Turbulent Senate Race Now in Hands of Alabama Voters

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
Moore Riding Horse, Alabama Senate Race BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Depending on who is making the case, Alabama’s special Senate election Tuesday is about either continuing the “Trump miracle” in Washington or allowing “decency” to prevail back home. At the center is Roy Moore -- “Judge Moore,” to his supporters. The 70-year-old Republican was twice ousted as state Supreme Court chief justice after flouting federal law, and now he’s attempting a political resurrection amid accusations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls when he was in his 30s. In Moore’s path is Democrat Doug Jones, 63, a former U.S. attorney best known for prosecuting two Ku Klux Klansmen who killed four black girls in a 1963 church bombing. The winner will take the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republicans hold a narrow 52-48 Senate majority. A routine election in Republican-dominated Alabama wouldn’t be expected to alter that balance, because Alabamians haven’t sent a Democrat to the upper chamber of Congress...

Are Christians Who Vote for Roy Moore Hypocrites?

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
1024px-USMC-09611 Are you an Evangelical who supports Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate? Then according to Joe Carter, you're guilty of "hypocrisy" and are not "a person of integrity." Carter works for the Gospel Coalition and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. In a TGC editorial entitled, "The Nonpartisan Solution to Our Roy Moore Problem," he writes: If you claim that character is important for leadership, both in yourself and also in others, then to be a person of integrity requires that you adhere to that standard even when it might conflict with your political preferences. To oppose sexual misconduct in general and yet excuse it when done by politicians is the opposite of integrity -- it's a prime example of hypocrisy. Carter applies this to those who support Moore over Democrat Doug Jones. (Jones is pro-abortion, pro-LGBT, and anti-religious-liberty. He also opposes any judicial appointments at odds with his left-wing views.) The only exception is...

Dangerous Winds Persist as Wildfires Roar in California

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
AP17344715428964__1513087800_198.49.27.212 LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The winds aren’t changing for Southern California’s wildfires yet. The fifth largest blaze in state history was threatening thousands of homes as it churned through coastal mountains amid persistently dangerous weather conditions. Red Flag warnings for fire danger due to Santa Ana winds and a critical lack of moisture were extended into the week instead of expiring Monday afternoon as was initially forecast. “It doesn’t get much drier than this folks,” the National Weather Service Service tweeted, adding that more than 80 observation sites in the region reported afternoon relative humidity levels between just 1 and 9 percent. On Monday, ash fell like snow and heavy smoke had residents gasping for air in foothill towns near Santa Barbara, the latest flare-up after a week of wind-fanned wildfires throughout...

Trump Signs $700 Billion Military Budget Into Law

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
In this photo provided by South Korea Defense Ministry, a U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber, left, flies with a South Korean fighter jet F-15K over the Korean Peninsula, South Korea, Sunday, July 30, 2017. The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea following the country's latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. (South Korea Defense Ministry via AP) WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump has signed into law a sweeping defense policy bill that authorizes a $700 billion budget for the military, including additional money for missile defense programs to respond to the growing nuclear weapons threat from North Korea. But there’s a catch. The $700 billion budget won’t become reality until lawmakers agree to roll back a 2011 law that set strict limits on federal spending, including by the Defense Department. The law caps 2018 defense spending at $549 billion. Trump called on Congress to “...

Central Park Nativity Scene Scores Victory Against War on Christmas

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
Central Park nativity The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights set up a nativity scene Tuesday in New York City's Central Park, despite uproar over public religious displays. The group erected the nativity display not only as an expression of the Christian faith and the reason for Christmas, but also to clear up confusion about the constitutionality of religious displays in public areas. That’s according to a statement from the Catholic League. The nativity set will remain in the park. Despite past crusades against nativity scenes in public areas, religious displays on public property are constitutional, according to Catholic League president Bill Donohue. Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >> "It is entirely constitutional: no one can stop Christians from displaying a manger scene on public property, just so long as it is considered...

