AUSTIN — Some 60 public school districts across Texas offer courses on the Bible, but at least a third aren´t meeting state requirements to be unbiased and academically and legally sound, a study released Wednesday concluded. Written by Mark Chancey, a professor of Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University, the study found that many districts´ courses favor conservative Protestant interpretations of the Bible. Many also present "problematic treatment of Judaism" while "promoting pseudo-scholarship, particularly regarding science and American history." "At a basic level, students are often being taught to experience Judaism only through Christian eyes," said Chancey,
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, NBC’s veteran newsman Tom Brokaw called for a “holistic” approach to addressing gun violence, and said that remaining silent on the issue is akin to not speaking out during racial segregation in pre-civil rights America. (Snip)“It reminds me a lot of what happened in the South in the 1960s during the civil rights movement,” Brokaw explained. “Good people stayed in their houses and didn’t speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of a fundamental rights of African-Americans as they marched in Selma, and they let
If you´re trying to make sense of the news that Notre Dame football star Manti Te´o now says he was the victim of a hoax and that the woman he thought was his "girlfriend" never existed and never died, you´ll want to read an Oct. 12 story published by the South Bend Tribune. The newspaper tells readers today that the earlier story was based in large part on "a taped interview on Oct. 10 with Te´o´s parents, Brian and Ottilia, Te´o´s father said the initial meeting between Manti and [the girlfriend] came in person
As a society, our first task must be to care for our children -- to shield them from harm and give them the tools they need not only to pursue their dreams, but to help build this country. That is how we will be judged. And in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, it´s clear we have a long way to go. That´s why, last month, I asked Vice President Biden to lead an effort to come up with concrete steps we can take right now to keep our kids safe, help prevent mass shootings,
Even if that were true, what the heck does "need" have to do with it? We don´t "need" 150 daily newspapers in the country either, or hundreds of TV channels, or thousands and thousands of books. And while we´re at it, do we really "need" so many protestant religious demoninations? There is no "need" to bear arms - only the right to do so, guaranteed by the Constitution. Reuters: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta joined the gun control debate on Thursday when he told troops at a military base in Italy that only soldiers needed armor-piercing bullets or assault weapons.
U.S. taxpayers have forked over nearly $4 billion to foreign-owned companies as part of a stimulus program that pays cash grants to green-energy firms, according to a newly released congressional report. The report from Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee charged that the Treasury Department-administered program has "failed" in its goal of putting Americans to work. "Billions of dollars have filled the coffers of overseas firms while the evidence of the promised permanent jobs and economic growth here in the United States is scarce," the report said. The program is separate from the Energy Department fund Headline corrected by staff
Mokhtar Belmokhtar - who is accused of ordering the attack on a gas facility in eastern Algeria in which foreign workers have been killed and taken hostage - is a one-eyed war veteran with the nickname "Mr Marlboro". He acquired the nickname because of his role in cigarette-smuggling across the Sahel region to finance his jihad, now waged under the banner of the Signed-in-Blood Battalion. "Belmokhtar has been active in political, ideological and criminal circles in the Sahara for the past two decades," Jon Marks, an academic at the London-based think-tank Chatham House, told the BBC.
A Belfast man who was held hostage at a BP facility in Algeria has been freed and has spoken to his wife. Stephen McFaul, 36, who was travelling on an Irish passport, was being held along with other foreign nationals. Mr McFaul´s 13-year-old son has said he can´t wait to give his father "a big hug". The Belfast man had managed to contact his relatives twice before while in captivity. But after receiving no further contact since Wednesday, his family made a plea for him to be released unharmed. In a statement, issued through local MP Paul Maskey,
In March 2003, amidst simmering legislative controversy over the future of Chicago’s lakefront airport, Meigs Field, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley sent bulldozers in the dead of night to carve the letter “X” several times into the runway, rendering the airport useless and ending the debate. That stunt is a model for President Barack Obama’s second term, in which he is determined to exceed the boundaries of his power. On every front, the Obama administration is testing its constitutional limits. Yesterday’s announcement of 23 executive orders to implement gun control without the consent of Congress
Jennifer Griffin reported on the latest developments out of Algeria, where Al Qaeda-linked terrorists attacked a natural gas complex Wednesday and took dozens of hostages, including some Americans. The facility, which is right on the Libyan border, was surrounded by the Algerian military Thursday. Troops opened fire from helicopter gunships when some of the suspected attackers tried to leave. A spokesman for a militant group involved in the attack told local media that 35 hostages were killed and that seven were still being held. Griffin said that claim has not been confirmed by U.S. officials, describing the
A computer virus attacked a turbine control system at a U.S. power company last fall when a technician unknowingly inserted an infected USB computer drive into the network, keeping a plant off line for three weeks, according to a report posted on a U.S. government website. The Department of Homeland Security report did not identify the plant but said criminal software, which is used to conduct financial crimes such as identity theft, was behind the incident. It was introduced by an employee of a third-party contractor that does business with the utility, according to the agency. DHS reported the incident
Former Obama for America deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter joins Ed Schultz to discuss President Obama´s plan to use his own campaign apparatus to help get Americans to speak out in favor of responsible gun ownership. STEPHANIE CUTTER: President Obama provides the leadership here, and he said the American people have to speak up and make their voices heard in this debate. Just like the NRA is doing with there membership. And President Obama´s network across this country, grassroots individuals, who organize, volunteered with their time to get the president reelected are much more powerful than the
Boeing´s flagship 787 Dreamliner planes were grounded worldwide today after corrosive fluid leaked from its high-tech battery system forcing a packed passenger jet to make an emergency landing. Flight officials in Europe, America and Asia banned the craft from taking off amid fears the faulty lithium-type batteries, which are used in electric cars and laptops, could start fires on board. The dramatic move spells disaster for the aviation giant and comes after 137 passengers and crew members on an All Nippon Airlines flight were evacuated down escape chutes when smoke was detected on board. Airlines were today scrambling
General Motors Co. North America chief Mark Reuss said he isn´t giving up on electric vehicles, despite struggling industry sales in 2012. "The electric car is not dead," Reuss said at the Automotive News World Congress on Wednesday night. He said despite setbacks, the Detroit automaker isn´t giving up on electric autos, even though it had to abandon its initial forecast for its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt. In 2011, GM sold fewer than 7,700 Volts, below its target of 10,000. It then abandoned goals to sell 45,000 in 2012 and was forced to idle its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant
We now appear to have entered a kabuki era of American politics. With a gaggle of school children as living props and an obsequious vice president at hand, President Obama Wednesday proposed a broad array of actions he says might curb American gun violence. Down in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry promptly posted on his website a strong critique of Obama´s plans, warning that mere laws, which he called "the last redoubt of secularism," were totally insufficient to address the "evil prowling in the world." Obama´s legislative ideas, which he well knows have little if any chance
Weird stuff. Then again, we are talking about Jim Moran. Appearing on Al Sharpton´s MSNBC show this evening, the Dem Congressman from Virginia declared that "older white guys" were "the most insecure component of our society." Added Moran, possibly alluding to the difficulties in adopting additional gun control measures, "we´re much the problem with these kind of things." Joan Walsh was there to support the self-doubting Moran. "There are a lot of terrific older white guys out there," reassured Walsh, naming Moran and Vice-President Biden among them. View the video after the jump.
Last night on FOX News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla. criticized President Obama’s call for Congress to pass stricter gun control laws. “I’ll let you in on secret, I mean, the President is a liberal.” Rubio said wryly, “And this is part of the liberals’ long time dreams for our country and he sees this as a opportunity to get some of these things done. Rubio asserted that Obama obviously believes that banning guns was a good solution and has wanted to ban guns during “his entire political career.” “I think that
Endorsing President Obama’s call for gun control legislation on Wednesday, Sen. Patrick Leahy said large magazines, “assault weapons” and the “gun-show loophole” must be addressed. “In Vermont, we restrict the number of rounds you can have in your semiautomatic for deer hunting. I think we ought to be as protective of our children as our deer,” he told Georgetown University Law School students. (Leahy used similar phrasing a few minutes earlier, when he told the Georgetown students: "[A]bout the only gun law we have in Vermont is during deer season. If you have a semiautomatic,
The Obama Economy: Americans are drawing down their 401(k)s for nonretirement needs in record numbers, just as Social Security goes bust. This portends poverty for millions as the White House fiddles. Cat food, anyone? One out of four U.S. workers with 401(k) retirement savings accounts has been forced to cash them out or borrow from them at high costs just to stay solvent. The Washington Post, citing a report from financial advisory firm HelloWallet, said the withdrawals have drained $70 billion, or an astonishing near-quarter of the total $293 billion, in America´s retirement accounts "undermining already shaky retirement
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said action must be taken in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School because members of Congress took an oath to “protect and defend,” although the actual oath says to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States ….” Pelosi held a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on "Gun Violence Prevention: A Call to Action,” where she endorsed the gun control proposals President Barack Obama unveiled today. “Earlier this month, shortly after Newtown, all members
An Algerian military operation is under way at a gas facility in eastern Algeria where hostages were being held, Algeria´s state news agency reports. Four foreign hostages were freed but the operation resulted in a number of "victims", APS agency said. Algerian soldiers had been surrounding the facility near In Amenas that kidnappers occupied on Wednesday, after killing a Briton and an Algerian. Reports quoting militants said at least 34 hostages and 14 kidnappers died. [Snip] Four foreign hostages - two from Scotland, one from France and one from Kenya - were freed during the operation, APS reported.
U.S. presidents should not be sworn into office with their hand on a Bible. At Monday´s inauguration of his second term, President Barack Obama will raise his right hand and place his left on not one, but two Bibles: One owned by Abraham Lincoln and the other by Martin Luther King Jr. The Constitution requires he give this oath of office: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
The investment bank founded by Thomas Weisel, the powerful Silicon Valley financier who bankrolled and owned Lance Armstrong´s former cycling team, also managed assets for the then-head of cycling´s governing body, according to a broker who handled the accounts. The 71-year-old Weisel is under scrutiny in the doping scandal that has engulfed Armstrong´s former U.S. Postal Service cycling team. A federal whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2010 by Armstrong´s former teammate, Floyd Landis, accuses Weisel—as well as Armstrong and others—of knowingly duping the Postal Service...
Of all the gun-control measures touted by President Obama on Wednesday, the one that got top billing was a dramatic tightening of background checks on gun purchasers. Obama himself said the need was urgent because “40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check.” But before we make the most sweeping changes in federal firearms law since the 1960s, shouldn’t we at least examine the validity of that figure? It’s about as dubious as they come. The administration is focusing on background checks in an attempt to drive a wedge between staunch anti-gun-control absolutists
Barack Obama´s Kenyan half-brother has launched his own political career, claiming he has been ´inspired and challenged´ by the US President.(snip) He said: ´When I look at the success that my brother has had in America, I feel I would have let down my people if I do not follow in his footsteps and end their suffering through dedicated, honest and focused leadership.´ Speaking from his ancestral home of Kogelo in western Kenya, he said that he was the best candidate to deal with the ´endless cycle of poverty and unemployment that bedevils my people´.