claim the Nobel Prize-winning group is drifting away from its principles of unbiased advocacy.

They have threatened to pull away members and donations, and have called for a flood of protest letters to Amnesty offices — the same strategy Amnesty uses to pressure for the release of political prisoners and others.

Fox News

Teachers Union Adopts Positions on Iraq, Lebanon Wars

Just weeks after the National Education Association came under fire for adopting a controversial resolution that critics said didn't apply to public education, another teachers union has adopted resolutions opposing the war in Iraq, supporting Israel in its struggle against Hizballah and opposing Wal-Mart.

Why not try teaching for a change!


As they take out full-page ads in 50 newspapers today. The article repeatedly says they have the support of “religious leaders,” but they aren’t named in the article. It does note, however “Signatories of the ads included the mayors of Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Providence, R.I., Portland, Ore., West Sacramento, Calif., and Palm Springs, Calif.” Salt Lake City?
CBS News


From the story: "I don't think it's right to support them when our own people are hungry," says Mohammad Reza Afshari, 23, a mechanic who works two jobs yet still cannot afford to move out or attend college. The shop where he works abuts a vast mural depicting a female suicide bomber with a baby in her arms, accompanied by the words I LOVE MOTHERHOOD, BUT I LOVE MARTYRDOM MORE. Frustration with such propaganda underpins young people's reactions to the conflict. (Time) Meanwhile, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah of “cowardly blending…among women and children.” (FOX News)

Potential ethical dilemma for Perzel

A deal brewing on Wall Street involving a $220 million-plus takeover of a company that runs private prisons could put House Speaker John M. Perzel in an ethical bind, experts say. Read More

Kathleen McGowan: Descendant of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ

An author is about to claim that she is the living embodiment of the Holy Grail, a direct descendant of the physical union between Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. She's American, she's 43, and she means it - every word.

Kathleen McGowan, a married mother of three, is about to tell her story in a "partly autobiographical" novel that hopes to trade directly on the vast worldwide audience captured by Dan Brown.

Simon & Schuster is publishing her book and ploughing a marketing budget of more than a quarter of a million dollars into promoting it. When asked how a publisher could authenticate the author's claim about her heritage, he said: "It's impossible to verify. It's all to do with a matter of faith. She makes a very convincing argument."

The Independent


The story notes “Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly in the past decade to open up the outer continental shelf to exploration, and Florida's waters hold some of the most promising prospects for major energy finds. Their efforts have been frustrated by opposition from Florida, California and environmental-minded legislators from both parties.” Then this troubling sentence: “If oil is found in commercially viable quantities, Cuba could be transformed from an oil importer into an exporter, ending chronic energy shortages on the island and generating government revenue.”

Washington Times


Talking about the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. (Detroit News) This comment comes a week after a similar comment from Howard Dean, who said “If you think what's going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn't.” (Union-Tribune)


On his private website, History Professor David Mullan was critical of the Anglican church’s stance on gay marriage. A student read it and filed a complaint – saying this was a human rights violation. (Lifesite) And now, according do Professor Mullan’s website, he’s been fined. (Sleepy Old Bear)


From the story: Some have tried the traditional route of schoolwide holidays, and failed. In Ohio, the Sycamore Community School District once canceled classes on the Jewish High Holy Days after some parents asked why schools closed on Good Friday. Muslim and Hindu parents then asked why they didn't get days off. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the district.


And now they want privacy for the benefit of their 10 year old daughter. Privacy wasn’t important for the girl, however, when they decided to become national figures for gay marriage.
Houston Chronicle


From the story: Israel appears to have decided that a large-scale incursion across the border was the only way to push Hezbollah back after 10 days of the heaviest bombardment of Lebanon in 24 years failed to do so. But mounting civilian casualties and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Lebanese could limit the amount of time Israel has to achieve its goals, as international tolerance for the bloodshed and destruction runs out. (CBS News) Another story claims the plan is over a year old. From the story: In his talks, the officer described a three-week campaign: The first week concentrated on destroying Hezbollah's heavier long-range missiles, bombing its command-and-control centers, and disrupting transportation and communication arteries. In the second week, the focus shifted to attacks on individual sites of rocket launchers or weapons stores. In the third week, ground forces in large numbers would be introduced, but only in order to knock out targets discovered during reconnaissance missions as the campaign unfolded. (San Francisco Chronicle) A Poll shows Republicans more than Democrats seem to back Israel’s continued effort to stop Hezbollah. The story also shows Democrats are clearly trying to pin the word “Katrina” on the evacuation of Americans from Lebanon. (CNN)


A wife summed it up: “…he was not a father, he was not a husband, he was not a friend. He was just someone who existed and brought home a paycheck.”
USA Today


Including thousands from Tom Hanks, Bette Midler, Billy Crystal and Disney CEO Robert Igler.
USA Today


Nancy Pelosi ironically complained “We are making an all-out assault on the Constitution of the United States which, thank God, will fail."
FOX News

Doctor Dean and the DNC

As most of your know President Bush used his first ever veto of the embryonic stem cell research bill.

Today in my in-box I received an email from Governor Howard Dean, M.D. Head of the Democratic National committee.

I'm appalled at the approach he took to the action by the President. You can read it for yourself:

Dear Shaun,

Today George Bush chose political posturing over human life, denying hope to millions of Americans, their families and loved ones who are affected by debilitating diseases.

He used his first-ever veto to stop the discovery of new cures for diseases like juvenile diabetes, leukemia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and many others. More than 70% of Americans from every walk of life -- whether in the faith community, the science lab, the hospital or at the bedside of a sick relative -- and majorities in both chambers of Congress disagree, but that didn't stop him.
The bill he vetoed wasn't a sweeping change -- it was a small, practical measure that would have made a big difference for medical research based on sound science. But the consequences are sweeping: the proposed law would have allowed research on excess embryos generated during processes like fertility treatments -- embryos that would otherwise simply be discarded.

