Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Obama Denounces Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

Reverend Wright Offends All Americans...

Using his sharpest language yet, Sen. Barack Obama strived to distance himself further from his former longtime pastor on Tuesday, calling the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s comments about the United States "outrageous" and "destructive

Laboring to contain damage to his presidential candidacy, Obama said Wright's recent appearances had left him angry and sad. He accused his spiritual mentor of exploiting racism and "giving comfort to those who prey on hate" at a time when the Illinois Democrat is vowing to bring the nation together. And he strongly took issue with some of the pastor's more controversial remarks.

"When he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions as the U.S. government somehow being involved in AIDS, when he suggests Minister Farrakhan somehow represents one of the greatest voices of the 20th and 21st centuries, when he equates the United States' wartime efforts with terrorism -- there are no excuses," Obama said. "They offend me. They rightly offend all Americans."
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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Plight Of Teenage Girls And Children In Polygamist's Sect

How Old Were The Men Responsible For Impregnating
These Young Girls and Fathering These Children?

Texas child welfare officials say more than half the teen girls swept into state custody from a polygamist sect's ranch have been pregnant.

Child Protective Services spokesman Darrell Azar says 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were living on the ranch in Eldorado. Of that group, 31 already have children or are pregnant.

State officials took custody of all 463 children at the Yearning For Zion Ranch more than three weeks ago after a raid prompted by calls to a domestic violence hotline.

Child welfare officials say there was a pattern of underage girls forced into "spiritual marriages" with much older men at the ranch.
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Monday, April 28, 2008

CIETC Scandal Far From Over, More Criminal and Civil Action Pending

Ramona Still To Be Tried
Civil Suits Yet To Commence

First Round Of Convictions:
The jury in Davenport took less than three days to return its verdict in the CIETC salary trial. The scandal became the largest case of government fraud in Iowa after accusations that one-point-eight million dollars of taxpayer money went to inflated salaries and bonuses.

Late Thursday afternoon, the jury returned guilty verdicts for former CIETC accountant Karen Tesdell on all 29 counts of her indictment, one count of conspiracy and 28 counts of fraud. The jury split its decision on former Iowa Workforce Development deputy director Jane Barto. She was found guilty of obstruction, but acquitted on the more serious charge of conspiracy. The third defendant, former CIETC board member Dan Albritton was cleared of his one charge of conspiracy.


Regional Workforce Investment Alliance (CIETC) To Disband:
The Des Moines job-training agency, which renamed itself the Regional Workforce Investment Alliance in the wake of a major payroll scandal, is expected to disband June 30.

The organization's board of directors made it official Thursday by approving a resolution to that effect.

Disbanding the agency has been a foregone conclusion since March 24, when Des Moines withdrew from the alliance.
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It Ain't Over Yet...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Scientist Says Earth On The Way To A New Ice Age

So Much For Global Warming...
Temperature Tied To Sunspots

A San Francisco-based scientist says that current solar activity strongly indicates that the earth is on the verge of a new ice age.

"Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh," warns Phil Chapman writing in The Australian. Chapman is a geophysicist and astronautical engineer who was the first Australian to become a NASA astronaut.

"Disconcerting as it may be to true believers in global warming," he explains, "the average temperature on earth has remained steady or slowly declined during the past decade, despite the continued increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and now the global temperature is falling precipitously.

Chapman wrote that the global warming dogma should be put aside, "at least to begin contingency planning about what to do if we are moving into another little ice age, similar to the one that lasted from 1100 to 1850."
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Heretical Theological Pretender That Thinks He Is A Scholar

Says Jesus Was Fathered By A
Roman Soldier That Raped Mary
Paul Verhoeven Should Stick To Fictional Movies

Basic Instinct" director Paul Verhoeven has written a book that contradicts biblical teaching by suggesting that Jesus might have been fathered by a Roman soldier who raped Mary. In addition to suggesting that the Virgin Mary may have been a rape victim, the book will also say that Christ was not betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 original apostles of Jesus, as the New Testament states.

An Amsterdam publishing house said Wednesday it will publish the Dutch filmmaker's biography of Jesus, "Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait," in September.

