Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services. The rules, sent to chaplains on Sept. 18 by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, head of the AMS, also bar chaplains from taking part in a funeral for a Catholic if that participation “would give the impression that the church approves of same sex ‘marital’ relationships.” But the new rules also set out conditions that would allow Catholic military commanders to comply, without violating their beliefs, with rules giving same-sex couples under their command federal employee benefits as required by law. Broglio cited an interpretation from the National Catholic Bioethics Center explaining that Catholic commanders can morally facilitate benefits for gay couples in their command if there was no other way to avoid it without jeopardizing their career. “This is also contingent on the commander making known his/her objection to being required to … participate, as well as on attempting through legal channels to continue to accomplish changes in policy consistent with the historic understanding of marriage and family as based on natural moral law,” said the statement from the bioethics center. More
You can sum up the U.S. real estate market this year in one word: recovery. Across the nation as a whole, prices have grown by more than 10 percent, and double or even triple that rate in some regions. Some of the hardest-hit states — California, Florida, Nevada — are also growing the fastest. Even cities like Modesto, Calif., were real estate prices went off a cliff during the housing crisis are coming back. Although home prices in Modesto are down 49 percent from their pre-crash peak, they have grown 30 percent from this time last year. But not every town and city is on the comeback trail. At the other end of the spectrum, there are places like Farmington, N.M. Home prices there plunged 20 percent from their peak during the meltdown and are up only 0.03 percent this year. At that rate, it would take centuries for the city’s housing market to recover. The reality is that homeowners in the city may never recoup their losses. More
Stink bugs are invading downtown Sacramento, Japanese mosquitoes are moving into Minnesota, and bed bugs are … well, everywhere, horrifyingly enough. And that’s not even including the weeds, supergerms and parasitic wasps. Farmers and homeowners in the U.S. are waging war against a range of pests — both homegrown and imported — that threaten crops and livestock, sicken our children, and generally annoy the heck out of us. They come from several sources: Abuse of pesticides and antibiotics have led to the rise of superweeds and superbugs — a problem one researcher called “a slow-train wreck” — while the rise in international trade and tourism has brought with it foreign superpests with no known enemies — and they’re the ones living the American Dream. Just look at the brown marmorated stink bug. “There are reports of people using manure shovels and 5-gallon buckets to dispose of them,” said Chuck Ingels, farm advisor and interim county director with the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources arm. More
Israelis and Palestinians have agreed to intensify peace talks aimed at reaching a final agreement, not an interim accord, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday. The two sides met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York at a conference of donors looking for ways to revive the fragile Palestinian economy. Speaking before the closed-door meeting known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, Kerry said the goal of newly restarted talks between Israel and the Palestinians is a “final status agreement,” not an interim one. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and he plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week in Washington. Both sides expressed their commitment to the peace talks at the Ad Hoc meeting and noted the determination of the US, and Kerry in particular, to move the process along. More
The president of Somalia—hub of the terrorist group of that claims credit for this week’s mall attack in Nairobi—says the U.S. could be a target, too. He tells Josh Rogin what the world needs to do to stop them. The Somali-based terrorist organization al-Shabab, which claimed credit for the devastating attack in Nairobi this week, is an international organization that could attack anywhere, including the United States, according to the president of Somalia. Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was in Washington this past weekend when a group of attackers stormed the Westgate shopping center in the Kenyan capital and took hostages in a siege that ultimately left at least 72 dead and 170 injured. Mohamud, who has been leading the fight to push al-Shabab from its territory inside Somalia since he became president last year, gave his take on the organization, its structure, its funding, and what the world needs to do to stop it in an interview this week with The Daily Beast. His main message was that al-Shabab is foreign-financed, filled with foreign fighters, and has wide international reach “Al-Shabab is not a Somali agenda, it’s an international agenda. Al-Shabab is working with an international capacity in terms of trading and financial resources,” he said. “Al-Shabab is more of an international problem than a Somali problem. It can happen here in the United States as it is now happening in Nairobi.” More
United Methodist Church to Consider Whether Resolutions Opposed to Denomination’s Stance on Homosexuality are Legitimate