If George Bush truly believed his rhetoric about stem cells, he would do something about the processes that create the excess embryos in the first place. But he won't. They will continue to go unused (his spokesman limply calls it a "tragedy"), and cures will continue to be beyond our reach.

Bush may not be willing to choose cure discovery over his right-wing base, but the vast majority of Americans support cure research.

Even after his veto, Democrats in Congress will continue to keep the pressure on to get more votes. If Republicans refuse to join the cause and override Bush's veto, it will have to be decided at the ballot box in November. Democrats will continue to fight to keep this hope for the discovery of new cures alive.

The Congress and the rest of the country are paying attention right now, and we have to seize this moment to build the coalition of support for cure discovery.

As a medical doctor, I'm offended at the political meddling in potentially life-saving research. All of our families could be touched by hope found through stem cell research: from juvenile diabetes to Alzheimer's, it offers the opportunity for new cures. Yet this important research has been dwindling because of restrictions put in place by Bush five years ago.

That's half a decade we have lost. How much longer will those suffering and their families have to wait?

People can disagree in good faith on this issue, but Bush's extraordinary action doesn't meet that threshold -- it smacks of political calculation. The opportunity to save lives of people with debilitating diseases, and to reduce suffering for them and their families, requires that a president respect the will of the people and the Congress.

History will judge this veto as a sad political calculation.
Just a few votes stand in the way. With your support we'll get them -- either now, or in the new Democratic Congress you elect in November.

When we do, we will restore hope through life-saving research and cure discovery.

Thank you.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.


Despite the harsh language coming from the leaders or, as CNN put it, the leaders who “criticized his social, economic and foreign policies.” (CNN) They forgot to mention they compared the GOP to Nazis. (WND) More than once. (CNS News)


Which, again, general media inaccurately labeled the “gay marriage ban.” The vote was 236 in favor, 187 against, 47 votes shy of the two-thirds needed. (ABC News) The actual wording. (Library of Congress)


From the story: The threat against U.S. interests came as the FBI revealed it is searching for Hezbollah terrorist agents operating on American soil. (NY Post) From Malkin: You think Hezbollah is only Israel's headache? Wake up. (Townhall) On the war, Krauthammer notes this “crisis represents a rare, perhaps irreproducible, opportunity.” (Washington Post)

Anyone up for a pre-emptive strike?

Frankenstein's Farm

The advance of science is noble and beneficial, but sometimes provides challenges to the ethical standards represented by the Hippocratic oath. Without these ethical standards, science goes the way of Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein, who had no second thoughts about ignoring morals in his quest to manipulate human life.

With the rapid advances in the biotechnology field today, it is hard to stay abreast of the changes. Human cloning, embryonic stem cells, and human/animal hybrids or chimeras are some examples where, if left unchecked, it would be very easy for us to lose our humanity while searching for ways to prolong our lives. Y

The Fetus Farming Prohibition Act, introduced by Senator Rick Santorum, forbids researchers from obtaining human tissue from fetuses when they know the pregnancy was deliberately initiated to create human "spare parts." Think this cannot happen here?

Right now, New Jersey law allows researchers to gestate a human clone all the way up until birth, at which point they have to kill the baby. The only reason to bring a fetus to term, and then kill it, would be to obtain body parts. Science has a lot to offer in helping us deal with pain and illness, but science without ethics destroys the very humanity we seek to protect.

Judge Orders Release of Abortion Clinic Files

The Cincinnati Planned Parenthood Clinic must give a family that is suing the clinic all records on abortion patients younger than 18, a judge ruled. The documents are being sought in a lawsuit by the family of a teenage girl.

The suit alleges that Planned Parenthood never got parental consent to perform an abortion on the girl, as required by Ohio law.

Clinic President Becki Brenner said the clinic will appeal Wednesday's ruling by Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker.

The records are needed to determine whether the clinic has a pattern of failing to notify parents, said attorney Brian Hurley, who represents the family. Patients' names would be blacked out on the documents to protect their privacy, Hurley said.

"We're very concerned about the exposure of private medical information," Brenner said. "Anyone that has private medical information should be fearful."

The family's lawsuit alleges that the girl's 21-year-old boyfriend took her to the clinic and identified himself as her stepbrother, and the abortion was performed without notifying the girl's parents.

Are These The End Times?

For decades Christians have questioned whether the problems of the day could be the tell tale signs of the End Times. Some chalk this up to a few "Jesus Freaks" who cry "the end is near" to passing crowds who could care less, but it's much more than that.

William Miller"s 100,000 followers were so sure of his prediction that October 22, 1844 would be the exact date of the "seventh day of creation" and Jesus Christ's return to earth, that they sold their farms and businesses to prepare for it. 100,000 people duped in 1844, and here we still are today.

In the 1960s the U.S. faced the Cuban Missile Crisis. People wondered was this the beginning World War III? The sense of impending doom was so strong that 200,000 American households built bomb shelters. The also wondered if this was the end times as they hunkered under desks and in shelters.

Those claims from the past are back again. Louis Sahagun, writing in the Arab-American News, claims that many Christians are "laying the groundwork for Armageddon" in order to "speed the promised arrival of a messiah". I don't think anything we do will speed up or slow down God's plan.

Even in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has suggested that the elimination of Israel would herald the return of a 9th-century Muslim cleric known as the Mahdi, the 12th Imam. He hopes to welcome that messiah to Tehran within two years. So now we are in a race for the messiah?

The questions must be asked. Could we be experiencing the first days of World War III? If so, is World War III the final prelude to Christ's return?

The Bible, in the third chapter of Second Timothy, says: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." Sadly, we fit that description.

I'm not convinced that we are in the end times. I am convinced we live in a fallen world. But I'm not selling the farm and building a shelter to wait for the return of Christ. I don't think we are called to do that. Instead, I believe we should all live like the end is only a day away. Not to withdraw from the world, but to embrace it. Change the priorities of your daily life like the end is near. No one is ever promised a moment beyond now.

If we are in the last days before Christ's return, what would you change about your life? Let's stop trying to figure out God's schedule and live like the clock is ticking, even if there wasn't a crisis going on in the Middle East.

