Now, we have the summer of construction, which has been so poorly planned and executed that one has to wonder if it was intentionally designed to make driving so miserable that more people would bike or walk.
I haven't closely the latest "controversy" surrounding Chick Fil-A, but from what I have seen it is similar to a "controversy" that erupted in 2011 when some "students" tried to get the company banned from a couple Indiana University campuses. Here are a couple articles about that: http://ow.ly/cBPfI & http://ow.ly/cBPgF.
It was a dark day for America when the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare. "Justice" Roberts re-wrote ObamaCare, declaring that the individual mandate is a tax, even though President Obama and his defenders had always argued it was not a tax. The dissent points this out as follows:
"The Court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax."
"Justice" Roberts, in an effort to preserve the reputation of the court by not wading into the political debates surrounding ObamaCare, instead tarnished the reputation of the court by literally writing legislation from the bench. It was a shameful and cowardly move.
Finally, mandating that insurance companies must cover preexisting conditions demonstrates that Obama does not understand what insurance is - a collective pooling of premiums to guard against future costs.
Mandating that insurance companies cover preexisting conditions is no different from allowing people to buy automobile insurance while their car is on fire. This policy means health insurance is no longer insurance. It is government mandated redistribution of wealth. If that's what Obama wants, be honest about it.
Monroe County Democrats rejected Scott Wells again yesterday. This time it was the precinct committeemen who said "thanks, but no thanks" to Wells' efforts to be one of the Democrats' candidates for County Council on the November ballot.
Monroe County Dem caucus: Jeff Carson out in round 1; Scott Wells out in round 2; Round 3 balloting starting: Jones vs. Munson
Monroe County Democrats are holding a caucus today to pick a new candidate for county council, a spot that opened when Julie Thomas was chosen to run for county commissioner. Thomas was chosen for that spot when Mark Stoops was chosen in a caucus to run for state senate, after Vi Simpson was chosen as John Gregg's running mate for lieutenant governor.
I checked both The Herald-Times and GovTracker on Twitter, and there's no news as of this posting as to who the Monroe County Democrats have picked in their 3:00 pm caucus today. I hope the Democrats have more sense than to pick Scott Wells to be the third candidate for county council.
You may have noticed that the blog looks like it did a few months ago. I've decided I am happier with the old template, but in order to revert to it I had to remove Disqus comments. The downside is that because of human error, the comments on Blogger's native comment system are also gone. I apologize for that. New comments will continue to work.
In France, where there have been more than 100 convictions for (female genital mutilation), the issue is seen as part of the same campaign to make immigrants assimilate that has led to the ban on burkas.
People who see it this way are either evil or stupid.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. -- Matthew 6:24
Penn State "University" should be thrown out of the NCAA. Extreme situations require an appropriate response, and an example needs to be made.
There has been a lot of talk about the sex abuse scandal at Penn State "University" and what can be done to prevent things like this from happening in the future - both in protecting children from sexual predators and ensuring that the proper authorities step in and protect victims in case the unthinkable happens.
Penn State "University" failed on every possible level. Joe Paterno (who some people actually still respect for some reason) failed, the assistant coaches failed, the "university" trustees failed, and even law enforcement failed. Children were horribly abused and the people who could have protected them failed to step in because they were more concerned about money than morality.
Since the root of this problem is the love and worship of money, the obvious solution also involves money. Penn State "University" should be thrown out of the NCAA. No NCAA school will be allowed to play Penn State in any sport and will face severe sanctions if they break the ban.
What this will do is put the fear of God into institutions of higher learning. Colleges and universities will be so terrified of losing the massive piles of money brought in by their athletic departments that they will not even consider covering up the abuse of children should it be discovered in their midst.
Of course, this is not an ideal solution. The best solution would be for those in positions of authority to be of high moral character - people who would immediately do everything they could to stop these sorts of demonic actions from taking place, and bring the perpetrators to justice. But because human beings are naturally hopelessly corrupt (Romans 3:10-12) we need to have disincentives for evil behavior.
The NCAA could easily make an example out of Penn State "University" and put the entire American university system on notice that this type of failure will not be tolerated and will be severely punished. But does the NCAA have the courage and integrity to do this? I hope so.
Rush Limbaugh had it all wrong yesterday blaming the Tim Burton movies (and the ones following) for making Batman a dark character.
Batman has *always* been a dark character.
You can find scans on the web from the 1930's of Batman breaking a criminal's neck. The modern interpretation of Batman as a dark character was popularized with "The Dark Knight Returns" in 1986 in the comics, not the movies.
There was some really pathetic whining on HeraldTimesOnline a couple weeks ago, as someone complained that "rights" were being "taken away" after HTO moderators started wildly swinging their Delete Stick in the comments thread for a story about a man behaving in a sexually inappropriate manner in public. By Tuesday morning, 13 of 33 comments on that story had been deleted, including seven in a row.
