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America Ranks 1st Among Western Nations for...Executing its Citizens

It's rare for America to rank number one among Western nations in many categories, but they managed to come out on top as the only Western country to execute its own citizens according to Amnesty International's Global Execution Scale.

"The United States was again the only country in the Americas and the only member of the G8 group of leading economies to execute prisoners – 43 in 2011. Europe and former Soviet Union countries were capital punishment-free, apart from Belarus where two people were executed," according to the report.

America finished fifth in the world behind China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. "If you look at the company we're in globally, it's not the company we want to be in," Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told The Associated Press.

Notably, America's total executions have gone down. According to the report, "In the USA, the number of executions and new death sentences dropped dramatically from a decade ago. Illinois became the 16th state to abolish the death penalty. A moratorium was announced in the state of Oregon. And victims of violent crimes spoke out against the death penalty."

Source : Activist Post : Read the whole story here.

Pastor Dennis Terry Introduces Rick Santorum, Tells Non-Christians And Liberals To Get Out

"I don't care what the liberals say, I don't care what the naysayers say, this nation was founded as a Christian nation...There is only one God and his name is Jesus. I'm tired of people telling me that I can't say those words.. Listen to me, If you don't love America, If you don't like the way we do things I have one thing to say - GET OUT. We don't worship Buddha, we don't worship Mohammad, we don't worship Allah, we worship God, we worship God's son Jesus Christ."

In a revival type speech, Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Rev. Dennis Terryintroduced Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Christians, according to Rev. Terry, are the conscience of the state and even the key to turning the economy around. The pastor offered some pointed words about abortion, gay marriage, and prayer in schools, shouting about 'sexual perversion' and putting God back in Washington, D.C., as Senator Santorum was seen clapping, if not cheering, in the background.

“I know what’s in his heart. It’s the fact that he’s a Christian,” said Vickie Raabe, a 69-year-old Baptist who told the Washington Post she would be voting for Santorum in 2012. Evangelicals have become Sen. Rick Santorum's major source of support in the 2012 election as they turn out in record numbers for the Catholic candidate.

But as then Presidential hopefuls Senator Barack Obama, Gov. Sarah Palin, and Senator John McCain found out, endorsement from pastors can be a double edge sword.

Source : Huffington Post : Read the whole story here :

Tennessee's Life Defence Act of 2012 Will Name Abortion Providing Doctors, Reveal Patients

A new bill currently under consideration in Tennessee is drawing the ire of activists who worry that the bill will unfairly target doctors and women.

The new bill known as the Life Defense Act of 2012 would reveal the names of doctors who perform abortions and could inadvertently identify women who undergo the procedure.

Under current state rules abortion providers currently must record information about each patient which is collected by the Tennessee Department of Health however that information is kept private.

The Life Defense Act of 2012 would require that the collected info be published online.

Supporters of the bill say the new act would increase the flow of information regarding abortions in the state, while opponents say it’s nothing more than a measure to pressure doctors into avoiding the practice for fear of their own lives. Opponents also worry that the Life Defense Act will intimidate women who are seeking an abortion.

In what might be the most tragically flawed aspect of the bill, a doctor who is not an abortion specialist but who must perform the procedure in the case of emergencies or miscarriages would still be named.

 

Source : The Inquisitr : Read the whole story here.

In vitro babies denied U.S. citizenship

JERUSALEM – Chicago native Ellie Lavi could not have been happier when she gave birth to beautiful twin girls overseas.

She found that the U.S. State Department did not share in her joy when she went to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to apply for citizenship for her children.

An embassy staffer wanted to know whether Lavi got pregnant at a fertility clinic. She said yes and was told that her children were not eligible for citizenship unless she could prove that the egg or sperm used to create the embryo was from an American citizen.

"I was humiliated and horrified," Lavi said. "We're talking about the children I gave birth to. Of course they're my children."

The incident points out what critics say is a glaring inequity in U.S. citizenship regulations. A child adopted overseas by a U.S. citizen is eligible to become an American, and a baby born in the USA is American even if the parents are not.

But a child born to a U.S. citizen overseas through the increasingly common practice of in vitro fertilization with embryos from donor eggs and sperm is not American, unless an American is one of the donors. And that can be hard to prove since clinics may not reveal such things about their donors due to confidentiality agreements, immigration law experts say.

Source : USA Today : Read the full story here:

Wilmington City Council Passes Resolution Urging 'Personhood' Rights For Sperm

The Wilmington City Council has a message for men -- sperm are people, too.

The council for Delaware's largest city passed aresolution by an 8-4 vote Thursday calling on the Delaware legislature, other state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to pass laws granting "personhood" rights to eggs and sperm. The resolution was authored by councilwoman Loretta Walsh as a protest in the current battle over women's health care access.

