The worldwide struggle for freedom and democracy faces enormous challenges today. Despite the promise of the United States government to support that struggle wherever it can, the Obama administration is not standing tall on the world stage. The American Legacy, as a shining beacon for oppressed peoples everywhere in their time of darkness, is being abandoned.
The United States has a wonderful track record of fulfilling that commitment. Past leaders of our nation have taken seriously America's special role in a troubled world. But the fact that the US has historically advanced freedom and democratic values makes me all the more upset when our current leaders fail to demonstrate an understanding of our exceptional role.
September 1, 2014 marks the anniversary of one of the worst examples of that failure in recent memory. It was then the consequence of an apparent decision of our government to turn its back on a group of people it had promised to help. Fifty-two people lost their lives in a massacre perpetrated by Iraqi forces under the command of Iraqi Prime Minister- Nouri-al Maliki and under the direction of the exceptionally anti-democratic regime in Iran. All of them died in possession of documents signifying the broken promise of protection that had been offered to them by the United States. more >>
A group of online, crowdfunded bloggers claim that they have pinpointed the location of a terrorist training ground used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). By simply examining peripheral landmarks in pictures posted by the terrorists to social media accounts, the bloggers claim to have verified the locations of the pictures using free online satellite imagery programs.
A team of journalists, researchers and bloggers contributing to the crowd-sponsored investigative blog Bellingcat.com, which researches conflict zones and other "issues being ignored" by the U.S. government, claim that they found that the general area of the training ground is near the west bank of the Tigres River in the north side of the city of Mosul.
The website received over $85,000 in funding donations through its participation with the Kickstarter.com funding website. The site was started by Elliot Higgins, who first came to fame for proving that Syria was using chemical weapons by using online videos and images. Higgins said he started the project to show that everyday people are capable of uncovering secrets of the state. more >>
A Ukrainian military official said that Russia is carrying out a "full-scale invasion" in Ukraine and is sending tanks to aid the pro-Russian rebels who have attacked and captured several Ukrainian cities. President Petro Poroshenko has in response cancelled a planned trip to Turkey, citing "Russian troop deployments" in the east of the country for changing his schedule.
"I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region... as Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine," Poroshenko said in a statement.
The fact that some people change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual (some as a result of professional therapy) is a problem for the homosexual movement. It seriously undermines the myth that homosexuality is a characteristic like race, which people are born with and can never change.
Homosexual activists have attacked the ex-gay movement, using legislation to outlaw "sexual orientation change efforts" (or "SOCE") with minors by licensed mental health providers. Such bills have passed in California and New Jersey, but have died or remain pending in several other jurisdictions—including the District of Columbia.
Most "sexual reorientation therapy" today consists of "talk therapy"—a client simply talking with a counselor about his or her feelings, experiences, relationships with parents and peers, etc. Some therapists add other positive techniques that have been validated in a variety of contexts—not just SOCE. more >>
Earlier this year, an event happened that did not receive wide notice. The last of the Von Trapp Family Singers, the last of the children---the real ones---died.
Her name was Maria---not to be confused with the lady played by Julie Andrews, Maria Augusta Trapp, who died in 1987. Maria Von Trapp's death in February 2014 marks the end of an era.
The Sound of Music deserves its accolades as the Movie of the Year (1965) and one of the finest films ever made. Even my one-year-old granddaughter is mesmerized by the puppet scene. more >>
A New York town whose unofficial prayer policy was successfully defended before the U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a formal invocation policy for its monthly board meetings.
Town of Greece voted last week to adopt the formal policy, having had an informal policy wherein people could pray sectarian invocations before the beginning of the board's public meeting.
Brian Marianetti, attorney for Town of Greece, told The Christian Post that the invocation policy was approved by the board on Aug. 19 in response to the increased attention Greece got due to the controversy over its prayers. more >>