Z. Britton fine after being struck on right wrist
Orioles pitcher Zach Britton said he's fine after being hit in the right wrist by Minnesota's Josh Willingham during Wednesday night's 11-5 win. The left-hander didn't have a bruise on Thursday morning and there were no X-rays taken on the area.
'Two minutes with...' O's first baseman Davis
The "Two Minutes with ..." spring series continues with Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who is coming off a 53-home run season. Davis was the American League's starting first baseman in the 2013 All-Star Game, won a Silver Slugger Award and was a Gold Glove Award finalist.
O's post two big innings vs. Twins' top arms
Johnny Monell, Xavier Paul and Steve Pearce helped pace the offense, including a three-run homer by Monell, to help lead the Orioles to an 11-5 win over the Twins on Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.
O's to pay respects to late P.R. director Barlow
About 30 Orioles, including manager Buck Showalter, will leave Friday afternoon's game at 3 p.m. ET and get on a private plane to the Virginia area to attend memorial services for Monica Barlow, who died last Friday morning at age 36 from stage IV lung cancer.
Perhaps the best part of blogging or the internet in general is the occasional discovery of something unexpected.Over on
Baltimore Reporter and Conservative Thoughts is a great and thought provoking article by Robert Farrow.I hope you will follow
this link and read this great post.
I love your blog
Once again - as happens so often - I have been positioned here on the living room couch, immersed in your blog. You are
better than Fox News.
Awards and Rankings:
Voted one of the best local blogs:
Baltimore Examiner: 2006
Voted Top 10 most influential blog in Maryland in 2007.
Blog Net News
Throughout much of the modern era, one of the main slugfests with the draw of a Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper cage match of the 1980′s has been the ongoing dispute between so-called science and religion Proponents of each side of the debate contend that their own viewpoint is the foundation upon which ultimate knowledge rests.
The science side of the controversy contends that religion isn’t merely an alternative way of looking at the universe but rather instead a harmful mindset that must by stamped out by science’s proclivity to rely upon experimentation and evidence rather than an unquestioning reliance upon faith and authority as is endemic to its epistemological adversary. However, Jerry Coyne in the 10/1/10 USA Today essay titled “Science And Religion Aren’t Friends” relies on more untested assumptions than can be found in the average Sunday morning sermon.
It is only natural that Jerry Coyne would have the tendency to end up relying on those things he has bluntly labeled as threats to mankind to make his argument. He is, after all, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago.
Both of these disciplines practiced by Professor Coyne these days are as much about philosophy and politics more so than the collection of objective facts through observation and experimentation. The University of Chicago is to at least be commended for exercising a modicum of caution in quarantining those on the faculty payroll oriented towards imposing opinion rather than simply elaborating actual details of natural phenomena as would a true biologist worthy of recognition as such.
Early in the essay, Professor Coyne asserts, “Evolution took a huge bite a while back [he means out of religion], and recent work on the brain has shown no evidence for souls, spirits, or any part of our personality distinct from the lumps of jelly in our head.” From such an contention, he concludes, “We now know that the universe did not require a creator.”
That’s quite a rambunctious leap on the part of the eager professor. It use to be thought that nothing existed below the level of the atom. However, eventually researchers discovered an entirely new kind of universe (if you will) existing in terms of even smaller particles and energy clouds at the subatomic level.
Why can’t a similar position be held regarding the mind, soul, and spirit? Though it cannot be denied that these are somehow linked to the material brain, that does not mean these ephemeral building blocks of individuality and personality do not exist because those in lab coats haven’t quite pinned them down and sliced them in half with a scalpel.
After all, it is doubtful scientists can conclusively tell us why a certain assemblage of chemicals has the spark of life coarsing through them and others do not. Since a number of their brethren have denied the existence of the Creator, perhaps a number of scientists will endeavor to convince that the phenomena that we call life does not exist either.
Conyne says of science, “Science operates by using evidence and reason. Doubt is praised. No finding is deemed ‘true’ unless it is repeated and verified by others.” And of religion, he writes, “…rather than relying on reason and evidence to support them, faith relies on revelation, dogma, and authority.”
That is, of course, until someone challenges those sacred cows that often eat at the troughs of big government, industry, and academia. For example, in “Reason In The Balance”, critic of evolution Phillip Johnson chronicled the plight of one professor that dared to buck the herd mentality by simply suggesting that the complexity of organisms MIGHT point to a creator.
At no time did this particular academic fill in to any great degree the detail of this nebulously defined ultimate power or coerce students into swearing allegiance to it. This professor’s pedagogical approach was considerably more broadminded than the professor that essentially required students to declare an oath of fealty to the Darwinist position if they wanted the professor to provide the student with a reference for medical school. It would seem though that an aspiring physician believing in a Creator or Intelligent Designer might make a better doctor since such a student would see the patient as made in the image of God rather than as a worthless lump of tissue not all that different from what the orderlies dumped from the bedpans or the tumors zapped with radiation down in the oncology department.
Furthermore, evolutionists make a public display as to how much they eschew dogma and authority. However, can you honestly tell me that each and everyone of them has built from scratch through their own experimental observations the entire tree of knowledge? Is the lowliest among their number going to thumb their noses at names such as Goldschmidt, Gould, and Hawking. The very fact that they rally behind the image of Darwin is testament to how they are prone to bend knee to their alleged betters like many of the religious individuals they heap so much scorn upon.
Among the nondogmatic dogmas of those professing this mindset is that one of the few remaining sins that cannot be countenanced is for the individual to speak out or act in an field where one has not been certified or credentialed by the elites empowered to bring down ruination or at least the edge of destitution upon those failing to curry the favor of these authorities. In academia, reprisals just short of lynching take place if those not bestowed the equivalent of a knighthood in the natural sciences (an advanced graduate degree) dares to speak out regarding evolution and how it applies to the origin of life. However, very little criticism or reprisals in terms of occupational status is inflicted upon the members of this scholastic caste when they venture beyond the confines of their respective narrowly defined fields when making sweeping pronouncements as to how things are to be in religion’s sandbox.
Those holding to scientism, the idea that science itself is an ultimate authority rather than a method or a tool, claim that the notion of religion is itself refuted because of the countless unreasonable propositions and doctrines advocated by those for whom an avowed faith is the primary framework through which they construe existence and the universe. As proof, Professor Coyne posits the person of Jesus and how Christians view Him as the Messiah, how Muslims do not, and how those of these respective faiths will incur divine retribution in the eyes of the opposing belief system for their misconstrued perspective regarding this one key figure. The fact that such attention is focused on an individual nothing more than an obscure carpenter and itinerant rabbi residing in a Roman occupied backwater is itself reason to stop and consider that there might be something more to this otherwise first rate failure by the world’s standards.
Coyne adds, “I’ve never met a Chrisitan ..who has been able to tell me what observations about the universe would make him abandon his beliefs in God and Jesus. I would have thought the Holocaust could do it, but apparently not.”
G.K Chesterton remarked, in regards to those horrors that cause even the most devout to question whether or not God actually plays an active part in the world, that these outrages and tragedies were manifestations of the one Christian doctrine that could be verified by a cursory perusal of the daily headlines. That is none other than the reality and pervasiveness of sin.
It is because of the existence of a God and absolute values based on His unchanging character that we are able to say something like the Holocaust is even wrong. For without the principles embodied in holy documents such as the Ten Commandments, who is to say?
Is the barometer of acceptability and propriety to be found in that amorphous moral sense referred to as “world opinion”? If so, that means the Holocaust is only wrong because it was an affront to a majority of the nations of the earth.
In that instance, even if too late to prevent an incomprehensible atrocity and as much in response to other geopolitical factors, world powers came to the rescue of the Jewish people. In an attempt to correct the situation and to prevent something similar from happening again, the nation of Israel was established.
But what of a time foretold in the Book of Revelation when hostility towards both Christian and Jew will be stirred to such a fanatic level by a future world leader known in prophecy as the Beast who, it is believed, will convince the nations of the world to join first in a campaign to wipe out Jerusalem and then attempt an assault on the very Gates of Heaven itself? Are we to believe in one instance the proper thing to do is assist the plight of the Jews or lament the failure to do so and then at some as of yet undetermined point down the time stream attempt to wipe them and allied theists from the face of the earth all because the prevailing consensus demands it?
Coyne assures, “Science is even studying the origin of morality.” The professor assures that atheists embrace the same moral truths as the religious but without something existing above so-called “science”. But where ought we to find these principles?
At the Patuxent Wildlife Visitor’s Center, there is a display of a kaleidescopic video montage titled “The Wisdom of Wildness”. The footage suggests that the course we stupid humans ought to pursue is to be found among the less deliberately rational creatures on the rung of what philosophers and theologians have titled the Great Chain Of Being.
If so, who is to say in a naturalistic ethos just what animals we are suppose to emulate?
Some animals such as elephants take considerable care of their young and even seem to mourn their dead. It is often claimed that the Canadian geese mate for life and will leave the migration gaggle should the partner be unable to travel onward for whatever reason.
Other animals emulate behaviors that do not comply with what most societies that have been influenced by the light of Judo-Christian Scripture and moral reflection would find acceptable. For example, occasionally female cats will abandon a kitten if she is unable to care for more than one and male cats will sometimes kill kittens that are not their own in order to encourage female cats to mate with them. In order for the couple to copulate, the female praying mantis must rip the head off of its mate and the nature of the female black widow spider towards its mate has become synonymous with a woman that murders her husband.
Before feminists do a victory dance as to these alleged examples of girl power found throughout the animal world, perhaps they ought to tell us why if there is no God establishing the morality by which higher order minds reflect upon the Creator’s own rationality and character in order to formulate ethics and values, why these examples ought to prevail over the ones more male-dominated as to how we interpret them?
Male lions pretty much loaf around and look fierce while the females do, shall we say, the lion’s share of the hunting and the raising of the cubs. And male sea lions and fur seals are pretty much indistinguishable from breakaway Fundamentalist Mormons such as Warren Jeffes in that they accumulate as many females to themselves as possible while banishing young unestablished males to the periphery of the colony (or out onto the streets in human terms)
Coyne writes, “In contrast, scientists don’t kill each other over matters such as continental drift. We have better ways to settle our differences. There is no Catholic science, no Hindu science, no Muslim science — just science, a multicultural search for truth.”
In regards to the first claim of that particular paragraph, scientists haven’t really proven themselves that far removed and above the stains of the, shall we say, sin nature plaguing the remainder of humanity. The death counts under traditional religion run amok are nothing to be proud of and rightly give the sensitive seeker grounds for pause. However, one could properly make a case that these tallies pale in comparison to the 20th century totalitarian regimes that first and foremost dedicated themselves to Darwinian ideals in whose names were often justified the most appalling of atrocities such as the racialism of the Nazi regime attempting to purge the human gene pool of what that vile ideology considered contaminating elements or Marxism’s attempt to manipulate social conditions such as education in order to bring about that system’s new man devoid of individualism gladly embracing a place as a disposable cog in the technocratic collective.
The second claim in that paragraph insists that there is no particular variety of science but rather a multicultural search for truth. On the surface, that sounds correct as certain facts exist such as the distance between the earth and the moon irrespective of the religious outlook of the researcher ascertaining such an assessment. However, that is only part of the picture.
Like it or not, science arose to prominence as a method for obtaining knowledge about the world in which we live in a time when the Christian perspective was predominant even if not every last practitioner of this epistemological pursuit was an orthodox born again believer. As is attributed to Issac Newton, one of the initial motivations of what would be recognized as science was to think God’s thoughts after Him.
It could be argued that the Judeo-Christian mindset as found in the pages of the Bible is the font from which the assorted impulses and brands of modernism (for good or ill) were bequeathed with their concern for the world as it actually exists and how we might improve upon its conditions for the greatest number possible. A consistent multiculturalist cannot view such a mindset superior to one that does not.
Not everyone believes that progress (especially if it is of the technological or economic variety) is necessarily a good thing. There are those that believe such innovations should be opposed at all costs including those tactics lesser bourgeois minds would categorize as violence.
For example, among the Postmodernists that spout this kind of drivel about multiculturalist science are those that do not see the likes of the Unabomber as a homicidal terrorist but rather as some kind of visionary whose artistic masterpieces did not consist of paint and canvas but rather in exploding shrapnel, lacerated sinew, and severed limbs. And unfortunately, this threat once isolated among a few lunatics, has infested the ranks of the Occupy Movement that would have no problem with dragging society back to preindustrial standards of living even though they themselves would be the least likely to survive in a milieu where a lack of self-reliance would spell certain death. But then again, a preference for individual life is one of those pesky values that balanced Christians or even generalized theists drawing ethical inspiration from the Bible can’t seem to disimbue themselves of.
It must also be admitted that science came into its own as a research methodology in those settings where God was viewed as distinct from His creation with the natural world under the watchful eye of a single God with the universe operating in accordance with the physical laws He sustains by His own will. Though a number of exceptional minds were able to rise above the blinders of polytheism, there is something about the object you are about to study either being your god, containing the spirits of the entities that you worship, or the distinctions between you and the object ultimately being illusory that will discourage you from learning as much as possible about the given subject at hand.
Granted. Students from cultural backgrounds where Hinduism and Buddhism predominate are noted for their mathematical and scientific excellence. However, such aptitude came more into prominence when these societies came to adopt aspects of a more Western orientation.
Towards the conclusion, Professor Coyne writes, “Because pretending that faith and science are equally valid way of finding truth…not only weakens our concept of truth, it also gives religion an undeserved authority that does the world no good.” But it is only through acknowledging that truth originates in a personal fixed source (commonly referred to as “God”), it is possible for truth to even exist or to be something that is worthy of individuals and societies even pursuing in the first place.
The Olympic charter says, “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and fair play.”
What a crock.
Fine and dandy if this is the goal that the Olympics aspires to.
But if this principle is to be elevated to the status of a human right extended beyond this borderline criminal racket, its implications could be downright frightening.
For example, the opening statement postulates that every individual must have the possibility of participating in sport.
What if an individual’s parents refuse to grant permission?
Should the child be snatched from the home on the grounds of child abuse?
And conversely, if the International Olympic Committee is so eager to hand down grandiose moral pronouncements, will this august body uphold the principle that it is the human right of every individual NOT to participate in sports, free of coercion?
For example, what about the case of Red China where child athletes are snatched from their families to be mercilessly trained in what are little better than glorified slave labor camps?
And to bring the issue back a little closer to home, what of the child whose classmates refuse to let him participate in a playground pick up game?
Granted, such bullying and exclusion is quite saddening.
However, it hardly rises to the level of an atrocity worthy of a UN human rights tribunal.
Most of all, it must be asked isn’t the International Olympic Committee violating the very spirit of the principles the organization’s charter claims to embody.
For example, the charter insists that EVERY individual must have the possibility of practicing sport WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION OF ANY KIND.
So does that mean a 300 pound geriatric alcoholic with equilibrium issues should be allowed to ascend the balance beam during the prime time broadcast?
If not, isn’t that a form of discrimination and exclusion?
Fascinating, isn’t it that these internationalist organizations renowned for advocating the fundamentals of socialism for everyone else the world over insist that the activities undertaken under their own auspices publicly be characterized by the utmost meritocracy.
As House Republicans prepare to sell out the country on immigration this week, Phyllis Schlafly has produced a stunning report on how immigration is changing the country. The report is still embargoed, but someone slipped me a copy, and it’s too important to wait.
Leave aside the harm cheap labor being dumped on the country does to the millions of unemployed Americans. What does it mean for the Republican Party?
Citing surveys from the Pew Research Center, the Pew Hispanic Center, Gallup, NBC News, Harris polling, the Annenberg Policy Center, Latino Decisions, the Center for Immigration Studies and the Hudson Institute, Schlafly’s report overwhelmingly demonstrates that merely continuing our current immigration policies spells doom for the Republican Party.
Immigrants — all immigrants — have always been the bulwark of the Democratic Party. For one thing, recent arrivals tend to be poor and in need of government assistance. Also, they’re coming from societies that are far more left-wing than our own. History shows that, rather than fleeing those policies, they bring their cultures with them. (Look at what New Yorkers did to Vermont.)
This is not a secret. For at least a century, there’s never been a period when a majority of immigrants weren’t Democrats.
At the current accelerated rate of immigration — 1.1 million new immigrants every year — Republicans will be a fringe party in about a decade.
Thanks to endless polling, we have a pretty good idea of what most immigrants believe.
According to a Harris poll, 81 percent of native-born citizens think the schools should teach students to be proud of being American. Only 50 percent of naturalized U.S. citizens do.
While 67 percent of native-born Americans believe our Constitution is a higher legal authority than international law, only 37 percent of naturalized citizens agree.
No wonder they vote 2-1 for the Democrats.
The two largest immigrant groups, Hispanics and Asians, have little in common economically, culturally or historically. But they both overwhelmingly support big government, Obamacare, affirmative action and gun control.
According the 2012 National Asian American Survey, as well as a Kaiser Foundation poll, only 40 percent of the general public holds a favorable opinion of Obamacare, 42 percent unfavorable. Meanwhile, 51 percent of Asians have a favorable opinion of Obamacare, 18 percent an unfavorable one. Even Koreans support Obamacare by 57 percent to 17 percent.
Overall, 69 percent of immigrants like Obamacare, according to a 2010 Cooperative Congressional Election Study.
That same survey showed that only 35 percent of native-born Americans support affirmative action, compared to 58 percent of immigrants, including — amazingly — 64 percent of Asians (suggesting they may not be as smart as everyone thinks).
