Sunday, August 31, 2014

Why the "Ice Bucket" & other challenges can do more harm than good

We've all heard of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" - the fun gimmick recently launched to raise awareness and funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) -- the debilitating and progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. So far the campaign has raised about $55 million. That's a great testament to American generosity and concern for their fellow humans. But two things concern me: 1) the organization receiving the funds from the Ice Bucket Challenge uses some of its funds to support embryonic stem cell research, and 2) a copy-cat group is calling for similar challenges to raise funds to help pay for abortions. The bottom line is, anything that supports destroying human life does not deserve financial support - period.

Christians are often accused of being "anti-science" because we believe in God - which accusers say is incompatible with science - and because we supposedly oppose stem cell research. But the accusers are wrong. First, such accusers should learn their history. They would be surprised to learn that some of the most famous and important scientists -- including Copernicus, Galilei, Marconi, Mendel, and Pasteur - were Catholic. Second, the accusation that Christians oppose stem cell research is not an adequate description of the issue. Conservative Christians fully support adult stem cell research which is ethical, destroys no human life, and has shown extraordinary promise in remedying or advancing cures for many health ailments.

Embryonic stem cell research, in contrast, requires the destruction (murder) or an already conceived human embryo in order to dismember it for parts and research. That alone is the reason we "anti-science" Christians don't support embryonic stem cell research. However, nobody who wants to see cures to disease, paralysis and other afflictions should support embryonic stem cell research for the simple fact that it has not produced even one positive outcome. 

In fact, there are studies, such as one from the University of Rochester Medical Center, that show patients developing tumors and other maladies after being injected with stem cells from embryos or aborted fetuses. On the other hand, even if embryonic stem cells did produce positive results like adult stem cells have done, it is inherently unethical to sacrifice one human life for another, as is necessary in embryonic stem cell research.

Sadly, the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" - in addition to indirectly raising funds for the destruction of human life - has also spurred a copy-cat fundraiser campaign which, in this case, is directly raising funds for ending human life.

The pro-abortion blog RH Reality Check is asking supporters to mimic the "Ice Bucket Challenge" by engaging in what they call the "Taco or Beer Challenge." Basically, they're asking their readers to enjoy a taco or a beer and then donate money to help pay for others' abortions.

With all the killings in the world lately - especially of Christians at the hands of radical Islam terrorist groups -- not to mention the 55+ million lives lost here in America alone due to the horror of abortion -- how can anyone encourage people to have a tasty, fun meal for the purpose of helping to slaughter an unborn baby?

How did we get to this point? That's not entirely a rhetorical question, because the most likely answer resides in the fact that for decades our culture has moved farther and farther away from God -- and when you overthrow God's Law and replace it with man's law, you get godless things.

I propose a new challenge. Rather than support funds that directly or indirectly end human life, why not support those that value human life?  Go to places like the Stem for Life Foundation or the John Paul II Medical Research Institute. You don't even need to eat a taco or dump a bucket on anyone. Just visit the sites to learn more about ethical medical research and life affirming attitudes - and if you care to, donate. I bet you'll find the positive purposes of these organizations a lot more refreshing than having ice water poured on your head.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Common Core concerns - and how you may be able to opt-out your child

Amidst growing concerns from parents and teachers surrounding the Common Core State Standards and the Federal government’s control of classroom curriculum, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) has prepared a Student Privacy Protection Request form for use by parents who wish to protect their children by opting-out of Common Core aligned curricula, data mining and the release of information concerning their children’s personal beliefs.

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, designed the comprehensive opt-out form for parents concerned about Common Core and who want to protect their children’s privacy from educational data mining. The form allows parents to choose which Common Core State Standards and data driven practices they do not want their children to be a part of, including standardized testing. Click here to download a copy of the Student Privacy Protection Request form.

The form allows parents to opt-out of sharing their child’s information with the federal government, as well as outside agencies and private contractors. Information which parents can opt-out of sharing ranges from test scores and religious and political beliefs, to biographic, biometric, and psychometric data, such as fingerprints, DNA and information related to children’s personality and aptitude.

Richard Thompson, TMLC President and Chief Counsel, commented, “The opt-out form is based on the constitutionally recognized fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children and on federal statutes which were designed to protect student privacy. Our Founding Fathers recognized the dangers to our freedoms posed by centralized control over public education. However, today, all but a handful of state governments, enticed by millions of dollars in federal grants, are voluntarily inviting the federal government to take control of our public schools, imposing untested educational standards and obtaining personal information on children and their parents which would make any totalitarian government blush with envy. We must ever keep in mind, ‘The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.’ Clearly, Common Core is a threat to individual privacy and liberty, and to our Constitutional Republic.”

Religious and private school educators have also criticized Common Core. In a statement the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of faithful Catholic education said, “This school reform effort is nothing short of a revolution in how education is provided, relying on a technocratic, top-down approach to setting national standards that, despite claims to the contrary, will drive curricula, teaching texts, and the content of standardized tests. At its heart, the Common Core is a woefully inadequate set of standards in that it limits the understanding of education to a utilitarian ‘readiness for work’ mentality.”

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed under the supervision of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to ensure that education and educational outcomes were consistent across the United States. The CCSS provides a set of standards they claim are “essential, rigorous, clear and specific, coherent, and internationally benchmarked.”

However, the CCSS have come under heavy fire since the beginning for a variety of grievances including: incomprehensible, political and inappropriate assignments; costly ties to big corporations; in-test advertising; the elimination of locally appropriate standards; and the emphasis placed on standardized testing.

In addition, with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, whose educational value has not been demonstrated, also comes an alarming explosion of data mining within the classroom. Student data are stored in databases designed to follow students from their entry into schools in pre-Kindergarten up through their entry into the workforce. These databases, through a complicated network of contracts and agreements, can then be shared with the federal government, contractors, researchers and other outside agencies. Testing corporations can then analyze the test data, produce recommendations for how to “remediate” student weaknesses, and then sell that information back to states and school districts.

These state databases, often referred to as P-20 systems, like Common Core are tied to federal funding, through the 2009 Federal Stimulus package and Race to the Top waivers, and in some instances can contain over 400 individual data points per student including health-care histories, income information, religious affiliations, voting status, blood type, likes and dislikes and homework completion. The data is then available to numerous public agencies. Despite federal student privacy protections guaranteed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the administration is paving the way for private entities to buy the data while the U.S. Department of Education is encouraging the shift from aggregate data collection to individual student data collection.

As a result of concerns expressed by a Michigan member of the TMLC regarding Common Core in March 2014, the Law Center began its study of the issues regarding the Common Core Standards. The Student Privacy Protection Opt-Out Request was designed by the Thomas More Law Center as a result of that study. It is available as a general reference and guide for all concerned parents. However, each state has different laws that may impact educational issues differently. Therefore, if parents are dealing with schools outside of the state of Michigan, it is important that they consult with a licensed attorney in their state for additional review and modifications of the opt-out form to comport with the laws of their respective states.*

Additional Resources
The Common Core: A Poor Choice for States – The Heartland Institute
Common Core Issues – Home School Legal Defense Association
Common Core – The Eagle Forum

*Post from Thomas More Law Center

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

As promised, ISIS now beheading Americans -- while Obama golfs

"We will not stop until we quench our thirst for your blood." This heart-freezing quote from an ISIS member -- the evil radical Islamo-fascist group perpetrating genocide on the world -- should open all eyes that have been shut up until now regarding the brand of evil we are dealing with.

In addition to the women and young girls being raped, peaceful citizens being literally dragged from their homes under threat of death if they don't convert to Islam, and children being beheaded and having their heads propped up on sticks, now the vicious, diabolical ISIS has beheaded American journalist and Christian James Foley. Then again, killing Americans is precisely what ISIS has promised.

In the video posted Tuesday on YouTube, Foley is seen kneeling next to a man dressed in black. Foley reads a message forced on him by his captors that says "America" is his real killer. He is also heard saying, "I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again." He is then shown being slowly beheaded.

