Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

AFA's 2011 listing of top retailers and how they recognize Christmas

List updated on 11-30-11

Companies FOR "Christmas"

AFA Online Store
ACE Hardware
Amazon.com
Bass Pro Shops
Bed Bath & Beyond
Belk
Best Buy
Big Lots
Books-A-Million
Cabella's
Collective Brands
Costco
CVS Pharmacy
Dick's Sporting Goods
Dilliards
Dollar General
Dollar Tree
H.E.B. Stores
HSN.com
Hallmark
Hancock Fabrics
Harris Teeter Stores
Hobby Lobby
Home Shopping Network
JC Penney
JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts Stores
Kmart
Kohl's
Kroger
Lowe's
Macy's
Marshals
Meijer
Menard's
Michael's Stores
Neiman Marcus
Nordstrom
Office Max
Petsmart
Pier One Imports
ProFlowers.com
Publix
QVC.com
Rite Aid
Sears
Scheels Sporting Goods
Super D Drug Stores
Target
TJ Maxx
Toys R Us
True Value
Walgreens
Wal-Mart/Sam's Club
Zappos.com



Companies marginal on "Christmas"

1-800-Flowers.com
Bath & Body Works
Cooking.com
Dollar Tree
Hy-Vee Stores
Limited Brands
Safeway
Starbucks
UncommonGoods.com
Whole Foods


Companies AGAINST "Christmas"

Banana Republic
Barnes & Noble
Family Dollar
Foot Locker
Gap Stores
L.L. Bean
Limited Brands
Office Depot
Old Navy
Radio Shack
Staples
Supervalu
Victoria's Secret

Based on current advertising, below is a list of companies that avoid, ban, or use the term "Christmas" in their advertising. We will continually update the list, so check back often.

Criteria - American Family Association (AFA) reviewed up to four areas to determine if a company was "Christmas-friendly" in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website and/or personal visits to the store. If a company's ad has references to items associated with Christmas (trees, wreaths, lights, etc.), it was considered as an attempt to reach "Christmas" shoppers.

If a company has items associated with Christmas, but did not use the word "Christmas," then the company is considered as censoring "Christmas."

Monday, November 28, 2011

EDITORIAL: Time to stock up on light bulbs

Government ban on mercury-free fixtures takes effect Jan. 1
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Within four weeks, it will be a crime to manufacture a 100-watt version of Thomas A. Edison’s brilliant invention. Thanks to a Democratic Congress and the signature of President George W. Bush in 2007, anti-industrial zealots at the Energy Department received authority to blot out one of the greatest achievements of the industrial age. They’re coming for our light bulbs.

Know-it-all bureaucrats insist that foisting millions of mercury-laden fluorescent tubes on the public is going to be good for the planet. The public obviously does not agree. Voting with their wallets, people have overwhelming favored warm, nontoxic lighting options over their pale curlicue imitators. Beginning Jan. 1, Obama administration extremists will impose massive financial penalties on any company daring to produce a lighting product that fully satisfies ordinary Americans.

The Republican House hasn’t done enough to stop this. Rep. Michael C. Burgess, Texas Republican, added language to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill to prohibit the ban’s implementation. A Senate committee deleted this sensible amendment in September, and it’s been quite a while since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has allowed an up-or-down vote on a funding bill.

“This was bad policy in 2007 and worse policy in 2011, especially considering Congress‘ awareness of the American people’s opposition,” Mr. Burgess told The Washington Times. “Harry Reid has literally removed Americans’ choice over what to put in their own homes. This issue is too important to our core values as Americans not to pursue.”

Unfortunately, the Republican leadership hasn’t made this a priority. Many in the GOP remain cowed by the fraudulent claim that these are just harmless “energy standards” and opposing them would be a crime against the environment. The reality is that this ban is yet another example of the sort of job-destroying regulations that enrich the administration’s friends at the expense of consumers. Specifically, the rules turn a 50-cent light bulb into a purchase of $3 or more.

Rampaging bureaucrats aren’t just satisfied with foisting inferior light bulbs on the public. The Energy Department uses the force of the federal government to redesign an entire suite of consumer products to meet their personal preferences. In nearly every case, their meddling makes things worse. Current regulations micromanage the function of ceiling fans, clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, faucets, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, lamps, pool heaters, power supplies, refrigerators, room air conditioners, shower heads, stoves, toilets and water heaters. Enough is enough.

All of this is entirely unnecessary. The public is more than capable of encouraging the development of efficient products. House Republicans need to force a repeal of the light-bulb ban into the final budget deal so people will know each time they throw a light switch that their representatives see their concerns.

© Copyright 2011 The Washington Times, LLC.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Occupy - A mother's perspective

by Marybeth Hicks.


Call it an occupational hazard, but I can't look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, "Who parented these people?"

It's not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I'm the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters' moms clearly have not passed along.

Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters' mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn't, so I will:


* Life isn't fair. The concept of justice - that everyone should be treated fairly - is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want."


No matter how you try to "level the playing field," some people have better luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they're dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons. Is it fair? Stupid question.


* Nothing is "free." Protesting with signs that seek "free" college degrees and "free" health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals don't operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers and "slow paths" to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual physical.


While I'm pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.


* Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don't require loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college student is not a state of victimization. It's a privilege that billions of young people around the globe would die for.


