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  • The Scriptorium

    5/28/2006

    Pope asks why God was silent at Auschwitz

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 5:50 pm

    When the supreme leader of Catholicism asks a question like this, you have to wonder if he ever reads the Bible. That’s the danger of basing your faith on the traditions of men. It leaves you questioning and blaming God for the sins of men.

    Would the Pope prefer that we didn’t have free will? Would he rather we were all robots, with no choice but to act according to God’s word? Hitler and his minions were evil. They chose to do evil the same way terrorists choose to live evil, murderous lives today. It’s tragic that so many died, but there will always be evil men who choose evil over Christ and his plan for our lives. If God had created us with no free will and no choice but to accept and love him, it wouldn’t be real love. God didn’t want the equivalent of an arranged marriage or slavery, he wanted our love to be freely given. It’s not God’s fault that people like Hitler, Saddam Hussein, or even the Catholic church at certain times in its history, chose to pursue power by oppressing, persecuting, and killing others.

    Calling himself “a son of Germany,” Pope Benedict prayed at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on Sunday and asked why God was silent when 1.5 million victims, mostly Jews, died in this “valley of darkness.”

    Ending a four-day pilgrimage to Poland, Benedict, 79, said humans could not fathom “this endless slaughter” but only seek reconciliation for those who suffered then and those who now “are suffering in new ways from the power of hatred.”

    A better question might be, why were so many nations and peoples quiet for so long while millions died? Why do so many people believe that Saddam Hussein should still be in power, murdering and torturing innocent Iraqi’s? How can the Pope be angry at God for not saving the Jews in Nazi Germany when he was, and still is, unwilling to support saving Iraqis from torture and death at the hands of one of today’s evil dictators?

    5/24/2006

    White House Official Answers Iraq War Critics With Facts

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 5:56 pm

    I’ve been frustrated for quite some time with the relative silence coming from the White House in the face of skewed anti-Iraq War criticism. The anti-war crowd has been playing fast and loose with the facts and spinning the story with little opposition. It was refreshing to see presidential aide Peter Wehner throw a big stick in the spokes of that spin machine with this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal. Here is a brief excerpt, but the whole article is a must-read!

    Iraqis can participate in three historic elections, pass the most liberal constitution in the Arab world, and form a unity government despite terrorist attacks and provocations. Yet for some critics of the president, these are minor matters. Like swallows to Capistrano, they keep returning to the same allegations–the president misled the country in order to justify the Iraq war; his administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments; Saddam Hussein turned out to be no threat since he didn’t possess weapons of mass destruction; and helping democracy take root in the Middle East was a postwar rationalization. The problem with these charges is that they are false and can be shown to be so–and yet people continue to believe, and spread, them….

    The Bush administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments. Earlier this year, Mr. Gore charged that “CIA analysts who strongly disagreed with the White House . . . found themselves under pressure at work and became fearful of losing promotions and salary increases.” Sen. Kennedy charged that the administration “put pressure on intelligence officers to produce the desired intelligence and analysis.”

    This myth is shattered by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s bipartisan Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. Among the findings: “The committee did not find any evidence that intelligence analysts changed their judgments as a result of political pressure, altered or produced intelligence products to conform with administration policy, or that anyone even attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to do so.” Silberman-Robb concluded the same, finding “no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community’s prewar assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs. . . . Analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments.” What the report did find is that intelligence assessments on Iraq were “riddled with errors”; “most of the fundamental errors were made and communicated to policy makers well before the now-infamous NIE of October 2002, and were not corrected in the months between the NIE and the start of the war.” …

    Google dumps news sites that criticize radical Islam

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 12:59 pm

    Google continues its campaign against free speech, thought, and expression. Opposing views are not allowed when it comes to politics, religion, terrorism and Islam, even if those views oppose murder, suicide bombings, forced conversions, genocide, mercy killings, and human rights violations in the Muslim world. However, Nazi sites, anti-Semitic sites, and terrorist supporting websites are okay. I hope someone will take advantage of google’s bad business sense and give them some real competition. They’re communist supporting, terrorist loving, liberal political tools and I’m so tired of their censorship.

    Search engine giant Google has cut off its news relationship with a number of online news publications that include frank discussions of radical Islam – the New Media Journal becoming the latest termination, as its owner just discovered.

    Frank Salvato, who began the agreement with Google News last September, said he received a reply from the company’s help desk Friday indicating there had been complaints of “hate speech” on his site, as first reported by media watchdog Newsbusters.org.

    WND Exclusive Google dumps news sites
    that criticize radical Islam
    Search giant axes another news page,
    calls terrorism discussion ‘hate content’
    Posted: May 23, 2006
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    © 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

    Search engine giant Google has cut off its news relationship with a number of online news publications that include frank discussions of radical Islam – the New Media Journal becoming the latest termination, as its owner just discovered.

    Frank Salvato, who began the agreement with Google News last September, said he received a reply from the company’s help desk Friday indicating there had been complaints of “hate speech” on his site, as first reported by media watchdog Newsbusters.org.

    The e-mail, which cited three articles that dealt with radical Islam and its relationship to terrorism, read:

    Hi Frank,

    Thanks for writing. We received numerous reports about hate content on your site, and after reviewing these reports, decided to remove your site from Google News. We do not allow articles and sources expressly promoting hate speech viewpoints in Google News (although referencing hate speech for commentary and analysis is acceptable).

