Read Steve’s post on global warming and watch the video……compact flourescent mooses?
Beth went for her nuclear bone scan this morning. She lit up like a Christmas tree. The bones absorb the radioactive material, and at sites where there is inflammation, they show up very brightly. They are called “hot spots”. Her entire upper spine was pretty well lit up, and that is where she has a lot of pain. Of course the injured ankle was extremely bright, and not just in a few spots….it was the entire ankle. The sacro-iliac joints in her lower back were pretty bright. That’s another common pain spot with rheumatoid arthritis.
The technician also did an extra set of pics of her knees. She said they didn’t look quite right. Her hands also had quite a few bright spots, but that’s to be expected with rheumatoid arthritis.
She said the doctor would probably get the films Monday. We go in to see him Thursday morning.
Nuclear Family Hardly Down for the Count, Says Census
Those who are quick to say that the traditional family is nearing extinction would be wise to check out the latest report from the Census Bureau. According to the most recent data, a majority of American children (70%) live in two-parent homes and the vast majority (90%) of those live with both of their biological parents. This means that of all American children, 63% are living with both their biological parents (60% married biological parents, 3% cohabiting biological parents). The other bit of good news is that the intact married family is getting stronger among Asian-Americans, where the proportion increased significantly between 2001 and 2004, from 76.4% to 80.5%–making the strongest family ethnic group even stronger yet. The rest of the news is not as optimistic. For all American children in all ethnic groups, there has been a slight decrease (1.4%) between 2001 and 2004 in the proportion living in the married, intact family. White American children are the second strongest group, after Asian-Americans, with 65.9% (down from 67.1%) living with their married, biological parents. Hispanics are next at 57.1 % (down from 58.2%) and African Americans last at 28.2 % (down from 29%). The data come from the SIPP (Survey of Income and Program Participation), a very detailed report produced periodically by the U.S. Census Agency. This chart, drawing on this report (SIPP 2004) and an earlier one (SIPP 2001), was created by FRC Senior Fellow Dr. Patrick Fagan.
O, Ye of Little Faith
Within days of a key meeting between U.S. diplomats and China’s head of religious affairs, China Aid released its annual report on the persecution of Christians in communist China. Both China Aid and the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China agree that the religious crackdown is becoming more pronounced in the months leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The cases of persecution against house churches are up more than 25 percent from 2006, and the number of individuals harassed or imprisoned grew from 665 to 788, including unprecedented antagonism against foreigners. Ambassador John Hanford has an opportunity to pressure Ye Xiaowen, head of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, to release dozens of Christians and pastors still in government custody–including the many whose fate FRC has repeatedly called on the State Department to address. While Secretary Condoleezza Rice has refused to reply to our letter of December 11, we join 12 members of Congress in asking Hanford to express America’s outrage at the routine discrimination against and persecution of Christians in China.
PEPFAR: If It Ain’t Broke…
Praise may be hard to come by at home, but President Bush is certainly enjoying a hero’s welcome during his tour through Africa. With approval ratings well into the 80th percentile in nations like Kenya and Ghana, the President’s popularity is a true testament to the contribution that America’s generosity has made to the health and safety of the African people. Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. has given life-saving antiretroviral treatment to almost a million and a half men, women, and children in 15 countries. With messages of abstinence and fidelity at the fore, America has supported community outreach to 61.5 million people. With an unprecedented $15 billion in relief, the U.S. has spent more than any other country to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa–with much to show for it. Unfortunately, the very values that have made the program effective are under attack from leaders at home. When the PEPFAR comes up for reauthorization on February 28, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.)–Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee–will make every effort to strip the ABc model from the bill in favor of money for abortion providers and promoters. As the President is busy surveying the success that his approach has had in preserving future generations, Berman and the Democratic leadership are plotting to turn the program into something that would help eliminate Africa’s next generation. Under Berman’s proposal, PEPFAR could permit abortion services at taxpayer expense, as well as the removal of the Prostitution Pledge, which would give a U.S. stamp of approval on global sex trafficking and prostitution! At a time when President Bush is enjoying almost unanimous praise from African leaders for PEPFAR, he reminded Congress to “listen to the leaders on the continent of Africa, analyze what works, stop the squabbling, and get the program reauthorized.” If our tax dollars are going to go overseas they should go to program like the current PEPFAR that promote pro-family policies. Do your part to keep it that way; ask your member of Congress to resist the urge to turn PEPFAR into another international family planning program.