DAYS OF LOT: The United Methodist Church will consider whether various resolutions passed by regional bodies opposed to the denomination’s stance against homosexuality are in violation of church rules. The United Methodist Judicial Council will hold a hearing next month on the resolutions passed by conferences within the Western Jurisdiction of the UMC in the 2013 annual conference session. Homosexuality is considered “incompatible with Christian teaching” and “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” cannot be ordained, according to the UMC’s Book of Discipline. The document further states that UMC clergy may not officiate same-sex unions and defines marriage as between one man and one woman. While resolutions have passed denouncing it, the Book of Discipline’s language on homosexuality has survived removal efforts, including most recently at the 2012 General Conference. During the 2013 annual conferences, the majority of the regional bodies of the Western Jurisdiction affirmed their support for a document known as the “Statement of Gospel Obedience”, which says the UMC is in error regarding its teaching on the subject of homosexuality. The Western Jurisdiction includes the western half of the continental United States, as well as Alaska and assorted Pacific islands. More
Christians who have been forced out of their bed-and-breakfast business after death threats and vandalism have been told “they’ve brought it on themselves.” The comment was made by Steven Preddy, one of the gay men that sued B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull. The Bulls only allow married couples to share a double bed in their B&B near Penzance in Cornwall. Preddy and his civil partner, Martyn Hall, successfully sued the Bulls and won £3,600 (about $5,775) in damages. The same-sex couple says it was not their intention to see the couple sell, and Preddy told ITV News that the situation was “unfortunate.” But because the Bulls “stuck to their guns,” he said: “In some ways, I think they’ve brought it on themselves really.” Last week it emerged that the Bulls spent the winter “shivering” and sometimes going hungry because of the crushing impact of equality laws, which were introduced in 2007. Their double-bed policy, which applies to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, has been in place since the business opened and was well advertised. The U.K. Supreme Court will hear the Bulls’ appeal next month. They are being supported by the Christian Institute. More
VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED: A gay couple is to have sex in front of a live studio audience for the first time on British television. On the Channel 4 show Sex Box, the volunteer couple will be shielded from view in an opaque, sound-proof room attached to a studio, and will emerge to discuss their experiences with sex experts. The couple, in their 30s, are hoping to bust myths about gay sex. They will joined by a straight couple in their early 20s who think people do not talk openly enough about sex. US sex columnist Dan Savage, psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, sexpert Tracey Cox and agony aunt Mariella Frostrup will be on hand to chat to the couples after ther time in the ‘sex box’. The programme will form part of Channel 4’s Campaign for Real Sex Season, which will begin on 30 September. Ralph Lee, the broadcaster’s head of factual, said: ‘The explosion of online pornography is one of the stories of our time and the Campaign for Real Sex season is our response to it. ‘Sex Box absolutely intends to be an open and adult conversation about sex, something we feel is currently being overlooked by mainstream programming.’ David Glover, senior factual commissioning editor, is hoping Sex Box will open up honest discussions about sex and the role is plays in relationships. He said: ‘It is a rather mischievous, fun idea that actually allows sex to be completely private but the conversation to be truthful and immediate.’ Source
Another prominent Republican has come out in support of same-sex marriage — or at least, in support of one particular same-sex marriage. Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara served as an official witnesses Saturday at the Maine wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen, co-owners of a Kennebunk general store. Thorgalsen posted a photo on Facebook of the 41st commander-in-chief signing a set of documents for them at an outdoor celebration: “Getting our marriage license witnessed!” No big statement from the ex-prez’s office. His rep Jim McGrath confirmed his and wife Barbara’s presence at the Kennebunkport wedding: “They were private citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.” In an email from their honeymoon in London, Clement told us they’ve known the former first couple for years and were thrilled they accepted the wedding invitation. Thinking about “how monumental this time is in our lives” and “how blessed we are to be in their lives,” they decided to ask them “to really personalize it for us” as witnesses.
A billboard on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard is raising a few eyebrows. The sign, located just before Interstate 285 reads “Find Jesus in the Quran.” The non-profit organization Why Islam has been posting similar billboards across the country for more than a dozen years. The one on Peachtree Industrial Blvd. is the third in Georgia and the only one standing right now. About 60 others are posted nationwide. The spokesperson for Why Islam said that the local Muslim community requested the billboard, which is funded by donations, to “help clarify what Islam is really all about.” The group encourages people to call a hotline to get answers or a free copy of the Quran.