Show Update

Those of you who have tuned in this week have probably noticed the show now starts at 4PM. We are now able to bring you some new programs between 3PM and 4PM. The talk show will then run primetime 4-6PM.

Be sure to tune in today at 4PM for a live interview from Israel. Aussie Dave is a 31-year-old Jewish guy, originally from Perth, Australia. He now lives in Israel and has been live blogging the war on his site

The picture on his site of Israeli girls writing messages on shells has garnered attention here in the U.S. I was fortunate to track him down and he has agreed to join us on the show. Don't miss it.

Unskilled Immigrants Hurt Our Economy

Last week I wrote a piece in which I took a hard line stance on illegal immigrants. Most of you agreed with me. A few emailed to tell how off base I was.

There are some well educated people on both sides of this issue. That is what makes it so interesting to me. It's not about racism or some underlying hatred of foreigners. At least it is not in my case.

There are some very good reasons for us to enforce the law, insist those who break the law are punished and deported and to secure our borders. This is not just a border state issue, it's an American issue.

Steven Malanga wrote a wonderful piece in the City Journal about how a handful of industries get low-cost labor, and the taxpayers foot the bill when it come to illegal immigrants.

America does not have a vast labor shortage that requires waves of low-wage immigrants. Even if we did, who are we to allow people to exsist in the shadows and work for an unfair wage. That's exploitation and it's not what this country is about.

We are about to raise the minimum wage. That makes unskilled legal labor more expensive. It also makes illegal labor cheaper and therefore more tempting. That increase will spawn a whole host of additional problems.

The minimum wage is not supposed to support a family. It's not supposed to be a career. It is an entry level wage. A person is expected to enter the workforce at the minimum wage and work to educate, train and better themselves. Thereby rising above the minimum wage level. No, it's not easy. That why it's called work.

The problem is many low wage workers are not interested in bettering themselves. They expect their minimum wage job to pay for a house, car, children and any other bills they incur. When that paycheck fails to do so, instead of working to earn more, they turn to welfare and social-service handouts. Illegal immigrants do the same thing and tap into that same pool of money provided by those who do work and earn their money.

Right now we have more people taking money out of these welfare programs then putting money in. People know they don't have to work to survive. There is free money if you are unskilled and don't want to work. I'm not saying we don't need compassion for those who need help getting on their feet. Yet I believe that if an able bodied person wants shelter and food to eat, they should earn it. With the additonal drain on the system from those who are not here legally, we must take action now.

This immigration issue has put the spotlight on some festering American wounds. It about time we look in the mirror and decide if we are going to be the hard-working nation of our past, or be takers of government hand outs who sleep while America decays.

I suggest you read Steven's article

Inquiry sought of Perzel spending

Common Cause of Pennsylvania has asked the state Bureau of Elections and the attorney general to conduct an inquiry into whether House Speaker John Perzel's "extraordinary uses of campaign funds" violated state elections law. Read More

Pay-raise foe is 47,000 signatures short for Pa. governor's bid

When he launched his independent campaign for governor three months ago, legislative pay-raise pugilist Russ Diamond faced a daunting challenge - collecting 67,070 signatures to get his name on the fall ballot. Now, two weeks before the deadline, he's still about 47,000 signatures short, even without the extra ones he needs as a cushion against inevitable challenges. Read More

Pa. slots will cost W.Va. $100 million

Once its slots parlors open, Pennsylvania can turn the tables on West Virginia's casinos by winning back gambling customers who have fled over the border, experts project. Read More

States leap into immigrant showdown

Gridlock in Congress over how to address immigration has propelled legislatures - even in states far from the Mexican border, like Pennsylvania - to take steps to crack down on illegal immigrants. Read More

The Blood of Christ: Tainted juice from CVS

Police arrested a Stamford man on charges of tainting juice that sickened more than 40 parishioners of a Baptist church in and another woman in a separate incident.

A deacon purchased juice from the store, which sickened more than 40 parishioners who drank it during a communion service.

The Advocate

Bringing the Church to the Courtroom

Washington Post: A recent case, now pending, focuses on a Pittsburgh ordinance that requires protesters to remain 15 feet from an abortion clinic door. ADF lawyer Elizabeth Murray sued, saying she represented "a compassionate, professional nurse who has devoted much of her life to kindly and gently counseling women during a difficult time in life."

That nurse is Mary Brown. She has been on the show before and a greta pro-life voice in this region.

Today we see more and more efforts to scrub Christianity from the landscape. The Alliance Defense Fund spends $20 million a year seeking to protect what it regards as the place of religion -- and especially Christianity -- in public life.

Read the article here

IRS Warns Churches to Avoid Campaigning

The Internal Revenue Service has been warning churches and nonprofit organizations that improper campaigning in the upcoming political season could endanger their tax-exempt status.

In notices to more than 15,000 tax-exempt organizations, numerous church denominations and tax preparers, the agency has detailed its new enforcement program, called the Political Activity Compliance Initiative, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Under the initiative, the IRS plans to expedite investigations into claims of improper campaigning, no longer waiting for an annual tax return to be filed or the tax year to end before launching a probe. A three-member committee will make an initial review of complaints and then vote on whether to pursue the investigation in detail.



They dispute cancer risks and even emotional harm claims. The report was prepared for California Congressman Henry Waxman.


From the story: "Once again America's image and interests worldwide are being harmed by one-sided support for Israeli actions," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest US Muslim rights group. (AFP) Back in 2000, Hillary had ties to many of these groups. (WSJ)


Which seems to be strongly bipartisan. A draft of the statement in the house reads “Be it resolved that the House of Representatives reaffirms its steadfast support for the state of Israel; further condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for cynically exploiting civilian populations as shields ... calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Israeli soldiers held captive by Hezbollah and Hamas; (and) affirms that all governments who have provided continued support to Hamas or Hezbollah share responsibility for the hostage-taking and attacks against Israel and, as such, must be held accountable for their actions.” (FOX News) Not a great surprise to see even Democrats on board, considering the polls. (Gallup)


That came from Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel in front of anti-Israel demonstrators in Palestine Square. The story does note he is “not among the most influential officials in Iran.” (Jerusalem Post) From the Washington Times: Israel is in the best position militarily in its history to mount air strikes against Iran, after a decade of buying U.S.-produced long-range aircraft, penetrating bombs and aerial refueling tankers. (Washington Times) From Olmert: The campaign we are engaged in these days is against the terror organizations operating from Lebanon and Gaza. These organizations are nothing but “sub-contractors” operating under the inspiration, permission, instigation and financing of the terror-sponsoring and peace-rejecting regimes, on the Axis of Evil which stretches from Tehran to Damascus. (AJN)


Movie superstar SAMUEL L JACKSON will voice God in a new audio version of the Bible. The taped recording of the New Testament will feature many famous other black actors and musicians. Jackson was given the lead role because producers felt his deep, authorative voice was perfect for the role of God. A source tells British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, "Samuel's just finished recording a CD set of the New Testament. The recording is due to be released in September (06), with a box set of the Old Testament to follow next year (07). "Scores of other black actors, musicians and athletes will also figure, but Samuel was deemed to be the perfect person to play God."



After the singer dedicated a song to those hurt but the policies of the Bush administration.

Travel Golf


70 percent of the population voted in favor of traditional marriage. Before Friday’s court ruling, a US district judge tossed the amendment.


According to the story, it’s political timing “forcing lawmakers to take a stand just months before the election.” The story also insists on calling it a “gay marriage ban,” something not mentioned in the language of the bill. (USA Today) The resolution. (Library of Congress)


After being introduced by the spastic Al Franken, Dean said “If you think what's going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn't, because we would have worked day after day after day to make sure we didn't get where we are today. We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together the Northern Irish and the IRA, when he brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians.”



According to the Washington Times, the Israeli effort is “not yet half completed.” The story also says ground troops are part of the plan. (Washington Times) Meanwhile, Iran’s foreign minister met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The story notes “Syria and Iran are close allies. Both support Hezbollah, whose capture of two Israeli soldiers provoked the current crisis in the Middle East.” (BBC) The Bush “expletive” that media is reporting also targets Syria, as he said “See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive.)" (CNN) Hewitt looks at the Iranian connection. (Townhall) From Bush: “There's a lot of people who believe that the Iranians are trying to exert more and more influence over the entire region and the use of Hizbullah is to create more chaos to advance their strategy, a theory that's got some legs to it as far as I'm concerned.” (Newsweek) From the Ayatollah Khamenei Sunday: “The American president says Hizbollah should be disarmed. But it will not happen...The Lebanese people appreciate the resistance because their powerful limbs have been responsible for not allowing the Zionists whatever they want, whenever they want in Lebanon.” (Financial Times) In the BBC story noted above, he called Israel an “evil and cancerous being.”

"Open War" in Middle East

Israel destroys Hizbullah headquarters in Beirut...
Olmert: Israel will stop when Hizbullah disarms...
Palestinians Stream Into Gaza From Egypt...
Vatican condemns Israel for attacks on Lebanon...
Hezbollah fires 300+ rockets at Israeli towns...
General warns range greater than thought...
200,000+ now staying in bomb shelters...
Syria UN Ambassador tells TIME: Hezbollah could attack Israel nuke sites, 'could have radiation spread all over region'...
USA warns against travel; authorizes personnel evacuation...

Using Pentecost Politically

By Matt FriedemanJuly 14, 2006

(AgapePress) - A speaker once told those gathered at an academic meeting that everyone -- particularly those who have read their Bible carefully -- says they love the poor. Even so, said the presenter, what we need to start doing is asking each other the more pointed and specific question: "What are the names of the poor people you love?"

At a Washington, DC, event called "Pentecost 2006" the Rev. Jim Wallis introduced Hillary Rodham Clinton to the gathered crowd as "someone who quotes Matthew 25 often, and she quotes it right!" He was referring, in part , to the words of Jesus:

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

This allowed Ms. Clinton to launch into her prophetic utterance: "I missed the Sunday school lesson about how we help the poor by giving tax cuts to the rich," she opined. "The budget is a moral document!"

Indeed it is. And an immoral one, given the spendthrifts of both parties.

She continued: "Behind those numbers are decisions. How are we going to give a boost up the economic ladder when too many tools have been removed to make that happen?"
Actually, for many liberals and none too few conservatives the "decisions" that are made are about federal monies actually do precious little to help the poor but do indeed position politicians as those who are compassionate in the face of dire need. But, really, the question for Clinton and all of us is "The names? Who are the poor that you love ... not just pass legislation for?"
Ms. Clinton and this columnist share a Methodist tradition. I am therefore reminded of John Wesley who encouraged all Methodists -- the rich, the middle class, and the poor -- to be involved in loving the impoverished. Once in response to some well-off Methodists who wanted to pay a physician to tend the sick with the obvious assumption that he could probably do more for the ill than they, Wesley was adamant:

... this would not excuse you: his going would not fulfill your duty. Neither would it excuse you, unless you saw them with your own eyes. If you do not, you lose a means of grace; you lose an excellent means of increasing your thankfulness to God, who saves you from this pain and sickness, and continues your health and strength; as well as of increasing your sympathy with the afflicted…

He also said that
All therefore who desire to escape everlasting fire and to inherit the everlasting kingdom are equally concerned ... to practice this important duty. It is equally incumbent on young and old, rich and poor, men and women, according to their ability.

It would be difficult to understand Matthew 25:31-46 any other way.

The poor don't need more help from the federal budget and American tax dollars. And they don't need more sermons from Ms. Clinton, Barack Obama, Howard Dean, and Jim Wallis. What they need is Clinton, Obama, Dean, Wallis, you and me to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Pentecost, remember?) and then move with that Spirit to the needy with compassion, accountability, personal responsibility, and God.

