Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Judge Orders Child Porn Consumer to Pay Restitution
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COMMENT:  When I lived in Kentucky I helped to establish the Kentucky Alliance for Exploited and Missing Children. Just 'learning' about that issue was incredibly painful.  Child porn is the permanent record of a criminal act against a precious child. In my 'never to be humble opinion' there is no punishment harsh enough for someone who would do these things to a child.  Good for this judge and his creativity.


Judge Orders Child Porn Consumer to Pay Restitution

A federal judge in Bridgeport broke new legal ground Monday in favor of exploited children when he ordered a wealthy former Pfizer executive to pay about $200,000 to a girl whose images the executive had obtained through the Internet from another collector of child pornography.

Prior to Monday's ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge Warren W. Eginton, federal courts around the country had imposed such restitution payments only on people involved in the direct exploitation of children, such as those convicted of sexual assault or of creating obscene photographic images of children.

Former Pfizer executive Alan Hesketh, 62, had argued that he should not be liable for restitution because he was only an end user of the images.

Hesketh, a British citizen and former resident of Stonington, was fired from his job as Pfizer's global patent director after his arrest on child pornography charges in March. He was sentenced in October to 78 months in prison for possessing and distributing about 2,000 obscene photographs

The issue of restitution, part of the sentence, arose after federal investigators identified the child victim from pornographic images taken years ago but recently recovered from Hesketh's home computer. The female victim, now 19, made a claim against Hesketh after the authorities notified her of his arrest and prosecution.

The U.S. attorney's office, which prosecuted Hesketh, said it took no position on restitution. But the office none the less filed a lengthy memo with Eginton arguing for restitution. Restitution is a payment typically imposed on convicts to compensate victims for suffering and for a variety of costs, including legal and counseling fees.
Read more here


ACLU Exec busted for child porn on court
A former American Civil Liberties Union executive, who once argued that Internet filters in libraries that limited children's access to pornography would interfere with their ability to learn and communicate, is facing a federal court hearing today on charges he possessed child pornography.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled in court in the Eastern District of Virginia for Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, of Arlington, Va., who has been held in custody in the case since his arrest. According to report on the case, Rust-Tierney admitted to investigators he had downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites onto CD-ROMS, which reportedly depicted graphic forcible assaults on young girls.

Rust-Tierney, who served as president of the Virginia ACLU chapter for several years, was the lawyer who argued against Internet filters in libraries in the early 2000s when the ACLU was opposing the Children's Internet Protection Act, which later was approved by Congress.

Donna Rice Hughes, president of
Enough is Enough, a website dedicated to protecting children from the dangers on the Internet, had worked on CIPA, and then served as an expert witness for the defendant when Tierney and the ACLU sued over the filters.
Read more here
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Posted on 03/25/2009 5:45 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 18 March 2009
A Baby, Please. Blond, Freckles -- Hold the Colic
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Laboratory Techniques That Screen for Diseases in Embryos Are Now Being Offered to Create Designer Children

Want a daughter with blond hair, green eyes and pale skin?

A Los Angeles clinic says it will soon help couples select both gender and physical traits in a baby when they undergo a form of fertility treatment. The clinic, Fertility Institutes, says it has received "half a dozen" requests for the service, which is based on a procedure called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD

While PGD has long been used for the medical purpose of averting life-threatening diseases in children, the science behind it has quietly progressed to the point that it could potentially be used to create designer babies. It isn't clear that Fertility Institutes can yet deliver on its claims of trait selection. But the growth of PGD, unfettered by any state or federal regulations in the U.S., has accelerated genetic knowledge swiftly enough that pre-selecting cosmetic traits in a baby is no longer the stuff of science fiction.

"It's technically feasible and it can be done," says Mark Hughes, a pioneer of the PGD process and director of Genesis Genetics Institute, a large fertility laboratory in Detroit. However, he adds that "no legitimate lab would get into it and, if they did, they'd be ostracized."

But Fertility Institutes disagrees. "This is cosmetic medicine," says Jeff Steinberg, director of the clinic that is advertising gender and physical trait selection on its Web site. "Others are frightened by the criticism but we have no problems with it."