* A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York, while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn't evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and political change don't dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high and you don't seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you irrelevant.


* There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's you.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Surprise, surprise. Global warming is all political.

Climategate 2.0: New E-Mails Rock The Global Warming Debate

A new batch of 5,000 emails among scientists central to the assertion that humans are causing a global warming crisis were anonymously released to the public yesterday, igniting a new firestorm of controversy nearly two years to the day after similar emails ignited the Climategate scandal.

Three themes are emerging from the newly released emails: (1) prominent scientists central to the global warming debate are taking measures to conceal rather than disseminate underlying data and discussions; (2) these scientists view global warming as a political “cause” rather than a balanced scientific inquiry and (3) many of these scientists frankly admit to each other that much of the science is weak and dependent on deliberate manipulation of facts and data.

Regarding scientific transparency, a defining characteristic of science is the open sharing of scientific data, theories and procedures so that independent parties, and especially skeptics of a particular theory or hypothesis, can replicate and validate asserted experiments or observations. Emails between Climategate scientists, however, show a concerted effort to hide rather than disseminate underlying evidence and procedures.

“I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI [Freedom of Information] Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process,”writes Phil Jones, a scientist working with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in a newly released email.

“Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get – and has to be well hidden,” Jones writes in another newly released email. “I’ve discussed this with the main funder (U.S. Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.”

The original Climategate emails contained similar evidence of destroying information and data that the public would naturally assume would be available according to freedom of information principles. “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith [Briffa] re AR4 [UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th Assessment]?” Jones wrote to Penn State University scientist Michael Mann in an email released in Climategate 1.0. “Keith will do likewise. … We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise. I see that CA [the Climate Audit Web site] claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!”

The new emails also reveal the scientists’ attempts to politicize the debate and advance predetermined outcomes.

“The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out” of IPCC reports, writes Jonathan Overpeck, coordinating lead author for the IPCC’s most recent climate assessment.

“I gave up on [Georgia Institute of Technology climate professor] Judith Curry a while ago. I don’t know what she thinks she’s doing, but its not helping the cause,” wrote Mann in another newly released email.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

George Washington’s Politically Incorrect Thanksgiving Proclamation

Can you imagine a president today giving a Thanksgiving Proclamation that mentions “Almighty God” twice, describes him as “the great Lord and Ruler of Nations,” and calls for prayer and confession of “national sins”? This thanksgiving declaration was written and published in the Massachusetts Centinel to thank God for giving our young nation the ability to develop Constitutions in peace, “particularly the national one now lately instituted.”

For those who contend that our Founders wanted to keep God out of government, they need to take it up with our first president who was a participant in the drafting of our Constitution.

"General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; — for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; — for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; — and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; — to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

60 MINUTES CATCHES NANCY PELOSI WITH HER DRESS DOWN

By Frosty Wooldridge
November 17, 2011
NewsWithViews.com

This past Sunday night, Steve Croft of “60 Minutes” exposed how U.S. Congressional critters cheat, lie and benefit from insider trading on defense contracts. He cornered former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with her investments gained from her inside knowledge of multi-billion dollar contracts.

Pelosi boasts multi-millionaire status along with over 200 other members of Congress. She responded that everything she had done as to investments was legal. In reality, she cheated before a law could be passed to stop the cheating.

For example, Tour de France bicyclists injected drugs for years to win the coveted title while the ones that played by the rules never had a chance at the victory podium. Once the cheating was deemed illegal, the cheaters had to play by the rules and not inject performance enhancing drugs.

In the same line, Croft interviewed a former U.S. senator who had introduced a “Stock bill” law to stop Pelosi and dozens if not hundreds of other congressional representatives from benefiting from insider trading knowledge as to defense contracts. That senator garnered a scant six other reps to sign on to the bill. It has languished in committee ever since. In a word: sickening.

In other words, the people elected to enforce our laws become the people that break our laws or don’t make laws to stop the cheating—in order to benefit themselves.

It reminds me of President Richard Nixon saying, “I’m not a crook.” But in reality, while Watergate proceeded, Nixon cut a deal with the American Milk Producers Association to pay him $2 million dollars in order to sign a deal to jack milk prices up by $100 million. (Source: Fresh Air, National Public Radio, November 16, 2011) Nancy Pelosi and countless other members of Congress play the same game today.

You wonder why we suffer 15 million unemployed while that same Congress insources, outsources and offshores American jobs. You wonder why 45.2 million Americans subsist on food stamps. You may become distressed that 8 to 10 million illegal aliens work jobs in America with impunity. You may wonder how come our middle class continues vanishing right before our eyes. Answer: our U.S. Congress.

Thomas Jefferson hated Great Britain because of the landed gentry, the power elites—either by birth or class status, not talent—maintained a stranglehold on the financial wealth of the empire. The royalty enjoyed wealth by birthright, not by ability, education or personal effort. Even today, Prince Charles has not worked a day in his life. His mother Queen Elizabeth has not completed a single day of work to further her country’s well being. Prince William today walks around with his bride Kate on a free taxpayer ride through life. He is the lucky recipient of the sperm lottery and nothing more.

