October 21, 2005

News for October 21, 2005

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Intelligent Design Defense: Evolution Cannot Fully Explain the Biological Complexities of Life The landmark trial on allowing intelligent design in public school continues today with arguments from the defense. According to an AP report on FOXNews today, the defense in the case involving the Dover Area School Board’s right to offer information on intelligent design as well as the required teaching on evolution, was able to begin presenting its argument today in Harrisburg, PA. The trial, which began on September 26th, is expected to last up to five weeks. The landmark case could be a catalyst in deciding whether to allow public school science classes to offer the alternative to evolution alongside the usual teaching. The school board’s first witness today was Lehigh University biochemistry Professor Michael Behe, author of the 1996 best seller; Darwin’s Black Box , and an advocate of Intelligent Design. Behe stated that the theory of evolution lacks a full explanation of the “biological complexities of life” and that intelligent design is needed to supplement evolutionary teaching. Behe, citing a contribution he made to the book on intelligent design; Of Panda’s And People , told the judge on Monday that the biological process of blood clotting “is poorly explained by Darwinian processes but well explained by design.”

It’s amazing to me that schools still teach this to the open minds of children and misleading them for possibly the rest of their lives. I know several people who swear by evolution when Darwin himself admitted it was a pretty ridiculous idea. Go ahead, read his own quotes.


School Court Case Outcome May Pave Way for Intensive Christian Evangelization in Public Schools - In an eye-opening article, WorldNetDaily reports that a case brought by parents and children challenging a California school district for its practice of teaching 12-year-old students to “become Muslims” was to be heard in U.S. appeals court today.

According to the report, the lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center against the Byron Union School District and various school officials to stop the “Islam simulation” materials and methods used in the Excelsior Elementary School in Byron, Calif.

The Thomas More Law Center says that for three weeks, “impressionable 12-year-old students” were, among other things, “placed into Islamic city groups; took Islamic names; wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name and the star and crescent moon; handed materials that instructed them to ‘Remember Allah always so that you may prosper’; completed the Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting; and memorized and recited the ‘Bismillah’ or ‘In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,’ which students also wrote on banners hung on the classroom walls.” Students also reportedly played “jihad games” -- part of the school's world history and geography program.

The textbook used by teachers and students are from the state-adopted textbook, “Across the Centuries,” published by Houghton Mifflin. In it, students must imagine they are Islamic soldiers and Muslims on a Mecca pilgrimage. Evidently students were also encouraged to use phrases in their speech such as “Allah Akbar,” which is Arabic for “God is great,” and were required to fast during lunch period to simulate fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

In December 2003, a federal district court judge in San Francisco ruled that the school district had not violated the constitution, reasoning that students were not being indoctrinated, but were just being taught about Islam. But Edward L. White III, trial counsel with the Law Center, disagrees, insisting that the school did indeed indoctrinate the students. “The public school placed students into the position of being trainees in Islam, which is impermissible in a public school,” he said.

Thomas More’s chief counsel, Richard Thompson, says there is a double standard going on. “If the students had done similar activities in a class on Christianity, a constitutional violation would surely have been found,” he said. “If the public school’s practice is upheld on appeal, all public schools should begin teaching classes on Christianity in the same manner as the Islam class was taught in this case.”

Even more startling is the fact that the course was part of a curriculum taught to seventh-graders all over the state, according to the state’s curriculum standards required by California’s state board of education.


Wiccan halts ‘Jesus’ prayers at town council (October 21, 2005) - Prayers in the name of Jesus will no longer be offered at council meetings in a small South Carolina town after the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a case brought by a Wiccan. The high court’s decision this week not to take the case effectively upheld a 2004 appeals court decision barring prayers at town council meetings in Great Falls, reported The Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. The paper said people around town were talking about the case that pitted Wiccan Darla Wynne, who filed suit in 2001, against the council. “Even though the Supreme Court upheld this ruling, no one has stopped us from praying,” said the Rev. John Paul Sellars, pastor of Mount Dearborn United Methodist Church. “We may be stopped from verbally expressing ourselves, but God knows our hearts and our minds.” The Herald said Wynne has been ostracized by the town. “It’s been an eerie silence,” Wynne told the paper Wednesday. “The mailman is always very talkative to me. Today, he didn’t even speak to me, and that was an odd thing.” Local resident Carlton Day, 78, said people should be able to pray anytime and anywhere. “I don’t think it’s right with her telling the council what to do,” Day told The Herald. “I think the council should be able to pray the way they want.” Willie Patterson, 60, said governments should seek spiritual counsel before making decisions. more...