"[E]ach 'egg person' and each 'sperm person' should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian," says the resolution. "[L]aws should be enacted by all legislative bodies in the United States to promote equal representation, and should potentially include laws in defense of 'personhood,' forbidding every man from destroying his semen."

The vote came the same day that the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment that would have given employers the right to refuse any health care service to employees for moral reasons.

Walsh isn't the first lawmaker to introduce such a measure. Sen. Constance Johnson, a Democratic state senator from Oklahoma, introduced and later withdrew an amendment to a "personhood" bill that would have given zygotes the same rights as adults. "However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman's vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child," reads the amendment.

Source : Huffington Post : Read the full story here.

Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds: Coming Soon to a State Near You

As my colleague Maya Dusenbery noted a few days ago, Virginia's new law requiring every woman to undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion is still terrible, even if women can opt-out of the transvaginal probe portion.

Most abortions take place within 12 weeks after a woman becomes pregnant. And if the woman has been pregnant for eight weeks or less, conducting an ultrasound generally requires the doctor to insert a probe in a woman's vagina in order to actually see or hear anything. Virginia is not alone in its desire to subject women to invasive probes before they are allowed to get an abortion, a legally protected medical procedure. Twenty states already have laws dictating rules for ultrasounds, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Here are seven other states that have advanced similar measures in the last year:

Alabama: State Sen. Clay Scofield offered his own ultrasound measure a few weeks ago, which included a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a $15,000 fine if doctors don't carry out the procedure. But Schofieldbacked off component of the bill that would have required doctors to stick a probe in women's vaginas, instead offering that a woman could undergo the "method of ultrasound that she would be more comfortable with."

Idaho: State Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise) has introduced yet another bill requiring an ultrasound . . .

Source : Mother Jones : Read the rest of the story here:

Ayn Rand Worshippers Should Face Facts: Blue States Are the Providers, Red States Are the Parasites

Mar 02, 2012 - Tags:

Ayn Rand : Image from Wikipedia entry There's only one way to demonstrate who America's producers and parasites really are. It's time to go Galt.

3. Join the reality-based world. Accept that America’s prosperity utterly depends on how well-educated its kids are, especially on topics like science and history. Accept that evolution happened, and that climate change is happening now. Embrace nuance. Learn something about how to assess evidence and think rationally, without a pre-determined conclusion. Remember that God only helps those who've gained the real-world skills to help themselves.

4. Admit that we love our country every bit as much as you do — and that, given our much greater success at creating strong families, productive 21st-century industries and excellent places to live, we might actually know more that you do about how to make it work better in the future.

5. Last but by no means least: Knock off the hate-mongering, threats and name-calling. Your heroine, Ms. Rand, predicted rightly that parasites invariably despise the producers they feed on; you should be embarrassed that your own behavior bears her out so clearly. And, just once, say thank you to us for all the contributions we’ve made (or, at least, tried to make) toward your well-being. We don’t ask for much, but a little gratitude now and then wouldn’t hurt.

Source : Alter Net : Read the whole story here :

Charges against Assange drawn up in US, says email

Feb 28, 2012 - Tags:

UNITED States prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a confidential internal email obtained from a private US intelligence company, Stratfor.

In the email, sent to Stratfor intelligence analysts on January 26 last year, the company's vice-president for intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks. He wrote: "We have a sealed indictment on Assange."

Underlining the sensitivity of the information - apparently obtained from a US government source - he wrote "Pls protect" and "Not for Pub[lication]".

Mr Burton is a well-known expert on security and counter-terrorism with close ties to US intelligence and law enforcement agencies. He is a former chief of counterterrorism in the US State Department diplomatic security service.

Stratfor, which is based in Austin, Texas, provides intelligence and analysis to corporate and government subscribers.

On Monday, WikiLeaks began the release of more than 5 million leaked Stratfor emails which it said showed "how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients". The Age has access to the emails through an investigative partnership with WikiLeaks.

Source : Sydney Morning Herald : Read the whole story here.

Rick is on a Roll! The Stunning Sincerity of Rick "Nehemiah" Santorum

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is truly on a roll.  Feeling his oats, he has been laying down a hardcore line. And if this one week is any sample, we are in for one heckuva ride.

He started by impugning President Ombama's religious faith as "phony theology." This is red meat, so central to the party faithful that a surrogate let slip what it really means, into an open microphone -- the "radical muslim" fantasy that they share privately on the bus and plane.

But more on that in another post.

Is Santorum the new "teflon candidate" to whom nothing bad will stick? Let's start with the Phony Theology of environmentalism.

Now, completing 48 hours of grand assertions, Santorum proclaims that President Barack Obama is beholden to “radical environmentalists” and has a "world view that elevates the earth above man.”

Source : Contrary Brin : Read the whole story here:

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