Verhoeven is best known as the director of blockbuster films including "Basic Instinct" and "RoboCop," but he is also a member of "Jesus Seminar," a group of scholars and authors that seeks to establish historical facts about Jesus. The 69-year-old director also directed "Showgirls"as well as the sci-fi bust "Starship Troopers,"

The movie director's claims were greeted with some skepticism among those who have dedicated their careers to studying the life of Jesus. One issue is that there is very little information about the life of Jesus outside of the Gospels. The Gospels as understood by Christians for nearly 2,000 years do not support Verhoeven's ideas.

Over the years, Verhoeven, who is Catholic and holds a doctorate in mathematics and physics from the University of Leiden, was a regular attendee of the Jesus Seminar, which was co-founded by the late religion scholar Robert W. Funk. The seminar called into question miracles and statements attributed to Jesus.

"The Jesus Seminar was big in the '80s and somewhat in the '90s," Donohue said. "They have been very controversial in challenging the accepted biblical account of Jesus. The goal is to question the divinity of Christ — to say he was nothing but a happy carpenter who worked at Lowe's or Home Depot.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Plan To Shutdown Republican National Convention In Minnesota

Plot Revealed By "Anarchists" and "Anti-Authoritarians"

Self-described anarchists and "anti-authoritarians" are planning to "shut down" the Republican National Convention, which will take place in St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 1-4.

Last month, the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) reported that over the past year, protest planning for the GOP event had grown at a "considerable pace" since the SDS endorsed disrupting the proceedings at its 2007 national convention.

At that time, the SDS adopted a three-step plan to disrupt the first day of the convention. First, protesters plan to blockade the Xcel Energy Center, which will host the Republican convention. Second, they plan to disrupt delegates' transportation to the center. And finally, protesters plan to block the five bridges linking St. Paul to the neighboring city of Minneapolis.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tragic Birth Defect Plagues Polygamous Communities

Families Avail Themselves Of Government Funded
Medical Care - A Philosphy Of "Bleeding The Beast"

In the 1930s, two families, the Jessops and the Barlows, settled the area around Hildale, Utah, along the border with Arizona, where they founded the FDLS — and began handing down to their descendants a recessive gene for a severe form of mental retardation called Fumarase Deficiency. The birth defect has become increasingly prevalent within the FLDS community since 1990 when it was first identified by Dr. Theodore Tarby, an Arizona pediatric neurologist, now retired but formerly with the Children's Rehabilitative Services in Phoenix. He saw his first case when an FLDS mother brought her severely retarded son to see him. Tarby asked the mother whether any of her other children had problems, and she mentioned a daughter with cerebral palsy — testing proved that she, too, had Fumarase Deficiency syndrome.

The birth defect — an enzyme deficiency — causes severe mental retardation, epilepsy and disfigurement of features. "The retardation is in the severe range — an IQ around 25," Dr. Tarby says. Afflicted children are missing portions of their brain, often cannot sit or stand, and suffer grand mal seizures and encephalitis. Language skills are nonexistent or minimal. "I remember one little girl has a fascination with coins and the only word she could say was 'money,'" the doctor said. Families whose children are affected often avail themselves of state-funded medical care, consistent with the FLDS philosophy of seeking government aid — despite their suspicion of government — which they call "bleeding the Beast."

Until 1990 Tarby says he knew of only 13 cases of Fumarase Deficiency worldwide. Since, it has taken hold in the FLDS community because of intermarriage. "If you have two parents with the gene," Tarby says, "you are going to have a one-in-four chance of having a child afflicted with it."

Depending on the severity of the disorder, children may die in childhood or may survive into early adulthood; if a person who has developed the disorder goes on to have a child, his or her chances of passing it on are one in two. But diagnosing the condition is difficult and requires extremely careful testing, the doctor says. His research, published in 2006, identified 20 cases within the Hildale-Colorado City enclave. "I would expect there are going to be Fumarase Deficiency cases there in Texas," he said.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Des Moines Pizza Hut Delivery Man Fired For Self Defense

Delivery Man Who Was Robbed At Gunpoint
Is Fired From Pizza Hut
Company Ignoring The Safety Of Delivery Personnel

A Des Moines pizza delivery driver who was suspended after he shot an alleged armed robber said today that he has been fired.

