Facts of Mormonism

On Sunday, February 25, 2007, Meet the Press had an interesting roundtable discussion on Mormonism that reflected the abundance of their journalistic ignorance. What I found particularly amusing was their patronizing comment that Christians know very little about Mormonism. They proceeded to cite a recent poll that showed 45% of Evangelicals view Mormonism negatively. This seemed a bit illogical, since Christians must know something for the negative percentage to be so high. No mention was made of the unique Mormon beliefs that might cause millions of rational souls to view them with a healthy dose of skepticism.
After pondering the wisdom of the media elite (or lack thereof), I decided to post a short list of Mormon facts.


Mormons can become gods and goddesses.

Goddesses will spend eternity in full submission to their god-husband.

Mormon women will give birth “forever and ever” to spirit-babies.

Mormon men can have multiple wives in heaven—eternal polygamy.

Heavenly Father is an exalted man who lives with his goddess wife, Heavenly Mother, on a planet near the great star Kolob.

American Indians are descendants of the wicked Lamanites, who were Israelites that God cursed with dark skin.

God the Father had sex with Mary to conceive Jesus, who is the half brother of Lucifer.

All Christian churches are an abomination.

Mormons need 4 secret handshakes to get into the Celestial heaven.

Joseph Smith revealed that the actual Garden of Eden is in Jackson County, Missouri. Have you ever been to Missouri????

And so you see, 45% of Christians know what thousands of the media elite do not: Mormonism is not Christian.

Show Update

On today's show:

Michael Medved - He is a nationally syndicated radio host, best-selling author, and veteran film critic. His daily broadcast reaches more than 2,500,000 listeners on nearly 200 stations across the country including our own WPIT. His show consistently ranks as one of the top ten political talk shows in the United States and he joins us to talk about movies, the upcoming election and the terror threat we face today.

Pastor Jack Stepp - He is the pastor of South Hills Assembly and he joins us to talk about the means by which humans are saved from original sin and granted salvation. We will discuss grace, God's gift to humankind.

Scott Bessenecker - In The New Friars Scott Bessenecker profiles young Christians who have voluntarily removed themselves from the status quo in order to seek justice and mercy with the poorest of the world's poor. These new friars are carrying on the work of the monastic tradition, the spirit of Francis and Clare of Assisi, St. Patrick and St. Brigid, the Jesuits and Nestorians and Moravians. He joins us talk about about this new (or old) movement.


All on the next John & Stephanie show. 4-6 PM 101.5 WORD FM Pittsburgh

GEORGIA BILL MANDATES ULTRASOUNDS BEFORE ABORTION

Approved by committee and on to the full senate.

WMGT

GOP DEBATES GIULIANI’S CONSERVATIVE CREDENTIALS

This story notes conservatives “object to his three marriages and his support for abortion rights, gay unions and curbs on gun ownership.” But a little later, the story claims “Far from being a liberal, he ran New York with a conservative's priorities.” (WSJ) From Podhoretz: …writers on the left express disbelief at the notion that a pro-choice Republican candidate might be able to win the GOP nomination. According to the best Leftist analyst of American politics, Michael Tomasky, abortion is simply "too fundamental an issue for most Republican caucus goers and primary voters (even in California, with its likely Feb. 5 primary) to work around." There's a perfectly simple answer to the Rudy paradox. When Republican voters look at Rudy Giuliani, they know one key fact about him: They know he's no liberal. They may not exactly know why yet, but they know it. And they're right. (NY Post)

CIA: BIN LADEN IN PAKISTAN

From the story: In the most definitive statement in years, America's top intelligence official said Tuesday Osama bin laden is in Pakistan actively re-establishing al Qaeda training camps. The newly appointed Director of National Intelligence Jack McConnell made the assertion about bin Laden and his No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

ABC News

Prince Says McDonald's Should Be Banned

The Prince of Wales hit out at McDonald's yesterday, suggesting that banning the US chain was the "key" to children eating more healthily.

His controversial comment provoked an immediate reaction from the fast-food company, which called the words "disappointing" and accused Prince Charles of being out of touch with its menu changes. Read more..

And I thought that such lunacy was reserved for the anti-capitalists on this side of the pond.

Ten Reasons Why The Jesus Tomb Claim is Bogus

I've gotten a ton of email on this. Many are asking is this the end of Christianity? No it's not.
I can't possibly respond to all of you so I'll do my best here:

1. There is no DNA evidence that this is the historical Jesus of Nazareth.
2. The statistical analysis is untrustworthy
3. The name "Jesus" was a popular name in the first century, appearing in 98 other tombs and on 21 other ossuaries
4. There is no historical evidence that Jesus was ever married or had a child
5. The earliest followers of Jesus never called him "Jesus, son of Joseph"
6. It is highly unlikely that Joseph, who died earlier in Galilee, was buried in Jerusalem, since the historical record connects him only to Nazareth or Bethlehem
7. The Talipot tomb and ossuaries are such that they would have belonged to a rich family, which does not match the historical record for Jesus
8. Fourth-century church historian Eusebius makes quite clear that the body of James, the brother of Jesus, was buried alone near the temple mount and that his tomb was visited in the early centuries, making very unlikely that the Talipot tomb was Jesus' "family tomb"
9. The two Mary ossuaries do not mention anyone from Migdal, but simply has the name Mary, one of the most common of all ancient Jewish female names
10. By all ancient accounts, the tomb of Jesus was empty, making it highly unlikely that it was moved to another tomb, decayed for one year's time, and then the bones put in an ossuary

The claim makes perfect sense if you are willing to toss aside facts. Sadly, many are for the sake of a story.

ABORTION WARS GO MOBILE

The leading pro-life crisis pregnancy center in New York is launching anew front new front in the war against abortion: Free sonograms in frontof South Bronx abortion clinics.

Usually a very expensive medical procedure only performed in a doctor'soffice, these pro-life activists have cleverly brought actual ultra-soundmachines into a van to allow ladies contemplating abortion to view anactual sonogram (ultra-sound) of their preborn babies.

But not all people are rejoicing over this ingenius new strategy. One ofthem is Joan Malin, president of Planned Parenthood of New York City, whois livid over how so many young ladies are being sujected to having to seepictures of their preborn babies they had intended on aborting. Ms. Malincalled it "confusing". Yeah, the truth does tend to muddy the waters.

Said Malik, "Our clients have gotten confused, gone there first and comeout very, very upset."

No doubt. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. But in the case of an ultra-sound: there is only one word that is said silenty and it's not a "blob" of "tissue" or "product of conception". It's one word that speaks more loudly than if it were screamed and that word is: "Baby."

TAX RELIEF DEADLINE NEARS

Homeowners who hope to see some property tax relief this year are reminded that applications for the tax breaks must be postmarked by Thursday, March 1.
CLICK HERE FOR HELP AND TO PRINT OUT A FORM

BRITAIN: OBESE CHILD MAY BE TAKEN FROM HOME

218 pound 8-year old. An official said “Child abuse is not just about hitting your children or sexually abusing them, it is also about neglect.”

AP

GORE’S HOUSE USES 20 TIMES AVERAGE HOME’S ENERGY

The story notes “In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.” (TCPR) The Gore reaction is rather slippery. From another story: Scoffed a former Gore adviser in response: "I think what you're seeing here is the last gasp of the global warming skeptics. They've completely lost the debate on the issue so now they're just attacking their most effective opponent." Kalee Kreider, a spokesperson for the Gores, did not dispute the Center's figures, taken as they were from public records. But she pointed out that both Al and Tipper Gore work out of their home and she argued that "the bottom line is that every family has a different carbon footprint. And what Vice President Gore has asked is for families to calculate that footprint and take steps to reduce and offset it." (ABC News)

Woman Allegedly Shoots At The Tires of a Tailgator

(AP) - A woman who told authorities she was fed up with tailgaters pulled out a gun and shot at the tires of a pickup that got too close, police said. Officials believe the bullet missed the pickup, and no one was hurt. Bernadette Headd, 39, was in rush-hour traffic Wednesday in suburban Detroit when the pickup pulled behind her, police said.

Headd, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and use of a firearm during a felony. Read more..

In PA, a concealed carry permit requires a criminal background check and two character references, which will usually weed out hot-headed individuals. I know of no incident like this in PA.

