CONTROVERSY OVER ‘CREATION MUSEUM’

Not surprisingly, not all are happy with the new $27 million museum dedicated to representing a literal six-day creation (Salon.com).

SIGNS POINT TO A THOMPSON RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

From the article: Mr. Thompson is creating a committee that will let him begin raising money on Monday toward a full-blown national campaign, advisors said Wednesday (New York Times). Noam Scheiber at The New Republic isn’t impressed with Thompson’s “populist play-acting.” And whether he likes it or not, Iowa GOP could force Thompson onto straw poll (The Politico).

U.N. RESISTS U.S. ON NEW SUDAN SANCTIONS

Arguing that diplomacy needs more time to work (Associated Press). From the article: President Bush ordered new U.S. sanctions against Sudan on Tuesday to pressure the African nation's government to halt bloodshed in the Darfur region. More than 200,000 have died in the conflict between ethnic African rebels and pro-government janjaweed militia and the U.S. has condemned the killings as a genocide. Yesterday, Michael Gerson applauded President Bush’s efforts to increase pressure on Sudan and described his recent “whirlwind tour of hell” in Darfur (New York Post).

JIHADIST GROUPS FILL A PALESTINIAN POWER VACUUM

As violence continues in Lebanon and Gaza (New York Times). From the article: Bush administration officials say they are increasingly concerned that Hamas and even more radical groups may be hijacking the Palestinian movement. The officials say they see no operational connection between what is happening in Palestinian camps in Lebanon and the deterioration in Gaza. But they say they do see an ideological link, with hopeless and marginalized young people turning to jihad because they believe that more secular or moderate options have failed them. And in case you missed it, Jeff Jacoby takes “A Look at the Good—and the Bad—for U.S. Muslims.

Washington County Presbyterian Church Wants Out Of PC(USA)

(Post Gazette) Both sides in the case of a Washington County church that obtained a temporary restraining order against Washington Presbytery have agreed to work out ground rules that will enable them to negotiate further about when and how Peters Creek Presbyterian Church can leave the Presbyterian Church (USA). Read more...

Because the “Trust Clause” of the PC(USA)’s constitution gives the local Presbytery the right to a church’s property should the congregation decide to leave the denomination, expect more fights like this one. One such fight in Ohio now has the state’s Attorney General involved. The story….

PHEAA Spent $409,413 On Fight To Shield Expenses

(Harrisburg Patriot) Keeping secrets can prove costly. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency spent $409,413 on legal bills to try to keep records detailing travel expenses incurred by its employees and board members private. PHEAA released its legal bills yesterday. Read more...

Makes one wonder if the PHEAA has legal council that actually understands the state’s Right To Know law.

Christian Marketing

Ok the whole Christian marketing thing is out of hand:


Now you can have all of your electronic documents blessed using a Holy Server. For a small donation. DIGIBLESS
I need to lie down ........




Putting a gambling idea on the table

Well this didn't take long and still we wait for that property tax reform.

Calling it the second chapter in Pennsylvania gambling, a powerful state lawmaker will introduce legislation next month to allow table games - from blackjack to roulette - to operate side by side with slot machines at state casinos. Read More

What’s so good about marriage anyway?

The Economist reports that the divorce rate is down, that marriage contributes to higher wages, increased responsibility in American males and more well-adjusted kids. The emphasis, however, is on the fact that Americans at lower income and lower education levels have less stable marriages and more children out of wedlock. But marriage itself is almost always contributes to measurable benefits. [Economist]

Meanwhile, two sociologists, one from Boston College and one from the University of Massachussetts, are arguing, essentially, that modern marriage is a negative force: "Marriage and community are often at odds with one another…. Instead of bolstering community involvement, marriage diminishes ties to relatives, neighbors and friends." [Washington Post]

Unqualified talk about the goodness of marriage is hard to come by.

AL GORE ASSAULTS FREE SPEECH

Among what are undoutedly many assaults in Al Gore’s new book (The Assault on Reason), one is his support of the Fairness Doctrine. From the column by Jay Ambrose: “He likes a Fairness Doctrine that subverts free speech -- it would be the end of Rush Limbaugh if brought back -- and wants government-financed election campaigns that could help keep some mouths shut.”

[Scripps]

DEFIANT HAMAS LEADER THREATENS ISRAEL

Khaled Mashal, the Hamas policital leader, predicted that the current siege in Gaza would cause an eruption in violence across the Middle East. For encouragement he pointed to Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza, Barak’s withdrawal from Lebanon and the current U.S. “confusion” in the face of Iraqi resistance. “Time is on the side of the Palestinian people,” he said.

[Guardian]

Bite Me

An American member of Al-Qaeda warned in an Internet video that President George W. Bush should withdraw all troops from Muslim land or face attacks worse than September 11.
Adam Gadahn, a convert to Islam who has been indicted for treason by a US jury, issued a list of demands and warned they were not up for negotiation.

You are right Adam, it's not up for negotiation. You threaten us and you'll find a boot on the back of your head. Who does this guy think he is? Take of the costume before you end up dead.
Speaking into the camera this goof ball terrorist convert made a list of ridiculous demands.
After his verbal degradation of the President’s legacy in American history and glorifying the spread of Islamic terrorism to all regions of Islamic backed conflict, the surfer-turned-terrorist’s list of non-negotiable demands included:
1. Pull everyone of your soldiers, spies, security advisors, trainers, attaches and so on from every Muslim land from Afghanistan to Zanzibar.

2. Stop all support and aid, military, political, economic or otherwise to the 56 plus apostate states of the Muslim world and abandon them to their well deserved fate at the hands of the soldiers of Islam.
3. End all support, moral, military, economic, political or otherwise to the bastard state of Israel and ban your citizens, Zionist Jews, Zionist Christians and the rest from traveling to occupied Palestine or settling there.

4. Cease all interference in the religion, society, politics and governance of the Muslim world and leave us alone to establish the Islamic Shura State which will unite the Muslims of [the] earth in truth and justice. (Note: Gadahn then adds that a single word of American protest shall be met by a thousand Islamic bombs).

5. Put an end to all forms of interference in the educational curriculum and information media of the Islamic world and impose a blanket ban on all broadcasts to our region. Especially those designed to alter or destroy the faith, minds, morals and values of our people.

6. Free all Muslim captives from your prisons, detention facilities and concentration camps regardless of if they have been recipients of [what you call] a fair trial or not. Your refusal to release them will mean the continuation of our just struggle against your tyranny until the last “kidnapped” Muslim has been liberated.

He then states [again] that these are “Legitimate demands that must be met and your failure to heed our demands and the demands of reason means that you and your people, Allah willing, experience things that will make you forget all about the horrors of September 11th, of Afghanistan and Iraq and (get this) Virginia Tech.”

My response: I’m glad this little piece of human garbage stated this. I hope that this sinks into the left-wing Democrats and wishy-washy Republicans that think that pulling out of the war in Iraq will make it “all go away”. It won’t and our thoughts of concession and failure should not ever be considered as viable options.

When he said “out of all Muslim lands” that covers the entire planet as Islam thinks the world is theirs to do with as they wish. That means no aid or help for people being killed in Sudan, Darfur, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and various other areas in Africa, Indonesia and Asia. Are we really prepared to turn our back on the world as cowards? I hope not. Where does the retreat end? It ends in death.

Islam is like a dog, if they sense fear they will attack. I prefer to kick the dog right in the teeth. You cannot do this if you are running away.

The High Cost of Obama Care

Sen. Barack Obama has announced his intent to reform American health care. Obama promises that his plan would create insurance for the estimated 45 million Americans who currently go without.

In Iowa, Obama claimed that his plan would save the average customer about $2,500 a year. "My plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums will be less," he said.

Obama's plan also calls for the creation of a National Health Insurance Exchange to monitor private sector companies that provide the coverage. When pressed about the cost of such a proposal, Obama was vague but admitted that it would be "high." "To help pay for this," he responded, "we will ask all but the smallest businesses who don't make a meaningful contribution to the health coverage of their workers to do so to support this plan. And we also will repeal the temporary Bush tax cut...," including, apparently, its pro-family features.

Senator Obama must know that the Democrats' budget, for which he voted, already designates the revenue from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts to other projects. His proposed funding stream for what could be a $1.3 trillion program has plenty of other thirsty animals waiting at the trough. Moreover, he does not make clear what would happen to the existing tax scheme that favors employers and disfavors family ownership of health insurance. What should the U.S. health system look like? We need a health care system that protects, encourages prudence, ensures portability, and promotes family ownership, not another government program.