Kennedy tries another tack on ‘hate crimes’ (October 21, 2005) - After a failed attempt at passing “hate crimes” legislation, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., is trying to attach an amendment favored by homosexual-rights activists to another bill, an activist group warns. Kennedy sought to pass the controversial legislation – adding “sexual orientation” to the hate-crimes law – through the “Child Safety Act,” but this time the vehicle is “The Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005,” which deals with federal criminal procedures, says Concerned Women for America. The group says: “Mr. Kennedy may have gotten the word that many people have been warning the Senate not to add his amendment to the Senate version of ‘The Child Safety Act,’ so he appears to be trying to slip it in under the radar.” That strategy worked in the House of Representatives in September, CWA says, when a hate crimes amendment by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., adding “sexual orientation” and expanding federal power was rushed through the House in 40 minutes. The House amendment to the Children’s Safety Act – which, among other things, creates a national website for child sex offenders and stipulates that sex felons face up to 20 years in prison for failing to comply with registration requirements – passed 223-199. Thirty Republicans, 192 Democrats and one Independent voted to add the “sexual orientation” language, while 194 Republicans and five Democrats voted no. Current “hate crimes” law includes stiffer penalties for federal offenses when the attacker is motivated by the actual or perceived race, religion or ethnic background. The Conyers provision adds to that list sexual orientation, gender and disability. CWA’s Robert Knight was stunned the House took up the vote with little attention. “We had no notice that this was happening,” Knight said in an e-mail announcing the action. “The only positive thing I can say is that this was a recorded vote.” The bill itself was approved by a 371-52 vote in the House. more...


U.S. Won’t Oppose Hamas Participation in the PA Poll (October 21, 2005) - Even before the White House meeting, American officials said that while Washington objects in principle to allowing an armed organization run in the elections, the final decision rests with the PA. And while Bush raised the issue of disarming Hamas prior to elections at Thursday’s meeting, he did not dwell on it or pressure Abbas, Palestinian sources said. He also did not mention the issue during a joint press conference with Abbas following the meeting. American officials explained that Bush believes there is no advantage to staging a frontal confrontation with Abbas a few months prior to the January elections. Abbas reiterated after the meeting that he has no intention of barring any Palestinian faction from running, since he believes it would be counterproductive. The correct strategy, he said, is to maintain quiet on the security front and move forward on the road map. At the press conference, he said this strategy is working as evidenced by the armed organizations’ consent to a cease-fire and, more recently, a ban on carrying weapons in public places. Only a new, democratically elected legislature, he argued, will have the legitimacy needed to finally disarm the militias. Bush stressed at the press conference that “the way forward must begin by confronting the threat that armed gangs pose to a genuinely democratic Palestine.” The PA, he said, must “earn the confidence of its neighbors by rejecting and fighting terrorism.” Abbas responded that the PA has already taken steps to impose law and order in the territories, and complained that Israel has not fulfilled its responsibilities under the road map, since it has not frozen construction in the settlements, stopped building the separation fence, or removed roadblocks that interfere with Palestinian movement in the West Bank. Bush agreed that Israel “must remove unauthorized [out]posts and stop settlement expansion.” more...


US Planning Invasion, Says Chavez (October 21, 2005) - In a BBC interview, Mr Chavez said the US was after his nation’s oil, much as it had been after Iraq’s. But he stressed that any invasion would never be allowed to happen. Mr Chavez has long accused Washington of being behind what he describes as a coup - claims the United States denies. An attempt to unseat him three years ago was aborted. The Venezuelan president was interviewed by the BBC’s Robin Lustig in Paris, while on an official visit to France. George W Bush should not have any reason to fear - if he does is because he has a dark ghost in his subconscious, Hugo Chavez.

