Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New York City Libraries Allow Porn To Be Watched In Public

NEW YORK (PIX11) -- In three seconds, close to 84,000 people will go online and watch Internet porn. And it turns out that some of those people may be doing it on taxpayer-funded computers at New York's Public Libraries.
It is all thanks to a policy, at all city libraries, that gives adults uncensored access to any Internet porn. The ability to access the porn falls under the free speech clause and the protection of the first amendment said library officials.
"It's hard for me to imagine that anyone would want to watch it in a public place," said a mother of two walking into the Brooklyn library.
But not all computers inside the library have a privacy screen so people who are not viewing the XXX flicks get a glimpse anyway. Jean, 74, of Brooklyn, came across someone watching while looking for a computer to check her email.
"First, I was in shock. I don't approve, what you do in your own home you can't do in public," said Jean.
But the library said it's not in their jurisdiction to ban the steamy online movies.
"The library provides access to anything that's protected by the First Amendment rights," said Brooklyn Library spokesperson, Richard Reyes-Gavilan.

Porn in the library has become a nationwide debate that has cities split on different sides of the issue.

Some major cities, like Los Angeles, allows people to click on porn sites. But in Washington State, it has been banned from all libraries.
By law, libraries across the country are only required to block illegal or obscene content --like child pornography.

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Bill Aims To honor Fallen Jewish Chaplains At Arlington Cemetery

Published April 20, 2011| Associated Press

Vera Silberberg was almost 4 when her father, a military chaplain, was killed in a plane crash in Vietnam while flying to observe Hanukkah with Jewish soldiers.

She grew up reveling in stories about him: Morton Singer, the weight-lifting Orthodox rabbi who loved cars, rock 'n' roll and his faith.

He was serious in his commitment to help American soldiers worship in wartime. Yet his name — and those of 12 other Jewish clergymen — is absent from monuments at Arlington National Cemetery that honor more than 240 other fallen military chaplains.

A new congressional effort backed by Jewish groups and survivors of the chaplains aims to change that.

"From his daughter's perspective, I think it would have been important for him — not really for his own namesake but so everyone who has perished and passed away, they should all have their names equally there," said Silberberg, a dentist who lives in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

There are already three monuments at Arlington for chaplains: one for those killed in World War I and one each for Roman Catholic and Protestant chaplains who died in various 20th century conflicts, including Korea and Vietnam. The three sit side-by-side in an area known as Chaplains Hill, not far from President John F. Kennedy's burial site. They were erected and dedicated by different groups of benefactors, so no one blames Arlington for the absence of a Jewish monument.

A joint resolution sponsored by Rep. Anthony Weiner and Sen. Charles Schumer, both New York Democrats, calls for a new plaque, similar in size and style to the existing three that would honor the late Jewish chaplains.

The 13 died between 1943 and 1974, though not all were killed in overseas combat.

They include Rabbi Alexander Goode, one of four chaplains who died aboard the USAT Dorchester, a troop ship torpedoed by a German U-boat as it carried hundreds of American soldiers across the frigid waters of the North Atlantic in 1943. The chaplains, as the story goes, gave up their life preservers and gloves to the shivering soldiers and offered comforting hymns even as the ship went down. More than 600 died. The names of the three other chaplains are all memorialized at Arlington.

Then there's Irving Tepper, who died in action in France in 1944 after seeing combat in Tunisia, Morocco and Sicily; Louis Werfel, known as the "Flying Rabbi," who died in a plane crash in North Africa; and Herman Rosen and his son, Solomon, who died in a drowning accident and air disaster, respectively, five years apart.

Ken Kraetzer, a bank marketing consultant and son of a World War II Army officer, noticed the lack of a monument for Jewish chaplains while researching the stories of late chaplains from his alma mater, Providence College. Though not Jewish himself, Kraetzer said he was startled by the apparent oversight. He alerted the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America and the Jewish Welfare Board Jewish Chaplains Council, which has helped lead the effort.

"I don't consider it a Jewish cause, per se. I consider it an honor the veterans cause. This is a chance to honor chaplains, past and present," Kraetzer said. "This group just happens to be Jewish."

Cemetery officials told the organizers they could move forward with a monument provided they raised the money themselves and could produce a complete and accurate list of the dead Jewish chaplains. They did that by cross-checking research from the Jewish Historical Society with records from the chaplain corps of each branch of service.

Owners Of Hobby Lobby Stores Buy 30,000 Rare Biblical Texts and Artifacts

By Lindsay Carlton

Published April 13, 2011|

About 17 months ago, the Green family went on a very expensive shopping spree.

