Monday, April 11, 2011

As Gas Prices Rise So Are The Speed Limits In Some US States

As lead singer of Van Halen, Sammy Hagar once crooned, "I can't drive 55." To show how far things have come, now some Texans aren't happy about only driving 80 miles per hour. The Legislature is considering raising the maximum speed limit to 85 mph, highest in the country.

The Texas House of Representatives has approved a bill that would raise the speed limit to 85 mph on some highways. The bill now goes to the state Senate, the Austin Statesman reports.

Texas currently has more than 520 miles of interstate highways where the speed limit is 80 mph, according to the Associated Press. The bill would allow the Texas Department of Transportation to raise the speed limit on certain roads or lanes after engineering and traffic studies are conducted. The 85-mph maximum would likely be permitted on rural roads with long sightlines.

Some car insurers, however, oppose the bill:

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, high speeds were a factor in about one-third of all fatal crashes in 2009. The faster you're traveling, the greater the distance needed to bring your vehicle to a complete stop and the longer it takes a driver to react to emergency situations, according to IIHS. If an accident does occur at a higher speed, there is a strong likelihood that the crash impact will exceed the protection available to vehicle occupants.

On top of safety concerns, speeding increases fuel consumption. Every 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

In the mid-1990s, the federal government deregulated national highway speed-limit standards, allowing states to set their own speed limits. Before the reform, all states had adopted a 55-mph speed limit by 1974 to keep federal highway funding, with some rural areas able to travel up to 65 mph since 1987.

Since then, 33 states have raised speed limits to 70 mph or higher on some portions of their roads. Texas and Utah have the highest speed limits of 80 mph on specified segments of rural interstates, according to IIHS.

Read More From USA Today

Texas Considering Banning Courts From Passing Foriegn Laws


April 9, 2011, 8:18PM

AUSTIN — Texas lawmakers are considering whether to ban state courts from considering foreign religious or cultural laws, such as the Islamic law of Shariah.

The goal "is to require a Texas court to uphold and apply only the laws ordained by the constitutions of (Texas and the United States), prohibiting any other interpretation," said Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, a former Arlington mayor pro tem. "This is now happening all over Europe ... and in Dearborn, Mich. ... and it could spread throughout the United States.

"We all know what Shariah law does to women - women must wear burqas, women are subject to humiliation and into controlled marriages under Shariah law," he said. "We want to prevent it from ever happening in Texas."

A bill by Berman to prevent foreign laws from being recognized in Texas courts, as well as a twin proposal by Rep. Randy Weber, R-Pearland, went before the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence last week. Both bills were left pending.

Texas is among several states - including Alaska, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Tennessee - considering bans on the recognition of foreign laws, according to the Institute for U.S. Law.

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Teen Birth Rates On The Decline

One News Now

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the teen birth rate in the U.S. is on the decline.

Between 1991 and 2009 the rate of teen pregnancies fell by 37 percent, according to the CDC. Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association, offers her reaction to the news.

"It's very significant that we have the lowest teen birth-rate in decades," she remarks. "And if you also look at another CDC report that shows that teen sexual activity is also on the decline, these are trends that are very, very encouraging -- and certainly we need to do all we can to encourage that downward trend, particularly in encouraging teens to wait to have sex until they're married." (See related story)

The abstinence advocate disagrees with those who would look at the report and believe that young people need more access to birth control. She argues that a closer look into the statistics shows that teens need more support for the good decisions they are making to abstain.

Read More From One News Now

Author Says Christianity Is Not A Cultural Religion

Christian Post

Too often Christianity is tied to the culture – commonly to the ambition of the Christian left or right. But it is exactly at this point, regarding the faith’s relationship with culture, that Christianity is virtually unlike any other religion in the world, said a respected professor and author.

It is important to understand Christianity’s relationship with culture, explained Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Jr., provost and professor of literature at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Va., especially when the new atheists, such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, argue that Christianity is bad because it has a negative effect on culture.

While most religions in the world are closely tied to a culture, Christianity is above the culture, asserted Veith during the 2011 Online Apologetics Conference on Friday.

“To become a Muslim is to adopt the whole culture: what you eat, how you dress, every part of your life. That’s all part of becoming a Muslim, adopting Islamic laws is a part of it,” said Veith, who delivered the keynote address “Cultural Apologetics,” during the three-day event. “Becoming a Hindu is to adopt the whole culture along with that."

“Christianity, in contrast, is for all cultures. This is a theme of the New Testament, St. John’s vision of the redeemed in Revelation 7,” he said. “Christianity is for every tribe, every nation, every language, every time, for every culture. That’s really quite unique from other religions because Christ died for the sins of the world.”

Read More From Christian Post

New York: Number Of Citizens Turning To Homeless Shelters On The Rise

NEW YORK (AP) — The Coalition for the Homeless says an all-time high number of New Yorkers turned to shelters last year.

