Judge OKs Lunchtime Prayer in School

A lunch prayer given by an athletic director and requested by the school’s principal didn’t violate a federal court order against praying at school events, a judge has ruled. The two men had faced up to six months in jail and $5,000 in fines for violating a 2008 settlement agreement of a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County District. The agreement prohibited school officials from praying or promoting prayer at school events, and district officials admitted a long-standing culture of promoting Christianity at the rural northern Panhandle high school. The decision in favor of Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman was greeted with a roar of approval by protesters outside the Pensacola Federal Court House.

  • However, this got by on a technicality. The judge is still enforcing a ban on prayer at school events. Despite positive blips here and there, the overall trend is still down. More and more prayer is needed – even if it results in imprisonment. The time for martyrdom is here.

For ACORN, Controversy Now a Matter of Survival

ACORN — which has received about $53 million in federal funds since 1994 — has long been a target of conservatives because of its ties to Democrats. Attacks increased after its aggressive voter-registration and get-out-the-vote efforts for President Obama last year. Now, videos showing ACORN workers giving advice to conservative activists posing as a pimp and a prostitute are raising questions about its tactics and finances — and whether it can survive. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now was born of 1960s idealism and grew into a national political force. It calls itself the nation’s largest grass-roots community-organizing group and says its goal is “social justice and stronger communities.” ACORN has a $25 million annual budget, about 10% of it from the federal government, CEO Bertha Lewis says. The rest of its funding comes from dues, fundraising, foundations and unions. ACORN doesn’t identify donors.

The fallout from the videos has been dramatic. On Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service said it will no longer partner with ACORN to provide free tax advice. Congress voted to withhold money from ACORN. The Census Bureau decided not to work with the organization on the 2010 Census. Obama, whose campaign hired Citizens Services Inc., an ACORN affiliate, for $832,000 to help get out the vote, said the episode should be investigated. At least 10 states have launched inquiries into ACORN operations in their states.Even before the video became public, ACORN faced investigations into allegations of voter registration fraud and tax violations. ACORN filed suit Wednesday in Maryland against the filmmakers, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, and the website breitbart.com for the taping in Baltimore. It’s illegal in Maryland to use “electronic surveillance” without consent. ACORN seeks damages and an injunction barring distribution and broadcast of the video.

  • Another example of good intentions gone bad. Corruption is rampant at all levels of society – business, government, as well as community organizations. The problem is not the type of organization, but rather people’s sinful nature which only Jesus can cure.

Sunstein: Force Broadcasters to Air ‘Diversity’ Ads

The U.S. government should have the right to force broadcast media companies to air commercials that foster a “diversity” of views, argued President Obama’s newly confirmed regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein. “If it were necessary to bring about diversity and attention to public matters, a private right of access to the media might even be constitutionally compelled. The notion that access will be a product of the marketplace might well be constitutionally troublesome,” wrote Sunstein in his 1993 book “The Partial Constitution.”

  • What’s really “troublesome” is the notion that the free functioning of the marketplace is somehow unconstitutional. These Czars want government to control everything.

Obama Promotes New World Order at U.N.

The August Forecast notes: When Fidel Castro praises Obama, it means that Obama is lining up with com­mu­nism. Obama now views him­self as the chosen one to deliver the U.S. into the New World Order. In fact, I believe that he IS the chosen one… chosen by the Tri­lat­eral Com­mis­sion. Obama’s speech to the U.N. this morning was as slick as any­thing Bill Clinton ever said, but it was oth­er­wise just as hollow. A few of notable quotes from his speech: “No world order that ele­vates one nation or group of people over another will suc­ceed;” “The world must stand together to demon­strate that inter­na­tional law is not an empty promise and that treaties will be enforced.” [note: inter­na­tional law trumps domestic law].

  • The Tri-Lateral Commission is one of the key New World (Dis)Order organizations. Dozens of Obama’s administration are members, and Obama is the globalists poster boy

Researchers: Experimental Vaccine Helps Prevent HIV Infection

For the first time, an experimental vaccine has prevented infection with the AIDS virus, a watershed event in the deadly epidemic and a surprising result. Recent failures led many scientists to think such a vaccine might never be possible. The vaccine cut the risk of becoming infected with HIV by more than 31% in the world’s largest AIDS vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, researchers announced Thursday in Bangkok. Even though the benefit is modest, “it’s the first evidence that we could have a safe and effective preventive vaccine,” Col. Jerome Kim said in a telephone interview. He helped lead the study for the U.S. Army, which sponsored it with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

  • That’s great news on the one hand; on the other, let’s pray it doesn’t lead to greater promiscuity

Stimulus Funds Boost Number of Federal Jobs

The $787 billion economic recovery package also is stimulating growth in the federal government as agencies hire thousands of workers and spend millions of dollars to oversee and implement the package, according to government records and spokesmen. Fourteen of the top federal agencies responsible for spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act say they’ve hired about 3,000 workers with stimulus money. That’s helped fuel the continued growth of the federal government, which increased by more than 25,000 employees, or 1.3%, since December 2008, according to the latest quarterly report. During that time, the ranks of the nation’s unemployed increased by nearly 4 million, Labor Department statistics show.

  • Not only is the federal government recession-proof, it thrives on turmoil, growing like cancer cells in a sick body.

G20 Summit

As President Obama and other leaders of the G-20 nations prepared to meet in Pittsburgh, it’s worth recalling what became of their previous promises. At earlier summits, G-20 leaders solemnly vowed to refrain from worsening the crisis by erecting new trade barriers — then returned home and promptly began erecting new trade barriers. Since November’s Washington gathering, G-20 members have enacted about 100 separate trade-restricting provisions. Last week, for example, the U.S. announced a 35% tariff in response to what it called a damaging surge of Chinese-made tires.

As police clashed with protesters in the streets, world leaders on Thursday closed ranks on pay limits for bankers whose risky behavior contributed to the global financial meltdown. With economies on the mend, a summit mood of cautious optimism replaced last year’s fear and uncertainty. In a historic shift recognizing the rising influence of China, Brazil and India, the leaders of the world’s top 20 wealthy and developing nations decided that the G-20 will take over the role of preeminent council on global economic cooperation, a function that for more than three decades had been performed by a smaller club of leading industrial countries known as the G-8. The G-8 will continue to meet on matters of common importance such as national security. President Obama initiated the move.

  • The New World (Dis)Order continues to emerge

A mile from the convention center where talks will be held on Friday, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke at marchers protesting the summit after the protesters responded to calls to disperse by rolling trash bins and throwing rocks. The clashes began after hundreds of protesters, many advocating against capitalism, tried to march from an outlying neighborhood toward the convention center. Officials said 17 to 19 protesters were arrested, and there were no reports of injuries.

Economic News

The Federal Reserve provided its most upbeat assessment yet of the economy on Wednesday, suggesting the recession is over and growth could be more robust than it previously anticipated. But noting the economy is still relatively weak, the central bank agreed to keep a key interest rate unchanged near zero and extended its financial support for the housing market until the end of the first quarter.

The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell for the third straight week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Labor said initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally adjusted 530,000, still well above the 325,000 norm. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 553,500, having fallen about 100,000 since reaching a peak for the current recession in early April.

Orders for goods expected to last at least three years fell unexpectedly in August due mainly to a drop in demand for commercial aircraft. The second decline in orders for durable goods in three months is evidence that any recovery in manufacturing will be slow and gradual. The Commerce Department said Friday that orders for durable goods dropped 2.4% in August, after increasing a revised 4.8% in July.’

August home sales waned after growing strongly the past four months, a sign that the housing recovery hasn’t yet hit its stride. Sales of existing homes dropped 2.7% in August from July, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday. In the previous four months, sales had increased a total of 15%.

U.S. airlines are raking in more money this year from extra fees, although fewer people are flying. In the first six months of this year, the airlines collected $3.8 billion for checking bags, canceling or rebooking flights, carrying pets and assigning seats.

The oil industry has been on a hot streak this year, thanks to a series of major discoveries that have rekindled a sense of excitement across the petroleum sector, despite falling prices and a tough economy. More than 200 discoveries have been reported so far this year in dozens of countries, including northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, Australia, Israel, Iran, Brazil, Norway, Ghana and Russia.

