Traditional Marriage Now 31-0

Gay marriage has now lost in every single state — 31 in all — in which it has been put to a popular vote. Gay-rights activists had hoped to buck that trend in Maine — known for its liberal-minded electorate — and mounted an energetic, well-financed campaign. With 87 percent of the precincts reporting, proponents of traditional marriage had 53 percent of the votes. The outcome Tuesday marked the first time voters had rejected a gay-marriage law enacted by a legislature. When Californians put a stop to same-sex marriage a year ago, it was in response to a court ruling, not legislation. Five other states have legalized gay marriage — starting with Massachusetts in 2004, and followed by Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Iowa — but all did so through legislation or court rulings, not by popular vote. In contrast, constitutional amendments banning gay marriage have been approved in all 30 states where they have been on the ballot.

  • Unfortunately, it’s not the will of the people that prevails any longer in our socialistic government

Christian Prison Proposed in Small Ok. Town

Religion News Service reports that a tiny town in Oklahoma is pushing to build a privately run, faith-based prison that would employ only Christians and attempt to rehabilitate inmates using biblical concepts. Bill Robinson, founder of Corrections Concepts Inc., a Dallas-based nonprofit ministry, said he is living proof of how ex-criminals can become positive influences in society, with God’s help. “God gave me this vision … to go build a prison,” said Robinson, who was released 38 years ago and has ministered to inmates since 1985. The town of Wakita, with 380 residents, hopes to welcome 600 more if the $42 million proposal is approved by the state Department of Corrections. A 150-acre site near the edge of town has been selected and the appropriate paperwork filed, Robinson said. Prisoners would have to apply and be accepted on the conditions they would work, help subsidize their incarceration, and accept the faith-based programs and environment.

Gay Rights Groups to Protest Focus on the Family Conference

Several gay rights organizations have announced they plan to protest a Focus on the Family “Love Won Out” conference on homosexuality that will be held Saturday (Nov. 7), at Birmingham, Alabama’s “They’re telling you to hate your child unless he lives the way you tell him to live,” said Johnathan Quinn, president of Central Alabama Pride, one of the protesting organizations. “Their literature tells the parents to abandon their children unless they go this route: forcing them to be straight.”Metropolitan Church of God. The conference teaches that those with same-sex attractions can change, said Melissa Fryrear, director of gender issues for Focus on the Family and one of the speakers. “We’re offering a Christian perspective on the many issues surrounding homosexuality,” Fryrear said. “The majority attending are moms and dads who have a son or daughter living in homosexuality. We’re here to help parents who don’t condone their child’s behavior but still love them.”

  • Not only is this conference focused on righteous behavior, but freedom of speech should guarantee their right to express any position. Will they all be arrested under the new hate crimes legislation?

Swine Flu: Bad Science & Massive Coverup

Augustreview.com reports that the Swine Flu panic and the drive to vaccinate is being orches­trated by big pharma, the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion, the Center for Dis­ease Con­trol and the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion.  Real and doc­u­mented sci­ence does not sup­port the wild claims of pan­demic pathology and tox­i­city. Renowned neu­ro­sur­geon and virology expert Dr. Rus­sell Blay­lock sets the record straight! Click the following link to read the article… Swine Flu: Bad Science & Massive Cover-up

Killer Praised Allah Before Massacre

An Army psychiatrist who had counseled troops and was upset about being deployed to Iraq shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire on an unarmed crowd at Fort Hood Army base Thursday afternoon, killing 13 people and wounding 30, military officials said. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. citizen born in Virginia to Jordanian parents, was wounded by a civilian police officer responding to a shooting rampage that is believed to be the worst ever at a U.S. base. Immediately after the shootings, authorities began trying to determine whether the incident was a coordinated act or the work of a lone gunman. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged shooter in yesterday’s massacre at Fort Hood, played a homeland security advisory role in President Barack Obama’s transition into the White House. However, his name appears on radical Internet postings. A fellow officer says he argued with soldiers who supported U.S. wars. He required counseling as a medical student because of problems with patients.

  • Islamists in our military is a dangerous proposition because they adhere to ideology above all else.

23 Americans Convicted in CIA Rendition

An Italian judge says he has convicted 23 Americans of the 2003 kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric from a Milan street in a CIA extraordinary rendition. Citing diplomatic immunity, Judge Oscar Magi told the Milan courtroom Wednesday that he was acquitting three other Americans. Twenty-two of the convicted Americans were immediately sentenced to five years in prison at the end of the nearly three-year trial. The other convicted American, Milan CIA station chief Robert Seldon Lady, was given the stiffest sentence, eight years in prison. All of the Americans were tried in absentia. Magi said he was acquitting five Italian defendants because Italy withheld evidence, contending it was classified information. The trial is the first by any government to scrutinize the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program, which human rights advocates charge was the CIA’s way to outsource the torture of prisoners to countries where it is practiced.