The coalition says a record 113,553 people — including 42,888 children — slept in shelters run by New York City in fiscal year 2010. That's an 8 percent increase over the previous year.

The coalition released its annual State of the Homeless report Monday.

The group is calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make greater use of federal housing programs like Section 8 vouchers to move families to permanent homes.

Read More From My Fox New York

Nobel-Prize Economist Calling For Global Reserve Currency

The world economy needs a new global reserve currency to help prevent trade imbalances that are reflected in the national debt of the U.S., said Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.

A “global system” is needed to replace the dollar as a reserve currency and help avoid a weakening of U.S. credit quality, said Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York. The dollar fell to an almost 15-month low against the euro last week, and the U.S. trade deficit widened more than forecast in January to the highest level in seven months.

“By taking off the burden of any single country, we don’t have to have trade deficits,” Stiglitz said in an interview in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. “Things would be much worse if it were not the case that Europe was having even more of a problem, but winning a negative beauty pageant is not the way to create a strong economy.”

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders negotiated a last-minute deal two nights ago to avert a government shutdown. Within weeks, the government may be forced to increase the $14.3 trillion federal debt ceiling to ensure the U.S. will meet its financial obligations.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield was at 3.58 percent on April 8, below the average of 7 percent since 1980.

The ratio of general government debt, including state and local governments, to gross domestic product is projected to climb to 100 percent in 2012, the most of any country with an AAA ranking, Fitch Ratings said last week.

‘Extremely Low’

Even so, “the likelihood of the U.S. government failing to honor its financial obligations and in particular make due and full payments on U.S. Treasury securities is extremely low,” Fitch said in a statement.

To finance its budget deficits, the U.S. sells bonds to overseas investors and governments, boosting the dollar reserves of those nations. Overseas holdings of dollar reserves rose to $3.14 trillion in the fourth quarter of last year, according to International Monetary Fund figures.

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China: Beijing Police Shut Down Unapproved Church Gathering

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing police on Sunday detained dozens of worshippers from an unapproved Christian church who were trying to hold services in a public space after they were evicted from their usual place of worship, a parishioner said.

Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang church had told members to gather at an open-air venue in Beijing for Sunday morning services, but police, apparently alerted to their plans, taped off the area and took away people who showed up to take part.

China’s Communist government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but many Christians belong to unregistered congregations. Such “house churches” are subjected to varying degrees of harassment by authorities.

More than 60 million Christians are believed to worship in China’s independent churches, compared with about 20 million who worship in the state church, according to scholars and church activists.

A church member who went to the gathering spot for services and managed to evade police told The Associated Press that about 200 people were taken away and were being held at a local school. Their cellphones were confiscated, said the man, who would give only his English name, Kane, for fear of police reprisals.

An AP videographer saw about a dozen people escorted by police onto an empty city bus and driven away.

Read More From The Blaze

Texas Apartment Complex Holds Church Services In Leasing Office

Posted: Apr 10, 2011 7:24 PM EDT
KTRE 9 News

(KTRE) - Often referred to as a project , Eastwood Terrace Apartments in Nacogdoches doesn't have the best reputation. However, a pastor with a mission to minister is changing things around, and bringing hope to the community.

"God spoke to me - he said I'm going to send you to a place where some people do not go. I know this was a place for me to be," said Pastor Marcus Henderson of New Life Church of God and Christ.

The Eastwood Terrace Apartments' leasing office in southeast Nacogdoches is now home to Pastor Henderson and his church.

"God told me that people not going to come to church - take the church to the people... In other words: to eliminate some of the excuses for folks not to go to church," said Henderson.

It's hard to imagine that a room in the run-down leasing office is filled with so much prayer, passion and love. Not just on Sundays, but several times a week.

"We have prayer on Tuesdays, we have bible study on Wednesday night 7:00 and we have worship services on Friday nights," said Henderson.

Henderson and his right-hand woman, Missionary Dorethea Freeman minister to this apartment community in anyway they can.

"I stand right with him. I go out into the neighborhood with him. I go pray with him. We take communion to the nursing home," said Dorethea Freeman.

They also hold clothing drives every three weeks. Pastor Henderson says it's about taking care of the community's spiritual and physical needs.

Read More From KTRE

Teen Show Glee Promoting Planned Parenthood Sex Ed Agenda

by Kara Russo | Washington, DC | | 3/25/11 6:30 PM
Question: Besides MTV’s “Skins”, what TV show today is arguably corrupting our youth and promoting homosexual behavior and sexual activity more than any other? Answer: the heavily promoted and what I find to be aggressively immoral Tuesday night youth indoctrination hour, ‘Glee’.

On Tuesday, March 8th, ‘Glee ‘ – which regularly features homosexual relationships and rampant sexual activity by minors – managed to limbo even lower (under a bar set already almost on the floor) with an episode featuring Gwenyth Paltrow as the school’s visiting “sex education” teacher.

Some of you might recall that Paltrow and her mother, Blythe Danner, are also known for their “work” as celebrity supporters of the largest abortion business in America, Planned Parenthood. Twice, the mother-daughter duo has used Mother’s Day as what they called the “perfect time” to send out an email soliciting donations on behalf of Planned Parenthood. Yes, that’s right. Gwenyth Paltrow and her mother used the day dedicated to mothers (whose role it is to protect and nurture their babies, not kill them) to solicit more money for the business that not only killed 324,008 unborn babies in 2008 alone, but that did so while receiving $349.6 million in federal funding from our taxpayer dollars. In 2009, Planned Parenthood received $363.2 million.

Now, as a strong pro-life advocate, I am well aware of the dangers of “sex education.”

The graphic (and very often pornographic) materials and speech that are used not only gets kids thinking more about sex, but also – by purporting sex to be just another item on the list making up your teen’s “health”, sharply takes away from the sacredness of the act, which was intended by God to be only for one man and one woman within the bond of marriage. “Sex education” has been shown to lead to an increase in underage sexual activity, and it is obvious to many that “sex education” is Planned Parenthood’s modus operandi for indoctrinating and attracting new young customers (our kids) through direct marketing to them in our schools. Planned Parenthood has literally infiltrated our schools across the country, including right here in Rhode Island. (The FY 2007 Annual Report for Planned Parenthood of RI reports Planned Parenthood running workshops in the Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls school systems at the middle school and high school levels.) After hearing that Paltrow would be guest starring on ‘Glee’ as a “sex education” teacher, I had to tune in just to witness and report on how far the episode would go – and how much evil would be employed – in what I knew was sure to be an egregious attack on the minds and souls of young viewers across America.

Even I was shocked. The episode began with outright hate speech against Catholicism, and quickly moved on to thinly veiled promotion of students becoming sexually active.

In the first scene, Paltrow’s character tries to pressure another teacher who is in favor of abstinence education into getting on board with her ideology. When the abstinence teacher dissents and says “I strongly disagree. I don’t think that we should barrage these kids with graphic information. They’re kids. I don’t want to steal their innocence,” Paltrow’s character haughtily exclaims: “Are you, like, some kind of crazy Pope lady?”

In a later scene, Paltrow’s character attempts to get the kids all riled up and excited about sex, rocking out and seductively dancing around in a low cut black leather jumpsuit and tauntingly screaming Joan Jett’s song lyrics “Do you wanna touch me there?” When one of the students, in the face of Paltrow’s character’s outrageous display, calmly asks: “What about those of us who choose to remain celibate?”, Paltrow’s character nastily replies: “Oh well I admire your choice…. Although I think you’re naive…and possibly frigid … I do admire your choice.”

This statement is telling, and it fits exactly in line with what many have seen of Planned Parenthood’s “sex education” tactics. Many can clearly see that Planned Parenthood is corrupting a whole generation starting with their covert, unhealthy, and immoral “sex education” agenda.

It has been revealed that in the abortion business, “sex education” is an essential component of their business plan. I saw this first hand last year in Connecticut, when Planned Parenthood and NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) fought hard to get legislation passed with amendment language that would have further increased “sex education” in Connecticut schools. Thanks to God and to an enormous public outcry, they lost.

It is obvious to many that what Planned Parenthood is actually doing is selling sex, and trying to make our youth believe that their sexuality is not a sacred gift from God, but instead something to be used for their own pleasure and at the whim of their own passions. Planned Parenthood describes fornication as “healthy sexuality” and the murder of innocent human beings through abortion as “reproductive health.” Are these really the people we want in charge of teaching our children?

Read More From Life News

Lady Gaga Sings About Love Affair With Judas The Disciple Who Betrayed Jesus

Tue, Apr. 05 2011 07:01 AM EDT
Christian Post

The second single off of Lady Gaga’s new album “Born This Way” has been leaked across the Internet, giving audiences a glimpse into Mother Monster’s dark side … or darker side.

“Judas,” her latest upcoming single, speaks about her love relationship with Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus with a kiss and killed himself after. Gaga told Carson Daly on Amp Radio that the track is about always “falling in love with the wrong man over and over again.”

Described as “backstabbing boyfriends of the biblical variety,” the song title was first revealed in Vogue Magazine.

“It’s about constantly walking towards the light in my life, but always clutching onto the light while peering towards the devil in the back,” Gaga told the Skorpion Show.

“I sing about what a holy fool I am, and that although moments in my life are so cruel and relationships can be so cruel I’m still in love with Judas. I still go back again to those evil things.”

Relaying in an exclusive interview with Google a few lines of the song, the singer recited, “When he comes to me, I am ready. I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs, forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain. Even after three times he betrays me, I’ll bring him down, a king with no crown.”

“The song is about honoring your darkness in order to bring yourself into the light,” Gaga told Google. “You have to look into what’s haunting you and need to learn to forgive yourself in order to move on.”

And it’s really fun to dance to, she added.

Read More From Christian Post