Israel Hails U.S. Call for Talks Without Conditions

Israel‘s prime minister welcomed Thursday President Obama‘s call for the resumption of Mideast peace talks without preconditions despite Palestinian demands for a halt to new Jewish settlements in the West Bank before any new negotiations begin. In the past, Obama had said all Israeli building must stop on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state. But he toned down his language Tuesday at a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York, where he spoke of Israeli steps “to restrain settlement activity.” Netanyahu is proposing a partial and temporary slowdown, while Palestinian leaders say there can be no negotiations without a complete halt to Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

Saudi Arabia Inaugurates its First Coed University

Saudi Arabia inaugurated on Wednesday its first-ever fully integrated coed university, and its ruler declared the institution will be a “beacon of tolerance” in a world attacked by extremists. The multibillion dollar King Abdullah Science and Technology University, or KAUST, boasts state-of-the-art labs, the world’s 14th fastest supercomputer and one of the biggest endowments worldwide. It breaks many of the conservative country’s social taboos by allowing, for the first time, men and women to take classes together. Saudi officials have envisaged the postgraduate institution as a key part of the kingdom’s plans to transform itself into a global scientific hub — its latest efforts to diversify its oil-reliant economy.

U.S., Switzerland Sign Treaty to Share Tax Info

Switzerland and the United States have signed a treaty to increase the amount of tax information they share to help crack down on tax evasion, Swiss officials said Wednesday. The agreement follows a model set out by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development designed to make it harder for taxpayers to hide money in offshore tax havens. U.S. tax authorities will be able to request information on Americans suspected of concealing Swiss bank accounts, the Swiss Finance Ministry said. The treaty forbids so-called ‘fishing expeditions,’ meaning U.S. authorities have to provide specific details on the person they are seeking further information about and can’t simply ask for wholesale lists of Americans with Swiss accounts.

Obama Charges Iran with Hiding Nuclear Plant

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France revealed this morning that Iran has been building an underground nuclear fuel enrichment facility for years without informing international inspectors. The revelation, coming as world leaders began meetings here on the global economic crisis, was sure to put new pressure on Iran to come clean about its nuclear ambitions at a meeting next week or risk tough sanctions. “The size and configuration of this facility is inconsistent with a peaceful program,” Obama said. “Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow.”

Afghanistan Support Drops

Half of all Americans, and six in 10 Democrats, oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan, a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows, underscoring the pressures on President Obama as he re-evaluates his approach to what he calls “a war of necessity.” That’s a stark turnaround from February, when 65% of Americans supported Obama’s decision to send 17,000 additional servicemembers, according to Gallup. In March, Obama announced what he called “a comprehensive new strategy” for Afghanistan premised on more troops, training the Afghan army and boosting reconstruction efforts.

Pakistan Elders Killed

Militants ambushed a convoy of prominent anti-Taliban tribal elders in volatile northwest Pakistan on Thursday, spraying their cars with gunfire, killing six people and wounding several others. The members of the anti-Taliban citizen’s group were traveling from the Machikhel area to meet security officials in Bannu district when their three-vehicle convoy was sprayed with bullets by insurgents. The ambush followed another attack by militants who killed two members of another anti-Taliban citizen’s committee Thursday in the Swat Valley to the northeast. The assailants struck as members of the “peace committee” slept in Swat‘s Sertelegram area. Local people formed the Sertelegram group last week to protect their area from Taliban fighters who controlled the valley until July when a major offensive by the Pakistani army scattered them.

Weather

More than 1,500 homes were flooded in days of rain that inundated the Southeast, but the damage to buildings, bridges and roads is equally severe, officials said Wednesday. A spokesman for Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue said the flooding seriously damaged Atlanta’s largest wastewater treatment plant and dozens of roads and bridges, and it may have wiped out an elementary school in Cobb County. “You could only see the roof,” Bert Brantley said of Clarkdale Elementary School.

Australia’s worst dust storm in 70 years blanketed the heavily populated east coast Wednesday in a cloud of red Outback grit, nearly closed the country’s largest airport and left millions of people coughing and sputtering in the streets. Dust clouds blowing east from Australia’s dry interior — parched even further by the worst drought on record — covered dozens of towns and cities in two states as strong winds snatched up tons of topsoil, threw it high into the sky and carried it hundreds of miles.

Droughts from Australia to the U.S. Southwest, acidic ocean water and melting glaciers are signs that the pace of climate change is surpassing the worst-case scenarios scientists predicted in 2007, a U.N. report said Thursday. Mountain glaciers in Asia are melting at a rate that could eventually threaten water supplies, irrigation or hydropower for 20% to 25% of the world’s population. The Climate Change Science Compendium 2009 report analyzed 400 scientific reports released through peer-reviewed literature, or from research institutions,

  • End-time weather will continue to grow more volatile

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