Sentences in Italy aren’t served until all appeals are exhausted, a process that can take years. The Americans’ defense lawyers have argued alternatively that their clients were following orders, that they should be cleared due to diplomatic immunity, or that extraordinary renditions were not illegal under the policies adopted by former president George W. Bush to combat terrorism.

Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve

The Pentagon is concerned that millions of America’s military-age youth are unfit for service because they are too fat or sickly. A coalition of retired generals, admirals and civilian military leaders issued a report Friday expressing their worries over the issue. The report, “Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve,” quotes  “startling statistics” from the Pentagon showing that “75% of young people ages 17 to 24 are currently unable to enlist in the United States military.” It says half are ineligible because of obesity, as well as other health issues, like asthma, eyesight or hearing problems, mental health problems or treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The report notes: The reasons behind this are serious and, if left unaddressed, will adversely affect the future strength of our military. In the interest of national security, we must understand and deal with these problems now.

Citizenship Question will Not be added to 2010 Census

The 2010 census will not include a controversial question about citizenship that critics said could have led to significant undercounts in Arizona and other states with large immigrant populations. Undercounting could result in the loss of federal money and diminished political clout for a state because congressional seats are apportioned based on population. On Thursday, Democrats derailed a push by Republicans in the Senate to include a citizenship question on next year’s census. The proposal had sparked a contentious debate over whether all people or only citizens should be used to determine how congressional representatives are allocated to states. “The system is broken, and areas of the country with high illegal populations should not be rewarded with greater representation in Congress,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

  • It’s downright ludicrous for a nation not to count its citizens. Greed, however, triumphs as usual.

Obama Moves to Preserve the West

In the never-ending struggle in the West over whether public lands should be harvested for their valuable metals, fuels and timber or set aside for future generations of people and wildlife, environmental interests have gained the upper hand since President Barack Obama moved into the White House. Obama has begun a dramatic reversal in Western land-use policy that already has had a major impact in Arizona. In a sharp departure from the Bush administration, the Obama team has halted new uranium-mining claims near the Grand Canyon, proposed new preserves for wild mustangs and funded the expansion of the Petrified Forest National Park. Obama also signed into law the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 that protected thousands of miles of scenic, historic and recreational trails, including the 807-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail from the state line with Mexico to the Utah border. The sweeping bill designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness area – nearly as much protected land as President George W. Bush created in two terms in office.

  • Having destroyed the economy, Obama now limits resources that could be used for economic expansion, a deadly double-bind that trumps all other arguments, pro or con

Congress Expands Homebuyer Tax Credit, Extends Jobless Benefits

Congress took further steps to right the staggering economy by expanding a popular tax credit for homebuyers and extending unemployment checks for the growing legions of people running out of benefits with few job prospects. The House passed the bill on a 403-12 vote Thursday, a day after the Senate ended a month-long stalemate with a 98-0 vote. With about 7,000 people exhausting unemployment benefits every day and the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers set to expire at the end of November, President Obama is expected to quickly sign it into law. The $24 billion package also contains tax credits aimed at struggling businesses.

The IRS says about 1.4 million people applied for the homebuyers credit through August, helping enliven the moribund housing market. The legislation would extend the program through June of next year, as long as the buyer signs a contract by the end of April. It also offers a $6,500 tax credit to those who have lived in their current residence at least five years. The measure doubles the income ceiling for eligible individuals to $125,000. Homes must cost less than $800,000 to qualify. The nearly 2 million who have exhausted their unemployment benefits or face termination of benefits, usually about $300 a week, before the end of the year would receive 14 weeks of additional benefits under the bill. The unemployed in those states where the jobless rate tops 8.5% would get six weeks on top of that.

Many used Cash for Clunkers for New Gas Guzzlers

The most common deals under the government’s $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program, aimed at putting more fuel-efficient cars on the road, replaced old Ford or Chevrolet pickups with new ones that got only marginally better gas mileage, according to an analysis of new federal data by the Associated Press. The single most common swap – which occurred more than 8,200 times – involved Ford F150 pickup owners who took advantage of a government rebate to trade their old trucks for new Ford F150s. They were 17 times more likely to buy a new F150 than, say, a Toyota Prius. The fuel economy for the new trucks ranged from 15 mpg to 17 mpg based on engine size and other factors, an improvement of just 1 mpg to 3 mpg over the clunkers. Owners of thousands more large old Chevrolet and Dodge pickups bought new Silverado and Ram trucks, also with only barely improved mileage in the middle teens, according to AP’s analysis.

