A three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that it is permissible for the state to acknowledge its dependence upon God. The decision overturns a 2009 lower court ruling that a state law requiring the acknowledgement of God “created an official government position on God.”
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Kentucky state lawmakers issued a legislative “finding” that “the safety and security of the commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance on Almighty God.” And in 2006, as it passed legislation creating the state Office of Homeland Security, the legislature included a requirement that the executive director acknowledge “dependence on Almighty God” in training manuals and on a plaque at the entrance to the department’s headquarters.
In 2008, after a group of individuals challenged the legislation in a lawsuit, 35 of Kentucky’s 38 state senators and 96 of its 100 state representatives signed friend-of-the-court briefs defending the law.
After initially claiming it would not execute a minister for converting from Islam to Christianity, the Iranian government is — in the words of one analyst — engaging in a “variety of tactics in an effort to neutralize a situation that has called into question its flaunted commitment to religious freedom.”
In an article (“Deny, Deceive, Discredit: Iranians Try Range of Tactics to Resolve Apostasy Case”) CNSNews writer Patrick Goodenough observes that Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s conviction — and looming execution — for "apostasy" from Islam to Christianity led to an avalanche of letters of support pouring into Iran’s diplomatic missions. However, according to Goodenough, the Iranian government has attempted to sow confusion regarding Nadarkhani’s case, by spreading disinformation regarding the actual charges leveled against him:
Nadarkhani, who embraced Christianity aged 19, was sentenced to death late last year for apostasy. Last July the Supreme Court considering his appeal ordered the sentencing court to reexamine whether he had been a practicing Muslim at the time of conversion. “If it can be proved that he was a practicing Muslim as an adult and has not repented, the execution will be carried out,” the ruling stated.
Back before the lower court in his home province of Gilan, Nadarkhani was asked repeatedly to renounce his faith, and refused.
A candy wholesaler is targeting kids with a new product line: lollipops, gummy sours, and ring pops shaped like marijuana leaves. While the manufacturer says the candy, aptly named Potheads, is selling well so far, the trend has some community leaders upset.
“We spot trends that are in the marketplace and we make products to capitalize on those trends,” the candy's distributor, Andrew Kalan was quoted by CBN News as saying. He said that although the target market for Potheads is obviously children, he isn’t overly worried that the candy will lead kids to actually start smoking pot. He added that whatever the case, he is well within his rights to sell the product. “I don’t personally view candy as a gateway drug,” he said. “They’re expressing a political position and it’s a First Amendment right.”
CBN reported that in Buffalo, N.Y., business leaders were outraged by the appearance of Potheads in local stores. “To make a product like that appealing to young adults, knowing the consequences just boggles the mind,” said Fred Merukeb of the Arab-American Business Association.
In fact, some community leaders have begun a campaign to pressure stores to stop carrying the candy. “People need to know that any store that we learn of this disrespect and immorality, will be dealt with swiftly by whatever measures necessary, warned one Buffalo community activist, Charley Fisher III.
Shareholders of PepsiCo have filed a resolution with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to force the company to stop contracting with a research firm that uses cells from aborted babies in its process of producing artificial flavor enhancers. According to LifeNews.com, Pepsi has “ignored concerns and criticism from dozens of pro-life groups and tens of thousands of pro-life people who voiced their opposition to PepsiCo contracting with biotech company Senomyx even after it was found to be testing their food additives using fetal cells from abortions.”
On its website Senomyx explains that its flavor research programs “focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products. Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”
But Debi Vinnedge of Children of God for Life, a pro-life group that has focused its attention on Pepsi’s relationship with Senomyx, pointed out that what the company does not reveal is that it is “using HEK293 — human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors. They could have easily chosen animal, insect, or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors.”
When news of sexual harassment charges against GOP presidential contender Herman Cain first broke, the Cain camp refused to fully address the allegations. As the story went viral, however, Cain’s campaign was forced to answer the claims, but the facts have still not been clarified, as Cain’s explanation of the events is full of inconsistencies.
Cain is accused of having sexually harassed two different women during his 1996-99 tenure as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. Reports indicate that the women were asked to sign financial agreements with the group to leave the association, which barred the women from talking about their departures. Politico first learned of the allegations some time ago, but did not break the story until after several weeks of investigation and research.
When Cain was initially questioned on the sexual harassment charges this past weekend, his response was, “I had thousands of people working for me” at a variety of different businesses over the years, adding that he needs “some facts or some concrete evidence.”
