You Cry Out

Thoughts on books you’ve read, the Republican debate, the baseball post-season, or whatever else. The open thread is officially open.

Scouts Are Victims of the Culture War

They couldn’t win in the courts, so the Left is attacking the Boy Scouts any other way they can. Sometimes the Scouts win, but sometimes, as in this case, the Left gets cities and organizations to back out of agreements.

Prompted by opposition to the Boy Scouts’ rule disqualifying homosexuals as troop leaders, Philadelphia has forced the city’s local chapter to pay fair-market rent of $200,000 a year for its city-owned headquarters.

As WND reported in June, Philadelphia’s city council voted to renege on a 1928 ordinance allowing the Cradle of Liberty Council to have its headquarters in a building on a parcel of public land “in perpetuity” for $1 a year.

The city argues it can’t rent public property for a nominal sum to any group that discriminates.

City officials in San Francisco and Boston have made similar decisions displacing the Scouts because of the group’s behavior code.

Fairmount Park Commission president Robert N.C. Nix announced this week the Cradle of Liberty Council must pay the $200,000 rent if it wants to remain in the building after May 31.

This is not to say that cities and organizations can’t decide to do whatever they want with their property; they certainly can. But what it does show are the lengths to which the Left will go to destroy something they have a disagreement with. Not content to battle ideas (because they’d lose that battle with the public), they put pressure on the economic side of things, in hopes that they can ruin them financially.

The whole “live and let live” pathos that homosexuals allegedly just want to live by is shown to be the lie that it is; the “let live” part is apparently only supposed to apply to others, not themselves.

This also highlights the differences in conservative and liberal ways of dealing with problems. Instead of letting ideas compete, liberals wish to use the government’s heavy hand to quash anything that they disagree with. The Scouts are simply one of the more higher profile groups they have their sights on.

There is no right to belong to a private organization. There are other organizations that will take homosexual leaders. No one is being denied anything. Free association is still legal, at least for the moment. Therefore, this campaign should be opposed by anyone who still believes in a free country.

[tags]Boy Scouts of America,Philadephia,Cradle of Liberty Council,homosexuals,free association[/tags]

Louisiana Starts Over

As The Captain notes, Louisiana’s heavily Democratic voters have elected a Republican as governor; Bobby Jindal. Even an attempted smear by Democrats using religion, the voters chose the man who promised to root out the corruption. The Katrina disaster may not have been as bad as it was if the state government had spent levy money on, y’know, the levies. And the attitude of “the buck doesn’t even pause here on the way to Washington”, while initially successful in getting people mad at President Bush, has been shown over time for the keister-covering that it was.

If Jindal can deliver, Republicans could capitalize on that for a long time to come. This can only be a good thing for Louisiana, which was suffering long before Katrina.

[tags]Louisiana,Bobby Jindal,Katrina[/tags]

Book Review: Forgotten Founding Father – The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield

I don’t read much fiction these days mostly because non-fiction, especially historical biographies, are far more interesting. I recently came across Forgotten Founding Father – The Heroic Legacy of George Whitefield (Cumberland House) which was written by one of my favorite authors, Stephen Mansfield. I knew very little about George Whitefield before I read the book and was certainly glad by the end that I had taken the time to get to know this remarkable individual from the early days of American history.

Published as part of the Leaders in Action series, the book is designed not simply to be a biography recalling the important events of the subject’s life but also as a study of that person’s character. In this case, the biographical sketch of Whitefield seemed a little rushed in order to get to the character study which takes up the remaining two-thirds of the book.

However, it is the second part of the book that is the stongest portion of the text. Mr. Mansfield takes the key events of Mr. Whitefield’s life and explores how he exhibited (or, in some cases, failed to exhibit) key character traits that we should look to emulate. In fact, I believe Mr. Mansfield has done a great service by approaching his subject in this fashion as it is a person’s character that is far more interesting that what necessarily happened to them.

Although it’s not a comprehensive biography of George Whitefield (nor is it meant to be), this book serves as a great introduction to one of the forgotten heroes of the Christian faith. His influence was profound on our Founding Fathers. His ministry began the Great Awakening in the United States and no doubt had a profound influence on many other evangelists that would follow in his footsteps. I recommend checking out this book as well as many of the other selections in this series.

Putin’s Paranoia

I’m sorry, but even if you believe that Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were the one and only source of Iranian paranoia, or increased attacks on Israel, or whatever ills you want to attribute to it, this is simply pure paranoia.