  • Yet another government boondoggle

GM Cancels Sale of Opel

Germany‘s politicians fumed and Opel workers canceled cost concessions and readied walkouts after General Motors canceled the sale of its European subsidiary to parts maker Magna International and Russian bank Sberbank. GM’s decision Tuesday to abandon the deal was a sharp blow to government and labor officials who supported it as the restructuring option that would save the most jobs in Germany. The German government had put up a 1.5 billion euro bridge loan to keep Opel afloat as a buyer was sought, and promised 4.5 billion euros in further financing so Magna and Sberbank could take a 55% stake.

Chrysler Touts Profitability

Chrysler said Wednesday that it is solvent and profitable. CEO Sergio Marchionne said Chrysler had $5.7 billion on hand at the end of September, up from $4 billion June 10, when the company was formed from partnering the best assets of the old Chrysler with Italy’s Fiat Group to emerge from Chapter 11. Fiat — for its expertise, but no cash — got a 20% stake and control. Chrysler also had an operating profit of $200 million in the third quarter, he said — earnings before taxes, interest payments and depreciation. How? Marchionne, also CEO of the Fiat Group, said the new Chrysler is “very parsimonious.”

Fannie Mae Seeks $15B More in Government Aid

Fannie Mae is asking for an additional $15 billion in government aid after posting another big loss in the third quarter as the taxpayer bill from the housing market bust keeps rising. The government-controlled company continued to see a dramatic surge of borrowers fall behind as the unemployment rate climbs. At the end of last month, about 4.7% of Fannie Mae’s borrowers had missed at least three payments. That’s nearly triple last year’s level. Seized by federal regulators 14 months ago, the problems at Fannie Mae and sibling company Freddie Mac have proven far worse than most experts had foreseen. Fannie Mae’s request Thursday will bring the tab for rescuing both companies to about $111 billion. The government has promised up to $400 billion in assistance.

Jobless Rate Hits Double Digits

The unemployment rate hit 10.2% in October, surpassing 10% for the first time since 1983. The Labor Department also said Friday that employers cut a deeper-than-expected 190,000 jobs in October. Payrolls have declined for 22 consecutive months now, throwing 7.3 million people out of work since December 2007, when the recession started. Counting those who have settled for part-time jobs or stopped looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 17.5%, the highest on record.

This is bad news for President Obama as he seeks a major health care overhaul and other changes to the economic system. House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., issued a statement saying that Obama’s big spending plans are slowing down the economy. “Increasing taxes on small business, as Democrats will do to pay for government run health care, is the wrong approach,” he said. Obama said the economy is starting to recover, but jobs are always a lagging indicator. He called higher employment “my administration’s overriding focus.”

Economic News

The Federal Reserve upgraded its economic outlook Wednesday but voted to keep short-term interest rates unchanged near zero and signaled it has no intention of raising rates in coming months despite robust third-quarter growth. The central bank’s policy statement, issued after a two-day meeting, noted the economy “has continued to pick up.” Housing activity “has increased in recent months” and “household spending appears to be expanding,” the Fed said.

Per­sonal bank­rupt­cies increased by 9 per­cent in October vs. Sep­tember with 135,914 cit­i­zens filing. The rate is up almost 28 per­cent from October 2008. This fol­lows along with real estate fore­clo­sures that often leave the seller deeply in debt. The Amer­ican Bank­ruptcy Insti­tute esti­mates that 2009 bank­rupt­cies will exceed 1.4 million.

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless insurance fell more than expected last week to a 10-month low, government data showed Thursday, pointing to a gradual improvement in the labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 512,000 in the week ended Oct. 31, the lowest since early January. While new applications for unemployment insurance have substantially fallen from March’s high levels, they remain elevated and analysts say they need to drop below 400,000 to signal that the economy is creating jobs.

There were further signs of labor market improvement, with the number of people collecting long-term unemployment benefits dropping 68,000 to 5.75 million in the week ended Oct. 24, the lowest since March. The decline is likely both the result of fewer new applications for unemployment benefits and many jobless workers exhausting their benefits.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that non-farm productivity in the third quarter rose at its fastest pace in six years as companies squeezed more output from a smaller pool of labor and cut costs to deal with a slump in demand. The Labor Department said non-farm productivity surged at a 9.5% annual rate.