    For example, a number of the complaints we looked at on your site were found to be hate content:

    http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/peck/05102006.htm

    http://www.newmediajournal.us/staff/stock/05082006.htm

    http://www.newmediajournal.us/guest/imani/04222006.htm

    We hope this helps you understand our position.

    Regards,
    The Google Team

    Newsbusters says it has observed a pattern of intolerance toward conservative sites that deal with radical Islam and terrorism.

    Rusty Shackleford, owner of The Jawa Report, received a similar e-mail message March 29 informing him: “Upon recent review, we’ve found that your site contains hate speech, and we will no longer be including it in Google News.”

    [. . .]

    When Google News launched its beta site in April 2002, it said its mission was to construct an unbiased news engine free of human intervention using new methods of aggregating news from sources worldwide.

    Benadict Continues Ecumenical Approach to Islam

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 12:26 pm

    Benedict is continuing Pope John Paul’s approach to Islam and hosting a gathering with Islamic leaders where they will promote an interfaith approach to the gospel. I wonder if the “interfaith dialogue” with Kahled Troudi will address the cartoon Jihad, or the hoards of Muslims who held signs calling for the destruction of the West during recent riots around the world, or Surah’s in the Quran that instruct Muslims not to take Christians as friends and to slay them if they refuse to convert to Islam? Somehow I doubt it. After all, the Bible is just an optional guideline and “thou shalt not kill” is just a Christian thing. It might be offensive to demand that Muslims accept our beliefs over theirs. Also interesting is the title of the conference, “Revering Mary: Islamic & Catholic Perspectives in
    Dialogue”. If they made Jesus the topic of the gathering, they might have to actually listen to his teachings. It’s no wonder we get so many e-mails from Muslims who think that Christians believe in Mary as part of the trinity. (Hat Tip: LGF)

    Wednesday, May 24th

    “Revering Mary: Islamic & Catholic Perspectives in
    Dialogue ”
    Time: 6:00-8:00 pm (two 20-25 minute presentations,
    followed by Q&A, and a light non-alcoholic reception)

    Speakers:
    Fr. Francis Tiso works on interfaith dialogue in the
    Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
    at the USCCB and is responsible for representing the
    American bishops in dialogue sessions with Muslims.

    Khaled Troudi will be the speaker from The
    International Institute of Islamic Thought. IIIT is
    located in Herndon, VA.

    2 Corinthians 11:3-5
    But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    John 5:39-43
    You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternnal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

    Galatians 1:6-9
    I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    The most loving thing the Catholic church could do would be to lead them to Christ rather than encourage them to continue following a false teacher and a false Christ.

    5/23/2006

    Seattle P-I Columnist Equates Iran with U.S.; Ahmadinejad with Bush

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 6:46 pm

    Seattle Post Intelligencer (P-I) columnist Robert L. Jamieson has taken a header off the deep end. Jamieson has always been a liberal moonbat, but his most recent column reaches new levels in moral equivalency. In his column, Jamieson targets Washington State senatorial candidate Mike McGavick (R), and McGavick’s proposal that Iran be barred from the World Cup soccer tournament if it refuses to give up its nuke program. McGavick is challenging incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell (D). RJ quotes McGavick’s reference to South Africa being banned from Rugby competition due to its apartheid policy, then takes his long walk off a short pier:

    The trouble with McGavick extending rugby logic to Iranian soccer is one of perspective.

    South Africa’s government policy was morally reprehensible, inhumane and lethal. Apartheid also was sanctioned and embraced across South African society, from the elite to commoners.

    Iran has no such repugnant policy. It has not implemented any diabolical plans, unless you count its push to become a nuclear power like the United States, China and other members of that club.

    Admittedly, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has invoked language that is tough, defiant and downright ugly at times.

    That just puts him in good company.

    In many parts of the world, President Bush doesn’t exactly come across as a honeyed voice of reason, either.

    Most irksome about McGavick’s plaintive cry on the pitch is how Americancentric and huffy he sounds. He seems to suggest that because America doesn’t like Iran’s nuclear saber-rattling the rest of the world should join us on some soccer-sacking sortie.

    The aspiring senator is broaching dangerous territory by mixing sports and politics in this instance.

    If it were up to a vote of World Cup nations, the United States — not Iran — may get the boot first.

    Other countries could point to our bungled and legally questionable invasion of Iraq, as well as our continuing, imploding occupation there. A recent poll of more than 91,000 people in 50 countries by the Pew Research Center found that anti-American sentiment is at its highest level ever. Much of the antipathy is no doubt a reflection of American foreign policy and our lost art of diplomacy.

    Iran has no such repugnant policy?! It has not implemented any diabolical plans?! Jamieson isn’t forgetting that Ahmadinejad has stated that Israel should be “wiped off the map.” He isn’t forgetting that He has threatened violence against U.S. and Israeli interests. He simply doesn’t care! To Jamieson, Ahmadinejad’s statements don’t make him dangerous – they’re just unique little peccadillos that we should chuckle and shake our heads at. After all, Iran wants nothing more than equality with other nations. Right? Yea, right! And perhaps the rain we’ve had lately in Seattle has caused some facts to leach from Jamieson’s head. For instance, Jamieson intimates that the desire to prevent an Iran nuke program is simply an American desire. Uh, Bobby? That’s an issue that most nations are united on. That’s why the IAEA, the UN, and the EU are so heavily involved! Perhaps you should try getting your news from some other source than the Seattle P-I. And what is so WRONG about being Americacentric?! McGavick is an AMERICAN! It comes natural for Americans to be Americacentric. Well, not for all Americans, apparently. Jamieson is a loyal citizen of the People’s Socialist Republic of Seattlestan. His thinking is a little Seattlecentric.

