May Primary Election

May Primary is May 15, 2007 and you need to be informed.

In the upcoming Primary Election, a BINDING BALLOT QUESTION will attempt to force the voters of Pennsylvania to impose a Local Income Tax on themselves!The Ballot Question asks if the voters want a Personal Income Tax, or an Earned Income Tax? The politicians forget the other option?Across Pennsylvania, please spread the word to WRITE IN NO TAX.

The turnout will be small, and politicians are banking on the fact that voters will not be prepared, and will feel forced to either vote for another odious tax, or - at best - abstain. Either way, that new tax would pass. But, if you spread the word, and tell your fellow citizens to write in "NO TAX", then possibly enough voters will do so, and the politicians will be forced to go back and eliminate the wasteful spending that is rampant.

The list of pro-life candidates is on the web site


From the story: His embrace of faith was a sharp change for a man whose family offered him something of a crash course in comparative religion but no belief to call his own. “He comes from a very secular, skeptical family,” said Jim Wallis, a Christian antipoverty activist and longtime friend of Mr. Obama. “His faith is really a personal and an adult choice. His is a conversion story.” (NY Times)

Yet Obama doesn’t really believe the Bible, though he often pretends to. From Obama’s book: I thought of Sasha asking me once what happened when we die—"I don't want to die, Daddy," she had added matter-of-factly—and I had hugged her and said, "You've got a long, long way before you have to worry about that," which had seemed to satisfy her. I wondered whether I should have told her the truth, that I wasn't sure what happens when we die, any more than I was sure of where the soul resides or what existed before the Big Bang (Time).

Obama told liberal religious people “when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome - others will fill the vacuum, those with the most insular views of faith, or those who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends. In other words, if we don't reach out to evangelical Christians and other religious Americans and tell them what we stand for, then the Jerry Falwells and Pat Robertsons and Alan Keyeses will continue to hold sway.” (Real Clear Politics)


He gets an "A" for honesty. Story notes “Edwards said yesterday raising taxes for higher-income families back to their levels under the Clinton administration is a floor, not a ceiling, and he would consider even higher tax increases.”

Washington Times


Some are very odd. This story notes the Richard Perle encounter that allegedly occurred at the White House while Perle was in France. (Weekly Standard) Condoleezza Rice also took shots at the book’s claim on debate leading up to the war, among other things. (FOX News)

Meanwhile, six former CIA officers got publicity for blasting Tenet. The story opens: In a letter written Saturday to former CIA Director George Tenet, six former CIA officers described their former boss as "the Alberto Gonzales of the intelligence community," and called his book "an admission of failed leadership." (CNN)

The Tenet story, from 60 Minutes, with video. (CBS News)

From Andrew McCarthy: The fact remains that, like others in the intelligence community now running for the hills because Iraq has proved more difficult than they may have thought, Tenet is desperate to change the subject from Iraq’s complicity in jihadist terror to Iraq’s fingerprints on 9/11. He carefully tells Pelley that the CIA could never “verify” that Saddam’s regime had anything to do with 9/11. Not, mind you, that the CIA can categorically state that Iraq was uninvolved in 9/11; just that CIA (which, it turns out, can’t verify much of anything) could not verify Iraq’s involvement in those particular attacks. Of course, that’s not the point at all. The point was whether Iraq was working with al Qaeda, not whether it was necessarily aware of and complicit in specific operations like 9/11. Al Qaeda exists — its singular purpose is — to carry out operations against the U.S. If you are helping al Qaeda at all, what on earth do you suppose you’re helping it do? (NRO)

Detroit NAACP To Hold Symbolic Funeral For “N” Word

Fox News: Detroit — The NAACP held a symbolic funeral in Detroit 63 years ago for Jim Crow. The civil rights organization will do the same this summer for the "N" word, the Rev. Wendell Anthony said Sunday.

The announcement by Anthony, president of the civil rights organization's Detroit branch, came shortly before the start of the annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner. He said members and supporters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will conduct services and a "eulogy" for the racial slur.

Will hip-hop artists comply?

Reagan's Men Backing Fred Thompson

Ronald Reagan's closest allies are throwing their weight behind the White House bid by the late president's fellow actor, Fred Thompson. Reagan’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Michael Deaver, and others former staffers are signing on. Read more..


The mother wants the child kept alive. The hospital believes there’s no use.



The sports reporter claims “Transsexualism is a complicated and widely misunderstood medical condition. It is a natural occurrence — unusual, no question, but natural.” (LA Times) A Sports Illustrated/AP story notes he “is married to another Los Angeles Times writer.” But it doesn’t say if he’s married to a woman (I suppose we can make that assumption) and the writer never mentions what will happen to his marriage or family. (Sports Illustrated)


The LA Times begins their take: In an act unparalleled since the Vietnam War, Congress passed legislation Thursday that directs the president to begin bringing home U.S. troops from Iraq and extricating America from the midst of a bloody civil war. (LA Times)

A new Gallup poll on Iraq. (Gallup) From Ollie North: If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is right, nearly 60 percent of Americans agree with him that the war in Iraq is already lost. And if he is correct in saying that losing the war will increase Democrat majorities in future elections, then it may be fair to conclude that Americans now love losers. I'm not buying any of it -- and neither are the troops who are fighting this war. (Townhall)

From Victor Davis Hanson: Have we forgotten that Nazi Germany was never able to kill 3,000 Americans on our homeland? Did Japan ever destroy 16 acres in Manhattan or hit the nerve center of the U.S. military? Even the Soviet Union couldn't inflict billions of dollars in damage to the U.S. economy in a single day. (Townhall)

Show Prep

Many of you email me questions and ideas about the show. Please keep them coming. I'll also try to let you know when we have guests that you won't want to miss.

Try to tune in on Monday. We kick off the show with John Luftus. He is a former minister who has now rejected Christianity. We will also be joined after by Pastor Eric Park to talk about doubting and sometimes losing your faith. I think it happens to us all at times. It should be interesting to say the least.

Also Shirley Dobson join us to talk about the national day of prayer.

On Tuesday in the 5PM hour we have Jesse Romero. Don't miss him! You can check out his website under the links section. He is a Catholic Evangelist. I bet you thought there was no such thing. I saw him in Pittsburgh last month and it should be a fantastic interview!

We are working very hard to give you the best show in afternoon drive. Please help us spread the word about John & Stephanie weekdays 4-6PM on 101.5 WORD FM in Pittsburgh.

Casey Proposes Taxing Oil Companies on 'Excess' Profits

From the Story: On the same day that Exxon Mobil Corp. reported higher first-quarter profits, a Pennsylvania senator took aim at the oil industry, proposing a tax on "excess" profits to help poor people pay for gasoline.

Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., said he would introduce legislation Thursday to put in place a 50 percent tax on major oil companies profits' from crude oil priced at more than $50 per barrel, where it has been trading for most of the past two years. Read more..

Looks like Senator Casey has taken a page from Governor Rendell’s playbook. The federal tax is $0.18 per gallon and the PA state tax is $0.31 a gallon (numbers rounded). Since the state and federal tax rates are higher than the profit margins of the producer, perhaps it is the tax rates that are really gouging consumers.

Ask Powerball

I have to ask you straight out, do you believe that non-catholic Christians are saved?

Ahhhh, another loaded question. The cheap way out is to say it is not I who decides who is saved, but I won't take that way out.

It's a tough road to travel. Catholicism and Protestantism is not just saying the same thing in different ways. However, once emotion enters the debate nothing is really accomplished. Let me try my best to avoid that and just answer the question.

Catholics and Protestants agree on major issues. Our differences come at fundamental turns in theological development.

Protestants and Catholics believe that salvation is by grace alone, such that all people who will be saved are saved by Christ, and we can rightly say that God is the initiator of salvation and the one who brings the work to completion. Salvation is a free gift and we do not earn it through our works.