Later, however, Cain’s spokesman J.D. Gordon indicated that Cain was “vaguely familiar” with the charges in question, but that the matter had already been resolved by Peter Kilgore, the general counsel for the restaurant association.
Though GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is struggling to contend with allegations of sexual harassment that date back to his tenure as CEO and president of the National Restaurant Association, reports indicate that his campaign was already in hot water prior to this weekend’s breaking news story.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cain’s “two top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas —something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.”
That private Wisconsin-based corporation is Prosperity USA, a tax-exempt non-profit organization owned and operated by Mark Block, Cain’s current chief of staff and deputy chief of staff, respectively.
According to that organization’s financial records, which were obtained by No Quarter, the Cain campaign owed Prosperity USA approximately $40,000 for items purchased in February and March.
Bobby Montoya, a seven-year-old boy living with his mother in Denver, wants to join the Girl Scouts, and the group’s Colorado headquarters says that’s okay. As reported by ABC News, a Girl Scout official originally told Felisha Archuleta that her son could not join a local Girl Scout troop, but, sensing a public relations nightmare, the group quickly changed its mind.
According to Archuleta, her son has believed he was a girl since he was two years old, and the mother has apparently done little to reconcile him to his true gender. “I believe he was born in the wrong body,” she told ABC News. “I thought Bobby would grow out of it. For birthdays, he asked for ponies. He had a princess birthday, and last year when he turned 7, he had a Rapunzel birthday. I have just basically supported him.”
However, Archuleta had trouble transferring that support to a local Girl Scout leader, who was dumbfounded at the mother’s request to let her son join the girl’s group. She recalled that “the Girl Scout leader told us he can’t join because he has ‘boy parts.’ … But no one would know he’s a boy unless they pulled his pants down.”
Just as GOP presidential contender Herman Cain was enjoying his jump in the polls to front-runner status, breaking news has erupted that could damage, if not destroy, his campaign. Politico reported Sunday that two women accused Cain of inappropriate behavior during his 1996-99 tenure as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association.
According to Politico: "Two women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures."
While exiting the CBS building in Washington, D.C. after appearing on the CBS program Face the Nation this weekend, Cain was drawn into a “tense sidewalk encounter,” writes Politico, where he avoided a number of questions regarding the sexual harassment allegations.
“Have you ever been accused, sir, in your life of harassment by a woman?” asked the reporter. According to Politico, Cain “breathed audibly, glared at the reporter and stayed silent for several seconds.” The question was repeated by the reporter several times before Cain responded, “Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?”
A group of homosexual activists comprised of both active and retired military personnel is suing the federal government to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as only between a man and a woman. The group wants the law changed so that homosexual “married” couples can receive the same benefits as traditional married couples serving in the military.
Under DOMA, reported the Associated Press, “the Pentagon is required to ignore same-sex marriages, which are legal in six states and Washington D.C. and were legal for a time in California.” That denial of spousal benefits, “gay” groups argue, is in direct conflict with the lifting last month of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”— the law that barred homosexuals from serving in the armed forces. With full access to military service, homosexuals now want unrestricted freedom to pursue their lifestyle — including full access to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by normal military couples and their families.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a homosexual activist group whose specific focus is the U.S. military, filed the lawsuit on behalf of eight service members and their same-sex partners. The group’s director, Aubrey Sarvis, said that the suit was about “one thing, plain and simple … justice for gay and lesbian service members and their families in our armed forces rendering the same military service, making the same sacrifices, and taking the same risks to keep our nation secure at home and abroad.”
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “History is a series of agreed-upon myths.” I’m not quite that cynical, but our history books do sometimes seem more like mythology than reality. In fact, in school we don’t even call the subject “history” anymore but “social studies” (socialist studies?). Yes, the victors write the history, and it’s pretty easy to see who has been winning the culture war for the last 100-odd years.
“You’re a fascist!”
It’s an accusation so common that I can only paraphrase Helter Skelter figure Charles Manson’s remarks about being “crazy” and say, there was a time when being a fascist meant something; nowadays everybody’s a fascist. Why, even the Online Etymology Dictionary, a source not generally known for hyperbole or any discernable sense of humor, has the following statement under the entry “fascism”: “1922, originally used in English 1920 in its Italian form (see fascist). Applied to similar groups in Germany from 1923; applied to everyone since the rise of the Internet.” Unfortunately, though, the term’s sloppy application didn’t start with the virtual world. It started with virtual history.
If those commonly known as historians are right, Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, and Spain’s Francisco Franco all were fascists, despite the fact that their regimes were very different ideologically.