Van Hoping: It's Over Before it Began

For Van Halen fans the news was too good to be true. The band was getting back together. Well, forget it.

I have a memo the simply says "the Van Halen tour has been shut down." A new Van Halen best-of disc highlighting the Roth years was set to be released by Rhino Records this fall. Even that project has come the a screeching halt.

On well, back to real life.

Pope Speaks Out Against 'Designer Babies'

Pope Benedict XVI condemned genetic engineering and other scientific practices that allow people to select so-called "designer babies" by screening them for defects.

In a speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Church body of experts, the Pope also attacked artificial insemination and the widespread use of medical tests that can detect diseases and inherited disorders in embryos.

NewsMax.com

NEVERMIND ALL YOU CHRISTIANS

Hollywood director James Cameron has three coffins he claims were those of Jesus, his mother Mary and his 'wife' Mary Magdalene.

He says he has proof that Jesus married Mary and that she bore him a son, Judah, who was buried alongside them. Hey this would make a great film. That Di Vinci code thing worked out pretty well. The Lost Tomb of Jesus, made for the Discovery Channel, will be shown in the U.S. this week.

Cameron is not denying the resurrection - as there were no bones in the caskets. But the film still strikes at the foundation of Christianity in the same manner as the novel The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, in claiming that Jesus married and had a family.

Meanwhile..... Archaeologists and clergymen derided the claims. One of the caskets bears the title, "Judah, son of Jesus," hinting that Jesus may have had a son. And the very fact that Jesus had an ossuary would contradict the Christian belief that he was resurrected and ascended to heaven. However, it was an ordinary middle-class Jerusalem burial cave. The names on the caskets are the most common names found among Jews at the time.

More 'proof" for non-belivers more garbage for belivers.

On the Web: http://www.discovery.com/tomb

DISCOVERY CHANNEL TO SUGGEST JESUS AND MARY MAGDALENE HAD A CHILD

With help from producer/director/writer/king-of-the-world James Cameron. All this just in time for Easter.
Discovery

UCLA STARTS SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHAIR

Established by a million dollar donation. Would they do the same for a donation to battle in favor of traditional marriage?

LA Times

Methodist Bishops Playing at Left-Wing Politics

Bishops Janice Riggle Huie, president of the Council of Bishops; Gregory Vaughn Palmer, the council's president-designate; and Beverly Shamana, president of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society have publicly condemned President Bush's proposed federal budget for 2008, which they claim is callous towards the poor.

The budget is approximately 2.9 trillion dollars, with over 60 percent going towards non-military programs, mostly "entitlement" programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.

The Institute on Religion and Democracy Director Mark Tooley commented: “It’s revealing that when Congress and the President have debated such topics as same-sex "marriage," partial-birth-abortion, and religious liberty around, these bishops remained silent, despite our church's clear stances on these issues. Where were the bishops’ voices when Congress and the President debated matters of the soul?

“The Bishops in their public letter condemning the President's budget stated, ‘We will not remain silent as the most vulnerable populations in the United States and around the world are sacrificed at the altars of greed and war.’ "

In fact, spending on social welfare programs is at historic highs, while military spending is proportionally smaller relative to other federal budgets over the last 65 years. But no level of increase in federal social welfare spending would ever satisfy these liberal bishops, who equate the Kingdom of God with an ever expansionist federal entitlement state, whether its spending actually helps the needy or not.

"Instead of chronically summoning worshippers to the altar of the welfare state, whose failures have only perpetuated poverty, why don't the bishops actually call their numerically declining denomination back to classical Christian beliefs?”

The United Methodist Church, although still America's third largest denomination, has lost 3 million members over the last 40 years.

Judge Orders Christian Children To Endorse Homosexuality

In Boston, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf on Friday dismissed a civil rights lawsuit brought by David Parker, ordering that it is reasonable, indeed there is an obligation, for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality. Read more…

This ruling has chilling implications. Not only are children expected to accept homosexuality, but now, as per the judge's ruling, must “endorse” homosexuality. Several lines have been crossed with this gem of jurisprudence. As adults, the libertarian attitude of “what someone does in their own bedroom is their own business” is no longer good enough for this judge. Now, people, in this case age-inappropriate children, must acknowledge and endorse the positive aspects of gay and lesbian relationships.

Survey Says

I'm trying out a new survey service and I'd like your input on this blog and the radio show.
If you have few moments please give me your thoughts on this survey.

Thanks,

Powerball

CALIFORNIA ANTI-SPANKING BILL OMITS WORD “SPANKING”

So this story headline reads: South Bay Lawmaker Abandons Outlawing 'Spanking' But that isn’t the case, as the story notes “The latest version of the bill outlaws the use of a stick, rod or belt to hit a child, striking a child with a closed fist, and striking a child under the age of 3 years old on the face or hand.” So you can’t slap a child’s hand if they reach for the fire?

NBC 11

ANOTHER GOVERNOR BLASTS CLIMATOLOGIST

This time, Delaware governor Ruth Ann Minner insists skeptic David Legates not mention his tie to the administration when speaking on climate change. (News Journal) Earlier this month, the governor of Oregon did much the same. (KGW) Meanwhile, a UK story noted “Half of young children are anxious about the effects of global warming, often losing sleep because of their concern, according to a new report today.” (GM TV)

LIEBERMAN: LEAVING DEMS “VERY REMOTE POSSIBILITY”

Also from the story: He even says he might vote Republican for President in 2008, a not-so-veiled hint that he would prefer John McCain, his fellow true believer in the Iraq war, to most, perhaps all, Democratic alternatives.

Time

DEMOCRATS LOOK TO REVERSE 2002 VOTE ON WAR

From the story: Senate Democrats are drafting legislation to scale back the mission of U.S. troops in Iraq in an effort that would reduce the broad war-making powers Congress granted to President Bush in 2002, officials said Thursday.

FOX News

IRAN DEFIES UN ULTIMATUM

Not a huge surprise. From the story: Iran has ignored a U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze uranium enrichment and has instead expanded its program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said yesterday. The finding paves the way for new U.N. sanctions.

Washington Times

Michael Reagan At Gove City

President Ronald Reagan’s son Michael Reagan was at Gove City College Thursday night for the first annual Ronald Reagan Lecture sponsored by the enter For Vision and Values. Reagan discussed not only his father’s legacy and what it was like to grow up in the Reagan household, but also his own amazing spiritual journey.

This included being sexually molested as a boy by a camp counselor and the subsequent shame and guilt that he carried for years. As an adult searching for acceptance, the support of his wife played an important role in his faith journey in coming to Christ.

Fascinating from both a historical and personal perspective, WORD FM listeners may have heard Michael Reagan’s story last month on Truths that Transform. Read more..

Christian Music

To me music is music. I personally don't place any "Christian" artist above any secular artist. In fact I don't even like using those labels. If I like a song I don't care much if it's Casting Crowns or ZZ Top.

What really bugs me is the attitude of some when it comes to music. How dare I listen to rock and roll and call myself a Christian? Well because I am and I do.

I've been to a number of Christian concerts. I also been to a number of other concerts and you know what, they are not much different. You have over priced food, over priced tickets, a guy who tries to look cool selling t-shirts and people dance and sing.

Sure the audience is usually sober at a Christian concert and I have yet to see an alter call at a Van Halen show but when it's all said and done both concerts are entertainment.

I can't stand hearing the term "worship music" or "praise songs". If you are singing to God then sing. If you are listening to music then listen but don't tell me you are worshiping with your ipod in hand.

Music can be a wonderful part of worship. It can also be a distraction and we end up worshiping the song or they lyrics or the writer or the singer and we forget about the only one we are to worship.

If you want real Christian music I suggest you go here.

More Americans killed by illegal aliens than Iraq war

Illegal aliens are killing more Americans than the Iraq war, says a new report from Family Security Matters that estimates some 2,158 murders are committed every year by illegal aliens in the U.S. The group says that number is more than 15 percent of all the murders reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. and about three times the representation of illegal aliens in the general population.