Also surprising, a Pew Research Center poll of all Hispanics, immigrant and citizen alike, found that Hispanics take a dimmer view of capitalism than even people who describe themselves as “liberal Democrats.” While 47 percent of self-described “liberal Democrats” hold a negative view of capitalism, 55 percent of Hispanics do.
Pew also found that only 27 percent of Hispanics support gun rights, compared to 57 percent of non-Hispanic whites. According to Latino Decisions, large majorities of Hispanics favor a national database of gun owners, limiting the capacity of magazines and a ban on semiautomatic weapons.
Seventy-five percent of Hispanic immigrants and 55 percent of Asian immigrants support bigger government — also according to Pew. Even after three generations in America, Hispanics still support bigger government 55 percent to 36 percent, compared to the general public, which opposes bigger government 48 percent to 41 percent.
How are Republicans going to square that circle? It’s not their position on amnesty that immigrants don’t like; it’s Republicans’ support for small government, gun rights, patriotism, the Constitution and capitalism.
Reading these statistics, does anyone wonder why Democrats think vastly increasing immigration should be the nation’s No. 1 priority?
It would be one thing if the people with these views already lived here. Republicans would have no right to say, “You can’t vote.” But why on Earth are they bringing in people sworn to their political destruction?
Republicans have no obligation to assist the Democrats as they change the country in a way that favors them electorally, particularly when it does great harm to the people already here.
Yes, it’s great for the most powerful Americans to have lots of cheap, unskilled labor. Immigration definitely solves the rich’s “servant problem.”
(Approximately 5 million times a day, MSNBC expresses bewilderment that any Republicans oppose amnesty when it’s supported by the Chamber of Commerce. Wow! So even people who profit by flooding the country with cheap labor are in favor of flooding the country with cheap labor!)
It’s terrific for ethnic lobbyists whose political clout will skyrocket the more foreign-born Americans we have.
And it’s fantastic for the Democrats, who are well on their way to a permanent majority, so they can completely destroy the last remnants of what was once known as “the land of the free.”
The only ones opposed to our current immigration policies are the people.
But are they going to give John Boehner a job when he’s no longer House speaker, as some big business lobbyist will?
Will they help Marco Rubio run for president on the claim that, as a Cuban, he can appeal to Hispanics? (Fat chance.)
Will they bundle contributions for Eric Cantor’s re-election, as well-heeled donors will?
Will they be enough to re-elect Kevin McCarthy to Congress so he can keep his gold-plated government health insurance?
Will they be the ones writing Darrell Issa’s flattering New York Times obituary?
Not surprised. I’m sure libs that are outraged over candy cigarettes and playing cowboys and Indians on the playground think this is fine. But for the rest of us, don’t be surprised when you see more of this.
Remember, your kids are not your own.
After passing a 1.1 trillion bill that cuts Veteran’s Benefits, the RINOs in the House are now going to push amnesty. If you don’t want to have two versions of the same party then we need to vote the RINO’s out.
Here is who is challenging Boner.
Tea Party groups in the 8th Ohio Congressional District will host a forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, to ask questions of the primary candidates for Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Congressional seat.
Candidates invited and attending include Matthew Trisler, Don Carter, Eric Gurr and J.D. Winteregg. Boehner declined to attend, and Democratic opponent Tom Poetter was invited but Tea Party officials said there was no response.
My only plea is this: Tea Party, back one primary opponent. Don’t split the vote and give the RINO’s a win by default!
Mat Bevin looks like he might be on his way to defeat McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is the number one target, and hedge fund partner Matt Bevin is the Tea Party candidate hoping to pick him off.
In a slew of post-government shutdown interviews and television appearances, McConnell has refused to mention his Republican primary challenger in next year’s election by name. His “real opponent,” he said, is Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes.
Bevin, McConnell’s primary challenger from the right, isn’t buying that.
Bible reference banned in ads on Port Authority buses » News — GOPUSA
The Bible isn’t welcome on Port Authority bus ads, a policy that’s “surprising and disappointing” to a Beaver County man seeking to sell his DVDs about the New Testament.
BRUJO SAYS: Now her is a citizen that wants to sell a product and in order to do so effectively he must advertise. This may be an old cliche but I will as it anyway: Would the Port Authority even consider for one instance saying anything to the effect that the Koran is not welcome at the Port Authority.
James Fitzgerald, who lives in Ambridge and owns WatchWord productions, ultimately bought 200 bus ads that don’t include religious references or show pictures of the Bible or use the word “Bible.” The ad campaign is intended to promote his 10-DVD set.
The prohibition included the vanity phone number 1-800-HolyBible. Instead, Fitzgerald used just the digits of the phone number on an ad that promotes “Love. Joy. Hope.” and includes a link to his website.
BRUJO SAYS: Now we have a man wanting to present a book for others to read and buy which involves having a free press. Also, he wants to comment on his religious proclivities which is the free practice of religion.
“I’m not promoting religion. I’m selling a product we created and produced in Pittsburgh,” Fitzgerald said. “Not to be able to use the word ‘Bible’ is kind of newsworthy.”
BRUJO SAYS: Fitz, I do not care what you are doing. What you want to do is your right. These people are saying that one can advertise but we will censor to make sure the content is politically correct.
Fitzgerald ran up against Port Authority’s policy of not allowing ads that promote the existence or nonexistence of a supreme deity or ads that are religious. The policy is one of 13 categories not permitted in ads, including political and cigarette ads.
BRUJO SAYS: The Port Authority is a government entity and as such they have no business getting involved with restricting the free practice of religion.
“It’s a pretty standard policy for a transit agency,” Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said. “It’s a policy we put in place a couple of years ago following an ACLU lawsuit. We have to have some standards. Otherwise, ads could end up (being) offensive in any number of ways. We did work with him to find a way to still advertise. We didn’t slam the door on him.”
BRUJO SAYS: Mr spokesman, does anyone have a right not to be offended. I have not seen these words in the Constitution. Leaving out words about religion, God, or the Bible defies logic.
“The government is permitted a certain amount of content discrimination but not viewpoint discrimination,” Ledewitz said. “In other words, you can say no political ads, but you can’t say no Democrats.”
BRUJO SAYS: Where does it say in the constitution or caselaw that government has any authority to limit content? What the Port Authority is going for is viewpoint discrimination.
The policy sparked one lawsuit in November from an atheist group that was denied the opportunity to run ads on buses. The United Coalition of Reason Inc., a national organization that helps local atheist, agnostic and other nontheist groups, said the authority rejected an ad that said, “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone,” and included the website of a local affiliate.
BRUJO SAYS: This is offensive to me, however, I do not have a right not to be offended.
Ritchie said they were rejected under the same policy
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Pittsburgh League of Young Voters Education Fund successfully sued the authority in 2006 for refusing, on similar grounds, to run an ad informing convicted felons of their voting rights.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or email@example.com.
2014 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)
Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib
Distributed by MCT Information Services
BRUJO SAYS FOR ALL TO HEAR: With every small victory the anti-God people move our one step closer to having a policy of not allowing Christianity to be seen in public at all. I can see a future that brings absolute censorship of anything having to do with religion and Christianity in particular. I fully believe that if the Muslims wanted to put some of their hate material up the authorities would not raise an eyebrow. People need to understand that government has to recognize that there is such a thing as religion. Failing to recognize that there is such a thing as religion will end up with a government that cannot protect the free practice of religion. Government as a duty to make sure that religion can be practiced freely. If it comes to government not being allowed to acknowledge the mere existence of religion that is a problem. If government cannot recognize religion then government cannot protect religion.
Though it was not the only reason, the American Civil War was fought in part because a significant percentage of the population came to be seen as less than completely human. It is said if we don’t learn from the past we are doomed to repeat it and the only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn anything from history. As such, if society as a whole does not stop to consider certain bio-technical developments now being considered, the world could be in for a nightmare that could make the bloodshed, death, and heartache of the Civil War pale in comparison.
In popular culture and elite scientific circles alike, cloning is being heralded as a process through which humanity will be ushered onto the cusp of a golden age in terms of advances in the areas of agriculture and medicine. As with most advances, those with an entrepreneurial inclination are already positioning themselves to take advantage economically of the opportunities looming on the horizon.
For example, on April 3, 2001, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent US 6,211,429 for a process for animal cloning. One must keep in mind that, apart from agricultural applications, such research is initially tried on animals with the hopes of eventually perfecting the techniques for human usage.
One scholar concerned about the application of this utilitarian mindset to human beings where people could end up being used as something not all that different than barnyard livestock is Paige Cunningham of the Center For Bioethics and Human Dignity. In response, he has formulated a set of principles that could very well stop this tragedy before things get too far out of hand.
