Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty tried to get Republican presidential candidates in the October 11 New Hampshire debate to agree with the left-wing consensus that Wall Street suddenly and inexplicably went insane and greedy all at once during the 2008 housing and financial crash. Republicans were also asked to echo leftist calls for jailing stockbrokers, but if Tumulty hoped for ideological consensus, she left the Dartmouth College debate table disappointed. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann began with an attack on the federal government for creating the sub-prime market crisis through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsidies, the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations, and "artificially low interest rates" through the Federal Reserve Bank. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich followed, launching into a vitriolic attack on the Federal Reserve Bank, and referring to "Occupy" protesters in various cities across the nation: If they want to really change things, the first person to fire is Bernanke, who is a disaster as a Chairman of the Federal Reserve.... Bernanke has in secret spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out one group and not bailing out another group. I don't see anybody in the news media demanding the kind of transparency at the Fed that you would demand in every other aspect of the Federal government. And I think it is corrupt and it wrong for one man to have that kind of secret power.
The controversy surrounding the disastrous Operation Fast and Furious (part of Project Gunrunner) has prompted a congressional investigation which is quickly heating up as more facts emerge. The investigation has led Congress to question Attorney General Eric Holder as to how much he knew of the operation, and how long he was sitting on the knowledge that known Mexican drug cartel members were permitted by the officials of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF) to walk with weapons provided by the ATF. The inquiry has resulted in an exchange of scathing letters between Holder and the investigation head, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Operation Fast and Furious was launched in 2009 in an effort to target major gunrunners. The stated plan was to follow gun purchasers in the hopes that the suspects would lead the ATF to major heads of Mexican cartels. Unfortunately, some of those same deadly weapons were found at crime scenes in both Mexico and the United States, and were involved in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry last year. Attorney General Holder has done his best to distance himself from the failed gunwalking operation. However, one week ago, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), a ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, distributed five separate memos from July and August of 2010 addressed to Holder, which cite Operation Fast and Furious by name. The documents implicate Holder, proving he likely knew about the program for at least a year.
With the announcement that Greece was going to get another bailout in November and that France and Germany were close to a permanent solution to Greece’s financial problems, stock markets around the world leaped for joy, gaining three percent inside the first 15 minutes on Monday morning. Reality began to settle in, however, when it became apparent that details of the master plan to save the Eurozone were missing or, as the U.K. Telegraph expressed it, “full of rhetoric but devoid of detail.” And the additional bailout of Greece in the amount of $11 billion will barely be enough to keep that country afloat for another month. The “troika” of internationalists (the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank — the EU, the IMF, and the ECB) who have been pressuring Greece to increase its austerity measures in order to “qualify” for the money noted that Greece simply won’t be able to meet its 2011 objectives: Its targets are “no longer within reach” due to “slippages” in the Greek economy, but things ought to be just fine by 2012.   Observers of the Eurozone’s rolling crises have concluded that Greece is insolvent and that default on its nearly $500 billion of sovereign debt is just a matter of time. Inevitable parallels are being drawn to Argentina’s default in December of 2001 on most of its $132 billion sovereign debt, and the question being asked of Greece is, Why delay the inevitable? Why not just admit the reality, declare your solvency, and get on with life? Just like Argentina?
Under a new European Union (EU) edict on toy safety, unsupervised children below the age of eight will no longer be permitted to blow up balloons due to choking hazards, according to Britain’s Daily Telegraph. Balloons and other toys — including magnetic fishing games, toy lipsticks, and recorders — have been added to the expanding catalog of Euro Zone regulations that are further empowering the region’s nanny state government. The directive’s official guidance reads: "For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded." Further, the EU’s legislation uplifts restrictions on the loudness of noisy toys, like rattles or musical instruments; likewise, all teddy bears marketed for children under three-years-old must be fully washable, as to prevent spreading of diseases and infections. Critics note that such regulatory authority means the popular "Lots O’ Hugging Bear" will be facing a ban if it does not undergo strict and costly new guidelines. Despite their decades of entertainment, party toys such as small whistles and magnetic fishing games will be regulated, and possibly banned, because of small parts or dangerous chemicals that are allegedly hazardous to children’s health. Indeed, the popular "paper tongue" whistle blowers, commonly used at birthday parties, are now "unsafe" for all children under the age of 14, due to the possibility of a child swallowing and choking on pieces of the whistle.
Which of the "top-tier" presidential candidates is the most honest and intelligent, and has the most solid philosophy of government, in the view of the average American? Hold on to your hats: It’s Barack Obama, according to the latest survey by trusted evangelical pollster George Barna. Ignoring all other candidates, the survey in early September queried the attitudes of 1,010 randomly selected adults on the perception of the honesty, intelligence, philosophy of government, and leadership ability of President Obama and the two “leading Republican candidates”: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Somewhat surprisingly, Obama scored higher than both Romney and Perry on all factors except leadership, with Romney besting the President on perceived leadership ability and Perry tying Obama in that category. Additionally, while the margins were small, Romney outscored Perry in all categories. Overall, Obama received the highest score for perceived honesty, with 24 percent of respondents rating him “excellent” in this category and another 24 percent calling him “good.” By comparison, only nine percent of respondents gave Romney an “excellent” on honesty, with another 27 percent saying he was “good.” Bringing up the rear was Perry, with only six percent giving him an “excellent” and 25 percent a “good.”