Protestants and Catholics also both see faith as a necessary component of salvation. We must trust the one who started the work in us to bring it to completion.

However, Catholics speak of salvation in terms more akin to a process. There is not a single moment which one can point to where you are instantly saved. You can be in a state of Grace but it's not the same as being granted salvation. That is why I am personally against the "sinners prayer". It may be a starting point for some but I think it's a misleading assurance. Indeed, to the Roman Catholic, as long as you are alive on earth, God is still working out your own salvation with you.

Therefore, I don't believe anyone is saved (Protestant or Catholic) before the end of their life. There is God's initiation (baptism) and then there is the response of the human person. This is not a one time deal, but an ongoing relationship made possible by what Jesus did on the cross. With the Protestant, the Catholic wants to emphasize that we need to trust God in this process, which is what faith is. However, the Catholic does not see faith as a single act on a particular date where you know that you have already been saved.

Now if I said right off the bat that I don't believe Protestants are saved I would have been flooded with email. I may be still. You have to understand what that really means before being offended makes you deaf to my words. I also don't believe that I am saved yet. I know someone will email me in BOLD TYPE LETTERS "It is Finished" so save yourself some time. That was Christ speaking about the path to salvation.

The "born again" experience begins with baptism, but continues throughout life until death. Only at the moment of death will the final result be known with absolute certitude. You can debate, and believe all you want, but no one can deny that you won't really know until that moment.

The question is: Who will pay?

The state Legislature's latest foray into tax reform requires school districts to put referendums on the May 15 ballot that will pit wage earners against retirees, renters against homeowners and school districts against each other. Read More

Rendell agrees to ethics probe of grants

Senate Republican leaders Wednesday pushed Gov. Ed Rendell into seeking an Ethics Commission opinion on $4.4 million in state grants awarded to groups employing the spouses of two Cabinet members. Read More

Archbishop Not A Sheryl Crow Fan

In a streaming-video statement released today, Archbishop Raymond Burke of St Louis takes issue with an appearance by the pop singer Sheryl Crow at a weekend benefit for a Catholic hospital there.

Calling Sheryl Crow "a high profile proponent of the destruction of innocent lives," the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Louis resigned as head of a children's medical charity that featured the singer for a benefit concert.

Archbishop Raymond Burke resigned as chairman of the Cardinal Glennon Children's Foundation after its board of governors refused to pull the plug on Crow's Saturday concert in St. Louis.

She is "well-known as an abortion activist" and proponent of stem cell research, he said in a statement on Wednesday, and her appearance is "an affront to the identity and mission of the medical center, dedicated as it is to the service of life and Christ's healing mission."




Story notes “Some critics fear that the tests move society farther down a slope that will lead ultimately to the creation of “designer babies” chosen for looks or intelligence.”

Times Online


The vote was 218-208, mostly by party. Could vote in the Senate this week. (FOX News) From Hewitt: The reports of progress and the obvious attempt by the Reid-Pelosi-Murtha Democrats to undermine the American mission before it can succeed put a heavy burden on one man –Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. It is increasingly obvious that if the political war in Washington is to be stopped from hurting and possibly fatally crippling the war against the Islamists, Senator Lieberman is going to have to change parties, pulling a reverse Jim Jeffords. (Townhall)

Abortion Across the Boarder

Pro-choice activists mockingly dressed as Roman Catholic clergy celebrate outside of the City Leislature in Mexico City. Lawmakers voted 46-19 to legalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Opponents have vowed to challenge the new law before the Supreme Court.

The Roman Catholic church has protested the measure and Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera led a march through the capital last month in opposition. The Archdiocese said Tuesday that it would "evaluate the moral consequences of the reforms" and said Rivera would have no public comment on the vote until Sunday.

The only countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with legalized abortion for all women are Cuba and Guyana. Most others allow it only in cases of rape or when the woman's life is at risk. Nicaragua, El Salvador and Chile ban it completely.


Lawmaker Wants 'Bill of Rights' for Pennsylvania Gun Owners

( - Touting a "bill of rights" for gun owners, Pennsylvania House Republicans Tuesday introduced two bills aimed at easing legal access to firearms. Full Story


As they nervously approach May sweeps there is always radio.

USA Today


As Democrats embrace the gay agenda.

Boston Globe


From the story: Rudy Giuliani said if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001. Later: “I listen a little to the Democrats and if one of them gets elected, we are going on defense,” Giuliani continued. “We will wave the white flag on Iraq. We will cut back on the Patriot Act, electronic surveillance, interrogation and we will be back to our pre-Sept. 11 attitude of defense.”



A ten year old boy is called a girl in this disturbing story. The mother decided he was really a girl at age THREE.

ABC News

International Abortion Updates

Mexico City Lawmakers Pass Abortion Bill

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico City lawmakers voted to legalize abortion Tuesday, a decision likely to influence policies and health practices across Mexico and other parts of heavily Roman Catholic Latin America.

The proposal, approved 46-19, with one abstention, will take effect with the expected signing by the city's leftist mayor. Abortion opponents have already vowed to appeal the law to the Supreme Court, a move likely to extend the bitter and emotional debate in this predominantly Catholic nation. Read more..

Offshore Abortion Women's Group is Given License Again

An “abortion ship” is planning to sail to countries where the practice is illegal and take women out to sea for terminations after the Dutch Government lifted restrictions banning it from international waters.

Under the terms of its license, the group is able to sail under the Dutch flag in international waters and hand out “abortion pills” for women up to seven weeks pregnant, causing them to have a miscarriage. Read more..

PBS Accused of Same Tactics Radical Muslims Use Against Moderates

( - Public Broadcasting Service officials who have refused to air a documentary on moderate Muslims are using the same tools of suppression and censorship Islamists employ to stymie debate, a documentary-maker charged Tuesday."Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," a 52-minute, taxpayer-funded documentary, was originally slated to be screened as part of an 11-part PBS series called "Crossroads," examining post-9/11 challenges facing America.

The film, which cost more than $600,000 to produce, focuses on conflicts that have erupted within the Muslim community in the U.S., Canada, Denmark and France. Read more..

Could it be that PBS is worried that radical Muslims would be offended?

Power Loss

Not one of the 16 states -- plus the District of Columbia -- that have pushed forward with deregulation since the late 1990s can call it a success. In fact, consumers in those states fared worse than residents in states that stuck with a policy of regulating power industries. Read More


From the dictator that brought you gay marraige, once again the Mayor of San Francisco decides he’s in control of his own little country.

San Francisco Chronicle


Though it faces an uphill battle, the story notes “Gary Parker, the founder of Greater Voices, a coalition of gay-oriented political clubs in New York City, said the fact that every statewide elected official now supports gay marriage had heartened advocates. “During the Pataki administration, there was a lot of frustration,” Mr. Parker said. “We felt extremely stagnant and stifled. Now there is movement. And the fact that there is discussion is progress.”

NY Times


The media picked up the story as though this is coming from an unbiased source. (FOX News) But the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation is radically pro abortion (AAUW) against vouchers, claiming “conservative members of Congress have repeatedly tried to weaken public education by diverting public funds to private or religious elementary and secondary schools through various voucher funding schemes.” (AAUW) They also blasted Bush nominees to the Supreme Court. (AAUW)

Kucinich to Seek Cheney's Impeachment

From CBN: Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a vocal critic of the Bush administration's war in Iraq, plans to introduce articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday.

Kucinich, a Democrat who is again running for president, said Monday that he will hold a news conference in Washington to discuss his bid to oust Cheney. Kucinich spokeswoman Natalie Laber declined further comment.

On his campaign Web site, Kucinich questions whether the Bush administration's aggressive actions toward Iran already have raised concerns over impeachment. "So I'm asking you, what do you think? Do you think it's time?" Kucinich asks.

No reasons listed, maybe it has something to do with Scottish law.