I did not see the deleted comments but from the context of the story I assume that they were vulgar, crude and/or sexually explicit. I have been very critical of the Herald-Times' comment policy, especially regarding their petulant refusal to enforce the Terms of Service that their paying customers expect to see govern the content of HTO comments. However, they are completely right to zap vulgar and crude comments from the comment section, and suspend or even permanently ban posters who step over the line.
On a side note, what exactly does the Herald-Times expect to happen when there is a story about a man masturbating in public? They are inviting trolls to post vulgar and crude things in the comments. Stories in the Homes section do not have comments, so it is logical that the H-T would be able to disable comments for stories like this one. The Indiana Daily Student already disables comments on certain sensitive topics. The HTO moderators could easily save themselves a lot of annoyance and work by simply not allowing comments at all on stories like this. It is not as if there will be a stimulating intellectual discussion in the comments for a story like this.
As to the whining about "free speech" rights, no one has a right to use private property that belongs to someone else. Comments on someone else's website are ultimately governed by the terms established by the administrator of that site. This is true whether it be HTO, comment sections for a blog, a discussion forum or any number of social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter. The website owner has every right to delete content or even ban people from posting for any reason or no reason at all.
Again, HTO is somewhat different because posters enter into a business arrangement in order to post, so the expectation that the Herald-Times would actually enforce their terms of service by deleting posts that violate the TOS is higher than for comments on a random blog site or privately run discussion forum. But the H-T maintains that posting itself is a privilege, so the H-T can revoke that privilege at any time for any reason.
What free speech means is that government is prohibited from punishing you for your speech (within reason) or preventing you from speaking. Whoever posted the crude comments on HTO cannot be arrested and thrown into prison because someone was offended by the posts. No free speech rights have been violated, as people who have their posts deleted by the HTO moderators can continue to speak freely elsewhere, provided they are within the TOS agreement for the other sites where they post.
One of my critics in local politics loves to mock my experience with testicular cancer by repeatedly bringing up Deuteronomy 23:1 to claim that I will not be in Heaven. The childishness of this claim aside, it does represent an opportunity to demonstrate that, while the text of Scripture as literally written is important, it is also important to understand the context of the text and what the words actually mean. First, let's start with the verse:
"He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD." - Deuteronomy 23:1
Commentary here by John Wesley:
He that is wounded — A phrase denoting an eunuch.
Shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord — Shall not be admitted to honours and offices either in the church or commonwealth of Israel; and so the congregation of the Lord doth not here signify, the body of the people, but the society of the elders or rulers of the people. Add to this, that the Hebrew word, Kahal, generally signifies a congregation or company of men met together; and therefore this cannot so conveniently be meant of all the body of the people, which could never meet in one place, but of the chief rulers, which frequently did so. Nor is it strange that eunuchs are excluded from government, both because such persons are commonly observed to want that courage which is necessary for a governor, because as such persons ordinarily were despicable, so the authority in their hands was likely to be exposed to the same contempt.
He that is wounded ., shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord-"To enter into the congregation of the Lord" means either admission to public honors and offices in the Church and State of Israel, or, in the case of foreigners, incorporation with that nation by marriage. The rule was that strangers and foreigners, for fear of friendship or marriage connections with them leading the people into idolatry, were not admissible till their conversion to the Jewish faith. But this passage describes certain limitations of the general rule. The following parties were excluded from the full rights and privileges of citizenship: (1) Eunuchs-It was a very ancient practice for parents in the East by various arts to mutilate their children, with a view to training them for service in the houses of the great. (2) Bastards-Such an indelible stigma in both these instances was designed as a discouragement to practices that were disgraceful, but too common from intercourse with foreigners. (3) Ammonites and Moabites-Without provocation they had combined to engage a soothsayer to curse the Israelites; and had further endeavored, by ensnaring them into the guilt and licentious abominations of idolatry, to seduce them from their allegiance to God.
There isn't much question about what "wounded in the stones" means. The question is what, in the context of the time, "the congregation of the Lord" means. As Wesley explains, this refers to holding an office, being a priest, etc. It could also mean not being allowed to enter the Temple. But what the text does not say is that intact genitalia is a requirement for salvation. In order to understand what the verse means, as literally written, you have to understand what the words themselves mean. As with any writing, if you do not know the definitions of the words used, you cannot understand what the text means.
So no, I'm not going to go to Hell because I lost a testicle to cancer. As with any question of Biblical doctrine, it is important to seek the truth by searching for context in other parts of Scripture. Two of those passages follow.
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Now, if one who has had "his privy member cut off" (which is what a eunuch is) cannot possibly be saved, then why would God give eunuchs who keep His Sabbath a place in His house? Is there any reason to believe that one who has been "wounded in the stones" by testicular cancer would be barred from salvation by Deuteronomy 23:1, considering that eunuchs are clearly not barred from salvation?
But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Again, if someone could become a eunuch for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake, then how could Deuteronomy 23:1 bar that person from salvation? For another reference, read Acts 8:27-40, where a eunuch accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior and is baptized into the faith. Clearly, one who has had "his privy member cut off" can be justified by grace through faith. And again, if Deuteronomy 23:1 does not bar such a person from salvation, it also does not bar anyone who has been "wounded in the stones", whether it be through an accident or through cancer.