President Vladimir Putin has announced plans to build a new generation of nuclear weapons after accusing the United States of harbouring an “erotic” desire to invade Russia and steal its natural resources.

Delivering one of his most belligerent anti-Western tirades, Mr Putin also suggested that America and its allies had concocted a fake assassination plot to prevent him from visiting Iran this week.

Casting himself as a pugnacious but benign defender of national sovereignty, the president told his people during a live television phone-in that only Russia’s military prowess had prevented the country from suffering Iraq’s fate.

Puh-lease. This is simply over the top. Putin would have come up with any reason to bolster his military, whether or not the US was in Iraq. As evidence, he’s bipartisan in his paranoia.

The subject of Western plots was first raised by Alexander, a mechanic in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. Was it right, Alexander wanted to know, that certain American politicians considered Russia’s refusal to share its natural resources “unfair” – claims he bizarrely attributed to Madeleine Albright, the former US secretary of state.

“I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians,” Mr Putin replied. “I think it is a sort of political eroticism which maybe gives some pleasure but will hardly lead anywhere.

Of course, this was all carefully planned political theater. Nothing like a US Presidential press conference.

Not once was an unsettling or controversial question asked – a fact that drew scorn from the Kremlin’s dwindling band of critics. “It was unbearably boring and openly narcissistic,” said Yevgeny Kiselyov, a political commentator.

“It was all staged from beginning to end. If he is a president and not the Tsar, why don’t we hear the opinion of those who don’t vote for him?”

Russia’s already rapid rearmament would be stepped up even further, Mr Putin promised. Ambitious plans to bolster the country’s nuclear arsenal – as well as its conventional military hardware – were well underway.

They include new missile systems, modernised nuclear bombers and submarines. “We have plans that are not only great, but grandiose,” he boasted.

To drive home this message, the broadcast was interrupted to show a test launch of Russia’s newest intercontinental ballistic missile.

“The anti-western rhetoric is aimed at voters, philistines who like to believe that Russia is surrounded by enemies intent on keeping the country on its knees,” Mr Kiselyov said.

“For them, Putin is the only man who can defend us from these vicious enemies.”

Indeed, enemies that exist only in his own mind.

[tags]Vladimir Putin,Russia,Madeleine Albright,Yevgeny Kiselyov,military,missiles,nuclear bombs[/tags]

Joe Says No

Joe Torre has shown what a truly classy guy he is by turning down a one-year contract extension offer to manage the New York Yankees:

NEW YORK — After all he had accomplished — four World Series titles, 12 straight years in the playoffs, almost certain entry into the Hall of Fame — and after all the indignities, this was one Joe Torre wasn’t going to stand for.

He wasn’t going to take a pay cut from the New York Yankees, no matter that he still would have been the highest-paid manager in baseball, and he certainly wasn’t going to prove himself all over again.

Torre walked away Thursday, turning down a $5 million, one-year contract —
$2.5 million less than he made this season, when the Yankees failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had publicly stated before the final game of their divisional series with the Cleveland Indians that if Torre didn’t take the team to the World Series this year that they would have to seriously consider whether Torre should continue to be their manager. Obviously, four World Series titles and 12 straight playoff appearances (including overcoming a horrible 21-29 start this year to make it to the postseason) was not enough for the Yankees. Their offer was nothing less than a slap in Torre’s face and Joe wasn’t going to stand for it.

Joe Torre is by far one of the best managers in baseball and a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He doesn’t need the aggravation associated with managing the Yankees. He’ll no doubt end up managing somewhere else next year. Wherever it is, they’ll be much better off for having Joe Torre as their manager.

As for the Yankees, their dominance in the American League is over. They will certainly go downhill from here. It may take a while but they’ll eventually realize what a hugh mistake they have made.

Another Win for Stem Cells

Adult stem cells, that is.

University of Manchester researchers have transformed fat tissue stem cells into nerve cells — and now plan to develop an artificial nerve that will bring damaged limbs and organs back to life.

In a study published in October’s Experimental Neurology, Dr Paul Kingham and his team at the UK Centre for Tissue Regeneration (UKCTR) isolated the stem cells from the fat tissue of adult animals and differentiated them into nerve cells to be used for repair and regeneration of injured nerves. They are now about to start a trial extracting stem cells from fat tissue of volunteer adult patients, in order to compare in the laboratory human and animal stem cells.

