Persecution of Christians in Muslim lands
Fresh attacks against Christians marred Christmas Day as Pope Benedict led pleas by religious leaders for an end to persecution and for peace in the Middle East.
While record crowds flocked to Bethlehem, the Palestinian town where Jesus Christ was believed to have been born, hundreds also defied al-Qaeda threats and packed Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral in Baghdad for Christmas Mass.
Although there were no immediate reports of attacks against Christians in the Middle East, bombings in other parts of the world highlighted the threats facing believers.
A series of Christmas Eve church attacks and explosions left 38 people dead in Nigeria and six injured in the Philippines.
The situation was especially tense in the central Nigerian city of Jos, where at least 32 people died and a further 74 were injured, many as they were doing their Christmas shopping, police said. Sectarian unrest in the region has killed hundreds this year.
In Maiduguri, in northern Nigeria, suspected members of an Islamist sect that staged an uprising last year attacked three churches, leaving six people dead and one of the churches burnt down, an army spokesman said.
In the Philippines, a bomb in a church in Jolo injured six. The island is a bastion of Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaeda.
In his Urbi et Orbi address, the Pope called for human rights to be respected in Afghanistan and Pakistan and an end to the turmoil in African trouble spots, and rebuked the Chinese government for what he said were the limitations placed on Christians living in China.
He reserved special mention for Christians in Baghdad after 44 worshippers and two priests were killed when Islamist militants laid siege to a church in Baghdad in October. "May the comforting message of the coming of Emmanuel ease the pain and bring consolation amid their trials to the beloved Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East," he said.
In Britain, the Archbishop of Canterbury also urged people to remember those who face persecution because of their Christian faith. "We may feel powerless to help, yet we should also know that people in such circumstances are strengthened simply by knowing they have not been forgotten," Rowan Williams, said.
Useless shepherds: Cowardly Christian leaders fail to defend their flock
Jon Jay is dissatisfied with the occasional lame statements of the kind we see above (Spelling etc. tidied up a bit):
Let us just squarely address the silence of the "leaders" of Christendom on the slaughter of Christians generally, and specifically, the slaughter of Christian celebrants during the high holy season, by Islam, to advance the purposes of Islam.
This failure of Christian leaders, such as the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury, to address this issue is immoral, and it is sin. This craven silence, this eloquent indifference to the suffering of the faithful at the hands of Islam is cowardice in the face of attack, and such cowardice is immoral in the extreme.
It is immoral because it only encourages and incites islam to further outrage, outrages, i would note, that are perpetrated against the lambs in the flock as opposed to being directed at its "shepherds." it is one thing for the shepherd to turn the other cheek to the ravening wolf, ... , that is a personal choice on the part of the shepherd.
It is quite another matter for the shepherd to stand idly by while the innocent lambs of the flock are slaughtered. And, it is a matter of added sin and guilt for the shepard to make the way to the flock easier for the wolf, and moreover, to encourage the wolf to continuing his ravening attacks by not loosening the hounds in protection of the flock.
To stand by mute while these attacks occur, is immoral and it is grave sin for the Pope and the archbishop to remain silent in the face of such outrage.
How do these cowards meet their maker, with faces downcast in shame for their inaction, for their silence, for their very complicity in truckling with islam?
Dan Friedman says: "Give them time. This is a tough one. It's going to take a while before they figure out how to blame it on the Jews"
Some people know from experience where the Democratic party is heading
Many Russian immigrants to the "red borough" of Staten Island are flocking to the Republican Party, saying that the national Democrats' "socialistic" policies remind them too much of the top-down oligarchy they fled in their native land.
With many of the borough's Russian arrivers already owning businesses and active in civic organizations, their muscle could help the Island GOP solidify electoral gains made this year, when the party took back congressional and Assembly seats.
Businessman Arkadiy Fridman said that the newly formed Citizens Magazine Business Club, a confederation of more than 50 Russian-owned businesses here and in Brooklyn, has aligned itself with the Molinari Republican Club (MRC) in an effort to increase the Russian community's political and economic clout.
"We decided we had to support this club," said Fridman, a former Soviet Army officer who came to the United States in 1992. "They are very close to our political and business vision."
In the wake of the national GOP's big wins this year, when the party took back control of the House, Republicans everywhere are more confident that their bedrock message of smaller government and lower taxes will resonate with American voters.
Fridman said that the Democrats "are going in an absolutely different direction," focusing on "income redistribution" and rich-versus-poor "class war." "It's too socialistic," said Fridman, head of the non-profit Staten Island Community Center and president of Citizens Magazine, a public affairs publication. "It's very painful for us to see."
The Democrats' national losses were seen as a rejection of President Barack Obama's health care reform law and other initiatives that opponents say went too far in pushing government control on Americans.
The Big Brother approach reminds Fridman too much of what he left behind in the former Soviet Union. "It's the same rule like it was there," said Fridman, who estimates there are around 55,000 Russian immigrants here.
Michael Petrov of the Digital Edge data management firm in Bloomfield, said that he objects to the "micro-managing of the economy" he's seen from city as well as federal officials. "Government is affecting small business more and more," said Petrov, who came to the United States in 1994. "It's the same as what's happening in Russia."
