Archive for the ‘Americans’ Category

Hollywood out of step with American morals

November 17, 2008

A majority of Americans say Hollywood doesn’t share their moral values, according to a poll commissioned by the Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights anti-Semitism.

Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said that religious values in America are “under attack,” and 59% agreed that “the people who run the TV networks and the major movie studios do not share the religious and moral values of most Americans.”

By Gregg Kilday, Reuters

Tourists pause on a walkway at a shopping mall which offers ...
Tourists pause on a walkway at a shopping mall which offers a view of the famed Hollywood sign at the hills in California March 14, 2008.(Fred Prouser/Reuters)

The poll, titled “American Attitudes on Religion, Moral Values and Hollywood,” was conducted by the Marttila Communications Group, which surveyed 1,000 adults nationwide. It was released Friday at the ADL’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.

“These findings point to the challenges that we face in dealing with issues of religion in society,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director. “The belief that religion is under attack underlies the drive to incorporate more religion into American public life. Disturbingly, 43% of Americans believe there is an organized campaign by Hollywood and the national media to weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”

Among the survey’s findings:

— 61% of respondents agree that “religious values are under attack in this country,” while 36% disagree with that statement.

— 43% said that Hollywood and the national media are waging an organized campaign to “weaken the influence of religious values in this country.”


But maybe not EVERY American city….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081117/us_nm/us_
poll;_ylt=AmvJz752.auDPw4x7kNNWEes0NUE

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Most Americans Believe Obama Will Fix Economy

November 11, 2008

In one of the economy’s darkest hours in decades, it looks as if people are taking Barack Obama up on his exhortations for hope and change.

Seven in 10, or 72 percent, voice confidence the president-elect will make the changes needed to revive the stalling economy, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released Tuesday. Underscoring how widely the public is counting on its new leader, 44 percent of Republicans joined nearly all Democrats and most independents in expressing that belief.

Associated Press

The poll shows that faith in Obama is even broader, at least for now. Sixty-eight percent said they think that when he takes office in January, the new president will be able to enact the policies he pushed during his presidential campaign.

People signaled a willingness to wait on one of the keynote items of his agenda — tax cuts. Only about one in three, or 36 percent, said they wanted Obama to make income-tax cuts a top priority when he takes office, and even fewer wanted higher taxes on the rich to be a primary goal.

Instead, 84 percent said strengthening the economy should be a top-tier priority. Eighty percent also named creating jobs as a No. 1 order of business.

Majorities in both parties said those issues should be top priorities, though Democrats were a bit likelier than Republicans to say so.

With Obama ending the GOP‘s eight-year hold on the White House under President Bush and about to become the first black president, the AP-GfK poll showed three quarters saying the election made them feel hopeful, six in 10 feeling proud and half expressing excitement.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081111/ap_on_el_pr/ap_poll_obama;_ylt=AjMe_qSqvDLMn_4ni6BOWMSs0NUE

Loss of Tax Revenue, Plus More Students Makes For Ugly School Prognosis

November 10, 2008

Schools all over Ameroca are discovering that the global economic crisis means smaller tax revenues to spend on schools.  Plus many areas have more new students, many of them immigrants needing additional help and special teachers.  Here is a report from two big counties near washington DC….

By Michael Alison Chandler and Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, November 10, 2008; 4:13 PM

Leaders of the region’s two largest school systems outlined today their grimmest scenarios to date for how looming budget shortfalls could play out in classrooms, with Fairfax County schools facing an average increase of 2 1/2 students per class and Montgomery County forced to renegotiate teacher pay increases or cut positions.

Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale sketched a proposal to close a $220 million projected shortfall for the fiscal year that begins in July by eliminating summer school, except for certain special education students, and cutting more than 1,000 positions, including custodians, office workers and teachers.

The $2.2 billion spending plan would be only slightly smaller than the current budget but would absorb about $50 million in lost state revenue and $46 million in added expenses because of projected enrollment increases. Officials expect the 169,000-student system, the region’s largest, to grow to 174,000. The proposal assumes no increase in Fairfax County’s share of the budget.

