Majority of Americans, and Nearly 6 in 10 Young Adults, View Abortion as Morally Wrong

On the eve of the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the United States, a new survey shows a strong majority of Americans believe abortion to be “morally wrong.”

“Millennials” (those 18-29) consider abortion to be “morally wrong” even more (58%) than Baby Boomers (those 45-64) (51%). Generation X (those 30-44) are similar to Millennials (60% see abortion as “morally wrong”). More than 6 in 10 of the Greatest Generation (those 65+) feel the same.

The most recent Knights of Columbus – Marist survey – conducted in late December and early January – is the latest in a series of such surveys commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and conducted by Marist Institute for Public Opinion. In October of 2008 and July of 2009, the survey has

been tracking an increasing trend toward the pro-life position – a trend confirmed by Gallup and Pew surveys in mid-2009. K of C – Marist surveys are available online at www.kofc.org/moralcompass.

“Americans of all ages – and younger people in even greater numbers than their parents – see abortion as something morally wrong,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “America has turned a corner and is embracing life – and in doing so is embracing a future they – and all of us – can be proud of.”

He added: “Advances in technology show clearly – and ever more clearly – that an unborn child is completely a human being. That, coupled with the large number of Americans who know one of the many people who has been negatively affected by abortion are certainly two of the reasons that Americans are increasingly uncomfortable with Roe v. Wade’s legacy of abortion, and with abortion generally. The majority of Americans now understand that abortion has consequences, and that those consequences are not good.”

The question on abortion was part of a larger survey, which will be released in the next several days.

This report presents the findings from a survey of 2,243 Americans — including an oversample of 1,006 Millennials. Reports for Americans have a margin of error of +/-2% and for Millennials it is +/-3%. Data were collected from December 23, 2009 through January 4, 2010 using an online, probability-based panel from Knowledge Networks, Inc. Additional information is available at www.kofc.org. Data on the polls commissioned by the Knights of Columbus are available at www.kofc.org/moralcompass.

 
User - 15 11 17 - 11:11 | |

Planned Parenthood Group Uses Haiti Disastor To Raise Funds

Pro-life groups are accusing Planned Parenthood of taking advantage of the humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti to promote a pro-choice agenda.

Days after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake, the International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) sent out a fundraising appeal to help rebuild two clinics that were destroyed in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel.

The clinics are operated by PROFAMIL, a “member association” that provides “sexual and reproductive health services,” including abortions. The fundraising post said that PROFAMIL is setting up a temporary stationary clinic and mobile-health units to provide “basic first aid, as well as obstetric care and family planning.

Outrage over the appeal quickly spread through the pro-life community and its related blogs. Rita Diller, national director of Stop Planned Parenthood, said on LifeSiteNews.com that the group was “using the disaster and the suffering in Haiti to raise money to perpetuate itself.”

“While millions of people are suffering unbelievably and are without the most basic necessities, Planned Parenthood wants to grab the donations that should be going to provide medical care, food, clothing and housing, and funnel it to its local affiliate that pushes condoms on children as young as 10 years old,” she said.

Liz Clark, a spokeswoman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, declined to comment, saying that her group and the IPPF/WHR were “not the same organization.”

The IPPF/WHR did not return two phone calls placed over two days asking for comment. According to the IPPF/WHR Web site, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was one of the IPPF/WHR’s eight founders, and remains its “member association” in the United States. PPFA has its own international program and doesn’t receiving funding from the group.

At the same time, the PPFA continues to work with the international group; for example, it lent support to the Haiti effort by posting the IPPF/WHR’s fundraising appeal on its Facebook page.

Defenders of Planned Parenthood insisted that critics were jumping to the wrong conclusions. Dawn Stacey, a former Planned Parenthood pregnancy-options counselor who now serves as About.com’s contraception expert, said on her blog that the mobile units would “bring needed services to people who are totally isolated.”

“There are reports of women giving birth on the side of the road as hospitals and houses have been demolished,” said Ms. Stacey, noting also that Planned Parenthood is encouraging donations to Americans for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, which is also bringing assistance to pregnant women in Haiti.

“The donations (Planned Parenthood is promoting) will help UNFPA provide emergency reproductive health kits,” said Ms. Stacey. “These kits could essentially function as OB wards as they contain essential drugs, equipment and supplies to provide lifesaving services to pregnant women.”

 
User - 15 11 17 - 11:10 | |

Justice Refuses To Release Documents In Panther Case

The Justice Department, citing privilege claims, has refused to release e-mails and other documents sought under an open records request by The Washington Times to explain its decision last year to dismiss a civil complaint accusing the New Black Panther Party of intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place.

In a letter, the department said that while 69 documents totaling 135 pages were responsive to the Freedom of Information Act request for information on how and why the decision to dismiss the complaint was made, they were being withheld because of “deliberative process” and “attorney work-product” privilege exemptions.

“For your information, the withheld material includes e-mails between officials in the Civil Rights Division and the Office of the Associate Attorney General regarding the litigation strategy, drafts of court filings and briefing materials related to the subject of your request,” said Carmen L. Mallon, chief of staff in the department’s office of information policy.

In July, The Times reported that Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the No. 3 official at the Justice Department, approved the decision to dismiss the complaint, according to interviews with officials familiar with the matter but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

That decision was made while career lawyers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division were recommending that Justice seek sanctions in the case after they had won a default judgment in court. The lawyers were in the final stages of completing that work when they were told by their superiors to seek a delay, according to federal records and the interviews.

The delay was ordered by then-acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King after she discussed the case with Mr. Perrelli, according to the interviews. Ms. King, a career senior executive service official, had been named by President Obama to temporarily fill the vacant political position of assistant attorney general for civil rights while a permanent choice could be made.

The complaint was dropped against the New Black Panther Party and two of its members, while the department sought a separate restraining order against the one party member who wielded a nightstick at the Philadelphia polling place in the November 2008 incident.

Questions about the dismissal have since spread to Congress with 14 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee asking last week that Attorney General Eric. H. Holder Jr. be called to explain it. Their request was defeated in a party-line 15-14 vote.

Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican who doggedly has pursued questions on why the complaint was dismissed, said Thursday he intended to “stay on this issue until we find the truth.”

He and Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, sought the Judiciary Committee vote, saying they have been unable to get information from Justice on the complaint’s dismissal despite numerous requests.

Mr. Wolf, a Philadelphia native who attended college in Mississippi in the 1960s, said his “commitment to voting rights is unquestioned,” noting that in 1981 he was the only member of the Virginia delegation in the House - Republican or Democrat - to vote to extend the Voting Rights Act.

“The right to vote is so very important that the thought of these guys intimidating people at a Philadelphia polling place is troubling,” said Mr. Wolf, a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee. “We haven’t been able to get any information, but we’re going to stay with it until there is a resolution.”

Mr. Smith said Thursday he was “not surprised” that the Justice Department had “found an excuse” not to respond to the Times’ FOIA request, but was “disappointed.”

“The Justice Department has firm, but flexible, policies about the release of internal documents when there is a public interest in the information,” he said. “In the case of the New Black Panther Party, it appears that political appointees at DOJ dropped charges as a favor to political allies.

“Justice is undermined if those responsible for ensuring justice rely on a political compass rather than facts and evidence. The American people deserve to know the truth,” he said. “Continued stonewalling by the Justice Department only reaffirms Congress’ suspicions.”

Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has steadfastly maintained that the department has an “ongoing obligation” to be sure the claims it makes are supported by the facts and the law.

She said that after a “thorough review” of the complaint, top career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division determined the “facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants.”

Ms. Schmaler also has said the department is “committed to vigorous enforcement of the laws protecting anyone exercising his or her right to vote.”

Mr. Perrelli, nominated by Mr. Obama to the Justice Department post on Jan. 5, 2009, raised more than $500,000 for the Democratic candidate in the 2008 election.

In the Philadelphia incident, two New Black Panther Party members wearing black berets, black combat boots, black dress shirts and black jackets with military-style markings were charged in a Jan. 7, 2009, civil complaint with intimidating voters, including brandishing a 2-foot-long nightstick and issuing racial threats and insults. The complaint said a third member “managed, directed and endorsed the behavior.”

None of the New Black Panther Party members responded to the charges or made any appearance in court.

A Justice Department memo shows the career lawyers decided as early as Dec. 22, 2008, to seek a complaint against the party; its chairman, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a lawyer and D.C. resident; Minister King Samir Shabazz, a resident of Philadelphia and head of the party’s Philadelphia chapter who was accused of wielding the nightstick; and Jerry Jackson, a resident of Philadelphia and a party member.

They said the deployment of uniformed members of “a well-known group with an extremely hostile racial agenda, combined with the brandishing of a weapon at the entrance to a polling place,” constituted a violation of the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits intimidation, threats and coercion.

The memo was signed by Christopher Coates, then chief of the Voting Section, who has since been transferred to the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina.

The New Black Panther Party has not responded to numerous e-mails and telephone messages.

U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell entered default judgments on April 2 after ordering the party members to plead or otherwise defend themselves. They refused to appear in court or file motions in answer to the complaint. Two weeks later, the judge ordered Justice to file its motions for default judgments - a ruling that showed the government had won its case.

On May 1, the Justice Department sought an extension of time and during the tumultuous two weeks that followed the career lawyers tried to persuade their bosses to proceed with the case, according to the officials. The matter was even referred to the Appellate Division for a second opinion, an unusual event for a case that had not reached the appeals process.

In a May 13 memo, Appellate Chief Diana K. Flynn said the appropriate action was to pursue the default judgment, adding that the complaint was aimed at preventing the “paramilitary style intimidation of voters” at polling places elsewhere and the department could make a “reasonable argument in favor of default relief against all defendants and probably should.”

 
User - 15 11 17 - 11:05 | |

DHS Vows To Send Home Illegal Haitian Immigrants

Haitian citizens who arrive in the United States illegally after the Jan. 12 earthquake will be sent home, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Friday.

Although the United States has said it will allow eligible Haitians living in the country when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck to stay and work for 18 months, this will not apply to those who leave Haiti to escape the disaster.

“Haitians need to be there to help rebuild their country, this is not an opportunity for migration,” Napolitano said at a news conference in the Spanish city of Toledo.

The United States announced on Wednesday that Temporary Protection Status, a status granted to eligible nationals of a certain country because of temporary adverse conditions there, had been awarded to Hatian nationals living illegally in the U.S.

 
User - 15 11 17 - 11:05 | |

Senate Permits Gov’t To Borrow An Additional $1.9T

Even when money’s tight, Americans can be counted on to lend a hand in the midst of a disaster, as witnessed by the U.S. response to the devastation wrought by the Haiti earthquake.

Donations and pledges to U.S. nonprofits since the epic 7.0 quake wrecked the impoverished island Jan. 12 climbed over a half-billion dollars Tuesday, according to the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, which tracks post-disaster giving.

In the course of one day, giving and pledges jumped from $471 million Monday to $517.5 million Tuesday. The number compares favorably to previous disaster-relief efforts, even though Americans currently find themselves mired in an economic recession.

“What we’ve found interesting in the response to the Haitian earthquake is that the amounts raised have been quite significant,” said Una Osili, the center’s research director. “There’s been a strong outpouring of generosity in the face of this disaster. It shows Americans are generous even in tough economic times.”

She said donations and pledges have exceeded those given after the most recent global disaster of this proportion, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, even though the tsunami occurred during a prosperous economy.

Indeed, it’s almost impossible to pick up a newspaper or go online without reading of new relief efforts. One of the biggest fundraisers to date was the Friday “Hope for Haiti” telethon, featuring celebrities such as George Clooney and Wyclef Jean, which has thus far raised $61 million.

For every star-studded event like the telethon, however, there are thousands of smaller campaigns. Virtually every school district in the nation is collecting donations or supplies for the ravaged island. One example is Urban Park Elementary School in Dallas, where students were permitted to wear jeans instead of their uniforms in exchange for a Haiti donation.

In North Carolina, the staff at Core Personal Trainers stood at a busy intersection and offered to do one push-up for every dollar donated by passing motorists, according to WXII-TV in Winston-Salem. The station also reported that the local Liberty Tax Service was contributing $25 to Haiti relief last week for every tax return started and finished in one day.

In Denver, ESPN football analyst Mark Schlereth sat outside a Safeway grocery store Monday for six hours raising money for Haiti. He donated all the proceeds from that day’s sales of his Mark Schlereth’s Stinkin’ Good Green Chili at all Safeway stores in Colorado.

Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin pledged $1,500 to Haiti relief per rebound in an NBA game last week against the Los Angeles Clippers. He grabbed 14 off the boards for a total of $21,000.

Facilitating the relief effort has been the rise of social networks and new technology, such as Twitter. The Red Cross set the tone by asking contributors to donate $10 by texting “90999.” The donation is then applied to the giver’s phone bill. In other instances, individuals and groups have set up Haiti relief fund efforts through their Facebook accounts. Such nontraditional methods of giving have helped draw younger people into the relief arena.

“This is the first major disaster where we’ve used this technology,” Ms. Osili said. “It’s really exciting for nonprofits because it allows them to reach a lot of donors and a lot of different donors.”

Working in Haiti’s favor is its proximity to the U.S. Many Americans have friends, co-workers or relatives who are Haitian, or may have been involved in previous campaigns to assist the country. Haitians and Haitian-Americans also have carved out enclave neighborhoods in several U.S. cities, most prominently New York and Miami.

Both the National Basketball Association and the National Football League have players who are Haitian or of Haitian descent, several of whom have helped the disaster register with fans by speaking out on the disaster. The NBA and its players’ union have pledged $1 million to the recovery, while the NFL and its union have pledged $2.5 million.

There’s concern that the donations may dry up before the rebuilding work is done in Haiti, but so far contributions are continuing at a brisk clip.

“There’s still a tremendous amount of support and interest in this disaster,” Ms. Osili said. “We’ll start to see it taper off after a few months as the news coverage falls off. So far, we haven’t seen it taper off at all.”

 
User - 15 11 17 - 11:04 | |

Lt. Col Archer: Tuskegee Airman Ace Dies

NEW YORK (AP) - Retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Lee A. Archer, a Tuskegee Airman considered to be the only black ace pilot who also broke racial barriers as an executive at a major U.S. company and founder of a venture capital firm, died Wednesday in New York City. He was 90.

His son, Roy Archer, said his father died at Cornell University Medical Center in Manhattan. A cause of death was not immediately determined.

The Tuskegee Airmen were America’s first black fighter pilot group in World War II.

“It is generally conceded that Lee Archer was the first and only black ace pilot,” credited with shooting down five enemy planes, Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr., a fellow Tuskegee Airman and friend, said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Archer was acknowledged to have shot down four planes, and he and another pilot both claimed victory for shooting down a fifth plane. An investigation revealed Archer had inflicted the damage that destroyed the plane, said Brown, and the Air Force eventually proclaimed him an ace pilot.

Archer, a resident of New Rochelle, N.Y., “lived a full life,” said his son. “His last two or three years were amazing for him.”

Archer was among the group of Tuskegee Airmen invited to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. The airmen, who escorted bomber planes during the war fought with distinction, only to face bigotry and segregation when they returned home, were also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their service in 2007 by President George W. Bush.

Archer was “extremely competent, aggressive about asserting his position and sometimes stubborn,” Brown said.

“He had a heart of gold and treated people with respect. He demanded respect by the way he carried himself.”

Brown estimated that about 50 or 60 of the 994 Tuskegee Airmen pilots are still alive.

Born on Sept. 6, 1919, in Yonkers and raised in Harlem, Archer left New York University to enlist in the Army Air Corps in 1941 but was rejected for pilot training because the military didn’t allow blacks to serve as pilots.

“A War Department study in 1925 expressly stated that Negroes didn’t have the intelligence, or the character, or the leadership to be in combat units, and particularly, they didn’t have the ability to be Air Force pilots,” said Brown.

Archer instead joined a segregated Army Air Corps unit at the Tuskegee, Ala., air base, graduating from pilot training in July 1943.

After he retired from the military in 1970, Archer joined General Foods Corp., becoming one of the era’s few black corporate vice presidents of a major American company.

He ran one of the company’s small-business investment arms, North Street Capital Corp., which funded companies that included Essence Communications and Black Enterprise Magazine, according to his son and Brown.

Archer was an adviser to the late Reginald Lewis in the deal that created the conglomerate TLC Beatrice in 1987, then the largest black-owned and -managed business in the U.S.

After retiring from General Foods in 1987, Archer founded the venture capital firm Archer Asset Management.

Archer is survived by three sons and a daughter. His wife, Ina Archer, died in 1996. Services have yet to be announced.

 
User - 15 11 17 - 10:58 | |

BARACK THE VOTE: How ‘Non-Partisans’ Indoctrinate Our Youth

Rock the Vote (RTV) is one of the nation’s most influential youth-targeted non-profits, describing itself as a non-partisan initiative whose “…mission is to engage and build the political power of young people in order to achieve progressive change in our country.” While the organization touts its alleged centrism, actions over the past decade have caused many to believe that partisanship does, indeed, play a role in the organization’s operations.

During my tenure at Teen Web Online (a site I created back in 1999 in the wake of the Columbine massacre to help my generation overcome various youth-specific issues), I was extremely supportive of RTV. I remember being enthralled by the notion that an organization would extend itself to trust and place value in America’s young generation, while working feverishly to make our voices heard.

Ten years later, I, like many others, have begun to wonder just how willing the organization is to remain true to its self-professed “non-partisanship” and whether I mistook indoctrination for trust. While I am certainly supportive of the notion that a healthy democracy is characterized by a variety of organizations that represent divergent viewpoints, I am increasingly perplexed by the existence of organizations that shield their true intent behind a “non-partisan” status.

For years, RTV has been accused of touting less than conservative values, while overexerting itself in support of progressive perspectives. Time after time the organization has denied what appear to be well-founded allegations. From the Iraq War to health care reform, RTV consistently sides with the Left. Meanwhile, the realities behind the “non-partisan” centrism through which its actions do not appear to flow raise concern, as RTV regularly registers young voters, while assumingly not providing them with the well-rounded and balanced materials they need to make educated decisions. All this in mind, let’s explore the evidence.

As most Americans know, the Iraq War began on March 20, 2003. Three days later, RTV announced, through a press release, the availability of a new song from Lenny Kravitz entitled, “We Want Peace.” The statement made it clear that the song was released in response to the commencement of the U.S.-led was; it said, “Rock the Vote and Lenny Kravitz today announced a new song by Kravitz called “We Want Peace,” which is available exclusively at Rock the Vote’s website…” Here is a glimpse into some of the song’s “non-partisan” lyrics:

      “Here is once again in our face
      Why haven’t we learn from our past
      We’re at the crossroads of our human race
      Why are we kicking our own ass

                         We’re on the eve of destruction my friends
              We are about to go to far
                 Politicians think that war is the way
              But we know that love has the power”

While nobody in his or her right mind enjoys war, this RTV/Kravitz partnership was a transparent endorsement of anti-Iraq War sentiment. Considering the sociopolitical landscape at the time, such a cohesive partnership for the release of a persuasive song showcases a hidden politically-driven agenda. Of course, this is only one example, though powerful in its own right; there are plenty of others.

 
User - 08 11 17 - 05:43 | |