The first principle has been stated as the following: “Every human being, however conceived or created, is unique and deserving of protection. From a religious perspective, humans are different than animals and above all animals because humans alone are created in the image of God.” This principle is Biblical as it respects the individuality of the human being as a unique creation no matter how he might have been brought into the world. Even though we might find it unsettling that an individual might be grown in a laboratory and not as the result of a loving (or at least pleasurable) coupling of his parents, that is no reason why, as Cunningham’s declaration argues, such a person should not be granted the same privileges and protections enjoyed by the remainder of our species.
Part of the justification for the first principle, while theologically sound from a religious perspective, that human beings are different than animals because humans alone are created in the image of God, unfortunately may be tougher to sell in a culture contaminated by Darwinian materialism. It is not only from a religious perspective that human beings are different from the remainder of the animal kingdom but in the manner of our fundamental ontology as well. When was the last time someone saw chimpanzees constructing medical facilities or dolphins cogitating on declarations to protect themselves from doing harm to one another? Someone might think they are an animal when it comes to themselves but seldom do they want to be treated like one.
Cunningham’s second principle has been stated thusly: “Every human being has the right to individual autonomy; i.e. that his or her bodily integrity must not be invaded or compromised by others.” The first principle was forceful in its conviction to the point of almost being too explicitly religious in that it overlooked the biological uniqueness of man in favor of the theological,. The second, though well intended, rings with a bit of the vagueness this declaration was promulgated to protect against.
While the Christian can agree with the principle that in most instances that the bodily integrity of the individual must not be invaded or compromised by others, the proposition is not always absolute. Unless enunciated in a strong pro-life context as intended, platitudes about not compromising the bodily integrity of the individual were the very kind of statements that got the ball rolling down the hill of human devaluation in the first place all in the name of “choice” and banshees wailing in the street slogans such as “keep your laws off my body”. One must be clear that the unborn child (either growing in the womb or in the laboratory) possesses the same protections against bodily harm as those enjoyed by the parents.
The third principle, that no person has the right to enslave, own, or control any human being regardless of their stage of biological development is a sound reminder of the basic principles this nation was founded upon, went through numerous struggles to extend to all those living here, and continues to expand into the twenty-first century. This principle does a superb job of upholding the innate dignity of the individual as created in the image of God and the equality of all men before Him irrespective of their power or status.
The fourth principle contends that any organism that is genetically human is a human being. While this statement is necessary in this Postmodern age that loves nothing better than to play word games in an attempt to justify all kinds of moral outrages, in academic circles and the popular press where secular philosophy and the Christian worldview clash almost constantly the position may already be in need of modification.
Though it may sound like science fiction, there is a growing movement called “Transhumanism” that seeks to expand the abilities of mankind beyond the limitations imposed by the biology of the species through genetic or technological enhancements. Some propose to accomplish this by combining human and animal DNA.
Therefore, at some point ethicists, theologians, and concerned scientists are going to have to sit down and hash out what is the bare minimum of human DNA a person can have and still be considered a human being. For example, is an organism with only 90% human DNA worthy of protection as a human being? Such statements may cause one to chuckle, but the matter is so serious, according to Tom Horn of RaidersNewsUpdate.com, that neuroscientists experimenting on mice by injecting human brain cells into the skulls of these rodents are under orders to destroy these vermin if they start to exhibit signs of intelligence.
The fifth principle holds that “A cloned embryo is distinct and separate from the person donating the genetic material, and therefore is a unique being protected in law.” This is a principle that Christians need to be at the forefront of championing.
Often the cloning discussion is framed in terms of setting aside a genetic savings account for a rainy day. For example, if someone needed a spare kidney or liver, one could simply thaw out a non-sentient replicant kept in suspended animation for just such an emergency. However, what really happens when a cloning takes place is more akin to forming a twin of oneself or, if one is unsettled by such age differences between siblings, parenting a child in a non-traditional format. As close as these human relationships are, at no time may we use our family members as spare parts without their consent.
The last principle holds that, “No person or institution has the right to control or profit from any process designed to clone a human being.” While it is a good idea to take the profitability and power out of the cloning process as such an action would cut down on firms entering into this undertaking (including government), if we wait to the point where we attempt to regulate the procedure where it is legislated that the technique must benefit all mankind, things may have already reached the point of no return. Such a response would imply that cloning had already become widespread. Rather, Christians in positions of influence should instead get busy cultivating, as Pope John Paul II use to call it, an ethic of life where blatant disregard for other human beings is such an anathema that no self-respecting scientist would consider participating in such research.
Overall, the policy declaration suggested by Paige Cunningham is to be commended as a good starting point for those within the church to start thinking about these kinds of issues that they may have not taken the time to consider previously but that are about to role over our country and change it in fundamental ways that we do not like unless we rise up now to set things on a better moral path.
I was reading with some concern about recent developments regarding the benefits that our active duty and retired military have. A big one is the commissary. At this time the people who shop in the commissary save about 30% on their food purchases. A big recruiting point when one enters the military is the access to the commissary while on active duty and when one actually retires. Now there is a plan to close the commissaries worldwide.
If the commissaries are closed it will be just another broken promise to the military. Recently there has been a 1% reduction in pay benefits which will likely cost the retired personnel about $100,000 in pay during retirement. Now they come up with the commissary.
If you have not been in the military you may not fully understand the function of the commissary. For one is normally a very large grocery store. The commissaries in the USA itself provide affordable food to be purchased. Let me emphasize the fact that the food is not free and that the military personnel must buy the food and pay a 4% surcharge.
There is more to it than just having the food available. There are commissaries in isolated locations inside the US. This provides discounted food available for the military and their families. Now let us take a look at the overseas commissaries. These are crucial. We have soldiers living in places such as South Korea. If one has no commissary and must buy food on the economy that food would come at a very high price. Also, the food available may not be to the liking of the American palate. Also, in some countries the food on the economy might not be safe to eat. Also, our military in some instances will have to enter unfriendly territory to purchase food.
When many of us retired military types entered the military we were told that when we retired we would have free medical care, commissary privileges, and post exchange access. The free medical is gone. When a military member retires that member initially has to go with a health care system off post which involves co-pays. That means the health care is not free. Dental care is somewhat covered but the co-pays are substantial and free dental was promised and now it is almost gone. Also, when one reaches the age of 65 one is enrolled in the Medicare system and has to payt $199.99 per month for health care out of their social security retirement. This is an end run but it is not free. Now the government is talking about commissary privileges going away.
What is patently unfair is that the DOD civilians have not suffered the loss of any pension or health perks but the retired military has suffered losses. I recall Obama commenting that our wounded warriors should pay for their own medical expenses out of patriotism. Also, Obama noted that since the military members volunteered for military service they knew there was a risk of being wounded. Let us consider if a civilian gets hurt on the job that civilian has workman’s compensation as a cushion. Now we have a Commander In Chief that has stated that the military should not have this cushion.
We should keep our promises particularly for those who have put their lives on the line for us.
Check out the following article on line:
VA Hospital Refuses To Accept ‘Merry Christmas Cards’
by Todd Starnes published December 25, 2013, Fox News
When I read that the VA was not allowing the delivery of Merry Christmas type cards to our military heros that are in the VA system I was irritated but not surprised. The last incident of this nature was the one wherein the VA at a VA cemetery wanted to eliminate religious practices. This did not work. In fact when they were caught with their pants down regarding the restriction at the cemetery they denied that it happened.
This one regarding the Christmas cards appears to me to be test. That is the VA testing to see how far they can go with these restrictions on the content of religion and specifically on Christianity.
A VA official quoted the policy which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook:
“In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding.” This means the VA has a committee that determines what is permissible regarding the free practice of religion. The VA has constructively passed a law to issue restrictions on religion. The VA and other government entities need to insure that religion can be practiced.
I do not think the VA gets it. There is still a First Amendment on the books and the patients are entitled to make their own decisions. Note that in this quote there is reference to a “team of staff lead by chaplaincy services” making decisions to determine if the cards are appropriate. Can you imagine if one the the children who presented a card received it back with a comment that the content of the card was not appropriate? This is government censorship and a violation of the rights of the children and also the rights of the patients. Are there patients that have little or no family that would really would have appreciate those cards?
This situation made me wonder if there is any censorship when it comes to the content of the religious services conducted on VA real estate. Are the services non-religious in nature? Are the preachers free to practice their religion? My problem is that these questions are not answered. We either have a freedom or we do not. The smallest compromise regarding freedom allows those who would curtail freedom a foot hold in bringing that freedom down.
I do not hold with the concept that one has a right not to be offended particularly when no offense was intended. I have meet Muslims that were offended by the presence of Jews, Americans, other non-believers, pork, and alcohol. Has there been any attempt to see to it that people are not offended by Muslims? I would venture to say that if they were offended their complaints would be falling o deaf ears?