The common man did not in Jefferson’s time and does not in our time stand a chance against the power elite. Today, the power elite in Washington DC empower themselves to enrich themselves at the expense of our republic.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

50 Biblical reasons to believe the time is near...

1) Increasing instability of nature.
(Matthew 24:7 & Luke 21:11)

2) Increasing lawlessness and violence.
(Matthew 24:12)

3) Increasing immorality.
(Matthew 24:37)

4) Increasing materialism.
(2 Timothy 3:2)

5) Increasing Hedonism.
(2 Timothy 3:4)

6) Increasing influence of Humanism.
(2 Timothy 3:2)

7) Depraved entertainment.
(2 Timothy 3:4)

8) Calling evil good and good evil.
(2 Timothy 3:3 & Isaiah 5:20)

9) Increasing use of drugs.
(2 Timothy 3:3)

10) Increasing blasphemy.
(2 Timothy 3:2)

11) Increasing paganism.
(2 Timothy 3:1-4)

12) Increasing despair.
(2 Timothy 3:1)

13) Signs in the heavens.
(Luke 21:11,25)

14) Increasing knowledge.
(Daniel 12:4)

15) Increasing travel.
(Daniel 12:4)

16) The explosion of cults.
(Matthew 24:11)

17) The proliferation of false christs.
(Matthew 24:5)

18) Increasing apostasy in the Church.
(2 Timothy 4:3-5)

19) Increasing attacks on Jesus.
(Romans 1:18-19)

20) Increasing attacks on the Bible.
(Romans 1:18-19)

21) Increasing persecution of Christians.
(Matthew 24:9)

22) Increasing occultism.
(1 Timothy 4:1)

23) Wars and rumors of wars.
(Matthew 24:6)

24) Weapons of mass destruction.
(Luke 21:26)

25) Increasing famine.
(Luke 21:11)

26) Increasing pestilence.
(Luke 21:11)

27) Computer technology.
(Revelation 13:7)

28) Television.
(Revelation 11:8-9)

29) Satellite technology.
(Revelation 11:8-9)

30) Virtual reality.
(Revelation 13:14-15)

31) Unification of Europe.
(Daniel 2 & 7)

32) Far Eastern military powers.
(Revelation 9:16 & 16:12)

33) Movement toward world government.
(Daniel 7:23-26)

34) Regathering of the Jews.
(Isaiah 11:10-12)

35) Re-establishment of Israel.
(Isaiah 66:7-8)

36) Reclamation of the land of Israel.
(Ezekiel 36:34-35)

37) Revival of Biblical Hebrew.
(Zephaniah 3:9; Jeremiah 31:23)

38) Re-occupation of Jerusalem.
(Luke 21:24)

39) Resurgence of the Israeli military.
(Zechariah 12:6)

40) Re-focusing of world politics on Israel.
(Zechariah 12:3)

41) Russian threat to Israel.
(Ezekiel 38 and 39)

42) Arab threat to Israel.
(Ezekiel 35 and 36)

43) Denial of the Second Coming.
(2 Peter 3:3-4)

44) Denial of creation by God.
(Romans 1:18-22)

45) Outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
(Joel 2:28-29)

46) Translation of the Bible into many languages.
(Matthew 24:14)

47) Preaching of the Gospel worldwide.
(Matthew 24:14)

48) The revival of Messianic Judaism.
(Romans 9:27)

49) The revival of Davidic praise worship.
(Amos 9:11)

50) The understanding of Bible prophecy.
(Daniel 12:8-9)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We need term limits now!

At The (Term) Limit

November 10, 2011 by Ben Crystal


I never supported mandatory term limits. I am well aware that the vast majority of those who hold elected office could better serve their constituents by taking a long stroll off of an appropriately short pier (unless they’re Kennedys). I am also aware that many of us live with precisely the government we earned at the ballot box. To put a fine point on it: We already have term limits. Every election represents the potential end of the term of the corrupt, the incompetent and/or the just plain undeserving.

Unfortunately, far too few of my fellow Americans share my attitude; especially when it comes to accomplishing more at the ballot box than picking up one of those fun little “I voted” stickers. Far too many of our Senators, Congressmen, commissioners, mayors, aldermen and such hold their positions for far too long. The re-election rate in the U.S. House of Representatives in the sea change year of 2010 still hit 85 percent, tying 1970 for the lowest mark in half a century. Your Congressmen managed to best their beleaguered Senate colleagues by a whole percentage point, with Senators returning to their taxpayer-funded digs to the maudlin tune of 84 percent.

Last Tuesday, the county I live in offered a ballot initiative to eliminate the current two-term limit on the position of Chairman of the County Commission. Although the current chairman is a nice enough old fellow, the initiative suddenly appeared in the final weeks before municipal election day, engendering fair questions about the timing and intent of the ballot measure. Despite my long-held view that political longevity should be bestowed by the voters alone, I voted “no.” I have concluded, after a couple of decades of soul-searching, that we in the electorate simply can’t be trusted with the task of keeping our elected officials honest.

Look again at the re-election rate for incumbents at the Federal level. Those rates change at the State and local levels only in those places that have instituted term limits as a matter of law. Elsewhere, taxpayers lay prostrate under the thumbs of the same wire-pullers and career loafers who gave birth to the exact disenchantment we’re discussing here today — and almost exclusively by their own hands.

Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has served in the U.S. Senate since 1963. Inouye became the longest-serving current U.S. Senator 17 months ago, when Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) died. Representatives John Dingell and John Conyers, both Democrats from Michigan, have dishonored their constituents for more than a century combined. Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) left office in 2003 at the age of 100. He was the oldest-serving Senator and, until Byrd beat his record, he was the longest-serving Senator in U.S. history.

For those who muse that mandating term limits might discourage the best and brightest from running for office, the five aforementioned gentlemen serve as warning enough. The best and brightest among us want nothing to do with the electoral process, primarily because they might have to contend with petrified remnants like the five men mentioned, among others.

Some people worry term limits will drive out the few politicians who actually serve their constituents. Granted, mandated term limits would send Ron Paul for the exit, but Congressman Paul respects the voters enough to have abandoned a re-election bid in order to focus on his Presidential aspirations. As my grandfather might have said: “Ya gotta admire that kind of moxie.” And people like Paul find ways to contribute to their fellow man, Congress or not. The problem is that for every Paul, there’s an Alcee Hastings, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Henry Waxman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Zoe Lofgren, etc.

Of course we can do better at the polls. We can elect thoughtful people who will pursue a course of action purely out of a sense of dedication to their Nation and its people. But we don’t do that. Time after time, offered the opportunity to improve our lot through intelligent balloting, we re-elect Charles Rangel.

Our Republic is slipping away from us. Term limits would hardly solve the problem. But they would be a start.

–Ben Crystal

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Obama Team Says Prayer 'Dilutes' WWII Memorial Message

By Bobby Eberle November 8, 2011 7:13 am

There's common sense. There's the faith in God that helped build this country and hold it together through trying times such as World War II. Then, there's the Obama administration, which appears to lack both of the above. During a congressional hearing on whether to include President Roosevelt's famous prayer as part of the WWII Memorial, an Obama administration official objected, saying the prayer would "dilute" the memorial's central message. What is happening to this country?

As reported by Fox News, "Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are expressing outrage after the Obama administration announced its objection to adding President Franklin Roosevelt's D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C."

"It is unconscionable that the Obama administration would stand in the way of honoring our nation's distinguished World War II veterans," Rep. Bill Johnson said. "President Roosevelt's prayer gave solace, comfort and strength to our nation and our brave warriors as we fought against tyranny and oppression."

But Robert Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, said any plaque or inscription of the prayer would "dilute" the memorial's central message and therefore "should not be altered."

"It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in HR 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial's central message and its ability to clearly convey that message to move, educate, and inspire its many visitors," Abbey said in written testimony.

CNSNews.com reports that in trying to cover himself, Abbey said his opposition is not to the prayer itself but that the prayer would "intrude" on the memorial, "something that is technically prohibited by federal law."

"The Commemorative Works Act specifically states that a new commemorative work shall be located so that it does not encroach upon an existing one. It is not a judgment as to the merit of this new commemoration, simply that altering the Memorial in this way, as proposed in H.R. 2070, will necessarily dilute this elegant memorial's central message," Abbey said.

In other words, the Obama administration argues that Congress is trying to create a separate memorial commemorating FDR's prayer, rather than an addition to the national World War II Memorial.

It's sad how times change. On the one hand, we have Barack Obama omitting "endowed by our Creator" on several occasions when he has referenced the Declaration of Independence. On the other, we have Franklin Roosevelt who took to the airwaves to ask the nation to pray with him. Here is Roosevelt's D-Day prayer spoken on June 6, 1944 that Johnson seeks to have included in the memorial:

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

Dilute the message? This IS the message. We won WWII because we were fighting the forces of evil, and we turned to God for help. We can't turn away now.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

12 Facts About Money And Congress That Are So Outrageous That It Is Hard To Believe That They Are Actually True

November 8, 2011
By Michael Snyder
BlacklistedNews.com

Do you want to get rich? Just get elected to Congress. The U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives are absolutely packed with wealthy people that are very rapidly becoming even wealthier. The collective net worth of the members of Congress is now measured in the billions of dollars. The people that we have elected to the House and Senate are absolutely swimming in money. Unfortunately, it is not easy to get elected to Congress. In this day and age you generally have to be heavily connected to those that are very wealthy to get into Congress because it takes gigantic amounts of cash to win campaigns. But if you can get in to the club, you pretty much have it made. The numbers that you are about to read are very difficult to believe and they should deeply sadden you. They show that Congress has become all about money. Congressional races are mostly financed by wealthy people, most of the people that we elect to Congress are very wealthy, and they rapidly get wealthier after they are elected. All of this money has turned our republic into something far different than our founding fathers intended.

The following are 12 statistics about money and Congress that are so outrageous that it is hard to believe that they are actually true....

#1 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.

#2 The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress is now slightly over 2 billion dollars. That is "billion" with a "b".

#3 This happened during a time when the net worth of most American households was declining rapidly. According to the Federal Reserve, the collective net worth of all American households decreased by 23 percent between 2007 and 2009.

#4 The average net worth for a member of Congress is now approximately 3.8 million dollars.

#5 The net worth of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi increased by 62 percent from 2009 to 2010. In 2009 it was reported that she had a net worth of 21.7 million dollars, and in 2010 it was reported that she had a net worth of 35.2 million dollars.

#6 The top Republican in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, saw his wealth grow by 29 percent from 2009 to 2010. He is now worth approximately 9.8 million dollars.

#7 More than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.