We cannot ignore the genocide being perpetrated against Christians by radical Islam - which includes ISIS, Hamas, al Qaeda, etc. -- just like we could not ignore the genocide by the Nazis in the Holocaust. If anyone thinks there is a difference, they are wrong, except for the fact that radical Islam promises to come to America to carry out its holocaust here as well.

In fact, not since Hitler has the world faced such vicious evil. The horrors taking place are too heinous to believe that diplomacy will work. It won't. These evildoers simply must be stopped with whatever force it takes to get the job done.

In addition, every American needs to shake off his or her moral ambiguity on the issue and stand up loudly against this atrocity. Sign petitions, donate to,, write letters to your editors, talk to every citizen you meet on the street, and relentlessly call your legislators to voice your outrage and concern. Whatever it takes.

After Foley's decapitation, President Obama had to be persuaded to interrupt his exclusive Martha Vineyard vacation to address the situation. What we got was a limp-wristed admonition to the murderers. Obama said what ISIS is doing is bad, but he said nothing about finding the heinous beings who decapitated Foley. He said nothing about unleashing American power upon them to stop this evil once and for all. He said nothing about shutting our borders to keep these vicious murderers from carrying out their promise to kill on American soil, and raise their flag over the White House.

Obama's rhetoric was properly disapproving of ISIS. But it will take more than rhetoric to stop ISIS. It takes leadership - leadership we simply do not have in our president. What we have is a president who encourages hopelessness, anger and despair among Americans, and who exudes indifference in the face of crisis. In fact, upon concluding his speech on Foley -- and that's all it was - a meaningless speech -- Obama returned to his cushy vacation.

Think about it. An American had his head slowly sliced off with a knife, on video, and our president did not see that worth suspending his vacation. Even the Prime Minister of the UK, David Cameron, suspended his vacation and returned to Downing Street upon learning of Foley's decapitation. Not Obama. Instead, videos caught him laughing, smoking a cigar and fist-bumping with his golf partner soon after he delivered his pathetic press conference on Foley. Obama's lack of heart is as disgusting as radical Islam's actions are reprehensible.

This is my third post in a row on this topic because of the depth of seriousness of this issue. If you do not see the horror and utter danger of what is unfolding here, and the larger implications at hand, if you still advocate open borders, then you truly need to do your homework and take the veil from your eyes. These people are fighting against innocent Christians in Iraq, against Americans, against everything civil, against everything Western -- and they are out for blood.

Yet we have a coldly detached president who is on the golf course as we speak. A president who showed more concern for suspected defector Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl than he has for Mr. Foley. This situation - the genocide and our inhumane president -- is extremely serious, and while prayer is essential, action is even more critical, lest this mass genocide continue and spread. As I said earlier, we need to stop this evil and exert whatever force it takes. Unfortunately, I don't get the feeling that our own president is on board with the idea. He's too busy fist-bumping with his golf buddies.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Christian persecution, part 2: The spread of evil continues

Christians are being crucified. People are being buried alive. Children are getting decapitated and then their heads are posted on sign posts. The radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is promising more of this not just in Iraq, and not just against Christians, but for the whole world and all non-Muslims. 

The media refuses to recognize the depth of radical Islamic evil because our anti-American, anti-Christian president, Barack Obama, has advanced a politically correct speech code that refuses to come anywhere close to identifying the real nature of radical Islam - or the fact that it is at war with everyone. Obama also said the war in Iraq was over so if he now announces there is a problem since removing the stabilizing US troops there, it makes his foreign policy look as pathetic as it actually is. So what does he do? He goes on another one of his luxury vacations on the taxpayer dime.

But Obama burying his head in the sand (or should we say his golf club in the sand trap) doesn't change the very real and very, very frightening fact that radical Islam intends to take down the entire Middle East and when they do, they will then set their aim on Europe and America, where they have promised to raise their flag over the White House.