ACLU Sues Over 'God' License Plates

From Newsmax: A legal complaint filed Monday in Indiana challenges the constitutionality of the year-old law that created the state's "In God We Trust" specialty license plate, saying its supporters receive preferential treatment not available to supporters of other specialty plates.

The lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis claims motorists who request the "In God We Trust" plates receive preferential treatment because they do not have to pay a $15 administrative fee that the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles collects. The administrative fees are added to other fees whose proceeds promote the causes of the other specialty plates.

San Francisco Mayor Pledges Sanctuary For Illegal Immigrants

From the story: Mayor Gavin Newsom vowed Sunday to maintain San Francisco as a sanctuary for immigrants and do everything he can to discourage federal authorities from conducting immigration raids.

The mayor cannot stop federal authorities from making arrests, Newsom told about 300 mostly Latino members of St. Peter's Church and other religious groups supporting immigrants. But no San Francisco employee will help with immigration enforcement.

Will Mayor Newsom now demand federal funds to help provide services to his new constituency?

Mt. Lebanon Presbyterian Church Leaves PC (USA)

(Post Gazette) By a vote of 195-4, Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon has decided to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) with the intention of joining a more theologically conservative Presbyterian body.

The vote, which took place with four observers from Pittsburgh Presbytery present, does not end the matter. The congregation will continue working with a presbytery negotiating team to come up with a proposal for Beverly Heights to keep its building, in exchange for what the presbytery calls "a substantial mission gift." Read more..

By serving on the on the Denominational Concerns Task Force in the Beaver – Butler Presbytery, I am aware of other churches who feel the same way. In the in the Beaver-Butler Presbytery, about 10% of the member churches are withholding all or part of their per-capita as a protest against denominational policies.

In addition to Beverly Heights Presbyterian, I understand that there are 5 other churches in the Pittsburgh Presbytery that may also leave the denomination. Ordination standards, abortion, the enforcement / interpretation of the Presbyterian Book of Order, theological stands and political advocacy by the national denomination seem to be the controversies at the top of the list.

Panel OKs electronic table games at casinos

Pennsylvania's gambling regulators yesterday approved a new slot machine that mimics table games, allows multiple players and features electronic video dealers that entice players with prerecorded lines like, "Come play with me."

While Pennsylvania bans traditional table games like poker and blackjack that are run by a human dealer, a machine that offers the games can be legal if the odds are random and one player's decisions do not affect another player's odds.



President of the Feminist Majority issued a rant against the Partial Birth Abortion decision. (PR Newswire) From NOW: This is a clarion call for feminists, progressives and everyone who cares about justice, equality and democracy. We must link arms and say "No more." (NOW) Planned Parenthood took it a step further – using the issue to raise funds. A popup at the site said: Donate now as Planned Parenthood mobilizes in response to the Supreme Court's reckless decision to uphold the federal abortion ban — a ban that tells women that politicians, not doctors, will make their health care decisions for them. (Planned Parenthood)


From the story: Psychologist Dave Carder, a family therapist in Fullerton, Calif., says business travelers "are on a slippery slope headed for trouble" any time they go out to an entertainment venue, drink alcohol, eat expensive meals together, have time "to build a social, platonic friendship" and return to the same hotel. "Secrecy is the protection; alcohol is the barrier buster; and availability lights the fire."

USA Today


Remember "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Well now it's ask and tell and if you don't ask we will still tell you while we shove it in your face and down your throat.

What I meant to say was they want marriage.

USA Today


From Hewitt: NBC has provided a blueprint for crazy killers on how to get their immortality-bestowing video on the world's screens: Send it to NBC --it will air within a matter of hours. (Townhall) From another story: Some family members of the victims killed at Virginia Tech university canceled interviews with NBC on Thursday because the television network aired video and photographs of the killer it received in the mail. (Reuters)


I have always said that if a person speaks long enough they are bound to say something stupid. We somebody hand Harry Reid a white flag and a blue ribbion as this weeks winner.

"Now I believe, myself, that the secretary of state, the secretary of defense and you have to make your own decision as to what the president knows: that this war is lost, that the surge is not accomplishing anything"

No this is not Cindy Sheehan saying this it's the Senate Majority Leader!

"I know I was the odd guy out yesterday at the White House, but I at least told him what he needs to hear. … I told George Bush what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear, I did that and my conscience is great," said Reid.

The Democrat leader in the Senate spoke those words as troops still battle in Iraq.

FOX News

Minnesota College Jumps into Religious Debate Feet First

(Family Research Council) A Minnesota college that has banned Christian traditions like Christmas music has no such qualms about promoting Islam. According to the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis Community and Technical College plans to use taxpayer funds to install special facilities for the "ritual foot-washing" of Muslim students.

Bill planned to privatize liquor stores

Gov. Ed Rendell opened the privatization debate in Harrisburg this winter with a proposal to put the Pennsylvania Turnpike on the open market. Now Sen. Rob Wonderling, R-Montgomery, said he hopes to introduce a bill this year to privatize Pennsylvania's state-owned liquor store system. He said his plan is a direct result of Rendell's pitch to lease the turnpike. Read More

41 states posting surpluses

Forty-one states are finding extra money in their coffers, including 10 with surpluses of more than $1 billion, just as they fashion budgets for the coming year. Read More

Iran Begins Producing Nuclear Fuel

Iran has begun producing nuclear fuel in its underground uranium enrichment plant, a confidential UN atomic watchdog document said yesterday, ratcheting up its defiance of the United Nations.

The paper also said Tehran had started up more than 1,300 centrifuge machines, divided into eight cascades, or networks, in the Natanz complex, in an accelerating campaign to lay a basis for "industrial scale" enrichment.

Read News


The story insists it has nothing to do with morality.



More talk of his potential run. From the story: Many of those on hand were eager to see him start campaigning as a more conservative, palatable alternative to the current crop of Republican candidates, and one who could have wide appeal in Southern states.

NY Times

Radio Waves: Pittsburgh Stations Blow Bishop Report

Last Friday several area radio stations were reporting Pittsburgh was going to have a new bishop appointed that day by Pope Benedict XVI. WORD FM was not reporting that information but many others were. It turned out to be wrong.

KDKA radio was one of the stations that initially reported a new bishop of Pittsburgh would be named that day, then corrected it to say it wasn’t going to happen after talking to Father Ron Lengwin, diocesan spokesman.

“We were going on information from both the Associated Press and our correspondent in Rome, who is affiliated with CBS radio and who was instrumental in helping us break the story that Bishop Wuerl was going to Washington last year,” said Marshall Adams, director of news/talk programming at KDKA radio. “Certainly, it was a gamble, but we felt that it was a risk worth taking."

Hank Baughman, news director at WSHH-FM in Pittsburgh, said that every morning he gets a brief rundown of stories that have run overnight on other local radio and TV stations.
“It said, ‘Pope Benedict expected today to name bishop of Pittsburgh,’” Baughman said. “I said, ‘OK.’ So I went with it, as did several other places.”

It make one wonder about the trustworthyness of our news outlets. In the race to get the story sometimes the story just gets made up. I'm sure Pittsburgh will get a Bishop and when it really does happen we will let you know.

PA Gun-law Aims Won't Change

From the story: Will the deadly shootings at Virginia Tech have any effect on gun laws in Pennsylvania? Not likely.

Gun-control advocates largely concede they don't have the votes in the General Assembly to pass most of their centerpiece proposals, such as prohibiting people from buying more than one handgun a month or allowing cities to craft their own gun ordinances. Read more..

Planned Parenthood Condom TV Ad Mocks Religion, Angels

(LifeSite) Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (PPGG) has just released a "Safe is Sexy" television ad that features a young couple being interrupted from having unprotected sex by their Guardian Angels. Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on this ad saying, "Given the moral hollowness of Planned Parenthood, it is not surprising to learn that it is now in the business of hijacking religious imagery to pander its sex-without-consequences message. Read more..