Meeting the president

Asked why he thought the US was trying to invade Venezuela, Mr Chavez said: “We have denounced intentions. A coup happened in Venezuela that was prepared by the US. What do they want? Our oil, as they did in Iraq. We have detected with intelligence reports plans of a supposed invasion, one that would never happen. But we have to denounce it,” Mr Chavez said. more...


Exclusive: Temple Mount tour (October 21, 2005) - A unique video filmed by an Israeli who was able to sneak a camcorder into Temple Mount in recent weeks provides rare images of the holy shrine, where Jews are banned from entering. The images feature a series of well-known sites including Solomon’s Stables, al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock. Ron Peled, 34, a computer professional who shot the video, says “to walk here, to roam under the Temple Mount, the site of the Temple my forefathers longed for, is the realization of a dream.” Peled, a former tour guide, is well aware of the immense significance of the rare images of sites that are normally only open to Muslim worshippers. more...


How ‘gay rights’ is being sold to America (October 20, 2005) - “I did not choose to be homosexual. I would change my sexual orientation if that were within my power.” So confessed Robert Bauman, the powerful conservative congressman from Maryland. Americans were stunned in 1980 when headlines revealed Bauman had been caught red-handed having a sexual rendezvous with a young male prostitute. In his book “The Gentleman from Maryland: The Conscience of a Gay Conservative,” Bauman revealed the conditions that shaped his own tortured double life as a pro-family Republican congressman and closet homosexual. At the tender age of five, Bauman had been sexually seduced by a twelve-year-old neighbor. Reflecting on that pivotal experience, as well as subsequent similar episodes, Bauman described the powerful feelings he found welling up within him at a young age: This was not a matter of chance attraction to a forbidden object. This was a frightening force from deep within my being, an involuntary reaction to the sight, smell, and feel of other boys. I neither understood nor accepted it. And I came to hate myself because of the presence within me of this horrible weakness, this uncleanness of spirit over which I seemed to have no control. … I was sure my predicament was a unique punishment designed only for me. Unable to understand it myself, I could never even attempt an explanation to someone else. I countered my dilemma with a plan that constituted the essence of simplicity. I made up my mind that I was not “queer.” I heard all those denunciations of homos by my military school peers and firmly resolved I could never be considered one of such a despicable breed. more...


Police Defy Ruling Allowing Jews to Pray at Temple Mount (October 20, 2005) - On Monday, the eve of the Sukkot holiday, the High Court of Justice handed down a ruling officially permitting Jews to pray on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Wednesday, between 7:30-9:00am. The court’s decision was in response to a petition filed by the Temple Mount Faithful organization. The ruling stipulated that in order to prevent a confrontation with Muslims, prayers must conclude by 9:00 o'clock, when Islamic worshippers usually arrive. The decision sets a precedent, as it permits Jews not only to visit the Mount but also to pray there. Such a position has not been taken by the court since at least 1976. When worshippers arrived on the scene on Wednesday morning at the appointed time, however, the police did not allow them to enter the area, telling them that they were unaware of the High Court ruling. This was in spite of the fact that according to the conditions laid down by the court, the police do not have the authority to unilaterally decide to cancel the permit based on security concerns, as has generally been the case in previous rulings. “I don’t recognize such a ruling at all,” stated one of the officers at the Temple Mount police station. In the end, officers allowed only three groups to enter the Temple Mount, but they informed them that prayer was strictly prohibited. One of the visitors later told Arutz Sheva that when he asked a policeman if he could pray at the site, the officer replied, “If you intend to pray, it’s better that you don’t go up at all because we’ll only bring you down again.” However, according to some of those present this morning on the Mount, in practice, the police did not interfere when two groups of Jews ascended the Mount in succession and read from printed pages of the morning prayers. Those who were allowed to enter could only do so from 7:45 till 08:15, in contravention of the High Court ruling. more...