I posted this in HTO comments earlier this week in response to a pathetic, hypocritical and shamefully dishonest editorial by Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg.
The type of arrogance in Z's editorial is exactly why I don't post here any more. Had it been a Republican threatening to throw things at Democrats on the parade route the comment would have been gone in less than a picosecond.
This is why no one respects you, Bob. You're nothing but a partisan hack and your moderation policies show it. Invasion of privacy, stalking, threats, blackmail - all OK if done by Democrats. Republicans, meanwhile, are deleted for using language that you explicitly volunteered as appropriate for HTO.
You even delete posts for quoting articles published in your "newspaper" because you are desperate to cover up your own dishonesty.
The American Family Association of Indiana issued an E-Mail Alert on July 10 warning against those who are trying to exploit the case of Jerry Sandusky to redefine the criminal abuse of children into a mental disorder that should be treated. The "intellectuals" arguing that criminals are fighting against something they cannot control are ironically more right than they know.
The fact of the matter is that sexual perversion is a judgment of God against the wickedness and idolatry of men. Take a look at Romans 1:21-32 and see how often that this is repeated. "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness... God gave them up unto vile affections... God gave them over to a reprobate mind."
So what does this mean? Does it mean we should excuse criminal behavior out of some sort of demonic "tolerance" for those committing these crimes? May it never be. When someone is on fire, we do not try to douse the fire by throwing gasoline on it. That will only make it worse. No, instead we get water or a fire extinguisher. Treating criminal abuse of children as a medical condition removes the moral stigma attached to it - it throws gasoline on a raging fire.
What these people need is the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to fight against and defeat the sin that enslaves them to a life of suffering and pain. Sin is not a medical condition to be treated with drugs and therapy. It is a spiritual war that must be won, and there are eternal consequences to that war.
I wish Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan would learn how to be an American.
It's time to do the right thing and tear up the "secret sidewalk" that the city obtained by fraud, and publicly apologize to the property owners who had their land stolen. The city has spent 5 years and thousands of dollars, and for what? They had to purchase the right of way from one of the property owners (but not the other one, which is a tragedy) and pay interest. The city should have simply admitted fault and purchased the property the moment the fraud and theft was discovered.
Mayor Kruzan has been urinating and defecating all over the Constitution for 5 years now.
What would you say about a mayor who owns eleven homes - including a 33-acre estate and a 35-acre estate - who wants the people in his city to live in tiny "apartments" the size of two parking spaces?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (also known for banning trans fats and the sale of large soft drinks) wants to see more New Yorkers living in tiny micro-apartments with virtually no living space. One of those would not be good enough for him, of course, and he has eleven different homes to choose from.
I realize I sound like I am about to go "Occupy" something, but the fact of the matter is I do not resent the rich. When I see pro athletes sign mega-million dollar contracts, I am happy for them and the potential they have to be set for life. I am happy to see corporate executives make huge bonuses in an ethical manner. I love to see people become rich and I love to see the rich get even richer. I am very happy for them. I hold no resentment to anyone who has more than I do.
But what I find very annoying is when limousine Leftists like Bloomberg actually have the audacity to call for people to live in micro-apartments the size of two parking spaces while he owns eleven different homes including huge mansions. I find the attitude of infuriating. It is simply none of Bloomberg's business what someone else eats, what someone else drinks or where someone else chooses to live.
Bloomberg would defend himself by saying this is merely an option, but his history has to be taken into account. He is a statist. He wants the government micromanaging people's lives. It is absurd and it needs to stop.
A July 10 letter to the editor responded to a well-reasoned criticism of evolution by insulting the education of the previous writer. Then the author did something devious - he suggested the letter be placed on the Religion page instead of on the editorial page, because creation is a religious belief.
This would serve as a way to censor creationist arguments, because religion letters only appear on Saturday and are limited to 150 words, while a normal LTTE is 200 words. Clearly, the author does not want to see arguments he dislikes, so he wants them moved to a a "ghetto" where they will be much more limited.
Of course, there is a huge double standard here. The July 5 letter was a direct response to an earlier letter insulting those who believe in a young earth as either ignorant or liars. But the author of the July 10 letter was unconcerned about the original attack, only the response. I wonder why that is?
Of course, we all know the answer. He wants to shut down debate from the other side.
I wouldn't be surprised if H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg agrees with him. Zaltsberg banned further publication of letters to the editor dealing with evolution vs. creationism after a lengthy debate in 1996/1997, so I can see that happening again if the debate becomes heated.
But with the Herald-Times, you never know what they will do. After all, The H-Trejected a letter to the editor I submitted in January 2011 because I quoted a Bible verse in a letter about abortion, even though my LTTE was well within published guidelines for letters. (The letter was eventually printed intact.) The H-Teven deleted a comment I posted on HeraldTimesOnline.com for quoting articles published in the print edition of the Herald-Times. I can easily see letters by creationists banished to the Religion page while evolutionists are given free reign on the editorial page.