The Citizens Club, formed earlier this month, looks to support and grow local businesses here; introduce Russian firms to the borough's existing business and political communities, and promote Russian community representatives to serve in elected office.
Former Borough President Guy Molinari, the MRC's namesake, said he'd noticed over the years that Russian immigrants here tended to register Republican. Molinari called the affiliation with MRC "a natural marriage."
"They want to be involved, be part of the community," Molinari said. "They come from a country where they weren't able to express themselves, didn't have the right to organize or vote. They appreciate it more than some of us who were born here."
Brooklyn attorney David Storovin said that the fact that the MRC is made up of business professionals "who are successful in their own right," also made the match an attractive one.
He said that he and other Russian immigrants are also drawn to the GOP's traditional veneration of flag and country.
Reflecting the American Dream ideal that has drawn immigrants here since the county's founding, Storovin said that many Russians are "grateful" for the religious, business and travel freedoms the United States provide, and want to show it. "We do feel patriotic," Storovin said.
If you are old and in poor health, Obama wants you to die
Socialized medicine can't afford you
When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.
Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.
The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.
Under the rule, doctors can provide information to patients on how to prepare an “advance directive,” stating how aggressively they wish to be treated if they are so sick that they cannot make health care decisions for themselves.
While the new law does not mention advance care planning, the Obama administration has been able to achieve its policy goal through the regulation-writing process, a strategy that could become more prevalent in the next two years as the president deals with a strengthened Republican opposition in Congress.
In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.
“Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives,” the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal.
The BMJ is a Leftist rag. The so-called "Liverpool pathway" for the ill elderly has caused much disquiet in Britain. It is probably helpful in some instances but when administered by a bureaucratized hospital system, it is too readily seized as an excuse to bomb out old people with drugs and let them die of thirst. There have been occasions when relatives have rescued their elderly family members from the Liverpool pathway and the relatives concerned have subsequently made a full recovery -- JR
Opponents said the Obama administration was bringing back a procedure that could be used to justify the premature withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from people with severe illnesses and disabilities. Mr. Blumenauer, the author of the original end-of-life proposal, praised the rule as “a step in the right direction.”
“It will give people more control over the care they receive,” Mr. Blumenauer said in an interview. “It means that doctors and patients can have these conversations in the normal course of business, as part of our health care routine, not as something put off until we are forced to do it.”
After learning of the administration’s decision, Mr. Blumenauer’s office celebrated “a quiet victory,” but urged supporters not to crow about it.
“While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet,” Mr. Blumenauer’s office said in an e-mail in early November to people working with him on the issue. “This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the ‘death panel’ myth.”
Moreover, the e-mail said: “We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are ‘supporters’ — e-mails can too easily be forwarded.”
The e-mail continued: “Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.”
Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, and Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader, led the criticism in the summer of 2009. Ms. Palin said “Obama’s death panel” would decide who was worthy of health care. Mr. Boehner, who is in line to become speaker, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.” Forced onto the defensive, Mr. Obama said that nothing in the bill would “pull the plug on grandma.”
The people awoke in 2010
We had audacious hopes. We did not hope that the Republican Party would triumph at the polls. Instead we prayed for a constitutional check on this gravest threat to our system of ordered liberty since the Civil War. We prayed that Barack Obama’s progressive juggernaut would be stopped in its tracks.
The Republicans, as Sen.-elect Marco Rubio put it, won only “a second chance.” The shellacking the voters gave the president came not a minute too soon.
Never before have we had a president who publicly termed the Koran “Holy,” as President Obama did in Cairo. To say it is Holy, capital H, is to accept Muslim claims of supersession over Christian Scriptures.
We have never before had a president who publicly said Islam has been “revealed,” as he said also at Cairo. To say Islam is revealed goes beyond saying it began in the Mideast, or first appeared in that region. “Revealed” is a theologically and politically freighted word that means Mr. Obama thinks it was revealed by God.
Millions of Americans witnessed President Obama’s epic inauguration in Washington. The world little noted nor long remembered that, for the first time ever, Mr. Obama displaced the Jews. He said we are “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers…”
Never before had the Jews been relegated to a lesser standing than Muslims in this country. The Jews have been our neighbors and fellow citizens since 1634. Jewish ideas and principles were embraced by the Pilgrims, and upheld by the Founders. Jefferson and Franklin even wanted the Great Seal of the United States to depict the Children of Israel leaving bondage in Egypt.
The week after his mid-term drubbing, President Obama went to the ends of the earth to denounce the building of apartments for Jews in Jerusalem. Although he was to visit Jakarta, Indonesia, for less than 24 hours, he used precious time in his boyhood home to argue that Israel must halt further construction.
For these and a hundred other reasons, millions of Americans prayed that Barack Obama would be checked, his headlong pursuits frustrated. While the media deplore the prospects of gridlock in Washington, for millions of American voters, deadlock would be preferable to advancing another step on the road to serfdom and dhimmitude.
We were audacious to put our hopes in the American people and in the greatest constitutional republic the world has ever seen. We were not disappointed. It is marvelous in our eyes.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)