at 5/12/2007 Posted by Shopman
Madeline Murray O'Hair
The story of Madeline Muray O'Hair can be summed up in one word... bizarre.
The following are short excerpts from a variety of sources about this woman's life.
My mother: the most hated woman in America
Interview with William J. Murray
by Robert Doolan"William Murray’s mother is perhaps America’s most famous atheist—Madalyn Murray O’Hair. She used him, while he was a student in 1963, to convince the United States Supreme Court to ban prayer and Bible-reading in public schools.
She has filed lawsuits against Pope John Paul II and evangelist Billy Graham and has battled through the US courts to try to stop astronauts from praying in space."
What William J. Murray says about his mother, Madalyn Murray O'Hair..
"My mother was not just Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist leader. She was an evil person who led many to hell. That is hard for me to say about my own mother but it is true.
"When I was a young boy of ten or eleven years old she would come home and brag about spending the day in X-rated movie theaters in downtown Baltimore. She was proud of the fact she was the only woman in the movie house watching this filth. My mother’s whole life circulated around such things. She even wrote articles for Larry Flynt’s pornographic magazine, Hustler."
"William’s mother began to make head-lines in 1960, when he was at high school. He recalls that in Baltimore, Maryland, after the family’s unsuccessful attempt to defect to the Soviet Union, his mother flew into a rage when she noticed William’s school began each day with prayer and the pledge of allegiance to the American flag."
"She declared war on the practice. While she enraged many Americans over her lack of patriotism, she finally convinced the Supreme Court on June 17, 1963, to ban prayer and Bible-reading from the nation’s public schools. No Christian group filed a brief opposing them."
"In 1979, William had an idea to help get rid of his mother’s reputation as the most hated woman in America."
"He told her of a hospital which desperately needed new equipment. He suggested she buy the equipment and put a plaque on it saying, ‘A gift from Madalyn Murray O’Hair—atheist.’
‘I told her we’d call a news conference and get the story publicized all over the United States. Then people would say she’s not such a bad old gal after all.’
She fumed. ‘She said, “Why would I want to take perfectly good money and use it to buy hospital equipment? I could use that money to file lawsuits to bar pastors, priests and rabbis from being allowed to go into hospitals.”’
In what many saw as a bizarre turnaround in his life, William then found God. This son of America’s high-profile atheist, evolutionist and religion-hater, read Taylor Caldwell’s book Dear and Glorious Physician, about Luke, one of the Bible’s Gospel writers.
William rushed out at 3 o’clock one morning in a desperate search for a Bible. He found one in an all-night store. He said that as he read about why Jesus Christ had lived and died, it finally put meaning into his life. ‘I got down on my knees and repented of my sins and asked Jesus Christ into my life as Lord and Saviour.’
"DOOR: Are most Atheists in the United States members of the Republican Party?
O'Hair: I think if you stop for a minute, you will understand why Atheists are Republican. They are highly individual persons. A great percentage of Atheists are people who are singularly capable of ordering their own lives. By that I mean that they are doctors, lawyers, dentists, and veterinarians; they have nobody else to tell them what to do. They are people who are able to stand-alone economically. An extraordinary number of small businessmen are Atheists across the nation. So here you have one out of every four people in the country claiming to be Atheists, according to the Gallup Poll, who want to think for themselves, do for themselves, stand independent economically, philosophically, and theologically."
DOOR: Let's go back to that time. Your son was in Junior High School. What happened, he made a decision not to pray when everyone was praying and he was persecuted for it?
O'Hair: Yes. What concern is it of anybody's if we don't pray? Why should they coerce my family, brutalize us, destroy our home and our cars, go to our employers, ostracize us, and persecute us, because we don't want to participate in what they're doing? I think that the most ugly, vicious, brutal, hate-filled persons in the world are Christians. I think that a very fundamental core feeling of Christianity is intolerance. Here you had a family professing something that the Christians did not profess and they were intolerant of my holding that opinion.
DOOR: And that was your motivation then for the court action?
O'Hair: Our country was predicated on the proposition that religion is and ought to be a private affair between a man and his God. Here was a situation, which was enforceable by existing law. I was an attorney at the time and the only way to remedy an existing law is to have that law struck down the United States Supreme Court, or have a new and different law passed. So I took legal action. It was also something personal having to do with my child and the coercion upon him to pray whether he wanted to or not.
DOOR: If they had not taken the position to make your son pray, if it had not been personal, would you still have taken it to court?
O'Hair: Yes, the persecution on my family was just an incident in the battle.