As believers in Jesus Christ, the world often makes us feel stupid and uneducated. Why do we cling to our superstitions when science clearly indicates that evolution is true? But evolution is not true at all. I linked to a treasure trove of articles at Mr. Sepetjian's blog a few months ago - a great resource for Christians to defend against the lies of the world and the efforts to shatter our faith. Here are links to his most recent posts on evolution.
The shameful responses of IU professor Uri Horesh in his July 12 Indiana Daily Student interview demonstrate how completely self-centered, arrogant, childish and hateful this man is. He is an embarrassment to the university.
Horesh actually argued that unless the Red Cross violates federal regulations and accepts blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM), they should not be permitted to conduct blood drives on campus. That's right, folks. Unless Horesh gets what he wants, he is willing to allow people to die from a lack of needed blood donations.
Horesh needs to realize a very important thing - it is not about you! Blood donations are about helping those in need of blood due to injuries and illnesses, not so that you can make a petulant political statement. Keep in mind that the Red Cross must follow federal guidelines. This is the federal government's policy.
I have pointed this out many times, but let's review the statistics that are available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm. It is a documented scientific fact that male homosexuals are dramatically overrepresented in AIDS and HIV cases in the United States.
Of 41,845 HIV infections tracked by the CDC in 2009, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 23,846 infections, or 57% of all infections. Furthermore, of the 1,099,161 "cumulative estimated number of AIDS diagnoses" through 2009, the CDC reports that 529,908 of those were the result of male-to-male sexual contact, or 48.2% of all AIDS diagnoses. Male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use accounted for another 77,213 of all AIDS diagnoses, which amounts to another 7% of AIDS diagnoses.
Horesh whined that not allowing MSM to donate blood is no different than not allowing blacks or women to donate blood. Horesh is an educated man and he knows better than this. AIDS is a behaviorally spread disease. If you do not engage in the behaviors that spread the disease, you will not be infected. The federal government has determined that certain behaviors place one at a high risk of HIV infection, and by far the most dangerous is male-to-male sexual contact. There is no discrimination here.
The Monroe County Democratic Party has picked Julie Thomas to be its candidate for county commissioner, now that incumbent commissioner Mark Stoops is running for the state senate. Democrats will now need to pick someone else to run for county council in the spot Thomas is vacating.
Here is something Monroe County voters need to seriously consider: Julie Thomas is on the board of directors for Planned Parenthood of Indiana. Planned Parenthood "clinics" in both Bloomington and Indianapolis were mired in a sex abuse scandal back in 2008, when a sting operation by Live Action Films caught PP employees on tape trying to cover up the sexual abuse of a 13 year old girl by a 31 year old man. Here are some past articles on that scandal.
Thomas' involvement with Planned Parenthood alone is reason enough to reject her bid to become county commissioner. This is an organization that is not only built on the bones of murdered babies, it helps cover up the felony abuse of children as a matter of policy - and both city and county government have happily funded this evil.
It is astonishing that we damn Joe Paterno (as he richly deserves) while we turn a blind eye to the evil of Planned Parenthood. We can fix that hypocrisy by rejecting Julie Thomas in November.
On June 27, a homosexual terrorist assaulted, spit on and physically restrained a Red Cross employee while protesting the federal government's ban on blood donations from men who have sex with men (MSM). This woman was berated, assaulted and prevented from leaving despite the fact that the ban on blood donations from MSM it is not her policy or even her employer's policy, but the federal government's policy. The homosexual terrorist had a copy of Indiana University's nondiscrimination policy, which he apparently believes trumps federal law.
If failed presidential candidate John F. Kerry gets his way, that will change. He and others sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control urging that the ban on blood donations by MSM be lifted in the name of "fairness" and ending "discrimination" as well as increasing the blood supply for people in need. It is estimated that 50,000 MSM will donate blood if the ban is lifted, which was one of the "arguments" used by Kerry and his cabal.
First, let's get this out of the way. 50,000 is literally nothing in a nation of 300,000,000 people. We are talking about 0.017% of the population, or seventeen one thousandths of one percent. If we are in such desperate need of blood that seventeen one thousandths of one percent of the population makes that much of a difference, then we are truly in trouble. The answer is not to make the blood supply less safe by accepting donations from MSM. The answer is to encourage more eligible people to donate blood.
A typically whiny response to the MSM ban is that other people who engage in risky behaviors are not prohibited from donating blood. The answer to this "unfair" situation is not to make the blood supply less safe by accepting donations from MSM. The answer is to make the blood supply more safe by not accepting donations from other people who have engaged in risky behavior that puts them at risk of disease, such as HIV infection.
At this point, we should again examine statistics from the Centers for Disease Control on HIV infection. Of 41,845 HIV infections tracked by the CDC in 2009, male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 23,846 infections, or 57% of all infections. The critical thing to note here is that homosexuals are about 2% of the population - and that includes lesbians. I did not even include "male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use" in those numbers.