“Some things” means uninsured families, med devices,flex accounts, small businesses, people with high medical bills and even charitable hospitals. During his Tuesday remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama admitted that his health care law raises taxes: “So what we did — it’s paid for by a combination of things. We did raise taxes on some things.” “Some things” is an understatement. Below is just a partial list of Obamacare’s new or higher taxes on Americans: Starting in tax year 2013: Obamacare Medical Device Tax: Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across the country. Obamacare imposes a new 2.3 percent excise tax on gross sales – even if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. In addition to killing small business jobs and impacting research and development budgets, this will make everything from pacemakers to artificial hips more expensive. Obamacare High Medical Bills Tax: Before Obamacare, Americans facing high medical expenses were allowed a deduction to the extent that those expenses exceeded 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). Obamacare now imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Therefore, Obamacare not only makes it more difficult to claim this deduction, it widens the net of taxable income. According to the IRS, 10 million families took advantage of this tax deduction in 2009, the latest year of available data. Almost all are middle class. The average taxpayer claiming this deduction earned just over $53,000 annually. ATR estimates that the average income tax increase for the average family claiming this tax benefit will be $200 – $400 per year. More
Pastor Says ‘Church Sucks,’ Mixes Worship With Katy Perry, Maroon 5; Tells Congregation ‘Don’t Get Your Panties in a Bunch’
A Eugene, Ore., pastor who thinks churches focus too much on sin and not enough on connecting people to God, is now trying to appeal to people who have been hurt by churches through a campaign called “Church Sucks” featuring shorter services and music by Katy Perry and Maroon 5 at his church, One Love. ”Some churches have become the kind of place where you point the finger, and you condemn and rebuke and you’re really quick to do it, and so I think that is definitely lending itself to people not wanting anything to do with church and thinking church sucks!” Tony Crank, senior pastor at the One Love Church in Eugene told KVAL. Since September, One Love church has been mailing out their Church Sucks message to hundreds of homes in Lane County promising a different kind of church. Among the differences, according to the report, are shorter services lasting just over half an hour, the mixing of modern and contemporary music from artists like Maroon 5 and Katie Perry with worship music, and a leader who is a pastor, not a preacher. ”I just like to have a conversation with everyone, just like I do at the coffee shop if we were talking one on one,” Crank told KVAL. ”There is a perception that to come into church you’ve got to be perfect. Sometimes what that allows people to do is to kind of judge people that we might perceive to not be that kind of stereotypical perfect person. It turns a lot of people off to what the ultimate message of Christ is,” said Kyle Cunningham, One Love Church’s worship pastor. More
To explain how rising health care costs are actually a positive attribute to the new health care law, White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday said comparing pre-Obamacare health insurance to Obamacare health insurance is like an “apple full of worms compared to an apple that’s fresh and delicious.” Reporter Ed Henry also asked Carney if he would be enrolling in Obamacare, to which he replied: “Absolutely. … If I did not have employer provided health insurance.” In the midst of a major administration offensive to boost the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – better known as Obamacare – the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday released a report on the health care exchanges, set to begin Oct. 1, one of the few aspects of the law set to begin on time. “Nearly all eligible uninsured Americans (about 95 percent) live in states with average premiums below earlier projections,” the report states. “And nearly all consumers (about 95 percent) will have a choice of health insurance companies, each of which offers a number of different plans.” But, as Fox News reporter Ed Henry pointed out during Carney’s White House press briefing, the prices are still increasing: “This report presents it as you’re going to pay less than was projected. That’s sort of a Washington thing,” Henry said, asking why the White House isn’t showing an apples to apples comparison — what people are paying now compared to what they will pay under Obamacare. More
Reaching a nuclear deal with P5+1 should be a matter of “months, not years” the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with the Washington Post, indicating that he is ready to come to terms within a three-month timetable. Iran wants to move forward with negotiations very quickly and find a resolution on nuclear issues as soon as possible, the president told Post contributor David Ignatius. Rouhani reiterated that Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, fully empowered him to “finalize the nuclear talks.” According to Rouhani, Iran is ready to offer unprecedented transparency of its nuclear facilities and may allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to assess their “possible military dimensions” to prove its nuclear program is peaceful and not aimed at building a bomb. The Iranian president declared his readiness to immediately engage in result-oriented talks during his speech at the UN General Assembly the day prior. RT
LIBERTY CENTER, Ohio — A man was injured in a house explosion and fire near this Henry County community today, authorities said, and firefighters recently found the body of a second , unidentified victim. The victim was taken to Henry County Hospital, according to Tracy Busch, director of the Henry County Emergency Management Agency. The male victim’s name and condition were unavailable but Mr. Busch said he is the homeowner and is in his 50s or 60s. The explosion occurred about 7:25 a.m. at the intersection of county roads S and 9 in Liberty Township, according to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and firefighters from four departments — Liberty Center, Delta, Ridgeville, and Napoleon — responded to the scene. More
Gunshots rang out from an upscale mall in Kenya’s capital Wednesday morning, a day after the country’s president said his military had “ashamed and defeated” Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in an apparent end to a four-day standoff and hostage situation inside the popular shopping center. Government spokesman Manoah Esipisu told The Associated Press the shots came from Kenyan forces going room to room in the large Westgate Mall, firing protectively before entering unknown territory. But a top security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, said even around the time President Uhuru Kenyatta told the nation in a televised address that “we have ashamed and defeated our attackers” on Tuesday night, three shots rang out at the mall. More
A total of 130 earthquakes shook Yellowstone National Park between Sept. 10 and Sept. 15, according to a University of Utah press release, though most were too small for a person to feel. Bob Smith is a geophysicist who has spent the last 53 years monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera. During this time, he told The Associated Press, he only recently witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms, or groupings. Then, last week, he detected three. ”It’s very remarkable,” Smith said. “How does one swarm relate to another? Can one swarm trigger another and vice versa?” The answers aren’t clear, though Smith said he “wouldn’t doubt” if at least two of the swarms were related. According to the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, the sequence of swarms began on Sept. 10 and have concentrated around Lewis Lake, the Lower Geyser Basin and northwest of Norris Geyser Basin. ”Notably much of the seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms,” the press statement notes. ”This is pretty unusual, to be honest,” Smith said, explaining that an earthquake generally isn’t felt until it reaches a magnitude of 3.0 on the Richter scale. The range for the latest swarms have fallen between 0.6 and 3.6.More
Around 30 large dolphins beached themselves in northeastern Brazil over the weekend, and news reports said Monday that at least seven of them had died. The dolphins, known as false killer whales, ran aground early Sunday on the shallow sands of Upanema beach in Areia Branca, roughly halfway between the cities of Fortaleza and Natal. Images distributed by the environmental police of Rio Grande do Norte state show beachgoers and passers-by attempting to aid the animals, which lay stranded in inches- (centimeters-) deep water. Most of the animals were still, occasionally twitching their tails, as beachgoers swabbed them with wet T-shirts. O Globo newspaper reported Monday that at least seven on the animals died, six of them on the Upanema beach. O Globo said one animal died following an apparent shark attack after it was returned to the ocean. The report stressed that the dolphin was likely attacked in very deep waters and that area beachgoers needn’t worry about shark attacks. More
This is an era of gender revolutions, and the Jewish community is racing to keep up. Enter Yuval Topper. Topper, who comes from an Orthodox family, was born female, underwent a sex reassignment surgery to become male, discovered that he’s gay, married a gay man, and in 2011 became the first Israeli transgender man to conceive and give birth to a baby. Last week, following nearly two years of struggles, Israel’s Interior Ministry begrudgingly recognized both men as the child’s biological parents — another big first. Granted, it’s a lot to take in. But Rabbi Elliot Kukla, a leading Jewish educator on LGBT rights, says this is nothing new. “There’s a growing number of trans-male Jews who are getting pregnant and having babies. Finding ways to sanctify and welcome men who are having babies into the community, which is something previous generations of Jews could never dream of, is increasingly becoming part of modern Jewish life,” Kukla tells the Times of Israel. More
The Senate voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to confirm Todd Hughes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, making him the first openly gay judge to serve on an appeals court in the United States. The Senate confirmed Hughes, a lawyer in the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil division, by a vote of 98-0. President Barack Obama nominated him in February after the nomination of another gay nominee stalled. Hughes has specialized in federal personnel matters, veterans’ benefits and international trade. ”I am proud that today the Senate is finally taking this critical step to break down another barrier and increase diversity on our Federal bench,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat. While Hughes is the first openly gay judge on an appellate court, a step below the U.S. Supreme Court, at least seven gay or lesbian judges now serve or have served on federal district courts. Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group which works to ensure equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, cheered the news. ”As an openly gay man takes to the federal appellate court bench for the very first time, barriers to achievement for the next generation of LGBT young people are crumbling every day,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. More
Money lenders trust America so implicitly that they generally dismiss the risk it won’t pay its debts. But in the US capital, fears are growing that political dysfunction might trigger the unthinkable. A few years ago one would have said, ‘Don’t be silly. Of course they will raise the debt ceiling.’ But one can’t say that any more. Government veterans from both political parties are aghast that lawmakers openly speak of managing a default that could be triggered next month if they don’t authorise more borrowing. Another reason for concern is that the debate over the debt ceiling appears stuck on a Republican demand for big spending cuts in exchange for raising the $US16.7 trillion ($17.8 trillion) borrowing limit. This could be too tall an order because Washington is already slashing spending on almost everything but the welfare state. To go further, Congress would likely have to make cuts in sacrosanct programs like pensions and healthcare for the elderly, something lawmakers appear loath to do. ”The ingredients to put together a deal are diminishing,” said Tony Fratto of consultancy firm Hamilton Place Strategies, which advises investors on the workings of Washington. “Only the tough choices are there,” said Fratto, who was a spokesman at the White House and Treasury during the Bush administration. More
BANGKOK – Floods triggered by heavy rains claimed at least nine lives in Thailand this month and affected up to 1.5mn people, officials said yesterday. Flooding was reported in 23 of the kingdom’s 77 provinces, the Disaster Prevention and Relief Department said. Nine people have drowned over the past week in the north-eastern provinces of Surin and Sisakhet, it said. The meteorological department has forecast heavy rains for the remainder of the month, especially in the northern provinces. “The overall picture in the north-east has improved,” said Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who is in charge of water management. He warned people living on the banks of the Chao Phraya River to expect some flooding as authorities were pumping water into the main waterway to reduce flooding in the central plains. Authorities said the country is not in danger of being inundated by another massive flood, similar to the 2011 disaster. Much of the central plains and parts of Bangkok were flooded two years ago, forcing six large industrial estates and hundreds of factories to close for several months. The 2011 floods left 813 dead and caused an estimated 1.4tn baht ($45.2bn) in damages, according to World Bank estimates. Heavy monsoon rains exacerbated by Typhoon Usagi have pounded parts of Vietnam and Cambodia killing at least 36 people, authorities said yesterday, with many swept to their deaths in floods.
