Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Signs of the Times: Expelled Hits Theaters Once Again

re: "Ben Stein's controversial film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which happens to be the #12 biggest box-office documentary in history, has emerged relatively unscathed from the lawsuit initiated against it by Yoko Ono... / ...snipped.../ Of course, the Federal Court judge did not dismiss the suit on the basis of Ono's inconsistent worldview, but because the manner in which Stein employed the song fell under the doctrine of Fair Use.... / ...snipped... / Long story short, Stein's film is hitting theaters again this month..."...

Baptist Press - Congress moves to inform mothers, protect unborn

re: "WASHINGTON (BP)--A bill to protect the lives of unborn children diagnosed with disabilities has passed both chambers of Congress and is awaiting President Bush's signature. /The Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback, R.-Kan., and Sen. Ted Kennedy, D.-Mass., would provide support and balanced information to parents who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other condition prenatally or until a year after birth. / ...snip... / The Senate passed the bill Sept. 23, and the House passed it two days later in what Brownback said was "a great victory for expecting parents who learn that their unborn child may be born with a disability." /The bill requires parents who receive a diagnosis of an impairment for their child be provided with the latest information on the condition and be informed of support services available. It also would establish a registry of families willing to adopt special needs children..."...

EconLog, What Warren Buffett Wants, Arnold Kling: Library of Economics and Liberty

re: "...The best players in this World Series of Poker are the folks at Goldman. They hired Fischer Black and other geniuses back when the markets were first getting going. They have typically had the best squad of geeks around. /Buffett just bought a stake in Goldman. That stake would be a lot more valuable if there were actually a poker game--that is, if mortgage securities were still trading. Right now, they're not trading. So Goldman is sitting there ready to play and no one is ready to play with them. /Along comes Uncle Sam, who wants to take a one-hour lesson in poker and then sit down and play in the World Series with $700 billion in chips. And whaddaya know? Warren Buffett thinks Uncle Sam really has to get in the game."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

ADF Alliance Alert » ACLU opposes freedom of conscience regs for pro-life docs

re: "The ACLU has issued this press release that begins: “The American Civil Liberties Union and all its state affiliates, including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services asking the administration to rescind regulations that could seriously undermine access to reproductive health services, including birth control and abortion.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools - WSJ.com

re: Stanley Kurtz: "Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists. / The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home. / ...[snip]... / The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago."...

hat tip: The Paragraph Farmer

ADF Alliance Alert » Wisconsin Court Creates Financial Incentive for Assisted Suicide

re: "The Americans United for Life Blog reports: “Today the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, District IV, ruled in Donna Limmer v. Linda Schunk that persons who assist in the suicide of another are still entitled to the inheritance of the deceased person. This dangerous decision encourages persons who have a financial interest in another’s death to assist that person in committing suicide.”..."...

The Point: The Issues That Matter

re: "Check out this video from CatholicVote.com. It doesn't tell Catholics how to vote, but it certainly defines, in a powerful way, the issues that matter most..."...

CatholicVote.com: Pastors to challenge Minister Gag Rule

re: Joshua Mercer: "There’s a myth out there that churches don’t pay income tax in exchange for not talking about politics. Hogwash. Churches don’t pay taxes for two major reasons: 1. They are not involved in trade, but in trying to help people (spiritually and physically.) Churches after all, started hospitals, universities, etc. /2. Going back thousands of years to Ancient Egypt, governments have not taxed churches because the power to tax is the power to control. /Well, control is exactly what Lyndon Johnson wanted when he inserted language into the tax code prohibiting pastors from endorsing any candidate from the pulpit. Since 1954, any minister thinking of endorsing a candidate was suddenly threatened with massive taxation. /That’s not entirely accurate. Ministers were always free to endorse Democrats. They just weren’t free to endorse Republicans. Black pastors endorsed Democrats without any impunity. /Well, this Sunday, the Alliance Defense Fund is encouraging ministers to exercise their freedom of speech and religious freedoms by endorsing a candidate. They are challenging LBJ’s Minister Gag Rule. The Wall Street Journal reports ..."...

Cafe Hayek: How they think vs. how I think

re: "The White House is trying to argue that the bailout isn't so bad, it might not really cost $700 billion because some of the assets will appreciate in value. / ...[snip]... / But from my perspective, the budgetary gains and losses are a trivial part of the story. Those are a transfer from taxpayers to the current holders of the assets. My real concern is the incentive effects for future prudence (reduced) and the weird misallocations of capital that will inevitably result. I also am deeply concerned about the rule of law and how such a program can possibly run in a non-arbitrary way. /If the government makes money on these transactions, it actually depresses me all the more."

The Thinklings: On Faith and Superstition

re: "Mollie Hemingway writes an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal: Look Who's Irrational Now. She makes the counter-intuitive case that irreligious people are more susceptible to superstition, belief in the paranormal, etc, than people who hold orthodox beliefs. Some excerpts...// Anti-religionists such as [Bill Maher] bring to mind the assertion of G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown character that all atheists, secularists, humanists and rationalists are susceptible to superstition: "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can't see things as they are."

hat tip: Phil

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Point: No apologies here

re: "The Anglicans may have felt the need to apologize to Darwin, but the Catholics are still holding out://The Vatican said on Tuesday the theory of evolution was compatible with the Bible but planned no posthumous apology to Charles Darwin for the cold reception it gave him 150 years ago. . . . /In 1950, Pope Pius XII described evolution as a valid scientific approach to the development of humans, a view that was reiterated by Pope John Paul II in 1996. But [Archbishop Gianfranco] Ravasi said the Vatican had no intention of apologising for earlier negative views. /"Maybe we should abandon the idea of issuing apologies as if history was a court eternally in session," he said, adding that Darwin's theories were "never condemned by the Catholic Church nor was his book ever banned"...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hanna on NRO: Virtue and Volatility - Acton Institute PowerBlog

re: "Frank J. Hanna III, Georgia CEO of Hanna Capital and cofounder of the Solidarity Foundation, is author of the new book What Your Money Means (and How to Use It Well). Hanna, a board member of the Acton Institute, talked to National Review Online editor Kathryn Lopez in a Q&A titled “Virtue and Volatility” about earning money, using it well, the market meltdown, and more..."...

