Our Daily Thread 8-31-13

Good Morning!

And Happy Saturday! 🙂

On this day in 1852 the first pre-stamped envelopes were created with legislation of the U.S. Congress.

In 1881 the first tennis championships in the U.S. were played.

In 1950 Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit four home runs in a single game off of four different pitchers.

In 1959 Sandy Koufax set a National League record by striking out 18 batters.

And in 1964 California officially became the most populated state in America.

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Quote of the Day

“People come out to see the players. When do you see a manager anyway? When he’s out on the field arguing with the umpires, making a fool of himself and you know you can’t win, and when he brings out the line-up card.”

Frank  Robinson

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Jerry Allison’s birthday is today. He was one of the Crickets.

It’s also Jeff Russo’s.

And Rudolph Schenker’s, so this one is loud.

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QoD? Anyone?

Prayer Requests 8-31-13

Who has a request or praise to share?

Psalm 21

šThe king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!

2 You have given him his heart’s desire, And have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah

3 For You meet him with the blessings of goodness; You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.

4 He asked life from You, and You gave it to him— Length of days forever and ever.

5 His glory is great in Your salvation; Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.

6 For You have made him most blessed forever; You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the Lord, And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.

8 Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You.

9 You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; The Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, And the fire shall devour them.

10 Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men.

11 For they intended evil against You; They devised a plot which they are not able to perform.

12 Therefore You will make them turn their back; You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces.

13 Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.

News/Politics 8-31-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open thread.

Here’s a few to start off.

First, something to keep in mind.

From APNews  “You simply can’t safely bomb a chemical weapon storehouse into oblivion, experts say. That’s why they say the United States is probably targeting something other than Syria’s nerve agents.

But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn’t know were there because they’ve lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents.

Bombing stockpiles of chemical weapons – purposely or accidentally – would likely kill nearby civilians in an accidental nerve agent release, create a long-lasting environmental catastrophe or both, five experts told The Associated Press. That’s because under ideal conditions – and conditions wouldn’t be ideal in Syria – explosives would leave at least 20 to 30 percent of the poison in lethal form.”

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The President’s approval is dropping.

From BusinessInsider  “President Barack Obama’s approval rating has matched its lowest ever recorded in a new NBC News poll.

 And huge drops in his foreign policy approval combined with poor marks for handling the situation in Syria are to blame.”

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Yet another reason to not send kids to public school.

From Chicago/CBSLocal  “Some people may think a five-year old is too young for sex education.

Administrators with Chicago Public schools do not.

New to the curriculum this year, mandatory sexual and health education for kindergarten classes.”

“Students will also take a look at the different family structures that exist in today’s society.”

Of course they will. Can you guess which family type will get the most attention?

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Say it with me now….. Most transparent administration evah!

From WFB White House visitor logs are not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a federal judge ruled Friday, blocking the public from reviewing the records.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in a unanimous decision in Judicial Watch v. U.S. Secret Service that visitor logs for the office of the president are not agency records and therefore not subject to FOIA requests.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, originally sued the Secret Service in 2009 after the agency refused to turn over seven months of visitor logs from the White House.”

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And lastly, this one. She’s always been an activist judge, so this isn’t exactly shocking.

From MSNNews  “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is performing a same-sex wedding this weekend in what is believed to be a first for a member of the nation’s highest court.

Ginsburg is officiating at the marriage of Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and John Roberts, a government economist, on Saturday. Kaiser says he asked Ginsburg to officiate because she is a longtime friend.”

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Our Daily Thread 8-30-13

Good Morning!

Yay, it’s Friday! 🙂

On this day in 1682 William Penn sailed from England and later established the colony of Pennsylvania in America.

In 1780 General Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army.

In 1862 the Confederates defeated Union forces at the second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, VA.

In 1905 Ty Cobb made his major league batting debut with the Detroit Tigers.

In 1945 General Douglas MacArthur set up Allied occupation headquarters in Japan.

And in 1984 President Ronald Reagan, and several others, were inducted into the Sportscasters Hall of Fame.

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Quote of the Day

“Fashion is in a terrible state. An overdose of too much flesh.”