Despite not being directly hit by Usagi—the world’s most powerful storm this year—parts of Southeast Asia have seen a worsening of their annual rainy season as the typhoon barrelled through the Philippines and China in recent days. Central and southern Vietnam have been hit by bad weather since early last week, inundating fields and villages, with 24 dead and six missing, according to a 10-day update from the country’s flood and storm control department. In Cambodia, officials said low pressure from the typhoon caused heavy rains, swelling the Mekong River with floods sweeping across several provinces. At least 12 people, including six children under six years old, have died in the deluge, said Keo Vy of the National Disaster Management Committee. Typhoon Usagi killed at least two people in the Philippines and some 25 people in southern China as it swept across the region over the weekend. Strong winds and torrential rain lashed the Chinese coast after making landfall in Guangdong province northeast of Hong Kong on Sunday evening. As the typhoon bore down on Hong Kong, operators shut down one of the world’s busiest sea ports and nearly 450 flights were either cancelled or delayed on Sunday. At least 18 further deaths have been reported in the Philippines in monsoon rains worsened by the typhoon, which also unleashed landslides and power outages across southern Taiwan at the weekend as it ploughed through the Luzon Strait with ferocious winds and heavy downpours. Extinction Protocol
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to sign a controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation on Wednesday, a senior State Department official told Fox News — despite warnings from lawmakers that the Senate will not ratify the agreement. A State official said the treaty would “reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes,” while protecting gun rights. ”The treaty builds on decades of cooperative efforts to stem the international, illegal, and illicit trade in conventional weapons that benefits terrorists and rogue agents,” the official said. U.S. lawmakers, though, have long claimed that the treaty could lead to new gun control measures. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the most vocal opponents of the treaty, sent a letter to Kerry declaring it “dead in the water,” since a majority of senators has gone on record against the agreement. ”The administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats,” he wrote. Kerry, who is in New York attending the U.N. General Assembly session, announced earlier this year that the administration planned to sign the treaty. More
BREAKING NEWS: Sedona has become the fourth Arizona city to recognize same-sex civil unions. The Sedona City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to allow civil unions regardless of gender in the red-rock country community in north-central Arizona. Sedona’s city attorney says the ordinance borrows from local civil-union laws already approved by Tucson, Bisbee and Jerome. Provisions include a registration process and a city-maintained list of agreements that couples wish to register. Phoenix TV station KPHO says civil unions also allow same-sex couples to list themselves as next of kin and visit each other in hospitals. Sedona Mayor Rob Adams says approval of the civil union ordinance sends a message that love is love, “regardless if its two people of the same sex or not.”Arizona Daily Star
Yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he would not support Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other conservative senator’s in a bid to prevent Democrats from restoring Obamacare funding in the Senate. Following the House of Representatives passage of a continuing resolution that funds the entire budget accept Obamacare last week, Senate Democrats intend to rewrite it to restore funds needed to keep the Affordable Care Act in existence. “Hey, how much do you love Mitch McConnell,” Glenn asked on radio this morning. “Seriously, piece of garbage these guys are. They’re telling their own people, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ They’re getting the exceptions! I mean it is a monarchy that we are running here. We’ve got the people who are in the Royal Court in Congress – everybody else, you know, gets to play by the king’s rules. But we have to be on the other side of the gates. I don’t even understand it.” In the three years since the President’s signature healthcare legislation was passed, we have seen Republicans and Democrats come out against the bill. More
Citing the Heath and Human Services website, a report posted Wednesday at the Freedom Outpost says that under Obamacare, government agents can engage in “home health visits” for those in certain “high-risk” categories. Those categories include:
• Families where mom is not yet 21;
• Families where someone is a tobacco user;
• Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities, and
• Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States.
According to HHS, the visits fall under what is called the “Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program” allegedly designed to “help parents and children,” and could impact millions of Americans. Constitutional attorney and author Kent Masterson Brown said that despite what HHS says, the program is not “voluntary.” ”The eligible entity receiving the grant for performing the home visits is to identify the individuals to be visited and intervene so as to meet the improvement benchmarks,” he said. “A homeschooling family, for instance, may be subject to ‘intervention’ in ‘school readiness’ and ‘social-emotional developmental indicators.’ A farm family may be subject to ‘intervention’ in order to ‘prevent child injuries.’ The sky is the limit.” Joshua Cook said that while the administration would claim the program only applies to those on Medicaid, the new law, by its own definition, has no such limitation. ”Intervention,” he added, quoting Brown, “may be with any family for any reason. It may also result in the child or children being required to go to certain schools or taking certain medications and vaccines and even having more limited – or no – interaction with parents. The federal government will now set the standards for raising children and will enforce them by home visits.” According to Cook, the program will require collection of a massive amount of private information including all sources of income and the amount gathered from each source. One of the areas of emphasis mentioned by HHS is the “development of comprehensive early childhood systems that span the prenatal-through-age-eight continuum.” Last session, Cook added, South Carolina State Rep. Bill Chumley introduced a measure that would make the forced home visitations illegal in his state. The measure passed in the House but died in the Senate. In 2011, he noted, HHS said $224 million would be allocated to support these home visiting programs. The Examiner
The White House reportedly held a closed-door roundtable session Monday with members of the bisexual community to celebrate “Bisexual Visibility Day.”The Obama administration’s Office of Public Engagement quietly touted the event a month ago with select invitations to rights groups around the nation, the Washington Blade reported.Luigi Ferrer, program and grants development director for the Pridelines Youth Services group in Florida, told the Miami Herald that he received his invitation about a month ago from the administration.“There really hasn’t been a strong national organization speaking out for bisexuals,” he said. “What that leads to is being left out of important policy conversations. Now we are finally having some of those.”The meeting was to discuss issues of importance to bisexuals, The Washington Post reported last month.“It’s a testament to this administration that they are focusing on all elements of the LGBT community and they should be applauded for hosting an event focused on some of the specific issues impacting bisexual people,” Michael Cole-Schwartz, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign in Washington, told the Herald. The Washington Times
Some are held by spectators and others by marchers in the parade meaning that the organizers of the parade had to approve marchers carrying Jihadist symbols. I can’t think of any other group that would be allowed parade around with blatant terrorist insignia in the city that those same terrorists attacked. Muslims will claim that these were historically Mohammed’s flags, but today they are used by Jihadists and by Salafists as Caliphate flags. The black flag is the war flag and the white flag is the state flag of the Caliphate. (from Urban Infidel) The Muslim Day marchers carrying the white flags are saying that they view themselves as part of the Islamic Caliphate and that they view New York as belonging to the Caliphate. The Muslim Day marchers with black flags are waving an open declaration of war against New York. These were the flags that were planted on American embassies on September 11 during the attacks. Now they are being carried openly in New York. FPM
Apparently taking hostages and trying to kill everyone who didn’t know the name of Mohammed’s mother while belonging to a notorious terrorist organization was not enough for the BBC to recognize them as terrorists. The BBC has come under fire for referring to the perpetrators of the Kenyan shopping mall massacre as ‘militants’ rather than ‘terrorists’. In coverage of the violence at the Westgate mall in Nairobi which has killed more than 60 the Corporation’s journalists have repeatedly described the attackers as ‘Islamic militants’. It is understood that BBC guidance issued to staff tells them to avoid using the term ‘terrorist’ without attribution, but politicians have reacted with anger to the choice of language. In four news bulletins this morning, Neal Sleat, newsreader on Radio 4′s today programme, did not use the word ‘terrorist’ once. Instead he referred to the culprits as ‘Islamic militants’, while reporters on the BBC website describes those responsible as ‘suspected al-Shabab militants’. There’s always alleged suspected angry people. If only they had been EDL. I’m sure the BBC would have found the proper words to describe them. Frontpage Mag
When Seattle one day gets around to banning all words, because language is inherently offensive to the illiterate, and everyone is reduced to communicating with grunts and emphatic gestures, an era of true tolerance and nomadic lifestyles will be upon us. For the moment, we have to make do with small victories of tolerance like outlawing “Brown Bag” and “Citizen“. Government workers in the city of Seattle have been advised that the terms “citizen” and “brown bag” are potentially offensive and may no longer be used in official documents and discussions. KOMO-TV reports that the city’s Office of Civil Rights instructed city workers in a recent internal memo to avoid using the words because some may find them offensive. “Luckily, we’ve got options,” Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights wrote in the memo obtained by the station. “For ‘citizens,’ how about ‘residents?’” For Office of Civil Rights how about 1984′s Ministry of Truth. Or the USSR’s Department for Agitation and Propaganda or China’s Chinese Central Propaganda Department. We’ve got options. But it’s offensive to call an agency that exists to violate civil rights, the Office for Civil Rights. More
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly was “cynical and full of hypocrisy,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night. In a statement he released shortly after Rouhani’s speech, Netanyahu said that the speech reflects the Iranian plan, namely to “talk and buy time in order to promote the ability of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.” “Rouhani spoke about human rights while Iranian forces are taking part in the massacre of innocent civilians in Syria, he condemned terrorism while the Iranian regime carries out terrorism in dozens of countries around the world,” said Netanyahu, who added that although Rouhani said that nuclear weapons “contradict Iranian morality” a report by the UN’s atomic agency indicates otherwise. “It is not for nothing that the speech did not contain any practical proposal to stop Iran’s military nuclear program and there was no commitment to follow the resolutions of the UN Security Council,” Netanyahu said. More
JACKSON, MI – Pushing the limits of traditional worship is nothing new for the leaders of Westwinds Community Church. Their latest endeavor is having Sunday evening service at brewery, winery and restaurant Grand River Marketplace, 117 W. Louis Glick Highway, with full food and beverage service available. The Sunday evening services began on Sept. 8 and have had good turnouts thus far. “The place was packed the first night,” said Grand River Marketplace owner John Burtka. “We had to bring out extra tables and chairs to accommodate everyone.” Burtka, a member of Westwinds, leases the establishment to the church for the services, which begin at 6 p.m. – closing time for Grand River on Sundays. Grand River staff remains on duty to handle food and beverage orders, which include beer, wine, pizza and anything else on the menu. The idea comes from Westwinds Music Pastor John Voelz, who designed the interior of Grand River Marketplace. Voelz’s goals were to find another space for Westwinds’ growing congregation; and to create a “non-threatening” atmosphere for new attendees. He realizes having a religious gathering at a bar will raise some eyebrows. More
Republican Ted Cruz of Texas took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to discuss the shutdown debate in remarks that headed deep into the night — a dramatic step in defense of his high profile and controversial plan to prevent any funding for Obamacare. ”I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand,” he said. “All across this country, Americans are suffering because of Obamacare. Obamacare isn’t working.” Cruz, who began speaking shortly after 2:40 p.m. ET, was alone for nearly an hour before being joined by Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican. The tea party allies engaged in an extended dialogue that was part stamina test for Cruz and part political theater for the rest of Capitol Hill. Cruz was later briefly joined by other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky, another tea party favorite, David Vitter of Louisiana, and Sen. Marco Rubio spoke as well. More
We all remember the EF3 tornado that hit Adairsville just last year, and who could forget the EF4 tornado that devastated Ringgold two years ago. As Georgians, we know that severe weather, especially tornadoes, are a threat to our state every year. However, what many of us were taught as children, and even as adults, as to where the most tornadoes, and also the largest, occur has changed, and it may surprise you.
Above is a map of “traditional” Tornado Alley. It stretches from Texas all the way up to South Dakota. This is also a map of Dixie Alley, the not quite as bad, but still important “mini” Tornado Alley. However, in the last 40 years those maps are changing…..a lot! Now look at the NEW Tornado Alley.
