From Jan. 1, 2014, the Boy Scouts of America will no longer bar gay youth. While some churches have dropped the Scouts because of the new policy, the majority of the organization’s members and sponsors are staying. A new conservative alternative Trail Life USA will also launch in January.
Commentary By: Gordon King
Everything may not be as it appears. Presentation is everything, yet is it always right? From government conjecture to mass media reports, we are being told one thing, but is it the truth?
We are told that the Syrian government has attacked the Syrian rebels with chemical weapons. President Assad says that he didn’t do it, the rebels now claim that they did. President Vladimir Putin says that President Assad didn’t do it. President Obama is certain that President Assad did do it.
What are we to believe. We have seen no evidence for proof either way. Yet, President Obama seems committed to bombing the Syrian government. Why? Why is he so adamant about bombing Syria. There must be a reason beyond the chemical attack. An underlying motive.
A professor at a community college in Tennessee allegedly ordered students in her general psychology class to wear “Rainbow Coalition” ribbons for an entire day to advertise support for the advancement of gay and lesbian political causes.
The professor, Linda Brunton, informed her students at Columbia State Community College that opponents of gay marriage are “uneducated bigots” who “attack homosexuals with hate,” reports Fox News Radio.
President Obama’s three-day trip to Israel and the West Bank begins Wednesday and offers Israelis a rare opportunity to shine before a global audience. They’re determined not to squander a minute of it.
President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deliver a press conference following their meeting in the Oval Office. (Wikimedia.org)
JERUSALEM — When the White House tweaked President Obama’s upcoming Mideast itinerary to include Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, Israelis feared he wouldn’t have time for a field trip to see their beloved Iron Dome missile-defense system.
No problem, Israeli officials decided. If Obama can’t come to the Iron Dome, the Iron Dome will come to him. One of the five U.S.-funded batteries will be temporarily repositioned to the airport for a photo op with the arriving president.
Obama’s three-day trip to Israel and the West Bank begins Wednesday and offers Israelis a rare opportunity to shine before a global audience. They’re determined not to squander a minute.
Politicians and pundits will schmooze with some of the estimated 500 visiting foreign journalists at a government-sponsored cocktail reception, while special excursions are being offered for visitors to highlight the softer side of Israel, from wine tasting to Christian pilgrimage.
High-technology companies are putting together a special exhibit of their accomplishments at the Israel Museum, and the Jerusalem International Ice Festival is creating a frozen sculpture in the president’s likeness.
The trip has an official government logo (U.S. and Israeli flags morphed into one), a slogan (“Unbreakable Alliance”) and a new smartphone app launched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office to track every step.
With Palestinian peace talks stalled and no sign Obama will use the trip to pressure Israel to make new concessions, Israelis are hoping to use the long-anticipated visit to cast themselves in a more positive light: as a world-class society and close U.S. ally.
“Israel does not get many opportunities for positive international attention,” said Gabriel Weimann, a political-communications experts at Haifa University. “Israel will try to use this as a chance to market itself and show there is more to the country than conflict.”
Israel is no stranger to the international limelight, but it usually focuses on the West Bank occupation, settlement construction and threats to bomb Iran’s purported nuclear-weapons program.
Aside from U.S. presidential visits, the only other time so many foreign journalists go to Israel is usually during wars and military confrontations, such as last year’s eight-day conflict in Gaza Strip.
For a country often facing international criticism, a U.S. presidential visit is a big deal, officials say.
Jerusalem city workers are busily repairing roads, fixing street lighting and hanging an estimated 1,000 U.S. and Israeli flags. The historic Old City walls will have special lighting so the president can enjoy the view from his King David Hotel suite.
Thousands of extra police and other security personnel will be dispatched to clear and secure roads at an overall estimated price tag for Israel of nearly $4 million, though much of the cost of security and accommodation will be borne by the U.S.
Hoping to avoid an embarrassing public confrontation over settlement construction, government officials said Netanyahu has ordered a temporary halt to all hearings or approvals of Jewish housing in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The international community views such housing as illegal.
In 2010, approval of 1,600 housing units in the east Jerusalem development of Ramat Shlomo during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden created a diplomatic rift.
The Government Press Office is focusing on the hundreds of journalists expected to cover the trip, 250 traveling with Obama and another 250 arriving independently, director Nitzan Chen said.
He noted that with so much regional upheaval in recent years, attention on Israel has diminished and the trip offers a chance to regain some of that. “We’re not leading the news anymore,” Chen said.
The fact that there probably won’t be big breaking stories opens a window for Israel to fill the news hole, he said. Chen’s office is hoping to ferry journalists to meet rocket-attack victims near the Gaza Strip or to see the unstable Syrian border, but those looking for something lighter can tour a winery or take an evening stroll through the Old City.
Despite efforts to show Israel as more than a land of conflicts, the itinerary for Obama will include visits to a model of the destroyed Second Temple of Jerusalem and to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and museum complex.
That focus on Israel’s suffering led Haaretz newspaper columnist Uri Misgav to quip that Obama “will be treated to Jerusalem’s full-dress victim show, a modern Via Dolorosa,” referring to the trail that Christians believe Jesus took to his Crucifixion.
Chen said the campaign is about education, not spin.
“We want to make sure that everyone understands the history and background about the conflict,” he said. “We’re focusing on the press because they are part of the way we can persuade the entire world that we are right.”
Exclusive: Joseph Farah looks at BHO’s true motives, finds he’s at war with America
I write this column with a certain amount of trepidation, knowing the subject not only believes he has the power to order targeted assassinations of American citizens, but has actually already misused that perceived authority.
So here goes.
I have come to the conclusion that nearly everything Barack Obama does under the color of his authority as president is designed to weaken our country economically, militarily and morally.
I don’t think I could ever make that statement about any of his predecessors – and there have been some real bad ones.
Let’s begin with his economic policies. It’s not that those policies have not worked as intended. The problem is that they have worked exactly as intended. As he told us while campaigning in 2008, it’s about redistributing the wealth. That’s what he thinks his job is. That’s what he believes he was elected to do. That’s what he thinks he has the power to do, and he fully intends to use it as he has through his first term.
Worse, he does this not with misguided idealism and benevolent intentions. He does it as socialists always do, to break the back of free enterprise, private property rights and an economy that while no means perfect is the best mankind has been able to use to uplift the poor and provide individual citizens with the incentives to be as productive as possible.
He also does it deceptively – by attacking the ultra-wealthy, corporate interests and banking establishment with tough rhetoric even while serving their interests and welcoming their contributions and support.
What about the military? How does the infusion of homosexuals, transvestites, transsexuals and women in combat roles make the U.S. military more effective? Does anyone even make that claim? Of course not. But it’s not just a wacky social experiment. It’s an active effort to undermine the effectiveness of the military. That’s the dirty little secret.
So is his misuse of the military – sending them to fight alongside Muslim Brotherhood terrorists while claiming to be fighting a war on terrorism. How about using the U.S. military to conduct targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens? Of course, he began his effort by targeting one of the least savory characters imaginable. That’s usually the way bad policies begin. But who will be next? There is no oversight for this policy. If Obama wants you dead, you get killed. It’s just that simple.
What about his efforts to fundamentally transform America’s morality, based on the Judeo-Christian ethics that led to Western civilization as we know it? His attacks on the institution of marriage, which, until very recently, he disingenuously claimed to support, once again demonstrate that what Obama opposes is the unique self-governing society under the rule of law America has attempted to be.
And now, as if to underscore my theory, he’s coming after your guns and moving quickly to extend a “a pathway to citizenship” for perhaps tens of millions of foreigners who jumped ahead of the line of millions of other would-be immigrants who followed the laws of the land in their efforts to come to the greatest country the world has ever known.
Obama isn’t stupid.
Obama is at war with America.
HARTFORD, Conn. — A push for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide is under way in a half-dozen states where proponents say they see strong support for allowing doctors to prescribe mentally competent, dying individuals with the medications needed to end their own lives.
The large number of baby boomers facing end-of-life issues themselves is seen to have made the issue more prominent in recent years. Groups such as Compassion & Choices, a national end-of-life advocacy organization, have been working to advance the cause.
Advocates received a boost from last year’s ballot question in Massachusetts on whether to allow physicians to help the terminally ill die. Although the vote failed, it helped to spark a national discussion, said Mickey MacIntyre, chief program officer for Compassion & Choices.
“The Massachusetts initiative lifted the consciousness of the nation and in particular the Northeast region to this issue that there are other alternatives patients and their families should have an opportunity to access,” MacIntyre said.
Bills legalizing assisted suicide are being considered in Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Kansas and Hawaii — and in Massachusetts, where proponents decided to resume their efforts after the public vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislative trends. There are also bills related to the issue under consideration in New Hampshire, New York, Arizona and Montana.
In Connecticut, which has banned the practice since 1969, a group of lawmakers said Tuesday that the legislature’s first public hearing on the subject would probably be held this month. At least two bills on the issue have so far been proposed in this year’s session of the Connecticut legislature.
If the General Assembly votes to legalize the practice, it would be the first state legislature to do so.
Oregon and Washington have passed right-to-die laws, but they did so through voter referendums. Montana’s Supreme Court has ruled that the practice of physicians helping terminally ill patients could be considered part of medical treatments. Thirty-four states prohibit assisted suicide outright. Seven others, including Massachusetts, banned it through legal precedent.
Opponents claim the initiatives in Connecticut are being pushed only by outside groups like Compassion & Choices.
“There’s no grass-roots cry for assisted suicide in the state of Connecticut,” said Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the socially conservative Family Institute. “This is mostly an out-of-state organization that has targeted the state of Connecticut. They look at the Northeast and think this is low-hanging fruit: `We can conduct our social experiments here in the Northeastern United States.'”
