Thursday, May 26, 2011

8 Yr Old California Boy Helps To Replace Tattered American Flag

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- When an 8-year-old Oceanside boy noticed that an American flag flying above the city pier was tatterend and torn, he immediately launched a campaign to rectify the situation.

"The Young Marines promotes discipline, leadership, and teamwork," young Luke Smith said.

Luke already possesses those qualities, and he wears his Eagle Young Marines uniform with pride. The group, sponsored by the Marine Corps League, is similar in many ways to the Boy Scouts. It promotes academic, physical and character development.
When Luke was participating in a 5K run at the Oceanside Pier, he noticed something that bothered him.

"I was actually standing right under this pier at the starting line. I looked up at the flag and noticed it was all ripped up and tattered," he said.

So Luke used those leadership and teamwork skills to make a difference by writing the following hand-written letter:

"Dear Mr. Mayor,

During my last visit to the pier, while I was looking around, I saw the American flag at the top of the pole waving in the breeze. I felt proud, then I was sad. The flag was all ripped up and tattered. I think it was disrespectful to our country and the people who fight for it. I would be pleased if you would replace it.

Thank you, sir, for your attention.
Your friend, Luke Smith, 8 years old"

When Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood saw the letter, he took action.

"Because of all the cutbacks within the City of Oceanside, like everywhere else, we don't have the eyes and ears out there like we used to. So, we have a young lad like this who spotted a problem- a tattered flag in the City of Oceanside -- in a military town, it was fantastic," Wood said . "It was something that bothered him and I thought it was great. I gave it to the city manager and replaced the flag."

Wood sent Smith a letter of proclamation, which Smith said he will cherish every day, especially this Memorial Day weekend.
Read More From Fox 5 San Diego

Algerian Churches Face Closure After Government Says They Are Operating "illegally"

Christians plan to attend services this weekend despite intimidation tactics.
Seven Algerian churches face closure this week after the governor of their province sent them written notice that they were operating “illegally.”

The notice on Sunday (May 22) from Police Chief Ben Salma, citing a May 8 decree from the Bejaia Province governor, also states that all churches “in all parts of the country” will be closed for lack of compliance with registration regulations, but Christian leaders dismissed this assertion as the provincial official does not have nationwide authority.

“All buildings permanently designated for or in the process of being designated for the practice of religious worship other than Muslim will be permanently closed down in all parts of the country, as well as those not having received the conformity authorization from the National Commission,” Salma stated in the notice.

On Sunday (May 22) the governor of Bejaia sent a statement to the president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA) informing him that all churches in the province were illegal because they were unregistered. Registration is required under controversial Ordinance 06-03, but Christians report the government refuses to respond to or grant their applications for registration.

The controversial law was introduced in 2006 to regulate non-Muslim worship. In 2008 the government applied measures in accordance with Ordinance 06-03 to limit the activities of non-Muslim groups, ordering the closure of 26 churches in the Kabylie region because they were not registered. No churches had been closed down since then.

EPA members argue, however, that the law is impossible to implement as officials refuse to register their churches despite efforts to comply. They said the authorities apply the law when they want to harass churches.

“It’s always the same thing,” Mustapha Krim, president of the EPA, told Compass. “They use this law when they want to pester us.”

On Monday (May 23) members of the EPA were scheduled to visit the Minister of Religious Affairs. Instead, however, they were received by one of his deputies, who told them the ministry was not aware of the decision of the Bejaia governor. The meeting was not constructive, according to Krim.

Krim, a resident of Bejaia, sounded relaxed and pragmatic on the phone, but he was adamant that the EPA members had no intention of closing their churches. The letter from the governor did not include a closure date, nor did it give any further reasons local authorities made this decision.

The governor of Bejaia is not particularly religious, according to Krim, making his order to close the churches of his province even more bemusing, he said.

The churches of Bejaia have submitted the documentation the controversial law requires, and the government’s unwillingness to give official permission for the churches to operate is a matter for officials, not churches, to resolve, asserted Krim.

“There are no precise reasons given [for the order to close],” Krim said. “They said we have to be in conformity to the law. We’ve always tried to do this and have submitted all that they requested. Now it’s up to them to give us the authorization and do what they need to do.”

According to the governor’s statement, if the churches do not comply, authorities may use force. The leaders of the churches in Bejaia have decided to conduct church services this weekend as scheduled and “see what happens,” said Krim, who also expects police to show up.

“For now, on Friday and Sunday there will be church meetings like always, but we expect that we may encounter the police,” he said. “They have the authority to intervene.”

He and the leaders of the other Protestant churches of Bejaia will meet on Thursday (May 26) to discuss a plan in the event of a police presence and force. He said some of the Christians have expressed fear and have many questions.

Asked if he thought this could mean the beginning of more closures of churches across Algeria, Krim said, “It is possible they are capable of doing things like this. We have no intention to close, and we have mobilized people to pray so that God can intervene.”

Despite efforts to comply with the ordinance, no churches or Christian groups have received governmental approval to operate, and the government has not established administrative means to implement the ordinance, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 Report on International Religious Freedom.
Read More From Compass Direct

MSNBC News Host Suspended Indefinetly For Calling Talk Radio Show Host "Right Wing Slut"

Ed Schultz gave a 4-minute long apology for calling fellow radio talk show host Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" during his program. Schultz says he is indefinitely suspended from his show for the time being.

"On my radio show yesterday, I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura and ask for your forgiveness. It doesn't matter what the circumstances were. It doesn't matter that it was on radio and I was ad libbing. none of that matters. none of that matters. What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to. I want all of you to know tonight that I did call Laura Ingraham today and did not make contact with her and I will apologize to her as i did in the message that I left her today. I also met with management here at MSNBC, and understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay. I want to apologize to Laura Ingraham. I want to apologize to my family, my wife. I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company. And I have been in this business since 1978, and I have made a lot of mistakes. This is the lowest of low for me. I stand before you tonight in front of this camera in this studio in an environment that I absolutely love. I love working here. I love communicating with all of you on the radio and the communication that I have with you when i go out and do town hall meetings and meet the people that actually watch. I std before you tonight to take full responsibility for what I said and how I said it, and I am deeply sorry," Schultz said on his MSNBC show this evening.

After Schultz delivered his statement the show cut to a commercial break. When the show returned after the pause MSNBC morning personality Thomas Roberts was now hosting.
Read More from Real Clear Politics