Anything less might just be perceived as political posturing and, yes, immoral.

Theologian Says Clergy Marital, Sexual Discipline Lacking in ECUSA

A conservative Anglican theologian says there's a "complete lack of marital and sexual discipline for the clergy" in mainline Protestant denominations -- namely the Episcopal Church USA.
ECUSA is getting set to ordain a bishop who is twice divorced and in his third marriage. Barry Beisner is to become bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California on September 30, despite concerns raised by some members of the nominating committee. They noted the Bible says a bishop must be "above reproach" and "the husband of one wife."


State's spending spikes under Rendell

State spending during Gov. Rendell's first three years in office increased faster than the national average, while his first-term spending is projected to be just shy of the two-decade peak set by the late former Gov. Robert P. Casey. Read More


Three cheers for Hazleton, Pa. They have created one of the strictest laws in the U.S.

By a vote of 4 to 1, Hazleton's City Council on Thursday approved the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, which imposes severe penalties on landlords who rent space to illegal immigrants, suspends the licenses of businesses that employ them, and declares English the city's official language.

From the Mayor


Claiming their rights were violated. They want monetary damages as, the story notes “They also allege that the incident has impaired their professional opportunities.” (Washington Post) Tough to make that fly when they’re pondering book deals worth millions. (NRO)


As many have heard by now, using flagged draped coffins to raise money. (CBS News) And there’s suspicion the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee cozied up the anti-Christian group to help create the ad. (Human Events) The add also has Tom Delay in a mock mug shot with the number below 91108GOP. (RNC)


I wish Gov. Rendell would have read this. Already, Wal-Mart has threatened to cancel plans for 20 stores. Home Depot may also close.

Chicago Sun-Times


While the percentage of children raised in a one-parent home remains high, blacks polled believe in marriage more than whites. On the two questions – when a man and woman plan to spend the rest of their lives together and when they have a child, how important is it “that they legally marry,” blacks and Hispanics are more likely to say “very important.” A lot of interesting numbers in this survey.

CBS Cuts Hit Pittsburgh

As reported, CBS fired about 150 people nationwide this week. I've been waiting to hear what effect this will have on Pittsburgh Radio. Well, now I hear John Cline is out at 100.7

John Cline (formerly of the defunct B-94 moring show) has left the morning show of WZPT (Star 100.7) as of Wednesday. His image has been scrubed from the station website.

Another sad leadership act brought to you by Infinity broadcasting.... where good stations are destroyed. Don't miss the implosion of KDKA. Coming soon from Infinity and CBS.

Jerry Bowyer: "I won't be coming back to hosting"

As many of you know, our former host Jerry Bowyer has been off the air since mid-February. I'm happy to tell you there are some exciting things coming very soon with brand new programming.

Beginning on Monday, The show will begin at 4PM with new shows airing from 3-4PM. Stayed tuned for more coming soon.

Jerry has just released an official statement on his situation:

I'm very grateful for the hundreds of emails and cards and letters that I've gotten since leaving my talk show in February. I'm feeling much better now and I'm sure that having so many people pray for me helped quite a bit. Many of you said that you were looking forward to my coming back to my show. I'm very sorry to disappoint you, however, but I won't be coming back. After four months out of the picture, my health is improving, and I'd like to keep it that way.

Over the years, I've worked very hard at many different jobs, often at the same time. Daily radio was the toughest for me. When a person subjects himself to high levels of stress over a long period of time, it takes a toll. When my doctor (and my wife and kids) ordered me to cut the stress, it was easy to know what should go.

When a football player blows out a knee, if he knows how to, he coaches. That's what I'm going to be doing. Coaching the amazing and wonderful Susan Bowyer on how to manage a media company, and coaching seven astonishing kids on life and faith and entrepreneurship.

Leadership Radio will continue on the air (it currently resides on WPIT 73 am, Saturdays at 1 p.m.). It will be in good hands. Our new hosts, Glen Meakem, Mike Kauffelt, Bill Green, Mark Desantis and Tom Balya know much more than I do about history, finance, leadership, international affairs and politics. We also have Mike Turzai and Fred Baker as top-notch co-hosts. They are each highly accomplished in their fields. That's our broadcasting model: don't try to turn a disc jockey into a political expert, but turn knowledgeable and accomplished people into hosts.

The folks at Salem have been great too, from Ed Atsinger and Russ Hauth to Dave Armstrong and Chuck Gratner. If I could host radio shows for anybody in the world, these would be the guys I'd want to host radio shows for.

We will also shortly begin to blast out audio clips of the show. Glen and Mike and Bill and Mark and others are hosting very, very well, and I'm sure you'll learn a lot from them. The shows are also being posted on and on the blog page of

I'd like to ask a favor of you. If you like the shows, please forward the links to other people who you think might like shows with a leadership rather than a 'red meat' approach.

Regards, Jerry

Michael Schiavo Takes on Privacy Campaign

The man who last year won a bruising battle to disconnect his brain-damaged wife from a feeding tube is campaigning against government intrusion around the country.

The political action committee formed by Michael Schiavo - whose wife, Terri, died after a seven-year court and political fight that reached Capitol Hill - has raised about $25,000 and is targeting races in Colorado, Florida and Texas.

Schiavo came to Colorado on Wednesday to support Democratic candidates for the U.S. House, including Angie Paccione, who is challenging Rep. Marilyn Musgrave. Musgrave spoke last year on the floor of the House against allowing Terri Schiavo's feeding tube to be removed.
"I want to ask Marilyn Musgrave who gave her the right to speak about Terri," Schiavo said. "Who gave her the authority to bring Congress into my family decisions?"

Associated Press

Giuliani visit brings needed money to Swann's campaign

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani yesterday lent his support and fundraising capabilities to Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann. Read More

Could it be the end of Live TV?

In its continuing crackdown on on-air profanity, the FCC has requested numerous tapes from broadcasters that might include vulgar remarks from unruly spectators, coaches and athletes at live sporting events, industry sources said.
"It looks like they want to end live broadcast TV," said one executive, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity. "We already know that they aren't afraid to go after news."