PGD is a technique whereby a three-day-old embryo, consisting of about six cells, is tested in a lab to see if it carries a particular genetic disease. Embryos free of that disease are implanted in the mother's womb. Introduced in the 1990s, it has allowed thousands of parents to avoid passing on deadly disorders to their children.

Designer baby

But PGD is starting to be used to target less-serious disorders or certain characteristics -- such as a baby's gender -- that aren't medical conditions. The next controversial step is to select physical traits for cosmetic reasons.

"If we're going to produce children who are claimed to be superior because of their particular genes, we risk introducing new sources of discrimination" in society, says Marcy Darnovsky, associate executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, a nonprofit public interest group in Oakland, Calif. If people use the method to select babies who are more likely to be tall, the thinking goes, then people could effectively be enacting their biases against short people.

In a recent U.S. survey of 999 people who sought genetic counseling, a majority said they supported prenatal genetic tests for the elimination of certain serious diseases. The survey found that 56% supported using them to counter blindness and 75% for mental retardation.

More provocatively, about 10% of respondents said they would want genetic testing for athletic ability, while another 10% voted for improved height. Nearly 13% backed the approach to select for superior intelligence, according to the survey conducted by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine.

There are significant hurdles to any form of genetic enhancement. Most human traits are controlled by multiple genetic factors, and knowledge about their complex workings, though accelerating, is incomplete. And traits such as athleticism and intelligence are affected not just by DNA, but by environmental factors that cannot be controlled in a lab.

While many countries have banned the use of PGD for gender selection, it is permitted in the U.S. In 2006, a survey by the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University found that 42% of 137 PGD clinics offered a gender-selection service.
Read more here

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Posted on 03/18/2009 5:46 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Tuesday, 17 March 2009
What if there is no Man-Made Global Warming?
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Arctic Sea Ice Underestimated for Weeks Due to Faulty Sensors
By Alex Morales
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.
The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group
said on its Web site.
Read more here


Bucking the media trend on global warming 'crisis'
Pete Chagnon - OneNewsNow

NEW YORK CITY - Speakers at a conference on climate change are making the case that the alarmism behind the global-warming bandwagon is politically motivated, has nothing to do with science, and could affect the sovereignty of the U.S.
The second annual International Conference on Climate Change hosted by The Heartland Institute is well under way in New York City. More than 700 registrants have gathered in the Big Apple to hear more than 70 scientists -- representing the views of tens of thousands of their colleagues -- make the argument that media and environmental advocacy groups have it all wrong, that global warming is not a crisis.
One of the headlining speakers to open the event Sunday evening was European Union and Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, who was welcomed with a standing ovation. Klaus, one of the most outspoken critics of manmade global warming in Europe, says those who propagate global-warming hysteria are like the communists of old Europe. Like global-warming alarmists, he stated, the communists did not listen to opposing views.
Read more here

 

What if there is no Man-Made Global Warming?
What then?

February 25, 2009

By Tom DeWeese 

Here are some questions every American should ask their elected officials – especially those supporting “climate change” legislation: If it is proven that climate change is not man-made, but natural, will you be relieved and excited to know that man is off the hook? Will you now help to remove all of the draconian regulations passed during the global warming hysteria, since it was all wrong headed and harmful to the economy and our way of life?

Their answers to these questions should be very illuminating as to the true agenda they seek to impose. Is their agenda really about helping to protect the environment, or is it about creating a new social and economic order, using the environment as the excuse?

If they are supporting climate change legislation because of a genuine concern for the environment, then they should now be greatly relieved to know that true science is showing more and more evidence that there is no man-made global warming, and in fact, a natural cooling period has begun.

Last year, 52 scientists authored a much hyped report issued by the UN’s IPCC which said global warming was man-made and getting worse. But in the past year, more than 650 scientists from around the world have now expressed their doubts about the reports findings – 12 times the number of IPCC global warming alarmists now agree it’s bunk.

“I am a skeptic…Global Warming has become a new religion,” says Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever. “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly…as a scientist I remain skeptical,” says Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, formally with NASA and called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.” Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in history… When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists,” said UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh. “It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming,” said U.S. Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B, Glodenberg. Top these very few quotes with the fact that 34,000 scientists have now signed a petition saying global warming is probably natural and is not man-made.