Mike Cutler, a former senior special agent with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (the former INS), is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and an advisor to Family Security Matters (FSM). He says the high number of Americans being killed by illegal aliens is just part of the collateral damage that comes with tolerating illegal immigration.
"The military actually called for the BORTAC team, ... the elite unit of the Border Patrol, to be detailed to Iraq to help to secure the Iraqi border," Cutler notes. "Now, if our military can understand that Iraq's security depends in measure on the ability to protect its border against insurgents and terrorists, then why isn't our country similarly protecting our own borders?"

That's a darn good question Mike!

The report from FSM estimates that the 267,000 illegal aliens currently incarcerated in the nation are responsible for nearly 1,300,000 crimes, ranging from drug arrests to rape and murder. Such statistics, Cutler contends, debunk the claim that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. "Then we even have another problem," he adds, "and that's the Visa Waiver Program."

The federal government's Visa Waiver Program enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. According to the U.S. State Department website, the waiver program was established in 1986 with the objective of "eliminating unnecessary barriers to travel," stimulating America's tourism industry, and allowing the government to focus consular resources in other areas.

So security comes second behind tourisim. How much tourisim do you think we will see if we get attacked again????

A Call to Confession - Catholic Church Takes Out Ads

I both like and dislike confession. I don't like recalling all things I've done wrong and I don't like having to tell another person about them. It's kind of like going o the dentist. But once you go a heavy burden is lifted and you walk away a changed person. not that you won't ever sin again but it's nice to have a fresh start and know you are forgiven.

Last year at the Catholic mes Conference I took part along with 1400 other men in confession. It was wonderful to see all these men stand up, take responsibility and seek forgiveness.

Lent is the perfect time to prepare you head and heart to welcome Jesus. Yet a number of Catholics taking part in confession has plunged. In response, the Archdiocese of Washington is launching its biggest marketing blitz this week, using ads on buses, subway cars,billboards, 100,000 brochures and radio spots in an effort to get people back to the confessional.

The campaign highlights the church's alarm that Catholics are ignoring a fundamental ritual meant to keep them holy and close to God.

The Washington Post writes: Priests and sociologists of Catholicism have theorized about the drop for years. Is it because of a culture that tells us we aren't responsible for what we do wrong? Or could it be something less dark: that the traditional Saturday confession time has simply been gobbled up by youth soccer leagues and errand-mania? Or maybe something more dark: that we don't even know what sin is anymore?

The campaign, the first big public endeavor by the new archbishop, Donald Wuerl, is timed to start with Lent, the 40-day period of reflection and penitence that started yesterday, Ash Wednesday. The 100,000 brochures that parishes are distributing lay out rules for the rusty, complete with a pop-out, wallet-size card ("Step 3: Confess all of your sins to the priest. If you are unsure or uneasy, tell him and ask for help.").

Also known as the sacrament of reconciliation, confession involves several mandatory steps: being sincerely contrite, articulating to a priest (who stands in the place of Jesus) what was done wrong, apologizing, receiving an assigned penance and being forgiven.

I know it's intimidating and many say "Why do I need to confesses to a man when I can just talk to God?" but God instructs us to confess our sins to one another. He has also called the priest to a lifetime of service to the Lord.

I encourage you in this time of Lent to make confession part of your preparation of the coming of the risen Lord.

Egypt blogger jailed for insulting Islam

An Alexandria court convicted an Egyptian blogger on Thursday for insulting both Islam and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and sentenced him to four years in jail over his writings on the Internet.

I hope they never read this blog.

Full Story

MCCAIN BLASTS BUSH ON GLOBAL WARMING, IRAQ

The story notes “President Bush's record on global warming? "Terrible," McCain declared. His pursuit of the Iraq war? "A train wreck."

LA Times

HILLARY V. OBAMA: THE GLOVES COME OFF

As David Geffen turned his support from Clinton to Obama with the comment “Everybody in politics lies, but they [the Clintons] do it with such ease, it’s troubling.” Hillary and Obama have been exchanging blows with statements to the press. (Editor and Publisher) From Fineman: As is often the case, the fight promoter was Maureen Dowd, whose many gifts include an ability to lure public figures into saying nasty things about each other. (MSNBC)

RHODE ISLAND MAY RECOGNIZE MASSACHUSETTS GAY MARRIAGE

The story opens “Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch says his state should recognize the gay marriages of state employees performed in Massachusetts.”

WCSH

Baptists Asked to Crack Down on Abusers

The victims' advocates who dogged the Roman Catholic Church over sex abuse by its clergy have now turned their attention to the Southern Baptists, accusing America's largest Protestant denomination of also failing to root out molesters.

The Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has started a campaign to call attention to alleged sex abuse committed by Southern Baptist ministers and concealed by churches.

Church leaders concede there have been some incidents of abuse in Southern Baptist congregations, but say their hands are tied when it comes to investigating complaints across the denomination.

Unlike the Catholic Church, with its rigid hierarchy, Baptist churches are independent. They make their own decisions about hiring ministers and conducting investigations, Baptist leaders say.

Several child sex abuse cases in Southern Baptist churches have surfaced recently.

Bellevue Baptist, a megachurch near Memphis, fired a longtime minister, the Rev. Paul Williams, last month after he acknowledged sexually abusing his son 17 years ago.

The church's internal investigation found that church leaders, including current pastor, the Rev. Steve Gaines, knew about the abuse last year, but did not act immediately.

AP

Rendell appointee defends sales tax hike

The nominee to be Pennsylvania's top tax collector defended Gov. Ed Rendell's call to increase the state sales tax yesterday, despite criticism from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia legislators who said the regressive levy would have a negative impact on lower-income residents of their cities. Read More

Pelosi Backs Tuition Breaks for Illegal Aliens

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is touting congressional Democrats' push to make college more affordable for young people, including those without legal residency.

Pelosi made reference to the effect of Proposition 300, an Arizona initiative passed by voters in November that requires illegal immigrants to pay out-of-state tuition to attend public universities and community colleges.

"Our country does not benefit by our depriving young people of an education," Pelosi said.

NewsMax.com

LENT

In the Catholic tradition today is Ash Wednesday. It is the begining of Lent.

The annual observance of Lent is the special season for the ascent to the holy mountain of Easter. Through its twofold theme of repentance and baptism, the season of Lent disposes both the catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery. Catechumens are led to the sacraments of initiation by means of the rite of election, the scrutinies, and catechesis. The faithful, listening more intently to the word of God and devoting themselves to prayer, are prepared through a spirit of repentance to renew their baptismal promises.

As we begin Lent, it is helpful to recall the discipline of the Church with regards to fast, abstinence and other forms of penance.

Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fast and abstinence. The Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence in the United States.

The obligation of abstinence (refraining from eating meat) begins at the age of 14. The law of fasting (limiting oneself to one full meal and two lighter meals) obliges all between the ages of 18-59. No one should consider this obligation lightly.

Those individuals who have a medical condition in which fasting may be considered harmful are not obliged to fast, but should perform some other act of penance or charity.

Pastors and parents are to see to it that minors, though not bound by the law of fast and abstinence, are educated in the authentic sense of penance and encouraged to do acts of penance suitable to their age.

All members of the Christian Faithful are encouraged to do acts of penance and charity during the Lenten season beyond what is prescribed by the law.

MAN FIRED FOR VISITING ADULT CHAT ROOM AT WORK, SUES WORK

He wants $5 million. From the story: In papers filed in federal court in White Plains, Pacenza said the stress caused him to become "a sex addict, and with the development of the Internet, an Internet addict." He claimed protection under the American with Disabilities Act.

AP

STREISAND JOINS HOLLYWOOD GROUP GIVING TO OBAMA

As he pulled in $1.3 million last night while dining with Streisand, Eddie Murphy, George Clooney, Jennifer Anniston, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg among others.

FOX News

KDKA, Church Leaders Concur On Story Ethics

KDKA-TV executives met yesterday with religious leaders who wanted an apology for promotions the station aired promising to reveal illicit behavior by a pastor, who then killed himself.

But the clergy ended up apologizing to KDKA for releasing what was intended to be a joint statement before anyone at KDKA had an opportunity to see it, resulting in dueling accounts of the meeting. Read more…

A very tragic story from all perspectives, and difficult questions on ethics and journalism.