Research continues in both adult and embryonic stem cells, but the big news from adult stem cells just keep coming and coming. What’s interesting is that this breakthrough could lead to the very result that the late Christopher Reeve and other supporters was suggesting could happen only if the feds paid for embryonic stem cell research. But here we have stem cells that could potentially repair nerves with nary an ethical or moral issue.

So why the exaggerated imperative over embryonic stem cells? One has to wonder.

[tags]Christopher Reeve,stem cells,medicine,science,Paul Kingham,University of Manchester,artificial nerve,bionic nerve[/tags]

The Reluctance to Defend Life

Russ Neglia of “Pro-Life Pro-Logic” has a post up about the church — Catholic and Protestant — and its reluctance to take a public stand for life. Aside from its own teachings to the faithful, Russ sizes up the church in general and finds it generally missing from the public square. As to why this is, Russ believes that “non-offense” and “tolerance” — that is, modern day political correctness — have seeped into the message and the preachers.

Calling something “wrong” is inherently offensive and intolerant. Can the church still do this?

[tags]abortion,pro-life,Christianity,Russell Neglia[/tags]

You Cry Out

The first of our open threads. We’ll start doing this weekly, but if we get enough conversation, we’ll try doing it more often.

Pick a topic, any topic (within legality and taste).

How to Measure Your Pro-Life Vote

Erick, a fellow Georgian at Redstate, runs the numbers.

In May of 2005, Georgia’s “Woman’s Right to Know Act” went into effect. As Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson explains, “The law required that doctors explain to women the medical risks of abortion and the status of life in their womb. They then had to wait 24 hours before proceeding with this critical decision.”

Two years have now passed since the Act went into effect. Again, from Senator Johnson

According to the Senate Majority Leader, Tommie Williams, we have already seen significant results in passing this critical pro-life legislation. Since it went into effect in May of 2005, the DHR reports that between 32,500 and 40,500 women have talked to their doctors about an abortion. After that conversation and the information provided to them by this law, approximately 10,000 chose to carry their babies to term. In addition, 2,300 minors considered terminating their pregnancy and only 500 did so. So we saved about 11,800 babies so far. Pretty neat, huh?

Much, much more than just “neat”, in my estimation. Erick credits the election of pro-life legislators with turning the tide, and I’d agree. Your vote counts, and your vote matters.

[tags]abortion,pro-life,State Senator Eric Johnson,Georgia,State Senator Tommie Williams,Woman’s Right to Know Act[/tags]

The Nobel “Peace” Prize

…for a strained definition of “peace”.

Former Vice President Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work to raise awareness about global warming.

During its announcement, the Nobel committee cited the winners “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

“Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming,” Ole Danbolt Mjoes, chairman of the Nobel committee, said in making the announcement.

“Thousands of scientists and officials from over 100 countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming.”

The Nobel committee praised Gore as being “one of the world’s leading environmentalist politicians.”

He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted,” said Mjoes

What this has to do with peace is not even hinted at by the CNN report. For that we have to go to the official Nobel Prize site press release. In the 5 paragraph statement, there is but one line about how this has anything to do with advancing peace.

Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth’s resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world’s most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.

The bold part is the one line of strained connection to peace, while the italicized “may”s chart the path the Nobel folks take to get there. “A just might happen, and then perhaps B could take place, and that means that people might fight about it.”

To top it all off, Gore hasn’t actually done much to stop global warming (certainly not in his own home); he got the award, in the Nobel committee’s words, for his efforts “to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.” In other words, he’s been zipping around in private jets telling the rest of the world to slow down.

Well, if simply calling attention to something that might, given a certain set of circumstances, lead to fighting, may I start the nomination process for 2008?

The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational organization with a vision for aiding Christians around the world who are being persecuted for their faith in Christ, fulfilling the Great Commission, and educating the world about the ongoing persecution of Christians.

VOM is doing something about violence that is going on now, not simply raising awareness of something that might happen. For all their talk of hating torture, I’m sure the Left in this country could rally around this as much as for Gore. The Nobel folks already have the precedent of sending a political message with their choices, as they did with Jimmy Carter’s prize, and this would send an anti-torture message. How about it?

Yeah, well, hold not thy breath. The Nobel “Peace” Prize has become just another Leftist accolade. They’d give it to the late Yassar Arafat before VOM.