Tapes requested by the commission include live broadcasts of football games and NASCAR races where the participants or the crowds let loose with an expletive. While commission officials refused to talk about its requests, one broadcast company executive said the commission had asked for 30 tapes of live sports and news programs.

Campaign begins in S. Dakota abortion vote

Supporters of a South Dakota abortion ban, passed as a challenge to an established U.S. right to abortion, launched their campaign on Wednesday to uphold the state law in a November referendum.
The South Dakota abortion ban is considered the most restrictive in the United States, banning abortions at all stages of a pregnancy, even those that result from incest or rape or harm a woman's health. The law was to take effect July 1, but opponents gathered enough signatures to petition the state to put the matter before voters in the November mid-term election.

Backers of the law expected it to be challenged in court and they have said they would like the issue to make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court where they hope a more-conservative group of justices will overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to an abortion.


Ken Lay Compared to Jesus at funeral

Houston's political and business leaders, including former President George H.W. Bush, turned out for Kenneth Lay's memorial service Wednesday, less than a week after the Enron founder's sudden death.
The Reverend Dr. Bill Lawson compared Lay with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ, and said his name would eventually be cleared.
"He was taken out of the world right at the right time," he said. "History has a way of vindicating people who have been wronged."

Reverend Dr. William Lawson: "He reached out to touch many people from many backgrounds ... many economic levels ... that included minorities like me."
"Ken Lay was neither black nor poor, but I'm angry because Ken Lay was a victim of a lynching."
"The folks who don't like him have had their say. I'd like to have mine ... (Like Jesus Christ) he was crucified by a government that mistreated him."

Full Story

Catholic Mobile

Catholic Mobile announced the launch of its innovative wireless content delivery service. With this public launch, Catholic Mobile along with its service in Spanish, Móvil Católico, will become the leader in the development and distribution of wireless Catholic based content in North and South America.

“We feel that Catholic Mobile is a tool that will enhance the mobile experience for users of our service,” said Catholic Mobile spokesman Alejandro Bermudez.

Catholic Mobile provides families and individuals with inspiring Catholic content that will enrich their daily wireless experiences. Catholic Mobile users can receive messages by subscribing or selecting from a range of services anytime, anywhere, from their cell phones, PDA’s or smart phones. Using a text messaging service (SMS or Short Message System), daily prayers, the saint of the day, or daily scripture readings will be sent directly to the individual’s cell phone or mobile device. Users will also be able to personalize their phones by downloading Catholic wallpapers and ring tones.

“The Catholic community looks for new ways to remain centered on God and our Catholic faith as well as to bring the message of peace and hope to as many people as possible,” stated Alan Napleton, President of The Missionaries of Faith Foundation (MOFF).

Catholic Mobile and Móvil Católico will launch their new mobile content solution by offering the service to users in the United States, Canada, Argentina and Mexico. Catholic Mobile plans to make their service available to users in Brazil, Spain, and Australia by early 2007.


Calling it a “civil right.” As expected, the ACLU is on board.


From the story: At The New York Times, a prominent subheadline noted: "A second straight year of less red ink fails to soothe many budget analysts." The Washington Post's coverage included the headline: "Long-Term Outlook Still Seen As Bleak." Incredibly, it quoted administration critics who lay the deficit shrinkage to "shifts in the economy, including fatter corporate profits, executive bonuses and stock market gains, that reflect growing inequality." The Los Angeles Times couldn't help itself either. "Bush Gives Deficit News A Positive Spin" was its headline. The big "spin," however, was in the Times' story, not the administration's briefing, which was based entirely on facts. NBC's Brian Williams highlighted the idea — again from White House "critics" — that "the White House has deliberately inflated its own deficit projections in the past few years to score political points when the actual numbers came in lower." So a simple, positive report on the government's finances is swamped by negativity and cynicism.



According to the Senate's Republican Policy Committee, the bill “would guarantee wages to some foreign workers that could be higher than those paid to American workers at the same work site.”
Washington Times

CBS/Infinity Cleans House

The total number of layoffs at CBS Radio - 115. That's the number the Wall Street Journal's running with, and it's more than double the Rumor Mill number. Those 115 folks - scattered throughout the ranks from GMs to secretaries - constitute (says the Journal) about 1.3% of the CBS Radio workforce of 8500.

Joel Hollander tells staffers “this afternoon we gave notice to a number of our colleagues” and says it’s “part of an initiative designed to manage costs as we move to re-shape and re-structure our radio group.” He calls it “an altogether necessary step” to ensure competitiveness. Among the names (not confirmed by CBS) – WCBS-FM, New York GM Chad Brown and KROQ-FM, L.A. GM Trip Reeb. Today's cutbacks are apparently all that Hollander foresees - "I don't anticipate additional plans along these lines." No word yet on any Pittsburgh effects, but I know a few names that ought to be on the list.

Here's to you Mr. Robinson!

Vernon Robinson. Chances are you've never heard of him. He is a City Councilman in Winston-Salem, NC. He is also now running for Congress.

As with any political campaign, Robinson has commercials he is running. The spots are direct, honest and pull no punches. We need more people like him. Here's to you Mr. Robinson.

Immigration hard-liners on a high

DENVER - The passage of 11 anti-illegal immigrant measures by a special session of the Colorado Legislature this week is just the latest sign that momentum in the volatile debate is on the side of hard-liners. Read More

See my earlier post .

Year passes without ruling on Santorum charter-school case

A dispute over whether a school district can recover tax money it paid for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's children to attend an Internet-based charter school remains unresolved a year after a hearing officer recommended that the state dismiss the case. Read More

State to price child's education

A study that could shape the funding of Pennsylvania's public schools will soon get under way. As part of the education budget authorization act that Gov. Ed Rendell signed yesterday, the State Board of Education is directed to study how much all school districts should spend per student. Read More

Hoeffel denies that Pa. post is a quid pro quo

At a time when business-as-usual in Harrisburg is under attack, former U.S. Rep. Joe Hoeffel found himself on the defensive yesterday for taking a six-figure job in the Rendell administration. Read More


By 317 to 93. The story notes the issue isn’t a high priority in the Senate.
CNS News


It gets worse. The story notes “If the customer is an errant husband who wants his wife to believe he's on a fishing trip, Persey offers not just photos of him on the river, but a cellphone with a distant number, a lodge that if anyone calls will swear the husband is checked in but not available, and a few dead fish on ice.”