Merck Gives Up Push For Girls To Get Shots

As reported on Feb. 6th, Texas has become the first state in the nation to require schoolgirls to be vaccinated with Merik & Co.'s human papillomavirus vaccine in order to be allowed in school. Texas Governor Perry mandated this requirement through an Executive Order.

Now, drug-making giant Merck &Co. has announced that it will halt its efforts to pressure states into making the vaccination of all young girls against a sexually transmitted disease mandatory.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the drug manufacturer said the lobbying had become a distraction because of the backlash among physicians, consumer advocates, parents and even legislators. Read more…

This is a welcomed victory for parental rights.

Catholics, Anglicans Consider Reuniting

Issues surrounding a possible reuniting of the Catholic and Anglican churches under the pope are discussed in a 42-page statement currently being prepared, church leaders said on Tuesday.
The statement, titled "Growing Together In Unity and Mission. Building on 40 years of Anglican and Roman Catholic Dialogue", looks at common ground and differences between the two churches and is expected to be published later this year.

"Our ultimate desire is to achieve full visible unity," said Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby, co-chair of the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) which is preparing the statement.

"The statement is put forward to foster discussion and reflection," Bathersby told Reuters.
Bathersby said the statement, which was leaked by British media on Monday, does not offer a conclusion on unity.

He said it was still incomplete and was awaiting a formal response from the Catholic Church and was being discussed by the Anglican Church meeting in Tanzania. Bathersby said the discussion on reuniting the churches under a universal primate, the Pope, has been going on for 35 years.
"The separation that exists at the present time is a scandal to people outside the church who say why can't these Christians get together," Bathersby said. "These things cause difficulties for the mission of both Christian churches. We realize we need to seek some agreement, some common ground so that we give a better witness to people."

The Anglican co-chair of IARCCUM, South African Bishop David Beetge, said unity was desired by both churches, but was a long-term vision.

"All we have said are there are certain areas, after 40 years of theological study, where we believe we have a degree of compatibility and agreement," Beetge told Australian radio.
"I think unity is a long, long, long, long, long journey. Of course we pray for it, of course we long for it. I would be surprised if I saw anything in my lifetime," he said.

Bathersby said areas where the churches differed included the ordination of homosexuals and women, which has occurred in the Anglican Church, and their authority structures.
The Catholic Church has a hierarchical system with Pope Benedict the ultimate authority. In the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the focal point but each province has autonomy.

"They have a system of divested authority ... within that structure they sometimes find it difficult at times to hold together," said Bathersby, referring to the split in the Anglican Church over the ordination of homosexuals.

Bathersby said the issue of a universal primate also attracted differing opinions, with some Anglicans believing only Jesus Christ can be the head of the church.

NewsMax.com

Hot & Bothered?

Livestock contribution to global warming outweighs that of transportation...

Warm weather to prevail in March...

Scientists unite to push Bush on climate...

Abortion Ban Means 'Second Class Citizenship' for Women

(CNSNews.com) - If Roe v. Wade were overturned, as many as 30 states would be poised to criminalize abortion within a year, said a group that wants to keep abortion legal. "What many Americans don't realize is that the legal building blocks to overturn Roe are already in place in many states or are being quickly erected," said the Center for Reproductive Rights. The group has conducted a study (and published a book) on what would happen if the 1973 Supreme Court abortion ruling is reversed. "Without Roe v. Wade, life for American women would be thrown more than 30 years in reverse -- returning them to the days of second-class citizenship," the Center said in a news release. "When a woman cannot decide for herself when and whether she will have children, her opportunities to shape her future and care for her family are drastically reduced. Americans need to know the facts behind the politics of reversing Roe." The Center, through its website, is selling a $15, 132-page book that describes the state-by-state consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade.

HILLARY HIRES POLITICIAN WHO ENDORSED HER

A South Carolina black politician who endorsed her over Obama is now making $10,000 a month as a “consultant.”

Chicago Sun Times

ROMNEY: TIME TO OVERTURN ROE

He also explained “when we abort a fetus, we are taking a life at its infancy, at its very, very beginning roots, and a civilized society, I believe, respects the sanctity of human life.”

Lifenews

53 PERCENT WOULD NOT VOTE FOR AN ATHEIST PRESIDENT

42 percent said they wouldn’t vote for someone 72 years old, 24 Percent for a Mormon, 11 percent for a woman.

Gallup

LA TIMES: SCALIA MAY CONTROL TILT OF SUPREME COURT

From the story: A series of broad-brush rulings could put Scalia's stamp on some key American social issues. A Scalia-led majority would move to outlaw the use of racial guidelines to achieve integration, allow a greater role for religion in public life, more tightly regulate abortion, and strike down campaign-funding laws seen as constricting free speech. It is a prospect dreaded by liberals, and eagerly awaited by many on the right. (LA Times) Not all are convinced. From Patterico’s Pontifications: Mostly, the article is a chance to take a gratuitous slap at Scalia and his theories of originalism. (Patterico)

SEXUAL IMAGES CORRUPTING YOUNG GIRLS

Bratz dolls are among the culprits. American psychological association chairman Eileen Zurbriggen said: “The consequences of the sexualization of girls in media are likely to be a negative influence on girls’ healthy development. We have ample evidence to conclude that sexualization has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, and healthy sexual development.”

FOX News

BBC REVEALS U.S. ATTACK PLANS FOR IRAN

From the story: "That list includes Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz. Facilities at Isfahan, Arak and Bushehr are also on the target list, the sources say." Gee, I hope Iran isn't watching.

BBC

Upping the Ante - II

Even before most of the state's 11 licensed casinos open, manufacturers are testing the limits of a law that allows slot machines but not card or dice games. In place of card or dice games, Pa. is considering a virtual table game machine for casinos.

In a virtual simulation of a Las Vegas model, “Denise” and seven other "card dealers" appear in the latest high-tech version of a slot machine that seeks to mimic table games such as blackjack and poker -- for now, not permitted in Pennsylvania casinos. However, that may soon change. Read more..

George Will correctly reflected that these types of machines serve as “electronic morphine” to a certain segment of the population. But I’m sure that we will fund a new government program to also fix this problem. The spiral continues.

Upping the Ante

Legislation permitting casino-style gambling at West Virginia’s four racetracks passed the House of Delegates for the first time Friday.

The Northern (W.Va.) Panhandle tracks have been nervous about adjacent Pennsylvania allowing slot machines. The tracks have said they will lose jobs when Pennsylvania starts its slot machines and want the table games — which include such things as poker and roulette — to rejuvenate their business. Read more..

Can we now expect gambling proponents in Pennsylvania to demand that we follow West Virginia’s lead in order to be “competitive”?

McCain Says Overturn Roe v. Wade

Republican presidential candidate John McCain, looking to improve his standing with the party's conservative voters, said Sunday the court decision that legalized abortion should be overturned.

"I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned," the Arizona senator told about 800 people in South Carolina, one of the early voting states. Read more..

I’m not big on McCain, but this is refreshing to hear. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the other presidential candidates.

Goodbye Garden

Garden 1971
Besides Allegheny General Hospital, it's the only business still going in that stretch of the northside of Pittsburgh. Even the bars have long since moved out. It's sad. Every time I drive by there you see seedy looking men stepping over homeless people to disappear in the porn palace. That's finally about to change.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority expects to take possession of the Garden Theatre within 20 days after settling yesterday with New Garden Realty Corp. for $1.1 million. The URA and the theater's owner had engaged in a legal fight that lasted more than six years.

For more than a decade, revitalization of the corridor of Federal Street and North Avenue has been stalled because nobody advanced plans to start developing around the porn theater.

Now let's hope something positive develops.
Garden Today

Hot & Bothered?

Here we go.... On one side of the fence we have this:

It may be cold comfort during a frigid February, but last month was by far the hottest January ever.
The broken record was fueled by a waning El Nino and a gradually warming world, according to U.S. scientists who reported the data Thursday. Records on the planet's temperature have been kept since 1880.
Spurred on by unusually warm Siberia, Canada, northern Asia and Europe, the world's land areas were 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than a normal January, according to the U.S. National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
More

On the other side of the fence I offer this:

A new report on climate over the world's southernmost continent shows that temperatures during the late 20th century did not climb as had been predicted by many global climate models.
This comes soon after the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that strongly supports the conclusion that the Earth's climate as a whole is warming, largely due to human activity.
It also follows a similar finding from last summer by the same research group that showed no increase in precipitation over Antarctica in the last 50 years. Most models predict that both precipitation and temperature will increase over Antarctica with a warming of the planet.