    Read Jamieson’s article
    , and make sure you give him some feedback: robertjamieson@seattlepi.com

    N.Y. HEZBOLLAH HUNT

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 5:31 pm

    Uh-oh. We may have to actually start considering Israel’s enemies terrorists. When they migrate to the U.S. and start plotting attacks on Americans, Washington and the media suddenly consider them real bad guys. (this was sarcasm for those who aren’t familiar with our politics here). I just hope we don’t live to regret ignoring them for years while they killed Jews.

    Also interesting, but not that surprising, some of the terrorists are here as part of the United Nations. I guess the U.N. would provide perfect cover for terrorists.

    The Hezbollah terror group – one of the most dangerous in the world – may be planning to activate sleeper cells in New York and other big cities to stage an attack as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up, sources told The Post.

    The FBI and Justice Department have launched urgent new probes in New York and other cities targeting members of the Lebanese terror group.

    Law-enforcement and intelligence officials told The Post that about a dozen hard-core supporters of Hezbollah have been identified in recent weeks as operating in the New York area.

    Sources said the activities of these New York-based operatives are being monitored by FBI counterterrorism agents as part of a nationwide effort to prevent a possible terror strike if the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program spins out of control.

    Additional law-enforcement attention is being centered on the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been three episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets.

    5/22/2006

    Courts And School vs. God Update

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 8:22 pm

    The Houston Chronicle reports on an Elementary School that has gone to great lengths to eradicate God – airbrushing our national motto from the image of a nickel on their yearbook:

    COLLEYVILLE — A yearbook cover that omits the words “In God We Trust” from a picture of an enlarged nickel has angered some parents.

    Liberty Elementary, a new school in suburban Fort Worth, chose the coin because the nickel’s new design prominently features the school’s name in cursive.

    The coin also has “In God We Trust” along the right edge, but the phrase was removed from the yearbook. Instead, the $16 book came with a sticker that gave students the choice of putting the phrase back on the nickel.

    Some parents say the school’s decision was political correctness gone too far.

    “I think it’s really ridiculous,” said Debi Ackerman, who has a 10-year-old daughter at the school. “Now it has come to this. … When is it going to end?”

    Keller ISD spokesman Jason Meyer said a parent’s group at the school approved the decision before the book was published. Liberty Principal Janet Travis wanted to avoid offending students of different religions, Meyer said.

    “It’s not always easy to make everybody happy when we are making decisions,” Meyer said.

    Ahhh, those crazy schools. They desperately want to shield students from religion. Well, not exactly. If that religion is Islam, the schools will push it. We reported earlier about the Ninth Circus (Circuit) Court of Appeals decision allowing a school district in California to force students to engage in an Islam education curriculum that had students say Muslim prayers, wage a “jihad”, recite the shahada, etc. That’s okay. Now Seattle schools are getting in on the act. Sound Politics has more on this:

    The Seattle Public Schools are forming a committee to examine prayer in school, particularly to “support the needs of our diverse students and families.” But the committee is not organizing to examine the full diversity of the student body, only the needs of Muslim students:

    Committee will propose guidelines for issue of prayer
    The SPS Department of Race and Equity is looking for SEA members to participate in a “Prayer in Schools Committee,” the charge of which is to look at how to address this issue District wide and to provide information about our Muslim students that will help teachers and building leaders make decisions that support the needs of our diverse students and families. The next meeting is scheduled for May 30th, 3:00 – 4:30. Contact Dr. Hollins at cdhollins1@seattleschools.org

    In the course of browsing recent 9th Circuit COA decisions, I came across another couple of winners. On May 17th, the 9th COA rejected a petition for an en banc review of their previous decision in Fields et al v. Palmdale School District. The court stood by their November 2005 decision holding that schools can administer sexually explicit surveys to students, and parents have no right to opt out or be notified in advance. Real nice. In April, this same court held that the Poway Unified School District had the right to force a student to remove his pro-life t-shirt. His shirt had “BE ASHAMED, OUR SCHOOL EMBRACED WHAT GOD HAS CONDEMNED” handwritten on the front, and “HOMOSEXUALITY IS SHAMEFUL” handwritten on the back. The court referred to this message as “demeaning” and “offensive.” Some more quotes from this decision:

    …the School had a valid and lawful basis for restricting Harper’s wearing of his T-shirt on the ground that his conduct was injurious to gay and lesbian students and interfered with their right to learn.

    Perhaps our dissenting colleague believes that one can condemn homosexuality without condemning homosexuals. If so, he is wrong. To say that homosexuality is shameful is to say, necessarily, that gays and lesbians are shameful.

    This is YOUR judiciary and YOUR public school system at work. Are you satisfied with how your tax dollars are spent?

    Group irked by lack of support for right-to-pray law

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 4:49 pm

    Praying according to the tenets of one’s faith seems like an obvious guarantee of the first amendment. However, this right has been the subject of attack among the military chaplaincy. One group is opposed to measures meant to guarantee chaplains have the first amendment freedom to pray according to their faith. Ironically, it’s a group of chaplains!

    An organization representing evangelical Christian chaplains is criticizing a larger group — whose members hail from various faiths — for not supporting a proposed law guaranteeing chaplains the right to pray according to their conscience.

    The law, included May 11 as part of the House Armed Services Committee 2007 national defense bill, was backed by the International Conference of Evangelical Christian Endorsers (ICECE), but not the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF).