'Progressive' Christians Say Media Coverage Skewed to Religious Right

(CNSNews.com) - A group of religious leaders and liberal media critics on Tuesday criticized what they view as a media bias in favor of conservative evangelicals and against "progressive" Christianity.

Conservative religious leaders were quoted, mentioned or interviewed in television and print news stories 2.8 times as often as were "progressive" religious leaders, according to a report released by the liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America and the religious group Faith in Public Life. Read more…

Another misguided pitch for the Fairness Doctrine?

Texas House Approves Religion-In-School Guidelines

From the story: The House embraced legislation Monday that seeks to clarify the rights of Texas public school students to offer public prayers at football games or graduation, hand out religious messages or hold religious meetings during the school day if they want.

Supporters said the Schoolchildren's Religious Liberties Act, which passed on a 110-33 vote, would protect districts from lawsuits by setting guidelines for students' religious expression while protecting students from being admonished, for example, if they talk about Jesus in an assignment about Easter.

"Freedom of religion should not be taken as freedom from religion," Gov. Rick Perry said. "This was a vote for tolerance of diverse views in our education system so that students are not admonished for wishing a soldier overseas a 'Merry Christmas' or for any other harmless forms of expression." Read more…

Maybe the ACLU can finally get out of the religious censorship business.

Child porn hearing set for former ACLU exec

A former youth league sports coach and executive of the American Civil Liberties Union, who has argued against any limits on Internet access in public libraries, is facing a hearing – and the possibility of prison – for having hard-core child pornography.

WorldNetDaily.com

ABORTION MOVIE WINS TOP PRIZE AT CANNES

From the story: The film evokes the big themes of personal freedom and political repression through a wrenching story about a girl's illegal abortion in communist-era Romania. The film’s celebratory portrayal of legalizing abortion in Romania misses some big points such as 600,000 deaths in the first year it was legal, and later an underpopulation problem. LifeNews.com reports.

Channel News Asia

BUSH LOOKS TO INTENSIFY PRESSURE ON SUDAN

Action is long overdue. Economic sanctions look to be on the table.

Washington Post

ONE-THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE THE BIBLE IS LITERALLY TRUE

While almost 50% of Americans believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.

Gallup

PELOSI: THERE’S NO DENYING IT [GLOBAL WARMING]

Ahhh.... yes there is. Pelosi says that she has witnessed “firsthand evidence that climate change is a reality.” Now she wants the Bush administration to change its tune on its environmental policies.

AP

Bill Maher Mocks Christianity and Catholics Again

Bill Maher, host of the talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO, recently showed the hatred Maher and the other Hollywood types have for Christianity and Christians.

Just three days after Rev. Jerry Falwell's death, Maher began his weekly HBO program with a verbal assault on Rev. Falwell and then escalated into a vicious attack on Christianity in general and Catholics in particular.

Maher: "We weren’t having sex, officer. I was performing a very private Mass, here in my car. I was letting my rod and staff comfort him. Take this and eat of it, for this is my roommate Barry...and for all those who believe there is a special place for you in Kevin."

Time-Warner, owner of HBO, issued no apology for the on-air explicit homosexual mockery of Scripture and Catholic theology. Neither did the mainstream media bring it to the public’s attention as they did with Don Imus. For the mainstream media, Christians are the only religious group in America against whom such bigotry is allowed.

Raiding the Rainy Day Fund

Despite the fact that state revenues are $500 million higher than projected, some PA lawmakers want to dip into the Rainy Day Fund to help finance the governor’s proposed budget increases. Read more…
When citizens “raid” their own 401k Funds for non-emergencies, there are tax penalties.

Nanny State Reps on the March

Ban Metal Bats In Organized Baseball and Softball
(Philadelphia Inquirer) A Pennsylvania lawmaker who had a worrisome revelation on the first-base line at his son's Little League game wants to ban metal bats in organized baseball and softball, from the high school level down. Read more..
Shouldn’t this be a league decision, not requiring state intervention?

Ban MP3 Players and Cell Phones at School
(Harrisburg Patriot News) When the Central Dauphin School District locked down two schools this week after threats of violence, a number of parents first learned of the scares from text messages their children sent from cell phones. That could change under a bill introduced by a Philadelphia lawmaker. The proposal would make it illegal in Pennsylvania for students in almost all circumstances to carry cell phones to school, to school activities or on school buses. Read more..
Shouldn’t this be a school district’s decision, not requiring state intervention?

Ban Trucks Passing other Trucks
(Post Gazette) Pa State Senator Gennleaf’s bill, Senate Bill 369, would restrict truckers to the right-hand lane of the highways, even if a truck doing less than 60 was already traveling in that lane. In other words, the faster truck wouldn’t be allowed to pass the slower truck. Read more…
Good luck enforcing this one. No mention of banning cars that “hog” the passing lane.

Memorial Day

Hey all....
I will not be posting until Tuesday 5/29 in honor of Memorial Day. My thoughts and prayers go out to all our troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Especially the more than 170 Pennsylvania soldiers killed in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please click on the tribute below to honor them.


Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

FATHER OF BALLPLAYER SUES MANY FOR HIS INTOXICATED DEATH

Once again personal responsibilty died along side this young man as his father sues the restaurant that served his drinks, the tow truck he plowed into and even the owner of the car that was being towed. The story notes “the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cellphone and wasn't wearing a seat belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found in the SUV.”

USA Today

OKLAHOMA: NO PUBLIC FUNDING OF MOST ABORTIONS

Oddly, the story concludes “Opinion polls consistently show that most Americans broadly support abortion rights but are less comfortable when it comes to issues like late-term abortions.” (Reuters) The conclusion is untrue. As this very recent Gallup poll reveals, 60 percent believe abortion should be limited - a higher percentage, even, than those who call themselves “pro-life.” (Gallup)

WAR FUNDING PASSED, OBAMA AND HILLARY VOTE “NO”

A timetable was not part of the bill. It passed 80-14. An interesting quote from Durbin, who voted in favor of the funding: "Though I loathe this decision to fund the war, I will not take out my feelings against the troops in the field. Our soldiers should never be bargaining chips in this debate." (ABC News) Code Pink was threatening to harass Obama if he didn’t vote their way. (The Hill) A minimum wage increase was attached to the bill. (Seattle Times)

Pittsburgh woman to stand trial for putting fetus in freezer

A woman who put her miscarried fetus in her freezer was ordered to stand trial for abuse of a corpse, a decision her attorney said contradicts established state law that a stillborn fetus is not a corpse.

This could get interesting...

Read More

Rendell budget warning dismissed as 'PR stunt'

An extended budget impasse could put 26,000 state employees temporarily out of work, and curtail operations at state parks, museums and environmental permitting, a top aide to Gov. Ed Rendell warned lawmakers Thursday.

"It's just a PR stunt," Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House Minority Leader Sam Smith, R-Punxsutawney, said of Crawford's words. "Part of the Rendell doctrine is to instill fear and create a crisis." Read more..

This is the first budget showdown where the governor does not have his Republican legislative leaders working on his behalf to peal off enough Republican votes to insure passage. These leaders have either been voted out of office (Brightbill and Jubelirer), or had their leadership positions stripped away (Perzel).

Pro-Life Updates

Anti-Abortion Bill Becomes Law In Oklahoma

(Reuters) - A bill prohibiting public funds from being used for most abortions has become law in Oklahoma after a deadline passed for the state's governor to veto the measure.

"If the governor doesn't act, it becomes law," said his spokesman, Phil Bacharach. Gov. Brad Henry had until midnight on Wednesday night to veto the bill. Read more..

UK Parliament Faces Fight Over Abortion Counseling, Waiting Periods

(CNSNews.com) - Britain's parliament looks set for another fight over abortion this summer as a lawmaker pushes for a mandatory waiting period for women wanting the procedure.Ann Winterton, a Conservative member of parliament from northwest England, plans to introduce a bill on June 5 requiring women seeking an abortion to receive counseling from a doctor or qualified professional. After getting information about possible alternatives and assistance that may be available, the woman would then have seven days to decide whether to go ahead with ending the pregnancy. Read more..