More

The Compassionate Left

The Family Research Council reports that the U.S. Senate eliminated federal funds to detect and treat HIV/AIDS in newborn babies from the 2007 budget. Even an attempt to add an amendment to restore the funding for this program failed.

How did this happen, especially when the Democrats are running the Senate? It appears to be a move based more on a political payback from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid than compassion “for the children”. Read more…

Now if the Democratic Congress could only see their way to de-funding Planned Parenthood instead….

WILLIAM AND MARY DITCHES CROSS, PROMOTES SEX SHOW

William and Mary College removed a cross so they won’t offend people of other faiths. William and Mary president Gene Nichol had it removed in October. (AP) But they have little trouble promoting a disgusting sex show. (Virginia Gazette)

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE THERE $$$

All those new smoking bans are hurting state budgets. You can't kill the cash cow and still expect milk!

A Democrat lamented “The taxes on smoking are being used to fund education, they're being used to fund health care, they're being used to fund real things. Now, if we eliminate smoking, does it mean that those things go away?” I can see the billboards now “Support Your Schools, Start Smoking Today.”

CBS News

ANTI-CHRISTIAN BLOGGERS A WINDOW INTO DEMOCRATIC PROBLEM

From the article: For what the blogger tempest really illuminates is a fact that could come to haunt the Democrats as they vie for national office: namely, that their past few wilderness years have also been boom years for the church-loathing liberal/left punditry. As a result, anti-Christian invective now graces (or disgraces) many of the books, magazines, Web sites and blogs to which liberals, including the Democratic elite, habitually look for ideas.

WSJ

ULTRASOUND MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN ABORTION DEBATE

As women change their minds. But the story notes “What critics challenge are the means, the information these centers give, the methods they use and the costs they ignore.” Costs? Raising a child is costly, so kill it. Later in the story: “… some do wonder how much help will be available for these families in the years to come, with school, housing and health care, since according to the Guttmacher Institute, 3 out of 4 women contemplating abortion cite economic pressure as a reason.” (Time) From what I read, the story neglects to mention Guttmacher is an arm of the pro-abortion Planned Parenthood. On their website, Guttmacher boasts “The Institute's mission is to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men in the United States and throughout the world.” (Guttmacher) Yet Time introduces them as merely “the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute.”

DEMOCRATS PLAN VOTE TO LIMIT BUSH WAR FUNDING

Led by Murtha. (Washington Times) Some GOP members are bailing on Bush. (Washington Post)

John Edwards, Why????

John Edwards is becoming a regular name in my posts, and not for a good reason. We talked about the two bloggers that had to fire themselves because Edwards did have the ping pongs to do it himself. You would think John would learn a lesson but I guess not.

Senator Edwards penchant for his pro-abortion agenda has led him to now hire pro-abortion advocate Kate Michelman. Kate is the former president of the National Abortion Rights Action League. She is also a former Catholic with no love for the Church.

She said "I was a practicing Catholic who accepted the Church's teaching that birth control was a sin." She accepted that teaching up until her husband left her when she was pregnant with her 4th child. In 1969, she killed her child and so began the political force that now wants to take her zealousness for privacy rights beyond the women's movement.

You know, I'm beginning to detect a bias here against not only the pro-life community, but the institutions that would defend life. Congratulations John, the is the possibly the worst campaign ever in the history of this nation.

Oh but wait, there's more! Edwards said Wednesday that he would immediately pull about a third of U.S. combat troops out of Iraq if he were president. Congress should also cut military funding to force President Bush to do so, Edwards said.

So you can kill a person in the womb, but not on the battlefield. Great John, just great.

TENNESSEE LEGISLATION WOULD REQUIRE DEATH CERTIFICATE AFTER ABORTION

From the story: Keri Adams, vice president of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, on Wednesday called the proposal an attempt to terrorize frightened and vulnerable women who are seeking abortion.

AP

GORE ANNOUNCES CONCERTS TO PROMOTE GLOBAL WARMING PROPAGANDA

With Sting, Bon Jovi and rapper Pharrell Williams joining him today. (Washington Post) Remember when Tipper Gore cared about objectionable content in music? (Wikipedia) Williams is highly objectionable. Caution: Even the song titles are problematic. (AZ Lyrics) Meanwhile, the blistering, record-setting cold continues. (ABC News)

V-Day

Ok it's over. 364 days to go till the next one.

I don’t know why I always wait until the last minute to buy my wife’s Valentine’s Day present. Most likely, it’s because I’m a guy.

It’s a terrifying ordeal trying to pick out a Valentine’s Day card on Valentine’s Day evening because there is absolutely no selection left. I don’t know who else could have bought up all the good cards because all the men on the planet are standing right there beside me in the greeting card aisle looking as scared and lost as I.

The only cards left by that time are written in some strange, soap opera-type language that I don’t even understand and say things like, “My Darling, blah-blah rose petals something something cherish you yada yada eternity.” Let me tell you, I’m as romantic as the next guy but if I go home with a card like that, my wife is going to look at me like I just beamed down from the planet Weirdonia.

So why do I wait? Well, the same thing happens every year. About one week before Valentine’s Day, I think that the big day is nowhere on the radar, so I figure I still have plenty of time. About one day before Valentine’s Day, I realize it’s time to start thinking about what gift to buy so I decide to research the subject by watching television. Then on Valentine’s Day, I sense warning bells deep within me.

When the day comes I begin my five-step Valentine’s Day shopping ritual. Step 1 - Go to the flower store and discover there are no flowers left. If there are flowers ,they are dead, ugly and very expensive (even for good looking flowers). The clerk gives me the stupid "I got you right where I want you" grin and I refuse to fell. So I get back in car and throw a mini temper tantrum.

Step 2 - Go to the candy store and discover there is a world chocolate shortage. Briefly contemplate purchasing my wife a pack of Skittles for Valentine’s Day. But then I remember my wife doesn't really like candy that much. So I decided against the Skittles.

Step 3 - Rush to mall and enter swanky department store. Enter the ladies department. Whatever I buy will be either to big ("Do I look this Fat?") or too small ("Do you wish I was this small?") The whole time I get ugly looks from every woman within visual range because they know I didn't plan very well. So I tear out of ladies department like a convict with a pack of blood hounds at his heels.

Step 4 - Resign myself to buying my way out of the dilemma. Go to jewelry store and wait in line behind about fifty thousand other schmos who are in the same predicament as myself. It’s a shame that Valentine’s Day can turn into one more thing on our list to accomplish, isn’t it? That doesn’t seem like a very good way to celebrate our relationships.

Sometimes a relationship with God can be that way. We can go through all the motions without experiencing a real connection. All of the trappings of Christianity — church services, reading the Bible, praying, etc. — can either be opportunities to connect with God, or just more stuff to tick off our lists in an effort to make sure we don’t get in trouble. If the latter is our motive, then we’ve managed to miss the romance of knowing God. FYI, don't believe what they say a Chia Pet does NOT make a great gift!

Illegal In America

Not only can illegal aliens obtain a driver's license to operate vehicles in the U. S. (Tribune Review - Illegal alien’s licenses are legal), but now the Bank of America has a special credit card offer specifically designed for the illegal alien who needs some credit.

In the Los Angeles market test, Bank of America is offering credit cards to Spanish-speaking customers with no Social Security numbers, the Wall Street Journal reported. Read more..

SECOND ANTI-CATHOLIC EDWARDS BLOGGER QUITS!

Again, apparently without Edwards pulling the trigger.

ABC News

'State Interest' Argued In Teaching Homosexuality

Lawyers representing a Massachusetts school district named as a defendant in a parent's civil rights complaint have said teachers at Estabrook Elementary School have a "legitimate state interest" in teaching the homosexual lifestyle, and parents have no input into those decisions. Read more..

It has been 15 years since the “Heather Has Two Mommies” controversy here in PA. The question that Peg Luksik asked during the Outcomes Based Education battle still applies today, “Who owns the children?”

Electon 2012 - John Edwards Leads!

Stick a Fork in John Edwards . . . He's Done.

Presidential-(used-to-be)-hopeful John Edwards, together with his strategists, decided that if they're going to be "in it to win it" then they must employ the blogging help of a couple of anti-Christ, F-bomb droppin' girls to convince America that he's mainstream and thus, our man. What in the world were they thinking?

The bloggers Johnny hired to sway us common cattle into his fray can't be more psychotically Left than these dual dames of derision. Don't believe me? Then do this: stop what you're doing and look all the way over to the left. I'm talkin' way, way over yonder, and you'll see Amanda Whoever and Melissa McSomebody typing their butts off as they blame Bush, Christianity and Capitalism for Lincoln's murder, JFK's assassination, the plight of the manatee, global warming and bad hair days.

In all fairness, the lady bloggers must have just assumed that bashing Christians was still in style. I guess they missed the announcement that we are not going to take it any more. With their blasphemous, too offensive to print invectives against Christianity, their conspiratorial mendacities that make a paranoid coke dealer seem well modulated and their constant "F you, you F-ing F-ers of F-land," these two cynical sisters do symbolize the mainstream if the brook we're talking about is the river Styx.

But here is my $64,000 question... Who told Edwards it was good idea to hire two profane dames to do his PR? You don't run a presidential campaign by yourself. Nobody thought to maybe wave a even a tiny red flag on this one? There's the bigger problem! I'd fire everyone on my staff. And then maybe hire those two goofs that caused a bomb scare with that bird-flipping cartoon light thingy. Ok, maybe not, but they could not do much worse.

At least we know who Edwards really is. Toss about that "faith" word all you want. I won't forget it was the Potsie Weber of the Presidential race who sought out blasphemous bloggers to make his backers bolt. There comes a point when you dig a hole so deep that it is shorter to just keep going instead of turning around. So I'm revising my free advice to John Edwards....

Don't cave in to the public pressure John, by distancing yourself from these foul mouth bloggers. Everyone bows to Christians since Bush won twice. Be different. I'm sure there a some heretics who would vote for you. You have two already! So embrace them. Don't be ashamed. Go nuts! It will certainly make things interesting and you will be the hero of the underworld.

Hey.....I have a blog John. You could hire me to run things. I work cheap and I'd get you attention. Here is what we do John....

First get a mean dog. Like an ill-tempered Doberman. Or a black Wolf with green eyes. Yeah, that's even better. Name him Lucifer, get the biggest spike collar your staff can find, take him everywhere you go. Then we will shave your head. That Ken Doll thing you've got going is so yesterday. I'd also shave your eyebrows off or . . . or shave them where they are angling down to make you look angry. People like angry, it makes you look powerful.

Next we need music. Have Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest and Boy George do all the music for your events. Put Robert Mapplethorpe photos all over the venues and throughout the cities where you campaign. That'll get the buzz going, eh?

Every campaign needs a logo. Yours will a symbol of a three horned goat and we will carve it into your forehead. The cameras will love it. For fund raising, I'd have Rosie O'Donnell tour with you. She is bound to get you some press.

Lastly, have Damien from the Omen work the children for their parents' votes. I can hear MTV calling now. He could put that evil eye on them . . . you know what I mean? Oh they would vote, you better believe they would vote.

John, let me help you, man. When you try to become President in 2012 (because that little move cost you 2008), you've got to be more discreet with your affiliation with the Netherworld if you want to rise to power. Look on the bright side, you've got five years to fool us, so get back on that horse.

Attorney general reviews bonuses

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said the 326 percent increase in bonuses paid to state House Democratic staffers in 2006 is being reviewed by his office, saying it's enough to "raise your eyebrow." Read More

State's 3 casinos are hitting jackpot so far

In just three months, slot machines have become Pennsylvania's billion dollar baby. The total wagered at the state's three racetrack casinos surpassed $1 billion last weekend. The milestone came 89 days after the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, the state's first racetrack casino, opened. Read More

Hot and Bothered?

141 INCHES, AND COUNTING... Storm For The East Strengthens...

TRAVEL NIGHTMARE...Watch/Warning Map...

INDIAN EXPERTS QUESTION GLOBAL WARMING THEORY...

Study: Glacier melting can be variable...

CBS NEWS BLASTS INTELLIGENT DESIGN

In this story on the evolution debate in Kansas, CBS News writes “Those standards, backed by intelligent design advocates, suggest important evolutionary concepts - like a common origin for all life on Earth and changes in one species leading to a new one - are controversial and challenged by new evidence. Such statements defied mainstream science and brought Kansas international ridicule.”

CBS News

ONE OF EDWARDS ANTI-CATHOLIC BLOGGERS QUITS CAMPAIGN

I posted last week on two bloggers hired by the John Edwards campagin. Edwards didn’t have the guts/leadership/integrity to fire this girl for her hate filled speech. At least not publicly.

Former Sen. John Edwards said he was offended by the vile posts of his presidential campaign's two anti faith bloggers, but apparently not enough to fire them. Edwards defended his decision to retain Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan in a press statement. "I talked personally to the two women who were involved. They gave me their word they, under no circumstances, intended to denigrate any church or anybody's religion, and offered their apologies for anything that indicated otherwise. I took them at their word."

When actor Isaiah Washington slandered a homosexual, he was institutionalized. When Mel Gibson lashed out against the Jewish community in a drunken tirade, he became a Hollywood outcast. Marcotte and McEwan were allowed to blog on in Edwards' name. That is until Amanda Marcotte posted on her personal blog, Pandagon, that the criticism "was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign." Marcotte said she resigned from her position Monday, and that her resignation was accepted by the campaign.

She continued on without taking responsibility for her words but blogging her tantrum. "No matter what you think about the campaign, I signed on to be a supporter and a tireless employee for them, and if I can't do the job I was hired to do because Bill Donohue (Catholic League president) doesn't have anything better to do with his time than harass me, then I won't do it."

Note: Her site at the time of this post was down.

Edwards said, "That kind of intolerant language will not be permitted from anyone on my campaign." Then why wasn't action taken? It took a foul-mouthed blogger to realize that her words were not helping Edwards. It's a shame a man who wants to be leader of the free world could not see that.

Mr. Edwards, it's time for you to do the right thing and fire Melissa McEwan for her remarks.

ANOTHER STORY ON ROMNEY’S MORMONISM

From the story: In a diverse 2008 presidential field that includes a woman and an African-American on the Democratic side, polls show being Mormon is a handicap Later in the story: …the Mormon church …has an unusual theology and a past scarred by racism and polygamy. (USA Today) Romney formally kicks of his campaign today. (Boston Globe)

DEMOCRATS REFUSE TO GIVE GOP TROOP RESOLUTION A VOTE

The story notes “The fear is that a GOP alternative could expose a potentially messy divide within Democratic ranks over whether to cut off or restrict funding for troops on the ground.”

AP

Ten Commandments 'Cover-Up' Revealed at Supreme Court


(WND) Is the East Wall Frieze stone tablet of the Supreme Court building a representation of the Ten Commandments, or as the Supreme Court officials claim, represent the Ten Amendments?

Other more overt efforts to remove biblical references from our court buildings include a recent photograph in a brochure about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in which the background behind the justices was blurred out. The background contained a Ten Commandments oil-on-canvas mural, "The Decalogue _ Hebrew Idea of Revealed Law".

The late Larry Burkett commented that people would need to take sandblasters to our buildings in the nation’s capitol in order to remove the multitude of referenced to our Creator. Maybe not with digital photography, or simply changing titles.

Charter schools lag behind home districts

A decade after the state allowed the creation of charter schools, achievement at most lags behind that of schools in their home districts, according to a newspaper study. Pennsylvania charter school students on average are not performing as well on standardized tests as their public school peers, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Sunday. Read More

The hidden $866 million tax

McDonald's, like all Pennsylvania businesses, is following laws established decades ago that tip the scales in the state's favor at the expense of consumers. Meanwhile, at the cash register, the consumer rarely detects the state's advantage, which never totals more than a penny per sale. Read More

The Obama Promise

He has already broken his word!

WITH HELP OF SCIENCE, CHILD BORN TWO YEARS AFTER SOLDIER’S DEATH

From the story: The commercial technology for storing sperm did not become available until 1971, so the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first in which a significant number of combat troops have been able to take advantage of the technology. How strange that a child can grow up saying his father died at war years before he was born.