Samuel Albert Bozeman, Jr. (Geoffrey Beene)

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On this date in 1991 Dottie West was injured in a car accident while on her way to a performance at the Grand Ole Opry. She died during surgery 5 days later. 😦

Today is John Phillips’ birthday. We sang this in middle school chorus because it was a favorite of my hippie music teacher. 🙂

And it’s also Mick Moody’s birthday. Whitesnake is a bit loud, so solo it is.

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Anyone have a QoD for us?

Prayer Requests 8-30-13

Who has a request or praise to share today?

Psalm 20

1 May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.

6 Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

9 Lord, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!

News/Politics 8-30-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

The President seems determined to push ahead with his plan for Syria, despite losing the UK and France.

From Politico President Barack Obama’s latest geopolitical problem: His closest ally won’t help him attack Syria.

But he is not letting that stop him.

Britain’s House of Commons on Thursday evening rejected a  motion from Prime Minister David Cameron to endorse British participation in  military action in Syria, potentially hurting Obama’s effort to punish the  Bashar Assad regime for its reported use of chemical weapons.

The White House made clear after the vote that it is willing to act alone on Syria.”

More here, from TheNYTimes  “The negative vote in Britain’s Parliament was a heavy blow to Prime Minister David Cameron, who had pledged his support to Mr. Obama and called on lawmakers to endorse Britain’s involvement in a brief operation to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for apparently launching a deadly chemical weapons attack last week that killed hundreds.       

The vote was also a setback for Mr. Obama, who, having given up hope of getting United Nations Security Council authorization for the strike, is struggling to assemble a coalition of allies against Syria.”

“But administration officials made clear that the eroding support would not deter Mr. Obama in deciding to go ahead with a strike. Pentagon officials said that the Navy had now moved a fifth destroyer into the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Each ship carries dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles that would probably be the centerpiece of any attack on Syria.”

Who’s the cowboy now?

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Don’t know if this will be useful to anyone, but I figured I’d throw it out there. There is help, but it isn’t easy to do.

From MSNNews  “More than 33 million workers qualify to have their student loans forgiven because they work in schools, hospitals or city halls, but too few take advantage of the options because the programs are overly complicated and often confusing, the government’s consumer advocate said Wednesday.

Roughly a quarter of the U.S. workforce could take advantage of federal rules that give favorable loan repayment options to those in public service fields, including the military, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency recommended Congress review the loan forgiveness programs and encouraged employers to make sure their workers know they are available.

“Teachers, soldiers, firefighters, policeman — public sector careers invariably involve some effort, some inconvenience or some sacrifice. People give up higher incomes to serve their city, their state or their country,” said Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB. “We believe that people who contribute part of their talents, part of the benefits of their education, to society as a whole should not be mired in debt because they stir themselves to the calling of public service.”

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The Affordable Care Act is not, unless you make under 20 grand a year.

From NationalJournal  “For the vast majority of Americans, premium prices will be higher in the individual exchange than what they’re currently paying for employer-sponsored benefits, according to a National Journal analysis of new coverage and cost data. Adding even more out-of-pocket expenses to consumers’ monthly insurance bills is a swell in deductibles under the Affordable Care Act.

Health law proponents have excused the rate hikes by saying the prices in the exchange won’t apply to the millions receiving coverage from their employers. But that’s only if employers continue to offer that coverage–something that’s looking increasingly uncertain. Already, UPS, for example, cited Obamacare as its reason for nixing spousal coverage. And while a Kaiser Family Foundation report found that 49 percent of the U.S. population now receives employer-sponsored coverage, more companies are debating whether they will continue to be in the business of providing such benefits at all.”

“The truth is, Obamacare is doing what it was intended to do: make health care affordable for the nation’s lowest earners by spreading out the costs among taxpayers.

The trap is that the exchanges also present a savings for some employers but a rate hike for their employees.”

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Fast food workers staged walkouts nationwide yesterday for higher wages.

From MyWayNews/AP  “Fast-food workers and their supporters beat drums, blew whistles and chanted slogans Thursday on picket lines in dozens of U.S. cities, marking the largest protests yet in their quest for higher wages.

