FRC Blog

Good Night, Vienna

by Family Research Council

December 20, 2006

When Susan B. Anthony fought for women’s rights do you think this is what she had in mind?

Vienna to get gender-equal traffic and exit signs

A green exit sign shows a woman, rather than a man, running for the door, while a traffic light features another crossing the street in a new initiative by the City of Vienna to raise awareness about gender equality.

Glen or Glenda?The campaign, launched on Thursday and entitled “Wien sieht’s anders” (Vienna sees it differently) is part of the City’s “Gender Mainstreaming” project.

Its aim is to “give both genders the same exposure and ensure an equal distribution of chances, opportunities and duties” by changing the gender of figures pictured on familiar signs, City Hall said in a statement.

Because it clashes with fixed visual habits, the campaign compels (people) to think, look and act differently,” Sonja Wehsely, city councillor in charge of women’s affairs, said in the statement.

Thus, signs using male characters will have their female equivalent, while the opposite will also be true.

Female exit signs and pictograms in bathrooms featuring a man, rather than a woman, changing a baby, will be introduced at City Hall to start with, the statement said.

Seats reserved for the elderly and pregnant women on Vienna’s buses and trams will soon also picture a man carrying a child on his lap.

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Sex-selection in India Increases

by David Christensen

December 19, 2006

The Associated Press reports that 7,000 fewer girls are born in India every day. The increased use of ultrasound in India has made sex-selection that much easier. The number of abortions of girls is staggering. Indian officials aren’t pleased:

Female feticide should be treated as a crime and not just a social evil, therefore stringent punishment and punitive action is required,” said Renuka Choudhury, India’s women and child development minister.

She’s correct. But why isn’t abortion of any child regardless of sex viewed as a form of feticide?

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Osama bin Laden Shot Dead

by Family Research Council

December 19, 2006

Killer elephant Osama bin Laden shot dead:

A killer elephant named Osama bin Laden that is thought to be responsible for the deaths of at least fourteen people in India has been shot dead. ‘Osama’ had reportedly trampled 14 people to death in the past six months in the north-eastern state, the BBC reported.

He was given his name by villagers in Assam’s eastern district of Sonitpur. Reuters is reporting that a forestry official said on Sunday “Osama” had been shot dead on Saturday in a tea plantation on the outskirts of Behali town, about 140 km (90 miles) north of Guwahati, Assam’s main city.

The elephant was killed after villagers identified him,” a senior forestry official said, adding the animal could be identified because it had no tusks.

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Santa’s Naughty List: Howell High School

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

What exactly does 33% of a song sound like?

Howell rule limits choirs’ sacred tunes

I can't tell you how many Christmas I got coalDistrict’s 10-year-old policy stirs debate before the high school’s annual holiday concert.

The “Hallelujah Chorus” from “The Messiah,” “Glory, Glory” and “Weep O Mine Eyes” are among the repertoire of musical selections to be sung by the nearly 300 members of Howell High School choirs at 7 tonight and Thursday.

But, for every religious song performed by the nine choral groups, 3.33 others have to be secular yuletide offerings as required under a school district’s policy.

We’re falling within the guidelines. I comply with (the rules) although I don’t agree. I just find the whole thing disturbing that we’re not able to do all the literature I’d like to do,” said Rod Bushey, choral director at Howell High.

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This Day in History/Quote of the Day

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

On this day in 1799, George Washington, the first president of the United States, dies of acute laryngitis at his estate in Mount Vernon, Virginia. George Washington was born in 1732 to a farm family in Westmoreland County, Virginia. i would swear I'm the only one who remembers the cartoonHis first direct military experience came as a lieutenant colonel in the Virginia colonial militia in 1754, when he led a small expedition against the French in the Ohio River valley on behalf of the governor of Virginia. Two years later, Washington took command of the defenses of the western Virginian frontier during the French and Indian War. After the war’s fighting moved elsewhere, he resigned from his military post, returned to a planter’s life, and took a seat in Virginia’s House of Burgesses. In 1774, he represented Virginia at the Continental Congress.