    The Rev. Billy Baugham, executive director of ICECE, called the national group’s position against the provision frightening.

    “NCMAF’s stated position is now its defining moment,” Baugham said in a May 19 press release. “NCMAF ignores what several of its ecclesiastical endorsers believe to the contrary, and the faith and practice of the chaplains they represent.”

    ICECE was formed in 2004 after its members broke away from NCMAF over the issue of prayer; ICECE maintains that chaplains should be allowed to invoke Jesus’ name when they pray, regardless of the venue.

    NCMAF believes chaplains should use nonsectarian prayers during public events and when attendees include people of other faiths.

    NCMAF, in a May 5 letter to members of the House Armed Services Committee, said it did “not agree that chaplains should be guaranteed to act ‘according to the dictates of their conscience’.” Conference executive director Jack D. Williamson said that such a law would remove a chaplain’s accountability to their endorsing agency.

    The conference suggested new language calling on commanders and chaplains to avoid activities or statements that would suggest an establishment of religion. It stipulated that chaplains would not be compelled to take part in any religious activity inconsistent with their beliefs.

    NCMAF’s language was not picked up, and the committee also rejected an amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Steven Israel, D-N.Y., that called for chaplains to show sensitivity and tolerance to members of other faith groups.

    NCMAF’s members represent about 70 percent of all military chaplains.

    Navy Chaplain to be Court-Martialed Over Prayer

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 4:43 pm

    Just as the Kentucky grads proved that civil disobedience can be a good thing (see story below), a Navy chaplain will get a chance to show that orders to not pray in Jesus’ name should not be followed.

    An evangelical Navy chaplain who attended a press conference and offered a prayer “in Jesus’ name” at the event while in uniform will be court-martialed for disobeying his commanding officer’s order not to do so.

    Chaplain (Lt.) Gordon J. Klingenschmitt, who on May 3 rejected an administrative hearing on two charges, now faces a single charge of disobeying a lawful order from a commissioned officer, according to Lt. Cmdr. Bob Mehal of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

    “I am innocent,” Klingenschmitt said May 19. “And I will prove my innocence at court-martial.”

    Klingenschmitt, an evangelical Episcopal priest assigned to the chaplain’s office at Norfolk Naval Station, has protested what he says is his right to lead evangelical Episcopal prayers, rather than nonsectarian prayers, when speaking to sailors of all faiths. The Navy has said he has the right to pray in his own faith but that chaplains have been asked since 1988 to make their prayers inclusive.

    A date for the trial has not yet been set. Under military law, Klingenschmitt can waive the panel and have his case heard by a military judge alone. He said he doesn’t yet know what he’ll choose.

    If found guilty, Klingenschmitt’s punishment would be administrative in nature. An officer convicted at a special court-martial cannot be dismissed from the service or confined, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

    200 H.S. Grad’s Defy ACLU, Federal Judge, and Pray Anyway

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 4:34 pm

    Just when young people were making me fear for our future, some graduates from a Kentucky High School helped assuage some of that fear. Sometimes peaceful civil disobedience is a good thing:

    (AgapePress) — A Kentucky school superintendent says he’s proud of the Russell County High School students who recited the Lord’s Prayer at Friday’s graduation ceremony.

    Earlier in the day, a federal judge had banned prayers from the ceremony in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. But during the principal’s opening remarks, about 200 students prayed aloud, drawing thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the crowd.

    Associated Press reports the “revival-like atmosphere” continued when graduate Megan Chapman shared during her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman, who said the challenge by the ACLU unified the entire senior class, was interrupted several times by cheering as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life, says the report.

    “More glory went to God because of something like that than if I had just simply said a prayer like I was supposed to,” she said.

    Superintendent Scott Pierce says the graduates showed that the schools had taught them how to make “compelling decisions on their own.” The students “exhibited what we’ve tried to accomplish in 12 years of education,” said Pierce. Their response, said the superintendent, demonstrated the students have an ability to be “critical thinkers.”

    5/19/2006

    House Votes to Keep Offshore Drilling Ban

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:55 am

    Why the heck do we have a Republican majority in Congress if they aren’t going to vote conservative? A majority of Republicans in this country are smart enough to know that we need to start drilling for more oil here at home if we’re ever going to get away from depending on a nut in Iran for our oil. We’re also smart enough to know that fish, antelope, and other wild animals have never had an issue with walking or swimming around drilling equipment when they encounter it. They aren’t liberals, so they can figure it out. When I see Conservatives voting like this, it makes me think it’s about time a third party won some elections.

    This argument against offshore drilling was brilliant:

    “People don’t go to visit the coasts of Florida or the coast of California to watch oil wells,” Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., said.

    I wonder if this genius considered the fact that tourists aren’t going to want to drive to California at all, let alone visit the beach, when gas is 4 dollars a gallon. Good grief, these people are running a country?

    Despite talk of an energy crisis and the need for independence from foreign oil, Congress seems to be in no mood to open more of the country’s coastal waters to energy development.

    The House late Thursday rejected an attempt to end the quarter-century ban on oil and natural gas drilling that has been in effect for 85 percent of the country’s coastal waters from Alaska to New England despite arguments that new supplies are needed to lower energy costs.

    Lawmakers from Florida and California, who led the fight to continue the drilling moratorium, said they feared energy projects as close as three miles from shore could jeopardize multibillion-dollar tourism industries in their states.

