Another Triumph for the Greens

Another Triumph for the Greens

Jonathan V. Last in the Jan 31st Weekly Standard

My dishwasher is the Bosch SHE58C—an amazing machine. Stainless-steel front, concealed controls, six cycles to choose from. The manual runs a brisk 63 pages. When we got the Bosch, I read it cover to cover, highlighting and annotating as I went, marking the manufacturer’s preferred method of arranging dishes and the proper way to sit utensils in the dedicated wash basket. I took some pains to relay this information to my wife, though it did not please her as much as I imagined it would.

At first, my Bosch was wonderful. Quiet as a wind’s whisper, the dishes were so clean you could eat off of them. But a few months ago I started noticing problems. A fork would come out with food between the tines; a glass would have bits of grime stuck to the bottom. Surely this was a fluke? Alas, no. My dishwasher no longer shines. What went wrong?

It so happens that in the last six months, a lot of people have suddenly discovered their dishwashers don’t work as well as they used to. The problem, though, isn’t the dishwashers. It’s the soap. Last July, acceding to pressure from environmentalists, America’s dishwasher detergent manufacturers decided to change their formulas. And the new detergents stink.

One of the key ingredients in dish detergent is (or was) phosphorus. Phosphorus is a sociable element, bonding easily and well with others. In detergent, it strips food and grease off dirty dishes and breaks down calcium-based stains. It also keeps the dirt suspended in water, so it can’t reattach to dishes. Best of all, it prevents the washed-away grime and minerals from gumming up the inner-workings of your dishwasher. Traditionally, phosphorus was loaded into dish detergent in the form of phosphates, which are compounds of phosphorus bonded to oxygen. (PO4 if you’re keeping score at home.) Prior to last July, most detergents were around 8 percent elemental phosphorus. Now they’re less than 0.5 percent phosphorus.

Read the rest of this article on the Weekly Standard website.

The One Thing You Won’t See on TV at the State of the Union

The One Thing You Won’t See on TV at the State of the Union

by Dennis Prager    Townhall.com

Tuesday, when you see President Obama give his State of the Union address, you will see four things: the president entering the hall, the president ascending the rostrum to be greeted by the vice president and the speaker of the House, the president giving his speech and the reactions of members of the Congress and others in the hall.

Here is the one thing you will not see and probably have never seen. You won’t see what is behind the president and above the vice president and the speaker of the House. And because you won’t see it, you won’t know that you are missing something of surpassing importance.

Think about it for a moment. Why do television cameras never pull back and give a wide-angle view of the president delivering his speech? That is certainly routine for TV: It is considered uninteresting to TV viewers to have a fixed view of a subject.

Why, then, have almost no Americans ever seen what is located above the president, the vice president and the speaker of the House?

I discovered the answer when I attended President Obama’s speech on health care to a joint session of Congress.

I saw chiseled in the marble wall behind the speaker and vice president, in giant letters, the words “In God We Trust.”

My immediate reaction was to wonder: Why had I never seen that before? I have, after all, been watching presidential State of the Union addresses for about 40 years.

Here is my theory — and I say “theory” because I cannot prove it.

Read the rest of the article on Townhall.com

Prayer on Capitol Hill? Find Room 219

Visit The Congessional Prayer Caucus website.

Faith Locked Out on Capitol Hill

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Your help is needed today, ­but this time not in a financial way!

By sending a personal E-mail today to your member of congress and your two US senators you will help us secure critically needed space in the US Capitol for an historic meeting to be held in just one week.

For 16 years the National Conference for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers has been the premier indoor pro-life event in the nation’s capital. For most of those 16 years we have met inside the US Capitol building. This year, however, we are being told that for pro-lifers, “there’s no room in the inn!”

Meeting space for these types of events must be reserved by members of congress and approved by the House Rules Committee or the US Senate Rules and Administration Committee, or both. Two such requests were already made some time ago: Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia submitted a request with the House Rules Committee, and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma submitted a request to the US Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Both have gone ignored.

Time is running out. This historic event is scheduled for Monday, January 24, 2011, at 7:30 AM to 10:30 AM! There are only a few days left to make all the complex arrangements for such an important program.

When my office called the two committee offices, we were told every room in the Capitol complex has been taken that day. I’ve been on Capitol Hill long enough to know that simply can’t be possible. It’s likely that one or two members of congress­who don’t like the pro-life position on abortion­are blocking approval of our space.

This has happened before. A few years ago we were told the same thing. At the last minute, we were able to get meeting space (although not the best), and during the program I snuck out to see if all the other rooms we were told were already taken were actually being used. Not a single one was occupied during the hours we had requested. Instead, they were dark and empty.

This is the way the political game is played in Washington, and it’s at the expense of the good people like the scores of pastors and other clergy who are coming to Washington for this meeting­and the hundreds of lay pro-life advocates who will participate.

Please help us today to expose this charade and secure the space we need for this historic gathering. Write your one member of congress and your two senators. Your message needs to be short and to-the-point.

Here’s a sample of what to write:

Dear (Congressman / Congresswoman Smith or Senator Smith),

“Hundreds of American citizens will come to Washington next week to participate in the National Conference for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers. Later that day many will brave the weather to walk with tens of thousands in the annual March for Life. This conference has been held in one of the US Capitol building venues for most of the last 16 years. For some reason this year, requests for meeting space made by Rep. Forbes and Sen. Coburn have gone ignored by the respective committees. Please do everything possible to immediately secure this much needed meeting space. I am looking to you to resolve this urgent problem. Thank you. (Sign your name with address and telephone number.)”

Find the e-mail addresses for your member of congress and your two senators at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

Thank you for taking your valuable time to help us with this Macedonian Cry!

Your very grateful missionary to elected and appointed officials,

Rev. Rob Schenck – Faith and Action

The Deadly Logic of Anti-Blasphemy Laws

by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.           Jan 13, 2011

Blasphemy is a serious matter. Jesus himself underlined the importance with the statement: “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” [Luke 12:10] In this case, the meaning is clear – those who resist the work of the Holy Spirit in calling sinners to faith in Christ will never be forgiven.

Christianity is not an honor religion. Christ did not call upon his disciples to defend his honor, but to believe in him and to follow him in obedience. In this verse, Jesus affirms that even slander against him can be forgiven, but the unforgivable sin is obstinate rejection of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit.

In recent weeks, a coalition of Muslim nations has demanded (again) that the United Nations criminalize blasphemy. A considerable number of Christians might, at least at first hearing, think this as a reasonable demand. After all, we do not disagree that slander against the honor of God is a very, very dangerous sin. But anti-blasphemy laws place the power of theological coercion into the hands of the state, and this is deadly dangerous.

In Pakistan, for example, Section 295C of the criminal code states that “derogatory remarks, etc., in respect of the Holy Prophet … either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo or insinuation, directly or indirectly … shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

On November 8, 2010, a woman named Asia Bibi, a Christian, was sentenced to death by hanging just because she had entered into what was claimed to be a religious argument with Muslims. She was arrested after an Islamic mob surrounded her house and demanded her death.

This past Monday the governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, was assassinated by one of his own security guards after the Governor had stated words of support for Asia Bibi. The assassin said that he murdered Governor Taseer in an act of “protecting Allah’s religion.”

Saroop Ijaz, a human rights attorney in Lahore, Pakistan, explained in the Los Angeles Times that, though no one has yet been executed under the blasphemy laws, “at least 32 people have been killed while awaiting trial or after they have been acquitted of blasphemy charges.”

Anti-blasphemy laws serve the honor logic of Islam but not the evangelistic aims of Christianity. It is wrong to give governments the power of theological coercion. Seen in this light, blasphemy is no small matter, but anti-blasphemy laws are deadly barriers to the proclamation of the Gospel.

Read the whole article on the Christian Post website.

Tucson Tragedy

Everybody has something to say about the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, where a 22-year-old man killed six people and wounded at least twice as many more at a political event on Saturday. Among those he killed are a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl. Among the (critically) injured is the Congressional representative for the district where the shooting took place. Because so little is known about the shooter, and because he is not “cooperating” with police, much of the commentary is devoted to speculation about his motivation for doing the deed.

But, what can we conclude from this? Logically, nothing ‘follows’ from these observations. Andrew Klavan put it well at City Journal when speaking of the shooter, “By all appearances, his mind was ruined by madness and his soul by evil.” Yet many are saying that he was ‘motivated’ or ‘inspired’ or ‘triggered’ by one or another political figure or movement in the culture.  Basically, they are indirectly blaming their own political enemies or cultural opponents for this tragedy.  This is the effect of the “therapeutic” culture that is so influential in American society.  According to this system of belief, nothing is anyone’s fault; a person’s behavior is always “because of” something else.

Christians accept responsibility for their own actions, and believe that others are accountable for their actions. We acknowledge that this is a fallen world and filled with temptations that would lead us into “doing things that we shouldn’t do.” (Christian shorthand: “sin”)  The “therapeutics” would use government power to remove or outlaw temptations (guns, freedom of speech and movement), but Christians work to strengthen our character so that we can resist the temptations that will constantly beset us all. You can’t outlaw human nature, but you can exercise self control.

What can we do? Pray. Pray. Pray some more. For the victims and their families and for the tormented soul who pulled that trigger 30 times.

Why Can’t We Reform Our Criminals?

Why Can’t We Reform Our Criminals?

March 12, 2005

This month at the American Enterprise Institute, David Farabee, a research psychologist at the University of California – Los Angeles and the Director of the Integrated Substance Abuse Program Juvenile Justice Research Group, presented his monograph, “Re-Thinking Rehabilitation: Why Can’t we Reform Our Criminals?”

For those of you who just worry about crime and are not dealing first hand with this issue, here are what might be some surprising statistics:

  • 600,000 criminals are released into society each year.
  • 70% of all criminals are re-arrested within 3 years of their release from prison.

