Saturday, April 24, 2010
A Compilation of Evidential Arguments Against "Birthers" -- As Well As Dr. Smaples Giving Christians A Rough Outline On How To Tackle Bad Thinking
I am not here saying that there will not be evidence in the future that would persuade me, that would be closed minded. What I am saying is that the evidence that exists exists in totality on one side... and it is not the birther's side.
This subject has hurt the conservative cause. Many man hours were spent on this rather than fighting against Obama's agenda. One case in point is G. Gordon Liddy, whom I enjoy normally. But I would have rather had his voice already sounding the health-care alarm on the Chris Matthew's show rather than this crazy conspiracy stuff: "These Guys are Embarrassing Us! G. Gordon Liddy Gets Worked by Chris Matthews on Obama's Birth Certificate." Time and energy lost.
- FactCheck: Born in the U.S.A.
- The Strata-Sphere:The Obama “Forged Birth Certificate” Myth Is Busted
- Snopes: Barack Obama's Birth Certificate
In this rereleased interview from 1998, Christopher Hitchens, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair magazine, is a self-proclaimed radical. William F. Buckley, Jr., editor-at-large of National Review magazine, is one of the most noted conservatives in the country. During the 1960’s, Hitchens enjoyed the counter-culture, whereas Buckley was one of the founders of the politically conservative counter counter-culture. Thirty years later (1998), and Hitchens and Buckley are still wrangling over the Revolution.
OREGON CITY — Clackamas County District Attorney John Foote kept his promise to reach out to an Oregon City church whose members have been prosecuted for failing to provide adequate medical care for their children.
Foote sent a letter last week to 415 families who belong to the Followers of Christ Church. The church has a long tradition of using faith healing rather than mainstream medical treatment, sometimes with fatal consequences.
“As a starting point towards a possible dialogue between the church and law enforcement, let me ask the following question: Is there an opportunity for us to agree under what circumstances parents should take their children to a doctor or hospital for appropriate medical care?” Foote wrote.
“Our goal would be to try and find ways to make sure that children of the church are safe and receive appropriate medical care. We would work with you to make that happen,” the letter said.
It is hard to say how many church members would be open to using doctors. Current and former members have said seeking medical treatment shows a lack of faith. An attorney representing the church did not return a call to his office on Tuesday.
Foote said he was reluctant to talk about the letter. “The letter was not intended as a public act. It was intended as a private communication. The real conversation should go on in private,” Foote said Tuesday.
- Source / Full Story: district attorney reaches out to families in faith-healing church, Steve Mayes, The Oregonian, Apr. 20, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
Friday, April 23, 2010
On May 20th -- There Will Be A Giant Release of Muhammad Drawings/Likenesses (I Will Post My Drawing Then)
Seattle cartoonist launches "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day"
After Comedy Central cut a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris wanted to counter the fear. She has declared May 20th "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."
Norris told KIRO Radio's Dave Ross that cartoonists are meant to challenge the lines of political correctness. "That's a cartoonist's job, to be non-PC."
Producers of South Park said Thursday that Comedy Central removed a speech about intimidation and fear from their show after a radical Muslim group warned that they could be killed for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
The group said it wasn't threatening South Park producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, but it included a gruesome picture of Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker killed by a Muslim extremist in 2004, and said the producers could meet the same fate. The website posted the addresses of Comedy Central's New York office and the California production studio where South Park is made.
"As a cartoonist I just felt so much passion about what had happened I wanted to kind of counter Comedy Central's message they sent about feeling afraid," Norris said.
Norris has asked other artists to submit drawings of any religious figure to be posted as part of Citizens Against Citizens Against Humor (CACAH) on May 20th.
On her website Norris explains this is not meant to disrespect any religion, but rather meant to protect people's right to express themselves.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer today signed into law an immigration bill that gives the state toughest law in the nation, making it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requiring local police to enforce federal immigration laws.
Brewer said she signed the bill in response to "the crisis the federal government has refused to fix."
Hispanic leaders addressing the hundreds of protesters at the Capitol immediately vowed to wage a legal fight, and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said he wants the city to sue.
The new immigration law will require anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce "an alien registration document," such as a green card, or other proof of citizenship such as a passport or Arizona driver's license.
It also makes it illegal to impede the flow of traffic by picking up day laborers for work. A day laborer who gets picked up for work, thus impeding traffic, would also be committing a criminal act.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|South Park Death Threats|
Bob Parks was on Al Sharpton's radio program yesterday. Bob was on opposite another guest, Professor Eddie Glaude of Princeton University. The topic was Tea Party "racism." Al Sharpton shows his educational level, and the professor shows his ignorant bias.
America's three permanent strategic interests in the Middle East are as follows:
1 - Ensuring the smooth flow of affordable petroleum products from the region to global consumers through the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.
2 - Preventing the most radical regimes, sub-state and non-state actors from acquiring the means to cause catastrophic harm.
3 - Maintaining the US's capacity to project its power to the region.
A strong Israel is the best guarantor of all of these interests. Indeed, the stronger Israel is, the more secure these vital American interests are. Three permanent and unique aspects to Israel's regional position dictate this state of affairs.