“It will take decades to recover” from such cuts, Dale said. “We hope this is the worst-case scenario.” The superintendent will present the proposal Friday to the Board of Supervisors, which funds nearly three-quarters of the school system’s budget.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/10
/AR2008111002066.html?hpid=topnews

Obama Says Election ‘Vindicated’ His Faith in America

November 2, 2008

I have never had any doubt about the goodness, in fact the greatness, of America and the American people.  Maybe this is because I seved in the U.S. armed forces even while Barack Obama was in High School, at Harvard, and writing a book about himself while he was getting a free office and computer from university.

Mr. Obama has said in his speeches that his faith in America and the American people has been ‘vindicated’ by this election.

Webster’s dictionary says the word “vindicate” mean to “to free from allegation or blame; to confirm; to substantiate; to provide justification or defense for.”

So when exactly did Barack Obama have no regard for America and Americans?  You see, to “vindicate” is to return to luster something already lost or tarnished.

Certainly, a graduate of Harvard Law School knows the power of words: especially a great orator like Barack Obama.

Did Barack have no regard for America during Michelle’s period of no regard for America?  Because, as I recall, she said something like this: “I never before had faith in America until this election.”

As John McCain has said in some of his campaign speeches, “I have never had any lack of faith in America or Americans.”

–John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia
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Above: USS Ronald Reagan

America: Freedom Really Matters

November 2, 2008

My son and I are on ground where one of my heroes — the legendary Joe Foss, U.S. Marine, America’s leading ace in aerial combat, Medal of Honor recipient, mentor and friend — once stood beside me. We’re hunting — exercising our Second Amendment right “to keep and bear Arms.” We will be back home in time to vote in hopes that this right of the people won’t be infringed. But I wonder.
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Above: President Theodore Roosevelt
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By Oliver North
The Washington Times

Last week in Ohio, the Obama campaign suggested that Americans need a “second Bill of Rights.” The idea — not a new one for liberals — came this time from Rep. Marcy Kaptur as she introduced Sen. Obama at a rally in Toledo. Kaptur enthusiastically endorsed the initiative, first proffered by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jan. 11, 1944. Obama said nothing to disabuse his enthusiastic followers of the notion. But it was a bad idea when FDR advocated it, and it is now.

President Roosevelt made the proposal in his State of the Union address — delivered over the radio from the White House instead of in person before Congress. He claimed that he had the flu and that his doctors would not permit him “to go up to the Capitol.” The nation was then — as we are today — at war. And FDR, the “indispensable leader,” already was preparing for his fourth presidential campaign.

In promoting his new “Bill of Rights,” Roosevelt observed that we already enjoyed “certain inalienable political rights — among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.” He then said, “They were our rights to life and liberty.” Notably, FDR used the past tense and omitted the Second Amendment in its entirety — no small lapse when nearly 16 million Americans were under arms.

Unfortunately, the idea that our original Bill of Rights is inadequate — or even archaic — has achieved new currency with liberals. In enumerating his abbreviated version of the first 10 amendments to our Constitution, FDR described our rights as “political” and insufficient. The Framers saw them as God-given and a sacred trust to deliver unabridged to future generations.

Therein is the challenge in next week’s elections. The mainstream media and the polls predict a rout to the left. Does that mean Congress would have free rein to resurrect FDR’s “second Bill of Rights”? And if so, what then happens to the real Bill of Rights, first handed into our care Dec. 15, 1791?

The practitioners of politics — and those who write and speak about it — claim that these matters are secondary to “pocketbook issues.” I was told this week, “Nobody in America cares about that ‘constitutional stuff’ right now with all that’s gone wrong with our economy.” If that’s true, we’re in more serious trouble than my 401(k).

Perhaps I have spent too much of my life with young Americans who sacrificed the comforts of home and the company of loved ones to take on the responsibility of protecting the rest of us. They didn’t sign up to fight for gold or colonial conquest or “the economy.” The soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines I have been covering for Fox News Channel in Mesopotamia, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and the Philippine archipelago volunteered to defend us and protect our liberty from those who had done us grievous harm.

They raised their right hands and took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” They understand what it means to “bear true faith and allegiance.” Most of them have seen parts of the world where there is no freedom, and they know that freedom is an idea worth fighting for, preferably at a great distance from home.