If these statistics are as surprising to you as they were to us, it’s because we mostly hear about the huge number of rehabilitation programs there are, how much they cost, their design and intended outcomes, but seldom do we hear about the results these programs produce. Since these programs are continually funded, since we hear about what they are supposed to do, rather than what they do do, the public at large assumes they work. In fact, of the few programs that have shown any detectable positive effect on their participants, the best result was a mere 10% reduction in recidivism. Dr. Farabee suggests we can do better.

Read the article here.

An interview with a Lethal Man

Interview with Masad Ayoub

February 8, 2005

Massad Ayoob is arguably one of the most lethal men around, in fact he even trains others in the use of deadly force. Many people cannot distinguish the difference between ‘dangerous’ and ‘lethal.’ When they hear that someone is an expert in handgun combat, urban rifle, knife/counter-knife, close-quarters battle and stressfire shotgun, they automatically think of someone to be feared. However, after reading the following we believe you’ll recognize a good guy who balances lethal force and compassion. Only the bad guys need fear him.

Read the interview here.

Muslims in Egypt Protect Christians!

Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”

Yasmine El-Rashidi , Friday 7 Jan 2011
Muslims turned up in droves for the Coptic Christmas mass Thursday night, offering their bodies, and lives, as “shields” to Egypt’s threatened Christian community.
 
Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.
“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.

Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular Muslim televangelist and preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly Street. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”

In the days following the brutal attack on Saints Church in Alexandria, which left 21 dead on New Year’ eve, solidarity between Muslims and Copts has seen an unprecedented peak. Millions of Egyptians changed their Facebook profile pictures to the image of a cross within a crescent – the symbol of an “Egypt for All”. Around the city, banners went up calling for unity, and depicting mosques and churches, crosses and crescents, together as one.

The attack has rocked a nation that is no stranger to acts of terror, against all of Muslims, Copts and Jews. In January of last year, on the eve of Coptic Christmas, a drive-by shooting in the southern town of Nag Hammadi killed eight Copts as they were leaving Church following mass. In 2004 and 2005, bombings in the Red Sea resorts of Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh claimed over 100 lives, and in the late 90’s, Islamic militants executed a series of bombings and massacres that left dozens dead. 

This attack though comes after a series of more recent incidents that have left Egyptians feeling left out in the cold by a government meant to protect them.

Last summer, 28-year-old businessman Khaled Said was beaten to death by police, also in Alexandria, causing a local and international uproar. Around his death, there have been numerous other reports of police brutality, random arrests and torture.

Last year was also witness to a ruthless parliamentary election process in which the government’s security apparatus and thugs seemed to spiral out of control. The result, aside from injuries and deaths, was a sweeping win by the ruling party thanks to its own carefully-orchestrated campaign that included vote-rigging, corruption and widespread violence. The opposition was essentially annihilated. And just days before the elections, Copts – who make up 10 percent of the population – were once again the subject of persecution, when a government moratorium on construction of a Christian community centre resulted in clashes between police and protestors. Two people were left dead and over 100 were detained, facing sentences of up to life in jail.

The economic woes of a country that favours the rich have only exacerbated the frustration of a population of 80 million whose majority struggle each day to survive. Accounts of thefts, drugs, and violence have surged in recent years, and the chorus of voices of discontent has continued to grow.

The terror attack that struck the country on New Year’s eve is in many ways a final straw – a breaking point, not just for the Coptic community, but for Muslims as well, who too feel marginalized, oppressed, and overlooked by a government that fails to address their needs. On this Coptic Christmas eve, the solidarity was not just one of religion, but of a desperate and collective plea for a better life and a government with accountability.

Apple calls Christian belief “objectionable and potentially harmful”

Shockingly Apple has turned us down again, and we need you to act at once.  Please call (408-996-1010) or email Steve Jobs (sjobs@apple.com) at Apple today and tell him of your displeasure.

As you know, on December 8 we re-filed the Manhattan Declaration iPhone app with nothing except the Declaration and the opportunity to sign showing support.

Apple rejected the app, saying in a letter on December 22 that the app contains “references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.  We have evaluated the content of this application and consider its contents to be objectionable and potentially harmful to others.”

What this means is that the teachings of the Bible itself are offensive, even dangerous.

That’s why we need you to sign the petition for app reinstatement at ManhattanDeclaration.org and email or call Apple.  We have to persevere until Apple relents.  If we don’t, it will mean that merely citing Scripture on some key moral issues is grounds for removal of apps and the limitation of speech entailed by that.  This app is no more objectionable than any other app that includes the Bible or the Quran, or other religious texts that speak to moral issues.  The result of this decision will be chilling to all faith groups. 
 
Apple may be banking on the fact that people have short memories; that this issue will just go away after a few days.  Your job and ours is to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Please continue to show your support by contacting Apple, signing the petition to have the app re-instated (which now has over 47,000 signatures), and encouraging those who have not signed the Manhattan Declaration to do so.

Thank you for your support at this important time,

Chuck Colson
Robert George
Timothy George

Learn more about the Manhattan Declaration by listening in on a recent conference call with Chuck Colson and Robert George – CLICK HERE

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What does the National Anthem ‘mean’?

This is fantastic! After you watch this, you will never take the Star Spangled Banner for granted again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Iwa-lSVqA1M&vq=medium