Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pulling the Plug

“In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody -- was it [Edmund] Burke? -- called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time, no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three . . . We are dominated by journalism.”

That was written in the 19th century by Oscar Wilde. We have been witnessing the decline of the mainstream media for quite a while now. Well, I have two stories from two different continents that both suggest a fatal demise for something that Thomas Jefferson said, “Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press.”

Scene one, Venezuela. Setting, the whole country. Speaker, Socialist President Hugo Chavez.
Today the government of Venezuela began shutting down 34 radio stations across their country. They could perhaps close as many as 240 by the time they’re finished. Chavez’s Attorney General also proposed a new law that would create a category of ‘media crime,’ which would punish anyone in print or on the air that states opinion rather than fact. The president, Hugo Chavez, defended the initial radio closures, ridiculously calling them part of the government's effort to democratize the airwaves.

"We haven't closed any radio stations, we've applied the law," Chavez said on state television. "We've recovered a bunch of stations that were outside the law, that now belong to the people and not the bourgeoisie."

Read the full article here,

Scene two, the United States. Setting, Aspen Institute's McCloskey Speaker Series, Aspen, Colorado. The speaker in question, Dan Rather.

In a stunning speech of circular logic, and eerily echoing President Chavez, Rather said both, “A democracy and free people cannot thrive without a fiercely independent press,” and then suggested that President Obama establish a commission on public media and independent reporting. He called for media reform to be an immediate national priority.

Read the full article here,

The things Rather got correct were that media should be able, “to tell the truth without fear or favor,” and “present news as straight as you possibly can.”

With the fear of Media Matters and the Fairness Doctrine ever looming over the horizon, I really do not think we want to give the government a bigger toe-hold that the FCC already has in the media. I do think that news media should be held accountable for presenting the news without bias, but that should be in the peoples’ hands, not the governments’.

We already have President Obama on the record as saying, "I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration...That's a pretty big megaphone. You'd be hard pressed if you watched the entire day to find a positive story about me on that front," Does he really need a media czar to control speech?

As followers of Christ, we should continue to watch these stories with the knowledge that as the days continue to shorten, we will be under continued pressure to be silenced as well. When the domino starts to fall, other dominoes fall along with it. Our job is to focus people on the truths of all subject matters, and how they pertain to God’s ways. Regardless of the difficulties or attempts to be silenced.

Baby after Baby after Baby

I think I would do a great disservice to Dennis’ readers if I attempted to dissect the U.S. economy news released today. According to my sources, the numbers are still atrocious, but the media is spinning the news as uplifting. Being a financial consultant, Dennis is in a much better position to speak on such subjects.

Instead, I would like to take a moment and write about a horror occurring every day, with such nonchalance it should appall the hardest of individuals.

The headline in major publications today, “China carries out 13 million abortions a year.” Subtext, “China carries out at least 13 million abortions each year with more than a third of all pregnancies ending in termination, research has revealed.”

We have all heard stories about China’s instituted policy mandating one-child policy throughout the years. If you dig a little further, you’ll find that women and families will often choose to abort girl babies, as men can take on the family name and care for their aging parents someday.

What I found horrifying is the callousness that has popped up in the reporting and the comments made in the articles.

First, the statistics; In terms of the rate of abortions, 13 million translates to about 24 abortions for every 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44. The 13 million also does not include the number of back street abortions that are still performed and the 10 million abortion-inducing drugs that are sold each year.

The China Daily, which first reported the news, said that the high number of abortions was “cause for concern.” The article spoke about women who are forced to have abortions without their consent as well.

Read that story here-

The comments made by women who have had abortions in China were what broke my heart. The article states, “The pressure of China's one-child policy, combined with government education campaigns, has also removed all social stigmas from the procedure.” This Communist country has turned the hearts of women to something that God abhors. It has truly become a human sacrifice on the altar of convenience. May God help them.

Du Yanting, 23, said: "I had an abortion three years ago. At the time, it was impossible for me to get married. My boyfriend didn't want to and we were too young. It's very common now, especially in the big cities, because we are more open-minded and there has been a change in attitude towards sex and marriage. We don't even talk about it, it's just like any other woman's problem."


Liu Juan, 36, said she had two abortions because she had already given birth to her daughter. "I had two accidents with my husband after my first pregnancy," she said, in a matter-of-fact tone. "It was quite painful the first time, but I didn't feel a mental or physical burden.”