James William Spiers III, 38, said Pizza Hut officials asked for his resignation in exchange for at least two months' pay and counseling.

Spiers fired multiple shots at a man who allegedly put a gun to his head on March 28 and demanded money at the Sutton Hill Apartments, 2100 S.E. King Ave.

The suspect, Kenneth Jimmerson, 19, was arrested when he later called for medical help. Jimmerson, who police say suffered at least three gunshot wounds, survived his injuries and faces a first-degree robbery charge. Melanie Stout, 18, who allegedly called in the pizza order, is charged with conspiracy.
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Friday, April 18, 2008

Texas Legal System Attempts To Deal With Polygamist Sect

One Of The Biggest, Most Convoluted
Child-Custody Hearings In U.S. History...

After hours of lawyers popping up with similar objections and questions, a custody hearing for 416 children seized from a polygamist sect finally turned to whether they were abused. A child welfare worker said some women at the sect's ranch may have had children when they were minors, some as young as 13.

The testimony came late Thursday, the first day of a court hearing to determine whether the children, swept up in a raid on the ranch two weeks ago, will remain in state custody. Child welfare officials claim the children were abused or in imminent danger of abuse because the sect encourages girls younger than 18 to marry and have children.

The case — one of the biggest, most convoluted child-custody hearings in U.S. history — presented an extraordinary spectacle: big-city lawyers in suits and mothers in 19th-century, pioneer-style dresses, all packed into a historic courtroom and an auditorium two blocks away that was patched into the proceedings by a grainy video feed.

The state wants to keep the children in its custody, and likely move them to foster homes while officials continue investigating abuse allegations. The state must provide evidence the children were physically or sexually abused, or are in imminent danger of abuse.
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kentucky's Lethal Injection Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court

Death Row Inmates Wanted Injection To Use
Single Drug Instead Of Three Drugs

The Supreme Court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injection executions Wednesday, likely clearing the way to resume executions that have been on hold for nearly 8 months.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, turned back a constitutional challenge to the procedures in place in Kentucky, which uses three drugs to sedate, paralyze and kill inmates. Similar methods are used by roughly three dozen states.

The case before the court came from Kentucky, where two death row inmates did not ask to be spared execution or death by injection. Instead, they wanted the court to order a switch to a single drug, a barbiturate, that causes no pain and can be given in a large enough dose to cause death.

"We ... agree that petitioners have not carried their burden of showing that the risk of pain from maladministration of a concededly humane lethal injection protocol, and the failure to adopt untried and untested alternatives, constitute cruel and unusual punishment," Chief Justice John Roberts said in an opinion that garnered only three votes. Four other justices, however, agreed with the outcome.
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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Senator Joe Lieberman May Give Keynote Address At Republican Convention

Democrat's 2000 Vice Presidential Nominee
Says "He Willl If Asked"
Lieberman May Go Zell...

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), the Democratic Party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee, is leaving open the possibility of giving a keynote address on behalf of Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) at the Republican National Convention in September.

Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman’s appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle. That could appeal to much-needed independent voters.

McCain has yet to ask Lieberman to speak, either in primetime or elsewhere, at the convention. But if McCain thinks it will help make his case for the White House, as some of his allies suspect, Lieberman would be willing to speak on his behalf.

“If Sen. McCain, who I support so strongly, asked me to do it, if he thinks it will help him, I will,” Lieberman said in a brief interview.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Iowa - Smoking Cigarettes In A Public Place Will Be A Crime

Has Iowa Gone Too Far?
The Next Step Is To Make Tobacco Illegal

Today, Iowa will become the 13th state to prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation. Other states, such as California, have smoking bans in bars and restaurants but allow cities the ability to pass ordinances that relate to workplaces.

People who violate Iowa's law face a $50 fine. Business owners who violate the law could face up to a $500 fine if they fail to stop a person from smoking. In addition, restaurants or bars could have their liquor licenses suspended or revoked if there are smoking violations.
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Iowa Governor Chet Culver is expected to sign this bill into law today...

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