LA Times

National Education Association Votes to Support Homosexual Marriage

This is the push to teach homosexuality in the public school systems. The PA delegates are in FAVOR of this. Some teachers are leaving the association.



Barely getting though a paragraph on the much lower than expected budget deficit before declaring “One thing you won't hear from the White House today is this number: $8,410,281,565,972.66. That's the total federal debt as of last Friday, and it's a huge number — $8.4 trillion.” The story gives praise to the Clinton era. This was their top online story first thing this morning. (ABC News) By contrast, CBS News played the story more objective, noting “when measured against the size of the economy — at 2.3 percent of gross domestic product — the 2006 deficit would be lower than the deficits of 17 of the past 25 years.” (CBS News) From Investors Business Daily: With individual taxes growing at a 10%-plus rate and corporate taxes rising at nearly 20%, America's booming economy is washing away federal red ink like a tsunami. (IBD)

Finding a joke even in his death

Fred Clark was guy after my own heart. Clark's self-penned obituary appeared in Sunday's Times-Dispatch -- nearly a full column of his legendary humor. He wrote those last words in December, when he was perfectly healthy.

Clark, 61, died on Father's Day, June 18, after a car crash. In life, family and friends relished his wit. In death, thousands more witnessed it on Page B8 of The Times-Dispatch.

You can join them here

Rumsfeld flies in to Iraq

Security in Iraq depends as much on the Iraqi government's political success as it does on beating the insurgency, Donald Rumseld said while on an unannounced visit to the country.

The US defence secretary said on Wednesday: "We're at a point now when the security situation depends as much on the reconciliation process and on the strengthening of [government] ministries.

"It's as much a political task as anything."
He was speaking to reporters travelling with him on a visit that follows stops in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.


Illegal immigration: Go back and do it right

Former talk show host Jerry Bowyer has an article in which he claims the Bible is unabashedly pro-immigrant. "We cannot kick people out who have been here for awhile." That's what President Bush said last week.

While I respect both men, I disagree. Both viewpoints run contrary to the law of the land. No man is called by the Bible to subvert the law or undermine it.

Bowyer says in his article, "The Bible is explicit. In the Torah, Moses commanded, "Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt." The problem is no one that I know of is calling for mistreatment or oppression.

I understand many of the people who come here are fleeing oppression, but that does not mean we must provide a safe haven for every person who wants to flee their country. If that's the case, we should a have round the clock flights landing from Darfur, North Korea, Cuba and a thousand other places.

When a person willing defies our immigration laws, jumps ahead of those who have legally applied to be citizens and has no respect for what we do and do not allow in this country, they are then oppressing the law abiding. There must be a a penalty for that action.

If President Bush says we can not kick people out then he is granting amnesty and encouraging other to come here agaist the law. He is offering amnesty for those who have broken our laws.

I'm not against immigration, I'm against illegal immigration. Immigrants have built this country and still continue to do so. However, that greatness has been achieved by submitting to a system of laws and government. It's that system that causes people to want to come here in the first place.

The continual argument I hear from the other side is "You can't deport 10 to 20 million people." Jerry Bowyer uses the term "concentration camp" to guilt those who take a hard line on the issue.

First, this is the USA. We can do anything we put our minds to. If we can put a man on the moon, we can enforce the law.

I suggest giving all those who are in those in this country illegally 6 months notice. You have that time to get your affairs in order. Within 6 months you must return to your own country. If you choose to ignore that grace period, state, federal and local law enforcement will begin to seek those who remain.

Employers who hire undocumented workers will be responsible for paying a hefty fine and the cost of deporting those workers. Same with those who supply housing for they are aiding and abeting.

All those who return to their home country will be able to apply for citizenship upon return. They would be granted citizenship within 7 years pending a criminal background check and required language and educational requirements.

If you are caught in this country after the grace period, you will be deported within 48 hours and can not apply for citizenship for 10 years. If you are caught more then once, you are banned for life. I know it's hard. I know many people have been here for years. Still they are the one who chose to break the law and we must not forget that.

Under this plan most people would finally be able to right thier wrong and become legal residents of this great country.

The law of the land is clear on what happens to lawbreakers. They are punished. Those who break immigration laws are deported. This should be no exceptions to that law. When amy person publicly waivers from that, more illegals make their way across the boarder and we might as well toss out the welcome mat. Let's start the 6 month clock and try defending our own soil.

Rendell returns favor to Hoeffel

In March, former U.S. Rep. Joseph Hoeffel did Gov. Ed Rendell a big favor by dropping out of the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, a move that helped incumbent Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll win the May primary. Now, Mr. Rendell has done something nice for Mr. Hoeffel, naming him to a vacant, high-ranking job at the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Read More

Slots may eat into lottery's share of gaming pie

If the experience in states such as Michigan and Illinois is any guide, the Pennsylvania Lottery will have to enlist reinforcements for "Gus the Groundhog" or roll out big, new games - or both - to keep slot machines from eating into lottery profits. In state after state, lottery revenues stagnated after the introduction of casino-style gambling. Read More

US Soldiers Beheaded: Islam, the “religion” of Peace

Where is the outrage here folks? Media reports two soldiers were “killed” or “executed” by “insurgents” but it's much more than that. This is not only sick, it's pure evil and that is what we must fight. Forget about the "war on terror" solgan that is so worn out. This is a war on EVIL.

To prove it, a film was released by the Mujahideen Shura Council and posted on a prominent al Qaeda forum. The short 4:39 second film was one of the most hideous films ever. It only reinforces the fallacies and lies regarding Islam, the “religion” of Peace, Love and Tolerance.