North Korea Defector Describes Gruesome Forced Abortions

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
Sad Devastated Prisoner Woman Dark Prison Camp Cell Scared - 900 An escaped North Korean woman described gruesome abortion methods in the totalitarian state's prison camps, giving a chilling description of the prison guards' systemic extermination of fetuses and newborns. "At night, we heard pregnant mothers screaming, and babies died without ever being able to see their mothers," said Ji Hyeon-A at a U.N. human rights event sponsored by six countries, Fox News reported. The North Korea defector recounted her own forced abortion and described how prison dogs would eat the dead bodies of starved prisoners and aborted babies. "My first child passed away without ever seeing the world," Ji Hyeon-A said, explaining how she was injected with drugs forcing her to miscarry. Her statements come after a 2014 Commission of Inquiry (COI) investigation by the...

In the Pronoun Wars, Be Thankful for the Founding Fathers

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
This quote by Benjamin Franklin is inscribed in the Great Experiment Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. It is sometimes astounding the kind of foresight the Founding Fathers had in protecting future generations from tyranny. The current international push to criminalize free speech in the name of various social movements should make us thankful that we have the First Amendment. Most other nations, even in the Western world, don't have nearly the codified protection of speech that we in America have. For instance, French President Emmanuel Macron recently called on his country to address the fact that France had no age of consent law (oh, France) and the more common global issue of sexual harassment. These were worthy goals, yet his proposal was a law that would have taken an ax to free speech rights. Macron suggested his country criminalize gender-based offensive statements. "Let's seal a pact of equality between men and women," he said. "It is essential that shame changes camp. Gender-based insults...

A (Holy) Ghost Story: Seeing Christ in A Christmas Carol

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
Ebeneezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in 1843, a week before Christmas. There are many, many versions of Dickens's Christmas classic. IMDB lists more than 110 movies and TV shows based on the story. There's a Flintstones adaptation, a Muppets version and Bill Murray's take in Scrooged. My favorite is the 1984 film featuring the gruff, growling George C. Scott as Ebenezer Scrooge. There's even a story about Dickens's most famous story: The Man Who Invented Christmas, which is in theaters now. Not only did Dickens change the English language with A Christmas Carol -- by the late 1800s "scrooge" became a synonym for any miserly person -- he wrote a story about light and darkness, giving and receiving, the here-and-now's impact on the hereafter, salvation and second chances. For those with eyes to see, Christ is present throughout what Dickens called his "ghostly little book." Echoes and Shadows "There is no doubt that Marley was dead," Dickens begins. "This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful...

‘No Justification Whatsoever’: Jeff Sessions Blasts Baltimore for Helping MS-13

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
Jeff Sessions blasts Baltimore Attorney General Jeff Sessions called out Baltimore for its sanctuary city policy Tuesday, claiming city leaders are only helping to facilitate criminal activity by dangerous gangs like MS-13. The comments came as Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared in Baltimore to discuss recent efforts to combat MS-13, an international criminal organization with more than 10,000 members across the U.S. Sessions was asked whether he views Baltimore as a sanctuary city during a press conference following his speech. "We know MS-13 in the region here is responsible for a quite a number of the most brutal murders," Sessions told reporters. "I see no justification whatsoever for any city, any jurisdiction, any state, to take the view that someone who enters the country illegally and then commits some other crime should be protected from federal law to be deported. I feel very strongly about that." Help us champion truth, freedom,...

Ohio School Board Says No To Transgenders Using Whatever Bathroom They Want

Dec 12 2017 - 7:55pm
All Gender Bathrooms Equality of Genders Fluidity - 900 An Ohio school board voted to reject a policy that would allow transgender students to use whatever bathroom or changing room facility they want rather than the room that agrees with a student's biological sex. The Lakota Local School Board shot down the proposed policy in a 3-2 vote late Monday night, according to Cincinnati.com. "It's poorly written policy, and it does not have legal support," Board Member Todd Parnell said. "It's a completely rushed and haphazard process coming up with this thing. We need to rewrite the thing and do it right." Some parents wanted the policy to pass, Cincinnati.com reported. "This is not going to go away," said Linda Nix, the mother of a transgender student who graduated from the school. "It's only going to compound. This should not be about politics, or about personal or religious beliefs. It's about what is best for our district and for our students."  Nix urged the school board to vote "yes" on the...