Court sides with 5-year-old after school censors Jesus (October 20, 2005) - Officials at a New York state school may have violated the constitutional free-speech rights of a kindergarten student who included an image of Jesus in his homework assignment, according to an appeals court decision. The three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan remanded the case back to a federal district court Monday for further consideration. Antonio Peck, who attended Catherine McNamara Elementary School in Baldwinsville, N.Y., as a kindergarten student during the 1999-2000 school year, included an image of Jesus and other religious elements in a poster created in fulfillment of a homework assignment on the environment. The student reportedly was expressing his belief that God was the only way to save the environment. School officials rejected one version of the poster and then obscured a portion of the second version when it was placed on display at an assembly, citing concerns over its “religious” nature. Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based public-interest law firm, filed suit over the second poster. “To allow a kindergarten poster to be displayed for a few hours on a cafeteria wall, along with 80 other student posters, is far from an establishment of religion,” said Mathew D. Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel. “To censor the poster solely because some might perceive a portion of it to be religious is an egregious violation of the Constitution.” more...


‘Able Danger’ Specialist: I Briefed 9-11 Staff (October 21, 2005) - A military intelligence specialist who says he personally told 9-11 commission staff about the fact Defense Department investigators tracking al-Qaida were prevented from passing along information on the presence of Mohamed Atta and three other future hijackers in the U.S. more than a year before the terrorist attack has gone on the record about the incident. Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer was involved in the Army’s “Able Danger” efforts to identify and target al-Qaida on a global basis using advanced technology and data analysis, which began in 1999. He told Fox News he personally briefed commission staff in October 2003 about the Atta findings. Though Atta’s sleeper cell was identified in 2000, the information was not shared with the FBI apparently due to the Clinton-era “wall of separation” between intelligence and law enforcement. There reportedly also were concerns about the fact Atta was in the country legally at the time. Shaffer has been working with Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., the lawmaker who last week first publicized information about the intelligence failure. “What we talked about to the 9-11 commission was we found that these guys matched a pattern that matched the Brooklyn location” of an al-Qaida sleeper cell, Shaffer told Fox. Staff at the 9-11 commission say nothing they received from the Pentagon backed up Shaffer’s claim. “None of the documents turned over to the commission mentioned Mohamed Atta or any of the future hijackers,” a commission spokesman told the news channel. Shaffer disputes that fact. “I’m told confidently by the person who did move the material over that the 9-11 commission received two briefcase-sized containers of documents,” Shaffer noted. “I can tell you for a fact that would not be one-twentieth of the information Able Danger consisted of during the time we spent.” When Weldon first revealed the Able Danger information, commission staff denied they were briefed on it. Later, the panel said personnel were briefed but that the information about Atta sounded inconsistent with what they thought they knew about the terror leader, so it was not included in the final report. Weldon says commission staff were briefed on the matter three times. more...


Rocker Cooper Predicts End of World Link Lost (October 21, 2005) - Ageing hellraiser ALICE COOPER is convinced the end of the world is approaching, citing the recent string of horrendous natural disasters as evidence of an imminent apocalypse. The SCHOOL’S OUT rocker, whose father was a preacher, maintains current world affairs match the forecast written in the prophetic book of Revelations in the Bible. He says, “Everybody is aware of the end of time - the floods, the tsunami, the hurricanes. It’s Revelations. It’s all supposed to happen.

“I know where it’s going because, according to the Bible, it’s like this for a while and then we’ll see the Antichrist, who’s going to be the smoothest car salesman you’ve ever seen in your life.

“He’s going to be like GANDHI. He’s going to be the guy you never expected, because he’s saving everybody.