On par with Planned Parenthood’s campaign mocking “Peace on Earth” with “Choice on Earth” Christmas cards.

Radio (and TV) Waves

Citing unnamed but "multiple sources," Bob Smizik of the Post-Gazette says that John Steigerwald's contract with KDKA-TV will not be renewed when it expires in October. That would appear to end Steigerwald's 22-year career at KD, except for what Smizik says would be "occasional appearances." Steigerwald recently launched a daily sports talk show on KD's corporate sibling, WTZN-FM (93.7) "The Zone," and sources told Smizik that he is "looking forward" to concentrating on the radio gig. Steigerwald has been a TV fixture in Pittsburgh since 1978, having begun his career in the sports department at WTAE-TV.

State to audit college-loan agency

State Auditor General Jack Wagner said yesterday that his office would conduct a special performance audit of Pennsylvania's college-loan agency, citing news reports about lavish spending at the agency as a major reason. Read More

State says old mob ties should bar slots seekers

Pennsylvania's last available horse-racing license - and the slot-machine license possibly to follow - shouldn't go to a track owned by a family with past mob ties, state attorneys told the state Supreme Court yesterday.

Gee, ya think?

Read More

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion - In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a 2003 federal ban on partial-birth abortions is constitutional, a decision quickly hailed by one conservative organization as a "monumental victory." Full Story


Expected to pass the Senate and be signed by the governor. An opponent of the bill, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, said "This bill is in fact marriage by another name."

FOX News


From the story: Ethanol, widely touted as a greenhouse-gas-cutting fuel, would have serious health effects if heavily used in cars, producing more ground-level ozone than gasoline, particularly in the Los Angeles Basin, according to a Stanford University study out today.

LA Times


A fascinating moment from this story: A teacher who worried about the Virginia Tech killer “said she notified authorities about Cho, but said she was told that there would be too many legal hurdles to intervene.” (ABC News)

From the Wall Street Journal: The mass murder at Virginia Tech is the kind of traumatic event that unleashes a torrent of pop sociology and national psychoanalysis, so allow us to weigh in with a more fundamental explanation: There are evil and psychotic people in this world willing to do great harm to others if they aren't stopped. The dilemma in a free society is how to stop them. (WSJ)

From Medved’s blog: Regardless of the background or motivation of the killer, Virginia Tech reminds us of the most important truth of our time: that terrorist monsters can’t be explained, or excused, or appeased, or ignored, or negotiated into civilized behavior. They must be confronted and destroyed – before they destroy more of the decent and the innocent. (Townhall) A look at those Cho killed. (NY Times)

'Penthouse' No Longer Porn, Shell Oil Announces

Shell Oil Co. has determined "Playboy" and "Penthouse" no longer are pornography, but instead are "adult sophisticates," according to a company statement. The policy change allows sale of 'adult sophisticates' by retailers. Read more..

“Adult sophisticates” – sounds so enlightened!

Seat Belt Hypocrisy Haunts N.J. Gov. Corzine

From the story: Last year, New Jersey law officers ticketed 271,182 people for not wearing seat belts in violation of state law.

This year, one violator will stand out: Gov. Jon S. Corzine, who wasn't wearing a seat belt when he was critically injured in an automobile accident last week. Corzine's SUV was going 91 mph in a 65 mph zone just before the crash, according to state police. Read more..

I wonder if PA Gov. Rendell was buckled in when cruising at 100 MPH on the turnpike in 2004?

E-Mails sent by Virginia Tech establish timeline

Killer identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a South Korean native and campus resident.

The following are E-Mail messages sent by the administration of Virginia Tech to the students and faculty. These establish some insight into their notification process and provide a basic time line of events. (All spelling and grammatical errors remain intact).
Date: April 16, 2007 9:26:24 AM EDT
To: Multiple recipients
Subject: Shooting on campus.
A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.
The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police at 231-6411
Stay attuned to the We will post as soon as we have more information.
Date: April 16, 2007 9:50:07 AM EDT
To: Multiple recipients
Subject: PLease stay put
A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows.
Date: April 16, 2007 10:16:40 AM EDT
To: Multiple recipients
Subject: All Classes Canceled; Stay where you are
Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where there are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus.
Date: April 16, 2007 10:52:45 AM EDT
To: Multiple recipients
Subject: Second Shooting Reported; Police have one gunman in custody
In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.
Police and EMS are on the scene.
Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.
All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice.
All entrances to campus are closed.
Date: April 16, 2007 12:41:44 PM EDT
Subject: Shooting at Virginia Tech / Statement by President Charles W. Steger
The university was struck today with a tragedy of monumental proportions. There were two shootings on campus. In each case, there were fatalities. The university is shocked and horrified that this would befall our campus. I want to extend my deepest, sincerest and most profound sympathies to the families of these victims which include students There are 22 confirmed deaths.
We currently are in the process of notifying families of victims. The Virginia Tech Police are being assisted by numerous other jurisdictions. Crime scenes are being investigated by the FBI, University Police, and State Police. We continue to work to identify the victims impacted by this tragedy. I cannot begin to covey my own personal sense of loss over this senselessness of such an incomprehensible and heinous act The university will immediately set up counseling centers. So far centers have been identified in Ambler Johnson and the Cook Counseling Center to work with our campus community and families.
Here are some of the facts we know:
At about 7:15 a.m. this morning a 911 call came to the University Police Department concerning an event in West Amber Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall. The police immediately responded. Victims have been transported to various hospitals in the immediate area in the region to receive emergency treatment.
We will proceed to contact the families of victims as identities are available.
All classes are cancelled and the university is closed for the remainder for the today. The university will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. but classes will be cancelled on Tuesday. The police are currently staging the release of people from campus buildings.
Families wishing to reunite with the students are suggesed to meet at the Inn at Virginia Tech. We are making plans for a convocation tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon at Cassell Coliseum for the university community to come together to begin to deal with the tragedy.
Date: April 16, 2007 4:31:29 PM EDT
Subject: Campus Update on VT Shootings
Virginia Tech remains closed on Monday, April 16, 2007. Vehicular entrances to campus are severely restricted to essential personnel only. Additional security remains on campus as the investigation continues.
Counseling assistance for students in available at West Ambler Johnston and McComas Hall until 9 p.m. tonight. Students are encouraged to utilize these services. Counseling for faculty and staff is available at the Bowman Room in the Merriman Center (athletic complex). Student may also be together at the Old Dominion Ballroom at Squires Student Center.
The university will also close on Tuesday, April 17. Essential personal are to report for work. Classes will be canceled.
A public gathering will be held Tuesday, April 17 at Cassell Coliseum at 2 p.m. (a time change from the originally scheduled 10 a.m. gathering).
All students are urged to contact their parents as soon as possible to let them know individuals are safe.
Students, faculty, and staff who may have any information related to the incident at West Amber Johnston Hall and Norris Hall are encouraged to go to the Blacksburg Police Department to make statements, or call 540-231-TIPP (8477), or 231-6411.
Parents with concerns are asked to call the Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787.
Individuals injured in the two shootings have been taken to area hospitals.


Story begins “Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is seeking to become the first woman president, and a man who has published countless pictures of naked women is pitching in for her White House bid.” Jerry Springer also gave to Hillary. This story includes an interesting list of who gave to whom. (The Hill) Another list, with dollar amounts. (CNN)


Even some foreign leaders used the opportunity to criticize gun laws. From USA Today: In Sydney, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Tuesday the university shooting in Virginia showed that America's "gun culture" was a negative force in society. (USA Today) An online ABC News poll asked “Do you think this incident is a reason to pass stricter gun control legislation?” By greater than two to one (as of this morning) respondents said “no.” (ABC News) But, the fact is, guns were not permitted on campus already. (WND) From the Washington Post Foreign Service: The Virginia Tech shootings received extensive news coverage around the world Monday, leading many to question how such violence could keep happening in the United States. In Britain, there was shock at the scale of the killings, but many people said they were not surprised, seeing the United States as a nation obsessed with guns, where firearms are easy to obtain. (Washington Post) A New York Times editorial begins “Yesterday’s mass shooting at Virginia Tech — the worst in American history — is another horrifying reminder that some of the gravest dangers Americans face come from killers at home armed with guns that are frighteningly easy to obtain.” (NY Times)


Story explains “With costs falling for international telephone calls… many lead-generator operations have moved overseas. … telemarketers are also getting emboldened by … lax enforcement by the FTC.”

San Francisco Chronicle


This time in Reno, where heavy rain and sleet pelted demonstrators. (AP) Meanwhile, children are frightened. (Washington Post)


Democrats believe this by a near 2-1 margin.



Story notes “Among the biggest fund-raisers for Mr. Obama’s campaign are as many as a half-dozen former guests of the Clinton White House. At least two are close enough to the Clintons to have slept in the Lincoln bedroom. At minimum, a dozen were major fund-raisers for President Bill Clinton. At least four worked in the administration and one, James Rubin, is a son of a former Clinton Treasury Secretary, Robert E. Rubin. About two dozen of the top Obama fund-raisers have contributed to Mrs. Clinton’s Senate campaigns or political action committee, some as recently as a few months ago.”

NY Times


At taxpayer expense. The story notes “In their successful campaign to win control of Congress last fall, Democrats accused Republicans of extravagant travel paid for by lobbyists. Some of these trips carried a strong whiff of influence peddling.”


Over Half of Americans On the Government Dole

From the story: Slightly over half of all Americans – 52.6 percent – now receive significant income from government programs, according to an analysis by Gary Shilling, an economist in Springfield, N.J. That's up from 49.4 percent in 2000 and far above the 28.3 percent of Americans in 1950. Read more..

Speaking of government, the five largest employers in PA are:

1. The Federal Government
2. The State Government
3. Walmart.
4. The City of Philadelphia
5. The Philadelphia School System

Push For Energy-Saving Fluorescents Ignores Mercury Disposal Hazards

If you accidentally break one of those new fluorescent bulbs in your house, you may need to seal off the room and call a hazardous waste disposal company. Read more..

Wasn’t it the environmentalists that pushed for this?

PowerBlog! Forum

I have recently been contemplating 3 questions. I'd like to hear what others think.
I invite you over to the PowerBlog! Talkback Forum to join the conversation.

Thank You Sen. Casey

The U.S. Senate voted 63 to 34 to approve legislation (S. 5) that would force taxpayers to pay for embryonic stem cell research even though it requires the destruction of human life. Sen. Casey voted with the 34 against this bill - he voted pro-life. Please thank him.

They need 67 votes to override the expected President's veto, so Sen. Casey's vote was very important!

DC office 1-866-802-2833 Harrisburg 1-866-461-9159

Sen. Specter was a co-sponsor and voted for this bill with the pro-aborts and he needs to hear how displeased we are with him.

The measure will head to a conference committee where members of the House and Senate will put together a final version of the bill to send to President Bush. However, once he receives the bill, which is similar to one he vetoed last year, the president has indicated he would veto it.
The House passed its version of this legislation in Jan. by a vote of 253-174, 32 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for an override of the president's veto. After President Bush vetoes this bill, the Senate is expected to vote on whether to override the veto, and a very close vote is expected. If two-thirds of the Senators present vote to override, the House then will vote on whether to override. It is expected that the House will not override the veto.

Grand jury to probe Pa. bonuses

A statewide investigation of secret bonus payments to legislative staffers last year is headed for a state grand jury next week. Read More


While one story explains “he did not adopt a strictly scientific view of the origins if life, believing instead that God created life through evolution.” (Daily Mail) another notes “in his first extended reflections on evolution published as pope, says that Darwin's theory cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity's view of creation.” (Time)


CBS President Les Moonves wrote to his staff "In taking him off the air, I believe we take an important and necessary step not just in solving a unique problem, but in changing that culture, which extends far beyond the walls of our company.” (FOX News)

Great but CBS is owned by Viacom, which seemed to have little problem with the constantly insulting Howard Stern. They made a ton of money off ofensive radio even in the local markets including Pittsburgh. In fact they are still doing it with the launch of raunch radio 93.7 in Pittsburgh.

Speaking of “culture” problems, Simon and Schuster which, according to the publisher’s own website, is the “publishing operation of CBS corporation” is the same company that pushed a book about oral sex for kids two years ago. (USA Today)

Viacom also controls a good chunk of the rap industry while at the same time pushing networks like Nickeloden to kids.

From Time Magazine: Imus crossed a line, boorishly, creepily, paleolithically. But where is that line nowadays? (Time) Bozell asks “where were these people when the subject was gangsta rap? Arrogant and profane multimillionaires routinely insult and deride people, especially black women, with language one hundredfold more offensive than anything that ever came out of the I-Man's mouth?” (Townhall) S

Some Democrats are worried about the loss of Imus. (LA Times) From Medved: when all the avatars of political correctness work themselves into a frothing lynch mob frenzy over a minor (though unjustifiable) offense, it’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy. The level of public indignation and self-righteous hysteria clearly exceeds the intensity of the offense. (Townhall) Medved, Prager and Hewitt discussed the mess on the air. (Townhall) Meanwhile, Jason Whitlock says of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton “If judged by the results they’ve produced the last 20 years, you’d have to regard their administration as a total failure. Seriously, compared to Martin and Malcolm and the freedoms and progress their leadership produced, Jesse and Al are an embarrassment.” (AOL)

She's a Big Donor To Politicians, But It's News To Her

Post Gazette: The single largest donor to Allegheny County candidates this year is a 90-year-old Upper St. Clair widow who hasn't voted for seven years and says she never agreed to give $10,000 each to four Republican candidates, including one for Superior Court and three for Allegheny County Council. Read more..

This certainly takes the “trust” out of a Trust Fund.

The Pope and the American Church

Pope Benedict XVI is set to make a major mark on American Catholicism with a string of key bishop appointments and important decisions about the future of U.S. seminaries and bishops' involvement in politics.

There is a looming generational shift among the nation's bishops, whose decisions at the local level greatly affect Catholics in the pews. Key appointments are expected in New York, Baltimore and Detroit, and retirements or appointments are likely in at least seven other archdioceses including right here in Pittsburgh.

So far, Benedict has appointed former Pittsburgh Bishop Donald Wuerl to the prestigious Washington, D.C., archdiocese, and he chose former San Francisco Archbishop William Levada as his successor to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican's doctrinal watchdog. Levada is the highest-ranking American ever at the Vatican.

While faithful to Rome, neither man has a hard-line reputation. Wuerl refused to withhold Communion from Catholic legislators who support legal abortion. In 2004, a few vocal Catholic bishops spoke out against Catholic politicians who take stances in conflict with church teaching, particularly on abortion. This next election cycle, it's a Catholic Republican and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who clashes with the church on abortion and gay marriage. He also is twice divorced, though one marriage was later annulled.

Another development to watch: the results of a review begun in 2005 by Vatican-appointed investigators of 229 U.S. Catholic seminaries for evidence of a gay culture and faculty dissent from church teaching. .

Lynn Swann Considers Run for Congress

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann said Thursday he is weighing a run for Congress. Swann, a Republican who lost Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race last fall, said he has been approached to run for the Pittsburgh-area seat held by Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire. Read more..

Only 4 months into Congressman Altmire’s term and already public interest expressed by Lynn Swann and former Congresswoman Melissa Hart to run for this seat.

Unchurched Population Nears 100 Million in the U.S.