AIG said Friday it was profitable for the second straight quarter as its core insurance operations continue to stabilize after the company’s bailout by the government last year. Despite the improved performance, AIG CEO Robert Benmosche warned earnings will remain choppy as the company executes its restructuring plan.

Middle East

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pushed Mideast peace prospects into unknown territory Thursday, announcing he doesn’t want another term and opening the way to a succession battle that could play into the hands of his rival, the militant Hamas. But it also could boost the prospects of a popular candidate who reportedly wants to run for the presidency from his Israeli prison cell. Abbas blamed his decision on the stalemate in peace talks, but the wording of his televised speech raised speculation that it was not final and could be a tactic for pushing Israel and the U.S. toward a larger compromise. Abbas took over after the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, and Western leaders have come to see him as a symbol of moderation. The most attractive candidate to replace 74-year-old Abbas would likely be Marwan Barghouti, 49, who was jailed for life in 2002 for his involvement in fatal Palestinian attacks. The charismatic Palestinian was once a favorite of Israeli peace activists but turned increasingly militant.

Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin, the head of the IDF’s military intelligence branch, informed a key Knesset committee on Tuesday that Hamas operatives in Gaza have recently test-fired Iranian supplied rockets with a range of up to 60 kilometers, meaning Tel Aviv is now within range of the Islamist terror militia. He also noted concern that Hamas has smuggled in Fajr-style rockets, an Iranian-produced missile that was also used by Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War and has ranges up to 70 kilometers.

Iraq

The official charged with carrying out Iraq‘s crucial January polls warned Wednesday that they will be delayed if parliament doesn’t approve a key electoral bill. Any delay in the Jan. 16 elections could plunge Iraq into a crisis, undermining the government and leading to instability just as American troops are preparing to withdraw, a process that’s scheduled to ramp up after the vote. Iraqi lawmakers have been arguing for weeks over the election law, which is needed to implement the vote. The key stumbling block has been who should be allowed to vote in Kirkuk, a disputed oil-rich city north of Baghdad that is claimed by both Kurds and Arabs.

Pakistani Christian Missionary School Set on Fire

ASSIST News Service reports that suspected Islamic militants set the fire that leveled a Christian school in Murree, Pakistan. Tuesday’s fire reduced three buildings of the Christian residential school to ashes and causing an estimated financial loss to the tune of one billion Pakistani rupees (almost $1.2 million). Unidentified men set the St. Denys’ Murree School’s three buildings on fire at 4:45 pm on Tuesday by hurling some flammable chemical into the school premises from back side of the school’s building. The incinerated buildings held dormitories, classrooms, a library and more. The school’s records were also lost in the blaze. “There hasn’t been any casualty as a result of this incident but the fire has gutted the entire building. Nothing of school has left behind. I pray that the school starts operating again after reconstruction,” said Noreen Barkat, the school’s principle.

Child Sacrifice on the Rise in Uganda

Mission News Network reports that the brutal, old-world practice of human sacrifice is rising again in Uganda. Possibly fueled by famine, at least 23 have died in ritual sacrifices this year, many of them children. “The numbers have increased,” said Lee DeYoung with Words of Hope, “and at least in some cases, those have been the bodies of children of believers.” DeYoung said the church is trying to combat the horrific practice partially via radio broadcasts. “The church is being mobilized to speak against this terrible evil. When a child is executed in this kind of ritual sacrifice fashion, it is a violation of Ugandan law. However, human trafficking is less clearly prohibited in the legal code.” Uganda’s government has implemented a special task force on human sacrifice, but few perpetrators have been found.

Honduras

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya said Friday that a U.S.-brokered pact failed to end a four-month political crisis after a deadline for forming a unity government passed. Forged last week with the help of U.S. diplomats, the pact gave the two sides until midnight Thursday to install a government with supporters of Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, who was named interim president by Congress after Zelaya was ousted on June 28. The pact did not require Zelaya’s return to the presidency. It left the decision up to the Honduran Congress. Jorge Reina, a negotiator for Zelaya, said the pact fell apart because Congress failed to vote on whether to reinstate the deposed president before the deadline for forming the unity government.

Weather

Hurricane Ida ripped into Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast Thursday, destroying homes, damaging schools and downing bridges before losing steam and becoming a tropical storm. About 80% of homes were destroyed in nearby Karawala, a fishing village of about 100 flimsy, wooden shacks near the mouth of the Rio Grande de Matagalpa,. There was major damage in the region’s infrastructure, such as fallen bridges, damaged schools and government buildings, and electrical transmission towers and telephone service were knocked out,. Ida could dump as much as 20 inches of rain on the swampy mainland, with the risk of flash floods and mudslides, before weakening to a tropical depression Friday.

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