Of the 1,099,161 "cumulative estimated number of AIDS diagnoses" through 2009, the CDC reports that 529,908 of those were the result of male-to-male sexual contact, or 48.2% of all AIDS diagnoses. Male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use accounted for another 77,213 of all AIDS diagnoses, which amounts to another 7% of AIDS diagnoses. Again, male homosexuals are dramatically overrepresented in AIDS and HIV cases in the United States.
But failed presidential candidate John F. Kerry simply does not care about medicine, health, protecting the blood supply or making sure there are enough donations. This is a political effort, nothing more. Kerry is willing to make the blood supply less safe and even sacrifice innocent lives to appease a political constituency.
This controversy again demonstrates that militant homosexual activists and their supporters have absolutely no interest in tolerance. This is about acceptance and approval of same-sex intimacy. Militant homosexual activists are willing to sacrifice the lives of innocent people in order to advance a political agenda, and that is simply evil.
Many Christians are justifiably fearful and depressed about the Supreme Court's politically-motivated decision to uphold ObamaCare last week. This is an unprecedented expansion of government power that opens the door to government controlling every aspect of our lives. So many things impact health care that controlling health care costs can be a justification for controlling even the most minor choices.
If you don't believe me, take a look at the Communist Mayor of New York City, who recently banned the sale of large soft drinks, the latest in a long line of his nanny-state overreaches.
Barack Obama may well be God's judgment on America for our wickedness, but He may still be merciful. Through human means it may seem impossible to repeal ObamaCare - even if we sweep the November elections we must have 60 votes in the Senate to break a Democratic filibuster to repeal this dreadful law. But all is not lost. While through human means it may seem nearly impossible to repeal ObamaCare, though the power of God nothing is impossible.
Here are a few examples. Jonathan and his armor bearer routed the Philistine army in 1 Samuel 14. God placed strict restrictions on the strength of Gideon's army in Judges 6-8 so that the Isrealites could not boast in their own strength when they won the battle. Three of David's mighty men broke through the Philistine army to draw water from Bethlehem's well in 2 Samuel 23:15-17 so David could drink the water from that well. This is something you would expect to see in a super hero or fantasy movie - but it actually happened.
We worship and serve a mighty God, and that is why I am not depressed by the SCOTUS ruling on June 28. If it is His will that this abomination be repealed, who can stop Him? Obama is like a gnat trying to smother the Colorado wildfire by urinating on it, if God is merciful to us to save us from this tyranny. The city of Nineveh may yet repent in sackcloth and ashes, and be spared the wrath of God. We must pray that this happens.
I submitted this to the Indianapolis Star last week.
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold ObamaCare was a dark day in American history. As the dissent pointed out, Chief Justice Roberts went to the extreme of rewriting ObamaCare to make it constitutional. Obama and the Democrats denied all along that the individual mandate was a tax and argued it was not a tax, but Roberts ruled it was a tax so he could uphold this destructive law.
Now Obama and his allies whine that we should not have any more "divisive" debate on health care. Sorry, Mr. President, life does not work that way. You do not get to decree what we do and do not debate in this country. We are still debating the policies of the Bush administration, so the idea that health care is off limits is just silly!
ObamaCare's many flaws cannot fit into a letter to the editor. Here are a couple.
It is not insurance when you force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. It is a transfer of wealth.
The fact that the federal government can tax a non-activity is an unprecedented expansion of federal power and opens the door for government to control every aspect of our lives. This is frightening.
This one seems obvious - no matter how much you may disagree with a policy, you protest that policy in a non-violent manner. You do not spit on a woman who is simply doing her job or physically restrain her from leaving her booth. Unfortunately, Indiana University professor Uri Horesh engaged in those inexcusable and despicable behaviors when he attempted to "donate" blood, despite knowing that men who have sex with men are prohibited from donating blood by the federal government. (See articles here, here and here.)
First, we need to review some important facts. According to CDC statistics for 41,087 HIV transmissions in 2008, 22,469 infections were from male-to-male sexual contact. This is 54.7% of HIV infections. "Male-to-male sexual contact and injection drug use" accounted for another 1,141 HIV transmissions in 2008, according to the CDC. Furthermore, male-to-male sexual contact has accounted for 513,138 of AIDS diagnoses through 2008, or 48% of the 1,063,778 diagnoses tracked by the CDC. Keep in mind that these numbers vastly outpace the percentage of male homosexuals in the population.
The fact of the matter is that in the United States of America, homosexual men are much more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population. In response to this reality, men who have sex with men (MSM) are not allowed to give blood due to concern that they could possibly taint the blood supply. This is a reasonable, mathematically sound policy. Because MSM are a very small percentage of the population, there is no real danger that this policy will increase scarcity of the blood supply.
Some very dim-witted people have whined this policy is no different than a policy forbidding a certain race from donating blood, if members of that race are statistically more likely to have been infected with HIV. But this policy ignores a fundamental reality about AIDS that too many people are desperate to hide - AIDS is a behaviorally spread disease. If you do not engage in the behaviors that put you at risk of contracting AIDS, your risk of infection is virtually zero.