A new survey released by The Barna Group, which has been tracking America’s religious behavior and beliefs since 1984, reveals that one out of every three adults (33%) is classified as unchurched - meaning they have not attended a religious service of any type during the past six months. While that figure is considerably higher than the one out of five who qualified as unchurched in the early Nineties, it is statistically unchanged since 36% were recorded as having avoided religious services in the company’s 1994 study. Read more..

A Soldier in a Small World

It always amazes me how God works. I've been talking via email to Todd Larkin. Todd is a member of Task Force Phoenix currently stationed in Afghanistan with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He is just a few weeks away from returning home to Ardmore, OK.
It seems that all we hear about in the media is what's happening in Iraq. Often we forget about the troops serving in Afghanistan. So I invited Todd to come on the radio. It turns out there is a Chaplin there with Todd from PA that told Todd all about WORD FM. So a guy from Oklahoma is on the other side of the world and knows about the radio station. That's some serious coverage!

We are working to get Todd on the show. Hopefully he can join us from Afghanistan soon. I ask you to please keep him and all our troops in your prayers. In the meantime I'll be adding Todd's blog to my line up here.

I'd like to share something that Todd introduced me to. Todd writes:
"I’m not sure if you have ever been to a Military Funeral or Memorial. But at the end of the ceremony one the Sergeants or Officers will call out the Fallen Soldiers name along with others from his squad or platoon. It’s called the last roll call… It went like this and its one of the hardest things to listen to. First Sergeant Robert Maxwell called the names of Sgt. Hughie’s fellow soldiers as they shouted, "Here First Sergeant." 1SG then called out "Sgt. Hughie." Silence. "Sgt. Buddy Hughie." Silence. "Sgt. Buddy James Hughie." Silence. The Bugler then plays taps and I always flinch at the 21 gun salute."

This is dedicated to Sgt. Buddy Hughie who lost his life trying to save a fallen Afghan soldier.


The introduction of 20 rabbits is a “multi-million dollar project.” That would come to about $50,000 per coyote bite.

FOX News

In case you are wondering, yes I'm laughing.


Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said "We know that (EFPs) are being in fact manufactured and smuggled into this country, and we know that training does go on in Iran for people to learn how to assemble them and how to employ them. We know that training has gone on as recently as this past month from detainees' debriefs."

USA Today


With help from some Republicans. Bush has promised a veto. (FOX News) This, just as non-embryonic breakthroughs continue. (LA Times) On the Times story, Hewitt suggests: “Read the article and ask yourself whether the Times' reporter is in a hurry to alert the reader that the stem cells in question are not embryonic stem cells.” (Townhall)

Statement by President Bush

The following text is a statement by President Bush:

"Scientists believe that stem cells have the potential for medical breakthroughs in treating debilitating medical diseases and disorders. However, the advancement of science and medicine need not conflict with the ethical imperative to protect every human life. I am a strong supporter of scientific research -- which is why I authorized the first federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells, under careful safeguards, starting in 2001.

My policy unleashed an unprecedented scientific effort using the stem cell lines my policy approved for funding. While encouraging -- not banning -- research, my policy also ensures that federal funds are not used to create incentives to destroy, or harm, or create living human embryos for purposes of research.

The Senate today voted in support of legislation to overturn these safeguards. I believe this will encourage taxpayer money to be spent on the destruction or endangerment of living human embryos -- raising serious moral concerns for millions of Americans.

Research using human embryonic stem cells is still at an early stage, and it will be years before researchers know how much promise lies in therapeutic applications. I believe this early stage is precisely when it is most important to develop ethically responsible techniques, so the potential of stem cells can be explored without violating human dignity and life.

S.5 is very similar to legislation I vetoed last year. This bill crosses a moral line that I and many others find troubling. If it advances all the way through Congress to my desk, I will veto it.
Meanwhile, exciting and significant scientific advances have been reported over the past few years on uses of stem cells that do not involve the destruction of embryos. These advances using adult and other forms of stem cells are exciting. Some have even produced effective therapies and treatments for disease -- all without the destruction of human life.

The second bill that passed the Senate today, the Hope Act, builds on this ethically appropriate research by encouraging further development of these alternative techniques for producing stem cells without embryo creation or destruction. I strongly support this bill, and I encourage the Congress to pass it and send it to me for my signature, so stem cell science can progress, without ethical and cultural conflict."

Men's Fellowship Group Workshop

Do you have a Men's Fellowship group in your Parish? Have you ever thought about starting one? Would you like to learn more about maintaining one? You are invited to a free Catholic

Men's Fellowship event:

When: April 21 , 2007 from 8 AM to 9:30 AM.
Topics: 1) The vision of Catholic Men's Minsitry by Rev James Wehner STD
2) Developing and maintaining parish based men's fellowship groups
Where: Church of St Paul, 820 Carbon Road, Greensburg PA 15601

RSVP here

HLI Strongly Condemns Portugal Abortion Move

"Prime Minister Jose Socrates and President Anibal Cavaco Silva will be remembered in history as the men who gave legal sanction to the mass murder of Portuguese children" said The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI).

Father Euteneuer was responding to Tuesday's press reports that Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva ratified a measure liberalizing Portugal's restrictive abortion laws. Portugal is one of Europe's most Catholic countries.

The law had been promoted by Prime Minister Jose Socrates and passed by Parliament in February to bring Portugal more "up to date" with its European neighbors. Socrates called the old laws "backward" and a "national disgrace."

Father Euteneuer responded by saying, "Any move liberalizing abortion is not human progress. That move, not the protection of life, is the genuine step backwards. HLI condemns this action in the strongest possible terms. History will remember Socrates as the one who gave Portuguese babies the cup of hemlock and Cavaco Silva as the one who signed their death warrants."

A Slient Voice

The longtime voice of KDKA-TV has died at age 80. George Eisenhauer, whose resonant baritone was heard over the airwaves of Pittsburgh's first TV station for more than 30 years, died in Maine of complications related to colon cancer. Eisenhauer was part of that vanishing breed of artists known as the "booth announcer," voicing all station breaks and many commercials, as well as hosting a Sunday public-affairs show. Survivors include his wife, five daughters and a son, according to the Post-Gazette.

Twanda Carlisle faces theft, conspiracy charges

Pittsburgh Councilwoman Twanda Carlisle will be arraigned this morning on three charges of theft by deception, three charges of criminal conspiracy, three charges of violation of the state Ethics Act, five Election Code violations, and three charges of failing to file required financial disclosures.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wineries bill advances

Pennsylvania's 90 limited wineries could set up booths to sell their vintages at farmers markets around the state under a bill approved by the House Liquor Committee yesterday. Read More


The the story notes “A recent study by the Black Youth Project showed a majority of youth think rap has too many violent images. In a poll of black Americans by The Associated Press and AOL-Black Voices last year, 50 percent of respondents said hip-hop was a negative force in American society.”



Cards handed out in school will claim they are “protesting the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies in schools. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by harassment, prejudice, and discrimination.” (Day of Silence) The AFA is encouraging parents whose schools are participating “to keep their children home from public schools on April 18” and write letters to their school administrator. (One News Now) The National Education Association insists youngsters are quite naturally “homophobic” and thus the NEA is “committed to reversing these trends and addressing the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students.” (NEA)


Frank Gaffney helped produce one of the parts in a six-night series. From the story: Their work did not go over well with Leo Eaton, the series producer, or Jeff Bieber, executive producer at WETA, where the series originated. Mr. Gaffney received a series of critical "notes" between November and February which said, among other things, that the film would "demonize Islam" and promote public fear of Islamic organizations. The critique, Mr. Gaffney said in a March 6 rebuttal, "is itself 'a point of view' ... an apologia for Islamist extremism."

Washington Times


Man she gets around. Is she actually doing any work or just racking up airline miles? Nancy, if you really want to visit Iran, get on a boat and float neat thier waters. I'm sure President Yaba Daba Do would be happy to have you as his guest.