Meadows turning on the slots June 5

Southwestern Pennsylvania's first legal slot machines will start taking players' money -- and making winners of a fortunate minority -- at 9 a.m. on June 5. Read More

Rendell's 6.17% oil profits tax to bail out transit is called viable

With gasoline prices soaring, a liberal-leaning think tank on Wednesday called for the Legislature to approve Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed oil profits tax that several economists say would be passed along in higher prices at the pumps. Read More

Jesus would back my plan, Rendell says

What would Jesus do about Pennsylvania's health care crisis? He'd vote for Gov. Ed Rendell's universal health care plan. So would Moses and Muhammad. That's what Rendell told a crowd who rallied in Harrisburg yesterday in support of his "Prescription for Pennsylvania." He urged them to flood their legislators with demands to approve the plan. Read More

I'm sure he would want to talk about your "pro-choice" stance as well Ed.

KEVORKIAN TO BE FREE JUNE 1, PROMISES TO PROMOTE SUICIDE

Also from the story: Kevorkian may also become a paid speaker and says groups have offered as much as $50,000 and $100,000 per engagement for speeches. He would not name the organizations.

Lifenews

RECENT ACLU BOARD MEMBER RIPS LEFT-WING ACLU

From the editorial: Once the nation's leading civil liberties group and a reliable defender of everyone's speech rights, the ACLU is being transformed into just another liberal human-rights group that reliably defends the rights of liberal speakers.

WSJ

IMMIGRATION BILL SEES CHANGES

From the story: The Senate slashed the size of a proposed guest-worker program for foreign laborers yesterday, dealing the first real blow to a fragile overhaul of the nation's immigration laws since it reached the Senate floor this week. (Washington Post) Hewitt spoke with Senator Jon Kyl and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on the topic yesterday. (Townhall) From Thomas Sowell: The new immigration bill that supposedly secures the borders first, before starting the process of legalizing the illegal immigrants, in fact does nothing of the sort. (Townhall)

EDWARDS CONTINUES ATTACK ON “WAR ON TERROR” PHRASE

Saying “The War on Terror is a slogan designed only for politics, not a strategy to make America safe. It's a bumper sticker, not a plan.” (FOX News) But Edwards had no trouble using the phrase in this 2002 interview. (CNN) Or in the 2004 debate with Cheney. (Debates)

Methodist Resolutions

Delegates to the Baltimore- Washington Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church will vote on resolutions ranging from Israel divestment to how the church addresses homosexuality, starting on Thursday. The 198,000- member conference, the oldest in United Methodism, covers nearly 700 churches in Washington, D.C., Central and Western Maryland and the West Virginia Panhandle.

The Middle-East resolution calls for "phased, selective divestment as a means of ending [Israel's] military occupation" of Palestinian territory and asks the United Methodist pensions board to divest from any multinational corporations "profiting from the occupation." One endorser is ethicist J. Philip Wogaman, former pastor to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Another resolution would urge striking the language from the United Methodist Book of Discipline that says, "The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching." If passed, the proposal will go before the 2008 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, which meets next May in Fort Worth, Texas.

Additionally, a closed session of the clergy will discuss the situation of the former Rev. Ann Gordon, a United Methodist minister in Baltimore who now reportedly professes a male identity as Rev. Drew Phoenix.

Samuel David Cheney

U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and wife Lynne Cheney held their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, born Wednesday in Washington. His parents are the Cheneys' daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe.

There should be no sadness when a healthy baby boy is born to two loving parents, but this case is different.

Homosexual parenting involves intentionally denying a child either a mom or a dad. In this case, young Samuel David -- who, as a Cheney, will surely enjoy privileges and comforts greater than most children will be missing a father.

I know this is unpopular to say but the media has an odd way of reporting stories like this. Mary Cheney and Heather Poe were not both involved in the baby's conception here. Therefore they are not both his parents. But to say that brings calls of intolerance and hatred and brings unwanted attention to the unnaturalness of "gay parenting." We can fool ourselves all we want, still God will not be mocked or persuaded into acceptance. That is precisely the two homosexuals cannot create a baby.

USA Today reports that Vice President Dick Cheney has "bristled at questions on the topic." It's his daughter and grandchild so I can certainly understand the concern. But one can not deny this goes against nature, common sense, and God's design of the family no matter how many people you love are involved.

I don't doubt for a moment this baby will be loved and cared for. I hope he is not used in any political agenda on either side and maybe someday Mary Cheney and Heather Poe will embrace God's true plan for their lives.

Eric Svendsen's Confusion

I had my first correspondence with Eric Svendsen about 2 years ago. I won't go into details, but he seemed to be ill informed in several areas.

Eric recently posted a piece on David Howard, one of the members of the ETS executive committee, writing a piece in the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, in which he states the following:

"Responses to Mr. Beckwith's conversion run the gamut. A small number of evangelicals have reacted as if he committed an act of betrayal. Among many more, including us on the executive committee, the response has been one of cordial disagreement on some critical matters, accompanied by an acknowledgment that we nevertheless have much in common as fellow Christians."

Eric writes: This kind of statement speaks volumes about the state of the so-called evangelical leadership. Howard and the rest of the executive committee are now scrambling for answers to questions such as how the anemic and poorly worded ETS "Doctrinal Basis" can exclude a Roman Catholic, and what the real differences are between Evangelical Protestantism Roman Catholicism. They seem to be genuinely lost, as this statement from Howard well illustrates. Howard doesn't give us any evidence that he is even aware that nearly 500 years ago there was something called "the Reformation," and that the primary issues of that Reformation were the question of authority and the nature of the gospel.

I have news for Eric and all the others who thrive on division and fortifying the walls that Satan has built. The "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude has got to go. The reformation is over. The results were a disaster and the division continues to weaken and separate the church.

Eric continues: The Roman gospel, as defined by Trent, officially anathematized the gospel of Jesus Christ. Francis Beckwith has traded the sufficiency of Christ and the "once for all"-ness of His propitiatory sacrifice on the cross for an endless series of sacramental obligations and religious works he is now required to keep to "merit" his ongoing justification before God. Has Beckwith "committed an act of betrayal"? Of course he has. The fact that this simple affirmation is now being called into question among "evangelical leaders"--something which would have been a given in evangelicalism fifty short years ago--shows just how far "evangelicalism" has strayed away from its roots.

That's truly sad. First there is no "Roman Gospel" Eric has no idea what the Catholic Church really believes or teaches. Either that or he refuses to admit it because it's bad for his brand of theology.

I applaud Frank Beckwith for his willingness to pursue what he thought was right, despite being unpopular. I also appreciate everyone at ETS who is willing to prayerfully consider Roman Catholics as fellow Christians even though we may not fully agree on every issue. I'm willing to listen to anyone who wants to move beyond cheering for our team and work toward Christan unity.

Eric ends his post be saying "I don't even know what "evangelical" means anymore." If that means the line that separates one Christian from another is undefined then I'm glad. I'm Sorry you are so confused Eric. Truth has a habit of getting in the way and sometimes it's painful.

Commonwealth Court rules only Legislature has authority over indoor air quality

A smoking ban passed by Allegheny County last October was struck down yesterday by the state Commonwealth Court, which ruled that county exceeded its authority. Read More

Terri's Watch: Presidential Candidates

Attorney David C. Gibbs is encouraging the candidates and the public to learn the truth behind Terri's death. Gibbs says, "It's insane that convicted murderers are more protected than innocent disabled people in our nation. That is ludicrous public policy by any standard."

Recently, Republican strategist Rich Galen told USA Today that Congress' intervention in the right-to-die case of Terri Schiavo in 2005 was "a pivot point" for many Republican voters. A majority of voters disapproved of the lawmakers' actions in the case of the brain-damaged Florida woman."

Gibbs disagrees with Galen. Gibbs said, "When given correct information, the vast majority of American people favor protecting innocent life as our founding fathers did. Most Americans do not favor giving death row convicts more due process of law protection than we provide for senior citizens or disabled Americans!"

The leading Republican presidential candidates demonstrated during their initial debate with moderator Chris Matthews that they do not understand the important disability issues involved in the 2005 Terri Schiavo case. Gov. Mitt Romney said he thought it "was a mistake" for Congress to get involved and the matter should have been left at the state level." Sen. John McCain said Congress "probably acted too hastily." Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to see the matter as merely a "family dispute."