USA Today

FORMER EDITOR OF NEW SCIENTIST: SCIENTISTS DON’T AGREE ON GLOBAL WARMING

From the story: Climate history and related archeology give solid support to the solar hypothesis. The 20th-century episode, or Modern Warming, was just the latest in a long string of similar events produced by a hyperactive sun, of which the last was the Medieval Warming.

Times Online

OBAMA ANNOUNCES, BLASTS HILLARY FOR IRAQ VOTE

The post-9/11 Senator said “Even at the time, it was possible to make judgments that this would not work out well." (USA Today) Hillary showed her leadership ability by blaming Bush. From the story: Asked to call her vote a mistake, Clinton refused. "I don't agree with that," she said. "I think the mistakes were the president's mistakes, and I believe he should be held accountable for them." (Boston Globe)

DEMOCRATS: DON’T BLAME IRAN SO QUICKLY

As evidence mounts that U.S. soldiers are being killed by Iranian made weapons. From the story: Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said the administration could be laying the groundwork for an attack on Iran and that "I'm worried about that. That's how we got into the mess in Iraq," by relying on what Dodd called "doctored information." Moments later: Kerry, the 2004 presidential candidate, said despite the evidence, the United States must try to engage Iran diplomatically. (FOX News)

PA Attorney General Reviews Bonuses

(Patriot News) Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said the 326 percent increase in bonuses paid to state House Democratic staffers in 2006 is being reviewed by his office, saying it's enough to "raise your eyebrow." Corbett refused to say if a formal investigation has been launched. But he made clear that some of the payments, including bonuses worth tens of thousands of dollars to some employees, at least appear questionable.

Corbett said his office is focusing on whether the more than $3.6 million that Republican and Democratic legislative leaders paid staff in the last two years was an illegal payback for campaign or other non-state work.

I would respectfully suggest that Attorney General Corbett needs to aggressively investigate the 5-figure bonuses awarded to BOTH Republican and Democratic staffers now!

Hot and Bothered?

COMPANY DEVELOPING GLOBAL WARMING VAULT

Calling it a “doomsday vault.” From the story: The top-security repository, carved into the permafrost of a mountain in the remote Svalbard archipelago near the North Pole, will preserve some three million batches of seeds from all known varieties of the planet's crops. No word if Santa and his reindeer will be protected.

AFP

HOW MUCH MONEY IS NEEDED TO GET BY?

Gallup asked “what’s the yearly income needed for a family of four?” When adjusted for inflation, they find people believe you need a lot more today than other times polled.

Gallup

IRAN THREATENS RETALIATION IF U.S. ATTACKS

This time, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued the threat, saying “The enemy knows well that any invasion would be followed by a comprehensive reaction to the invaders and their interests all over the world.”

Jerusalem Post

CONSERVATIVES TAKE “NONE OF THE ABOVE” FOR PRESIDENT

As yet. (Washington Times) Meanwhile, there’s a mild effort to get Walter Williams to run. (Washington Times) Medved on the candidates. (Townhall)

EDWARDS: OFFENDED BUT WON’T FIRE ANTI-CATHOLIC BLOGGERS

I tried to offer him some advice but I guess he wants to do things his own way. Edwards said “I talked personally to the two women who were involved. They gave me their word they, under no circumstances, intended to denigrate any church or anybody's religion, and offered their apologies for anything that indicated otherwise. I took them at their word.”

Apparently he didn’t take them at their earlier written words. From William Donohue, "When Mel Gibson got drunk and made anti-Semitic remarks, he paid a price for doing so. When Michael Richards got angry and made racist remarks, he paid a price for doing so. . . . But John Edwards thinks the same rules don't apply to him, which is why he has chosen to embrace foul-mouthed, anti-Catholic bigots on his payroll." (Boston Globe)

Many mainstream news outlets ignored the story. ABC News buried it with the headline “John Edwards Reprimands Campaign Bloggers.” (ABC News) Edwards’ statement from his website. (John Edwards) I posted on this a few days ago. There aremany details the media is leaving out. (NRO) And the Catholic League statement. (Catholic League) Meanwhile, Edwards is also catching heat for his mansion in the midst of his poverty campaign. (AP)

Not off to a great start Johnny....

PA Republican State Committee Mailings

Have you ever received a campaign mailer slamming a Republican candidate, and then notice that the mailer was paid for the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee? During the 2006 spring primary election, the PA GOP mailed dozens of hit pieces against Republican candidates in an all out effort to protect pay-jacking incumbents. The saturation was so thick that some voters were receiving two and three hit pieces in the mail per day leading up to the primary election.

The average voter would assume that the contents of these mailers were approved by a vote of the PA GOP membership. However, there were no PA GOP votes to approve these mailers.

Dave Majernik, a Republican State Committee member from Plum Borough, has submitted a resolution to ban negative mailings against fellow Republicans from the State Committee. It will be voted upon by the Resolutions Committee today (Friday) and by the State Committee on Saturday. This reform is sorely needed.

Changes brewing

Beer sales in convenience and grocery stores are slowly catching on statewide. Read More

GOP leaders want to use financial reserves to lower property taxes

Republican leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate said yesterday they want to use $75 million of the Legislature's financial reserves to lower property taxes. Read More

FAILING AIR AMERICA SOLD

For $4.25 million to New York realtor Stephen Green who bid $1.25 million more than anybody else. Clever.

FOX News

ACLU TARGETS ANOTHER TEN COMMANDMENTS DISPLAY


From the story: “The lawsuit says the monument violates the First and 14th Amendments because it is not part of a historical display and because the uniquely Christian message of the Ten Commandments on a government building could intimidate people with different religious beliefs.” The Old Testament is uniquely Christian?

AP

PELOSI’S REQUEST FOR LARGER PLANE DENIED

She wanted to be able to fly nonstop to San Francisco. (Washington Times) From another story: Critics say the San Francisco Democrat is abusing the perks of power by attempting to commandeer a fancy jumbo-size military jet with a "distinguished visitor compartment with sleep accommodations." (LA Times)

USA TODAY CELEBRATES KIDS COMING OUT GAY

Then they complain “The worst off, experts say, are young people in conservative rural regions and children whose parents cannot abide having gay offspring. Taunting at school is still common.” But USA Today doesn’t seem to have many experts from the other side in their rolodex. It took nearly the entire story before they quoted one.

USA Today

BOSTON SCHOOL DISTRICT FIGHTS TO TEACH KINDERGARTNERS HOMOSEXUALITY

As the case continues. Lexington school attorney John Davis explained parents “don't have the right to dictate to the public school system what their children can be exposed to.” (Boston Herald) Last year, Lexington Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash insisted ''We couldn't run a public school system if every parent who feels some topic is objectionable to them for moral or religious reasons decides their child should be removed. Lexington is committed to teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal." (Boston Globe)

ROMNEY: RELIGION ONLY A FACTOR EARLY ON

He told the NY Times “People have interest early on in your religion and any similar element of your background. But as soon as they begin to watch you on TV and see the debates and hear you talking about issues, they are overwhelmingly concerned with your vision of the future and the leadership skills that you can bring to bear.” (NY Times) In another Romney story, he explained why he’s now pro-life. “…it struck me very powerfully at that point, that the Roe v. Wade approach has so cheapened the value of human life that someone could think it's not a moral issue to destroy embryos that have been created solely for the purpose of research, and I said to my chief of staff, and that's been 2? years ago, I said to her, 'I want to make it very clear that I'm pro-life.' " (Washington Times)

Rendell Tax Proposals Stir Lawmakers' Angst

(Tribune Review) Governor Rendell’s budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 would increase state spending by 3.6 percent, to $27.3 billion. That's nearly $2,200 for every man, woman and child living in Pennsylvania. Senate Republicans said spending actually would increase by 5.25 percent, counting supplemental spending Rendell didn't include. The governor said he is sensitive to the political risks of increasing taxes, but, "I believe we have no choice."

Actually, there are choices! Aside from moving to another state, we could limit state government’s growth to the inflation rate / population growth. Read more..