A new study done by the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and published by the American Meteorological Society shows that very little of the original Tornado Alley is still a part of the NEW Tornado Alley. The study focused specifically on F2 strength tornadoes or higher. Because those are the ones that cause the most damage along with injuries and fatalities. They also looked at how long the tornado stayed on the ground, because the longer it does, the more damage it causes. The research found that Deep South tornadoes typically have longer paths than those in the Great Plains because they actually travel at a faster rate. More
As US President Barack Obama opens the door for diplomacy with Iran, Israel stands isolated as the only “warmonger” in the world unwilling to give diplomacy a chance, according to a report by the New York Times. In his address to the annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Obama said Washington prefers a diplomatic solution to its disputes with Iran over its nuclear program. “I do believe that if we can resolve the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, that can serve as a major step down a long road towards a different relationship; one based on mutual interests and mutual respect,” the president said. Hours later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, used his debut at the world body to tell the world that Tehran is ready for talks on its nuclear energy program with complete transparency. Rouhani urged Obama to reject “the short-sighted interest of warmongering pressure groups” if he wants “to manage differences” with Tehran. “Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in Iran’s security and defense doctrine, and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions,” he said. More
Now that “bail-ins” have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world. As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a “bail-in” is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe. It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well. From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish. More
The Iranians, who are closely allied with the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, say that Russia will “safeguard” Syria’s chemical weapons, which are to be removed under a U.S.-Russian agreement reached in lieu of a U.S. military attack. The Iranians, who were victims of chemical weapons in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, support Syria’s dismantlement of its chemical weapons. Now, there are questions over the original intention of a U.S.-Russian agreement that Syria’s chemical weapons be destroyed. “At present, (Russian) officials speak of transferring the Syrian chemical weapons to Russia and the Russian officials have announced that they will safeguard them,” according to Hossein Sheikholeslam, senior adviser to the Iranian Parliament Speaker, Ali Larijani. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has insisted that Syria’s chemical weapons be destroyed by mid-2014. Sheikholeslam said that the cost of their removal will be borne by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which oversees compliance of the Chemical Weapons Convention, which Syria just joined. While some 168 nations belong to the CWC, the brunt of the cost most likely will be borne by the West, even though Sheikholeslam called for creation of a fund to help with Syria’s dismantlement efforts of its chemical weapons. More
Among major democratic nations, homeschooling already is banned in Germany, under a Hitler-era law, and in Sweden, where authorities have taken offspring out of their family’s arms to crack down on the educational method. Scotland is taking a different approach, demanding that all children be assigned a “nanny” at birth to make sure they get educated. Now officials in the Netherlands are looking to join the crackdown on parents. According to a petition being promoted by a group of homeschooling parents there, the Dutch Parliament as recently as 2011 “agreed with home education” and the Dutch Education Council advised only that home education should be regulated. Nevertheless, Sander Dekker, secretary of state for education in the country, told the Dutch House of Representatives that he plans to make it illegal nationwide. The homeschool organization, Nederlandse Vereniging voor Thuisonderwijs, now is asking parents nationwide, and indeed, worldwide, to sign the petition that calls for “the preservation and strengthening of the legal basis for home education.” The petition explains, “The state secretary for education is planning to make it impossible to home educate (via exemption from compulsory school attendance under article 5 sub b of the Compulsory Education Act). This is evident from his letter in July 2013 to the Second Chamber (House of Representatives) of the Dutch Parliament.” More
As President Obama’s signature legislation is rolled out nationwide, a recently released book raises serious questions about the constitutionality of Obamacare. In “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office,” New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott make the case Obamacare not only is unconstitutional, it illegally bypasses Congress, infringes on states’ rights and marks an unprecedented and unauthorized expansion of Internal Revenue Service power. Klein and Elliott quote scholars and legal organizations contending Obamacare constitutes a clear case of “taxation without representation.” “Impeachable Offenses” shows Obamacare may violate multiple sections of the Constitution, as WND reported. While the Obama administration may argue the health-care legislation was upheld by the Supreme Court, “Impeachable Offenses” reports the White House has been hard at work changing the implementation of key sections of Obamacare without congressional oversight. More
September 25, 2013 – PERU – There is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake reported at 6:43 a.m. HST on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 off the coast of Central Peru, officials said. The magnitude of the quake was initially reported as a 6.8. It was then downgraded shortly after to a 6.6, and finally upgraded to a 7.0 after further analysis, according to the USGS. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement saying there is no tsunami threat to Hawaiʻi based on all available data. Officials with the USGS say the quake occurred at at depth of 20.5 miles. The USGS reports that the quake was located 28 miles S of Acari, Peru; 56 miles SE of Minas de Marcona, Peru; 74 miles SSE of Nazca, Peru; 83 miles SSW of Puquio, Peru; and 308 miles SSE of Lima, Peru. This is the second 7.0+ magnitude earthquake to strike the planet in 24 hours. –Maui News
Chinese surgeons at a hospital in Fuzhou, Fujian grew a new nose on a 22-year-old man’s forehead after an accident left his original one unusable,Reuters reports.
Xiaolian had sustained injuries to his original nose after a traffic accident, which led to a severe infection and deformity.
To craft the new appendage, doctors took cartilage from Xiaolian’s ribs and implanted it under skin tissue on his forehead. When finished growing later this month, the nose will be transplanted to its proper place.
In January, British doctors grew a nose on a man’s arm after he lost his original to cancer.
Syria desperate for medical aid
BREAKING NEWS – Kenya Hit By More Terror As Gunfire & Grenaged Reported In Wajir