Thanks to the courage and sacrifice of young Americans in uniform and those who preceded them, foreign adversaries do not immediately threaten our liberty. But freedom certainly is at risk here at home if our elected leaders and appointed judges believe that our essential freedoms are “political rights.” If that is true, then politicians and the judges they appoint can abridge, alter or eliminate them.

The extraordinary dedication, commitment and tenacity of American men and women in uniform serving the cause of freedom inspire me. Their bravery and perseverance on battlefields around the world should remind us all that freedom is fragile and must be defended to flourish. The Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment, did not come to us gratis or without obligation.

We are blessed in America that we can fend for freedom with ballots instead of bullets. Our charge is to elect those who will deliver those freedoms intact and undiminished to those who follow us, as my son and I now follow in the footsteps of Joe Foss.
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Medal of Honor recipient Joe Foss

Here is the late Joe Foss’ Medal of Honor CITATION:

For outstanding heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of a Marine Fighting Squadron, at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from October 9 to November 19, 1942, Captain Foss personally shot down twenty-three Japanese planes and damaged others so severely that their destruction was extremely probable. In addition, during this period, he successfully led a large number of escort missions, skillfully covering reconnaissance, bombing and photographic planes as well as surface craft. On January 15, 1943, he added three more enemy planes to his already brilliant successes for a record of aerial combat achievement unsurpassed in this war. Boldly searching out an approaching enemy force on January 25, Captain Foss led his eight F4F Marine planes and four Army P-38s into action and, undaunted by tremendously superior numbers, intercepted and struck with such force that four Japanese fighters were shot down and the bombers were turned back without releasing a single bomb. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal.

Fewer Voters Well Informed, Knowledgeable

October 16, 2008

LiveScience.com

Some news audiences are more politically savvy than others, according to a new poll, with readers of The New Yorker and similar high-brow magazines being the most knowledgeable.

The survey, conducted between April 30 and June 1 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, measured the political knowledge  of 3,612 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to name the controlling party of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. secretary of state and Great Britain’s prime minister.

Overall, just 18 percent of participants answered all three questions correctly.

More than 50 percent of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House, while 42 percent could identify the secretary of state (Condoleezza Rice). Less than 30 percent could name the prime minister of Great Britain (Gordon Brown).

Perfect scores

The best-informed news audiences crossed the ideological spectrum. Nearly half of regular readers of The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazine answered all three political knowledge questions correctly.

A perfect score was obtained by 44 percent of regular listeners of National Public Radio (NPR), 43 percent of regular viewers of MSNBC‘s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and 42 percent of the Fox News Channel‘s “Hannity & Colmes” audience. Thirty-four percent of “The Colbert Report” audience and 30 percent of “The Daily Show” audience got all three questions correct.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081015/sc_livescience/
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Economy: Americans Tightening Belts

October 10, 2008

By Ron Scherer
The Christian Sciences Monitor

New York – The dramatic changes in the US financial system – the debt write-downs and consolidation of corporate balance sheets – are now mirrored at kitchen tables around the United States.

Households are cutting spending, paying down debt, and rebuilding their personal balance sheets. The belt-tightening may have been spurred by two years of falling home values followed by surging energy and food prices, but the effect could be longer lasting.

Americans are now trying to live within their incomes. If they succeed, it would boost the anemic US savings rate and signal a shift in the way Americans view their finances.

A customer pushes her shopping cart past a display at a Wal-Mart ... 
A customer pushes her shopping cart past a display at a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas, June 5, 2008.(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

“As the US economy boomed, people thought of credit as savings,” says Dennis Jacobe, Washington-based chief economist at the Gallup Organization. “They saw it as something they could fall back on…. Now a lot of people are finding out they do not have the money they felt they had.”

One indication of this new world: On Tuesday, Federal Reserve data showed that consumer credit contracted 3.7 percent in August, the first drop in 10 years.