“That's the guy you've got to worry about.” Copyright Contactmusic.com Ltd 2005


Twisting History (October 21, 2005) - The President is distorting history, both recent and ancient, by denying links between jihad war and Islamic teachings, derived in large part from the Koran. Big week for Uncle Sam. First, there was the referendum on the new Iraqi constitution, which, by the way, contains all provisions necessary for a sharia-ruled state. Then, at the president’s by-now-annual Ramadan dinner, President Bush announced, “For the first time in our nation’s history, we have added a Koran to the White House Library.” Anything wrong with this undoubtedly historic picture? Freedom marches on in Iraq, and tolerance expands its reach at home, or so they say. But I would put it this way: Democracy marches on in Iraq, and the Koran expands its reach at home. Same thing? Not at all. But no one is supposed to consider the difference. So what if Article 2 in the Iraqi constitution states, “no law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established.” If people participate in an election for anything — including sharia, including Hamas — it's the Spirit of ‘76 all over again, or so our leaders say. Never mind that worried Iraqi Christians, concerned for religious freedom, say they’re likely to ask Pope Benedict XVI to intervene. Meanwhile, according to the Bush Happy Face Doctrine, if any religious book goes onto the White House shelf, including one that’s uniquely venomous toward “infidel” non-believers, it’s a Hallelujah moment. more...


Executive Order Sought on Prayers ((October 21, 2005) - Lawmakers yesterday said Christian chaplains throughout the branches of the military are being restricted in how they can pray, and President Bush should step in to protect religious freedom. “We’re giving the president an opportunity to use the Constitution to guarantee the First Amendment rights of our chaplains,” said Rep. Walter B. Jones, North Carolina Republican. He is circulating a letter to send to Mr. Bush explaining that Christian military chaplains are being told to use general terms when they pray publicly, and to not mention the name of Jesus. “This is a huge issue with many of the chaplains in the military,” said Mr. Jones, whose letter has 35 lawmakers’ signatures so far, and will be sent later this week. He cited a letter from one Army chaplain who said it was made clear in his chaplain training course that it is offensive and against Army policy to publicly pray in the name of Jesus, and he later was rebuked for doing so. “Much to my great shame, there have been times when I did not pray in my Savior's name,” the chaplain wrote. Mr. Jones cited similar complaints from the Marine Corps and Navy. The lawmakers said chaplains of all faiths should be able to pray as they wish, since diversity is the very reason the military hired them in the first place. “Chaplains ought to be able to pray based on who they are,” said Rep. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Democrat. “Otherwise, it’s hypocrisy.” There has been much focus recently on proposed Air Force guidelines that some say unfairly would restrict Air Force chaplains’ prayers, but lawmakers yesterday said the problem extends beyond that branch. “We’re seeing the same pattern ... and it’s a pattern of hostility to freedom of speech,” said Rep. Todd Akin, Missouri Republican. “The chaplains have complained, and it’s been increasing and more widespread and not only limited to the Air Force.” The proposed Air Force guidelines say prayers should not be offered during official military staff meetings, but that a brief, nonsectarian prayer may be offered in nonroutine military ceremonies, celebrations or events. An Air Force spokesman said the guidelines are not final and that the Air Force is “still soliciting feedback.” more...


Bush: Palestine Is Upon Us Jerusalem Newswire (October 20, 2005) - United States President George W. Bush declared October 20 that the dream he shares with the Arab world of birthing a Muslim state on the ancient Jewish lands of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza is closer to reality today than ever before. He vowed to use America’s considerable influence to help “realize [that] shared vision.” Speaking at a joint press conference in Washington, Bush heaped praise on visiting Palestine Liberation Organization chief Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), despite the latter’s refusal to honor his primary peace commitment to disarm and dismantle anti-Jewish Palestinian terrorist organizations. For Israel he had a warning: You will be “held to account” for any actions that hinder Washington’s “peace” efforts and burden the lives of the Palestinian Arabs. Bush also admonished Abbas, telling him that “the way forward is confronting the threat that armed gangs present to the creation of a democratic Palestine.” He said it is time for the Palestinian Authority to “earn the confidence of its neighbors by rejecting and fighting terrorism.” The tone of his remarks indicated the president had accepted Abbas’s assertion that the Palestinian Arabs are “committed to peace,” and that his regime has already taken steps to impose the rule of law. But Abbas made it clear that his policies do not include the forced disarmament of those dedicated to Israel's demise. “We are following a policy I believe is successful,” he said. “All [terrorist] organizations accepted the [temporary truce].” more...