The VA needs to take a hard look at themselves particularly in the medical facilities. They have enough on their plate with just providing medical care. That is where their efforts should be placed. They should be spending no time on restricting religious practices and the content of religious literature.
By Brujo Blanco
I have been reading a lot of liberal views regarding the practice of Christianity and what Christians are not allowed to do from their politically correct point of view. It is apparent that the end game is to by law removed Christianity from the public venue completely. When I read these things it seems that only the Christian symbols and activities are curtailed. One Christian did 6 months in jail for having prayer meetings at his house. The idea the authorities proffered was that he did not have a use permit to have church services on his property. Recently cross was removed from a desert. This cross had been in place for many years as a memorial to the war dead. It seems that periodically atheists would drive down this road just for the purpose of coming upon this cross to be offended. There was the comment by a federal judge regarding a case in which he made the comment that if a religious symbol can be seen from government property that symbol is a violation of the separation of church and state. If true this could mean that standing on sidewalk and seeing a cross on top of a church could end with the cross being taken down. How about the Muslim minarets? These are religious symbols. Another thing in some places the liberals complained about the volume of church bells but I do not believe that they have every complained about the Muslim clergy doing the all for prayer 5 times a day with lound speakers.
In keeping with the commie/liberal agenda let me present you with the politically correct statutory holiday greetings:
Statutory Annual Greeting 2013
Please accept, with no obligation, implied or implicit, the best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender and gender-identity neutral, celebration of the Winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . . . . and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2014, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures (such as the Mayan calendar that predicts EOT was 2012 but never happened) whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only “AMERICA” in the western hemisphere or that there are not other hemispheres of equal dignity), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, lifestyle focus or sexual preference or identity of the wishee. (By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/him or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher. Terms are subject to change without notice. By accepting this greeting the recipient acknowledges that s/he is represented by counsel or knew of their right to be represented by counsel and decided to accept the greeting without such representation. Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law).
Merry Christmas and God Bless America.
Comment: Brujo Blanco did not write this comment)
Sometimes, the best way to gain insight into a thing, person, or an issue is to consider it through the lens of its seemingly opposite.
For example, in terms of celebrations on the calendar, on their surface few would be more opposite than Halloween and Christmas.
Halloween, on the one hand, is a reflection that all things in this life come to an end in death and that death is the result of evil having come into the world and how all mortals have at least a passing degree of interest in that particular existential state.
Christmas, on the other hand, is a celebration of the birth of the One who came into the world so that we might have life and life more abundantly held at the time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere when nature begins to remind that the preponderance of darkness is itself a temporary thing.
By examining how each of these are viewed and approached in the mind of the secular statist, one gains more of a comprehensive understanding of the irrationality of many of the critics of these otherwise beloved occasions.
A number of these lame excuses were examined in a Desert News article titled “For Religious Reasons Christmas/Halloween Take A Hit In Schools.”
For example, at Inglewood Elementary in the suburbs of Philadelphia, party poopers there canceled the school’s student Halloween parade on the grounds that the activity was religious in nature.
Reflection upon both Halloween and Christmas parties reveals that neither celebration will likely manipulate those attending these functions to abandon their mostly deeply cherished beliefs in favor of a whole new set of spiritual paradigms.
For example, the most professedly spiritual aspect of Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of the Christ Child destined to be slain from the foundation of the world in payment for the sins of every person to have walked the face of the earth willing to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
However, at most Christmas parties, seldom does this truth upon which all of cosmic history orbits get all that much in the way of good eats and the gift giving frenzy.
But if Christmas has to be abolished because its true meaning might unsettle those that practice other creeds or who claim to practice no creed at all not so much out of a profound conviction that outright nihilism profess is really the correct way to ultimate truth but more out of a deep-seated hatred of Jesus, then Halloween should be banished from the halls of polite academia as well. But with violence and sexuality rampant throughout many of the nation’s schools, can they really be considered all that polite anymore?
Halloween traces its origin back primarily to traditions surrounding the Celtic new year known as Samhain that were introduced to America by Irish immigrants. In pagan times, it was believed that during that particular time of year that the boundaries between the realms of the spirit and corporeal flesh were at their thinnest with beings able to cross over.
As a result, assorted customs developed where the living thought the agitated spirits could be mollified with treats. Eventually, the enterprising realized that they too could get a piece of the pie and whatever other goodies were being passed out that night if they decided to disguise themselves in costumes.
Over time, Samhain evolved into the festival that we have today. To kill a number of birds with one stone, the Roman Catholic Church adopted the days around the first of November as All Saints and All Souls Day since the minds of the natives were already focused upon the departed that time of the year. And a festival similar to the one already in place provided the reluctant with one less excuse as to why they did not want to convert to Christianity.
In its assorted prohibitions and condemnations, Scripture is quite explicit about the believer not having much to do with witchcraft, necromancy, and related things that go bump in the night. Coupled with a suspicion of Catholicism and the rise of alternative spiritualities such as the New Age movement in general or Wicca in particular, a perspective rose to prominence within the more conservative wings of Evangelicalism that the true Christian did not participate in this celebrations that look to as mascots the darkest archetypes such as witches, vampires, and the disembodied spirits of the departed that continue to walk the earth.
However, as Lutheran apologist Gretchen Passintino has amusingly summarized, participating in traditions such as Trick-Or-Treat no more makes you a pagan than opening a Christmas present makes you a Christian.
Probably nearly 99% of children participating in the traditions of Halloween such as parades are not doing so with the expressed purposes of rendering glory and homage unto Satan. Most are merely excited to be prancing about as their favorite imaginary character or as something they would like to be when they grow up and at the prospect of sugary or salty snacks once they have completed their celebratory perambulation.
Your child will be more likely to veer off into the Devil’s clutches if they are denied things as Halloween parades if for no other reason than to slap such ultracontrolling parents across the face. It is often the human tendency to conclude that if something is to be banned to the extent with nothing to replace it other than to sit around and mope (and that includes Bible study when everyone else is running the street gathering candy) it must be better than one can possibly imagine.
Concocting the excuse that both Halloween and Christmas must be banned since these celebrations might ignite the religious curiosities and inclinations of impressionable urchins apparently wasn’t enough. The bureaucrats controlling the public school system had to reveal additional cards as to just how incompetent and devoid of common sense they really are.
Dr. Fredrick Withum released the following statement to the press as to why assorted holiday activities had to be canceled in the Cumberland Valley District where he is superintendent. He said, “Twenty years ago, nobody would have ever thought that a principal would have to consider, as a part of their training, what they would do in the event of a shooting in their building or in the midst of an aggravated custody issue within their building in which a national amber alert is issued The best way to make schools safer is to continue to help them be joyful places, but we are going to have to find new ways and new procedures to ensure this is the case.”
The first part of this statement is invoked in order to paint those that disagree with what is to follow look like like such critics agree with mass murderers, kidnappers, and all around child predators. The opening statement has very little to do with why Halloween or Christmas festivities need to be canceled.
If students are passing through metal detectors and wanded before entering the building, shouldn’t that level of vigilance be able to ferret out any potential ne’erdowell attempting to sneak in an actual weapon as part a Halloween costume?
It is not that students are in any increased danger as a result of Christmas or Halloween parades.
The thing is, like many of the parents that seemingly don’t have any energy to take care of their offspring but are seemingly energetic enough to engage in the procreative calisthenics necessary to conceive another or to go on the hunt for another mate, most of the teachers backing this shift in policy are most likely just plain lazy and dislike children to such an extent that they simply don’t want to be bothered with supervising physically assertive activities such as traditional holiday parties.
Aside from serving as entertaining highlights of a given year, Christmas and Halloween parties also acculturate the youth with the narratives and traditions of the broader society across the span of time.
Thus, another prime motivator is not only bringing an end to Christmas and Halloween but also Western civilization in which these celebrations are practiced and expressed.
This is highlighted in Dr. Withum’s statement when he says, “The best way to make schools safer is to continue to help them be joyful places, but we are going to have to find new ways and new procedures to ensure this is the case.”
Throughout his campaigns and early days of his presidency, Barack Obama talked repeatedly about the need to fundamentally transform America.
There is only so much that the federal executive branch can do at that level. And even if sweeping changed are implemented from above they are often characterized as opposed rather than being transformative in nature.
In order to be the most successful, revolutionary transformation must be inflicted upon those possessing the least experience with things being a way any other than the alterations being proposed. Their acceptance is often the result of being exposed to them over the course of an extended amount of time as resistance is eventually worn down.
It is during the earliest years of education that this sweeping social manipulation is most likely to be the most effective. Hence the emphasis upon finding new ways of having joy.
As one concerned grandmother whose grandchildren attend school in the impacted district pointed out, in many instances that the observance of these holidays in the public school setting are being abolished with the excuse that these celebrations take away from instructional time. Of this, she astutely observed, “That’s a bunch of baloney. You’re going to tell me that 20 minutes out of the whole school year will do that…?”