Trump’s EPA Says NYT ‘Distorted The Facts’ in Article on Agency Enforcement Efforts

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
AP17341822482893__1512999259_198.49.27.212 The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing back against a New York Times article suggesting the agency was scaling back enforcement efforts at the behest of the oil and gas industry. NYT reporter Eric Lipton wrote President Donald Trump's administration "has adopted a more lenient approach than the previous two administrations -- Democratic and Republican -- toward polluters," based on data given to him by a former President Barack Obama administration official. "Confidential internal EPA documents show that the enforcement slowdown coincides with major policy changes ordered by Mr. Pruitt's team after pleas from oil and gas industry executives," Lipton reported. Lipton also claimed that Administrator Scott Pruitt took away regional officials' "authority to order certain air and water pollution tests, known as...

Attempted Terror Attack: Pipe Bomb Strapped to Man Explodes in NYC Subway

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
Police secure Eighth Avenue outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal following an explosion near New York's Times Square on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. Police said a man with a pipe bomb strapped to him set off the crude device in an underground passageway under 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. NEW YORK (AP) -- A man inspired by Islamic State extremists strapped on a crude pipe bomb, slipped unnoticed into the nation’s busiest subway system and set the device off at rush hour Monday in a scenario that New York has dreaded for years, authorities said. In the end, the only serious wounds were to the suspect himself, Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi immigrant and former cab driver, authorities said. But the attack sent terrified commuters fleeing through a smoky passageway, and three people suffered headaches and ringing ears from the first bomb blast in the subway in more than two decades. “This was an attempted terrorist...

Should Christians Vote for Roy Moore? A Pragmatic and Moral Approach

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
AP17344831992923__1512996884_198.49.27.212 If I believed Judge Moore was guilty of sexual misconduct against girls as young as 14-years-old, I would not vote for him today. Even if the events took place 40 years ago and were never repeated since. If he was guilty back then, then he is lying about it today. I could not vote for him in good conscience no matter how much I did not want to see Doug Jones elected to the Senate. Yet if I lived in Alabama and the elections were today, I would vote for Roy Moore. Does that mean that I have concluded that his principle accusers, Leigh Corfman and Beverly Young Nelson are lying? For many obvious reasons, from the notes she added to the yearbook to numerous eyewitness statements that contradict Nelson, I seriously question her accusations. But when it comes to Corfman, I find no compelling reasons to question her charges. As for...

I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
baby.jpg - 900 "Congratulations, it's a boy!" Or, "Congratulations, it's a girl!" As a pediatrician for nearly 20 years, that's how many of my patient relationships began. Our bodies declare our sex. Sex vs. Identity Biological sex is not assigned. Sex is determined at conception by our DNA and is stamped into every cell of our bodies. Human sexuality is binary. You either have a normal Y chromosome, and develop into a male, or you don't, and you will develop into a female. There are at least 6,500 genetic differences between men and women. Hormones and surgery cannot change this. An identity is not biological, it is psychological. It has to do with thinking and feeling. Thoughts and feelings are not biologically hardwired. Our thinking and feeling may be factually right or factually wrong. If I walk into my doctor's office today and say, "Hi, I'm Margaret Thatcher," my physician will say I am delusional and give me an anti-psychotic. Yet, if instead, I walked in and said, "I'm a man," he would say, "Congratulations, you're transgender." If I...

‘The Real Jesus,’ at Christmas Time and All Times

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
Statue of Jesus Christ looking down from the cross. Location: Calvary Cemetery/Rochester/Minnesota, USA It's that time of year. Christmas standards playing on the radio. Crowded shopping malls. Exclamations in ad flyers that "prices have never been lower!" And magazines that promise to tell us about "The Real Jesus."  That's the title of National Geographic's cover story for December. I have not read the entire article. I'm sure it contains some interesting insights into recent biblical archaeological discoveries. Some of them might well buttress Scripture's claims while others, the author will argue, cast at least some doubt on the Gospel accounts. That's why I haven't read the whole thing yet. Its conclusions are pretty much foregone. Every Easter and Christmas, the major popular magazines and news websites feature stories in which various scholars attack or defend the biblical record. Given the seriousness and delicacy of the topic, there might be a general tone of...

Are Women Nothing More Than Sexual Objects?