The nationwide day of demonstrations came after similar actions organized by unions and community groups over the past several months. Workers are calling for the right to unionize without interference from employers and for pay of $15 an hour. That’s more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or $15,000 a year for full-time employees.

Thursday’s walkouts and protests reached about 60 cities, including New York, Chicago and Detroit, organizers said. But the turnout varied significantly. Some targeted restaurants were temporarily unable to do business because they had too few employees, and others seemingly operated normally.”

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New federal tax laws will treat “married” gay couples in all 50 states as married now, regardless of their state laws.

From Bloomberg  “Gay Spouses in All States Now Married Under U.S. Tax Law”

Gay spouses in all U.S. states will be treated as married under federal tax law even if local authorities don’t recognize their marriages, in what gay-rights advocates are calling a victory.

The decision by the Treasury Department today implements the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which had forbidden the Internal Revenue Service from letting married homosexual couples file joint tax returns.

More here from TheWashingtonTimes

And Medicare benefits as well. More on that from TheWeeklyStandard 

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Our Daily Thread 8-29-13

Good Morning!

Today is the one year anniversary for Wandering Views. 🙂

Or is it a birthday?

Anyway, I decided it was as good a day as any to make some changes. I hope you like the new look. 🙂

Oh, and the videos are HUGE! 🙂

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On this day in 1885 the first prizefight under the Marquis of Queensberry Rules was held in Cincinnati, OH. 

In 1944 during the continuing celebration of the liberation of France from the Nazis, 15,000 American troops marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris.

In 1945 U.S. General Douglas MacArthur left for Japan to officially  accept the surrender of the Japanese.

In 1949 at the University of Illinois, a nuclear device was used for the first time to treat cancer patients.

In 1967 the final episode of “The Fugitive” aired.

In 1971 Hank Aaron became the first baseball player in the National League to hit 100 or more runs in each of 11 seasons.

In 1977 three people were arrested in Memphis after trying to steal Elvis’ body. 😯  His body was moved to Graceland as a result.

And in 1983 two U.S. marines were killed in Lebanon by the militia group Amal when they fired mortar shells at the Beirut airport.

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Quote of the Day

“But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
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Today is Cheri Keaggy’s birthday.

Roy Orbison released this song today in 1964.

And in 1966 at Candlestick Park, the Beatles performed what would be their last public concert.

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Anyone have a QoD for us?

Prayer Requests 8-29-13

Who has a request or praise to share today?

Psalm 19

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.

13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

News/Politics 8-29-13

What’s interesting in the news today?

Open Thread, as always.

President Obama says bombing Syria will have a positive impact on American foreign policy. I don’t see it. I don’t see how helping the rebels does anything good for the US. But he seems to think this “shot across the bow” move will benefit US interests. Again, I just don’t see it. His reasoning doesn’t make sense. He says it’s to ensure the chemical weapons don’t fall into the wrong hands. Well how does that happen? You can’t just blow them up, that would disperse them in some cases. You’re not sending troops in to recover them, so how are you removing them?

And bombing the Syrian govt helps the rebels. You know, the groups we don’t want to get them. If the govt falls, those rebels will have possession of them all. This action defeats the stated purpose.

From RCP  “PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, what’s happened has been heartbreaking, but when you start talking about chemical weapons in a country that has the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the world, where over time, their control over chemical weapons may erode, where they’re allied to known terrorist organizations that, in the past, have targeted the United States, then there is a prospect, a possibility, in which chemical weapons that can have devastating effects could be directed at us. And we want to make sure that that does not happen. “

“And if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about – but if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term, and may have a positive impact on our national security over the long term and may have a positive impact in the sense that chemical weapons are not used again on innocent civilians.”

Congress needs to slow things down here, maybe wait on the UN report to see who is really responsible, and ensure that any action is thought out, debated, and authorized.

It appears the UK is backing off and saying they’ll wait on the UN.

From TheTelegraph The Prime Minister has now said he will wait for a report by United Nations weapons inspectors before seeking the approval of MPs for “direct British involvement” in the Syrian intervention.

