Monday, May 11, 2009

Catholic college arrests abortion OPPONENTS

That they are just another Leftist college is now clear. Is there no way that the church can reclaim it for the faith?

Former presidential candidate and WND columnist Alan Keyes was arrested this afternoon, along with 21 others, on charges of trespassing while he was protesting against Barack Obama's abortion record at the University of Notre Dame.

As WND reported, University President John Jenkins prompted national outrage when he invited the pro-abortion president to speak at the university's May 17 commencement. Despite at least 55 bishops publicly denouncing or questioning the university's decision, Jenkins has refused to rescind the offer.

"I will step foot on the Notre Dame campus to lift up the standard that protects the life of the innocent children of this and every generation," Keyes said in a statement prior to his arrest. "I will do it all day and every day from now until the Master comes if need be, though it means I shall be housed every day in the prison house of lies and injustice that Obama, Jenkins and their minions now mean to construct for those who will never be still and silent in the face of their mockery of God and justice, their celebration of evil."

Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, who made headlines last week after he was arrested for pushing a stroller carrying a doll covered in fake blood on the Notre Dame campus, witnessed the arrest.

"Keyes and 21 people with strollers walked onto campus, praying," Terry told WND. "The police grabbed them all and arrested them, but it was done very peacefully." Nonetheless, Terry said, what's happening at Notre Dame is infuriating. "The outrage is that they were arrested by Notre Dame's orders for defending babies; meanwhile Notre Dame is going to honor someone who kills babies," Terry said, referring to Obama's record on supporting abortion.

University spokesman Dennis Brown told the Chicago Breaking News Center that Keyes was given notice that university policy bans protests unless they are organized by student groups and approved in advance. Brown further stated that university policy is to arrest anyone who refuses to leave campus after being notified. "We've got a long established policy that only members of the university community can organize or lead a protest, and they have to be approved by our office of student affairs," Brown said.

Sergeant Bill Redman of the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Office confirmed that those arrested were handcuffed and taken to the St. Joseph County Jail, held for trespassing on a $250 bond.

Prior to his arrest, Keyes had announced, "If this be trespass, then forgive us our trespasses and join us in trespassing until the South Bend jail is filled to overflowing with witnesses to truth; filled beyond capacity; filled until we break the most onerous shackles – the ones that bind the heart and mind to evil and our nation to the path of its destruction."

Terry told WND that he believes Keyes and several of the 21 other protesters intend to remain in jail through the weekend. In fact, a witness from the jail told Terry that Keyes has been using his time behind bars to preach – for hours on end – to the inmates.

"Pro-life activism has been dying," Terry said, "but this has given us a fresh line of defense to regroup." Now, Terry is urging others to follow Keyes' example. "We are asking people to come," Terry said. "We want to have 50 or 100 people in jail next weekend, so that every time that the media discusses Obama speaking at Notre Dame, they talk about the fact that there are people in jail for protesting his appearance."

Earlier, Terry told WND that he hoped the efforts would cause Obama to cancel his commencement appearance at the university. "There would be no better witness to the world of the value of these babies – who Obama is even now slaughtering – than if there are hundreds of people sitting in jail," Terry said.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, however, told reporters this afternoon that Obama had no plans to cancel the appearance or decline the honorary degree Notre Dame has offered him. "We are honored to have received the invitation," Gibbs said. "Notre Dame has a good history of robust, civic debate and the president looks forward to speaking to the graduating class."

Terry is nonetheless continues to promote a website called so others may join the protests. "My goal, and my challenge to everyone, is to create such a political mud pit here that Obama chooses to not walk through it in order to speak," he said. "The only way that's going to happen is by massive social tension on the ground. That's why these arrests are going to be so critical."


On Creating Young Conservatives

by Dr. John Mark Reynolds

Losing an aging Arlen Specter will do little harm to a movement long term. Losing the youth vote year after year is a sign of approaching party senility.

Obama won the youth vote overwhelmingly. Some conservatives believe that he won because of his acknowledged personal qualities and awesome campaign skills. A recent Rasmussen Report analysis of polling data suggests that while being a super hero campaigner never hurts, Obama won because of his ideas. He won the youth vote, because young voters are more liberal than previous generations.

That has to change for the good of the nation. Sadly for the good of the nation, Obama will fail as president, but the nation may not perceive this failure. He will fail, because the actions he has already taken will limit our liberty. Our liberty may be impaired, but people may become accustomed to it.

The good news for conservatives is there is no reason to split our economic and social conservative base. The bad news is that this is because Obama’s young voters reject both wings of the party. They are not social conservatives and they are not economic libertarians.

Not all youthful voters can be reached. Many have decided on their political philosophy and will not change their minds. We cannot persuade them if they will not listen and many have closed their minds to conservatives.

Partly this is a natural reaction of youth to their parents who are one of the most conservative generations in US history. Patient citizens will see the Obama generation raise a conservative cohort in thirty years, but sadly too much damage can be done to the Republic in the meantime to wait.

My experience shows a sizeable minority of Obama voters can be reached by good conservative arguments. Conservatives need only persuade a portion of Obama’s voters to change their minds, but not by alienating that third of the young who already vote for conservative candidates.

The Long Road Back Begins with Education

You cannot win by subtracting and conservatives need not immediately win the youth vote, just reduce the size of the defeat. This should begin with groups that are less conservative than one would anticipate. The core youth vote for conservatives is traditionally Christian and there is room for growth. Conservatives are underachieving in what should be their core constituency.

Partly this is because too many conservative educational institutions are either too sectarian or mostly secular. Those that claim to be broad based often ignore important classes of potential conservative voters.

There are major conservative organizations having few if any young Evangelical Christian voices. This is embarrassing given the clout such voters have in the conservative movement. Conservatives who are Evangelical often end up in their own organizations and seemingly “appear” every few years in primaries like Iowa. Conservatives don’t talk to each other enough.

Evangelicals should learn to listen to atheists, but atheist conservatives should listen to young, bright Evangelicals who disagree with some of their views. This should happen in one place where possible!

Winning voters who think they disagree with conservatism need not begin by becoming less conservative. What would be the point of this? If after close examination of our own views, we still think the conservative philosophy correct, we need to begin the long slow process of educating persuadable voters.

This begins by listening and not attacking. Rousing the base has its place, but when one is in the minority it is of limited use. Humility, time, and discussion are the best approaches to those who disagree with us, but could be persuaded.

It is hard for me to name institutions that are set up to persuade those on the left. Such institutions may not excite the base, but they will expand it. Conservatism needs media (old and new) that does not require total “buy in.” Gradual exposure to conservative positions will slowly move the thoughtful voter toward mainline conservative media.

In a different generation voices like Paul Harvey served as a “first-contact” for many Americans to the conservative mainstream. They were media figures first in the public mind, conservatives second. Paul Harvey made minds receptive to conservative ideas. Such people and institutions should be conservative without announcing it at every turn. A young-sort-of-liberal vegan would find a Hannity too much red meat and needs a gentler diet first!

It is sad that young voters have the views they have. There are probably social institutions such as the major media and schools that share some of the blame for this situation, but conservative whining should end. Major change is not coming soon and so we need to embrace our role of underdogs and begin to infiltrate liberal institutions while strengthening those that are still conservative.

Most youth voters I meet, even from conservative families, have never heard an intellectual case for conservative economics or social policy that is also sensitive to the poor and to the environment. This does not require so much a new conservatism as new educational approach. The initial success of Mike Huckabee shows that young voters, and he did very well with Republican young voters, are waiting for someone who can explain our views.

Too often conservatives have looked for quick fix solutions that ignore the years of educational effort that will be required to solve this problem. This will begin by strengthening conservative schools and media institutions we already have. Why don’t conservative donors endow chairs in conservatism at more schools? Many middle-sized Christian colleges and universities, while non-partisan, are sensitive enough to their overwhelmingly conservative constituencies to accept such gifts.

Imagine scores of conservative scholars freed to educate and mentor the next generation of conservative leaders. One student once said to me, “I wish conservative leaders did not keep embarrassing me.” The student was no coward, but leaders, particularly on the religious right, were not helping but harming him.

Don’t Embarrass Me: Creating a Middlebrow Conservatism

I believe there are many young conservative voters, often religious, looking for a party that will not embarrass them. It is already hard when you are young to stand against the majority and conservatives should want to make it easier, not harder. We cannot win the youth vote with candidates who make conservatives hold their breath in debates lest they say something stupid.

We need candidates who can explain our pro-life views by making arguments, not just repeating talking points. This is one of the strengths of the left and of Obama. The entire left does not take a high tone. There is a left-wing noise machine—and such populist style will always exist in a republic. Conservatives can generally match the left at this level of discourse, but control of schools, “middle-brow” cultural institutions, and media have given the left an overwhelming advantage at “middle-brow” discussions.

It is not conservatism when big business and big government corrupt each other. We don’t need a new conservatism to say this, I have never met a serious conservative who favors graft or lets Wall Street plutocrats off the hook for their part in the corruption of our national affairs, but we do need to say it more loudly. Most of my students, the majority from households that consume huge amounts of conservative media, have never heard it.

Conservatives need strong apologetics, a defense of their point of view. Strong defense requires a charitable understanding of the other side. Nobody will be persuaded if the liberalism being attacked bears no resemblance to the liberalism they have (weakly!) embraced.

Our approach must be dialectic, centered in listening and discussion, rather than preaching. Persuadable Obama voters have rejected what they believe is conservatism and one thing they think they know about conservatism is that it is narrow minded and intolerant. Discussion with thinkers on both sides of the aisle is the key to ending this perception. Some communicators like Hewitt and Medved do this, but many do not.

Conservatives have thinkers, living and historic. Conservatism has good populist roots in the United States. Yet these days conservatives lack a way of appealing to the influential intellectual middle. National Review is a good start, but is not enough.

We either need to be part of or fund the equivalent of middlebrow institutions such NPR and public television to discuss the entire culture from a conservative point of view. A political movement in a republic cannot be healthy if it loses the class of people who are not professional intellectuals, but who care deeply about the life of the mind. Such folk will produce much of the popular entertainments consumed by the rest of us. At present, middlebrow media is overwhelmingly leftist.

My personal experience suggests that young voters can be persuaded to consider conservative ideas and solutions. The total dominance in Washington of liberalism gives us prized “outsider status.” This is a good moment to begin the long process of educating the next generation of voters so that generation Obama gives way to generation Conservative.


Strange silence about the attacks on Miss California

Checked on your freedom of speech lately? If not, consider the plight of 21-year-old Carrie Prejean, a student at San Diego Christian College who was selected first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant last month. During the question and answer part of the competition, Prejean was asked whether every state should legalize gay marriage. Smiling brightly, the young woman said: "I think that I believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there."

Most polls show that the majority of Americans agree with Prejean, including the president of the United States. Yet since she made that statement as Miss California, the woman has been persecuted in the media.

MSNBC allowed a guest to call her vile names, and the far-left cast of characters on that cable network has delighted in mocking and demeaning Prejean almost nightly. The left-wing blogs have been especially vicious, and now, even her own pageant is turning against her: She's being investigated for possibly violating pageant rules by giving unapproved interviews. Of course, she gave those interviews trying to defend herself against media assaults.

This is a disgraceful exposition with wide implications for all of us. Here we have an American citizen answering a direct question respectfully and honestly and being punished for it. You don't get more un-American than that. Where is the American Civil Liberties Union on this? That great defender of free speech has been totally silent. Once again, the ACLU displays its biased hypocrisy like a giant float-balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

And where is the National Organization for Women? A young woman is being victimized by hate speech, actually being called a "b*tch" on a variety of television programs, and NOW has no comment? Again, the hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Finally, where is the homosexual community? Do they not respect freedom of speech? They don't want to be punished for their expression, right? It would be incredibly smart for a gay leader to pull a Voltaire and publicly state, "I don't agree with what you say, but I defend your right to say it." So, who's going to be courageous and step up on this one?

Gay marriage has been defined by some of its supporters as a civil rights issue. Isn't freedom of speech a civil rights issue? Therefore, let's call this Miss California deal exactly what it is -- a gross violation of the spirit of America. If a 21-year-old pageant contestant can be persecuted for uttering an opinion based upon a sincere belief, then all of us are at risk, as well.


Scotland: Homosexual rights campaigner who led double life as boss of paedophile ring among 8 guilty of catalogue of child abuse

Eight members of a paedophile ring were found guilty today of a catalogue of child pornography and abuse charges, including the sexual assault of a three-month old baby. The ringleaders - convicted sex offender Neil Strachan and gay rights campaigner James Rennie - were convicted of sex attacks on children. Strachan, 41, and Rennie, 38, both from Edinburgh, were also found guilty of conspiring to abuse youngsters, as were three other members of the gang.

All eight accused in the 10-week trial at the High Court in Edinburgh were convicted of a series of child porn offences. The gang members were traced through their explicit internet chats about sexual fantasies involving children. From various locations across Scotland, they plotted, whether by using web cameras or other means such as by phone, to participate in sexual offences, including rape and sodomy.

The jury - down to 14 men and women after one member was discharged during the trial - took 10 hours over two days to reach its verdicts. The court fell silent as the succession of verdicts to more than 50 charges were given. Nearly 125,000 indecent images were seized during Operation Algebra, which uncovered the group, believed to be Scotland's biggest paedophile network.

Ross Webber, 27, of North Berwick, Craig Boath, 24, from Dundee and John Milligan, 40, from Glasgow, were all found guilty of conspiring to participate in the sexual abuse of children along with Strachan and Rennie. The five men, with Colin Slaven, 23, from Edinburgh and Neil Campbell, 46 and John Murphy, 44, from Glasgow, were also convicted of a catalogue of child porn offences.

But the undisputed ringleaders of the ring were Strachan and Rennie, who on the surface held down good jobs and were trusted members of the community. But the pair had a shared interest in young boys and had collected some of the worst child abuse images ever seen by police experts. They were also responsible for the abuse of very young children - one as young as three months old.

Rennie was the successful chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, an organisation dedicated to helping young gay people. A former secondary school teacher, he regularly spoke out in public on gay issues, particularly how they affected young people. But the High Court in Edinburgh heard he was 'polluted by deviant compulsion'. Crown QC Dorothy Bain said: 'In reality he is someone who allowed his profound interest in the sexual abuse of children to engulf his entire life.'

The extent of his obsession with under-age sex unfolded as the 10-week trial progressed. He was charged and ultimately convicted of molesting a child over a number of years, starting at the age of three months. And in an online conversation with another accused, he even expressed a wish to see children with Down's Syndrome or a learning disability sexually abused.

Operation Algebra officers found that Rennie had links with paedophiles in the US and the Netherlands. He was traced and arrested by police at the end of 2007. He was suspended from his high-profile post and by February 2008 had resigned.

Strachan also hid a dark past, in which he was jailed for three years for molesting a young boy. He was the man who sparked Operation Algebra when indecent images were found on computer equipment used by him in his work. Tests revealed 'sinister' emails between him and Rennie. They had encountered each other online in 2004 when Strachan congratulated Rennie on the content of his web page on a site known to have been misused by paedophiles.

When the case came to trial, what the jury did not know was that Strachan had offended before. He was jailed for three years in 1997 for repeatedly molesting a young boy while he was an official at a youth football club. He started abusing the child when he was five years old and the abuse went on for two years. Strachan quit his post as secretary of Celtic East Boys Club in Edinburgh after he was caught.

When he was jailed, it emerged that he had also been convicted of a similar sex offence 12 years previously. Among the charges faced by Strachan in the current trial was an allegation that he committed a serious sexual offence against a toddler at New Year from 2005 into 2006.

But Strachan, despite being one of the worst offenders in the group, was the only one of the eight men on trial who denied every charge against him. Prosecutors were forced to piece together the case against him bit by bit. Crucial to their case was a photograph partially showing a man sexually assaulting a young child. The Crown called on a world-renowned expert in human anatomy to examine the picture, known in court as The Hogmanay Image.

Pinpointing the abuser's physical traits, including a distinctive thumbnail, Professor Susan Black said there was 'strong evidence' that Strachan and the man in the picture were the same person.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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