The two kidnapped soldiers were Pfc. Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker of Madras, Oregon and Kristian Menchaca of Houston,Texas kidnapped and killed in Youssifiyah south of Baghdad, Iraq. I extend my deepest condolences to their families. Your sons died bravely.

The posting in Arabic with the film states that soldiers were killed out of revenge for the alleged rape and murder of an Iraqi girl in March. In a previous as Sahab video just released this last week, American al Qaeda Islamic convert Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki made a similar statement.

The film is so sick there is not a single frame that I would post here. The film doesn’t show their actual killing but instead shows their mutilated bodies, one soldier has his head laying next to his body, until the terrorist props the head onto the body. The second terrorist in the film is using his foot on the head of the other soldier as if to see if the head will break free from the body easily. There is substantial trauma to the bodies with large gashes cut into the chest area of the beheaded soldier.

The bodies in the film were apparently left on a bridge overlooking a river in the area. There are audio messages from both Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al Zarqawi contained in the film.

The only reason I decribe this to to inform those unfamiliar with Qu’ranic law, what the “mainstream media” refused to acknowledge or even accurately describe. The victims of those hideous murders were savagely beheaded while alive, suffering a cruel and tortuous death.

It is a fallacy that we are fighting a “normal” enemy and the executions were unrelated to the religious doctrine as outlined in the Qu’ran. For those who say we are to turn the other cheek, the ememy will gladly cut both sides of your face off!

Lieberman Files Forms for Independent Run

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman filed papers Monday that will allow him to petition his way onto the November ballot if he loses the primary election, his campaign said.

The three-term Democratic senator faces a tough Aug. 8 primary challenge from businessman Ned Lamont. Lieberman, whom fellow Democrats have criticized for his support of the Iraq war and a perceived closeness with President Bush, is popular among many unaffiliated and Republican voters in Connecticut.

Karl Rove: Bush Would Veto Stem-Cell Bill

President Bush will probably issue his first veto if the Senate approves a bill to expand federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, White House aide Karl Rove told a newspaper's editorial board.

"The president is emphatic about this," Rove said in the meeting Monday, according to a story posted on the Denver Post's Web site.

The House has already passed the stem cell legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., and Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del.

Rove said he believes the legislation will pass the Senate with more than 60 votes sometime this month - "and as a result the president would, as he has previously said emphatically, veto the Castle bill."

Death Toll at 105 in India Train Bombings

Seven bombs hit Bombay's commuter rail network during rush hour Tuesday evening, killing at least 105 people and wounding more than 300 in what authorities called a well-coordinated attack.

India's major cities were put on high alert after the blasts, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called an emergency Cabinet meeting.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility in the bombings, which came in quick succession _ a common tactic employed by Kashmiri militants that have repeatedly targeted India's cities.


Pittsburgh Mayor Diagnosed with Cancer

By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mayor Bob O'Connor was admitted to UPMC Shadyside this afternoon for treatment for primary central nervous system lymphoma, his spokesman said.
It will be treated aggressively with chemotherapy starting tonight, according to spokesman Dick Skrinjar, who said that doctors "don't expect it to seriously affect his abilities to perform the duties of the mayor of Pittsburgh."

The diagnosis was the result of the third battery of tests conducted after Mr. O'Connor, 61, was admitted for flu-like symptoms Thursday night.

Bookstore Now Open

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Claiming “Three decades ago liberal religious leaders had a powerful influence on politics. In the 1960s and 70s they led demonstrations against civil rights abuses and the war in Vietnam.” The story notes “The Christian left is focusing on: Fighting poverty, Protecting the environment, Ending the war in Iraq.”
CBS News


As people spend when taxes are lower. But the New York Times couldn’t stand that idea. From the story: Democrats and many independent budget analysts note that overall revenues have barely climbed back to the levels reached in 2000, and that the government has borrowed trillions of dollars against Social Security surpluses just as the first of the nation's baby boomers are nearing retirement. "The fact is that revenues are way below what the administration said they would be a few years ago," said Thomas S. Kahn, staff director for Democrats on the House Budget Committee. "The long-term prognosis is still very, very bleak, and the administration doesn't have any kind of long-term plan." (NY Times) The Washington Times treated the good news more like good news. (Washington Times)

See related story below

State tax revenue exceeds estimate

The state collected $864.4 million more than it needed for the fiscal year that ended June 30, and now critics are sounding off about excessive taxation. Read More

Do you think we will get any of it back?????

House rebels try to break the iron grip of leadership

Strong-willed legislative bosses such as House Speaker John Perzel, Democratic leader H. William DeWeese and Senate President Pro Tem Bob Jubelirer didn't become successful by sharing power with the rank and file. But now, a few lower-echelon lawmakers in the House, emboldened by the continuing public outcry for change in the wake of the July 2005 pay raise fiasco, are trying to wrest power from the leaders' hands. Read More

Rendell signs $7.15 wage law to cheers

Boosted by a cheering crowd, Gov. Rendell yesterday signed into law the first minimum-wage increase in Pennsylvania in nearly a decade. Read More

Is this WWIII?

The New York Daily news says this is WWIII:

Last week's headlines prove the point: North Korea fires missiles, Iran talks of nukes again, Iraq carnage continues, Israel invades Gaza, England observes one-year anniversary of subway bombing. And, oh, yes, the feds stop a plot to blow up tunnels under the Hudson River. World War III has begun.

What do you think?

Full Story

Japan Considers Strike Against N. Korea

Japan said Monday it was considering whether a pre-emptive strike on the North's missile bases would violate its constitution, signaling a hardening stance ahead of a possible U.N. Security Council vote on Tokyo's proposal for sanctions against the regime.

Japan was badly rattled by North Korea's missile tests last week and several government officials openly discussed whether the country ought to take steps to better defend itself, including setting up the legal framework to allow Tokyo to launch a pre-emptive strike against Northern missile sites.