A second vote would be required before any British military involvement. This could now take place next week.”

The US Intelligence Committee has a problem with it.

From Reuters  “U.S. congressional intelligence committee leaders believe the Obama administration has not properly consulted them as the president engages in final deliberations for possible military action in Syria, according to congressional officials.

One of the officials said the administration’s discussions with critical lawmakers, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein and her House counterpart, Mike Rogers, had been limited to “very brief status updates.”

“A number of U.S. lawmakers have complained in recent days that Obama must do more to involve Congress in any decision to punish Syria militarily in response to last week’s chemical weapons attack on thousands of civilians.”

And at least one Congressman is calling on Boehner to bring the House back to address it.

From CNSNews  “Rep. Scott Rigell (R.-Va.)–who served six years in the Marine Corps  Reserves, sits on the House Armed Services Committee, and represents the congressional district with the largest concentration of military personnel of any in the nation–said today he is calling on  House Speaker John Boehner to call the House back into session to  prevent President Barack Obama from usurping Congress’s constitutional  authority to authorize—or not authorize—the use of military force in  Syria.

“He should be calling the House back right now,” Rigell said of Boehner. “I will be clear on this.”

“Rigell sent a letter to President Obama today—co-signed by a  bipartisan group of “over 100” House members–reminding the president  that it is “clearly delineated” in the Constitution that the president  must seek congressional authorization before using military force unless  the use of force is needed to protect the United States from an attack.

“While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the  authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public  debate—and the active engagement of Congress—prior to committing U.S.  military assets,” Rigell wrote. “Engaging our military in Syria when no  direct threat to the United   States exists and without prior  congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that  is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”

You’d think the Constitutional Scholar/Professor would already know that, but no. Apparently it wasn’t covered. 🙄

And as a reminder, here’s more on some of the people this will aid.

From TheFreeBeacon U.S. intelligence agencies earlier this month uncovered new evidence that al Qaeda-linked terrorists in Benghazi are training foreign jihadists to fight with Syria’s Islamist rebels, according to U.S. officials.

Ansar al-Sharia, the al Qaeda-affiliated militia that U.S. officials say orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound and a CIA facility in Benghazi, is running several training camps for jihadists in Benghazi and nearby Darnah, another port city further east, said officials who discussed some details of the camps on condition of anonymity.

The officials said the terror training camps have been in operation since at least May and are part of a network that funnels foreign fighters to Syrian rebel groups, including the Al-Nusra Front, the most organized of the Islamist rebel groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus.”

Did I mention that I think this is a bad idea? Because I meant to.

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As I’m sure you’ve heard, Nidal Hasan has been given a death sentence for the massacre at Ft. Hood. Here’s a surprising piece from a surprising source on why this was terrorism, and not “work place violence.”.

From MotherJones  “Last Thursday, as the jury in the trial of Nidal Hasan was deliberating, outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller appeared on CBS News and discussed a string of emails between the Fort Hood shooter and Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Islamic cleric with ties to the 9/11 hijackers. The FBI had intercepted the messages starting almost a year before Hasan’s 2009 shooting rampage, and Mueller was asked whether “the bureau dropped the ball” by failing to act on this information. He didn’t flinch: “No, I think, given the context of the discussions and the situation that the agents and the analysts were looking at, they took appropriate steps.”

In the wake of the Fort Hood attacks, the exchanges between Awlaki and Hasan—who was convicted of murder on Friday—were the subject of intense speculation. But the public was given little information about these messages. While officials claimed that they were “fairly benign,” the FBI blocked then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman’s efforts to make them public as part of a two-year congressional investigation into Fort Hood. The military judge in the Hasan case also barred the prosecutor from presenting them, saying they would cause “unfair prejudice” and “undue delay.”

As it turns out, the FBI quietly released the emails in an unclassified report on the shooting, which was produced by an investigative commission headed by former FBI director William H. Webster last year. And, far from being “benign,” they offer a chilling glimpse into the psyche of an Islamic radical. The report also shows how badly the FBI bungled its Hasan investigation and suggests that the Army psychiatrist’s deadly rampage could have been prevented.”