Only Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Duncan Hunter, both of whom participated in the Congressional action in 2005, got this issue right, correctly pointing out that all Congress did was to give Terri a chance to appeal her state death sentence to a federal court and reminding Americans of President Ronald Reagan's admonition to always "err on the side of life."

Bobby Schindler explains that his sister's case "was not about someone's 'right-to-die', nor was it an 'end- of-life' issue as was so often reported. Instead, heinous criminals on death row have more protection and are treated with more dignity than people like Terri. Congress saw this and intervened to protect her. Not only was it appropriate for Congress to try and help Terri, but it is what they are morally obligated to do in such cases."

Gibbs explains, "America needs to know what really happened to this lady because Terri's death by dehydration should never have been permitted in a civilized society. These candidates must understand the truth because if elected, they will be making policies that impact all of us."

Gibbs has released a video giving an insider's perspective to the life and death of Terri Schiavo. This emotional, dynamic presentation can be downloaded at www.fightingfordearlife.com

MORE CORRUPTION AT THE U.N.

Prostitution, discounted apartments and cash led to $100 million in contracts according to testimony at a bribery trial.

AP

ENGLAND CLINIC SCREENING EMBRYOS FOR LOOKS

From the story: In England, it now seems, a baby can be aborted for not being pretty enough. Maybe this was inevitable as genetic screening and techniques such as ultrasound advanced. The London Daily Telegraph Web site reports that the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has licensed a fertility clinic to screen embryos for a genetic defect that causes a severe squint. Later in the story: The man to whom the license was granted, professor Gedis Grudzinskas, was asked whether he would screen babies for hair color. He replied that hair color "can be a cause of bullying, which can lead to suicide. With the agreement of the HFEA, I would do it."

Washington Times

ONE IN FOUR U.S. MUSLIMS BACK SOME SUICIDE BOMBING

From the story: One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most American Muslims overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al Qaeda, a poll says.

CBS News

BUSH TO DETAIL BIN LADEN PLAN FOR U.S. ATTACKS

From the story: Rallying support for the war, President George W. Bush on Wednesday will point to U.S. intelligence asserting that Usama bin Laden ordered a top lieutenant in early 2005 to form a terrorist unit to hit targets outside Iraq — and that the United States should be first in his sights.

FOX News

Rendell Charges NRA In Control Of Gun Legislation

Tribune Review: The Pennsylvania General Assembly has resisted gun control legislation because it has been under the control of the National Rifle Association, Gov. Ed Rendell charged Tuesday. Read more...

The special PA House “Committee As A Whole” session last September permitted state legislators to vote anonymously on various gun control measures. Since each vote was anonymous, gun control advocates thought that this would “give cover” to those wanted to pass gun control legislation without having to face 2nd Amendment advocates, or the NRA, FOAC, etc. Despite the anonymity, each gun control measure failed overwhelmingly.

Poll: 26% Of Young U.S. Muslims OK Bombs

(CBS/AP) One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most American Muslims overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al Qaeda, a poll says. Read more...

This certainly puts a different perspective on Youth Group activities.

Complaint Department

It feels good to complain every now and then. So here I go. Stop giving me that pop-up ad for classmates.com! There's a reason I don't talk to people. Because I don't particularly like them. If I did I would have stayed in touch. Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days--asking me if I want fries with that.

Bottled water is the world's biggest scam. It costs more then gas but all we complain about is the gas. Water covers most of the earth. You don't have to drill for it. You don't need a pipeline though some terrorists backyard. Heck it falls from the sky! So why are they selling it to me for two bucks a bottle?

Speaking of overpriced water, Starbucks. If the person if front of you orders something like a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one sweet-n'-Low, and one NutraSweet," you know you are in line with a complete jerk and so is the person behind you. It's hot flavored water. All I want is a medium coffee with some cream. No, I don't want to finance it either. See the bottled water section if you are confused.

I'm not a cashier! By the time slide my card, enter my PIN number, press "Enter," verify the amount, deciding no, I don't want cash back, and press "Enter" again, my milk is spoiled, the bread is stale and the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

Is it too much to ask for something new? You go to the movies and you have a choice of Spiderman 3, Shreck 3 or Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Let's be honest and call it "Taking Your Money Again 3"

No more gift registries. It used to be just for weddings. I can accept that. But now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's creative looting.

For all you out there graduating, here is some free advice... If you ever hope to be a credible adult and want a job that pays better than minimum wage, then don't pierce or tattoo anything visible.

Nun to lead Penn Hills parish

In response to a shrinking number of priests, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh has appointed a Penn Hills nun to be its first "parish life collaborator," a person who will oversee parish obligations that do not have to be performed by a priest.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pa. schools say they need more help from state

Following three failed efforts to reform local school property taxes, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association says a more comprehensive solution is needed at the state level. Read More

N. Hills legislator leads effort against illegals

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, is taking his fight against illegal immigration nationwide. Mr. Metcalfe yesterday announced formation of a nationwide coalition of lawmakers pressing to force illegal immigrants back to their home countries. Lawmakers from 24 other states have joined State Legislators for Legal Immigration, a group founded by Mr. Metcalfe. Read More

Lackawanna Terrorist Surrenders

Former Lackawanna resident Jaber A. ELBANEH, charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization and conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda, reportedly turned himself in to authorities in his native Yemen. ELBANEH was added as a fugitive to the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list in May 2003. A former cab driver and salesman at his uncle's car lot in he greater Buffalo, NY area, Elbaneh was associated with the "Lackawanna Six," or the six men who were convicted of providing material support to al-Qaeda.

Captured in Yemen, ELBANEH was housed at a Yemeni jail until he and 22 other Islamic terrorists escaped on February 3, 2006. The FBI has yet to confirm that ELBANEH is in custody.

RIAA DEMANDING FUNDS FROM RADIO STATIONS

Story begins: With CD sales tumbling, record companies and musicians are looking at a new potential pot of money: royalties from broadcast radio stations. They want the federal exemption removed.

LA Times

LA TIMES FEATURES MED STUDENTS WILLING TO DO ABORTIONS

Some for remarkably idiotic reasons. One said “It's like when your big brother says you can't do something. That just makes you want to do it even more."

LA Times

EDWARDS SPEAKS ON POVERTY, CHARGES $55,000

And the authorities at UC Davis used college funds to pay for it. Somehow, UC Davis justified it because “he wasn't a (presidential) candidate and from our point of view, he was a speaker of interest that people in the community were clearly interested in ... we feel it's our mission to present those speakers."

San Francisco Chronicle

GUARDIAN: IRAN HAS PLAN TO FORCE U.S. OUT OF IRAQ

From the story: Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say. (Guardian) Meanwhile, Democrats, who also want the U.S. out of Iraq, may drop that from the spending bill. (LA Times)

State Legislators Call for End to 'Illegal Alien Invasion'

(CNSNews) The new nationwide coalition -- called State Legislators for Legal Immigration -- said it is launching an "unprecedented and historic effort to secure borders and cut off all economic attractions for illegal aliens."

Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican, made the announcement in Harrisburg on Monday. Metcalfe is demanding "full cooperation" from federal, state and local governments to "secure America's borders against unlawful invasion." That includes eliminating all economic attractions and incentives - such as welfare and other taxpayer-funded public benefits, education and job opportunities -- that may prompt foreigners to sneak across the border, Metcalfe said.

"Since Washington, D.C., remains AWOL on fulfilling its Constitutional responsibilities to secure our nation's borders against foreign invaders, it is not only incumbent, but the obligation for state lawmakers to step up and do the job that our federal government refuses to do," Metcalfe said in a news release announcing the formation of the coalition. Read more...

In the interests of full disclosure, I’m a volunteer for State Rep. Metcalfe.

National Presbyterian Church (USA) Debate Comes To Pittsburgh

From the story: On May 16, Pittsburgh Presbytery pled its case before the people of Memorial Park Presbyterian Church – its largest congregation and one that hovers on the brink of leaving the denomination. A unanimous session (the elected leaders of the congregation) had called a congregational meeting for the morning of June 3 to consider its recommendation that the 1,800-member church sever its ties with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and seek membership in the conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Read more…

With 5 other PC (USA) churches in the Pittsburgh Presbytery considering to leave the denomination, Pittsburgh is becoming the epicenter of discontent within the PC (USA) denomination. I am currently serving on the Denomination Concerns Task Force of the Beaver-Butler Presbytery, and we are also encountering similar issues.