She is absolutely correct. It is doubtful that these students are being constantly drilled in the sciences and technologies that will be need to take on and defeat the Red Chinese in the looming Lunar War.
But then again, there might not be enough time left over in the school day for Christmas, Halloween, or even Valentines Day. After all, the students of tomorrow are busy learning why they need to submit to Islamic peculiarities such as Ramadan while being led in classroom chants how there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet while they select their Muslim names or how to put a condom on a cucumber while being told that Heather has two mommies.
In their war to take over America, no front is too trivial to the proponents of totalitarianism. Many have come to realize this in the struggle to redesign the nation’s health care system.
However, seizing this essential aspect of our lives and sizable percentage of the U.S. Economy will not satisfy for very long. For even now those having embraced this despotic mindset conspire to proscribe for the citizen which rituals and commemorations bringing to mind ultimate concerns may be expressed in those venues now administered in the name of the state.
I spent my time in the military and I was a front line soldier for a short period of time. Now the military has allowed females into front line units. It is my contention that the military is not a social experiment. The military exists to win wars. Of course in this day of political correctness that may not be important for the military at the command level. One issue that is going to eat us alive is females in the military. We are likely to pay for this police in blood.
They will also be, as I said, on the front lines of the battle. In fact the military has already lowered the physical/performance standards so females have the opportunity to fight like the men do. Men have to meet a high standard of performance and it is official that the women do not. This will lead to serious operational problems. How about when it comes to portage? Portage is carrying a combat load on one’s back. We will end up with soldiers on the front lines that cannot carry a full combat load which can be substantial. This means the females that are small framed with insufficient overall strength and particularly upper body strength will end up not being required to carry a load or haves another person carry it for them or perhaps they will decrease the size of the load.
Also, there is this military tradition about not leaving anyone behind. When I was still on active duty I worked with a small framed female soldier. She stated that she wanted to be allowed to go into combat because she knows how to shoot. I then asked her, “Do you know what would happen if we were in battle and you were wounded?” She looked at me and said, “What?” I promptly told her that I would pick her up and carry her out to save her life. I then asked her, “Do you know what would happen if I was shot in combat and you were with me?” She again asked, “What?” My response really set her off when I said, “I would die because you could not even pick me up.”
Let me restate something and that is THE MILITARY IS NOT A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT. The military in this day and age are spending a lot of time in active combat. Everyone on a fighting team needs to pull their own weight and carry their own load. The enemy will allow no quarter and the enemy will take advantage of any and all weakness. Also, it is very likely that a female taken prisoner can end up being sexually assaulted.
Why am I still a Republican? The GOP just passed a bill that cuts veterans benefits, increases the debt, and raises fees (taxes) And in doing so they gutted the Sequester, the only successful attempt to stop the growth of government in recent memory. They decided to declare war on the very people who put them in the House, the Tea Party. Now, all accounts suggest the GOP is going all in on amnesty in the spring. And if amnesty is passed, the GOP will go full bore Big Government in an effort to try to win the larger Hispanic vote.
They don’t call the GOP the party of stupid for nothing. Per Wikipedia: In the 2010 midterm elections, 60% of Hispanics voted Democratic, while 38% voted Republican. In 2008, 67% of Hispanics voted for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, while 31% of Hispanics voted for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In 2006, 69% of Latino voters supported Democratic candidates in congressional races, while 30% supported Republican candidates. So with all these facts in mind, what does the GOP think will add to the it’s chances in the 2014 election? “Lets add to the Democrat base of voters!” Actually, it’s worse then that. Previously, the GOP and its base had a bit of a understanding. The GOP pretends to be Conservative and we pretend to believe them as long as there were some lines that the GOP did not cross. They are however, crossing a good number of them this year. And in doing so the GOP has alienated a good portion of their base including people just like me. I, for one, am tired of it. And I will not play the game anymore.
I have no problem with legal immigration. Our nation was founded by immigrants. These were hard working immigrants who believed in the American Dream and assimilated into the melting pot called America. Not Asian Americans, or Italian Americans, or German Americans, but just Americans. Illegal immigration is a different matter. I am fully aware a vote for a third party is a vote for the Democrats in a two party system but I am starting to see little difference between the two because I know how it will end if Amnesty passes. Amnesty will eventually bankrupt a country struggling with debt and overload a healthcare system already weakened by Obamacare. it will spark another wave of immigration. It will create a huge shift in voting patters, and drive down wages. This will hurt the poor and African Americans, the very group that votes Democrat 90% of the time. Because of Amnesty there will be fewer jobs, and it will overwhelm our welfare system. And in an effort to pay for this, you guessed it, taxes will increase as will the debt. And as the percentage of debt per the GDP increases yearly, amnesty will only make the rise quicker and hasten the eventual collapse of our country’s social programs. If the country will go down, it will go down with me staying true to my values rather then being stuck with the party of stupid. I am telling Boehner one thing. If amnesty passes, I am done with the GOP. I will become an independent. Lets send a message! If you agree with me please like my facebook page!
Tell him you too will leave the GOP if amnesty passes.
I was reading about a Nativity Scene on a military base. It seems that a couple of atheists saw the Nativity Scene and were offended. I suppose they went on a rant of crying and rendering of clothing. As a result of their complaint the Nativity Scene was removed. I guess a plastic Jesus was too much for them.
What I do not understand is that if one does not believe in God what is the harm of others believing in God? The military is a government entity and they are supposed to protect the rights of military members to the free exercise of religion. By taking down the Nativity Scene they have violated the rights of the individuals that hold such things holy.
I submit that if this was a Muslim display there would have been no criticism at all.
Also, there have been a number of municipalities that have been preventing Christians from having prayer meetings and services in their homes. Normally the problem is identified as the people not having use permits which they claim requires the home owner to have a use permit to comply with the zoning regulations.
Now if you have a beer blast, tupper ware party, or a bunch of guys watching a sporting event no permit is required. However, in the municipalities where these problems have been encountered they only focus on church services. My solution is that if the cops come to the door do not lie to them but do not let them in the house unless they have a warrant.
One individual recently did sis months in jail for preaching in his house. There have been some concept that these meeting create parking problems. If that is the case the cops need to focus on the parking and not what is going on in a private dwelling.
Regarding the military the military services have been stepping into the Christians off and one. Some commanders have actually told chaplains not to mention the name of Jesus Christ in that they may offend Muslims or Jews. There has been an instance wherein a military member left his Bible on his desk in his room and this offended his roommate. Libtards believe they have right not to be offended.
Then there was the story of the cross erected on a road out in the desert. In this regard some of the organized atheists apparently drove past this cross just so they could be offended. This cross has been in place since the First World War. The solution is that the atheists need to be told that as a matter of free will they should simply avoid things that offend them.
In conclusion if someone’s religious practices offends you do not go to the religious activity and be offended. Just mind your own business. If a person does not believe in God and someone else does not believe what is the harm in believing?
I have been reading about the nightmare of Obamacare and it is becoming something expected considering the current administration.
The current administration consists basically of people on the left and I believe that they are going to ride this Obamacare care thing to the end. Wealthy leftists and commies have always interested me because they are wealthy because they live in what is still (to a lesser degree than before) a capitalist country. Our wealth and success is based on people being able to work and take care of themselves.
One thing the left pushes hard is anything that redistributes the wealth. This health care system will really spike this redistribution. Of course the lefties will evade having their wealth redistributed. This evasion is apparent with the deals the President has made with the labor unions to exempt them. Also, we have the Muslim exemption. Also, we have the alien exemption. We have the homeless exemption. There are many people that do not and will not have to pay into the system but they will be covered.
The middle class will be required to pay high premiums and deductions which will likely create a pile of wealth to be redistributed. I believe that in the future the cost to the citizens that will be paying for it will skyrocket and be a seriously high bill to pay. With the wealth of the middle class virtually disappearing the strength of the middle class will drop lower and lower. The middle class is considered dangerous by the left and must be dealt with.
Another problem has raised its ugly head and that is a situation regarding volunteer firefighters and other first responders. The feds are alleging that volunteers are “technically” employees and as such if they work more than 30 hours per week they need to be provided with health care. My question is, “Are they supposed to have individual policies for themselves or coverage at their regular jobs?” Since 71% of the firefighters in this country are volunteers this is a real problem. My position is that they are volunteers and volunteers to do not get paid.
If they firefighters have to be in this position how about churches that have more than 50 volunteers? Obamacare is the biggest scam in the history of the world.
I suspect that they are going after the volunteer firefighters with the idea of replacing volunteers with paid firefighters and then unionizing them. Unions in this day and age are a product of liberalism. We have some towns that have had volunteer first responders for over 100 years. This may come to an end.
The only solution to these problems is to change the law and completely dismantle Obamacare. It is not affordable and I do not believe we will have healthcare which is actually available.