San Francisco Chronicle


We have received so many kind comments about our show on Good Friday. I wanted to thank all of you who made the John & Stephanie show part of your day. Remember, Easter is not over.

Pa. Senators On Opposite Sides Of Stem Cell Bill

From the story: U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter today called for the federal government to vastly expand funding for embryonic stem cell research, while Sen. Bob Casey has said he won't support a bill coming up before the Senate for a vote this week. Read more..

In the 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, Senator Specter received support and endorsements from “Pro-Life” office holders including President Bush and Senator Santorum. We in the Pro-Life community were told that “Specter is with us when it counts.”

In 2006, U.S. Senate candidate Casey received support from “Pro-Choice” office holders including Governor Rendell and former Vice President Gore. I understand that Pro-Choice groups were told to “Hold your nose and vote for Casey.”

Is anyone surprised that strategies like these ultimately lead to the results noted above?

Mayor Forms Group To Keep Young People In Region

Post Gazette: Fresh off the news that the region has lost more people this decade than any other metro area outside of New Orleans, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced the formation of a commission dedicated to keeping young professionals here. Read more..

Is it just me, or is this about the millionth study group commissioned to study the population loss and “brain drain” in Pittsburgh and in PA? This isn’t rocket science - young people go where the jobs are. Reducing PA’s business taxes to match OH, WV, MD, DE, NJ and NY business tax rates is an overdue first step.

The I-Mess

Several of you have emailed me asking my take on the Don Imus mess. For those of you who were able to avoid this story, CBS Radio suspended Sports WFAN-AM/New York morning host and syndicated personality Don Imus for two weeks, effective April 16, following the remarks that he made last week when he called the Rutgers University girls basketball team "nappy headed hos."

CBS Radio has made a fortune off of pushing the envelope. They hire guys to be outrageous and only act moral when one of those guys jumps over that imaginary line of decency. They did it for years with Howard Stern and would still be doing it if Howard had not been feed up with CBS himself.

Imus will not be fired. In my opinion he shouldn't be. He is doing the job CBS pays him to do. What he said was rude, offensive and uncalled for. Yet it's not much different from what Imus says everyday on his show. It's why people listen. They want that uncomfortable laugh while thinking "I can't believe I just heard that."

Imus has the biggest promotion for his show going right now. The day after his suspension he will have the largest audience tuning in to hear him. Personally, I'd would rather let people speak their minds. If you are racist, be racist. Tell me what you think. It will then be up to me to decide if I want to spend any moment of my life listening to you.

If you speak long enough, you are bound to say something stupid. Offending someone is not a capital crime, no matter how offensive the words may be. Fire the man because he is not talented. Fire the man because no one listens to his show. Fire the man because CBS suddenly gets a conscience and refuses to air garbage anymore. But don't fire the man to appease people who jump in front of a camera every time a racial topic comes up.

That's my take.

Why People Leave the Church

It is common today for people to say they have problems with “organized religion” and “the institutional church,” they say that they are spiritual but not religious, and pick and choose elements that make up their personal "spirituality". It may be in a non-denominational church or maybe confined within the home. It can include everything from music and aromatherapy to meditation and small group gatherings. They create a custom built personal devotional observance as a substitute to the traditional church.

Scandals seem to abound in all churches. Everything from sexual misconduct to the gross misuse of money. From the ordination of homosexuals to the abuse of trust and power. It's not hard to understand why so many distrust the church.

These days there are many other paths a seeker might choose-not only other churches (all of which have their own share of sorrows), but an honest, individual, inquiring search that might or might not end up leaving the searcher open to the truths of the gospel. Such an individualistic course is a great loss where the life of the sacraments and spiritual counsel is concerned; but I can see how someone might end up there. In fact, I know many people in that same place. One woman was offended by a priest over 20 years ago and has never returned to church. Jesus’ own denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees, the representatives of organized religion at the time, can-and should-be understood as a criticism of a similarly complacent and self-satisfied Christianity.

Despite the failings of the institution, we must remain committed to it and influenced by holy men and women who were themselves nourished by a church that has many flaws but also many saints. A rich experience of the church can anchor you, despite the frustrations. The cowardice of men should never be allowed to drive people away from the Church the Christ started.

Yet too many people don't have that experience and knowledge of the church, the depth and tradition. The state of preaching in Catholicism and the level of serious adult education are usually abysmal. If your experience is confined to your parish, your priest, and, marginally, your diocese when you see corruption, and a way of living that contradicts the gospel, it is easy to see why someone might reasonably say, “No thanks; I’ll look elsewhere.” And while it is tempting to blame the people who wander away, it really isn't that simple. The church, and those of us who are supposed to represent it, are responsible.

I have recently seen a change in my narrow field of view. People are beginning to ask honest questions about the Catholic church and it's teaching and discover the complete opposite of what they expected. I can only hope this is the beginning of a positive change and return to the vault of truth that can be be corrupted by any man.


With the Dave Matthews Band, the Police, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Ludacris, Jon Bon Jovi. (Reuters) The announcement comes as the South deals with record cold temperatures. (WRDW) "Ludacris” is known for explicit and degrading lyrics.


An Obama spokesman said “CNN seemed like a more appropriate host.” (AP) From the Wall Street Journal: This is about who runs the Democratic Party. Ever since they came close to nominating Howard Dean for President in 2004, left-wing Web activists have tried to punish any Democrat who dares to step out of line… The pitchfork carriers now want to tell elected Democratic officials which journalists they can appear in public with. (WSJ)

A Comic at 'Hart'

If laughter is the best medicine, then cartoonist Johnny Hart did more for American health than most. The award-winning creator of the comic "B.C." and "The Wizard of Id" passed away this weekend, saddening fans of the cartoon legacy built on pro-family values and Hart's own Christian faith.

For more than 100 million readers, his unique brand of humor will be missed, and in particular, his ability to make serious points with the lightest touch. As Mark Twain said, "The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow."

Casey To Vote Against Stem Cell Bill

(AP) — After months of meetings with people on both sides of the stem cell debate, Sen. Bob Casey said Monday he will oppose a bill that would clear the way for government financing of new embryonic stem cell research.

Casey, who is Catholic and opposed to abortion, said in a statement released Monday he doesn't support the bill because "I remain opposed to federal funding for research that involves the destruction of living embryos."

As he said in his campaign last year, Casey noted he continues to support funding for other types of stem cell research that don't involve the destruction of embryos, such as umbilical and adult stem cells. He also said in the campaign that he supported Bush's ban. Read more..

Congratulations to Senator Casey for standing firm and resisting internal party pressure.

Episcopal bishop becomes Catholic

The retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany has left the denomination to join the Roman Catholic Church.

Daniel Herzog informed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of his decision in a March 29 letter. He asked to be removed from the ordained ministry of the Episcopal Church.

Herzog, who had retired from the diocese in January, had disagreed with the liberal direction of The Episcopal Church, including the 2003 consecration of the first openly homosexual bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Herzog was the second Albany bishop to recently switch affiliations. The diocese announced March 5 that a retired assistant bishop, David Bena, was transferring to the theologically conservative Anglican Church of Nigeria.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. wing of the global Anglican Communion. The world fellowship of churches, which trace their roots to the Church of England, is on the verge of splitting up over conflicting interpretations of biblical verses on sexuality, truth, salvation and other issues.

Associated Press

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Most readers of the Judeo-Christian faith will recognize the title of this installment as deriving from the prophetic words delivered by Christ during His Sermon on the Mount of Olives. The applicability of these words for our time is striking, if not foreboding, especially when taken in the context of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39. Russia and Iran in such close proximity and military alliance is an unmistakable benchmark in an era of world history which has seen the Jews re-gathered into the land of Israel and in control of Jerusalem – as was also foretold in detail.