On taxes, lawmakers, voters look out of sync

Pennsylvania politicians have been chasing property tax cuts for a generation. But some voters said last week that taxes were manageable, and a survey in January found only 27 percent of the public said cutting property taxes was the most important education priority. Read More

20/20: RACIST LANGUAGE HAS A DOUBLE STANDARD

Whites can’t say what blacks can. But the story also notes “Biden referred to Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean…" He was skewered by some in the press as a racist, but he said that was definitely not his intent. Some were confused -- why was the word "articulate," normally a compliment, now considered racist?” The reporter seems to have quickly forgotten Biden’s word “first.”

ABC News

60 PERCENT BELIEVE ABORTION SHOULD BE LIMITED

A higher percentage than those who call themselves “pro-life.”

Gallup

FEW SENATORS SUPPORT CONTROVERSIAL IMMIGRATION BILL

Fewer than 20 at this point. Also from the story: A Washington Times survey of Senate offices and public comments after the deal was announced Thursday found an additional 32 senators who said they cannot even take a position yet -- a result of the fact that the deal was written in secret by a dozen senators and the Bush administration, wasn't even finalized until yesterday and still hasn't reached many Senate offices. (Washington Times) Hugh Hewitt goes through a series of large problems with the bill. (Townhall)

Viva la France!

George Will: Arson is a form of commentary favored by the French left, so at least 1,000 vehicles were torched by disappointed supporters of the Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal after she was defeated 53-47 by Nicolas Sarkozy.

France's unemployment rate is 8.7 percent; the U.S. rate of 4.5 percent. Among persons under age 25, a cohort that supported Royal, the rate is 21.2 percent, and is apt to stay there unless Mr. Sarkozy can implement reforms that irritate rioters. Read more..

An entrenched sense of entitlement spanning several generations can be difficult to overcome.

Probe Carbon Offsets, Congressmen Say

(CNSNews.com) - For those who support it, it offers the reward of "carbon neutrality" without having to lower one's standard of living. To critics, it allows guilt-free pollution. Either way, the burgeoning carbon offset industry needs more oversight, say two members of Congress. Read more…

Let me pay carbon credits for my huge carbon footprint to a company that I have a financial interest in, while telling you to do with one piece of toilet paper.

Frank Beckwith talks about what he takes from evangelicalism back to the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis Beckwith resigned on May 5 as president of the Evangelical Theological Society. One week earlier the Baylor University philosophy professor rejoined the Roman Catholic Church, his home until age 14. He spoke with Christianity Today editor David Neff about the reaction to his decision, theological misconceptions, and evangelical strengths and weaknesses.

Christianity Today

AIR AMERICA PLANS RE-LAUNCH

It's like relaunching the Titanic. Even if it floats who really wants get on board?
They plan a pile of left-wing guests and new hosts Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Arianna Huffington and Bob Kerrey.

AP

DOBSON: I WILL NOT VOTE FOR GIULIANI

From his article: Speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of any organization or party, I cannot, and will not, vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008. It is an irrevocable decision. If given a Hobson's – Dobson's? – choice between him and Sens. Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, I will either cast my ballot for an also-ran – or if worse comes to worst – not vote in a presidential election for the first time in my adult life. My conscience and my moral convictions will allow me to do nothing else.

WND

IMMIGRATION BILL STIRS TALK OF AMNESTY

From Mitt Romney: Any legislation that allows illegal immigrants to stay in the country indefinitely, as the new 'Z-Visa' does, is a form of amnesty. That is unfair to the millions of people who have applied to legally immigrate to the U.S (MittRomney)

From Fred Thompson: With this bill, the American people are going to think they are being sold the same bill of goods as before on border security. We should scrap this bill and the whole debate until we can convince the American people that we have secured the borders or at least have made great headway. (NRO)

From Senator DeMint: According to reports, the bill contains a new 'Z Visa' that allows those who entered our country illegally to stay here permanently without ever returning home. This rewards people who broke the law with permanent legal status, and puts them ahead of millions of law-abiding immigrants waiting to come to America. I don't care how you try to spin it, this is amnesty. (DeMint)

Fact sheet, as prepared by the White House. (White House) Key provisions. (USA Today) Meanwhile, some illegal immigrants find this path to citizenship “overly burdensome and impractical.” (AP)

Bill Sees Churches As Political Lobbies

From the story: The plan now is called House Resolution 2093, but would do just about the same thing as the earlier Section 220 in the Senate. "House Resolution 2093 would drastically affect churches that speak out on issues like partial-birth abortion, same-sex marriage, conservative judicial nominees, and military chaplains' right to pray," the ACLJ said. "It would also impact Christian groups using TV, radio, or the Internet to mobilize citizens around an issue." Read more..

These attempts never seem to stop.

PowerBlog! in Your Box

Some of you have asked about getting PowerBlog! articles and posts emailed to you. Well now you can with a PowerBlog! subscription. It's free and easy. Just go the right side bar on this page and click on the Blogarithm button. Sign up and have PowerBlog! delivered to your email.

Voters Send Tax Relief Back to Harrisburg

New tax? No way, voters say. For the third time in less than a decade, a proposal to give local school districts the option of lowering residential property taxes - with a catch - has fallen flat.
After months of work, the latest local school property tax scam was rejected.

Pennsylvania voters' widespread rejection Tuesday of an income tax to replace a portion of their school property taxes now has state leaders considering alternatives, including a statewide sales tax increase to reduce the property tax and controls on school spending. I like the spending controls but why is that they always have to raise a tax to lower a tax? That not accomplishing anything but moving money from one pocket to the other. I guess they think we are too stupid to notice.

Read More

Stillborn laws entangled in abortion debate

Across the nation, bereaved parents have persuaded 20 states to issue optional birth certificates — not just death certificates — for their stillborn babies. But in some states, similar bills have raised concerns over abortion rights. Read More

John Hagee's D.C. Meeting

Pastor John Hagee says Armageddon will soon strike the nation of Israel, so he's enlisting Christians to help protect Israel against an attack from Iran.
The well-known pastor and author, who broadcasts nationwide from his mega Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, has been seeking to help Jewish groups raise money from Christians for Israel.

Fundamentalist Christians like Hagee believe they have a Biblical injunction to bless Jews and the State of Israel as God's "chosen people."Some critics, however, decry that Hagee's biblically based views on Israel do not serve the Jewish state.

Hagee's bestselling book, "Jerusalem Countdown," for instance, argues that Biblical interpretation reveals that Iran will lead a coalition of Islamic countries, also supported by Russia, in a nuclear attack on Israel. The event Hagee says will kick-off the real mother of all battles – Armageddon, the final great earthly war first mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Not exactly a happy prospect for the Jewish state or an idea Judaism itself endorses.

Full Story

Blair prepares to convert to Catholicism

I'm telling you something powerful is going on. Last week we learned of the head of the Evangelical Theological Society Frank Beckwith resigning to be received into full communion in the Roman Catholic Church.

Now another resignation comes attached to a conversion. According to news out of London, Tony Blair is preparing to convert to Roman Catholicism after he steps down as Prime Minister. His long-awaited formal switch to the faith of his wife and family will come shortly after he surrenders office. The Prime Minister's decision to formalise his Catholic beliefs was revealed by Father Michael Seed, a leading cleric at Westminster Cathedral.

Blair has regularly attended Catholic services, both with his family and alone, in recent years.
But he has not been seen in a church of his professed Anglican faith except on official occasions. To be received officially into the Church, he will be expected to take part in a service of baptism, followed by confirmation and Holy Communion.
It's amazing what God is doing. I truly believe people are being called back the Church in a powerful way.

Commandments for Radio Personalities

Radio is under the microscope these days. With the Don Imus, Opie & Anthony and so many other fame hungry wannabes things can and do go too far. Several months ago when the outrage hit the fan over KDND's bladder-busting stunt, and a woman died of water poisoning, Mancow Muller started up what he called "The Foundation for Responsible Radio." I brought a similar idea up to few radio "professionals" and was laughed at. Anyway, Mancow proposed that the industry work together to adopt a single set of standards that is good for both the audience and advertisers. Today, Mancow's Commandments for Radio Personalities" were released:

1. Thou shalt never endanger listeners.
2. Racism is always a dumb idea.
3. Complacency on the inside loses listeners from the outside. Work at your art.
4. Contests must always be straight forward. (Being too cute with contests can be costly.)
5. Advertisers pay you. They are your friends.
6. Have a delay button (preferably 20 seconds or more) and when in doubt use it.
7. Don't dis someone's religion.
8. Don't let anyone curse in your studio ever. Get them out of that habit. If they are comfortable with cursing, it can someday accidentally get on the radio
9. Instruct guests on your radio standards so they don't get you in trouble.
10. Do good. (We're not on earth to mark time. We're here to make a difference).

I have to tip my hat to Mancow. You can count me in. I hope others will take these to heart and take the responsibility of broadcasting to neighbors, our kids and our community seriously. Most radio folks do. Sadly it's those that are in it for all the wrong reasons that don't consider anything beyond a punch line and a bottom line.

Catholic Priest Invites Gang of 18 To Leave Church

The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, STL, president of Human Life International, (HLI) today said "Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3) and seventeen other members of Congress who describe themselves as Catholic not only are ignorant of their faith but also need a civics lesson."

Father Euteneuer was responding to their rebuke of Pope Benedict XVI in a press release from DeLauro's office which stated that the Pope's recent comments that Catholic politicians risk excommunication and should not receive Communion by saying, "Such notions offend the very nature of the American experiment and do a great disservice to the centuries of good work the church has done."

Father Euteneuer said, "It is an embarrassment that a Catholic, much less a member of Congress should make such an absurd statement. Even if this statement were true, the Holy Father answers to a Higher Power than Rep. DeLauro and the Gang of 18."

"The truth is," Father Euteneuer said, "nothing threatens the American experiment more than the legal but unjust killing of human beings by abortion which stands in stark contrast to the very first right enumerated by our Declaration of Independence: The Right to Life. The humanity of the unborn child is no longer even debated. It is a scientific fact. Abortion is murder, and murder is against the law. Like Dred Scott before it, which violated certain citizens' Right to Liberty, Roe v. Wade is bad, dishonest law and will eventually fall."

"Excommunication is a pastoral and medicinal penalty, not a political one. The Pope is well within his free expression of religion guaranteed by the US Constitution-and his pastoral duty-to warn any Catholic when their eternal salvation is jeopardized by their actions" Father Euteneuer said. "This is what the Catholic Church teaches and what Catholics believe. If the Gang of 18 believes otherwise, honesty and integrity requires they find another church that tells them what they want to hear. If they have that much of a problem being Catholic, no one is forcing them to stay. We certainly don't need their hypocrisy."

Save the Planet: Stop Having Babies

It begs the question, who are we saving the planet for?

Reducing the number of children couples have is the best way to fight climate change, according to a British environmental group.The UK's Optimum Population Trust (OPT) says in a report that population growth is one of the main causes of "global warming" but adds that both politicians and other green groups are loathe to talk about it.

No they are loathe to sound stupid....

CNSNews.com

Gas Price Gouging

George Will: While oil companies make about 13 cents on a gallon of gasoline, the federal government makes 18.4 cents (the federal tax) and California's various governments make 40.2 cents (the nation's third-highest gasoline tax). Pelosi's San Francisco collects a local sales tax of 8.5 percent -- higher than the state's average for local sales taxes. Read more…

PA’s gasoline tax, on top of the federal tax, brings the total tax to over 48 cents per gallon.

Dobson: No way I'll vote for Rudy

From the story: Family advocate James Dobson, widely considered an important GOP rainmaker, says he will not vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani under any circumstance in the upcoming presidential elections because of his positions on abortion, domestic partnerships for homosexual couples and other moral issues. Read more…

Dobson’s dilemma may play out for a lot of us should Giuliani become the nominee.

Hazleton's mayor sweeps both primaries

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta, who gained national prominence by targeting illegal immigrants living in his small northeastern Pennsylvania city, cruised to the Republican nomination for a third term yesterday - and unexpectedly won the Democratic nomination, too. Read More

VICTORY- Sort Of

I was attacked for encouraging readers to vote against the ballot question of shifting some property taxes to larger local income taxes to pay for public schools.

The majority of those that took the time to vote agreed with me. Western Pennsylvania residents voted a strong "no" against shifting some of their property taxes to larger income taxes, a pattern that appeared throughout the state.

Gov. Ed Rendell had pushed hard for the referendum. His spokesman, Chuck Erdo, said, "The governor doesn't believe that the defeat of the local tax shifting question is an indication of anything other than confusion."

Oh yeah, there's confusion alright. I'm confused how Rendall promised us a property tax reduction if we approved gambling, yet we have to now vote for a tax increase to get it. This is not what the Governor promised us.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Radio Waves

Today might have been the most important show of Opie & Anthony's career. All CBS Radio would tell the press is that they'll would be on the air today. Not "today and into the future." That comes as CBS is determined to show the bright line between satellite and the more responsible over-the-air radio - where it says last week's O&A comments didn't and couldn't air.

Then comes the news that Opie and Anthony have been suspended by XM Satellite Radio for 30 days for making offensive sexual comments. Suspended? Excuse me, but didn't they mean fired?

Their "suspension" came after a bit about the raping of the Secretary of State, The First Lady and The Queen of England. In fact, Opie and Anthony laughed as they imagined the look of horror on Condoleezza Rice's face if she were punched in the face during a violent sexual encounter. Do we really need this on any radio, satellite or otherwise?

O&A are no strangers to this stuff. These are the same guys that aired a couple having sex in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. I'm all for freedom of speech but major corporations don't need to hire, promote, broadcast and profit off this stuff. These two men have a responsibility to broadcast in the interest of their listeners and the nation. The vast majority of us find this unacceptable and extremely offensive.

There should be no suspension here. Their bosses should fire them immediately. They should not be allowed to air on any radio station. If you want to talk about that stuff, do it in your basement not on the radio. If those that are entrusted with the public airwaves can not recognize blatantly offensive and distasteful elements then Opie and Anthony are not the only ones that should be sent to the unemployment line.

Don Imus was recently fired for his comments. It disturbs me that anyone associated with Opie and Anthony allowed this to happen in light of the sudden decency awareness. It is time for America to clean up all these ridiculous acts of Shock Jocks, Rap Musicians and anyone else who is in the entertainment business. It's not funny any more and most sensible Americans refuse to buy it.

This issue happens right here in Pittsburgh. If you have to bleep out words of a songs DON'T PLAY THE SONG. If an artist is not a positive influence, DON'T PLAY THE ARTIST. If a person can't get a laugh without some sex or drug reference then they have no talent and need to find another job. I can't believe the trash that comes out of the speakers when John McIntyre is on. The times I listened I was disgusted and while I don't like to see anyone lose their job, John should be fired immediately. But then again this is the same station that airs Opie and Anthony for Pittsburgh to "enjoy". I can only hope that will change.

FRED THOMPSON VIDEO RESPONSE TO MICHAEL MOORE

Moore wants to debate; Fred Thompson suggests he go back to Cuba for mental help.

Breitbart

CONTROVERSY OVER MOM “BORED” RAISING CHILDREN

Also from the story: Stephanie Coontz, the director of research for the Council on Contemporary Families, says that today's mothers and fathers are spending much more time with their children than their parents spent with them. "Somehow we've ratcheted up our expectations of what mothers should do and how much satisfaction we should get out of creating perfect little things."

ABC News

GOOD QUESTIONS, SOME FIREWORKS IN GOP DEBATE

Giuliani getting the highlight with his quick response to Ron Paul’s assertion that 9/11 was a result of the United State’s bad foreign policy. (FOX News)

An unscientific FOX poll had Romney winning… But Ron Paul finishing second. Very unscientific. (FOX News)

A bunch of great Townhall blogging on the event. From Hewitt: Mayor Giuliani and Governor Romney are light years ahead in electability and seriousness than the other eight. (Townhall) Prior to the debate, polls show Giuliani’s lead slipping. (Gallup)

Jerry Falwell Dead at Age 73

The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in "gravely serious" condition after being found unconscious today in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said.

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell "has a history of heart challenges."

POPE BOOK ON JESUS GAINING ATTENTION

From the story: Benedict also rejects arguments that would downplay or deny messianic elements in the Gospels. A belief in the divinity of Christ is indispensable to a proper understanding of Christianity, he argues; to portray Jesus as merely a prophet or sage, rather than the son of God, is fundamentally to contradict his teachings. (USA Today) Salem host Frank Pastore explains why he is “so proud of Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church, even though I’m not Catholic.” (Townhall)

BUSH APPROVAL RATING HIGHER THAN CONGRESS

33 percent to 29 percent.