Instead, they say the science shows warming actually stopped in 1999. That the brief warming period we experienced in the past decade was completely natural, caused, in part, by storms on the sun, not CO2 emissions from SUVs. The Sun storms have ended and now, a cooling period has begun. That’s it. Done. Crisis over. Man is not to blame.

Read more here

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Posted on 03/17/2009 5:46 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Saturday, 14 March 2009
Obama Lifts Ban on Federal Funding for Embryo-Killing Research
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COMMENT:  As I sat at the computer the morning after the President lifted the ban on destroying tiny human beings for research, remembering what he had done previously to contribute to the 'culture of death' (Obama Lifts Ban on Overseas Abortion Funding the day after the 36th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade) I could not help but think about how sad God must be and the increased amount of blood on our collective hands as a nation.  What makes the latest move worse is that the killing of these embryos is completely unnecessary.  I believe the 'score card' of success treatments between 'adult' stem cells and embryonic stem cells is now 73-0!! 

Think of that -- if a business man wanted to make an investment, would a wise investor want to put his resources into a venture with an impressive success record, or would he put his money in something that is a proven failure??  So, could there be another motive here??  You will want to read every word especially of the article about the obsolescence of embryonic stem cells.


1.  Obama Lifts Ban on Federal Funding for Embryo-Killing Research
2. Why Embryonic Stem Cells Are Obsolete
3. Pro-Life Groups Blast Obama for Funding Research Destroying Human Life

4. Congress May Fight Battle Over Embryo Research After Obama Stem Cell Order
5. New Stem Cell Advance is Both Ethical and Safe But Embryo Drive Continues


1.  Obama Lifts Ban on Federal Funding for Embryo-Killing Research
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer




White House (CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama issued an executive order yesterday that lifted President Bush’s order prohibiting federal funding from going to “embryonic stem cell research” in which living human embryos are destroyed for their stem cells.

While making the announcement, Obama said that he would seek to “ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction.” But neither in his remarks nor in the executive order itself did he say anything about stopping human cloning for purposes other than human reproduction—such as cloning human embryos in order to extract their stem cells for research.
 
Meanwhile, opponents say recent discoveries have made destroying embryos in order to retrieve their stem cells for research has become obsolete.
 
“It is sad he is taking this step to encourage and reward the taking of young human life with taxpayer funding. This represents obsolete science,” said Dr. David Prentice, a former professor of science and molecular genetics at both Indiana State University and the University of Indiana.
 
Scientist discovered in 2007 that adult stem cells, taken from hair and skin, can be more productive, Prentice said. Also, cells from bone marrow and umbilical chord blood are beneficial. Adult stem cell treatments have been used to treat more than 70 diseases, according to the Family Research Council.
Read more here


2. Why Embryonic Stem Cells Are Obsolete
March 04, 2009 11:52 AM ET |
Bernadine Healy, M.D.

Scientists may be growing impatient, but President Obama has been rightly taking his time in addressing a campaign promise to lift the ban on federal funding for research using new lines of stem cells to be taken from human embryos. Even for strong backers of embryonic stem cell research, the decision is no longer as self-evident as it was, because there is markedly diminished need for expanding these cell lines for either patient therapy or basic research. In fact, during the first six weeks of Obama's term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes, are obsolete. The most sobering: a report from Israel published in PLoS Medicine in late February that shows embryonic stem cells injected into patients can cause disabling if not deadly tumors.

The report describes a young boy with a fatal neuromuscular disease called ataxia telangiectasia, who was treated with embryonic stem cells. Within four years, he developed headaches and was found to have multiple tumors in his brain and spinal cord that genetically matched the female embryos used in his therapy.

His experience is neither an anomaly nor a surprise, but one feared by many scientists. These still-mysterious cell creations have been removed from the highly ordered environment of a fast-growing embryo, after all. Though they are tamed in a petri dish to be disciplined, mature cells, research in animals has shown repeatedly that sometimes the injected cells run wildly out of control—dashing hopes of tiny, human embryos benignly spinning off stem cells to save grown-ups, without risk or concern.