Read that article here,

And with our new healthcare legislation that is slowly creeping towards us, abortion opponents failed in an attempt to bar insurance plans that offer abortion services from accepting customers with government subsidies. They agreed on a provision saying the government could neither require nor prohibit abortion services in insurance plans sold in the exchange.
This was after ‘Jane Roe,’ from the Roe vs. Wade abortion decision, pleaded to lawmakers that abortions not be funded by taxpayer dollars.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

United Nations at it...Again

We have all read postings on this blog that have to do with the United Nations. In a recent move by the UN Economic and Social Council, the UN body turned down the Dynamic Christian World Mission Foundation’s application for consultative status as an NGO (non-governmental organization). Consultative status would have allowed the group to attend meetings and submit written or oral statements.

The reason for the denial of the group’s request? China was protesting Dynamic’s refusal to provide the names and addresses of all their Chinese members on the basis that “religious activities are not free in China.” China objected, stating that it was disrespectful not to divulge the information.

In a surprisingly bold move, the US said blocking the group would “[be] embarrassing ourselves and embarrassing the United Nations.” He also said the committee that was supposed to facilitating the involvement of NGOs in the U.N. meetings seemed to be spending more time excluding them; some delegations were evidently trying to use the committee to silence voices with which they did not agree.

Not surprising were some of the other countries siding with China; Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Russia and Sudan.

Read the full article here.

UN Watch, which is itself an NGO, had this to say, “Today’s vote is a setback for religious freedom, and could set a dangerous precedent at the U.N. for repressive regimes to launch frivolous objections, or demand sensitive information, in order to subvert and obstruct the important work of civil society organizations in the areas of religion, education, and human rights.”

Read full article here,

I did some research of my own today on the United Nations’ own website. When the UN took the initial Dynamic Christian NGO vote in May, they also voted on several other groups. They approved Regards de Femmes, which based on my limited knowledge of French while reading their website, is a feminist organization who, ‘address stereotypes among boys and girls and combats violence against women. They approved the American wing of Passionists International, which, according to their own website, believe the Israelis have waged savage aggression against the Palestinians, that Capitalists have ravaged the world, and that Socialism is the only answer. See their Declaration,
They also approved the Brazilian Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Association.

Finally, in a stunning blow to Capitalism, free speech and Christianity heard around the world, the U.N. today accredited the Democracy Coalition Project (DCP), a Washington-based organization founded by George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

I think that if those of us who believe the UN is crucial in establishing a one-world government, the moves they made Monday should make us sit up and take notice. The denial of a Christian group that refused to put its members in harms way and the approval of a group that it outwardly working to silence dissenting voices is terrifying. Thank God it is not truly the UN that is in control.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Britain to engage 'moderates' in Hamas

As Dennis enjoys himself for the week in the rustic paradise known as Wyoming, I will be your guest host. I run my own blog that deals with Jesus and current events, but I am also a huge fan of Dennis’ work and was thrilled to be offered the task of ‘writer-at-large.’ I will not claim to be as prolific as Dennis is, so bear with me, and I will do my best.

If you are a steady reader of this blog, and are up on your current world populations, you may have heard that Britain is rapidly becoming a Muslim country. According to research done by the Office for National Statistics, the Muslim population has multiplied 10 times faster than other societal groups. During that same time, the number of Christians fell by over 2 million. One of the more substantive reasons for the disparate numbers is the Christian population of Britain is primarily over 70 years of age, while fasting growing Muslim population is the under 4 age group.

So, what does that say for Britain? According to a post by Dennis in September of last year, Britain Adopts Islamic Law.

In a haunting precursor of things to come, Sadiq Kahn, the Cohesion Minister of Britain said, The “We in central Government and local authorities need to continue our work to ensure that our communities are as integrated and cohesive as possible.”

I present all of that as groundwork for the newest rhetoric to come from Britain, ‘British MPs want gov't to engage Hamas.’

British legislators decided that their former policy of not negotiating with terrorists was not working as planned, and has thus decided to talk with Hamas instead. Following the fallacy that Britain has fallen under, negotiating with terrorists and extremists will cause said groups to become docile and peace loving,

“The committee further stated its concern over the Quartet's "failure" to offer Hamas greater incentives to soften its position, emphasizing that British willingness to talk to the rulers of the Gaza Strip would encourage the group to live up to the demands of the Quartet.”

This has not happened anywhere it has been tried, and I believe it is man’s arrogance that causes him to believe repeatedly that the same tactics will produce different results. Watching Britain struggle with their country’s change seems like a view of our country’s future if we continue down their same paths.