    5/18/2006

    Social Security for illegals OK’d

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:56 pm

    Neither Congress or the President are ever going to create a deterrent for those who enter our country illegally and break our laws. The President’s proposal that would have illegal immigrants pay a price for breaking our laws and costing American tax payers billions of dollars will never happen. By the time any immigration reform is passed in the House and Senate and signed by the President those politically motivated proposals and promises will look like this. They’ll be stripped of any consequences, anything that would deter people from breaking our laws, and anything that would actually stop the flow of illegals and Al Qaeda terrorists from crossing our border. Our politicians really better get a clue before the elections. We’re not stupid, and we are watching.

    The U.S. Senate today rejected an effort to limit Social Security benefits for illegal aliens who become permanent residents under an immigration reform bill being debated.

    As it stands, the bill the Senate is considering would give millions of illegals a path to U.S. citizenship if they pay fines, back taxes and meet other requirements.

    The Social Security proposal, offered by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., would have prevented illegals who become legal from collecting the benefit on wages they earned while working unlawfully.

    “Social Security was not intended for people who entered our country illegally,” Ensign is quoted as saying.

    Countered Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.: “Their money sits in the Social Security Administration waiting to be matched with an eligible beneficiary, and once those workers establish the eligibility, how in all fairness can we deny them the credit for their past contributions?”

    I have a feeling illegals won’t be paying any back taxes or fines when all is said and done either. But, it’s not amnesty! I’m not sure how it differs from amnesty, but don’t you dare call it that.

    The Da Vinci Code Bomb

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:07 pm

    The Davinci Code is getting horrible reviews by everyone but the hard core anti-Christian crowd. You’d think the Passion of the Christ would have taught them something about what sells, but I guess they like throwing money down the toilet. Unfortunately, no one seems to be pointing out the completely ridiculous historical errors throughout the book and the movie. The critics couldn’t force themselves to love the acting or the plot, but they do love the idea of portraying Christianity as a fraud. That’s okay. Christians aren’t going to burn down buildings, kill people, riot, blow themselves up, or preach hatred and violence. If those who hate us knew anything about real history, they’d know that Christianity has always flourished and spread like wild fire during times of persecution. Nothing makes Christianity look better than seeing how we respond when we’re hated.

    5/12/2006

    Israel minimizing West Bank rocket threat?

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 4:53 pm

    This just might explain a lot. I’ve always wondered how Israeli’s could support giving land away when they had to know that the land would be take over by terrorists with rockets and suicide bombers at the ready. It appears their government may have been covering up this need-to-know information (although much of the threat should be common sense). The Israeli government’s complete disregard for the security of their own people sounds an awful lot like the liberals here in the U.S. What is it with liberals and their self destructive politics and self hatred?

    According to some intelligence officials, Israel has been deliberately minimizing the threat of rocket attacks by Palestinian terror groups in Judea and Samaria, the biblical Jewish lands now known as the West Bank, parts of which are within rocket firing range of Jerusalem and other major Israeli cities.

    Security analysts maintain publicity about terror groups’ current missile capabilities in the territories could generate criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria.

    Monday, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group in the northern Samaria town of Jenin told WND they fired two rockets aimed at an Israeli military installation about a mile away. The leaders said the projectiles were called Bahaa rockets, named after Saed Bahaa, an Al Aqsa Brigades member killed last week in an Israeli anti-terror operation. A source close to the Brigades said the rockets actually were Jenin 1s, a less advanced Qassam rocket that can travel about one mile.

    Pentagon exploring ways to use the military for border security

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 4:28 pm

    Bush may. . .MAY. . . be getting a clue as to why his poll numbers are so low. The Democrats would love to make us believe that his poll numbers reflect anger over the Iraq war, but a closer look at the numbers will show he’s losing his base over the immigration issue. Conservative voters are actually serious about securing this nation, because we know the threat Islam and Al Qaeda pose to this country (before any liberals write to complain about me naming Islam as part of the problem, consider the state religion of the countries harboring Al Qaeda, issuing threats and building nukes, and calling for the destruction of the West). Amnesty for illegals and money for a few more border guards just isn’t going to cut it, and Congress better figure that out before the November elections.

    Faced with growing pressure from southern states, the Bush administration wants the military to come up with ideas to help solve security problems along the U.S. border with Mexico.

    In back-to-back moves this week, the Pentagon began exploring ways to lend support at the southern border, while the House on Thursday voted to allow the Homeland Security Department in limited cases to use soldiers in that region.

    At the Pentagon, Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, asked officials to offer options for the use of military resources and troops — particularly the National Guard — along the border with Mexico, according to defense officials familiar with the discussions.

    The officials, who requested anonymity because the matter has not been made public, said there were no details yet on a defense strategy.

    Al-Qaida: Destroy Denmark, France

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 3:59 pm

    The cartoon jihad rages on. Al Qaeda is jumping on the band wagon, now. Not wanting Iran’s president to get all the attention for threating to blow up entire countries, Al Qaeda has called for the destruction of Denmark and France over the evil line drawings of blasphemy. Why don’t Islamic leaders just draft a letter threatening the destruction of every country on the planet that isn’t run by a Muslim nut case and get it over with?

    Responding to the publishing of cartoons depicting Islam’s prophet Muhammad, a video posted on the Internet by an al-Qaida member calls on Muslims to attack Denmark, France and Norway.

    “Muslims avenge your prophet,” said Libyan Muhammad Hassan, who escaped from U.S. custody in Afghanistan last July.

    “We deeply desire that the small state of Denmark, Norway and France … are struck hard and destroyed,” he declared, according to Agence France-Presse.