On a United States Postal Service brochure reminding customers to purchase holiday postage stamps there is a Hanukkah stamp with a menorah, a Kwanzaa stamp with its assorted candles, and what passes as a Christmas stamp with a gingerbread house.
An online photo of the advertisement was captioned that one of these things is not like the other.
The unsuspecting might at first be puzzled.
After all, each of these celebrations seems to have one of its symbols philatelically represented.
Hanukkah and Kwanzaa each are depicted with decorations conveying their spiritual message and meaning.
Christmas, on the other hand, is not extended the same degree of respect.
The menorah and the candles represent the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days rather than one.
The candles surrounding a Black person on the Kwanzaa stamp represent the radical communalism propagated during that particular festival.
And while one cannot help but feel a sense of joy at seeing a decoration like a gingerbread house and that pastry’s festive cuteness, the desert does not convey the true meaning of the holiday in the same sense as the other two stamps.
This gingerbread house would be more akin to using a car bomb as a depiction for Ramadan.
To be consistent with the essence of the holidays conveyed on the other two stamps, a rendition of the so-called Christmas star should be depicted in keeping with the theme of light.
Interestingly, should the curious proceed onward to the website where the stamps can be purchased, one does find just such a stamp of the Magi following the yonder Star.
So if one with such a scene is available, why is it not good enough for the mailing?
Multiculturalists and pluralists will contend that any artistic renderings of Jesus as the Son of God are inherently exclusivistic.
But of the three holidays, Christmas is technically the only inclusive one of the entire bunch.
For example, Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of the Jewish people admittedly with the assistance of God over Antiochous Epiphanies with the Greeks representing the primary Gentile power of that day.
Hence, even if not expanionistically hostile, an underlying principle of Hanukkah is that Jews must defend their interests against the outside world.
And as an ethnographic religion for the most part, these walls must always remain up to an extent in suspicion of those from outside the group.
Kwanzaa is even more ethnocentrically focused than Kwanzaa.
For whereas Hanukkah is a celebration of what God is believed to have done on behalf those who were of His covenant people at that particular point in world history, Kwanzaa deliberately downplays both reliance upon God and the worth of the individual in the favor of a COMMUNITY based on racial superiority through emphasis upon values such as unity, collective work, and cooperative economics.
Interestingly, the day of faith commemorated by Kwanzaa is not so much faith in a divine power that exists transcendent to man and society but rather in the people as embodied by their mere human leaders.
Ultimately, all that Kwanzaa cares about is Blackness for the sake of Blackness.
With these observations in mind, if there were certain elements within society that flew into vehement outrage at the sight of the paraphernalia of these particular celebrations to such an extent that they demanded that these decorations be kept out of site behind a metaphysical locked counter or in a brown paper bag, does that mean that the government or Congressionally authorized semi-public corporations should comply with such demands?
Galatians 5:15 does indeed teach that the cross is an offense to those preferring to stay mired under the muck of their own sin.
However, in proclaiming the birth of Christ, the angel proclaimed, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
That free gift of salvation is available to any irrespective of background, ethnicity, or status willing to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
In Isaiah 5:20 it says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” At the time abortion was legalized, opponents of the procedure warned that, if this moral floodgate was opened, there would be no telling what might pour through that would further devalue human life overall and increasingly erode traditional taboos.
Those professing to be enlightened and progressive scoffed that such a claim was an over-exaggeration designed to elicit fear. However, in the thirty-plus years since the legalization of abortion, some of the nation’s most celebrated academics in the most prestigious publications are now advocating that we as a society do away with infants that do not live up to some standard while going out of their way to defend the rights of animals and criminals.
Princeton Professor of Bioethics Peter Singer, who advocates bestiality (giving a whole other connotation to the phrase a boy and his dog) and animals rights as epitomized by the Great Apes Project which argues gorillas and orangutans deserve many of the protections enjoyed by human beings, believes that it is permissible to kill an infant up until 28 days after birth because an infant is not self-aware nor worthy of personhood since the baby has no preferences concerning living or dying. Furthermore, such a course of action might be of benefit to the family.
Interestingly, Singer is not some lone crank that got hold of a bad batch of pot in the faculty lounge. Professor Steven Pinker, director of MIT’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, in the November 2, 2000 issue of the New York Times Magazine defended the practice of infanticide by suggesting that the killing of an infant should be treated differently than a person.
Pinker argues that we only have a right not to be killed if we have “an ability to reflect upon ourselves as a continuous locus of consciousness, to form and savor plans for the future, to dread death, and to express the choice not to die.” Thus, infants do not qualify for protections against murder, and may be disposed of without offense.
The fundamental issue of this debate is perhaps one of the most important of all in this day of unsettled foundations. That of course is the question of what exactly is a human being.
Both Singer and Pinker argue that newborns should not enjoy legal protection from on the part of parents or the medical establishment because they are not fully human since they have not reached a certain level of development. The traditional ethical position contends that the baby is entitled to the same protections from bodily harm as any other member of the human family. Though these two professors have countless accolades and honors heaped upon them for their acclaimed erudition, both science and Biblical teaching affirm the position considered outdated by influential opinion-makers.
From scripture, it clearly teaches, “Thou shalt not murder.” And though many theologians and Bible scholars grant an exception for the taking of human life in the case of self-defense in the case of war or when confronted by someone intent on doing bodily harm and in the case of capital punishment authorized by the Noahic covenant as spelled out in Genesis 9, in no way does an infant pose the kind of threat presented by these specific exceptions. Inconvenience just does not constitute that manner of bodily harm.
Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” In Psalms 139:13-16 it says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;…My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”
If the embryo inside the mother is not a distinct person in his own right, how is the Lord able to know a specific collection of cells apart from the mother? Life as a continuum from conception and gestation on through birth and maturation is further confirmed in Psalms 51:5 which says, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” Nonpersons are not capable of existing in a state of sin.
Those with degrees as long as their arms cannot turn around and claim such speculations are ancient Hebrew superstitions. These prophetic revelations are confirmed by the very science the wonders of the modern world are based upon.
Both the fetus and the newborn are as genetically unique at these particular stages as the ethicists and physicians pondering the nuances of this philosophical quandary. Scott Rae writes, “(1) An adult human being is the end result of the continuous growth of the organism from conception. (2) From conception to adulthood, this development has no break that is relevant to the essential nature of the fetus. (3) Therefore, one is a human person from the point of conception onward (142).”
One of the most powerful arguments against both infanticide and abortion is that if you devalue human life at these stages, what is to prevent it from being devalued at other stages by radical utilitarians and the like? This is what happens when the standard suggested by both Peter Singer and Steven Pinker is employed.
For starters, what even is a “continuous locus of consciousness” and even if we knew, how many would even want to reflect upon it? Furthermore, even if one did, shouldn’t human value be based on something more than whether or not the individual is tickled pink at the prospect of his own belly button?
What if the individual does not temporarily possess the ability to reflect upon oneself as a “continuous locus of consciousness”; does this mean the disgruntled spouse has a window of opportunity each night to whack their mate as the sleep and get a get of jail free card? After all, during many stages of sleep one is not even aware of one’s surroundings much less one’s inner emotional workings.
The other criteria used to determine whether or not an infant is worthy of life are no less troubling. Both Pinker and Singer hold to a standard that an individual is not worthy of life unless one has the ability to ask to be kept alive.
If that is the case, if one slips on the ice and knocks themselves out, they had better come to before the ambulance gets there because who knows what organ hungry doctors would do if this criteria is allowed to play itself out. Before you know it, your kidneys and corneas could be on airplanes headed in multiple directions.
All joking aside, Pinker’s comments especially cause one to stop and pause to wonder if these remarks could be used to justify a sliding scale for human life not all that different than the blue books used by insurance companies to assess automobile depreciation. For example, Pinker says, to be worthy of life, one must savor plans for the future and dread death. Since the twenty-year old has more of these than the eighty-year old, doesn’t it then follow that it would be a greater offense to kill the twenty-year old than the eighty year-old? If the Professor has raised his children in light of such values, I trust for his own sake he does not let his guard down around them for fear of what he might find being plunged in his back as he ages.
Furthermore, who at some point in their lives (especially during the moody teenage years) hasn’t gone through a period where they didn’t care one way or the other whether life continued or not? Even if one is no where near jumping off the root of a building or suck fumes out of an exhaust pipe hasn’t gone through times where the thought did not transiently skip across out minds how much easier things would be if we simply didn’t wake up the next day. That did not mean that those around us had the right to do away with us.
It has been said that a society will be judged by how it treats its weakest members. If current academic opinion about how easily the unborn can be discarded is any kind of barometer, America could be in for a tumultuous twenty-first century.
In numerous bioethical debates approached from a secular perspective, many seemingly noble principles such as autonomy, individual choice, dignity, the common good, and the preservation of limited resources are invoked to justify various positions. However, when these complex issues are approached from a Judeo-Christian perspective, many times the implications and morality of these decisions are altered profoundly.