CAMPAIGN ADVICE FOR JOHN EDWARDS

John Edwards wants to be President. His plan to do that is to attack Catholics and raise taxes. I will put the tax issue aside for now in order to offer Mr. Edwards some heartfelt advice, offending Catholics and all Christians will not get them to vote for you.

Edwards has just hired two bloggers who have written down right disgusting things about the Catholic Church. You don't even have to be Catholic to be offended because it's spirals into an open foul mouthed attack on all Christians.

Let's start with Amanda Marcotte. She is Edwards new campaign blogmaster. While her Edwards blog is clean, on her own blog she writes: “the intent” of “mainstream Catholic teaching” on artificial contraception “is to make women suspect their gynecologists are out to get them and possibly kill some babies for fun.” Oh really? This hostility to religion and in particular the Catholic Church should alarm Edwards but so far not a peep from him.

Edwards is Southern Baptist and he is free to hire who he wants and say whatever he likes, but I would suggest he be a bit cautious.

If you are pro-life and Christan, I would be very concerned. Ms. Marcotte writes how much she admires Dr. George Tiller. He is one of the most well known late-term-abortion practitioners. Ms. Marcotte honors him by calling him a “brave motherf**ker.” who will "face down endless death threats from pro-lifers. "

Wait, it gets better.... She talks about Rick Santorum, with whom John Edwards served in the United States Senate from 1999 to 2004. She writes "Santorum finds himself frequently faced with many of the most pressing issues of penis insertion that have ever faced America—and so he must speak, lest his lack of self-control be manifested by f**king his desk on the Senate floor." There is more but I will not post it here.

She goes on to talk about her sex life saying, "I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure. Some non-procreating women escaped. So give up now. You’ll never catch all of us. Give up now."

For you non-Catholics, Ms. Marcotte warns the "Protestant anti-choice a**holes are on the horizon. " Can you believe this?

The other recent hire that is cause for concern is Melissa McEwan. She said on her blog "some of Christianity’s most prominent leaders—including the Pope—regularly speak out against gay tolerance."

On November 1, 2006, on her blogspot Shakespeare’s Sister, she referred to President Bush’s ‘wingnut Christofascist base’ when lashing out against religious conservatives.

On February 21, 2006, she attacked religious conservatives again, this time saying, "What don’t you lousy motherf---ers understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds, and our families?"

I know much of this is offensive and there were many more vulgar things that I chose not to post. This type of language would not be tolerated in most workplaces and certainly should not be welcomed in the White House. Mr. Edwards, it is time for you to respond. We are waiting....

CARTOON NETWORK CONTROVERSY

Some say lock up the goofs who did this. I'd be one of them. Even if it's just to prevent them from having offspring! (Boston Herald) Others say it’s the city officials who should be embarrassed. (Townhall)

SNICKERS MALE KISS AD PULLED AFTER COMPLAINS BY GAY GROUP

I was waiting for the backlash to happen. The story explains “The ad showed two auto mechanics accidentally kissing while eating the same candy bar and then ripping out some chest hair to do something "manly." One of the alternate endings on the Snickers Web site showed the men attacking each other.” Later: “The Web site also featured video of players from the Super Bowl teams reacting to the kiss.” So Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese complained “This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country.” Now, being grossed out by a homosexual kiss fuels “anti-gay bullying”?

AP

FROM CBS NEWS: GOP VIEWS CLINTON AS VIRTUALLY UNBEATABLE

They do? According to the story, Republican veterans “describe a political equivalent of the stages of grief, starting with denial, then resentment and ending with acceptance.” (CBS News) Meanwhile, Medved looks at the GOP candidates. (Townhall)

OREGON GOVERNOR WANTS CLIMATOLOGIST FIRED FOR NOT BUYING GLOBAL WARMING

Well here is someone who is hot and bothered. If this were reversed (GOP gov. wanting climatologist fired for believing it all) imagine the headlines. George Taylor’s crime is not believing human activities are the main cause of global climate change. (KGW) From the Boston Globe: Perhaps the Chicken Littles are right and the sky really is falling, but that opinion is hardly unanimous. There are quite a few skeptical scientists, including eminent climatologists, who doubt the end-of-the-world scenario. Why don't journalists spend more time covering all sides of the debate instead of just parroting the scaremongers? (Boston Globe)

ISRAEL WARNS OF “SECOND HOLOCAUST” IF IRAN IS NOT STOPPED

The story begins “Israeli leaders rarely invoke the Holocaust in the face of enemies. The Jewish homeland founded after Adolf Hitler's genocide has, for the last generation, felt secure enough to fight its many battles with little or no help.” (LA Times) Meanwhile, Iran tells Europe to prove there was a Holocaust. (AFP)

Powerful Philadelphia state senator prepares for indictment

State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, anticipating that he will be indicted by a federal grand jury, announced yesterday that he is giving up his powerful position on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as the extra salary and staff that go with it. Read More

Tax Time

There's talk about a rise in taxes. Here in Pa Rendall wants to pay for his property tax cut by raising sales tax a 1%. Thanks for nothing Ed.

On the Federal watch, they to are getting the itch but they won't call it a tax increase. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow Democrats have talked about "repealing" President Bush’s tax cuts for upper-income Americans. Yeah, that's it, stick to the rich folks. But wait, they already do stick it to them. those who earn the most money – and invest the most in the economy – are already paying almost all federal personal income taxes.

Congress’ Joint Economic Committee disclosed that the richer half of the American population pays nearly 97 percent of income taxes! The richest of the rich, the top 1 percent pay a hefty 34 percent of all personal income taxes collected by the federal government.

1% pays 34% and it's still not enough. As I hope to be one of those "rich people" someday I will start a bit early and defend them. IT'S NOT FAIR.

14 million lower-income Americans have been removed from the income tax rolls since 2000 due to the earned income tax credit and the per-child tax credit. They don't pay a dime of federal taxes.

Americans’ average overall tax burden has risen since 2004 and now stands at 31.6 percent of income, according to the Tax Foundation, due in large part to the alternative minimum tax and increases in property taxes. Yet the Democrats want to push it higher.

We should all be paying the same percentage. Any plan for a big tax increase would be damaging to the economy. While I'm not really thrilled with anyone running for president right now, I might end up voting more against a tax increase rather than for a person.

Hot and Bothered?

When I started this series temps were in the mid 60's, now even the polar bears are cold. Record low temperatures hit North Dakota, Indiana and Ohio. (USA Today) From columnist Bill Murchison: It's not the climate scientists we need to worry about in this time of global warming. It's the politicians we should worry about -- the chefs who take the scientists' analyses, fillet them, sizzle them a while in the skillet, then serve them up to our wonder and applause. (Townhall)

Climatologist Calls Global Warming Fears 'Greatest Deception in the History of Science'...

and just to confuse you a bit more

China sweats in warmest temperatures on record...

FEMA WANTS $300 MILLION BACK

Good luck! The story notes “The analysis found the government regularly gave money to more homes in some neighborhoods than the number of homes that actually existed.”

ABC News

Texas Gov. Mandates HPV Vaccine For Schoolgirls

(Family Research Council) Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) issued an executive order requiring girls who enter the sixth grade in 2008 to be immunized against HPV. Perry's action short- circuited an issue that was currently before the legislature. Rather than allow elected leaders to debate the bill and vote, Perry bypassed the legislature altogether and imposed his will on the state's parents, many of whom object to being sidelined on an issue that directly affects their children's health.

Preventing cervical cancer is a critical public health goal; however, HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, making it much harder for schools to justify mandating the vaccine as a requirement of public school attendance. Parents should have had the opportunity to voice their views to and through their elected leaders.

Also, Texas' new plan forces schoolgirls to get STD shots. Who really owns the children?

Radio Waves

Pittsburgh radio legend, "The Daddio of the Raddio," Porky Chedwick celebrated his 89th birthday on February 4th. "The Bossman" celebrated his 58th year in radio on August 12th, at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, which honored him in 1996. Porky is recognized as the first radio DJ to feature all oldies and the first caucasian in a major east coast city to feature what would become "rock and roll," beginning in the summer of 1948. Happy Birthday Bossman!

In other news, WWOW 1360 in Conneaut, Ohio has changed formats. They are now Catholic Talk programming from EWTN. They are also streaming online at www.1360wwow.com