    5/10/2006

    Putin to Boost Russian Military, Economy

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 3:28 pm

    Former KGB Agent and current Russian President, Putin announced today his plan to build up Russia’s military in order to counter the “wolf” that “does whatever it wants around the world”. I don’t think Putin got the memo about the Cold War being over. Or, is it? Putin’s threats and name calling aren’t really as intimidating as he’d hoped, though. We still spend 25 times as much as they do on defense. The real threat from Russia isn’t their military, it’s their cooperation with Iran.

    President Vladimir V. Putin, in a blunt response to U.S. criticism of his domestic and foreign policies, declared today that Russia will boost its military strength to ensure the ability to resist foreign pressure.

    In an annual address to parliament, Putin said new weapons will enable his country to maintain a strategic balance with the United States, which he compared to a wolf — the arch-villain in Russian fairy tales — doing as it pleases in the world.

    Despite the strong language on international and military issues, the bulk of the speech focused on domestic policies. Putin called today for wide-ranging measures to reverse Russia’s sharp population decline by providing financial incentives to women to have more babies.

    He also stressed a need to place greater emphasis on developing the economy’s technological foundations, while admitting that Russia has not solved the growth-inhibiting problem of corruption in business and the government bureaucracy.

    Putin’s comments did not seem to signal a return to Cold War hostility so much as a bid by an increasingly self-confident Russia to engage in tough bargaining on international issues, and to reject outside interference in its domestic politics.

    Moscow’s fresh assertiveness comes, in part, from rising oil prices, which have fueled strong economic growth in this energy-rich nation for the past seven years.

    Will U.S. Embassy in Iran become ‘Great Satan Park’?

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 3:09 pm

    Nice. What’s wrong with these people. . . .besides being members of the most violent, evil religion on the planet?

    Tourists and thrillseekers in Iran could have a new attraction in downtown Tehran: the former United States Embassy being converted into a “Great Satan Park.”

    A top Iranian commander is calling for the creation of such a theme park at the one-time location U.S. facility, which has seen a troubled history dating back to the Carter administration of the 1970s.

    “We would be able to nicely show off the American crimes to citizens strolling in the park,” General Mir-Faisal Bagherzadeh told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. “The former American Den of Spies should become the park of Great Satan.”

    Bagherzadeh is in charge of the Sacred Defense Foundation, a propaganda organ originally created to commemorate the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

    The property is perhaps best known from 1979 news footage, when in the wake of Iran’s Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah, the embassy was taken over by Islamist students, with 52 staffmembers taken hostage for 444 days.

    The downtown location is now used for military training by Iran’s ideological army, the Revolutionary Guards, while the main building also serves as a museum to display the “documents of American espionage and crimes against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Amendment mandating chaplains’ sensitivity fails

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 2:41 pm

    Legislation that would have allowed the military to dictate how chaplains pray and who they pray to, was defeated in the House of Representatives. This is good news, but may only be a temporary victory. If the analysts are right, and I’m not convinced they are, and Republicans loose the house, legislation regulating prayer will be revisited and passed. I’m so tired of hearing Liberals cry “free speech” whenever it’s convenient and benefits them, and then, being the party of hypocrisy and intolerance, they try to regulate religious speech and prayer.

    A New York congressman’s push to require that military chaplains exhibit greater sensitivity toward various faiths was defeated Thursday.

    Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee — with the exception of Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan — voted against the amendment, offered by Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., to language inserted into the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2007.

    The original language, added to the ’07 Defense Authorization Act by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., provides that “each chaplain shall have the prerogative to pray according to the dictates of the chaplain’s own conscience, except as must be limited by military necessity, with any such limitation being imposed in the least restrictive manner feasible.”

    But Israel asked lawmakers to amend the language, adding “that chaplains shall demonstrate sensitivity, respect and tolerance for all faiths present on each occasion at which prayers are offered.”

    Israel said Thursday that the original language, if it remains unchanged when the legislation is enacted, will strip commanders of their authority and pose a threat to good order and discipline.

    Steve Taylor, a spokesman for Akin, denied that. He called Akin’s provision “consistent with the historical record and the Constitution,” saying a commander may regulate a chaplain’s speech for military necessity.

    Just how is forbidding a Christian chaplain from using the words Jesus Christ in their prayer a military necessity?

    5/9/2006

    Preventing New Cartoon Crisis

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 12:35 pm

    Robert Freedman of the Jewish Times is anxious to get the End Times rolling. In response to the evil cartoon drawings of Muhammad and the subsequent destruction and death perpetrated by offended Muslim hoards, Freedman proposes that the international community establish an international religious court to prosecute evil cartoonists and people who might dare to criticize Islam, or other secular religions. Naturally Christianity will still be fair game because Christians don’t kill people and burn things down when we’ve been offended.

    What’s most frightening is that the establishment of a court tasked with punishing people who criticize certain religions would probably be quite popular in most countries. There was a time when I wondered how a global leader would be able to convince the masses that persecuting and killing people because of their religious views is an acceptable punishment. I no longer wonder about that.

    The problem, of course, is to determine the difference between legitimate criticism of someone who acts in the name of a religion, and the negative depiction of that religion.

    To solve that problem, I propose the creation of an International Religious Court, composed of Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergymen with one clergyman representing each of the three religions. Anyone feeling that his or her religion was insulted could appeal to the International Religious Court for a ruling on the matter, and the court would then determine whether a penalty should be invoked. It would be the responsibility of the government on whose territory the action took place to impose the penalty.