Do people realize what this means? It means radical Islam intends to kill Americans on American soil. It is not a political issue that can be handled with diplomacy. These people are out for blood and nothing will stop them except unequivocal, strong leadership. No doubt, the USA needs to get in the game and recognize the evil at hand. 

Unfortunately our own supposed leader is not only missing in action, but by his general silence and by his absolutely disastrous foreign policy, he is allowing the evil to spread. 

Obama, meanwhile, golfs and attends fundraisers. Obama supporters, if not for the love of your country, then for the love of your loved ones, wake up.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why won't Obama help stop the Christian massacre?

While President Barack Obama supplies billions of dollars of amenities to illegal aliens crossing our borders, he remains mute and inactive on helping quell the massive persecution of Christians currently taking place in Iraq. 

Militant fighters known here as ISIS -- the radical Sunni Islamic State terror group that overthrew Mosul and now threatens Baghdad -- has declared a new Islamic state in Northern Iraq. This caliphate is built on jihadist principles and now these fanatics are driving Christians from their homes. 

Just today, this radical al-Qaida breakaway group overran a cluster of predominantly Christian villages alongside the country's semi-autonomous Kurdish region, sending tens of thousands of civilians to flee from the area. Reports indicate that about 40,000 Christians forced to leave their home are now stranded on a mountaintop with no route for escape - and no food or water in the meantime.

The Christians' only option, according to ISIS, is to convert to Islam, pay a severely punitive tax, or die, while dozens of churches are being destroyed and doors to the homes of Christians are being marked in red by ISIS militants to speed up the process of this mass religious ‘cleansing.’

News reports also abound of vastly widespread barbaric decapitation and other deadly tortures of Christians by this godless, inhuman group. 

And what is our president doing about it? Nothing. He's too busy making sure that immigrant lawbreakers crossing our own borders are well fed and cared for at taxpayer expense here in America, while doing nothing to close the borders so that ISIS members cannot enter our country.

The problem is, if we don't stop this stupendous persecution and massacre that is happening at blindingly alarming speed, it will not abate. And then what? Or does nobody care as long as we don't see it with our own eyes on our own soil? Well, that may just be a matter of time if the leader of the "free world" fails to show leadership at all.*

*UPDATE: As of this morning, the US dropped two bombs on Iraq and is delivering food/water to the refugees. Will this be enough to stop the ISIS Christian persecution or did it just poke a stick in a hornet's nest? 

Here's what Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the terror group, told VICE Media, “I say to America that the Islamic Caliphate has been established. Don’t be cowards and attack us with drones. Instead send your soldiers, the ones we humiliated in Iraq. We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” he added.

But since Obama is vacationing in Martha's Vineyard while all this is going on, we can't be sure what part of this he takes seriously. In the meantime, let's pray for peace and for an end to Christian massacre.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Coming to America: the Ebola virus -- by personal invitation of the president

Yesterday a long-range business jet with an isolation pod left the United States for Liberia, where it will bring back two Americans infected with Ebola.

Upon getting wind of this decision by the Obama Administration, Twitter exploded with questions about the deadly virus, which according to the World Health Organization, is believed to have killed thousands in four West African nations, is extremely contagious, and has a 50-90% mortality rate. In particular, reaction to news that two infected Americans would soon be on their way back to the United States included the simple but on-point question: "Why are they doing this?" 

Up until now, Ebola has never been detected in the United States, so why deliberately import it? It doesn't seem like the smartest way to treat the infection - especially with the US's new policy of open borders, which invites all kinds of diseases into our country. But to purposely bring it here? Maybe that explains why the CDC has dedicated 20 facilities across the nation as Ebola quarantine sites.

Something seems rotten in Denmark....well, in America, at least. Just what is President Obama up to this time? No doubt, though, that those of us who question the president's motive will be branded as cold, heartless and of course, racist. It doesn't matter to his blind followers that contagious disease itself is completely lacking in prejudice. It will take hold of anyone it gets near, black, white, conservative and liberal. This is not a move that's in the best interest of any American citizen, so yes, the question is valid, "Why is President Obama doing this?"

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