#8 In 2008, the average cost of winning a seat in the House of Representatives was $1.1 million and the average cost of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate was $6.5 million. Spending on political campaigns has gotten way out of control.

#9 Insider trading is perfectly legal for members of the U.S. Congress - and they refuse to pass a law that would change that.

#10 The percentage of millionaires in Congress is more than 50 times higher than the percentage of millionaires in the general population.

#11 U.S. Representative Darrell Issa is worth approximately 220 million dollars. His wealth grew by approximately 37 percent from 2009 to 2010.

#12 The wealthiest member of Congress, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, is worth approximately 294 million dollars.

So how are members of Congress becoming so wealthy?

Well, there are lots of ways they are raking in the cash, but one especially alarming thing that goes on is that members of Congress often make investments in companies that will go up significantly if legislation that is being considered by Congress "goes the right way".

This is called a "conflict of interest", but it happens constantly in Congress and nobody seems to get into any trouble for it.

The following is video of Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes ambushing Nancy Pelosi about one particular conflict of interest involving credit card legislation. As you can see, she does not want to talk about it....

As noted above, insider trading is perfectly legal for members of Congress.

A law that would ban insider trading by members of Congress has been stalled for years on Capitol Hill.

So has this been a significant benefit to members of Congress?

Well, there has been at least one study that appears to indicate that members of Congress have been much more successful in the stock market than members of the general public have....

A 2004 study of the results of stock trading by United States Senators during the 1990s found that that senators on average beat the market by 12% a year. In sharp contrast, U.S. households on average underperformed the market by 1.4% a year and even corporate insiders on average beat the market by only about 6% a year during that period. A reasonable inference is that some Senators had access to - and were using - material nonpublic information about the companies in whose stock they trade.

Of course all of this could just be a coincidence, right?

Meanwhile, members of Congress keep telling the rest of us that we are just going to have to cut back because times are tough.

For example, during an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Nancy Pelosi actually claimed that we should try to encourage poor people to have less children because it costs the government so much money to take care of them....

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.

This elitist attitude extends all the way into the White House as well. Earlier this year, Barack Obama made the following statement....

"If you’re a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner, or you might put off a vacation."

Meanwhile, the Obamas are living the high life at taxpayer expense. In a previous article I mentioned one outrageously expensive vacation taken by the Obamas that was paid for by our taxes....

"Back in August, Michelle Obama took her daughter Sasha and 40 of her friends for a vacation in Spain.

So what was the bill to the taxpayers for that little jaunt across the pond?

It is estimated that vacation alone cost U.S. taxpayers $375,000."

There is a massive disconnect between what our politicians say and what our politicians do.

The high life is good enough for them, but the rest of us have got to "cut back" and suffer becomes times are hard.

But when it comes to money and Congress, the most corrupting influence of all is probably all of the campaign money that gets thrown around.

In America today, it takes gigantic mountains of money to run a successful campaign.

Sadly, the candidate that raises the most money almost always wins. In federal elections the candidate that raises the most money wins about 90 percent of the time.

More than 5 billion dollars were spent on political campaigns back in 2008.

That represents a huge number of favors that need to be paid back.

In 2012, it is being projected that 8 billion dollars could be spent on political campaigns.

When big corporations and wealthy individuals shovel huge piles of money into political campaigns, it is generally because they expect something in return.

Most of those that get sent to Congress realize that they never would have won if wealthy donors had not showered cash on them. Most of them understand that they should not bite the hands that feed them if they want the cash to keep rolling in.

Politics in America has become a game that is played by the elite for the benefit of the elite.

Average Americans have the perception that they are involved in the process and that their opinions really matter, but mostly it is just an illusion.

It is so sad.

Meanwhile, members of Congress rapidly get wealthier and average American families continue to suffer. In fact, the standard of living in the United States has fallen farther over the past three years than at any other time that has ever been recorded in U.S. history.

But for members of Congress the good times just keep on rolling.

Just as it has been for most of human history, the rich rule over the poor.

Does anyone out there believe that we have any hope of changing this?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

16 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Would Be A Really, Really Bad President

Tuesday, November 01, 2011 9:06

by Michael Snyder for Information Liberation



At this point, it appears very likely that Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. He has raised far more money than any of the other candidates, he is leading or is near the lead in all of the early states, the mainstream media have anointed him as the frontrunner and a number of recent polls show that most Republicans fully expect Romney to win the nomination. So will Mitt Romney be the next president of the United States? Well, he certainly fits the part. He looks like a president and he speaks very well. But when you look at what he really stands for that is where things become very troubling. The truth is that Mitt Romney is either very wrong or very "soft" on every single major issue. It would be a huge understatement to refer to Mitt Romney as a RINO ("Republican in name only"). When you closely examine their positions, there is very, very little difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Sure, Romney and Obama will say the "right things" to the voters during election season, but the reality is that a Romney administration would be so similar to an Obama administration that you would hardly know that a change has taken place. What you are about to read about Mitt Romney should alarm you very much. Mitt Romney would be a an absolute disaster for this country, and America cannot afford another disastrous presidency.

The fact that Barack Obama looked sharp and could give inspiring speeches helped him go a long way back in 2008. Well, it is the same thing with Romney. The guy looks very presidential and he sounds very presidential. When backed into a corner, he is extremely slick. He rarely makes mistakes and he is very polished.

Mitt Romney is a "politician" in the worst sense of the word. As his past has demonstrated, he will do and say just about anything in order to get elected. The positions he has taken during this campaign season have been carefully calculated to help him win both the Republican nomination and the general election.

That is why so many call Mitt Romney a "flip-flopper". Romney will take just about any political position if he thinks that it will help him. Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, once made the following statement about her husband....

"He can argue any side of a question. And sometimes you think he's really believing his argument, but he's not."

So keep that in mind while reading the following information. Mitt Romney is trying to claim that he is a "conservative" and that he is looking out for the American people, but those claims simply are not true.
The following are 16 reasons why Mitt Romney would be a really, really bad president....

#1 Obamacare was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever passed by the U.S. Congress. Mitt Romney says that he would repeal Obamacare, but the reality is that Romneycare was what Obamacare was based on. In fact, a recent MSNBC article brought to light some new information about the relationship between Romneycare and Obamacare....

Newly obtained White House records provide fresh details on how senior Obama administration officials used Mitt Romney's landmark health-care law in Massachusetts as a model for the new federal law, including recruiting some of Romney's own health care advisers and experts to help craft the act now derided by Republicans as "Obamacare."

The records, gleaned from White House visitor logs reviewed by NBC News, show that senior White House officials had a dozen meetings in 2009 with three health-care advisers and experts who helped shape the health care reform law signed by Romney in 2006, when the Republican presidential candidate was governor of Massachusetts.

Mitt Romney continues to defend Romneycare, but the reality is that it really is a total nightmare for Massachusetts. The following is how one blogger summarized some of the key points of Romneycare....

• Punitive To Individuals. Everyone must buy health insurance or face tax penalties equal to 50% of cost of standard policy.

• Hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on free hospital care were converted into subsidies to help the needy buy insurance.

• A health insurance "exchange" was established to help connect the uninsured with private health plans at more affordable rates.

• Health plans can offer consumers higher deductibles and more restrictive physician and hospital networks in order to lower costs.

• Punitive to Businesses with 11 or more workers that do not offer insurance must pay a $295 per employee fee.

• Established payment policy advisory board; one Board member must be from Planned Parenthood. No pro-life organization represented.

• Provides Taxpayer-Funded Abortions for copay of $50.

So what have been the results of Romneycare in Massachusetts? According to the Daily Caller, health care costs and health insurance premiums have gone up dramatically in Massachusetts....

Since the bill became law, the state's total direct health-care spending has increased by a remarkable 52 percent. Medicaid spending has gone from less than $6 billion a year to more the $9 billion. Many consumers have seen double-digit percentage increases in their premiums.

All of that certainly sounds a whole lot like Obamacare.

Unfortunately, the other Republican candidates have not taken advantage of this weakness. According to one brand new poll, 6 times as many Republicans view Romneycare unfavorably as view it favorably. This is something that the other candidates should be jumping on big time.

#2 During his time as governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney significantly raised taxes. The following is an excerpt from a CBS News article....

Mitt Romney's Harvard MBA and gold-plated resume convinced many business leaders he would follow in the tradition of corporate-friendly Republicans when he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

Within three years, some had a vastly different opinion, after Romney's efforts raised the tax bill on businesses by $300 million

The same article also notes that Romney jacked up "fees and fines" on Massachusetts taxpayers substantially....

Romney and lawmakers also approved hundreds of millions in higher fees and fines during his four years in office.

Many in the Massachusetts business community were quite disgusted with Romney by the end of his tenure. Peter Nicholas, the chairman of Boston Science Corporation, says that "tax rates on many corporations almost doubled because of legislation supported by Romney."

#3 Government spending in Massachusetts increased significantly under Mitt Romney. An advocate of smaller government he most definitely is not.

This was especially true for the last two budgets passed under Romney. In fiscal year 2006, government spending in Massachusetts increased by 7.6 percent. In fiscal year 2007, government spending in Massachusetts increased by a whopping 10.2 percent.

#4 It turns out that Mitt Romney is a believer in the theory of man-made global warming. In fact, Al Gore recently praised on Mitt Romney on his blog. In a post entitled "Good for Mitt Romney -- though we've long passed the point where weak lip-service is enough on the Climate Crisis", Al Gore lavished the following praise on the former Massachusetts governor....

"While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party"

Not only that, it is also very important to remember that while Mitt Romney was governor, Massachusetts became the very first state to pass a law to regulate carbon emissions.

#5 If Mitt Romney becomes president, we may actually have "cap and trade" shoved down our throats. While campaigning for president in 2007, Mitt Romney said that he would support a "cap and trade" carbon tax scheme for the entire world....

"I support Cap-and-Trade on a global basis but not the USA going alone. I want to do it with other nations involved and on a global scale."

#6 Mitt Romney had a horrible record of creating jobs while governor of Massachusetts. According to Boston Herald business reporter Bret Arends, only one state in the entire country was worse at creating jobs while Romney was in office....

"During the four years Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, it had the second worst jobs record of any state in America...it wasn't a regional issue. The rest of New England created nearly 200,000 jobs."

#7 Mitt Romney was a very enthusiastic supporter of the Wall Street bailouts. When the time comes for more Wall Street bailouts it seems almost certain that Mitt Romney will bail them out again.

#8 If Romney becomes president, get ready for a flood of liberal judges. While he was governor of Massachusetts, there were actually significantly more Democrats among his judicial appointments than there were Republicans.

#9 Mitt Romney is incredibly soft on illegal immigration. Back in 2007, Mitt Romney made the following statement....

"But my view is that those 12 million who've come here illegally should be given the opportunity to sign up to stay here"

#10 While he was governor, Mitt Romney received advice on global warming and carbon emissions from the man who is now the top science adviser to Barack Obama. His name is John P. Holdren, and he has some very, very disturbing ideas. For example, he once wrote the following....

"A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men.

The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births."

Holdren also believes that compulsory abortion would be perfectly legal under the U.S. Constitution....

"Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society."

So if this is the kind of person that Mitt Romney relied on for "scientific advice" while he was governor, what kind of people would Romney bring in to his administration once he is president?

#11 Mitt Romney has been a huge supporter of gun control laws. When he was running for governor in Massachusetts, he made the following statement....

"We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts- I support them...I believe they help protect us, and provide for our safety."

#12 Mitt Romney once claimed that he was more "pro-choice" than Ted Kennedy, but now he claims that he is pro-life. In a recent article for WorldNetDaily, Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt explained why so many voters are still skeptical....

This year he's the only major Republican presidential candidate who has yet to sign the Susan B. Anthony List pledge to defend life and defund Planned Parenthood nationwide. Candidates Bachmann, Perry, Gingrich, Paul, Pawlenty and Santorum all signed the pledge, although it should be noted Herman Cain supports everything in the pledge except the Fetal Pain Act. (Cain is not fully pro-life, either.) And who can forget Mitt's famous 2002 campaign debate bragging repeatedly that he's more pro-choice than Ted Kennedy?

#13 During this campaign season, Mitt Romney has stated that he only supports partnership agreements for gay couples and not gay marriage, but what Romney actually did while governor of Massachusetts suggests otherwise. In the WorldNetDaily article referenced above, Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt detailed how Mitt Romney aggressively implemented gay marriage in the state of Massachusetts....

When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided in 2003 to recognize homosexual "marriage," ignoring the voters and the Constitution, the court admitted it did not have power to issue licenses or force participation by justices of the peace to solemnize the weddings. But as governor, Romney didn't wait for the legislature to act, he just ordered the marriage licenses and weddings to go forward, all by himself. Earlier this month, Romney said in New Hampshire, "What I would support [nationwide] is letting people who are of the same gender form -- if you will -- partnership agreements."

#14 As late as 2007, Mitt Romney was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. The following is what romneyexposed.com says about this organization....

They often work in conjunction with the pro-abortion group, Republicans for Choice, and the Republican homosexual group, the Log Cabin Club. They also opposed the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and set up a 527 campaign committee that received funding from far left funder George Soros.

#15 According to the Huffington Post, Mitt Romney has raised more money from lobbyists than all of the other Republican candidates combined.

So if Mitt Romney becomes president, who do you think he is going to listen to - the American people or the lobbyists?

#16 Mitt Romney is a big time Wall Street insider. It is estimated that Romney has a personal fortune of approximately a quarter of a billion dollars, and Wall Street money is being absolutely showered on his campaign.

In a recent article entitled "The Big Wall Street Banks Are Already Trying To Buy The 2012 Election", I detailed how numbers compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics show that Mitt Romney is getting far more money from the "too big to fail" Wall Street banks than all of the other Republican candidates combined. The following is an excerpt from that article that shows how much money employees of those banks (and their wives) have been giving to Romney so far this year....

*****

Goldman Sachs

Mitt Romney: $352,200
Barack Obama: $49,124
Tim Pawlenty: $25,000
Jon Huntsman: $6,750
Rick Perry: $5,500
Ron Paul: $2,500

Morgan Stanley

Mitt Romney: $184,800
Tim Pawlenty: $41,715
Barack Obama: $28,225
Rick Perry: $20,750
Jon Huntsman: $9,750
Newt Gingrich: $1,000
Ron Paul: $1,000
Herman Cain: $500

Bank of America

Mitt Romney: $112,500
Barack Obama: $46,699
Tim Pawlenty: $12,750
Jon Huntsman: $4,250
Ron Paul: $3,451
Rick Perry: $2,600
Thad McCotter: $2,000
Herman Cain: $750
Michele Bachmann: $500
Newt Gingrich: $250

JPMorgan Chase

Mitt Romney: $107,250
Barack Obama: $38,039
Rick Perry: $27,050
Tim Pawlenty: $16,750
Jon Huntsman: $7,500
Ron Paul: $5,451

Citigroup

Mitt Romney: $56,550
Barack Obama: $36,887
Tim Pawlenty: $5,300
Rick Perry: $3,000
Herman Cain: $1,465
Michele Bachmann: $1,000
Ron Paul: $702

As you can see, no other Republican candidate even comes close to Romney at any of these big Wall Street banks.

In fact, of the candidates that are left in the Republican race, Mitt Romney has raised 13 times as much Wall Street money as anyone else has.

The following are the overall donation numbers from employees of the big Wall Street banks and their wives....