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Private Conviction About Murder?

re: "Speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for Vice President, made headlines by stating that he accepts "as a matter of faith" that human life begins at conception, but he would not impose that view on others as a matter of law. /Sen. Biden's statement is similar in form to those offered by other Catholic politicians like former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Nevertheless, what it really represents is far more horrifying than may be recognized at first.../ ...[snip]... / Sen. Biden says, and we must take him at his word, that he accepts as a matter of faith that human life begins at conception. But, he argues, he is perfectly willing to support a woman's right to choose to end that human life. /The killing of human life is called homicide. Murder is the willful taking of a human life. The senator has here stated that he believes abortion to be homicide, but he defends a woman's right to kill the unborn human life within her because he would not impose his beliefs about human life (and thus about homicide) on others..."...

ADF Alliance Alert » Young pro-lifers jailed, shackled, strip searched for peacefully sharing message

re: from Sept. 3: "BALTIMORE — Alliance Defense Fund and allied attorneys filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Harford County, the town of Bel Air, and seven police officials on behalf of three young, pro-life women. At least a dozen police officers arrived in more than seven marked vehicles and then arrested, jailed, shackled, and/or strip searched 18 pro-life advocates, including the three women, after they held signs and shared their message along a public street. /“The state shouldn’t persecute Christians for expressing their beliefs on important social issues, nor deny them their constitutional rights,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “This incident paints an ugly picture of the state of religious freedom and free speech in America today.” /“The truth of the matter is that our clients were heckled, arrested, imprisoned, shackled, and strip searched twice for exercising their First Amendment rights,” said ADF-allied attorney Daniel Cox, who is serving as local counsel. “No excuse exists for how our young clients were treated.” /At least 12 police officers handcuffed 18 peaceful participants in Defend Life’s “Face the Truth” Pro-life Tour and denied them a reason for their arrests. They had relocated to Bel Air after being told by officers to move from another location for not having a permit to engage in free speech activities. Three young female participants—including teenagers—were subjected to two rounds of strip searches./The first search took place in the police station parking lot in front of other males. A female officer pulled out the young ladies’ shirt collars to inspect their breasts before reaching down their pants to feel around their waistlines. The Harford County Detention Center administered the second strip search after the pro-life participants were transferred there. A female officer took the women one by one into a bathroom with a partially open door and ordered them to lift up their shirts and brassieres. /Officials cast the pro-life participants in leg irons, denied them permission to call parents until after midnight, and did not release any of them until the following day. None were informed that attorneys Steve Peroutka and Scott Whiteman had been prohibited from having any contact with them after arriving at the station earlier that night to assist them. On Aug. 12, the state decided not to pursue the false charges against them, which included loitering, disorderly conduct, and failure to obey a lawful order. They were never charged for a permit offense. /The complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Northern Division, in Swagler v. Harford County is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/SwaglerComplaint.pdf. The Thomas More Society of Chicago and the American Catholic Lawyers Association represent some of the other pro-life participants..."...

Monday, September 01, 2008

Nazarene Communications Network - Christian homes on fire in India

re: "In the early hours of August 23, a Hindu nationalist leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, was shot to death in Orissa, India. Five of his followers were also killed. Although it was allegedly an act by Marxist terrorists, many people are blaming the murder on Christians. In reaction to the killings, some have retaliated by burning down churches and homes. At least three more people have been killed following the initial attack. /Nazarene District Superintendent Sudipta reports: "I have contacted some of our church leaders and pastors in Orissa as they are watching their houses being destroyed. The villagers fled to the nearby jungle and for three days they have had hardly any food..."...

American Thinker: Why Palin Is a Bee in Dems' Bonnets

re: Kyle-Anne Shiver: "...Palin may come in a perfectly lovely, innocent-looking package, a bit like a bumble bee resting in the shade on a clover blossom, but when she sees professional politicians getting fat and rich at the public trough, she is immediately transformed into one threatening, buzzing, stinging machine. /Pompous, polished, under-performing Democrat pols meet down-to-earth, mom-of-five, rifle-toting, corruption-shredding, tenacious Governor Sarah, the taxpayers' best friend..."...

RedState: Dr. Land speaks out on Palin's upcoming granddaughter.

re: "Via The Brody File, a statement from a Dr. Richard Land, who is the President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission on the Palin pregnancy matter...//start quote//"This is the pro-life choice. The fact that people will criticize her for this shows the astounding extent to which the secular critics of the pro-life movement just don't get it. Those who criticize the Palin family don't understand that we don't see babies as a punishment but as a blessing. Barack Obama said that if one of his daughters made a mistake and got pregnant out of wedlock he wouldn't want her to be punished with a child. Pro lifers don't see a child as punishment."