Gallup

IRAN STEPPING UP NUCLEAR PROGRAM

The story begins: Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency have concluded that Iran appears to have solved most of its technological problems and is now beginning to enrich uranium on a far larger scale than before, according to the agency’s top officials.

NY Times

PELOSI, HOYER PREP “FAIRNESS DOCTRINE” TO STOP CONSERVATIVES

Remarkably, a senior adviser to Pelosi admitted "Conservative radio is a huge threat and political advantage for Republicans and we have had to find a way to limit it. Second, it looks like the Republicans are going to have someone in the presidential race who has access to media in ways our folks don't want, so we want to make sure the GOP has no advantages going into 2008."

Then this from the story: Pelosi and her team are focused on several targets in the fight, including Rush Limbaugh and the Salem Radio Network. In fact, Kucinich's staff has begun investigating Salem, one of the fastest growing radio networks in the country, which features such popular -- and highly rated -- conservative hosts as Bill Bennett and Michael Medved, and Christian hosts such as Dr. Richard Land. "They are identifying senior employees, their political activities and their political giving," says a Government Reform committee staffer. "Salem is a big target.” (American Spectator)

From Hugh Hewitt: I invited Speaker Pelosi to appear on the program to discuss just this specific issue, an invitation that was declined. Her press secretary, Drew Hammill, wrote back to tell us that the story is "false" and that we could quote him on that subject. It would be very easy for the Speaker to put this one to bed quickly and with a short announcement or interview stating that she will not support the return of censorship to the airwaves. She hasn't. You can draw your own conclusions and watch for the introduction of the legislation attempting to outlaw criticisms of the Democrats. (Townhall)

Oddities Report

Here are some quirky things I stumbled upon.....

A high school senior who was issued the former cell phone number of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has been bombarded at all hours with calls for the state’s chief executive, at first getting at least six a day. “This experience hasn’t given me any political aspirations,” student Katie Kamar said. Last week the governor left a voicemail for Kamar, apologizing for the calls and thanking her for being so courteous. I wonder if she will pardon the Gov?

Speaking of pardons.... Paris Hilton is desperately trying to avoid jail for repeatedly driving on a suspended license, and flattery seems to be part of her legal strategy. Her petition seeking a pardon from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praises him: “Let me first begin by saying that I grew up as a child enjoying all of your wonderful films. You really are the truly great action hero for our time. You are doing a great job in the great state of California,” Hilton wrote. I'm impressed she can spell Schwarzenegger.

A Texas bill to charge a $5 entry fee to strip clubs and use the money for sexual-assault prevention and treatment got strong support in a preliminary vote. Three years ago, Gov. Rick Perry supported a similar fee to raise money for schools, but lawmakers killed it because they said it was unseemly to link strip clubs to education. Gee ya think?

Christian conservatives pledge support for '08 Thompson bid

Several leading Christian conservatives say they will rally to former Sen. Fred Thompson, who they expect to announce "in a matter of weeks" that he will seek the Republican nomination for president next year.

"It's not 'if' but 'when,' he will announce," one Protestant evangelical leader says of the behind-the-scenes maneuvering for position in the 2008 race.

A prominent Roman Catholic social conservative says the three Republicans who have raised the most money and have led the polls -- former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- fall short of social conservatives' expectations, but Mr. Thompson doesn't. "He's right on the issues ... He's better than all of the above."

Both the Protestant and Catholic activist, like other Christian conservatives, spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity.

Note: NO it's not me. They said "prominent" and I'm far from that. To be honest I'm not thrilled with anyone so far and my early prediction is we may see President Obama.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

NEWSWEEK JUMPS ON TRANSGENDER BANDWAGON

From the story: Today's transgender Americans go far beyond the old stereotypes (think "Rocky Horror Picture Show"). They are soccer moms, ministers, teachers, politicians, even young children. Their push for tolerance and acceptance is reshaping businesses, sports, schools and families. It's also raising new questions about just what makes us male or female.

Newsweek

ANTI-WAR EFFORT SLOWING DEMOCRAT AGENDA

From the story: In the first 100 hours of their House leadership, Democrats pushed through a domestic agenda of six measures -- dubbed the "Six for 'O6" -- including elevating the minimum-wage increase, funding stem-cell research, funding alternative energy development, implementing the recommendations of the September 11 commission, changing Medicare's drug plan and cutting student loan interest rates. None has become law and three face a presidential veto.

Washington Times

ROMNEY BLASTS MORMON CHURCH FOR POLYGAMY

Saying “I have a great-great grandfather. They were trying to build a generation out there in the desert. And so he took additional wives as he was told to do. And I must admit, I can't imagine anything more awful than polygamy.” (AOL News)

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Time Magazine writer Nancy Gibbs about her article on Romney’s faith. (Townhall) Romney’s son pitches for his dad in Townhall. (Townhall) Meanwhile, Giuliani hits a few snags. (Townhall)

The Salvation of Non-Catholics

I've had quite a response to an earlier post answering a question about salvation of non-Catholics. Some of you have asked me to expand on this.

Pope Boniface VIII in 1302 wrote this:
"We declare, say, define and pronounce, that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." It declares that those who resist the Roman Pontiff are resisting God's ordination.

Now before you launch into rage stay with me. When a pope declares, says, pronounces, and defines, he is using the formula to make crystal-clear that he is delivering not his personal opinion but the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church. The fact is, Boniface VIII committed the Church to this proposition for the rest of her history. We cannot dodge this with a convenient “that was then, this is now.” If it was dogma once, it still is.

However, the Second Vatican Council 660 years after Unam Sanctam formulated Lumen Gentium, in which she declared, “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.”

Hummm... What to do now? I admit this sounds like a flat contradiction. Yet the Church, centuries before Vatican II, regarded Orthodox sacraments as valid, which is awfully hard to do if you don’t think Christ can be found anywhere but in the Catholic Church. Similarly, it has always regarded the baptism of non-Catholics as valid—and a valid baptism means you are, in some sense, in union with Christ. In fact Rev. Leonard Feeney was excommunicated for insisting that only people in visible communion with the Catholic Church could be saved. So this simplistic “We’re in, you’re out” reading of Unam Sanctam (and the corollary that Lumen Gentium “cancelled” it) doesn’t fly.

Scripture speaks to this. John said to him, “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us“ (Mk 9:38–40).

Jesus’ point is in following Him, both the man casting out demons and the apostles—whether the man or the apostles realized it or not—were brought into some kind of union with one another through Him. It didn’t matter whether the apostles or the man were conscious of it. Their mutual obedience to Him put them in relationship to each other. The fact is, it is His Spirit, who is the principle of unity holding His Body together and drawing its members into ever more perfect union with each other.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that unity with the Body of Christ doesn’t matter. For to be brought into union with the Body of Christ at all is to be brought into the order that Christ has established for that Body.

If one is a Christian at all, one is, as Lumen Gentium says, in some kind of union with the Church, the Body of Christ. It's the extent of that unity that is questioned. This is why the Church teaches and has always taught that “outside the Church, there is no salvation.” For the Church is the company of the saved.

There is but one source that has remined infalliable. That source is not confined to a human being, despite the physical presence of any chosen pope. Rather it is the position and office itslef that is guided, protected and sustained by the Holy Spirit. Therefore anyone who seeks to be led by the Holy Spirit is in fact subject to the pontiff. While many non-catholisc might not be conscience of this fact, it is the Catholic church that at the root of faith Christian faith.

To be in the most perfect union possible a Christian should be in the fullness of Christ’s revelation in the Catholic communion. That includes the common life, common worship, and common teaching of the Church; as well as the seven sacraments, the accumulated wisdom of the Tradition both in Scripture and in the life of the Church, the Magisterium (including the papacy), and the “riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints” (Eph 1:18). Other churches use elements in various combinations and to varying degrees but in order to accpect the fullness of God's plan, believers do well to avail themselves of as much of God’s gifts as they can.