For many Americans, the belt-tightening began when the price of gasoline surged past $3 a gallon 1-1/2 years ago.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20081010/ts_csm/
ameans;_ylt=AqY1PGkwyjlTd6KP1MikgnOs0NUE

Transcript of Pope Benedict’s Remarks to Young Americans on Life, Hope, Prayer

April 20, 2008

From Peace and Freedom

On April 19, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI addressed compelling remarks to all young Americans while appearing at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York.

We at Peace and Freedom believe this address, among all the Pope’s fine talks and sermons this week in the United States, provided the most stirring message. 

Below is a sample of that sermon and then you’ll find a link to the entire text.

Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary ... 
Pope Benedict XVI waves before leaving Saint Joseph Seminary following a meeting with the youth in New York April 19, 2008. Pope Benedict visited Ground Zero, site of the World Trade Center destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks, on Sunday to pray for the nearly 3,000 victims and their families and for an end to hatred and violence.REUTERS/Max Rossi
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On April 19, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI gave the remarks below at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Yonkers, New York.

“What happens when people, especially the most vulnerable, encounter a clenched fist of repression or manipulation rather than a hand of hope? A first group of examples pertains to the heart. Here, the dreams and longings that young people pursue can so easily be shattered or destroyed. I am thinking of those affected by drug and substance abuse, homelessness and poverty, racism, violence, and degradation — especially of girls and women. While the causes of these problems are complex, all have in common a poisoned attitude of mind which results in people being treated as mere objects ? a callousness of heart takes hold which first ignores, then ridicules, the God-given dignity of every human being….”

“At times…  we are tempted to close in on ourselves, to doubt the strength of Christ’s radiance, to limit the horizon of hope. Take courage!”

“What matters most is that you develop your personal relationship with God. That relationship is expressed in prayer. God by his very nature speaks, hears, and replies. Indeed, Saint Paul reminds us: we can and should “pray constantly” (1 Thess 5:17). Far from turning in on ourselves or withdrawing from the ups and downs of life, by praying we turn towards God and through him to each other, including the marginalized and those following ways other than God’s path (cf. Spe Salvi, 33)….”

“There is another aspect of prayer which we need to remember: silent contemplation. Saint John, for example, tells us that to embrace God’s revelation we must first listen, then respond by proclaiming what we have heard and seen (cf. 1 Jn 1:2-3; Dei Verbum, 1). Have we perhaps lost something of the art of listening? Do you leave space to hear God’s whisper, calling you forth into goodness? Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness, listen to God, adore him in the Eucharist. Let his word shape your journey as an unfolding of holiness….”

Related:
Pope at St. Patrick’s in New York: We Owe Bishop Hughes

Read the entire transcript of the Pope’s remarks:
Papal Message at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York
http://peace-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2008/04/papal-message-at-st-joshephs-new-york.html
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St. Peter’s, Rome

Pope Benedict Encourages Young Americans, Seminarians

April 20, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI focused on the future of his American church Saturday as he marked the third anniversary of his election as pontiff, rallying young people, priests and seminarians and assuring them of his support as they dealt with the damage from the clergy sex abuse scandal.

On a highly personal day, Benedict spoke of suffering under Nazism in his youth and, at another point, touched on his own “spiritual poverty.” He added that he hoped to be a worthy successor to St. Peter, considered the first pope.

Benedict began the day with a Mass at St. Patrick’s cathedral. The building was packed with cardinals and bishops, priests and nuns, who cheered him to mark the day he succeeded Pope John Paul II on April 19, 2005.

The German-born pope lamented that what he called “the joy of faith” was often choked by cynicism, greed and violence. Yet he drew an analogy to show how faith can overcome distractions and trials.

In America, he has said repeatedly, the religious intensity stands out in marked contrast to the tepid spiritual emphasis in his native Europe. That makes the U.S. a testing ground for him in his bid to counter secular trends in the world.

Benedict later was driven to St. Joseph’s Seminary in nearby Yonkers, for a rally with young Catholics and seminarians. Upon arriving he blessed about 50 disabled youngsters in the seminary chapel. Two small girls gave him a painting and a hug.

The pope got a hero’s welcome at the youth rally from a festive crowd of 25,000, which burst into wild cheers when Benedict first acknowledged them from the stage. The shy theologian took time to reach out and shake hands with the ecstatic faithful in the front rows.