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A new Harvard study will be poorly received in liberal circles.

From Breitbart  “A Harvard Study titled “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?” looks at figures for “intentional deaths” throughout continental Europe and juxtaposes them with the U.S. to show that more gun control does not necessarily lead to lower death rates or violent crime.

Because the findings so clearly demonstrate that more gun laws may in fact increase death rates, the study says that “the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths” is wrong.

For example, when the study shows numbers for Eastern European gun ownership and corresponding murder rates, it is readily apparent that less guns to do not mean less death. In Russia, where the rate of gun ownership is 4,000 per 100,000 inhabitants, the murder rate was 20.52 per 100,000 in 2002. That same year in Finland, where the rater of gun ownership is exceedingly higher–39,000 per 100,000–the murder rate was almost nill, at 1.98 per 100,000.”

“And when the study focuses on intentional deaths by looking at the U.S. vs Continental Europe, the findings are no less revealing. The U.S., which is so often labeled as the most violent nation in the world by gun control proponents, comes in 7th–behind Russia, Estonia, Lativa, Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine–in murders. America also only ranks 22nd in suicides. 

The murder rate in Russia, where handguns are banned, is 30.6; the rate in the U.S. is 7.8.”

If you’re interested, here’s the link to The Harvard Study. And if you scroll to the bottom you’ll see this, their conclusion.

“This Article has reviewed a significant amount of evidence from a wide variety of international sources. Each individual portion of evidence is subject to cavil—at the very least the general objection that the persuasiveness of social scientific evidence cannot remotely approach the persuasiveness of conclusions in the physical sciences. Nevertheless, the burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra.  To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world.”

Ouch.

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According to the DoJ atheist leaders are eligible for certain tax break typically reserved for clergy. Not surprising, they’re not the first cult to receive it. 😯

And the irony here is that this comes out in a lawsuit seeking to do away with the exemption for clergy. Ha. 🙂

From UPI.com  “The U.S. Justice Department says in a legal filing leaders of an atheist  group qualify for the same housing tax exemption priests receive.

The paradoxical position comes in response to a lawsuit by the Freedom from  Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis., which seeks to end the parsonage tax break  granted to priests, ministers, rabbis and other clergy by the U.S. government.  The tax break allows them to claim part of their income as a tax-free housing  allowance.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, who receives a $15,000 housing stipend from the Freedom  from Religion Foundation, is suing the federal government because she has to pay  taxes on that money while “ministers of the gospel,” as the law defines priests,  do not.

In response, the federal government said rather than agree to end the  parsonage exemption it could be extended to Gaylor because she is the leader of  a religious movement — albeit one that does not believe in God.”

Meanwhile other atheist continue their assault on Christianity.

From TheWashingtonTimes Atheists are threatening to sue over a planned Princeton, N.J., memorial to  mark the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on American soil because a  metal beam  that’s part of the display has a small cutout of a  Christian cross.

The beam is the brainchild of a firefighter — who’s Jewish — who  says the  cross is actually a historic symbol, not religious, on Fox  News. The beam was  removed from the site of the World Trade   Center debris; the cross shape was then cut into it. But American  Atheists  say the cutout is “grossly offensive,” and members vow to sue  the municipality  if the memorial goes forth as planned.

The group’s president, David  Silverman, insists that the symbol is  religious and that putting it on a public site would be a “clear violation of  the separation of church and  state.””

🙄

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Yesterdays March on Washington was a sad imitation of the original. The speakers list pretty much ensured that. I could post tons of stuff from Sharpton and his ilk to demonstrate my point. But I’m not gonna do that. Instead, I have a question for you all. Does this sound like the type of thing Dr. King would have done?

From RedAlertPolitics  “Noticeably absent from the speaker line-up at the Let Freedom Ring event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington today: the nation’s only black Senator, Tim Scott.

Scott, a Republican Representative appointed by S.C. Governor Nikki Haley earlier this year to fill former Sen. Jim DeMint’s seat in the U.S. Senate after he retired, was not invited to participate in the historic event, a spokesperson for the Senator confirmed to Red Alert Politics in an email.”

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