    I realize that establishing the authority of the International Religious Court would not be easy. First of all, given the divisions between Sunni and Shia Islam, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christianity, and Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Reform Judaism — to mention only the most important divisions of the three religions — finding a single individual to represent each of the three faiths will be a challenge.

    Second, governments may be reluctant, on grounds of sovereignty, to impose penalties required by such an international court. Nonetheless, there is a precedent wherein a number of states have, in certain cases, voluntarily agreed to abide by the decisions of the International Court of Justice, which could be a model for the International Religious Court.

    Given the very severe costs of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, establishing both an international code of conduct to prevent negative media depictions of religion, and an International Religious Court to determine whether that code has been violated, are needed to defuse future crises such as the one over the Danish cartoons. I urge the international community to create the code of conduct and establish the International Religious Court as quickly as possible.

    5/4/2006

    Navy Chaplain May Face Court-Martial For Praying

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 4:16 pm

    It’s a bad time to be a Christian in the US military. While Muslim Imams aren’t forbidden from speaking the word “Allah” in worship or in prayer, Christian chaplains are forbidden to use the name of Jesus Christ, the God we worship as Christians, in their prayers. It’s hard to believe that our military leaders, who’s job it is to fight and defend our freedoms, don’t see how un-American and hypocritical this discrimination is.

    Sadly, our military service members don’t have the freedom to object or protest such orders. Ben served in the Air Force and he’ll tell you that the first thing you learn in Basic training is that you don’t disobey orders. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like it, think it’s unfair, or even unconstitutional. Disobeying orders is dealt with swiftly and harshly. There is, of course, the exception that allows military personnel to disobey an “unlawful” order, but good luck convincing a bunch of generals that the regulation of Christian speech is unlawful. You’ll be silenced and disciplined before you can even quote the first amendment.

    Standing on principal and religious conviction the chaplain in this article spoke up and prayed in Jesus’ name anyway, while at a protest in front of the White House. He now faces a Court-martial. This strict regulation of public speech in the military is necessary at times, and just plain wrong other times, but it’s not going to change. That’s why us civilians who appreciate their sacrifice and protection need to stand up for their rights. We can speak up without being demoted or discharged, and we can demand that our troops be allowed to pray however they want to. We can let our representatives in government know that we won’t stand for religious discrimination anywhere in our country.

    If the military succeeds in banning Christian words and prayers without hearing from us, it will be you they censor next. Regulating American’s prayers crosses a line that none of us should stand for.

    A chaplain stationed at Naval Station Norfolk said he could face court-martial for praying in uniform outside the White House.

    Lt. Gordon Klingenschmitt said he prayed at a March 30 protest opposing Department of Defense rules forbidding military chaplains from invoking the name of Jesus Christ.

    He’s accused of violating an order not to appear in uniform at news conferences in support of personal or religious issues.

    The issue seems to hinge on whether his praying at the event was permissible participation at a bona fide religious service. Klingenschmitt is rejecting non-judicial punishment in favor of trial by court-martial.

    In addition, he’s filing a complaint against the Navy claiming the threat of punishment against him amounts to religious harassment and he’s appealing to the White House to end what he claims are the military’s attempts to take reprisals against a whistle-blower.

    Video Shows Al-Zarqawi Fumbling With Rifle

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 3:49 pm

    U.S. officials apparently got a kick out of a Zarqawi tape seized last month by US troops. In the video, a less than intimidating Zarqawi fumbles with an automatic weapon and then looks confused and calls for help when the gun jams. With weapon firing again, the tennis shoe clad terrorist leader fires a few bursts at something off camera, and then burns his fellow terrorist’s hand as he hands the gun off barrel first and wanders away. He looked like a bumbling idiot, not the fierce, battle hardened terrorist you would expect. No wonder they have to resort to suicide bombers in any war they fight. They’re incompetent with a gun, but they’ve got the blowing themselves up thing down pat.

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is shown wearing American tennis shoes and unable to operate his automatic rifle in video released Thursday by the U.S. military as part of a propaganda war aimed at undercutting the image of the terror leader.

    The U.S. command showed the footage to reporters at a time when it is stepping up operations against al-Qaida in Iraq and making overtures to other Sunni groups. The Americans hope to isolate religious extremists from insurgents they believe are more likely to cut a deal to end the war.

    The clips were part of a longer video that U.S. troops seized in a raid last month. Al-Qaida in Iraq militants posted an edited version of the same video on the Internet April 25 _ but without the embarrassing segments.

    Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for the U.S. command, mocked al- Zarqawi as the previously unseen footage showed a smiling al-Qaida leader first firing single shots from a U.S.-made M-249 light machine gun. A frown creeps across al-Zarqawi’s face as the weapon appears to jam. He looks at the rifle, confused, then summons another fighter.

    “It’s supposed to be automatic fire. He’s shooting single shots,” Lynch said. “Something is wrong with his machine gun. He looks down, can’t figure out, calls his friend to come unblock the stoppage and get the weapon firing again.”

    Another Kennedy Cover-up

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 3:33 pm

    Another drunk Kennedy was involved in a car accident last night, and the Capitol police are covering it up again. Isn’t it comforting to know that our leaders are above the law? Not. I hope they checked any bodies of water that might have been in the area when Kennedy wrecked his car and staggered away drunk.

    Police labor union officials asked acting Chief Christopher McGaffin this afternoon to allow a Capitol Police officer to complete his investigation into an early-morning car crash involving Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), son of Sen. Ted Kennedy.