During his speech at the rally, Benedict reflected on the repression of his own youth under Nazism. He urged the young people and seminarians to carry on the faith while enjoying the liberties that they were fortunate to have.

“My own years as a teenager were marred by a sinister regime that thought it had all the answers,” he said making a rare reference to his own life. “Its influence grew — infiltrating schools ands civic bodies, as well as politics and even religion — before it was fully recognized for the monster it was.”

At the end of the St. Patrick’s service, Benedict was clearly moved when his top assistant, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, read a tribute for the third anniversary.

Benedict told the crowd of 3,000 that “I am deeply thankful” for the support they showed him, and for “your love, your prayers.” The pope said that he, like St. Peter, was a “man with his faults.”

Read the Pope’s remarks:
Transcript of Pope Benedict’s Remarks to Young Americans on Life, Hope, Prayer

Americans Bombed In Pakistan Violence

March 15, 2008

Message from Muhammad in Pakistan, March 16, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,I hope you and your team will be alright.

At the moment there is complete choas in Pakistan as terrorists have been making last-ditch effort to assert their authority. Besides declaring government in Bajaur Agency tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan they have carried suicide blast in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan.

Reports gathered from various sources revealed blast at an Italian restaurant in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Saturday appears to have killed at least two people and wounded 15.

A foreign woman was one of the dead. A witness told newsmen the explosion occurred in a garden dining area at the rear of the Luna Caprese restaurant, which is frequented by expatriates, including diplomats, aid agency workers, and journalists.
Pakistani volunteers unload an injured victim of a bomb explosion ... 
Pakistani volunteers unload an injured victim of a bomb explosion from a police van at a local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan Saturday, March 15, 2008. A bomb apparently killed at least two people and wounded nine others Saturday at an Italian restaurant popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital, police said.(AP Photo)

A police official said a blast hit a restaurant frequented by foreigners in the federal capital.

“There was an explosion inside the Luna Caprese Italian restaurant in the centre of the capital in Supermarket area,” police official Mohammad Ishtiaq told AFP. 

An AFP photographer at the scene said several of the injured who were stretchered out of the restaurant were foreigners. Witnesses also confirmed casualties.

“There are lots of injured people who have lost their limbs and legs, foreigners were inside. It’s a very bad situation. We don’t know what has happened,” an employee at the restaurant said.

Pakistan volunteers remove a foreigner injured victim at the ...
Pakistan volunteers remove a foreigner injured victim at the site of bomb explosion in Islamabad, Pakistan Saturday, March 15, 2008. Photo from the Associated Press.

“It was a very powerful blast. There is a lot of blood here, the walls are splattered with it. I see lots of human flesh,” the employee said.

According to another report, two persons including a US female citizen have died and over 15 others have injured in Islamabad blast on Saturday evening.

A US female citizen identified as Ellen, who was nurse at the US embassy was killed in the blast.Three US citizens and including two doctors and a Chinese citizen included among the citizens. The majority of injured is reportedly foreigners, the sources added.

The blast occurred in the backside of an Italian restaurant “Luna Caprese” near Super market, the sources said. Over 15 injured including foreigners have been shifted to hospitals.

Nature of the blast, which happened at about 850PM is yet to be ascertained.

Dear Sir, situation is very very critical.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan
Injured foreign nationals wait for ambulances at the site of ... 
Injured foreign nationals wait for ambulances at the site of bomb explosion in Islamabad, Pakistan Saturday, March 15, 2008. A bomb killed two people and wounded nine others Saturday at an Italian restaurant popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital, police said.(AP Photo)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb exploded in the back garden of an Italian restaurant popular with foreigners in Pakistan’s capital Saturday night, killing two people and wounding nine, police said.

It appeared to be the first attack targeting foreigners in a recent wave of violence.

Police have not determined whether the bomb was planted in the Luna Caprese’s back garden, or whether a suicide bomber attacked the restaurant, said police officer Irshad Abro. Two people were killed and nine hurt, he said.

Related (From March 16, 2008):
Pakistan: Restaurant Bombing Saturday Injured Several Americans