Honeymoon Over for New Jersey’s Gay ‘Marriage’ Compromise
Today’s first anniversary of New Jersey’s civil union law has not been met with the type of celebration one would expect from the radical Left. Instead, the milestone is becoming a rallying cry for homosexuals who believe that the law falls short of same-sex “marriage.” That argument is getting new traction after New Jersey’s Civil Union Review Commission released a report on the impact of the law. The 21-page document claims that the 2,329 gay couples who applied for civil unions are still relegated to a “second-class status” in the eyes of employers and the government. The Commission, which is stacked with pro-gay liberals, stops short of recommending that Jersey legalize same-sex “marriage”–but that is exactly what liberals are calling for in response. Gov. Jon Corzine (D) has already said that he would sign such a bill into law. “[The] bottom line is… about equal rights,” said the Governor’s spokesman. This is what I’ve been saying all along; the homosexual community is not interested in the “benefits” of marriage that most civil unions provide they want to force Americans to equate their sexual behavior with marriage. Don’t be fooled! Civil unions are not a compromise, they are a stepping stone to the ultimate prize–marriage. For more information on how to stop this from happening, visit our friends at the New Jersey Family Policy Council at www.njfpc.org.
N.J. Gov. to Sign Gay ‘Marriage’ Bill — After Election
He caters to homosexual activists but wants to avoid angering the majority of his state.
Gov. Jon Corzine wants to give New Jersey homosexuals the right to “marry,” but he has said he will wait until after the fall elections to sign any bill into law.
“Governor Corzine knows that the majority of New Jersey residents do not support same-sex ‘marriage,’ ” said Jenny Tyree, associate marriage analyst for Focus on the Family Action. “That’s likely why he is waiting until after the elections to push for the redefinition of marriage.”
Next year, however, may not be much better for such a drastic measure: The governor and the Legislature face re-election.
When Corzine ran for the U.S. Senate and when he initially ran for governor, he said he believed marriage was the union of a man and a woman.
“Governor Corzine has flipped on this position,” said Len Deo, president and executive director of the New Jersey Family Policy Council. “Now he’s starting to say he sees same-sex ‘marriage’ coming to New Jersey. Well, he doesn’t see it coming, he’s going to help bring it unless we can stand up and stop it.”
Deo’s group is gathering grassroots support for a constitutional amendment to protect marriage.
“We are pressing the Legislature to move a state constitutional amendment to, once and for all, define marriage as the union between one man and one woman only,” he said.
It then would go to the voters.
Pro-Gay Booklet Sent to Every School District in America
Schools are told that messages about leaving homosexuality are harmful.
All 16,000 public school superintendents in the U.S. will be receiving a copy of Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth, a 24-page booklet that concludes homosexuality is a “normal expression of human sexuality.”
“What’s so scary and dogmatic about this report is that it communicates that religious-based viewpoints are harmful, and even dangerous,” said Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family Action.
The pamphlet is endorsed by more than a dozen professional mental health and counseling organizations, education associations and one liberal religious group. The theme: Schools are only allowed to provide one message about homosexuality — that it’s normal and should be embraced.
Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, said he knows that’s not true.
“Allowing people to choose what is best for their lives is respectful, it’s tolerant, it’s everything that the other side uses as their mantra, but really fails to respect and live up to,” he said.
The publication ends with a warning: “Schools should be careful to avoid discussions of transformational ministry in their curriculum.”
Brian Raum, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, called that a thinly veiled threat.
“What they’re trying to do is create a fear factor here,” he said. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that would prohibit a teacher from presenting to a student all of the programs that are available, without endorsing or promoting any particular one.”
Maryland Residents Work to Overturn Transgender Law
Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government has collected enough signatures to let voters decide on a law that provides special rights to people with gender-identity confusion and essentially creates co-ed bathrooms.
Enacted by the Montgomery County Council, the controversial law originally included an exemption for facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms. However, the wording was removed from the law because officials didn’t think it was necessary, a county spokesman told WorldNetDaily.
Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government fears that without the exemption, men will have easy access to women’s restrooms and locker rooms.
“People are energized; they really feel betrayed by their county government,” said Ruth Jacobs, president of the group. “This issue (affects) the privacy of women and children.”
‘Not in My Shower’ Cleaning up after County Officials
In Montgomery County, Maryland, the same officials who voted to make “gender identity” a state of mind have just gotten a reality check in the form of 32,087 citizen petitions. With the help of over 200 volunteers, Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government and Not in My Shower collected more than enough signatures to hold a public vote on the policy which allows “transgenders” to use public facilities like restrooms and locker rooms regardless of their biological sex. The new law, which compromises the safety of women and children, was enacted over many protests. It will take officials 22 days to verify the signatures, but reports are that at least 13,000 have already been validated. Unfortunately, the Maryland madness doesn’t end there. A new bill is moving quickly through the Maryland House and Senate which could deter women from visiting crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). SB 690 and HB 1146 would force CPCs to provide “disclaimers” to their clients that the information they provide is not necessarily “factually accurate.” The proposal was motivated by NARAL, which insists that it visited each of Maryland’s CPCs and alleges that the clinics lie to their patients about the safety of contraception and abortion. If any organization is expert on misleading patients, it’s NARAL and their friends at Planned Parenthood. Please join us in calling on Maryland’s leaders to oppose legislation that makes baseless accusations against pregnancy centers which provide honest and medically-sound service to thousands of women across the state.