But they didn’t burn the money on Bentleys, vacation homes or exotic yachts. They instead bought up 30,000 rare biblical texts and artifacts that now make up the largest private collection of its kind in the world.

The Greens, of Oklahoma City, are owners of the Hobby Lobby Empire, one of the nation’s leading privately owned arts and crafts retailers. Forbes Magazine puts the family fortune at around $2.5 billion.

Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby and the leading family member behind the project, was eager to share his family’s new discoveries and pushed to have them featured in a traveling exhibit called, “Passages.”

“We believe the Bible has a positive influence and I think that all people should see what it has to say,” Green said. “We encourage people to make their choice and follow its principals like we do and strive to do.”

Scholars, politicians and businesspeople gathered for a first glimpse of some of the rare religious artifacts when Passages was announced last month at the Vatican embassy in Washington. The formal stage is set to debut at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on May 16.

Some of the most notable antiquities include: the second-largest private collection of Dead Sea Scrolls, which are expected to help understanding of the earliest texts in the Bible, and the world’s largest private collection of Jewish scrolls, which includes Torahs recovered from Nazi concentration camps.

It also includes early printed parts of the Gutenberg Bible, one of the first major books printed in movable type in the 1450's, and a comprehensive collection of English bibles through the King James era.

But perhaps the collection’s most prized possession is the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, one of the earliest surviving Bibles. Purchased from a London auction house, Green says the Codex is one of his favorites, and is the fifth-oldest relatively complete bibles in the world.

Like any vintage item, these one-of-a-kind artifacts come with a big price tag. Museums don't disclose the amount spent on individual pieces, and the Green family abides by those standards. When asked how much the collection or even a single artifact was purchased for, Mr. Green declined to go into detail.

“It’s invaluable. We have texts that people have lost their lives to make, what you purchase it for and what it's worth are two different things,” said Dr. Scott Carroll, director of the Green collection. The cost of a single can be staggering. A Wycliffe, which is known as a group of bible translations from 1382-1395, can go for around $2.5 million to $3 million.

California Teachers Association Wants To Use Classroom Time To Stage Protests

The California Teachers Association (CTA) is under fire for its plans to use classroom time to fight proposed budget cuts.

The union is declaring what it calls a "State of Emergency" and calling for Wisconsin-style activities in order to provoke lawmakers to pass taxes on citizens in The Golden State. CTA documents [PDF] show the union is planning to use public schools as a means for protest and is calling for a week of "escalating action" from May 9-13, beginning and ending with "a group of educators...taking over the State Capitol."

Chris Gacek, senior fellow for regulatory policy with the Family Research Council, has no problem with union members lobbying -- provided those members do it on their own time.

"But it's not appropriate for them to be taking over classes [and using] class time...for their own political and economic messaging," says Gacek. "That just seems totally inappropriate."

Activities included in the "State of Emergency" are sit-ins at the State Capitol, a day without campus lunch-ins and services, and informing every parent with newsletters, flyers, and phone calls. Gacek contends the education system should not be seeking to maintain only funding, but must also put a cap on spending.

Read More From One News Now

School Tries To Block Pastor From Speaking To Students At Career Day

One News Now
Thanks to the help of one legal group, a pastor in Louisiana was recently allowed to participate in a Career Day at his grandchild's elementary school.

Though he was originally banned from participating because he is a pastor, Gary Hanberry was able to speak at Larose Lower Elementary School about the volunteer work he does at an orphanage in Kenya. The school initially decided that Hanberrry could only make his presentation if believers from every religion were invited to speak at Career Day. But after being contacted by Liberty Counsel, the school reversed course.

"I'm very pleased with how the school responded; they responded quickly," reports Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver. "I think this is a problem that we see happening around the country, where people of faith -- someone who is a pastor or a Christian -- [are] disabled or disenfranchised by a public official simply because of their Christian belief."

So the attorney says it is important that his group and others challenge schools that censor Christians.

"Even though it may be motivated by wrong information -- a wrong understanding of the Constitution, as the school officials did in this case -- if we don't challenge it, that action becomes a policy, and the policy becomes the law," the Liberty Counsel founder warns.

But Staver is astounded that the school attempted to screen out a Career Day message on helping orphans solely because the speaker was a Christian pastor.