IN BRAZIL POPE ENCOURAGES ABSTINENCE

From the story: Others, however, had trouble relating to Benedict's conservative message on morality. Casual sex, out-of-wedlock births and illegal abortions are commonplace in Brazil. A little later in the story: "Well, I have a lot of respect for the pope, but if he wants us to not have sex before getting married, then that will never work," Albuquerque said. "In fact, I'm living in sin. Everyone knows that men will never wait for that." Her friend Valdinette Olveira had a different thought. "Maybe if the young men would listen to the pope, they will learn to respect women more," said the 25-year-old. "Because right now, men don't really respect women."

LA Times

ROMNEY TELLS GROUP HE’S A PRO-LIFE “CONVERT”

Outside, Planned Parenthood protested. Later in the story: Kevin A. Jourdain , chairman of the Pioneer Valley chapter of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said antiabortion groups should rally around the former Bay State governor. "The whole purpose of the prolife movement is education and conversion," said Jourdain, who is also a Holyoke city councilman. "Mitt Romney is part of the conversion. We should applaud him. We should celebrate him." (Boston Globe) Meanwhile, Time Magazine looks at the questions about Romney’s religion. (Time)

U.S. DIVORCE RATE LOWEST SINCE 1970

But the story doesn’t see it as all great news, reporting “Some experts say relationships are as unstable as ever—and divorces are down primarily because more couples live together without marrying. Other researchers have documented what they call "the divorce divide," contending that divorce rates are indeed falling substantively among college-educated couples but not among less- affluent, less-educated couples.”

AP

Troubled Presbytery losing leader

The Rev. James Mead has submitted his resignation as pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery, where for eight years he has worked to ease local tensions even as national ones grew larger.

At least two large congregations in the presbytery are on the verge of leaving the denomination, but Dr. Mead, 60, cited pressing family concerns as his reason for returning to the West Coast.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Cost of General Assembly is $23 per Pa. resident

Lawmakers say they are alarmed by how much the General Assembly spends on itself compared to legislatures of other large states. In 2005, the cost of running the Pennsylvania Legislature was $23 for every resident, compared to $5.83 in Illinois and $3.69 in Ohio, according to figures given yesterday by a researcher from the National Conference of State Legislatures to the Speaker's Commission on Legislative Reform. Read More

TERRORISTS LIVED ILLEGALLY IN US, PROTECTED BY CITY

The story notes the brothers who planned to murder American GIs had 19 traffic violations but “because they operated in "sanctuary cites," where law enforcement does not routinely report illegal immigrants to homeland security, none of the tickets raised red flags.” (FOX News) A list of “Sanctuary Cities.” (OJJPAC)

This needs to STOP.

LEFT TELLS CONGRESS GLOBAL WARMING CAN CAUSE TERRORISM

From the story: They also warned that if nothing is done, a warming climate could lead to an influx of Latin American immigrants to the U.S. border, and could also trigger violent conflicts in Africa and the Middle East over resources, potentially aggravating terrorism. (ABC News)

Meanwhile, another story notes “Svante Arrhenius, the father of the greenhouse effect, would be called a heretic today. Far from issuing the sort of dire predictions about climate change which are common nowadays, the Swedish physicist dared to predict a paradise on earth for humans when he announced, in April 1896, that temperatures were rising -- and that it would be a blessing for all.” (Spiegel)

ROMNEY: SHARPTON ANTI-MORMON COMMENT IS “BIGOTED”

Doesn't Sharpton have a radio show that he should be fired from? Romney told MSNBC “I can only, hearing that statement, wonder whether there is not bigotry that still remains in America. That’s an extraordinary thing for someone to say.” (Boston Herald)

Hugh Hewitt notes Rutgers player Katie Adams “is from Ogden, Utah. I don't know if she is LDS, but if so, hasn't Al Sharpton slandered a Rutgers player?” (Townhall) Instead of apologizing, Sharpton took another swipe at Romney and the Mormon church, saying “If you have a church built on racial discrimination, then I do not believe you are a true believer in God." (NY Daily News)

Well Mr. Sharpton, if you call yourself a reverend but support abortion and same sex marriage then I don't believe you are a follower of Christ much less part of any genuine clergy.

Follow Up: Vegans Sentenced for Starving Their Baby

ATLANTA (AP) -- A vegan couple were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for the death of their malnourished 6-week-old baby boy, who was fed a diet largely consisting of soy milk and apple juice.
Superior Court Judge L.A. McConnell imposed the mandatory sentences on Jade Sanders, 27, and Lamont Thomas, 31. Their son, Crown Shakur, weighed just 3 1/2 pounds when he died of starvation on April 25, 2004.

The couple were found guilty May 2 of malice murder, felony murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty to children. A jury deliberated about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.

Defense lawyers said the first-time parents did the best they could while adhering to the lifestyle of vegans, who typically use no animal products. They said Sanders and Thomas did not realize the baby, who was born at home, was in danger until minutes before he died.

But prosecutors said the couple intentionally neglected their child and refused to take him to the doctor even as the baby's body wasted away.

"No matter how many times they want to say, 'We're vegans, we're vegetarians,' that's not the issue in this case," said prosecutor Chuck Boring. "The child died because he was not fed. Period."

Although the life sentences were automatic, Sanders and Thomas begged for leniency before sentencing. Sanders urged the judge to look past his "perception" of the couple."I loved my son - and I did not starve him," she said.

When the judge told the defendants they could ask for a new trial, Thomas hung his head low.
"I'm dying every day in there," he said, "and that could take three years."

AP

Fort Dix Terror Plot

Bu now most of you know about the planned attack on Ft. Dix. Based upon open source (OSINT) reporting the six arrests made by federal law enforcement officers constitutes only a partial apprehension of the active Al Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell.

This information is derived from the video the terrorists had attempted to get converted into a DVD for further distribution. Videographic details within the recording reveal there were a total of 10 jihadists live-firing assault weapons, calling for jihad along with the traditional "allah hu akhbar" refrain.

A remainder of at least 4 members of the cell are still-at-large and, also based upon the video evidence of assault weapons training, must be considered heavily armed and extremely dangerous. Additionally other sources indicate that as many as 6 other individuals who acted in support roles for this cell also remain at-large. It must also be surmised that ongoing interrogations of the 6 arrested terrorists by federal law enforcement is focused upon locating the remnant cell members. Additionally, the cell members may all have known the location of the video store. That still unidentified business and its employees acted heroically and without regard to potential retribution.

The suburban nature of this terror plot can not be overlooked. These terrorists homes are in urban America. Other terrorists of this exact same type are living in a neighborhood somewhere in suburban or urban America, perhaps as the people of Cherry Hill learned they may be living near or literally across the street from your own home. Sulejman Talovic lived in such a neighborhood, as did John Muhammed (aka the "DC Sniper"). So did Mohammed Atta and the 9/11 highjackers. So did Hussein al-Husseini, both before and in the aftermath the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He recently disappeared.

Pope warns Catholic politicians

Pope Benedict on Wednesday warned Catholic politicians they risked excommunication from the Church and should not receive communion if they support abortion.

It was the first time that the Pope dealt in depth with a controversial topic that has come up in many countries, including the United States, Mexico, and Italy.

The Pope was asked whether he supported Mexican Church leaders threatening to excommunicate leftist parliamentarians who last month voted to legalize abortion in Mexico City.

"Yes, this excommunication was not an arbitrary one but is allowed by Canon (church) law which says that the killing of an innocent child is incompatible with receiving communion, which is receiving the body of Christ," he said.

"They (Mexican Church leaders) did nothing new, surprising or arbitrary. They simply announced publicly what is contained in the law of the Church... which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality, human personality is present from the first moment (of life)".

Under Church law, someone who knowingly does or backs something which the Church considers a grave sin, such as abortion, inflicts what is known as "automatic excommunication" on themselves.

Abortion Debate Shifting to Pregnancy Counseling Centers

CNSNews.com - At pregnancy resource centers in small towns and big cities nationwide, pro-life volunteers are advising women that abortion has been linked to breast cancer and infertility. That's prompting some states to boost oversight of the crisis pregnancy centers, the Houston Chronicle reported.

OBAMA: 10,000 PEOPLE DIED IN KANSAS TORNADO

Why let facts get in the way? He missed the actual mark by just 9,988.

FOX News

SHARPTON SAYS THOSE “WHO BELIEVE IN GOD” WILL DEFEAT ROMNEY

Then, of course, he denied meaning what he said. The full quote: “As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation.” (FOX News) The video. (Youtube)