    ROLL CALL reports: According to a letter sent by Officer Greg Baird, acting chairman of the USCP FOP, the wreck took place at approximately 2:45 a.m. Thursday when Kennedy’s car, operating with its running lights turned off, narrowly missed colliding with a Capitol Police cruiser and smashed into a security barricade at First and C streets Southeast.

    “The driver exited the vehicle and he was observed to be staggering,” Baird’s letter states. Officers approached the driver, who “declared to them he was a Congressman and was late to a vote. The House had adjourned nearly three hours before this incident. It was Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy from Rhode Island.”

    Baird wrote that Capitol Police Patrol Division units, who are trained in driving under the influence cases, were not allowed to perform basic field sobriety tests on the Congressman. Instead, two sergeants, who also responded to the accident, proceeded to confer with the Capitol Police watch commander on duty and then “ordered all of the Patrol Division Units to leave the scene and that they were taking over.”

    A source tells the DRUDGE REPORT: “It was apparent that the driver was intoxicated (stumbling) and claimed he was in a hurry to make a vote.

    “When it became apparent who it was, instead of processing a normal DWI, the watch commander had the Patrol units clear the scene. The commander allowed other building officials drive Kennedy home.”

    This morning’s incident comes just over two weeks after Kennedy was involved in a car accident in Rhode Island.

    “I was involved in a traffic accident last night at First and C Street SE near the U.S. Capitol,” Kennedy said in a written statement released by his office. “I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident. I will fully cooperate with the Capitol Police in whatever investigation they choose to undertake.”

    5/3/2006

    World oil prices to stay high through 2007: US EIA

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:44 pm

    As long as we continue to count on conservation as our only plan for becoming less Dependant on foreign oil, gas prices will continue to climb. I hope the American public will finally hold the right people responsible for our energy problem. If you’re really feeling the higher gas prices, you can blame liberal environmentalists for your woes. They’ve prevented any and all domestic drilling and their bogus scare tactics have stopped new refineries from being built for decades. Hey, but, at least the antelope won’t have to walk around any oil wells as they graze in the tiny piece of ANWR that could have been opened for drilling.

    World crude oil prices are expected to stay high through 2007 because of strong petroleum demand, limited surplus oil production and refining capacity and concerns about supply disruptions due to geopolitical risks in countries like Iran, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday.

    The EIA said none of these “forces that contribute to current high crude oil prices will ease significantly in the near future, so our best forecast is that crude oil prices will remain elevated through 2007.”

    The Energy Department’s analytical arm also said in its weekly review of the oil market, “Strong growth in the world economy, and particularly in China and the United States, has fueled the need for more oil, thus putting upward pressure on prices.”

    U.S. oil prices have stayed above $70 a barrel also due to fear among traders that the West’s dispute with Iran over its restarted nuclear program could disrupt that country’s oil exports and a large part of Nigeria’s oil exports remains halted because of militant violence.

    “The situation in Nigeria may continue for many months (and) market concerns about a possible supply disruption from Iran are likely to remain through at least this year if not into next year,” the EIA said.

    U.S. Mass Transit on Alert

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:30 pm

    A terror alert like this right after an Osama tape and a Zarqawi tape, doesn’t sound good. I’m just hoping that the Democrat’s leak of the NSA wiretapping program hasn’t put us all in danger of a mass transit attack.

    ABC News has learned that the Department of Homeland Security has alerted U.S. mass transit officials to “suspicious videotaping” of European rail systems that point to a continuing terrorist interest in targeting mass transit and “possible surveillance or pre-operational planning.”

    According to a short unclassified infrastructure security “private sector note” released Tuesday, May 2nd, DHS says a 17 minute hand held videotape by one foreign national detained in November in a major European city included footage of several stations, two routes and the interior of one “subway car.” None of the footage was of tourist attractions. Information from a second suspicious videotaping, also in November 2005, was factored into the one page private sector note.

    “Two incidents of suspicious videotaping of a European mass transit system in the last 120 days provide indications of continued terrorist interest in mass transit systems as targets, and potentially useful insight into terrorist surveillance techniques,” DHS said.

    The contents of the 17 minute tape that appeared suspicious included the recording of station signs from inside a moving train, shooting footage of the rail car and station platform ceilings and recording trash can and stairwell locations. This footage seems to mesh with known techniques and elements of prior casing reports of planned and executed terrorist plots including the London bombing and plots against the New York City subway system.

    The Department of Homeland Security stresses that there is no specific or credible threat information at this time to suggest an an attack on U.S. rail systems, a spokesman said.

    Breaking: Verdict reached in Moussaoui case

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 1:03 pm

    Moussauoui, one of the 9/11 terrorists who didn’t get his virgins that day, will get life in prison instead of the death penalty. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. He deserved the death penalty for his part in the murder of 3,000 innocent Americans, but he’ll probably suffer more by languishing in prison for decades, after failing to kill any infidels and make it to paradise. He’ll be doing time in one of the roughest prisons in the U.S., and I’m guessing he won’t be too popular among the other inmates.

    Convicted Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on Wednesday for his role in the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Reading the jurors’ verdict outside the Alexandria court house, Edward Adams, the court’s public information officer, said the verdict only indicated that the jurors were “not unanimous in favor of a sentence of death.”

    The jurors had deliberated over Moussaoui’s fate for seven days, having previously decided that Moussaoui’s role in the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil made him eligible for the death penalty, despite not having played a direct role in the plot. Prosecutors had argued that had Moussaoui divulged to authorities what he knew of the plot, the attacks could have been prevented.