That dream was still alive only a few weeks before this report. Within days of Obama's inauguration, the Food and Drug Administration approved its first-ever embryonic stem cell study in humans: the biotech company Geron's plan to inject highly purified human embryonic cells into eight to 10 patients with acute spinal cord injuries. (The cells are from a stem cell line approved by Bush because it predated his ban.) The FDA should now be compelled to take another look: Are eight to 10 patients enough, or one year of monitoring sufficient, to assess safety? And doctors who participate in the trial will have to ask what every doctor must ask before performing research on a human subject: Were I this patient, would I participate? Would I encourage my loved ones to do so?

Even as the future of embryonic stem cells has dimmed, adult stem cell research has scored major wins evident just in the past few months. These advances involve human stem cells that are not derived from human embryos. In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on. Though this is a more difficult task, scientists have learned to coax them to mature into many cell types, like brain and heart cells, in the laboratory. (Such stem cells can be removed almost as easily as drawing a unit of blood, and they have been used successfully for years in bone marrow transplants.)
Read more here


3. Pro-Life Groups Blast Obama for Funding Research Destroying Human Life
Responding to President Barack Obama's decision to force taxpayers to fund research destroying human lives, pro-life groups unanimously condemned his move. They said Obama ignored the ethical considerations as well as adult stem cells and other alternatives that are actually helping patients.

Recent advances in reprogramming cells -- induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) -- only bolster the case that this new policy is nothing short of wasteful, pro-life advocates say.

“Embryonic stem cell research is the research of the past. Millions of dollars have been spent on embryonic stem cell research and it has failed," Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told LifeNews.com. "To pour more money into it is simply a waste.”

"If we're going to put tax dollars into research -- particularly at a time of unprecedented federal deficits -- it needs to be research that protects life and helps patients now," she said.
Read more here


4. Congress May Fight Battle Over Embryo Research After Obama Stem Cell Order
The executive order President Barack Obama signed today to allow federal taxpayer funding of new embryonic stem cell research isn't the end of the debate. Congress will engage in battles over authorizing funding and will attempt to overturn longstanding protections on embryo research.

The House and Senate will both likely consider bills to make Obama's executive order national law and doing so makes it more difficult for a future pro-life president to reverse Obama's actions.

Instead of issuing a subsequent executive order, a future pro-life president would be forced to rely on Congress to approve a bill putting the Bush protections back in place. With a Congress strongly in favor of embryonic stem cell research funding, that appears unlikely.

Meanwhile, Congress may also consider a bill sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, that will target a pro-life law known as Dickey-Wicker.

When the Clinton administration announced plans to fund destructive experiments on live human embryos, the National Institutes of Health announced its plans for funding such research in December 1994.

But pro-life Republican congressmen Jay Dickey and Roger Wicker introduced an amendment to the annual health appropriations bill to prevent this funding - - an amendment approved by Congress in 1995 and every year since.
Read more here


5. New Stem Cell Advance is Both Ethical and Safe But Embryo Drive Continues

As the scientific world ponders another breakthrough in developing stem cell therapies that do not involve the destruction of human embryos, lawmakers in the U.S. and elsewhere are pushing ahead with measures facilitating the use of embryonic stem cells.
 
Ethicists and pro-life opponents of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research say that the rapidly advancing science has demolished the arguments of those justifying sourcing cells from embryos. The debate, they say, is over.
 
ESC advocates disagree, insisting that embryonic cells remain the “gold standard” in stem cell research.
 
The biggest challenge yet to ESC research emerged in November 2007, when scientists in Japan and the U.S.
reported that ordinary human skin cells can be reprogrammed into a new kind of cell – an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell – that shares an ESC’s potential to develop into other types of cell such as blood, brain and muscle.
Read more here
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Posted on 03/14/2009 6:15 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 9 March 2009
Homegrown Jihad
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See Homegrown Jihad on Sean Hannity Here
Watch this brief video and judge for yourself.

NEVER-BEFORE-REVEALED TERRORIST TRAINING VIDEO EXPOSES 35 COMPOUNDS ON AMERICAN SOIL


“Act like you are his friend. Then kill him.” – Sheik Muburak Gilani explaining how to kill American infidels


Washington, DC—Christian Action Network will show Homegrown Jihad at the Landmark Theater in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2009, at 7:30 pm. There is no charge to attend the viewing. Copies can also be obtained at www.christianaction.org.