DOOR: How much did it cost to get Christian doctrine dismissed from schools? And how do you feel about some schools still openly teaching religion?
O'Hair: Ninety-five percent of schools across the nation are in compliance with the United States Supreme Court ruling. Schools that are flagrantly teaching religion are showing children defiance of the law and our Constitution, and teaching our children to be criminal. They are saying primarily that you can get away with breaking any law if the reasons are religious. As for the financing, personally it cost me my employment, my home, my reputation, and my family. But as an organization, we relied almost entirely on the American Atheist community to support the Bible prayer case. In actual legal fees and court costs it was about $25,000. The average Atheist sent me $2.67 over the four-year court fight.
DOOR: You said earlier that Christians are the most ugly, hate-filled persons in the world. Do you see any difference between someone who says they are a Christian and somebody who says they are a born again Christian?........
O'Hair founded the group American Atheists in 1963 and remained its leading spokesperson until 1995, when she and two of her adult children vanished after leaving a note saying they would be away temporarily. The trio appeared to have taken with them at least $500,000 in American Atheist funds; one private investigator concluded that they had fled to New Zealand. Eventually suspicion turned to David Roland Waters, an ex-convict who had worked at the American Atheist offices. Police concluded that he and accomplices had kidnapped the O'Hairs, forced them to withdraw the missing funds, and then murdered them. Waters eventually pled guilty to reduced charges and in January 2001 he led police to three bodies buried on a remote Texas ranch, which proved to be O'Hair and her children.
at 5/12/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
James Samuel Coleman: 5/12/26 to 3/25/95
Coleman was a U.S. sociologist, a pioneer in mathematical sociology whose studies strongly influenced education policy. In the early 1950s, he was as a chemical engineer with Eastman-Kodak Co. in Rochester, N.Y. He then changed direction, fascinated with sociology and social problems. In 1966, he presented a report to the U.S. Congress which concluded that poor black children did better academically in integrated, middle-class schools. His findings provided the sociological underpinnings for widespread busing of students to achieve racial balance in schools. In 1975, Coleman rescinded his support of busing, concluding that it had encouraged the deterioration of public schools by encouraging white flight to avoid integration.
at 5/11/2007 Posted by Sunny Badger
Major General John Batiste is the son of a soldier who's married to the daughter of another soldier, Batiste was a highly regarded major general who did what few generals would ever do in 2005: he rejected an offer of the premier command in the U.S. military at the time: V Corps, which was based in Germany and headed to Iraq. "It was gut-wrenching," he told me in an interview. "I loved soldiering." Fed up with Donald Rumsfeld's botched stewardship of the Iraq War, Batiste retired and almost immediately became a vocal critic, something he felt he couldn't do while still in uniform. He admits that his participation in the ad is breaking new ground. "I don't think there is a precedent for it," he says. "I wish there were more [generals speaking out against continuing the war]. Where are the other guys?" Since he first came out with his opposition to former Defense secretary Rumsfeld last spring, calling for his resignation, "I've had nothing but absolute support" from his colleagues inside the military, Batiste says. "No one has objected."
Here more about what Major General John Batiste (ret) has to say on the subject of the war in Iraq.
Batiste talks with Keith Oberman.
Check out Vote Vets.
at 5/11/2007 Posted by Dratsum
From Chicago Tribune
"I'm projecting the first [nationwide] price drop since the Great Depression," he said. "We're going to have negative home prices in 2007."
His comments seemed uncharacteristic for Lereah, whose mostly blue-sky forecasts have long been criticized for stoking the fire as home sales bubbled to stunning -- and unsustainable, even by his own account -- levels. He had been the public face for the Realtors since the housing boom began in 2001.
"The media regularly turns to him for real estate quotes," said David Jackson, who created the hypercritical David Lereah Watch blog because he believed the economist was churning the housing market. "Lereah tells half-truths and manipulates facts and figures. He cannot be trusted, as he is a paid shill."
Most critics are less incendiary, though frankly uncomplimentary.
They often cite as Exhibit A his 2005 book, "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?" subtitled "Why home values and other real estate investments will climb through the end of the decade."
"He promotes housing," said Washington economist Dean Baker, an outspoken housing-market bear. "Certainly, people who were making decisions to move, they either heard David directly or from someone who heard from David that home prices will never fall, don't worry, the market will stay strong. So they paid too much for a house."
Lereah, in an interview Wednesday, shrugged off the criticism. "I feel confident I did a very good job forecasting and reflected what was happening in the marketplace," he said.