In fact, one bill has been filed in Connecticut this year that would establish a mandatory minimum prison term for someone charged with second-degree manslaughter after assisting another person with committing suicide.
A measure dubbed “end of life choices” recently sped through the Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee but is expected to face a bumpier ride in the Judiciary Committee. In New Jersey, a bill that would allow doctors to prescribe lethal doses of medication for terminally ill patients wishing to take their own lives cleared an Assembly committee Thursday. That legislation would ultimately be subject to voter approval.
Last November, voters in Massachusetts narrowly defeated a measure legalizing physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Supporters of the concept said they hoped the debate would continue and marked the beginning of a conversation to improve end-of-life care.
In Connecticut, Dr. Gary Blick, a Norwalk physician who specializes in treating patients with HIV and AIDS, said he believes the time is right for state lawmakers to push ahead with this issue. In 2009, he and Dr. Ron Levine, of Greenwich, along with end-of-life advocates, sued to seek a clarification of the state’s decades-old ban on assisted suicide, citing concerns about Connecticut doctors being prosecuted for giving medications to their dying patients.
A judge ultimately dismissed the suit, saying it was a matter for the legislature to decide.
The 1969 Connecticut law states that a person who “intentionally causes or aids another person, other than by force, duress or deception, to commit suicide” is guilty of second-degree manslaughter.
Blick said not all dying patients will want the ability to take their own life, but he said they should be given the choice.
“This is not for everybody. We do realize there are people that do not believe in this for religious beliefs, and I respect that. There are no issues over that,” he said. “But there are those subsets of people that do not want to go through the suffering that they have to go through.”
Cathy Ludlum, of Manchester, a disabled-rights activist who has spinal muscular atrophy, said she is concerned the Public Health Committee has decided to hold the public hearing and worries the issue of doctor-assisted suicide will not go away soon.
“Until people are really educated about the issues, it’s going to keep coming up, even if it’s defeated this time,” she said, adding how she wants lawmakers to focus more on “giving people a good life than giving people a good death.”
Feminist blog Jezebel reports that, in an advanced press briefing yesterday, Planned Parenthood revealed a new strategy for how it will talk about abortion.
www.lifenews.com – By Matt Yonke
After polling Americans on how they feel about abortion and about the terms “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” and other language surrounding the abortion debate, the nation’s largest abortion chain is moving away from talking about abortion in the decades-old language of “choice” in favor of language that emphasizes the “difficulty” of the abortion decision.
Planned Parenthood has realized that the demographic they have to pursue and persuade is the majority of Americans who are somewhere in the middle on abortion.
Planned Parenthood Moves to Persuade the Squishy Middle
Most Americans believe it should be restricted in some senses — much more than Planned Parenthood would like — and so they’ve decided to shift from the decisive language of “choice” to the squishy language of moral ambiguity, which is where they would love the abortion debate to stay.
The change is important enough that Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards was on hand for Wednesday’s briefing. From Jezebel:
“It’s an opportunity to talk to an enormous number of people we haven’t been talking to as much as we should,” said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who was also in attendance to help introduce the organization’s upcoming advertising campaign, which will highlight how complex and personal the decision to have an abortion can be with taglines such as “Only you know what it’s like to walk in your shoes” and “Decisions about reproductive health are personal. You can help keep them that way.”
Trading Old Activists for New
Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens was also on hand explaining that the word “choice” is no longer relevant. She said it spoke to women who had fewer choices at the dawn of the feminist struggle, but that younger women who have all the choices in the world open to them are not moved to fight by the idea of choice.
Clearly this move is a play toward their younger constituency and away from their long-standing, older activist base, who will doubtless be livid that Planned Parenthood is throwing their sacred word, their rallying cry, to the curb. But times change and Planned Parenthood is nothing if not a fair weather friend as last year’s Susan G. Komen funding debacle showed us clearly enough.
And that is the crux of the issue. “Choice” was only ever a piece of rhetoric for the pro-abortion movement, and now it’s become a failed piece of rhetoric, so they’re on to the next thing. They’ll talk about whatever they have to to keep people from considering the clear moral issues in the abortion debate.
Pro-Life Response? Double Down
So what should the pro-life movement’s response be? I move we double down.
Planned Parenthood wants things ambiguous? We will continue to be clear and we will not change the terms of the debate.
We will show the victims of abortion in the public square. We will stand in witness and mourning outside their killing centers and offer help and clarity to abortion-bound mothers. We will continue to expose their moral failings and push our governments to regulate the abortion industry more and more tightly. We will save every unborn baby we can from the abortionist’s clutches.
In short, we will continue to do what we as a movement have always done because we are motivated by principle, not profit; by truth, not ambiguity; and above all, by love for all human beings—no exceptions.