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
Sexy Magazine Covers Women Objectification Culture Fashion Celebrities - 900 If an attractive young woman walks down the street wearing lewd, revealing clothing, that does not give anyone the right to touch her or abuse her or rape her. Absolutely, categorically, not. And if an attractive young actress who is willing to appear nude on film meets with a powerful producer or director, she is not thereby giving that person the green light to take advantage of her sexually. Absolutely, categorically not. This is beyond debate or discussion. When it comes to the Harvey Weinsteins of this world, there is no excuse or justification for their actions. Period. Case closed. End of subject. My question, though, is this: Isn't it hypocritical for a woman to present herself as a sexual object -- clearly,...

Teacher Who Was Fired for ‘Misgendering’ a Student Slaps School With Lawsuit

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
teacher fired misgendering A teacher who was fired for calling a transgender student by her biological gender hit back at the school with a lawsuit. After math teacher Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, said "well done girls" to two students at an Oxfordshire secondary school in England, the school suspended him and called for a disciplinary hearing. He apologized to the student, but he was charged with misconduct for "misgendering," according to the Evening Standard. Not long after, Sutcliffe was fired from his teaching post and he responded by sending a letter to the school saying that it's equality policies are "totalitarian," Metro reports. "I regret that our relations have reached this point, but I feel I have no choice but to bring legal proceedings against you without further notice," Sutcliffe wrote in his letter. Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream >> "While the suggestion that...

Pentagon to Allow Transgender People to Enlist in Military

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
pentagon allow transgender WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon is allowing transgender people to enlist in the military beginning Jan. 1, despite President Donald Trump’s opposition. The new policy reflects growing legal pressure on the issue, and the difficult hurdles the federal government would have to cross to enforce Trump’s demand to ban transgender individuals from the military. Two federal courts already have ruled against the ban. Potential transgender recruits will have to overcome a lengthy and strict set of physical, medical and mental conditions that make it possible, though difficult, for them to join the armed services. Maj. David Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, says the enlistment of transgender recruits will start Jan. 1 and go on amid the legal battles. The Defense Department also is studying the issue. Eastburn told The Associated Press on Monday that the new guidelines mean the Pentagon can disqualify potential recruits with gender dysphoria, a history of medical treatments associated with gender transition and those who...

Follow This Turkish Woman ‘From Islam to Christ’

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
The Kaaba, a cubic building in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the most sacred site in Islam. For the second time this month, I'm going to recommend a deeply personal book by a woman. Last week it was the memoir of a family's survival under Communism, Forty Autumns, by Nina Willner. This book, From Islam to Christ, by Derya Little, is more of a spiritual memoir. It offers hard-won, painful insights into the lives of hundreds of millions of people whom we typically wouldn't hear from. I mean, Muslim women. Derya grew up in Turkey, which for decades was much more secularized than most Islamic countries. But the culture, as she reveals, is still deeply Islamic. In fact, as she recounts her parents' marriage, we see that Turkish women in some ways have the worst of both worlds: Islam, and secular modernism. The "emancipation" that the-once secular Turkish state offered women meant that most wives and mothers are expected to work outside the home. But the deeply-engrained Muslim, Turkish culture still demands that they cook...

Americans Romanticizing Communism Don’t Know Communism

Dec 11 2017 - 7:54pm
Victims of Communism Skulls Red Background - 900 The young man in the suit crawled through the small window in the back of the cabin in a way that would send him face forward onto the dirt outside. He couldn’t be seen talking to the likes of us. We held his legs as he crawled out so he wouldn’t fall. It was the summer of 1978, July I think, in a campground outside Moscow. I was part of a student group touring the then-Soviet Union. On the low-cost tour, we stayed mostly in the campgrounds and hotels Soviet citizens stayed in. Most people kept their distance. Those who did talk had only praise for their nation and hostility for ours. He Wanted to Talk About Western Music One of our group was a young Canadian woman, very tall and strikingly pretty, who attracted attention. We learned to let her introduce us, because the Russians liked Canadians a great deal more than they liked Americans. The man who slipped into...