American Christians may not see eye-to-eye on the justness or wisdom of their government’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but one thing on which they should be able to agree — because the facts are indisputable — is that the wars have been devastating for their coreligionists in those countries. Hundreds of thousands of Christians, including members of one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, have either fled from or been killed in Iraq since 2003. Now, according to the U.S. State Department, the situation for Christians in Afghanistan has become so dire that not a single church remains in that country. CNSNews.com quotes the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for the second half of 2010: There is no longer a public Christian church; the courts have not upheld the church's claim to its 99-year lease, and the landowner destroyed the building in March [2010]. [Private] chapels and churches for the international community of various faiths are located on several military bases, PRTs [Provincial Reconstruction Teams], and at the Italian embassy. Some citizens who converted to Christianity as refugees have returned. Furthermore, says the report, “there were no Christian schools in the country.”
Dr. Duke Pesta received his M.A. in Renaissance literature from John Carroll University and his Ph.D. in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature from Purdue University. He has taught at major research institutions and small liberal arts colleges, on a wide variety of subjects at the graduate and undergraduate level, including classes on Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, the Bible, Russian literature, and C.S. Lewis. He has been active in educational reform, and was instrumental in developing and implementing an elective Bible course that is currently available for public high-school students in Texas. He is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and the academic director of FreedomProj­ect Education, an online school dedicated to providing students a classical education delivered through state-of-the-art technology. He was interviewed for The New American by Gary Benoit. The New American: What are the benefits of homeschooling? Dr. Duke Pesta: Besides the obvious advantages of convenience and the comforts and flexibility of the home environment, perhaps the biggest benefit of homeschooling is the ability to manage the message, so to speak. It is impossible to be an informed participant in the culture and not recognize the increasingly volatile politicization of American institutions, especially Hollywood, the media, and of course, academia. Homeschooling provides parents a level playing field, a safe place from which to interact with their children about the proper way to distinguish between important and unimportant information and identify the often one-sided methods by which information is delivered.
Homosexual activists continue to target Wheaton College, one of America’s most high-profile evangelical schools, most recently during the college’s annual homecoming celebration. According to the Chicago Tribune, on the evening of October 7, while other Wheaton students and alumni were involved in legitimate homecoming activities, hundreds of “gay and lesbian Wheaton College alumni, students, staff, and supporters” assembled at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in nearby Glen Ellyn, in the latest effort to force Wheaton College officials to concede that homosexual activity is compatible with the Christian faith — something the school’s administration has thus far been unwilling to do. Reported the Tribune: “For the first time, members of OneWheaton, the recently formed group of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender alumni, and allies of that community, met near the Wheaton campus to enjoy a concert from Christian singer Jennifer Knapp [a Christian singer who says she is now a lesbian] and lead a discussion about being gay and Christian.” The evening featured a panel of four openly homosexual Wheaton alumni who “answered questions from the audience and shared personal testimony about what it was like to struggle with questions about self-identity at a college where students sign a covenant that condemns homosexual behavior,” reported the Tribune.
A new study published in the October issue of the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy confirms what thousands of former homosexuals know first hand: individuals tormented by unwanted same-sex attraction can change. The study, conducted by psychologists Stanton L. Jones of Wheaton College and Mark A. Yarhouse of Regent University, followed the progress over several years of 98 individuals (72 men, 26 women) seeking to change their sexual orientation through involvement in programs affiliated with Exodus International, a noted ministry for those wishing to leave homosexuality. Of the 61 subjects who completed the study and were “successfully categorized for general outcome,” noted a press release on the project, 53 percent were determined by Exodus International’s evaluation to have had successful outcomes from the religious-based therapy. “Specifically,” noted the researchers, “23% of the subjects reported success in the form of successful ‘conversion’ to heterosexual orientation and functioning, while an additional 30% reported stable behavioral chastity with substantive dis-identification with homosexual orientation.” Only 20 percent of the subjects “reported giving up on the change process and fully embracing gay identity,” found the study. The researchers noted that, by and large, the “professional world” of psychology and psychiatry “proclaims that it is impossible to change sexual orientation, particularly homosexual orientation, and that the attempt to change sexual orientation is commonly and inherently harmful.” For example, they noted, “for many years the Public Affairs website of the American Psychological Association stated:
Genetic scientists at the New York Stem Cell Foundation lab claimed a major breakthrough in early October, reporting that for the first time they had used cloning techniques to produce embryonic stem cells which contain the genes of specific individuals. “The cells weren’t normal,” the Los Angeles Times explained — ”they contained three sets of chromosomes: two from the adult cell and an extra from the egg. They would not be fit for use in stem cell therapies.” Nonetheless, continued the report, the controversial creation “marked a first in stem cell research and may point the way toward treatments for diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.” One fellow stem cell researcher, Lawrence Goldstein of the University of California-San Diego, applauded the news, telling the Washington Post: “I think it will teach us a lot of how to control the generation of all the different cell types that we would like to study and use for therapy. I think it’s a really exciting development.” But Daniel P. Sulmasy, a professor of medicine and ethics at the University of Chicago, pointed out that the researchers were toying with human life, a troubling reality. “They have created human embryos,” Sulmasy told the Washington Post.
JBS Facebook JBS Twitter JBS YouTube JBS RSS Feed