One has to have sympathy for the woman who was assaulted by a self-centered homosexual terrorist. After all, she was only doing her job, as mandated by federal regulations. She did not make the policy and has no authority to change it. But she was berated, spit on and physically prevented from exiting the bloodmobile by a homosexual terrorist who is so obsessed with getting approval of his sex life that it simply did not matter to him that she is a completely innocent party.
Allow me to bottom line this entire controversy, both for homosexual terrorist Uri Horesh and others who are opposed to the policy - some to the extreme that they want the Red Cross banned from the Indiana University campus as long as homosexual men are "discriminated" against by this policy.
IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU!
Giving blood is a sacrificial act where you are literally spilling your blood to help someone else in need, maybe even saving someone's life. This is not the place to make a huge political protest, and you do not have the "right" to donate blood. Donating blood to help someone else is a privilege. This is not about "discrimination" or whether "rights" are being denied - this is about the people who are sick and/or injured and need donated blood. Stop being so selfish and belligerent about it. You are not the center of the universe, so grow up!
There will be spoilers in this review. You have been warned.
I saw the Amazing Spider-Man last week, so before I start my review I want to get this out of the way: It has only been five years since Spider-Man 3 was in theaters, so I do not think there needed to be a reboot of the franchise. The Lizard's portion of the plot could have remained the same, since the old franchise was already teasing us with appearances of Curt Conners. I am weary of having another origin story, because Spider-Man's origin is one of the most well-known origins in comics.
The movie was over two hours, but it seemed shorter than that. This is because they tried to pack too much into what was already a long movie. It would have been better to trim some of the subplots and focus more on the main story. As it was, some major events were not given the attention they needed, and the movie suffered for it. Perhaps the Gwen Stacy romance could have been hinted at but delayed until AMS 2, when the Green Goblin could show up and then kill her at the end of the next movie. Then more time could have been spent on the main plot.
The movie opens with Richard Parker freaking out and leaving little Peter with his aunt and uncle, taking off with his wife to hide some documents from an unrevealed evil force. We see a flash on a computer screen that the Parkers died in a plane crash, but that is so short that it is easy to miss that they were even dead at all - viewers could think that the Parkers abandoned their child.
The deaths of the Parkers was very similar to an excellent story in in Ultimate Spider-Man #33-39, or Volume 6 of the trade paperbacks collecting the series. In that story, the Parkers were killed as a result of working on what would become the Venom symbiote. (That is complicated enough that I will not get into it here. The symbiote's origin was retroactively rewritten several years after that story in Ultimate Origins - a rewrite that did not need to happen and was vastly inferior to the original story.)
Because the arc that introduced Venom was such a good story (though it was rewritten to include the Lizard rather than Venom) I was very disappointed that Amazing Spider-Man did not explore the deaths of the Parkers much more deeply and explain exactly what happened with that plane crash. Did Oscorp crash an entire passenger jet and murder hundreds of people just to get rid of the Parkers? That would have added a real sense of dread to what Osborn is capable of for the next movie, especially when he gets Goblin powers.
If I have a complaint, it would be that Amazing Spider-Man does not seem to take place in the same universe as the rest of the Marvel movies. The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America all took place in the same universe, so I was hoping Samuel L. Jackson would show up as Nick Fury in an after-the-credits scene. No such luck.
There are other things I could nitpick, such as the crane scene being very corny and Spider-Man's new origin allowing for a literal army of Spider-Men. Making Spider-Man responsible for the creation of the Lizard and feeling responsible for stopping him was excellent and made his motivation even stronger. Spider-Man was much more active with his quips, which was a welcome addition. Overall, this was a very good movie - though not quite as good as the Avengers.
The following comment by two state legislators (one current and one former) shows why we need to be much more careful in who we elect to the general assembly.
The statute gives local authorities complete authority to pass fireworks ordinances, except during a limited number of holidays with set time frames. While it's true that the legislature did not anticipate periods of drought during those holidays.
Apparently the legislature is made up of people who are so shockingly stupid that they did not understand that a drought can take place at any point, INCLUDING holidays.
Or they're not stupid at all, just bought and paid for by the fireworks lobby.
One of the really cool things about Disqus comments is that it will not only import all of the existing comments from Blogger's native comment system but it will also keep comments synced with Blogger. If someone hosting a blog on BlogSpot.com (with or without a custom domain) ever decides to go back to Blogger's native comment system, all of the comments are still there plus all of the new comments added via Disqus are there too.
That is, unless you're an idiot.
The only problem with installing Disqus is that I have been inundated with spam comments on Blogger's native comment system as the restrictions on anonymous comments have to be turned off to make Disqus work properly. The spam comments never show up on the site, but they are in the spam folder. So every now and then I go in and clear out all of the spam comments. When I did that on Tuesday, I did not check to confirm I was in the spam folder instead of the "published comments" folder and I deleted all of the comments in Blogger's native comment system.
The good news is all of the comments are still there. The bad news is they are only stored on Disqus, so if I go back to Blogger's native comment system I lose all my comments. Also, if Disqus urps like it did last summer and loses my comments (although I am pretty sure that was my fault) there's no backup in Blogger's native comment system for the old comments.