Synagogue Firebombed in Sweden, Three Arrested

Dec 10 2017 - 7:53pm
A view of a site where a synagogue was attacked in Gothenburg, Sweden, late Saturday Dec. 9, 2017. Three people was arrested for allegedly throwing firebombs at the synagogue. No one was injured in the attack during a youth event at the synagogue and the adjacent Jewish center in Sweden's second-largest city. (Adam Ihse/TT News Agency via AP) HELSINKI (AP) -- Three people have been arrested for allegedly throwing firebombs at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Goteborg, the second anti-Jewish attack in the Nordic nation in two days. Jewish groups condemned the attacks as “unconscionable” and demanded that authorities take action. No one was injured in the attack late Saturday during a youth event at the synagogue and the adjacent Jewish center in Sweden’s second-largest city. Goteborg police spokesman Peter Nordengard said Sunday it is being investigated as an attempted arson. The attack took place after some 200 people rallied late Friday in the southern city of Malmo, yelling anti-...

PC Grinches at Huffington Post are Hating on Rudolph

Dec 10 2017 - 7:53pm
Screenshot from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer On Saturday night, CBS rebroadcast the annual Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The seasonal favorite, narrated by Burl Ives, was first telecast in 1964, and has entertained three generations of Americans in the half-century since. It's must-see TV for anyone who has ever sung along with Ives' Sam the Snowman character crooning "Holly, Jolly Christmas." But in an era of political correctness that has left hardly any corner of pop culture unscathed, not everyone is experiencing the Christmas cheer.   Ever the PC Grinch, the Huffington Post published a withering critique of Rudolph that was subsequently picked up and repeated by Yahoo "News." HuffPo begins by renaming the stop-motion animation classic "Rudolph the Marginalized Reindeer," because the title character is teased and bullied by his peers because of his peculiar proboscis. "Viewers are noticing the tale may not be so jolly after all and [are] sharing their observations online," it says, reposting a series...

The Great PC Purge of Our Language Is Coming

Dec 10 2017 - 7:53pm
female_male_binary The changes in our language and social practices ushered in by political correctness were only the beginning. As tumultuous as the interruptions were, they are nothing compared with what is occurring, and will occur, under gender theory. Here, the purges of “offensive” words and customs is bound to accelerate. So much so that below I make a prediction that will shock the reader. What is happening now? Word is students from Cambridge University have done the world a service by compiling “a database containing more than a thousand films and television programmes that show non-consensual sexual interactions.” The database “Unconsenting Media” is meant to help “sexual assault survivors avoid any potentially traumatic scenes that could trigger flashbacks.”...

My Advent Resolution

Dec 10 2017 - 7:53pm
Christmas Ornament with silhouette of nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, and Bethlehem. Ornament is hanging from branch of tree. Horizontal image would be good for Chistian or religious use. “It looks horrible.” My husband stared at the 6-foot faux tree he’d just assembled. Its branches were smashed from a year in storage. It shed green PVC plastic all over the floor. A mass of mismatched lights tangled together one side, leaving the opposite looking rather forlorn. “It’ll look better when we decorate it,” I insisted as I ripped duct tape off another shoe box of eclectic ornaments. I wanted to keep things positive. After all, decorating for Christmas is supposed to be a joyful thing, right? We even had White Christmas crooning in the background. But deep down, I felt a little like that mangled mess of a fake Christmas tree. A stomach virus had derailed my plans to decorate earlier in the week, so I was already behind schedule. On top of that, waves of panic over the...

New Evacuations as Huge Southern California Fire Flares up

Dec 10 2017 - 7:53pm
Firefighters light backfire while trying to keep a wildfire from jumping Santa Ana Rd. near Ventura, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Noah Berger) LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday, as wind-fanned flames churned through canyons and down hillsides toward coastal towns. Crews with help from water-dropping aircraft saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning deeper into foothill areas northwest of Los Angeles that haven’t burned in decades. New evacuations were ordered in Carpinteria, a seaside city in Santa Barbara County that has been under fire threat for days. “The winds are kind of squirrely right now,” said county fire spokesman Mike Eliason. “Some places the smoke is going straight up in the air, and others it’s blowing sideways. Depends on what canyon we’re in.” The department posted a photo of one residence engulfed in flames before dawn. It’s unclear whether other structures burned...

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