Oh yeah. They did.

[tags]Nobel Peace Prize,Al Gore,United Nations,IPCC,The Voice of the Martyrs,torture,global warming,environment,Ole Danbolt Mjoes,Christianity,persecution[/tags]

When Did Coulter Get Her M.Div.?

Media Matters takes aim at Ann Coulter quite often. In one sense, I can hardly blame them for it. Spend half an hour with her and she’s bound to say something they can trumpet on their web site. Fair enough.

But this complaint just seems like it was made on a slow news outrage day.
Read the rest of this entry

Vote Buying

“Hmm, my first attempt at bribing for votes was a little too obvious. Let’s try it this way.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed tax cuts of up to $1,000 a year on Tuesday to encourage millions of working-age families to open personal 401(k) retirement accounts.

The New York senator said the program would be paid for through higher estate taxes.

At the same time, Clinton said she has given up another idea for a savings incentive — giving every baby born in the U.S. a $5,000 account to pay for college or a first home.

Instead, she said, her plan for what she called “American Retirement Accounts” will provide “universal access to a generous 401(k) for all Americans.”

From Wikipedia, I found the source of a well-known phrase.

… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions – everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses

If Hillary gets elected, I guess we could then add to that list “and 401(k)s”.

[tags]Hillary Clinton,presidential election,Democrats,bread and circuses[/tags]

Welcome to the New “Stones Cry Out”

After the past few days of wierdness, we’re finally back with the new “Stones Cry Out” blog. We may have a few “growing pains” while some formatting issues get worked out, so please bear with us. Things look, I hope, a bit familiar, but a few things are different. First, an explanation for the change.

Rick Brady has been the man behind SCO since it’s inception. However, he’s decided to get out of the blogging biz. I offered to pick up the day-to-day running of the blog some time ago, while it was still hosted on one of Rick’s personal servers. Today, the blog has officially moved to a hosting server that I use for other things, including my personal blog, and Rick’s involvement with SCO has come to an end. Or perhaps, hopefully, a pause. His contributions will be greatly missed, and he knows he always has a place here at “Stones Cry Out” as the Foundation Stone(tm). If he ever wants to get back in the game, SCO will be here waiting for him.

So what’s changed on the blog. Well first, let’s talk about what’s the same. The current contributors — Jim, Tom, Mark and myself — are still here and writing. We will continue to write on topics that concern the Christian community or on issues that come from our Christian perspectives.

The layout of the blog is pretty much the same. I took a very configurable WordPress theme and adjusted it into a format similar to the old one, with just a few changes. (Nothing’s exact.)

And speaking of the old site, the entire old site is still available. See the “About” box in the upper left of the page. If you see comment boxes attached to the old posts, rest assured that they are completely useless. We moved the pages, not the whole blog backend, so the old site will remain as it was when we left it.

So then, what’s different? Well, just a few things for now, and perhaps a few more down the road.

While comments are still very welcome, since this is a new installation of WordPress, you’ll notice that the first time you do post a comment that it’ll be moderated (i.e. not show up immediately). WordPress keeps track of what e-mail addresses have had a comment approved, and thus once your first comment is approved, all the rest will be, if you use the same e-mail address. This is just FYI so you don’t think we’re cracking down on you personally.

On the right side of the page, you’ll see a place for polls. We’re going to give this a shot with some polls that may be of interest to our readers. Stop by occasionally to see if there’s a new one up, and you can browse the Poll Archives to see the results of previous polls. The first one is easy. It’s just informational to see what sort of “return readership” we have at the blog. If you’d record your answer, even if this is your first time here, we’d appreciate it.

There’ll be a new feature called “YouCry Out”, which is a fancy name for an open thread. If you would like to set the topic (or topics) for others to comment on, this will be your opportunity. If there’s an issue we haven’t covered, or a complaint about the site (or an “atta boy”), bring it up here.

Want to know when someone leaves a comment on a particular post (especially if you’ve made a comment on it)? You can now subscribe to comments, whether or not you’ve left one yourself. Just check the box and enter your e-mail address.

Down the road, we’re looking for some more contributors. Watch this space for updates. And if you’ve seen a feature on another blog that you’d like to see here, let us know. Click the “Contact Us” link in the About box for our e-mail address, or use the form on that page to send us a suggestion.

So that’s what’s happening here at “Stones Cry Out”. Hope you’ll continue to stop by.

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