1 - As the first target of the most radical regimes and radical sub-state actors in the region, Israel has a permanent, existential interest in preventing these regimes and sub-state actors from acquiring the means to cause catastrophic harm.
Israel's 1981 airstrike that destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor prevented Iraq from acquiring nuclear weapons. Despite US condemnation at the time, the US later acknowledged that the strike was a necessary precondition to the success of Operation Desert Storm ten years later. Richard Cheney - who served as secretary of defense during Operation Desert Storm - has stated that if Iraq had been a nuclear power in 1991, the US would have been hard pressed to eject Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army from Kuwait and so block his regime from asserting control over oil supplies in the Persian Gulf.
2 - Israel is a non-expansionist state and its neighbors know it. In its 62 year history, Israel has only controlled territory vital for its national security and territory that was legally allotted to it in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate which has never been abrogated or superseded.
Israel's strength, which it has used only in self-defense, is inherently non-threatening. Far from destabilizing the region, a strong Israel stabilizes the Middle East by deterring the most radical actors from attacking.
In 1970, Israel blocked Syria's bid to use the PLO to overthrow the Hashemite regime in Jordan. Israel's threat to attack Syria not only saved the Hashemites then, it has deterred Syria from attempting to overthrow the Jordanian regime ever since.
Similarly, Israel's neighbors understand that its purported nuclear arsenal is a weapon of national survival and hence they view it as non-threatening. This is the reason Israel's alleged nuclear arsenal has never spurred a regional nuclear arms race.
In stark contrast, if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, a regional nuclear arms race will ensue immediately.
Although they will never admit it, Israel's non-radical neighbors feel more secure when Israel is strong. On the other hand, the region's most radical regimes and non-state actors will always seek to emasculate Israel.
3-- Since as the Jewish state Israel is the regional bogeyman, no Arab state will agree to form a permanent alliance with it. Hence, Israel will never be in a position to join forces with another nation against a third nation.
In contrast, the Egyptian-Syrian United Arab Republic of the 1960s was formed to attack Israel. Today, the Syrian-Iranian alliance is an inherently aggressive alliance against Israel and the non-radical Arab states in the region. Recognizing the stabilizing force of a strong Israel, the moderate states of the region prefer for Israel to remain strong.
From the US's perspective, far from impairing its alliance-making capabilities in the region, by providing military assistance to Israel, America isn't just strengthening the most stabilizing force in the region. It is showing all states and non-state actors in the greater Middle East it is trustworthy.
On the other hand, every time the US seeks to attenuate its ties with Israel, it is viewed as an untrustworthy ally by the nations of the Middle East. US hostility towards Israel causes Israel's neighbors to hedge their bets by distancing themselves from the US lest America abandon them to their neighboring adversaries.
A strong Israel empowers the relatively moderate actors in the region to stand up to the radical actors in the region because they trust Israel to keep the radicals in check. Today's regional balance of power in which the moderates have the upper hand over the radicals is predicated on a strong Israel.On the other hand, when Israel is weakened the radical forces are emboldened to threaten the status quo. Regional stability is thrown asunder. Wars become more likely. Attacks on oil resources increase. The most radical sub-state actors and regimes are emboldened.
To the extent that the two-state solution assumes that Israel must contract itself to within the indefensible 1949 ceasefire lines, and allow a hostile Palestinian state allied with terrorist organizations to take power in the areas it vacates, the two-state solution is predicated on making Israel weak and empowering radicals. In light of this, the two-state solution as presently constituted is antithetical to America's most vital strategic interests in the Middle East.
When we bear in mind the foundations for the US's alliance with Israel, it is obvious that US support for Israel over the years has been the most cost-effective national security investment in post-World War II US history.
Just Wars, Good & Evil, Worldviews and Paradigms, Secular vs. Religious Societies and Standing Armies -- Ravi Combines Many Ideas to Answer This Question
Many topics intersect here into one. First, Ravi Zacharias puts all questions into a paradigm. Then he makes the point that depending on which paradigm one comes from gives any weight to the moral aspect of the question. "Good" and "evil" are examined as well as Adam and Eve's original redefining of what is the meaning behind those concepts. Ravi then explains a bit about justice, just wars, and man's aversion to actual evil. He comments a bit on Jesus' examples of military analogies, and ends with a wrap up of the Ten Commandments. A longer response than usual.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
The Deadliest Place In the Solar System Is Beautiful. This is the deadliest place in the solar system, photographed as never before by NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory.
The Deadliest Place In the Solar System Is Beautiful
SDO was launched on February in a five year mission to study the sun's magnetic field. Its image quality is ten times better that 1080p television, four times the resolution of the previous king of the Sun observers, the STEREO spacecraft.
"Conspiracy Show" (4-20-2010): A Caller Tries To Take Up Michael Medved's Challenge About Obama's Birth
On Monday, the Christian Science Monitor bucked its mainstream peers by reporting something truthful about the TEA party movement: police officials have begun to relax security requirements at conservative rallies because of the remarkable absence of violence.
Yes, you read that right: despite nonstop media warnings about hateful protests, violence from TEA party attendants is so nonexistent that police feel safe allowing them to bring large items and sometimes even guns.
The Monitor was compelled to check things out when a TEA party in Raleigh, North Carolina, persuaded officials to overturn a ban on flag poles. Such items are typically banned because a flag pole is really just a very big stick that could be used as a weapon. The Monitor's research led the paper to admit that conservative protests are far less threatening than many past demonstrations.
Patrik Jonsson's article drew a refreshing contrast between violent rallies of the Vietnam era versus the new model of peaceful civil uprising:To be sure, permitting rules and police preparedness are often developed based on past behavior at various kinds of protests. Many go back to the 1960s and 1970s when violent rallies erupted over the Vietnam War. Such protests sprung up again during the presidency of George W. Bush, when protesters clashed with police in New York City and elsewhere during large-scale demonstrations against the Middle East wars. With tea party rallies so far proving more orderly, police have given them more latitude.This flies directly in the face of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) comparing TEA parties to California in the 1970s - and that of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann comparing them to Selma during the fight for minority civil rights.
No matter how much prominent liberals talk about rampant violence, the facts on the ground tell a different story, and reporters end up leaving with rather dull footage - no police clashes, no tear gas, no images of people being carted away in handcuffs.
In fact, the narrative of violence was such a dud on Tax Day, the Huffington Post's coverage of the "most outrageous" images became a small collection of homemade signs.
Security officials in North Carolina were unconvinced by the left's hysteria, and on the morning of April 15, the state rescinded its ban on flag poles. Raleigh's News and Observer reported on the decision:The little-known restriction applied not just to flag poles, but to any posts attached to signs or banners and was out of a concern that the metal, plastic or woods posts could be used as weapons.But there had been no prior instances of violence, and was questioned this week in advance of a Tax Day tea party demonstration being held at 5 p.m. on the State Capitol grounds.So comfortable are various police departments with TEA party rallies that some are allowed to bring guns as an expression of Second Amendment rights. The Monitor relayed this to show how much leeway conservatives are given:Alarm around tea party protests cropped up last year when tea partiers began showing up armed. One much-publicized incident involved a man who carried a high-powered rifle to an anti-Obama rally close to where the president was speaking in Phoenix. The man was not breaking any laws, and the Secret Service said Obama was never in danger.Kudos to the Christian Science Monitor for reporting the truth - but will anyone else in the media follow its example?
It isn't looking likely. ...
Whatever you think about the Tea-Party protesters, whether you think their cause (or causes) is right or wrong, you cannot help but notice different standards applied to them and the demonstrations organized by the far left.
First, the matter of numbers. It’s strange how a protest of tens of thousands will make the first few pages of the NYT but a conservative protest with hundreds of thousands is back on page A-37. Moving further left, the various IMCs–the reporters of political rallies, protests, demonstrations, and the like–have been silent. Why is that?
Second, the organizations represented. When the NYT recently reported on an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. they noted the anti-war movement “consists of dozens of organizations representing pacifists, veterans, military families, labor unions and religious groups.” Nothing was mentioned about the groups on the radical left (communists and anarchists) who organize these anti-war protests. Nothing was mentioned about the black bloc and others who routinely destroy property and aggressively confront the police in these demos.
And, as Zombietime points out, nothing ever gets mentioned about the people who threatened violence against president Bush when he was in office.
Is there a double standard? Seems to be.
Every threat to Obama is now vigorously pursued, trumpeted and dissected by the media and the blogs, and roundly condemned. And I condemn such threats as well.
...(please read more)...But in the past, whenever someone threatened Bush at a protest, there was a deafening silence on the part of the media and the left-leaning blogs, and consequently very little (if any) follow-through on the part of the Secret Service. Which I find quite distressing. I was condemning those threats in the past (as best I could, by drawing attention to them on my blog) — but few people were joining me in my condemnation.
This is not a new development. The NYT regularly downplays the prevalence of extremists on the left, instead preferring to focus on the right. However, where were the racist skinheads, brownshirts and other neo-Nazis at this conservative demonstration? Where were the organizations representing the far-right? Nowhere to be seen or found.
Sure, you had some “birthers” and other kooks but nowhere near the prevalence of “truthers” and other crackpots one finds in left gatherings. Yes, there were nutty Paulistas and people who think Obama is a Muslim Marxist. Like this dude (see photo to the left).
But these people, and the people who compare Obama to Hitler, are far and away in the minority on the conservative right. Most conservatives find those comparisons offensive. Yet comparisons between Bush and Hitler were common on the progressive left during Bush’s two terms in office and few in the mainstream media or on the left were offended by that.
This brings me to the third double standard, the issue of motivation. What drives individuals to engage in collective action? In the case of left-wing protesters, they are pushed to participate due to a sense of great moral conviction. They protest because it is the right thing to do. What about conservatives who protest? What is their motivation?
The predictable response from the mainstream media is racism. Conservatives protest because our president is black. That is some sad commentary on the state of American politics in the 21st century.