Imagine you're playing basketball. You are playing 5 on 5, full court, with a couple referees. You are required to follow all of the rules - no traveling or fouls, observe the shot clock and three seconds violations, and so forth. The other team does not have to obey any rules. They can run with the ball, tackle players on offense to take the ball away, and basically break any rule they want. Plus, their basket has been lowered to 5 feet. It is a rigged game.
That's what it's like for conservatives posting in story comments on the Herald-Times web site.
It has been especially egregious lately. I have been stalked, harassed and personally attacked by my political enemies. There have been attempts to blackmail me into silence. All of this is tolerated by a so-called "newspaper" where the so-called "moderators" claim those posts are within HeraldTimesOnline.com (HTO) guidelines. To make things worse, I have had several posts deleted for using language that has not only been approved by Herald-Times editor Bob Zaltsberg, but was volunteered by Zaltsberg as an appropriate word to use.
I am done. I quit.
There is no longer any point in posting on the Herald-Times website. When the playing field is so obviously and brazenly tilted in favor of Leftists, and when Leftists can get away with virtually any offense regardless of the so-called "comment guidelines" that are intended to keep discussions civil, there is no hope for a reasonable discussion of issues. I make a completely issue-oriented and 100% civil comment about a news story, and I am viciously personally attacked and stalked by my enemies.
Someone told me that if I boycott HTO comments, I am giving the Herald-Times what it wants. That is the whole point. It is more than clear that the so-called "moderators" do not want me to post on HTO. I have been here before. I have posted on forums where it was obvious the administrators wanted me gone. I stubbornly stayed, and regretted it as the cascade of personal attacks, blackmail and stalking got worse - all encouraged by the forum administrators. The Herald-Times has now reached that point and it is time for me to stop posting.
What makes the Herald-Times comments worse is that people pay for the privilege of commenting on HTO. This is supposedly a reputable company (go ahead and laugh, because that is so obviously false) and it supposedly wants a reasonable debate. The Herald-Times even published an editorial where H-T editor Bob Zaltsberg pretended that HTO staff was going to be more aggressive in deleting abusive comments. We now know this was a lie. Sure, HTO staff will be more aggressive - with conservatives. Leftists, meanwhile, have had all restrictions removed.
The Herald-Times has degenerated into a sewer. Posts on HTO might as well be written in feces on the sewer wall. I encourage all conservative posters to join me in my boycott. The Herald-Times simply does not deserve to be dignified as a place to discuss issues of the day.
The Fourth of July marks 236 years since the 13 colonies seceded from England and became an independent nation. England attempted to block the colonies attempt at secession with military force, but were not able to do so as the colonists won a long and bloody war of secession. 236 years after secession, England is one of our greatest allies. Every year on July 4, we celebrate self-determination and the right to choose one's own government, and the choice made by the colonies to secede from a nation that no longer respected their liberties.
Today, we celebrate George Washington and the colonists as patriots, but that certainly was not the universal view at the time. Had the 13 colonies failed in their attempt to secede from England, our history books would be very different, teaching us that Washington was a traitor and a criminal - just as we now view Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. The winners do write the history books, after all.
The irony does not escape me, though, that we view the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States in a completely different light. In both cases, a group of states decided that continued union with a larger entity was destructive to their liberty, and declared that they would be seceding from the larger entity. In both cases the larger entity used military force to prevent the secession. In the first case, the secessionists won the war. In the second case, the secessionists lost. That makes all the difference in how history sees both: secession was moral and patriotic in 1776 but secession was immoral and treasonous in 1860.
The popular and simplistic view of the War Between the States is that a benevolent Yankee army invaded the Confederacy to free the slaves. It was a humanitarian mission to ensure racial equality and end a grave injustice. But Abraham Lincoln's own white supremacist views are conveniently ignored, as was the political charade that was the Emancipation Proclamation. The War Between the States was not about ending slavery. It was an armed conflict over the role of federal power as opposed to states' rights and whether states were really sovereign entities with control over their own affairs.
The federalists won the war, which set into motion the ever-expanding power of the federal government at the expense of both states' rights and individual liberty. The men who founded the country would be shocked at what they see today, when truly local issues such as elementary education are debated in Congress and both major party candidates for President advocating their own views of a single national solution for a nation that stretches across the continent and has a population of over 300 million people. That is unfortunate.
A question settled by violence, or in disregard of law, must remain unsettled forever. - Jefferson Davis
Thursday was a sad day for America. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts - appointed by President George W. Bush - sided with four liberal justices to uphold ObamaCare. Anthony Kennedy, ironically, voted to strike down ObamaCare while the "conservative" Chief Justice voted to uphold it.
The big issue here is the individual mandate. Opponents argued it is unconstitutional (which it is, no matter what SCOTUS says) because the federal government is not given the authority to mandate that we buy something. President Obama himself argued that the mandate is not a tax, before flip-flipping after the law was passed to claim that it is a tax. SCOTUS used that as part of the reasoning for upholding the law. From the dissent:
The Court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax.