 The American public was never supposed to know. The 2006 Justice Department document that exposes 35 terrorist training compounds in the U.S. was marked “Dissemination Restricted to Law Enforcement.” All the copies of Sheik Muburak Gilani’s terrorist training video, “Soldiers of Allah,” had been confiscated and sealed—all of them, that is, except one—that Christian Action Network now reveals in the documentary Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around the U.S.


It seems unfathomable—nearly three dozen terrorist training compounds in the U.S. and the FBI, Homeland Security, and State Department are no help at all?  But the evidence is irrefutable: as Jamaat ul-Fuqra (known in the U.S. as Muslims of America) leader Sheik Muburak Gilani professes on the Soldiers of Allah video, “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”

The Soldiers of Allah training video teaches American students how to operate AK-47 rifles, rocket launchers, and machine guns; how to kidnap Americans and then kill them; how to conduct sabotage and subversive operations; and how to use mortars and explosives.

With almost 50 terrorist attacks on American soil linked to Jamaat ul-Fuqra—ranging from bombings to murder to plots to blowing up American landmarks—what will it take for the government to protect its citizens from self-professed enemies of Americans? They hide across 35 American cities as innocuous-sounding as Hancock, NY; Red House, VA; and Seattle, WA.

The allegations are serious, which is why Christian Action Network took more than two years to research Muslims of America—going inside the compounds with their video cameras and questions to confront violence and confirm the truth. Their mission? To make Americans aware of the threats and have Jamaat ul-Fuqra placed on the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization Watch List, thereby shutting down the camps in the U.S. run by ul-Fuqra's front group, Muslims of America.

The State Department issued a statement on January 31, 2002, regarding why the group was no longer recognized as a terrorist organization: “Jamaat ul-Fuqra has never been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. It was included in several recent annual terrorism reports under ‘other terrorist groups,’ i.e., groups that had carried out acts of terrorism but that were not formally designated by the Secretary of State. However, because of the group’s inactivity during 2000, it was not included in the most recent terrorism report covering that calendar year.”

The effect of being removed from terrorist reports? In January 2002 Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and later beheaded while attempting to attend an interview with Jamaat ul-Fuqra leader Sheikh Mubarak Gilani.

Was this an isolated incident? Hardly. In March 2003, Fuqra and al Qaeda member Iyman Faris pled guilty in federal court to a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge, and the list goes on.

According to a 2006 Department of Justice report, “Today, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has more than 35 suspected communes and more than 3,000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal: the purification of Islam through violence.”
Read more here

Fox News: Frightening Film on U.S. Terrorism Training Camps

Transcripts tell of smoking guns behind “Soldiers of Allah”

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Posted on 03/09/2009 6:45 AM by Bobbie Patray
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Thursday, 5 March 2009
PRAY: California high court to hear Prop. 8 case today
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COMMENT:  Today, the challenge to Proposition 8 goes before the California Supreme Court.  The people of that state have spoken not once but twice to affirm marriage as a union between one man and one women.  This hearing should certainly be a matter of prayer.  The voters have worked very hard and done everything in their power -- unfortunately it is once again in the hands of the court.

1.
Propositions 8's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Goes to California's Supreme Court
2. Protecting marriage to Protect Children


1. Propositions 8's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Goes to California's Supreme Court
By
Justin Ewers
Posted March 4, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO—A majority of California voters may have supported Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed four months ago that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry. But as the state Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments on a series of legal challenges to the law tomorrow, more and more members of the state's political establishment continue to take a public stand against it—raising questions, in some quarters, about why so many politicians here have opted to openly break with a majority of voters.

This week, both houses of the state Legislature and the state's attorney general, Jerry Brown, roundly condemned the law and asked the Supreme Court to overturn it. The state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of its U.S. senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and its highest-ranking congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi, have all made statements since the election denouncing the law. Proposition 8, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, passed in November with 52 percent of the vote.