ROANOKE, Va. - The maker of the powerful painkiller OxyContin and three of its current and former executives pleaded guilty Thursday to misleading the public about the drug's risk of addiction, a federal prosecutor and the company said.Purdue Pharma L.P., its president, top lawyer and former chief medical officer will pay $634.5 million in fines for claiming the drug was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other pain medications, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said.
The plea agreement settled a national case and came two days after the Stamford, Conn.-based company agreed to pay $19.5 million to 26 states and the District of Columbia to settle complaints that it encouraged physicians to overprescribe OxyContin.
"With its OxyContin, Purdue unleashed a highly abusable, addictive, and potentially dangerous drug on an unsuspecting and unknowing public," Brownlee said. "For these misrepresentations and crimes, Purdue and its executives have been brought to justice."
The Food and Drug Administration is dramatically expanding its investigation into contaminated pet food, after some U.S. companies suggested the contamination was no accident. It also appears the contaminant involved — melamine — could reach human food.
Listen to NPR Report 1:
The Chinese government's investigation into tainted pet food that was exported to the U.S. has revealed that melamine contamination is part of a broader problem in China: inadequate product controls. Beijing vows to tackle the problem with special attention to fertilizers, pesticides and additives to animal food.
Listen to NPR Report 2:
Related NPR Stories
Interesting column by Craig Westover in the Pioneer Press today discussing the politics of mercury and the CFL lights.
On light-bulb mania, facts and consequences
by CRAIG WESTOVER
I did my part for the environment the other day: I persuaded a young woman to reshelf half a shopping cart of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) she intended to purchase. She was out to help the environment, but when she discovered that CFLs contain mercury, she did what an intelligent person should do: She decided to do some research before bringing those environmental Trojan horses into her home.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are the pigtail-shaped light bulbs that Al Gore and a phalanx of environmental groups, home improvement retailers, and the Environmental Protection Agency are pushing like Eric Estrada shilling retirement property in Arkansas. CFLs are going to save the planet from the grip of global warming. They use less energy than a standard light bulb, which means coal-burning power plants spew less greenhouse gas into the air.
Click here for more stories on the mercury v. CFL controversy.
at 5/10/2007 Posted by Sunny Badger
Queen teases Bush over date gaffe
Britain's Ambassador to the United States Sir David Manning, President Bush and the Queen
The Queen attended a dinner at the British ambassador's residence
The Queen has made a joke about US President George Bush's gaffe in which he nearly aged her by 200 years.
In a speech at a dinner in the US, she said: "Mr President, I wondered whether I should start this toast saying I was here in 1776 but I don't think I will.
at 5/09/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
Shouldn't that be "Slammerwear?
Party On Paris!
The notorious party girl, who parlayed her pampered lifestyle into a reality TV show and a pop CD, was sentenced to 45 days in county jail for violating the terms of her probation in an alcohol-related reckless driving case. A judge ordered her to report to the women's jail in suburban Lynwood by June 5, adding that she will not be allowed any work release, furloughs, use of an alternative jail or electronic monitoring instead of time behind bars.
at 5/09/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me and we all could use a little more calmness in our lives. By following the simple advice I heard on the Dr. Phil show, I have finally found inner peace.
Dr. Phil proclaimed, "The way to achieve inner Peace is to finish all the things you've started and never finished."
So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of White Zinfandel, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some saltines and a box of chocolates.
You have no idea how totally good I feel now.
at 5/09/2007 Posted by Kitty
at 5/06/2007 Posted by Andy Rand
The conservative pundit explains why liberals are 'godless' and why she considers herself a good Christian.
What does it mean to be a good Christian, and do you consider yourself to be a good Christian?
To believe with all your heart at every moment that God loved a wretch like you so much that he sent his only son to die for your sins. Most of the time, I'm an extraordinarily good Christian.
Do you attend church frequently? Do you pray, and whom and what do you pray for?
Yes and yes. I pretend to attend a giant church in New York City, where I pray for the souls of people who claim I've never been there. I pray for mercy and divine protection from God's enemies. When I'm in a jaunty mood, I pray for Him to smite liberals.
You say you're a Christian. Do you think Jesus would want you to be nicer to your political opponents?
Who knows? Maybe He'll say I was too tough or maybe He'll chastise me for not being tough enough on those who hate Him. Ask the money-changers in the temple how “nice” Jesus was. Maybe He'll say I needed more jokes or fewer adjectives. I'll just apologize for not getting it right and thank him for dying for my sins.
at 5/06/2007 Posted by Andy Rand