The comments of a senior Russian career military officer in this context are most disturbing, and a much closer look is warranted. Reportedly, General Ivashov was the Chief-of-Staff of the Russian armed forces when 9/11 occurred. General Ivashov’s biography is that of a consummate, professional, career Russian military officer. Yet, from his mouth propagates the core basis of the ludicrous nonsense coming from the political left and the loony conspiracy theorists, which stands in stark contrast to the military and strategic principles of the Russian Military Doctrine published in April 2000. The propagated nonsense asserts that the events of September 11, 2001 were actions initiated by the United States government, that Islamist terrorism is a non-existent figment of our imagination and every other social, political and economic force in the world is part of a grand scheme, a grand conspiracy of America and her allies to conquer and enslave the world.

At this point some folks might be rolling off their easy chair in laughter. Folks like Cindy Sheehan, Nancy Pelosi and other friends of Hugo, Mahmud and Bashar. If this is you as well, then when you regain control of yourself – consider the following. This Russian general, his senior leadership and their allies really believe these things are truth. This Russian mindset and worldview meshes quite seamlessly with that of the Shi’a apocalyptic views of the Iranian regime. This senior Russian military officer is saying publicly that which manifests how they truly view America, Israel and the West in general. Once again Russia is aligning itself not with the West but with the East, and now with the South, with Islamofascism. The tangible proof of the real Russian agenda is manifest in the ongoing nuclear proliferation and massive arms sales to the Islamic Republic of Iran and their socialist Alawite Shi’a allies in Syria. Russia has joined the Axis of Evil by any measure applied. Russia has aligned itself with those who seek to destroy our way of life. We had better take notice because while Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, Russia already has them in the thousands. Those Russian weapons are now the effective global strategic depth of Iran and Syria. Is Nancy Pelosi following any of this?

General Ivashov was quoted by the Russian Interfax news agency saying that not only are US plans to attack Iran still on track for this month, but that our strike will include a nuclear first strike upon Iran. Citing “our data” - which can only mean Russian government intelligence assessments – General Ivashov said “Combat nuclear weapons may be used for bombing. This will result in radioactive contamination of the Iranian territory, which could possibly spread to neighboring countries.

What does all this mean? This Russian government mouthpiece has said that America intends to launch Armageddon! General Ivashov continued, “If Iran strikes back at Israel with missiles, Tel-Aviv is likely to use nuclear weapons on Iran.” Read for yourself.

If this is not a Russian government sanctioning of an Iranian or even a Russian-Iranian-Syrian preemptive strike upon America, Israel and our Western allies, then I do not know what is. I do know that the danger we face today is as great as anytime since the Cuban Missile crisis, perhaps all the more so.

A Call for Manners in the World of Nasty Blogs



From Harry Jackson: “Perhaps CNN is beginning to court the sleeping giant– the evangelical, faith community. This courtship may not be based upon conviction alone. The bright people at CNN are obviously aware of the fact that the faith community, along with crunchy conservatives, helped catapult FOX News into cable news stardom. In this defining moment in our culture, CNN is looking for a new approach, or at least a silver bullet, to fire at their programming adversaries.”



Wisconsin, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Montana and New Jersey have turned it away. Ohio is next.

LA Times


From the story: Looking back on the earth's climate history, it's apparent that there's no such thing as an optimal temperature—a climate at which everything is just right. The current alarm rests on the false assumption not only that we live in a perfect world, temperaturewise, but also that our warming forecasts for the year 2040 are somehow more reliable than the weatherman's forecast for next week.



Bush has promised to veto the more controversial version.

Washington Times

1.4 Million Arrest Warrants Pending In PA

(AP) - Pennsylvania's new statewide computer system makes it possible for the first time to put a number on how many warrants remain unserved across the state - 1.4 million, including more than 100 for homicide, the Associated Press has found. Read more...

This makes for an unserved arrest warrant for 1 out of every 9 Pennsylvanians.

Easter: He has Risen for the world!

A service is held at Beijing's officially-sanctioned Nantang Cathedral. Religious activities in China are strictly controlled.
In Spain, hundreds of processions are held around the clock. Here, a statue of the Virgin Mary is paraded through Seville.
London stages its traditional service in Westminster Cathedral, with a cross paraded through the streets beforehand.
About 1,000 worshippers take part in an Easter procession in Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population.
Iraq's small Christian communities gather to celebrate Good Friday. In Baghdad, Catholics lit candles to mark the occasion.
Christians in Jerusalem touch a cross carried by a pilgrim along the route believed to have been taken by Jesus Christ.
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Easter at the Vatican by leading prayers at St Peter's Basilica.
Christians gather at Rome's ancient forum ahead of Good Friday's Stations of the Cross ceremony, commemorating the crucifixion of Christ.
Wherever you are Happy Easter.

Are We Winning in Iraq?

Dr. Paul Kengor the executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, interviews Ralph Peters, noted historian, columnist, and commentator, in the first of a two-part interview. It's part of a series of special Q&As with participants in the forthcoming April 12-13 conference, “The De-Christianization of Europe: From Nicaea to Nietzsche,” to be held on the campus of Grove City College. NOTE: Dr. Paul Kengor will join us on the show on Monday 4/9



Perhaps, then, they too can participate in Disney’s Fairy Tale weddings.



One percent said “no reason in particular.” (Gallup) Barna on church attendance. (Barna)

Disney to Allow Same-Sex Couples to Have Fairy Tale Weddings

The Walt Disney Co. has changed its policy to allow same-sex couples to participate in a popular Fairy Tale Wedding program it runs mainly at its two U.S. resorts and cruise line, a Disney spokesman said on Thursday.

Disney had allowed gay couples to take part in its vow renewals program but excluded them from buying wedding packages by requiring a valid marriage license from California or Florida, which do not permit or recognize gay marriages. Read more..

I wonder if this is what Walt envisioned in 1955 in Anaheim?

Terri's Watch : Two Years Later

March 31st marked the second anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, who died after being denied nutrition and hydration for two weeks. The manner of death was certified as "undetermined".

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life and a friend of the Schindler family, said, "Terri's case remains shrouded in massive ignorance."Most mainstream media outlets claimed that Terri was "terminally ill" or "on life support" but she breathed without a respirator and doctors agreed that she was likely to live for many years.

Pavone said, "She was brain-injured, and therefore some thought she was disposable. The cause of her death - dehydration - was deliberately introduced. That's called killing. While there is such a thing as a useless treatment, there is no such thing as a useless life."

In February 1990, Terri Schiavo collapsed under medical circumstances that were never fully explained. She was left disabled and dependent upon care and assisted nutrition and hydration. In 1998, her husband and legal guardian, Michael Schiavo, petitioned the Pinellas County Circuit Court to remove her feeding tube. Terri's parents fought the order, however, saying that she responded to them and was conscious. After seven years, 14 legal appeals; innumerable motions, petitions, investigations, and hearings; legislation passed and overturned and even appeals from the Vatican, Michael Schiavo won the final case and Terri died march 31, 2005, after surviving two weeks without fluids.

Letters and appeals poured in from around the world to try to save her, and the Terri Schiavo case became synonymous with the struggle between the euthanasia movement and advocates of the sanctity of life. Cardinal Renato Martino, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, begged Florida officials to allow Terri to live. "She will die a horrible and cruel death," The Cardinal said, "She will not simply die; she will have death inflicted upon her over a number of terrible days even weeks . . . how is it that this woman, who has done nothing wrong, will suffer a fate which society would never tolerate in the case of a convicted murderer or anyone else convicted of the most horrendous crimes?"

Shortly after Terri's death, Fr. Pavone, who was with her up to five minutes before, recalled, "Do you know that police officers were standing over that bed at every moment, every moment - armed police officers - making sure we didn't dip our hands in that water and put it on her tongue. Armed police officers enforcing the culture of death." Who do we serve and protect?