How did your U.S. Representative and Senators vote on last summer's debt deal that raised the national debt limit while promising to reduce future spending and deficit projections? How did your Representative vote on a measure that would have repealed the federal phaseout of the ubiquitous incandescent light bulb? And how did your Senators vote on an amendment to prohibit U.S. citizens from being held indefinitely in the ongoing war against terrorism without being given a trial?
The answers to all three questions above are in our latest "Freedom Index" in the January 9, 2012 issue of The New American and also available online as a downloadable PDF.
The New American's "Freedom Index" is a congressional scorecard that rates all members of the House and Senate based on their adherence to constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements. The index is published four times each two-year congressional term; each index rates Congressmen based on 10 key votes.
Even the left-leaning Washington Post has acquired a sour taste over the Obama administration’s deplorable investment in Solyndra, the defunct solar-panel maker that reaped more than $500 million in taxpayer-backed loan guarantees. The administration’s fervor for the so-called "green" energy program, the newspaper noted in a recent article, was "infused" with political motives that spawned reckless policymaking and resulted in millions of wasted taxpayer dollars.
"Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails," the article reads. "Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and officials at the White House."
"The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra."
A mother in North Carolina complained to her local school district after her son came home with a New Testament, telling her that he got it for free at his school. According to the Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times newspaper, Ginger Strivelli, whom the paper identified as a “pagan,” was upset when she learned that her son’s school, North Windy Ridge in Weaverville, appeared to be distributing New Testaments. What made her even more upset was that school officials “were not apologetic” about the apparent New Testament handout, the paper reported. “It’s totally inappropriate they think they can get away with this,” Strivelli told the Citizen-Times. “It’s absolutely unbelievable and their attitude is ridiculous.”
The school’s principal, Jackie Byerly, insisted that there was nothing amiss in making copies of Scripture available to students, explaining that a local group from Gideons International — an organization that has been providing free Bibles to hospitals, hotels, and individuals for over 100 years — had dropped off a box of New Testaments at the main office, with a request that students be allowed to pick up copies if they wished. After getting a thumbs-up from the school district’s superintendent, Byerly left the box outside the school office for students to access during their break time.
Twenty-one-year-old Sam Schmid had an extra-special gift for his family, presented to them just in time for the Christmas holiday. Days after an October 19th car accident that left him in an apparently irreversible coma, and just as medical professionals were set to suggest that it might be time for his family to think about end-of-life options for him, the University of Arizona student amazed the medical staff and everyone else by responding to a simple command from his doctor. Two months later on Christmas Eve, instead of grieving for her son, Schmid’s mother was watching him take short steps with a walker, and even speak in brief, broken sentences.
Advocates for those with severe brain injuries and other life-threatening disabilities point to Schmid’s story as just the latest proof against making hasty end-of-life decisions on the suggestion of doctors and medical experts.
“Right now, I’m feeling all right,” Schmid was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. “except for the rehabilitation, I’m feeling pretty good.”
A New Jersey hospital that performs abortions has promised a dozen of its pro-life nurses that they will not be required to assist in the murderous procedure. With the assistance of the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative legal advocacy group, the 12 nurses had earlier filed suit against the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) after its hospital had tried to force the nurses to help with abortion cases, a violation of both state and federal laws.
As reported earlier by The New American, in September the hospital had initiated a policy requiring that nurses assigned to its Same Day Surgery Unit assist with abortion procedures or face being fired. But ADF noted that UMDNJ was receiving approximately $60 million annually in federal dollars, and so was prohibited by federal law from forcing employees to participate in abortions. In addition, New Jersey law states that no person “shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion or sterilization.”
How well can a shrimp perform on a treadmill? It’s a question that has puzzled mankind for ages. Fortunately, some researchers at the College of Charleston, South Carolina, are in the process of answering it — at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of a mere $682,570 (and counting).
The project first came to light in an April 2011 report on the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). Coburn, famous for his annual reports on government waste, found what he considered to be “over $3 billion in mismanagement at NSF,” including $1.5 million to build a robot that can fold laundry (at a rate of one towel every 25 minutes), $300,000 to study whether Facebook’s FarmVille helps build personal relationships, and (at the time of the report) $559,681 to see if shrimp’s treadmill performance is impaired by disease. Since then, says CNSNews.com, the shrimp research grant has been increased to $682,570.
The study is, in fact, not as ridiculous as it sounds. According to a description of the study on the NSF’s website, it aims to discover how “human-made marine stresses [are] affecting the marine life we need.” Specifically, College of Charleston biology professors Louis Burnett and Karen Burnett
In response to the passage by the House and the Senate of the National Defense Appropriations Act of 2012 (NDAA), Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, announced a national effort to recall every member who voted for the act.
Oath Keepers was founded by Rhodes to encourage current members of the military services and veterans to keep their oath to protect and defend the Constitution against “all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Members commit to following certain “orders we will not obey,” including, as especially relevant to NDAA, Number Three:
The True Faith of Our Founding Fathers Was America founded as a Christian nation?
APPLETON, WIS. – December 28, 2011 – According to major news outlets, current Republican presidential candidates believe that America was founded as a Christian nation, which is causing quite the controversy for some.
The Pew Forum’s just released study Global Christianity: 2011 Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population, shows that at 2.18 billion adherents, or around a third of the world’s 2010 population of 6.9 billion, Christianity is still, by far, the predominant faith across the globe.
But while a century ago the demographic center of the Christian faith was Europe, today “no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity,” note the Pew researchers.
In fact, while over 66 percent of the world’s Christian population lived in Europe in 1910, by 2010 that number had dwindled to just 26 percent, while the numbers of the world’s Christians in North and South America had risen from 27 percent in 1910 to nearly 37 percent in 2010. Moreover, with the massive global missions emphasis among many Christian groups, along with dramatic population growth and demographic shifts over the past 100 years, today nearly “one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%),” noted the Pew study.
The Los Angeles Unified School District embraced First Lady Michelle Obama’s "war on obesity" campaign earlier this year when school officials launched a program to phase out junk food and offer a "trail-blazing" new menu of black-bean burgers, quinoa salad, and a catalog of other "healthy" foods. But according to an article published by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Unified’s efforts to purge its school cafeterias of cheeseburgers and fries has in fact spawned an underground ring of junk food bootlegging.
The new menu, introduced this fall, was lauded as a revolutionary step toward eradicating the "growing epidemic" of obesity, diabetes, and other health issues percolating among America’s youth. The Times reported that ever since the district radically altered its food menus — "think Caribbean meatballs and pad Thai, in place of nachos and strawberry milk" — uneaten lunches are finding a home in the bottom of school trash bins. However, writes the L.A. paper, not only is the food unpopular, poor logistics have also attributed to the program’s hasty demise: