Christian Conservatives Fight Expansion of Hate-Crimes Law

Conservative Christian leaders are fighting a bill that would provide federal hate-crimes coverage to gays and lesbians, prompting questions of who, if anyone, should be protected by such laws. To stop the legislation, a few Christian leaders have suggested repealing all hate-crimes law, which would undo historic protections for race and even religion. “The entire notion of hate-crimes legislation is extraneous and obsolete,” said Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs with the conservative nonprofit Liberty Counsel, adding that he believes hate-crimes laws are unconstitutional. “All violent crime is hate crime,” said Tom McClusky, vice president for government affairs at Family Research Council here in the capital. A number of Christian conservatives have raised fears that pastors would be prosecuted for inciting hate crimes if they had preached against homosexuality, despite assurances that the law only targets physical violence. Convictions for hate crimes carry harsher sentences because the victimization goes beyond the individual targeted.

  • Expansion of hate-crime legislation to the gay/lesbian community would set a precedent for including behavioral acts, especially ungodly acts.

Survey Shows Grave Concerns by Americans about Big Brother

Nearly half of all adults in America believe there has been a decrease in personal freedom under the Obama administration, which signals a significant degree of alarm across a wide swath of the population, the World Net Daily “Freedom Index” Poll finds. Significant percentages of Americans see their personal freedom diminishing under President Obama and even fear speaking their minds, expressing their political and religious views and freely associating with others because of potential retribution by government, the scientific survey conducted by Wenzel Strategies found. Overall, 37 percent of respondents to the scientific survey said they saw big decreases in personal freedom under Obama, while 31 percent said they perceive a big increase. Democrats, by 54.7 percent, said they saw a big increase in freedom, while 60 percent of Republicans said they saw a big decrease. Among independents, 40.4 percent see a big decrease in personal freedom, while 22.4 see a big increase. There was also a significant racial split in the results, with 56.4 percent of African-Americans seeing a big increase in personal freedom and 42.5 percent of whites seeing a big decrease.

Independence Day Tea Party Tally Explodes

The tea party movement is showing fresh signs of momentum as the national tally is once again exploding. Amy Kremer, national organizer for the Tea Party Patriots, told WND her organization is expecting more rallies on Independence Day weekend than were held on April 15 this year. Tea Party Patriots is organizing more than 220 national tea parties scheduled for Independence Day weekend that will focus on the following three principles: fiscal responsibility, limited government and free market. In addition to protesting excessive government spending, Kremer said the organization will also emphasize citizen opposition to government-run health care.

  • An astonishing 45% of the total U.S. gross domestic product is government spending, and there is every indication that the bureaucracy will do nothing but continue to expand

Most Americans Know of Obama Eligibility Questions

It may be the issue few in the media dare address, but a new scientific public opinion survey of a cross-section of Americans shows they are not only aware of questions about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office, but almost half are either “troubled” by the questions or believe he should release all relevant documents including his long-form birth certificate. Asked if they are aware of the questions raised about Obama’s constitutional eligibility for office, 51.3 percent answered affirmatively, while only 18.7 percent said no. “Our polling shows that the questions surrounding Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president clearly strike a nerve across America, probably because it is a problem that everybody understands,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel. “Every American citizen has a birth certificate, and once in a while we all have to produce them to get a drivers license or gain entrance to school. Everyone understands the simple rules – if you don’t produce it, you don’t get in. And while Obama did get in to the White House, nearly half the country’s adults – 49 percent – are troubled by this issue and still want him to produce his official long-form birth certificate.”

Support in the U.S. House for a proposal that would require presidential candidates to provide documentation of how they meet the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that the person who occupies the Oval Office be a “natural born citizen” suddenly has quadrupled. There now are four cosponsors to H.R. 1503 from freshman Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., an amendment to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. Support for the bill is developing at the same time there is a national campaign to raise funds to erect billboards asking the four-word question: “Where’s the birth certificate?” The campaign has also raised more than $75,000 in contributions from the public so far, and several billboards have been put up.

U.S. and Mexico Agree to Work Together on Border Security

The U.S. and Mexico formalized an agreement Monday to work together to secure legal travel and trade across the countries’ shared border. The agreement expands a 2007 agreement and formalizes plans announced earlier this year to search vehicles at border crossings for bulk weapons and cash being smuggled from the U.S. into Mexico where more than 10,800 people have been killed by drug violence since December 2006. The cooperation will include sharing information such as data about stolen cars. The U.S. will train Mexican customs agents and dogs and use more technology along the border.

Immigrant-Owed Businesses Suffering

Immigrant-owned businesses — a key part of the U.S. economy — are being threatened by the recession. About 1.5 million immigrants own U.S. businesses, according to a study for the Small Business Administration by Rob Fairlie, an economics professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz. He found that immigrants are 30% more likely to start a business than non-immigrants. They account for 11.6% of all U.S. business income. Many immigrants started with nothing and built businesses that support them and their extended families and communities.

Swine H1N1 Flu

Schoolchildren could be first in line for swine flu vaccine this fall — and schools are being put on notice that they might even be turned into shot clinics. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday she is urging school superintendents around the country to spend the summer preparing for that possibility, if the government goes ahead with mass vaccinations. The U.S. is pouring money into development of a vaccine in anticipation of giving at least some people the shots.

Argentina’s health minister says a 3-month-old infant has died of swine flu, the country’s first fatality from the disease. Four other patients are in intensive care. A health ministry statement Monday said there were 89 more confirmed cases, bringing Argentina’s total to 733. Neighboring Chile has 2,335 swine flu cases. The World Health Organization says about half of the more than 160 people worldwide killed by swine flu so far were previously young and healthy.

  • Swine flu is being used to generate panic and promote the need for more global cooperation and enforcement, a prime objective of the New World Order.

House Health-Care Proposal Adds $600 Billion in Taxes

Health-care overhaul legislation being drafted by House Democrats will include $600 billion in tax increases and $400 billion in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said. Democrats will work on the bill’s details next week as they struggle through “what kind of heartburn” it will cause to agree on how to pay for revamping the health-care system, Rangel, a New York Democrat, said today. The measure’s cost is reaching well beyond the $634 billion President Barack Obama proposed in his budget request to Congress as a 10-year down payment for the policy changes. Asked whether the cost of a health-care overhaul would be more than $1 trillion over a decade, Rangel said, “the answer is yes.” Some Senate Republicans, including Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, say the costs will likely exceed $1.5 trillion.

  • Egads! This is on top of all the bailouts, etc. These people are absolutely crazy if they think we can carry that much debt.

Obama Unveils Overhaul of Financial Market Regulations

President Obama on Wednesday unveiled the most sweeping overhaul of financial market regulation since the 1930s in response to a Wall Street crisis that sent the economy into an epic tailspin. His plan would give broad new powers to the Federal Reserve, abolish the Office of Thrift Supervision, establish a new watchdog agency to protect consumers, and more tightly regulate hedge funds and derivatives, according to a senior Treasury Department official. Aggressive marketing of subprime mortgages and their packaging into securities helped undercut financial systems and trigger a deep recession.

  • These things always sound reasonable on the surface, but more regulation equates to more government control in an accelerating pathway into socialism. And more power to the Federal Reserve (not federal, but private and global) means more control by the New World (Dis)Order.

Arizona’s Governor Sues State Legislature

Saying she won’t be tricked, Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday asked the Arizona Supreme Court to force the Legislature to send her the budget they approved nearly two weeks ago. In filing her lawsuit, Brewer said she believes lawmakers are playing games with their spending plan, keeping it from her until June 30, the last day of the budget year. The governor said she believes they want to put her in the impossible position of having to agree to their plan, which she finds unacceptable, or force the shutdown of state government. Senate President Bob Burns, who is holding the package of 10 bills that make up the budget in his office, insisted he was not trying to “trick’ the governor. But he acknowledged that he is hanging on to them for political leverage.

  • No tricks but leverage. Political semantics, while they play with our well-being.

Economic News

Construction of new homes jumped in May by the largest amount in three months, providing an encouraging sign that the nation’s deep housing recession may be bottoming. The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments jumped 17.2% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 532,000 units, up from a record low rate of 454,000 units in April. In addition, applications for building permits, seen as a good indicator of future activity, rose 4% in May to an annual rate of 518,000 units.

The Labor Department said its producer price index, which tracks wholesale prices, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2% from April. The department says wholesale prices fell 5% the past 12 months, largest annual drop in almost 50 years. Consumer prices rose less than expected in May, fresh evidence that the recession is keeping inflation in check. The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month.

A report from the Federal Reserve said industrial production fell more than expected last month as the recession crimped demand for a wide range of manufactured goods. The Fed report says production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities fell 1.1% in May and has declined for seven months.

The trade deficit plunged sharply in the first three months of the year as the country’s deep recession depressed imports of oil and other goods. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the current account trade deficit dropped to $101.5 billion in the first quarter, a 34.5% decline from the fourth quarter. It was the lowest current account deficit since the final three months of 2001, when the country was mired in the last recession. The gap for the fourth quarter was also revised up sharply to $154.9 billion, from an original estimate of $132.8 billion.

Goldman Sachs says in a letter to high-ranking lawmakers that it is ready to repay a $10 billion U.S. government investment Wednesday. Goldman is one of 10 large U.S. banks that obtained approval last week to pay back a total of $68 billion they received as part of the government’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. Morgan Stanley is also expected to repay on Wednesday the $10 billion it received.

The airline industry stands to lose $9 billion or more in 2009. First quarter premium tickets (first- and business-class) were off 40 percent. The problem in a depressionary economy is revenue. Merely cutting costs cannot compensate for shock-losses like this, no matter how deeply you cut.

More Than 30 House Chinese Church Leaders Arrested in Sichuan

Christian News Wire reports that more than 30 house church leaders were arrested at a house church gathering in Langzhong city, Sichuan province, on June 9. Thirteen leaders were given 15 days of administrative detention, and five of the leaders were placed under criminal detention. The other leaders were released. Pastors Gao Guofu, Pastor Li Ming, Zhang Guofen, Gu Lianpeng and Yu Zhipeng, the five leaders who received criminal detention, are likely to face a formal criminal indictment or up to three years of re-education through labor. Pastor Li Ming was sentenced to three years of re-education through labor in recent years because of his Christian faith. Parts of Sichuan province are still recovering from a devastating earthquake that hit that region last year.

Iran

In a massive outpouring reminiscent of the Islamic Revolution three decades ago, hundreds of thousands of Iranians streamed through the capital Monday, and the fist-waving protesters denounced President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim to victory in a disputed election. Standing on a roof, gunmen opened fire on a group of protesters who had tried to storm a pro-government militia’s compound. One man was killed and several others were wounded in the worst violence since the disputed election Friday. The huge rally — and smaller protests around the country — reinforced what has become increasingly clear since the election: the opposition forces rallying behind Mousavi show no signs of backing down.

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi issued a direct challenge Wednesday to the country’s supreme leader and cleric-led system, calling for a mass rally to protest disputed election results and violence against his followers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told Mousavi to pursue his demands through the electoral system and called for Iranians to unite behind their Islamic government, but Mousavi appears unwilling to back down.

Weather/Wildfires

America’s two coasts are experiencing vastly different springs, with a hot, dry West worried about an intense wildfire season and parts of the East Coast soaking in a rare months-long deluge. The Western drought is most intense in California, where more than 97% of the state is either abnormally dry or in some form of drought condition. The dry, hot conditions spell bad news for wildfires in California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington and other Northwestern states. Parts of Texas also are enduring a historic drought. The coastal bend area of the state — including Corpus Christi and Brownsville — have broken records for lack of rainfall for the past nine months. As Westerners brace for the fires, the eastern third of the country is virtually drought-free after an extremely soggy May. Three months ago, more than 70% of Florida was under a drought condition, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Now, following the rainiest May on record, it’s at 0%.

Meanwhile, there are ten wildfires currently burning: four in Arizona, three in New Mexico, one in south Texas and two in Alaska. So far this year, wildfires have consumed over 1.7 million acres, up 33% over the ten-year average.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: