Robert Ballard Claims He’s Found Evidence for Noah’s Flood

The guy who found the Titanic wants to find Noah’s flood.

Stories about Robert Ballard’s search for proof of the Biblical flood that put Noah in his ark were all the rage back in early December.

I ignored them then because I had other things on my mind. The reason I got interested now is that I’ve just finished reading the Noah and his flood story in the Bible.

I try to read through the Bible on a regular basis. I’ve looked at those “read through the Bible” reading schedules that you find on various websites and even in the backs of some Bibles themselves. But that is way too complicated for me.

I usually pick up a Bible and just start reading at the first and keep going until I read “May the spirit of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” I change the translation almost every time I read. I find it interesting to compare the way the different translations handle the text. This year, I’m reading one of those one year Bibles called My Daily Catholic Bible.

I read about Sodom and Gomorrah last night, and a few days before that, I re-read the story of Noah and his ark. That made Robert Ballard’s new quest to find the flood swim into focus for me.

Mr Ballard theorizes that the flood resulted from a confluence of events. The main event he points to is the sudden release of huge amounts of water when the ice melted at the end of the last ice age.

It’s difficult for us today to imagine what the world was like during the ice age. Huge parts of what we now know as temperate areas were under hundreds of feet of ice. The way things usually happen in nature is that there is a trickle and then a gush and finally things just give way suddenly in a flood or an explosion or a collapse. Fires smolder, volcanoes smoke and floods send off rivulets. Then, they burst through in a conflagration or flood.

Mr Ballard is basing his flood theory on this kind of sudden giving away, coupled with topography that led to a huge rise of waters in one area of the world. This was a flood where, in his words, “the waters came up and stayed up.”

He thinks he’s found such an area. He’s used underwater exploration to find a lost civilization from that time which he says underscores his theory.

It’s a tantalizing idea.

Is he right?

All I can say is that Robert Ballard’s track record requires us to consider what he says and think about it. He’s done the undoable and found the unfindable too many times to ignore him out of hand.

An ABC News article about Robert Ballard’s search for Noah’s flood reads in part:

Evidence Noah’s Biblical Flood

Happened,Says Robert Ballard

This ark, located an hour south of Amsterdam, is a replica of Noah’s Biblical boat. Underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard is in Turkey, looking for evidence that the Great Flood happened. (ABC News)

ABC News By JENNA MILLMAN, BRYAN TAYLOR and LAUREN EFFRON (@LEffron831)

The story of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most famous from the Bible, and now an acclaimed underwater archaeologist thinks he has found proof that the biblical flood was actually based on real events.

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour for ABC News, Robert Ballard, one of the world’s best-known underwater archaeologists, talked about his findings. His team is probing the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of traces of an ancient civilization hidden underwater since the time of Noah.

Ballard’s track record for finding the impossible is well known. In 1985, using a robotic submersible equipped with remote-controlled cameras, Ballard and his crew hunted down the world’s most famous shipwreck, the Titanic.

Now Ballard is using even more advanced robotic technology to travel farther back in time. He is on a marine archeological mission that might support the story of Noah. He said some 12,000 years ago, much of the world was covered in ice.

“Where I live in Connecticut was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers, that’s a big ice cube,” he said. “But then it started to melt. We’re talking about the floods of our living history.”

The water from the melting glaciers began to rush toward the world’s oceans, Ballard said, causing floods all around the world.

“The questions is, was there a mother of all floods,” Ballard said.

(Read more here.)

Hundreds of Thousands Expected at Paris Rally for Marriage

Paris, France, Jan 9, 2013 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Supporters of traditional marriage expect hundreds of thousands of marchers to turn out for an upcoming national rally in opposition to President Francois Hollande’s “marriage for all” proposal.

Set to go before France’s parliament Jan. 29, the draft law proposes to redefine marriage as a union “contracted between two persons of different sex or of the same sex.”

The law would also allow “married” same-sex couples to adopt children while also replacing gender definitive titles such as “Mother” or “Father” with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”

Some opponents of the proposal say doing so would strip society of sexual differences and would create framework for a “new anthropological order” based on sexual preference rather than unique “sexual otherness.” Opponents also say the move would deny children the biological right of having a mother and father, and that the proposal should have been presented as a referendum to the people.

“La Manif Pour Tous” or “March For All,” a demonstration organized by French satirist Frigide Barjot – whose real name is Virginie Télenne – drew tens of thousands of supporters in the regional demonstrations held throughout France in November and December.

A modest estimate for the first national rally to be held Jan. 13 is projected to draw some 350,000 supporters, one of the organizers, Lionel Lumbroso, told CNA Jan. 4.

“The bigger we are, the more difficult it will be for the government to ignore us,” he said.

Although the “vast majority of the base is Catholic” and founder Frigide Barjot is a Catholic re-convert, Lumbroso said that the movement represents a much greater diversity of the French people because people of different faiths and political beliefs are coming together for a common goal. (Read more here.)

If Church Teaching on Marriage Interests You, Here It Is

I try as much as possible to give you the chance to read original sources. This summary of Church teachings on marriage is not an original source.

However, it is from the USCCB web site. That means it is authoritative teaching, coming as it does from our bishops.

I am going to put the whole article here rather than try to excerpt it or interpret it. Have a read and think it through for yourselves. To see the original article or to find more resources, go to the USCCB website here.

Between Man And Woman:

Questions And Answers About

Marriage And Same-Sex Unions

Introduction

A growing movement today favors making those relationships commonly called same-sex unions the legal equivalent of marriage. This situation challenges Catholics—and all who seek the truth—to think deeply about the meaning of marriage, its purposes, and its value to individuals, families, and society. This kind of reflection, using reason and faith, is an appropriate starting point and framework for the current debate.

We, the Catholic bishops of the United States, offer here some basic truths to assist people in understanding Catholic teaching about marriage and to enable them to promote marriage and its sacredness.

1. What is marriage?

Marriage, as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children into the world and caring for them. The call to marriage is woven deeply into the human spirit. Man and woman are equal. However, as created, they are different from but made for each other. This complementarity, including sexual difference, draws them together in a mutually loving union that should be always open to the procreation of children (seeCatechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], nos. 1602-1605). These truths about marriageare present in the order ofnature and can be perceived by the light of human reason. They have been confirmed by divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture.

2. What does our faith tell us about marriage?

Marriage comes from the loving hand of God, who fashioned both male and female in the divine image (see Gn 1:27).  A man “leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body” (Gn 2:24). The man recognizes the woman as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Gn 2:23). God blesses the man and woman and commands them to “be fertile and multiply” (Gn 1:28). Jesus reiterates these teachings from Genesis, saying, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh’” (Mk 10:6-8).

These biblical passages help us to appreciate God’s plan for marriage. It is an intimate union in which the spouses give themselves, as equal persons, completely and lovingly to one another. By their mutual gift of self, they cooperate with God in bringing children to life and in caring for them.

Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union because it is rooted in the divine plan for creation. In addition, the Church teaches that the valid marriage of baptized Christians is a sacrament—a saving reality. Jesus Christ made marriage a symbol of his love for his Church (see Eph 5:25-33). This means that a sacramental marriage lets the world see, in human terms, something of the faithful, creative, abundant, and self-emptying love of Christ. A true marriage in the Lord with his grace will bring the spouses to holiness. Their love, manifested in fidelity, passion, fertility, generosity, sacrifice, forgiveness, and healing, makes known God’s love in their family, communities, and society. This Christian meaning confirms and strengthens the human value of a marital union (see CCC, nos. 1612-1617; 1641-1642).

3. Why can marriage exist only between a man and a woman?

The natural structure of human sexuality makes man and woman complementary partners for the transmission of human life. Only a union of male and female can express the sexual complementarity willed by God for marriage. The permanent and exclusive commitment of marriage is the necessary context for the expression of sexual love intended by God both to serve the transmission of human life and to build up the bond between husband and wife (see CCC, nos. 1639-1640).

In marriage, husband and wife give themselves totally to each other in their masculinity and femininity (see CCC, no. 1643). They are equal as human beings but different as man and woman, fulfilling each other through this natural difference. This unique complementarity makes possible the conjugal bond that is the core of marriage.

4. Why is a same-sex union not equivalent to a marriage?

For several reasons a same-sex union contradicts the nature of marriage: It is notbased on the natural complementarity of male and female;it cannot cooperate with Godto create new life; and the natural purpose of sexual union cannot be achieved by asame-sex union. Persons in same-sex unions cannot enter into a true conjugal union. Therefore, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage.

5. Why is it so important to society that marriage be preserved as the exclusive union of a man and a woman?

Across times, cultures, and very different religious beliefs, marriage is the foundation of the family. The family, in turn, is the basic unit of society. Thus, marriage is a personal relationship with public significance. Marriage is the fundamental pattern for male-female relationships. It contributes to society because it models the way in which women and men live interdependently and commit, for the whole of life, to seek the good of each other.

The marital union also provides the best conditions for raising children: namely, the stable, loving relationship of a mother and father present only in marriage. The state rightly recognizes this relationship as a public institution in its laws because the relationship makes a unique and essential contribution to the common good.

Laws play an educational role insofar as they shape patterns of thought and behavior, particularly about what is socially permissible and acceptable. In effect, giving same-sex unions the legal status of marriage would grant official public approval to homosexual activity and would treat it as if it were morally neutral.

When marriage is redefined so as to make other relationships equivalent to it, the institution ofmarriage is devalued and further weakened. The weakening of this basic institution at all levels and by various forces has already exacted too high a social cost.

6. Does denying marriage to homosexual persons demonstrate unjust discrimination and a lack of respect for them as persons?

It is not unjust to deny legal status to same-sex unions because marriage and same-sex unions are essentially different realities. In fact, justice requires society to do so. To uphold God’s intent for marriage, in which sexual relations have their proper and exclusive place, is not to offend the dignity of homosexual persons. Christians must give witness to the whole moral truth and oppose as immoral both homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. The Catechism of the Catholic Church urges that homosexual persons “be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (no. 2358). It also encourages chaste friendships. “Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all” (no. 2347).

7. Should persons who live in same-sex relationships be entitled to some of the same social and economic benefits given to married couples?

The state has an obligation to promote the family, which is rooted in marriage. Therefore, it can justly give married couples rights and benefits it does not extend to others. Ultimately, the stability and flourishing of society is dependent on the stability and flourishing of healthy family life. The legal recognition of marriage, including the benefits associated with it, is not only about personal commitment, but also about the social commitment that husband and wife make to the well-being of society. It would be wrong to redefine marriage for the sake of providing benefits to those who cannot rightfully enter into marriage. Some benefits currently sought by persons in homosexual unions can already be obtained without regard to marital status. For example, individuals can agree to own property jointly with another, and they can generally designate anyone they choose to be a beneficiary of their will or to make health care decisions in case they become incompetent.

8. In light of the Church’s teaching about the truth and beauty of marriage, what should Catholics do?

There is to be no separation between one’s faith and life in either public or private realms. All Catholics should act on their beliefs with a well-formed conscience based on Sacred Scripture and Tradition. They should be a community of conscience within society. By their voice and their vote, they should contribute to society’s welfare and test its public life by the standards of right reason and Gospel truth. Responsible citizenship is a virtue. Participation in the political process is a moral obligation. This is particularly urgent in light of the need to defend marriage and to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions as marriages. Married couples themselves, by the witness of their faithful, life-giving love, are the best advocates for marriage. By their example, they are the first teachers of the next generation about the dignity of marriage and the need to uphold it. As leaders of their family—which the Second Vatican Council called a “domestic church” (

Lumen Gentium, no. 11)—couples should bring their gifts as well as their needs to the larger Church. There, with the help of other couples and their pastors and collaborators, they can strengthen their commitment and sustain their sacrament over a lifetime.

Conclusion

Marriage is a basic human and social institution. Though it is regulated by civil laws and church laws, it did not originate from either the church or state, but from God. Therefore, neither church nor state can alter the basic meaning and structure of marriage. Marriage, whose nature and purposes are established by God, can only be the union of a man and a woman and must remain such in law. In a manner unlike any other relationship, marriage makes a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the common good of society, especially through the procreation and education of children. The union of husband and wife becomes, over a lifetime

, a great good for themselves, their family, communities, and society. Marriage is a gift to be cherished and protected.For Further Reading

Second Vatican Council. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World(Gaudium et Spes), nos. 47-52. December 1965. Available online at www.vatican.va.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 369-373, nos. 1601-1666, and nos. 2331-2400. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops–Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2000.

Pope John Paul II. On the Family (Familiaris Consortio). Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1982.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons. July 2003. Available online at www.vatican.va.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Follow the Way of Love: A Pastoral Message of the U.S. Catholic Bishops to Families. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1993.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Faithful Citizenship: A Catholic Call to Political Responsibility. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2003.


Between Man and Woman: Questions and Answers About Marriage and Same-Sex Unions was developed by the Committee on Marriage and Family Life of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was approved for publication by the full body of bishops at their November 2003 General Meeting and has been authorized for publication by the undersigned.

Msgr. William P. Fay
General Secretary, USCCB

Scripture texts used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, copyright © 1991, 1986, and 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. 20017, and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All rights reserved.

Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, copyright © 2000, Libreria Editrice Vaticana-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, D.C., are used with permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2003, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

Fiscal Cliff Bill Will Shrink Your Paycheck

Your take home pay will be a bit less, thanks to the “Fiscal Cliff” bill that Congress passed at the first of the year.

The reason is that the reduction in Social Security taxes which Congress passed at the request of President Obama has expired. This reduction was part of the stimulus package used to keep the country from going into an economic free-fall after the housing crash and resultant lending crisis of 2008.

I’m certain that some of my Republican readers will chide me for saying this. According to them, when I criticize the Obama administration, I’m a statesman. When I criticize the Republicans, I’m a biased Democrat.

However, it is a plain fact that I never benefitted in my paycheck from any of the huge tax cuts that President Bush passed during his presidency. My take home pay did not go up. My taxes did not drop.

On the other hand, the tax cuts President Obama enacted raised my take home pay about $100/month.

I am not a subscriber to “trickle down” economics. The reason I am not is that the money doesn’t trickle down. Or if it does, it doesn’t trickle far enough to get down to me and any of the people I represent.

We’ll talk more about this later. For now, I want to draw your attention to an article from the Baptist Press which outlines some the effects that the “Fiscal Cliff” deal had on deductions for charitable giving. I’ve bolded the section which talks about social security to make it easier for you to find.

The article reads in part:

The ‘fiscal cliff’ bill & charitable giving
 

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 | by Warren Peek/Southern Baptist Foundation

NASHVILLE (BP) — After weeks of political drama, the U.S. has averted or at least delayed the so-called “fiscal cliff.”The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has been signed into law by the president after passing both houses of Congress.

Don’t you love the names of these bills? Taxpayer “relief” means that about 77 percent of U.S. households will pay higher taxes according to Bloomberg, mostly because of the expiration of the payroll tax cut. While some provisions are still set to expire, several provisions have been made permanent.

Following is a brief summary of various provisions of the act that may impact charitable giving:

Income taxes 

The 2012 ordinary income tax rates remain intact for most taxpayers. For individuals with incomes over $400,000 and joint filers over $450,000, the federal income tax rate increased from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. The dividend and capital gains rates also increased from 15 percent to 20 percent for those filers as well. For most other taxpayers, however, the capital gains rate remains at 15 percent.

Phase-out of itemized deductions and personal exemptions 

For individuals earning above $250,000 and joint filers above $300,000, itemized deductions and personal exemptions are limited. Total itemized deductions are now reduced by 3 percent. This phase-out will be watched closely, as there is still pressure to cap or phase out all itemized deductions.

Payroll taxes

The reduction of the payroll tax in Social Security is now over. Social Security will now collect 2 percent more from our paychecks. An employee earning $113,700 (the maximum amount of earnings subject to the tax), will pay an additional $2,274 in payroll taxes this year. (Read more here.)

333,964 Abortions: Planned Parenthood Breaks Their Own Record

Copy of an old Planned Parenthood brochure.

 

Planned Parenthood set a new record. They performed 333,964 abortions in 2010-2012, which is the highest number for any one year in their history.

Planned Parenthood received $542.4 million in government funds during their latest reporting period.

The Baptist Press article describing this says in part:

WASHINGTON (BP) — Planned Parenthood has set a record for the number of abortions in its clinics, according to its newly released annual report.

“Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation’s largest abortion business.” –- Marorie Dannenfelser

The country’s No. 1 abortion provider said its affiliates performed 333,964 of the lethal procedures during 2010-11, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The previous yearly record for Planned Parenthood clinics was 332,278 in 2009.
Planned Parenthood also established a record for funds received from federal, state and local governments. It received $542.4 million in government grants and reimbursements during the latest fiscal year. Those public funds were nearly half of Planned Parenthood’s $1.2 billion in total revenue for the year. The organization’s revenue outpaced expenses by $87.4 million.

“Planned Parenthood has spent much of the last few years demanding that taxpayers add millions more to their coffers, citing their non-profit status and so-called focus on women’s health,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. “What have we received for our money? While government subsidies to Planned Parenthood have reached an all time high, so too has the number of lives ended by this profit-driven abortion business.”

She added in a written statement, “As if these numbers weren’t already horrifying, Planned Parenthood has upped the ante even further by mandating that all affiliates provide abortions beginning this year. Americans are sick and tired of underwriting the nation’s largest abortion business.”

The abortion toll at Planned Parenthood actually is higher than its record-keeping for the year shows.(Read more here.)

Gay Marriage Bill Stalls in Illinois Legislature

Illinois legislature at work

Evidently, the Illinois legislation to change the legal definition of marriage to allow gay marriages has stalled in the Senate.

According to the story below, the session adjourns Wednesday, January 9. Assuming that the bill stays stalled, the measure will not be heard this year. The story implies that the bill would have passed if all members of the Senate had been present.

I’ve been through more of these legislative throw downs than I can remember. Based on what I’ve experienced I would guess that there was so much pressure on both sides of the question from constituents in the various legislators’ districts that they decided they would lose support, no matter how they voted. So, they worked together to keep the bill from coming to a vote. If that happened, the real action was behind closed doors and between the legislators, who will never tell anyone outside exactly what took place.

As I said, I’m just guessing. But it is an educated guess.

The EWTN story about this situation says in part:

An Illinois bill to redefine marriage came to a halt in the last days of the legislative session, leading marriage advocates to criticize the notion that “gay marriage” is inevitable.

“This is a tremendous victory for the grassroots in Illinois,” said National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown on Jan. 4.

“Thousands of people of faith telephoned, emailed and wrote to Senators to oppose the redefinition of marriage,” he explained. “They overcome the machine that so often rules in Illinois politics, and they showed that nothing is inevitable about same-sex ‘marriage.’”

Brown praised the Illinois Senate for “resisting the push of political activists to redefine marriage and to impose a same-sex ‘marriage’ scheme on the people of Illinois.”

Illinois State Sen. Heather Steans and State Rep. Greg Harris, both Chicago Democrats, tried to pass the “gay marriage” bill before the Jan. 9 end of the legislative session. It passed a Senate committee but lacked support to pass the Senate and was not brought to the floor, the Associated Press reported.

The failure was in part due to the absence of three senators due to family commitments. Supporters of the bill said the votes of the missing lawmakers – Republican Suzi Schmidt and Democrats Jeffrey Schoenberg and James Clayborne – were critical.

Brown said the Republican Senate Caucus “stood firm against redefining marriage” while “several stalwart and principled Democrats” also opposed the bill.

Read more: http://www.ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=6807#ixzz2HRJccZPk

Name That Bird

Add a caption to this photo. 

Health Insurance Premiums Skyrocket

The Affordable Health Care Act, more commonly known as “Obamacare,”  was supposed to contain rising health care costs, in particular the cost of health insurance. At least so far, it is failing rather miserably in that effort.

Health insurance costs are skyrocketing at a time when health care costs themselves are increasing much more modestly.

It’s possible that the insurance companies are deliberately gouging because they know that the Affordable Health Care Act will take effect next year and it might curb their ability to raise premiums as much as they’d like. Or maybe the new law is failing in one of its stated goals.

All we know for sure is that these huge increases in the costs of health insurance are going to make it difficult or even impossible for some people to comply with the law’s requirement that every citizen buy health coverage. How exactly is a minimum wage worker supposed to do this? For that matter, how is anyone who works for a living supposed it afford it?

We’re talking about premium hikes that amount to hundreds of dollars a month. I have group insurance, but if I didn’t, I would be hard-pressed to come up with an extra few hundred dollars a month in my already tight budget. Wouldn’t you? How are people supposed to put a roof over their heads and food on their tables, provide for their daily needs, save for their retirement, pay for our hugely over-priced higher education and pay these premiums? Wages, in case you haven’t noticed, have actually been falling for a long time.

The Affordable Health Care Act contains some good things. But the major thing we’ve seen from it so far has been a direct government attack on religious liberty. These skyrocketing insurance rates are just the cherry on top all that goodness.

Hopefully, there is better news about the Affordable Health Care Act and what it does for people instead of to them in the future.

A Mail Online article describing the insurance rate hikes says in part:

Obamacare fails to stop health insurance rates

from skyrocketing by double digits…despite

claims it would make health care cheaper

By JAMES NYE The Mail Online

Health insurance companies across the country are attempting to increase their premiums for customers by over 25 percent – even though Obamacare was introduced to stem the rising cost of health care

At risk from the rising rates are small businesses and those who do not have their health care plan offered by their employer and are left to find their own insurance.

In California, Anthem Blue Cross wants to hike the cost of their premiums by 26 percent and in Florida and Ohio, some insurers want to raise their prices by at least 20 percent – leaving customers several hundred dollars a month worse off.

People participate in a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2012. The law was approved by the court but insurance costs are still rising for somePeople participate in a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2012. The law was approved by the court but insurance costs are still rising for some

The proposed increases in the health care costs compare with only four percent for families and individuals who have plans offered through their jobs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, which will not be fully enacted until 2014, regulators are now required to review any request to raise a rate by more than 10 percent and to publish their findings on healthcare.gov

The review process also lays bare the disparity nationally in health care costs, with 37 states, such as New York able to deny or reduce rates, while others such as California do not have that power.

For example, in 2013, the state legislature of New York used its powers to hold rate increases to under 10 percent, but in California, rate reviews are only for technical errors.

Health Insurance companies have argued that the rising cost of premiums reflect the rising cost of healthcareHealth Insurance companies have argued that the rising cost of premiums reflect the rising cost of healthcare

However, despite the double-digit increases, the overall market shows that health care costs appear to have slowed in recent years.

Nationwide, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that health care costs will increase by 7.5 percent next year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2258283/Obamacare-fails-stop-health-insurance-rates-skyrocketing-double-digits–despite-claims-make-health-care-cheaper.html#ixzz2HLzsn91F
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Supreme Court Declines Stem Cell Case

WASHINGTON (BP) — The Supreme Court declined Monday (Jan. 7) to hear a case about the Obama administration’s funding of embryonic stem cell research, thereby allowing the continued use of taxpayer dollars for studies that require the destruction of human embryos.

The high court refused to hear an appeal from two scientists who have been challenging the funding.

“Americans should not be forced to pay for experiments that destroy human life, have produced no real-world treatments, and violate federal law — especially in burdened fiscal times like these,” said Steven H. Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped litigate the case against the Obama administration.

“Congress designed a law to ensure that Americans don’t pay any more precious taxpayer dollars for needless research made irrelevant by adult stem cell and other research,” Aden said in a news release. “That law is clear, and we had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold its clear intent.”

At issue is whether the Obama administration’s policy violates the 1996 Dickey-Wicker Amendment, an annual spending bill rider which bars federal funds for “research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death.”

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in August upheld a federal judge’s dismissal of a legal challenge to Obama’s 2009 executive order that overturned a more restrictive funding policy under President George W. Bush. As a result, federal guidelines continued to allow funding for research on stem cells derived from embryos created by in vitro fertilization.

Many scientists and biotech firms have promoted embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) — and federal funds for the experimentation — even though the extraction of such cells from an embryo results in the destruction of the days-old human being. (Read more here.)

Actress Jennifer O’Neill Will Join West Coast Walk for Life

I wish I could go.

I want to be in San Francisco on January 26 for the West Coast Walk for Life. But Gimpy the Foot would never tolerate a romp through airports chasing connecting flights.

Not yet. In a few more months, I’ll be able to lumber along just the way I did before. So, maybe next year I’ll go to the West Coast Walk for Life.

In the meantime, I’m encouraging everyone who is able to show up either in San Francisco or Washington DC for one of the two bi-coastal walks for life to put on your walking shoes and go. I want you to do it for the Gimper.

If you do make it to San Francisco’s walk, be sure to get Jennifer O’Neill’s autograph!

The LifeSiteNews article about Jennifer O’Neill’s planned participation in the West Coast Walk for Life reads in part:

Jennifer O’Neill

SAN FRANCISCO, January 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Internationally acclaimed model, film and television star, producer, author and proud mother of three, Jennifer O’Neill is one of a kind. With thirty-five plus feature films, numerous television movies and series to her credit, Jennifer is the first to tell you she is truly blessed.

However, there is more to her story: for years, Jennifer O’Neill, who seemed to “have it all,” suffered from severe depression due to an abortion she had in her early twenties. After years of suffering, she found hope and healing through her faith in Jesus Christ.

Jennifer O’Neill is now the national spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The campaign seeks to expose and heal the secrecy and silence surrounding the emotional and physical pain of abortion.

Jennifer has announced that she will be joining others in the Silent No More rally prior to the Walk for Life West Coast on January 26, 2013.

“There has never been a more critical time to support the pro-life movement, protect the rights of the unborn, and make known the truth about the devastating aftermath of abortion not only for the babies, but for women and families affected by such unimaginable loss,” she said.

“If you’re not sure where you stand in regard to LIFE, please join us for the 9th Annual Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco on January 26th, 2013!

“There you will hear testimonies from those who have suffered from abortion, and have received hope, healing and grace in Christ Jesus. I believe experience overrides theory … learn the truth about the sanctity of life. Please join us!” (Read more here.)


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