Mitt Romney: $813,300
Barack Obama: $198,874
Tim Pawlenty: $101,515
Rick Perry: $58,900
Jon Huntsman: $28,250
Ron Paul: $13,104
Herman Cain: $2,715
Michelle Bachmann: $1,500
Newt Gingrich: $1,250

These numbers paint a very disturbing picture. Even though Romney's poll numbers are in the mid to low 20s most of the time, employees of the big Wall Street banks gave him $813,300 during the first 9 months of this year and they only gave $105,719 to the rest of the Republican candidates combined.

*****

It is quite obvious that the "establishment" is in love with Mitt Romney.

But if the American people elect Mitt Romney, they will get someone who believes in big spending, big government, bank bailouts, health care mandates, climate change legislation, liberal judges, gun control laws, amnesty for illegal aliens and making things as comfortable for the fatcats on Wall Street as possible.

Yes, Barack Obama has been absolutely horrible, but the answer is most definitely not Mitt Romney.

Look, the truth is that another four years of Barack Obama would be a complete and total nightmare.

But so would four years of Mitt Romney.

America deserves better than the "lesser of two evils".

Unfortunately, the American people have been dead asleep and have been sending incompetents, con men and charlatans to Washington D.C. for decades.

Right now it looks like the Republican Party is going to nominate yet another establishment "politician" in 2012.

Hopefully people will wake up to the truth about Mitt Romney while there is still time.

WH rejects subpoena request for Solyndra docs

November 4, 2011 7:20pm

by Philip Klein, Senior Editorial Writer
2011 Washington Examiner

President Obama's attorney sent a letter to Congressional investigators on Friday, saying the White House would not cooperate with a subpoena requesting documents related to its doling out a $535 million loan guarantee to now bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra.

"I can only conclude that your decision to issue a subpoena, authorized by a party-line vote, was driven more by partisan politics than a legitimate effort to conduct a responsible investigation," Obama's counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, wrote in a letter to the top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee. (Read Ruemmler's full letter here).

Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich, blasted the White House response:

“We have been reasonable every step of the way in this investigation, and it is a shame that the Obama Administration and House Democrats continue to put up partisan roadblocks to hide the truth from taxpayers. Solyndra was a jobs program gone bad, and we must learn the lessons of Solyndra as we work to turn our economy around and put folks back to work. Our judicious and methodical work over the last eight months has garnered tens of thousands of pages of documents from DOE and OMB that have proven we are on the right track. Now, we need to know the White House’s role in the Solyndra debacle in order to learn the full truth about why taxpayers now find themselves a half billion dollars in the hole. The White House could have avoided the need for subpoena authorizations if they had simply chosen to cooperate. That would have been the route we preferred, and frankly, it would have been better for the White House to get the information out now, rather than continue to drag this out. Our request for documents is reasonable - we are not demanding the President’s blackberry messages as we are respectful of Executive Privilege. What is the West Wing trying to hide? We owe it to American taxpayers to find out.”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

FCC cracks down on religious broadcasters

By BROOKS BOLIEK | 10/31/11 3:29 PM EDT

If a church broadcasts the word of God on TV without closed captions, it risks incurring the wrath of the FCC.

Some 300 small- to medium-sized churches can expect letters from the commission within the next few days explaining why their closed captioning exemptions were lifted for TV shows like “Power in the Word” and “Producing Kingdom Citizens.”

The FCC has been mailing the letters for the past few days to churches from Maine to California, explaining that the hundreds of exemptions are now rescinded and giving the programmers 90 days to reapply.

The churches were granted FCC exemptions from the closed captioning requirement under a 2006 commission decision known as the “Anglers Order” for the Anglers for Christ Ministries program that had argued for exemption from the rules.

While the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau used the Anglers Order as the model to grant at least 298 other exemptions, the full commission overturned that decision Oct. 20 after objections were raised from a coalition of organizations for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The churches may still be eligible to win an exemption from the rules if they can prove they can’t afford closed captioning, but they now have to make their case individually.

“This was a process that went awry,” said Craig Parshall, senior vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters, an international association of Christian communicators. “Now, we are going back to Square One.”

Advocacy groups for the deaf contend that the bureau erred when it granted the exemptions en masse because that created a virtual blanket exemption for nonprofit organizations. Under the closed captioning law, programmers can win an exemption if they can prove that the cost of the captioning will cause an undue economic hardship.

The groups wrote to the FCC asking commissioners to overrule the bureau order arguing that the order “improperly and unilaterally established a new class of exempt programming.”

While the commission’s decision has an immediate impact on churches across the country, it isn’t directed at religious organizations in particular, Parshall said. Small- and medium-sized churches just happened to apply for exemptions under the closed captioning law’s exception for TV shows where paying for captioning is an undue economic burden, Parshall explained.

Advocates for the deaf said they were pleased the commission was taking action on the issue, and hoped that it would make more programming accessible to the deaf and hearing impaired.

“Now, we look forward to viewing more TV shows that were not captioned before,” said Jim House, spokesman for Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. “It is our hope that those producers affected by the decision would see the positive benefits of making their shows accessible to more and more viewers and find that it is the right thing to do.”

Religious broadcasters want to reach the deaf community, but requiring churches across the country to close caption their TV programs could force the programming off the air, Parshall said.

“We believe our message needs to get out to the deaf and disabled communities,” Parshall explained. “All we want is a sensible regulatory structure that recognizes the plight of the small Christian broadcaster.”