Perhaps the most fundamental concern raised by a standpoint informed by the principles of the Bible is none other than personhood. Though something we each possess, its value varies drastically depending on the worldview each of us brings to the concept.
For example, to the person living out a consistently evolutionary or materialistic perspective, the idea of personhood is not that important since it is merely an arbitrarily contrived social and intellectual construct with no inherent worth other than what we decide to give it. Thus, it is no major concern if the concept is altered to exclude those at the extreme ends of life’s continuum unable to sustain themselves apart from intensive medical intervention.
However, if one approaches the matter from the Judeo-Christian perspective, the concept of personhood impacts dramatically the techniques and procedures one finds morally justifiable. Since man is made in the image of God, the life and spirit of man (his personhood if you will) is unique in all of creation. As such, it is due a respect placing it just below the reverence due God Himself.
Since the human being holds a special place in the heart of God, it is God Himself that establishes the guidelines regarding how we are permitted to relate to and treat other human beings. In Genesis 9:6, where God establishes His covenant with Noah it says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man”. Later in the Ten Commandments this decree is reiterated in the command “Thou shalt not commit murder”.
From this, it is established that it is morally incorrect to take an innocent human life not having itself taken another human life. Therefore, it is improper to deliberately take a human life that does not threaten yours or has not violated the law.
Since the minds of men dwell continually on evil, a number of wily thinkers attempt to skirt around the issue by redefining personhood to make it distinct from the humanity of these individuals facing the prospects of having these procedures inflicted upon them. However, even these attempts prove inadequate as they endeavor to describe things how some would like them to be rather than how God created them.
For humanity/personhood is something one possesses inherently rather than bestowed upon you as a result of having reached some developmental milestone. The individual remains a distinct biological entity throughout the continuum of existence.
If anything, by limiting personhood to those having reached some arbitrary standard such as viability, quickening, or sentience speaks more to the limitations of medical science than an actual state of ontology. And with advances, these frontiers are being pushed back further all the time.
Things are now to the point where doctors are able to do surgery inside the mother’s womb. A photo of one such procedure where a tiny hand reached out of the mother’s abdomen got Matt Drudge fired from the Fox News Network. It was feared such an image might unsettle or disturb the consciences of viewers regarding the issue of abortion.
Scott Rae in “Moral Choices: An Introduction To Ethics” concludes his examination of the abortion issue with the following argument advocating for personhood of the unborn: “(1) An adult human being is the end result of the continuous growth of the organism from conception… (2) From conception to adulthood this development has no break that is relevant to the essential nature of the fetus… (3) Therefore, one is a human person from the point of conception onward (142).”
In a speech in Buffalo, New York, Hillary Clinton let slip a startling degree of insight into her political ideology and philosophy of government.
Responding to a heckler carted off by security, the former Senator and Secretary of State admonished that citizenship does not involve yelling but rather coming together to sit down and talk about the kind of future that we want as a nation.
Hecklers should be removed from such settings and not allowed to disrupt the message those gathered have assembled to hear.
However, the incident raises a number of questions.
Does this prohibition against raucous and uncontrolled vocalization of a disturbing volume also apply to those the former First Lady and presidential-aspirant would consider her allies or simply her opponents?
Back during the Bush Presidency in her role as Senator during debate surrounding the Patriot Act, Hillary Clinton reminded (in a rather loud voice it should be pointed out) reminded dissent was itself the highest form of patriotism.
Even more disturbing was how Hillary categorized the heckler.
Instead of simply calling for the removal of this disruptive nuisance refusing to exercise the First Amendment in an orderly manner, Hillary suggested that this individual typified any that would dare challenge or disagree with her publicly.
Thus, in a Hillary regime, would those in Congress refusing to go along with her and more importantly the citizens daring to speak out against her be similarly manhandled by the federal security establishment?
We do indeed need to talk about the kind of future we want for America.
However, the kind of future advocated by Hillary will simply bring additional ruination upon this once great country.
At Liberty University, Senator Rand Paul warned of the temptations and dangers inherent to genetic experimentation and manipulation.
But instead of confronting one of the most profound issues that an advanced technological society will face in the years and decades ahead, smaller minds and those of limited imagination are focusing on whether or not the legislator’s remarks were rhetorically footnoted with all of the punctuation put in the right place.
Those with too much time on their hands unable to substantially refute the Senator’s remarks, such as Rachel Maddow, are claiming that he plagiarized his summary of the film Gattica from Wikipedia.
If truck drivers and hog farmers rather than academics and journalists were the ones that got all worked up over plagiarism, would this linguistic oversight be considered all that much of an outrage?
Snobs siding with Maddow flippantly query what does Gattica have to do with a political campaign stop.
After all, that distracts from much more important work such as the legalization of gay marriage and the distribution of subsidized birth control.
However, will these libertines keep singing the same tune when a test is developed possibly determining whether or not someone might be inclined towards the particular variety of temptation of which Rachel Maddow is herself afflicted as evidenced by her mannish appearance?
Perhaps Senator Paul should have been more careful in observing the protocols of scholastic attribution.
But isn’t this response to his remarks akin to dismissing someone warning against the dangers of the looming Final Solution because the analyst in question forget to mention what review of Mein Kampf was being quoted from?
Free agency preview: A few standout left tackles highlight a strong offensive line group (Shutdown Corner)
With the NFL's salary cap increasing by about $10 million from last year to $133 million and teams having holes to fill, free agency should be hectic. Shutdown Corner will have you covered, with a preview of a different position each day leading up to the start of the free-agency period on March 11.
Here is Shutdown Corner’s breakdown of free agent offensive linemen:
Market Watch There is something for everyone in this class of linemen. There are top left tackles, mauling guards and impact centers. There are players who can start and star right away and others who would provide solid depth. After the flurry of signings the past week, the offensive line group might be the strongest remaining group as free agency nears. There will be some massive contracts handed out to the big fellas.
[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players , and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players ]
Top Attraction: Eugene Monroe, Baltimore Ravens OT Monroe is a rarity on the unrestricted free-agent market: A proven, top player at a premium position who is just entering his prime. He has been in the top 15 of Pro Football Focus' tackle rankings each of the last three years, and he doesn't turn 27 until mid-April. The former first-round pick is good in run blocking nd pass protection. It's hard to figure out how the rebuilding Jaguars, who traded Monroe to the Ravens in the middle of last season, are better off without a top left tackle like him, but that's another story.
Simply, there's not a safer and better investment in all of free agency than Monroe. He'll get top dollar.
Shutdown Corner Offseason Blueprints: New England Patriots (Shutdown Corner)
After the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, all 32 teams officially entered the offseason and started plotting how they could position themselves for a shot at Super Bowl XLIX. Shutdown Corner will look at the offseason blueprint for each of the 32 NFL teams, presenting one team a day (using the 2014 draft order, starting with the Houston Texans and finishing with the Seahawks), leading you right up to the start of free agency on March 11.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 2013 record: 12-4
Projected current salary-cap space ( according to OverTheCap.com ): $12.7 million under the cap
Key free agents: CB Aqib Talib, C Ryan Wendell, LB Brandon Spikes, WR Julian Edelman, RB LeGarrette Blount, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, OT Will Svitek, LB Dane Fletcher.
Possible salary-cap casualties: DT Vince Wilfork, OG Dan Connolly, NT Isaac Sopoaga, DT Tommy Kelly.
Draft situation: The Patriots own the 29th pick in the first round. They swapped their fifth-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles’ sixth-round pick in the Sopoaga trade.
[Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players , and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players ]
Revisiting 2013: Early on, Tom Brady struggled to mesh with his new, weakened group of pass catchers with Rob Gronkowski still returning from offseason surgery. The Patriots started out 4-0 thanks to an improved defense but did not hit their offensive stride until later. Still, all things considered, this had to be one of Bill Belichick’s best coaching jobs ever, as he managed the roster beautifully amid scores of injuries on both sides of the ball. By the end of the season, the offense and defense were fairly gutted but the team finished 12-4 as the No. 2 seed in the AFC with all four losses by one score on the road. The regular season included incredible comebacks against the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos that added to the Belichick-Brady legend. But the Patriots ran out of gas in the AFC championship game, falling at Denver, as it was clear the Patriots had no answers for Peyton Manning.
Will Steelers bring back Keisel? (Comcast SportsNet Mid Atlantic)
Brett Keisel, the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end with the mountain man beard, doesnt have a contract for next season, and his agent tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Keisel hasnt heard from the club about a new deal. He's productive, healthy and has every intention to continue to play football, Eric Metz said. This week, the Steelers jettisoned 12-year veteran linebacker Larry Foote, and Keisel is at the same point in his career. Though he prefers to return to the Steelers, his agent said the unrestricted free agent will look around at other teams.