Read More From One News Now

Christian Singer Rebecca St. James Marries Fiance Jacob Fink In San Diego

"Wait" To Find Love Is Over As Grammy Award Winning Christian Singer Marries The Man Of Her Dreams
(Nashville, Tennessee) –April, 26, 2011 – Christian Grammy Award winning singer, Rebecca St. James, whose voice and personal story of dedication to purity behind her self-written signature song "Wait For Me,"encouraged millions of young people worldwide since its’ release a decade ago, said “I Do” this past weekend to the man she’s been waiting for.
Rebecca married Jacob Fink on Saturday (23), in a ceremony held at the picturesque Junipero Serra Museum in San Diego, California. The noon wedding vows, including self-written commitment vows the couple wrote to each other, were set as the centerpiece of an intimate ceremony attended by 150 of their closest relatives and friends.
Both Rebecca’s long time pastor, Rick White of the People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee and Chris Schmaltz, the youth pastor who influenced Jacob’s decision for Christ as a teen and later provided ongoing spiritual guidance including marriage counseling for the couple, both officiated at the marriage. The glowing bride was given in marriage by her parents, David & Helen Smallbone.
Included in the ceremony were special moments that included the couple’s exchange of the purity rings each had worn prior to their marriage, and a very personal spiritual exchange of their commitment to serve each other which included the bride and groom washing each others feet before their wedding guests.Special music included Rebecca & Jacob's inclusion of the song You Make Everything Beautiful co-written by St. James and included on her recently released praise & worship album I Will Praise You. (Reunion Records/Provident Label Group). It was sung for the bridal couple and their assembled guests by the bride's brothers, Joel & Luke.
Noted Rebecca’s long time spiritual mentor and close personal friend, Evie Tornquist Karlsson following the wedding: “This was a glorious day of celebration! A marriage ceremony where from beginning to ending Jesus was the absolute focus and the special guest of honor of the bride and groom.”
Since the announcement of the couple’s engagement on Christmas Eve 2010, Rebecca has shared the impending excitement of the day with friends, as well as interested media who have followed her committment to purity since her emergence in the mid 90’s as a major artist in Christian music while still in her teens.

Read More From Morning Star Productions

Research Poll Shows Egyptians In Favor Of Ending Peace Treaty With Israel

More than half of Egyptians favor ending the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, according to a Pew Research poll.

Fifty-four percent of the 1,000 Egyptians interviewed support ending the peace treaty, while 34 percent would like the three-decade-old peace agreement to continue.

The Egypt-Israel peace treaty has been in affect more than 30 years. It created a mutual recognition of their countries with each other, the demilitarization of the Sinai Peninsula, passage for Israeli ships through the Suez Canal, development of trade with Egypt supplying Israel with oil and U.S. subsidizes for Egypt.

According to the survey, released April 25, Egyptians overwhelmingly support the fall of the Mubarak regime and are satisfied with the way things are going in their country. They are cautiously optimistic about a fair election with only 41 percent believing that it is possible.

More than 60 percent of Egyptians believe that the country’s laws “should strictly follow the teachings” of the Quran. Only 36 percent feel that Coptic Christians and other religious minorities should be able to freely practice their faiths.

The poll also found that Egyptians viewed the U.S. in a less than favorable light, despite its show of support for the nation's political reforms.
Read More From Christian Examiner

Syria Government Crackdown Under Way In Daraa As Protests Continue

Playstation Network Hacked Users Personal Info and Credit Card Details May Have Been Stolen

Sony has warned users of its PlayStation Network that their personal information, including credit card details, may have been stolen.

The company said that the data might have fallen into the hands of an "unauthorised person" following a hacking attack on its online service.

Access to the network was suspended last Wednesday, but Sony has only now revealed details of what happened.

Users are being warned to look out for attempted telephone and e-mail scams.

In a statement posted on the official PlayStation blog, Nick Caplin, the company's head of communications for Europe, said: "We have discovered that between April 17 and April 19 2011, certain PlayStation Network and Qriocity service user account information was compromised in connection with an illegal and unauthorized intrusion into our network".

The blog posting lists the personal information that Sony believes has been taken.

  • Name
  • Address (city, state/province, zip or postal code)
  • Country
  • E-mail address
  • Date of birth
  • PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login
  • Handle/PSN online ID

Mr Caplin added: "It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained.

"For your security, we encourage you to be especially aware of email, telephone, and postal mail scams that ask for personal or sensitive information."

Read the full text of Sony's PlayStation hack apology here.

Credit cards

Sony admitted that credit card information, used to purchase games, films and music, may also have been stolen.

"While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility," Mr Caplin said.

"If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained."

Sony has not given any indication of how many PlayStation Network users may have had their information taken, but the service has around 70 million members worldwide.

'PR Disaster'

The theft of so much detailed customer data would be seen as a "public relations disaster", according to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security firm Sophos.

"This is a big one," he told BBC News.

"The PlayStation Network is a real consumer product. It is in lots of homes all over the world.

"The impact of this could be much greater than your typical internet hack."

Read More From BBC News