After the American Revolution erupted in 1775, Washington was nominated to be commander in chief of the newly established Continental Army. Some in the Continental Congress opposed his appointment, thinking other candidates were better equipped for the post, but he was ultimately chosen because as a Virginian his leadership helped bind the Southern colonies more closely to the rebellion in New England. After winning the war, the victorious general retired to his estate at Mount Vernon, but in 1787 he heeded his nation’s call and returned to politics to preside over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In February of 1789 Washington was unanimously elected the first president of the United States. In 1792, he was unanimously reelected but four years later refused a third term. In 1797, he finally began a long-awaited retirement at his estate in Virginia. He died two years later. His friend Henry Lee provided a famous eulogy: “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”

QoD: “Me and Janet really are two different people.” - Michael Jackson. On this day in 1969 the Jackson Five made their 1st appearance on “Ed Sullivan Show.”

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The 109th Congress: What’s In a Name?

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

It appears the majority of the bills came from the Democrats. What will be left to name once they are in power?

Hey its Christmas bonus time, I'll take all opportunities to suck up

109th Congress a success at naming buildings

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Despite criticism for adjourning last week without acting on several major legislative initiatives, members of Congress can boast significant achievements in at least one area of federal lawmaking — naming post offices.

Of the 383 pieces of legislation that were signed into law during the two-year 109th Congress, more than one-quarter dealt with naming or renaming federal buildings and structures — primarily post offices — after various Americans.

Three post offices were named after entertainers. Ray Charles, the late singer and musician, was honored with a post office in Los Angeles in July 2005 in a bill sponsored by Rep. Diane Watson, D-California Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, authored a law naming another Los Angeles post office after actor and former American Express pitchman Karl Malden.

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This Day in History/Quote of the Day

by Family Research Council

December 14, 2006

Could i be more obscure?On this day in 1928 the clip on tie was designed. The tie is a bow tie or four in hand tie which is permanently tied into its knot with a dimple just below the knot, which is fixed only to the front of the shirt collar by a metal clip. Many types of occupations require their personnel to wear clip-on ties for safety or efficiency reasons. These occupations include police, paramedics, and engineers. Other people may wear a clip-on tie in lieu of a standard necktie if they do not know how to tie one, while others feel it is less constrictive than a standard necktie.

He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!” - From Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” published on this day in 1843, selling 6,000 copies.

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Stop the ACLU: No ifs, ands or butts

by Family Research Council

December 13, 2006

The ACLU is saying a teacher’s First Amendment rights are being violated because he was fired due to his side job of making paintings that are probably the butt of many wise cracks.There were so many puns with this one In what way is the school stifling his freedom of expression? The “artist” is still free to do his “paintings,” however the school district by no means needs to condone his behavior. The ACLU knows that by suing under First Amendment grounds that they can profit by suing the school district for legal fees. This is done by abusing existing civil rights laws that were meant to protect minorities who were victims of prejudice; instead the ACLU uses it as a cash cow. This is why Congress needs to stop this abuse and reintroduce and pass the Public Expression of Religion Act as soon as they come back.

Virginia Teacher Suspended for Painting With Genitals

RICHMOND, Va. — Chesterfield County school officials have suspended a teacher they say may be setting a bad example for students through his outside artistic activities.

Stephen Murmer is a self-described “butt-printing artist.”

He creates floral and abstract art by plastering his posterior and genitals with paint and pressing them against canvas.

His cheeky creations sell for hundreds of dollars.

But Murmer is also known as a popular, joke-cracking art teacher at Monacan High School.

Chesterfield County schools spokeswoman Debra Marlow says school system regulations state that teachers must set an example for students through their personal conduct.

Murmer was placed on administrative leave on Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia says the suspension goes against Murmer’s First Amendment rights.

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