In a party-line vote on Monday, the Democrat-controlled state Legislature took a legal stand against the law, passing a nonbinding resolution declaring that voters alone did not have the right to amend the Constitution in this case. The resolution asserts that Prop. 8, because it strips a minority group of a constitutionally protected right by mere majority vote, is an improper revision of the Constitution. Since a revision requires a two-thirds vote of the state Legislature before it can appear on the ballot—something Proposition 8 never got—lawmakers have asked the court to render the law invalid.

"We're talking about a radical revision to our Constitution," says Mark Leno, an openly gay state senator from San Francisco who has sponsored several bills passed by lawmakers in the past few years that would have legalized same-sex marriage, only to see Schwarzenegger veto them. "Do we have a constitutional democracy in California, or do we have mob rule, where a majority of Californians can change the Constitution at any time?"

Brown, whose office argued against the legalization of same-sex marriage last year when the Supreme Court first heard arguments on the subject, is also urging the court to invalidate Proposition 8. "The case touches the heart of our democracy," Brown said in a statement yesterday, comparing the initiative to a law passed in 1964 by 65 percent of voters that would have legalized racial discrimination in the selling or renting of housing. The California Supreme Court ultimately struck down that proposition. "As California's attorney general," Brown said, "I believe the court should strike down Proposition 8 for remarkably similar reasons—because it unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex couples and deprives them of the fundamental right to marry."
Read more here



2. Protecting marriage to Protect Children
Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving. But in all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood.

I'm a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together.

Many seem to believe that marriage is simply a private love relationship between two people. They accept this view, in part, because Americans have increasingly emphasized and come to value the intimate, emotional side of marriage, and in part because almost all opinion leaders today, from journalists to judges, strongly embrace this position. That's certainly the idea that underpinned the California Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage

But I spent a year studying the history and anthropology of marriage, and I've come to a different conclusion.

Marriage as a human institution is constantly evolving, and many of its features vary across groups and cultures. But there is one constant. In all societies, marriage shapes the rights and obligations of parenthood. Among us humans, the scholars report, marriage is not primarily a license to have sex. Nor is it primarily a license to receive benefits or social recognition. It is primarily a license to have children.

In this sense, marriage is a gift that society bestows on its next generation. Marriage (and only marriage) unites the three core dimensions of parenthood -- biological, social and legal -- into one pro-child form: the married couple. Marriage says to a child: The man and the woman whose sexual union made you will also be there to love and raise you. Marriage says to society as a whole: For every child born, there is a recognized mother and a father, accountable to the child and to each other.
Read more here


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Posted on 03/05/2009 6:55 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Wednesday, 4 March 2009
2010 Governor's race already heating up
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Lt. Gov. Ramsey Declares Candidacy For Governor

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, a Republican state senator from Blountville and the Speaker of the Tennessee Senate, made it official here Friday night, announcing formally that he is seeking to be the GOP candidate for governor in 2010.

Ramsey made the announcement at the annual Lincoln Day dinner hosted by the Greene County Republican Women at the General Morgan Inn.

His job on the program was to have been to introduce the keynote speaker, state Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith -- which he did, after making his own announcement. (Please see accompanying article.)

Ramsey had been mentioned as a likely gubernatorial candidate for several weeks in various publications, including The Greeneville Sun.

He spoke after getting an enthusiastic introduction from state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, and after three other GOP candidates for governor -- Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, and U.S. Rep. Zack Wamp, R-Chattanooga -- had also made brief remarks.
Read more here


Haslam cites executive experience in launching campaign for governor

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam declared his intent today to run for Tennessee governor in 2010, saying he's ready for the double-duty "marathon" of campaigning statewide while continuing his second term in local office.

Haslam, who was joined by his family for the breakfast announcement at Pete's Coffee Shop downtown, cited his six years in the city's top executive office, as well as his corporate background, as the sort of experience needed in such financially "critical times." The state is forecasting a $1 billion budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year.

"I think it does help having executive experience," said Haslam, citing Gov. Phil Bredesen's own tenure as mayor of Nashville after years as a successful businessman.

He cited Knoxville's recent successes with recruiting new employers such as national food distributor Sysco Corp. and Vermont-based Green Mountain Coffee Roasters as the sort of short-term approach needed to improve Tennessee's economy. Long term, Haslam said improving the state's education status nationally also is a priority.
Read more here

Frist Bows out; Gibbons will run for Tennessee Governor
Attorney general says he'll focus on crime and schools

Bill Frist is out and Bill Gibbons is in.