What we have here is another case of the courts legislating from the bench. Instead of interpreting the text of the actual law, the five "justices" who abandoned their vow to uphold the Constitution decided the law said something completely different from what it actually said. Roberts specifically had been under intense pressure not to strike this down on a 5-4 decision, although I doubt we will hear any concern from those same people that it is upheld on a 5-4 decision.
Even though the law is in place (unless Republicans manage to win the Presidency and win enough seats in the Senate to repeal it) it still does not address the fact that the entire health care system is based on a bad foundation. We are tinkering around the edges of a bad system instead of addressing the fact that the system itself is fundamentally flawed. Specifically, we need to reconnect the consumer of health care and the cost of the product.
It is health insurance itself that is the problem. Because people are insulated from the cost of day-to-day care, there is no natural market ceiling on the cost of health care. Ideally, health insurance should be for catastrophic coverage or major medical expenses that people are unable to afford out of pocket. Regular maintenance care such as check-ups or visits to the doctor for run-of-the-mill illnesses would be paid for out of pocket rather than with insurance.
Unfortunately, because the cost of the product is so out of whack with what people can afford to pay, this is a reform that will need to be implemented over at least a generation. The next question (and the more important question) is how to implement it legislatively in a constitutional manner - although after today's SCOTUS ruling it appears the Constitution does not matter.
Now the focus is going to be on repeal. The only way this happens is if Mitt Romney is elected in November. We also have to get enough votes in the Senate to overcome a Democratic filibuster, so electing Richard Mourdock and keeping Indiana's seat in Republican hands is essential. The fact that Joe Donnelly voted for ObamaCare should be a huge issue in this fall's election and should shut down every single crybaby "Republican" who is supporting Donnelly due to sour grapes over the primary.
This is a dark day for America. The ever-increasing power and reach of the federal government over our lives - and now over our personal health care decisions - has truly frightening implications. The massive expansion of federal power in ObamaCare alone (to say nothing of a plethora of other federal overreaches) would have been unthinkable to the men who founded this country and wrote the Constitution that SCOTUS threw in the garbage today. This should be enough to motivate Republicans to do whatever we can to defeat Barack Obama and elect Republicans to the House and Senate this fall.
What kind of society fantasizes about prisoners being raped, with smug satisfaction?
Jerry Sandusky walks into prison and is met by a very large hairy prisoner, who tells Sandusky to call him the "tickle monster." Oh, hardy har har, Sandusky is going to be someone's prison bitch. He will be anally raped over and over. maybe some other prisoners will join in for a gang bang! Isn't that just hilarious?
No, actually it is not funny at all. It is sick.
I understand that the last couple paragraphs have bordered on vulgar, but this is a very vulgar subject. What is happening here is a crime that we are simply not doing enough to stop. It is not "justice" to see someone raped in prison - it is a crime. These depraved "jokes" about Sandusky being anally raped in prison only serve to further dehumanize prisoners and harden our consciences to the abuses men and women made in the image of God face every day.
I admit that it would be difficult to feel any sympathy for Sandusky, but the dehumanization of people in our prisons is appalling. I read a comment on one site where the Bish cartoon is hosted that said "If someone doesn't want to be a prison bitch then don't break the law!" Brian Banks was falsely accused of "rape" and spent years in prison before he was released. He didn't break the law, although many people thought he was guilty. Does he deserve to be gang raped in prison? What about other people who have been falsely convicted? What about people who commit non-violent crimes like attempted embezzlement or check deception? Do they deserve to be repeatedly raped?
Sandusky's prison sentence will not be enough, even if he spends the rest of his life in prison. He needs to die. But he should be executed in a humane manner consistent with our legal traditions and the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments in our Constitution. But that is not enough. The culture of corruption at Penn State "University" is too deep to let the "university" off the hook. Penn State should be thrown out of the NCAA and the athletics department should be closed. If we truly want to terrify institutions to the point that they will never cover up sexual abuse, threaten to take away their cash cows, and start by making an example of Penn State "University."
What we should never allow, though, is the savage brutality of "jailhouse justice." We have to stop looking the other way - or worse, condoning this barbaric behavior and laughing at the victims as if they "deserve" it. There are a few things that should happen right away. Hollywood can stop glorifying the "justice" of prison rape in extreme right wing fantasies and the news media can refuse to publish depraved and perverted cartoons like the one Randy Bish drew about Sandusky. We can stop laughing at prison rape and rebuke those who do.
While some violence is inevitable when violent criminals are packed together in a confined area, we can certainly do more to stop it - and sexual abuse of prisoners by prison guards should never happen under any circumstances.
Why is it that the Justice Department has authority over whether a Justice Department will be prosecuted? Isn't that an obvious conflict of interest?
Barack Obama just needs to come clean on Fast and Furious. Even if the intentions were 100% honorable, it was an astonishingly stupid idea. Just admit it, turn over the relevant documents in the interest of being open with the American people and move on.
By the way, Obama promised to have an open and transparent administration? Looks like that is just another lie.