The race to become Tennessee's next governor took a huge step forward Sunday when the former U.S. Senate majority leader said he wouldn't run, triggering the immediate announcement from the Shelby County district attorney general.

Frist's decision had long been anticipated by Gibbons, 58, and other state Republicans considering a run to replace Gov. Phil Bredesen when his second term expires in 2010.
Read more here


Wamp will seek Governor's seat

U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., today asked members of the Hamilton County Pachyderm Club today to join in to help elect him governor in 2010. Meanwhile, State Sen. Andy Berke, D-Chattanooga, said Monday he is actively exploring a gubernatorial bid.

Rep. Wamp announced this morning that he will be running for Tennessee governor in 2010.

“I believe the time is at hand for me to expand my service to help even more people in our great state by pursuing the office of governor,” he said in a written statement.

Rep. Wamp said he plans to travel his congressional district, Tennessee’s 3rd, in the coming days, and to file paperwork to begin raising money for the gubernatorial race.
Read more here



McMillian in governor race
Former legislator, Bredesen adviser makes it official: She's 'in it to win it'

Kim McMillan's quest for the Tennessee governor's office enters a new phase effective today.

The Clarksville Democrat is making it official that she will seek her party's nomination to succeed Gov. Phil Bredesen in 2010, she told The Leaf-Chronicle.

"I'm no longer exploring a run for governor. I am now officially in the race. I'm in it to win it," McMillan, now 47, said.

After long speculation, last April McMillan told The Leaf-Chronicle for the first time that she was interested in a gubernatorial bid and had formed an exploratory committee.

Since then, the former state House majority leader, former senior adviser to Bredesen and current executive director for Community and Business Relations at Austin Peay State University has been making appearances across Tennessee to gauge support and get her name, face and message out there.
Read more here


Gubernatorial candidate bringing out the big guns

Democratic candidate for governor adds major media player and pollster to his team

Memo to all you politicians out there that thought the Democratic primary for governor was only going to be seriously contested by Knoxville businessman Doug Horne, former Clarksville legislator Kim McMillan or even Democratic House Leader Gary Odom: This Ward Cammack guy is serious about getting your vote.

Cammack, a prominent member of Nashville's financial services industry, told NashvillePost.com earlier this year that he was entering the 2010 governor's race. Not very well known, if at all, in most Democratic circles, Cammack's announcement didn't seem to ruffle the feathers of any other potential candidates.

That should change with this bit of inside baseball news.

The powerhouse political firm of Murphy Putnam Media has joined up with Cammack's campaign, according to the Cammack team. Haven't heard of them? They did a few other political campaigns you may remember like Gov. Phil Bredesen, Mayor Karl Dean, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and a fellow named Barack Obama media.
Read more here
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Posted on 03/04/2009 6:23 PM by Bobbie Patray
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Monday, 2 March 2009
ALERT: Obama to change Bush "right to conscience" rule
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Reproductive rights groups are cheering President Obama's intention to rescind a "midnight regulation" issued in the waning days of the Bush administration that blocks federal funding of healthcare facilities that don’t allow their employees to bow out of medical procedures, such as abortion, to which they have moral objections. Advocacy groups last month sued the government over the so-called "right to conscience" rule, charging that it's unlawful.

The administration will publish a notice in the Federal Register next week announcing that it's planning to change the rule, the
Associated Press reports

"We've been concerned that the way the Bush rule is written it could make it harder for women to get the care they need," an unidentified Department of Health and Human Services official
told the Washington Post. "It is worded so vaguely that some have argued it could limit family planning counseling and even potentially blood transfusions and end-of-life care."

Federal law bars discriminating against healthcare workers who refuse to provide abortions or abortion referrals to patients, but the Bush reg change requires federally funded facilities to certify that they're complying with it – and both
proponents and critics of the new rule agree that the way it's worded could be broadly interpreted to allow workers to also block access to other medical treatments, such as contraception and artificial insemination.
Read more here


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Posted on 03/02/2009 3:56 PM by Bobbie Patray
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