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Some Things Said… (November 07) (Number 2)

In the rooms of Manhattan’s trendy Soho Grand Hotel guests can enjoy an eclectic selection of underground music, iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs and even the living company of a complimentary goldfish. But, alas, the word of God is nowhere to be found. Unlike traditional hotels, the 10-year-old boutique has never put Bibles in its guest rooms, because “society evolves,” says hotel spokeswoman Lori DeBlois. Providing Bibles would mean the hotel “would have to take care of every guest’s belief.”

What might be surprising to many Americans is that the Bible-free room isn’t a development just in hip New York City hotels. Across the country upscale accommodations are doing away with the Bible as a standard room amenity. And in its stead have arrived a slew of “lifestyle” products that cater to a younger, hipper (and presumably less religious) clientele. Since 2001 the number of luxury hotels with religious materials in the rooms has dropped by 18 percent, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The Nashville-based Gideons International, which has distributed copies of the Christian scripture to hotels since 1908, declined to comment on this trend… –excerpted from an article by Roya Wolverson from Newsweek as found at The American Family Association website 11.8.07 use one of these links to read the entire article: http://www.afa.net/newsweekgideons.htm or http://www.newsweek.com/id/69049

An honest liar

Host Bill O’Reilly: “Do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?”

Dan Rather: “Yes, I think he’s an honest man…. I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.” — Exchange on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” May 15, 2001. –submitted by Mark Zaveson

Florida County Rolls Out Online Divorce Option

With a few clicks of the mouse and about $400, residents of Broward County, Fla., now can file for divorce online. Kris Mazzeo, director of the circuit/civil family division of the clerk of courts, said the service will save hours of hassle.

“People come downtown, and it’s expensive to park. If we can keep them from making extra trips to the courthouse, it would be great for them,” she told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Jenny Tyree, associate marriage analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said quicker divorces are not the answer.

“The best time to discourage divorce is before such paperwork is considered,” she said. “Those friends and family closest to the couple are often the first line of defense to encourage counseling and other interventions, including making their children a top priority in all decision-making.” –from Focus on the Family Action, Inc. CitizenLink and as submitted by Mark Zaveson11.12.07.

GOP’ers Have ‘Gay’ Old Time Razzing Gov

Albany – Republican lawmakers yesterday mocked Gov. Spitzer’s claim that passing a bill legalizing gay marriage would be a top priority if the Democrats take control of the state Senate.

Republicans and even some top Democratic political consultants predicted that the issue could impact races in swing suburban and upstate districts next year and help the GOP maintain its slim majority.

“This is just dumb and shows that [Spitzer] doesn’t understand real politics,” said one Democratic consultant. “If you want to win Long Island, gay marriage isn’t the issue; property taxes does it.”

The Post yesterday cited three witnesses who saw Spitzer during Wednesday’s private fund-raiser for the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee. At the gala, he crowed that “one of the first things we’re going to do when [Senate Minority Leader] Malcolm Smith is [majority] leader is gay marriage.”

A Spitzer spokeswoman denied that the governor said a Democratic-controlled Senate would make gay marriage a top priority, but Smith recalled that the governor remarked that a Democratic Senate could have followed the Assembly passage of a gay-marriage bill earlier this year… –excerpted from an article by Kenneth Lovett, in the New York Post 11.17.07

From the “I think I am therefore I must be” Department

No vote from Christian physician for healing touch

The CEO of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations says despite recent news reports about alleged success, it’s “a sad situation” that hospitals are letting “healing touch therapy” — a non-invasive treatment that he says originates from Eastern religious beliefs — be practiced in their care facilities.

Dr. David Stevens, the author of Alternative Medicine: The Christian Handbook, says therapeutic touch comes out of Eastern mysticism and is the idea that energy fields within the human body can get out of balance. “And supposedly someone that practices this can sense those fields with their hands and rearrange them so that healing takes place,” Stevens explains.

USA Today reports that at least 100 U.S. hospitals have begun offering the services of therapy practitioners, primarily nurses, in the last 15 years — often for free because health insurances do not cover the cost. The paper references Healing Touch International, a non-profit Colorado based-group that certifies practitioners — of whom they say there are more than 86,000 nurses and other health professionals using it in hospitals and private practices. —excerpted from an article by Ed Thomas at OneNewsNow.com 11.14.07

“Cynical and immoral”- Godlessness reaches puberty in American politics…

…In this age of paint-by-the-numbers political campaigns, there is no chance we’d ever get to hear Senators Obama and Clinton discuss whether the 1960s belong in the doggie bag of history. Still there are a few other interested parties we would want to invite to our mythical summit on the ’60s. Such as John McCain.

During an October TV debate, Sen. McCain noted that Sen. Clinton wanted to spend $1 million on a museum at Woodstock, a concert he missed because “I was tied up at the time.” His quip about being held in a North Vietnamese prison camp from 1967 to 1973 may have been scripted, but boy did it hit the target.

There should be one more participant, a man who won’t mince words about the Age of Aquarius–Nicolas Sarkozy, the new president of France. When Mr. Sarkozy was campaigning in April against the Socialist Ségolène Royal, he said: “In this election, it is a question of whether the heritage of May ’68 should be perpetuated or if it should be liquidated once and for all.” He described the political Left born out of that period as “cynical” and “immoral.”

In 1968, Nicolas Sarkozy was 13 years old. John McCain was 32 and Hillary Clinton was 21. Barack Obama was 7. It is not beyond imagining that the precocious Messrs. Sarkozy and Obama were alert to events in 1968, but for the first wave of baby boomers just touching adulthood that year, it was the beginning of a strange journey.

Nearly any one of the events that went off in 1968 would have been enough to dominate another year. To list what actually happened that year even today boggles the mind, and spirit.

The year began with sales of the Beatles album, “Magical Mystery Tour.” In retrospect, it was a premonition. In late January, North Korea captured the USS Pueblo and crew members. A week later, the North Vietnamese army launched the Tet offensive. On Feb. 27, Walter Cronkite announced on CBS News that the U.S. had to negotiate a settlement to the Vietnam War. On March 12, Sen. Gene McCarthy defeated incumbent President Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire primary, aided by antiwar students that Sen. McCarthy called his “children’s crusade.” Two weeks later, LBJ announced on TV that he would not run for re-election. One week later, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It was only April 4.

There were race riots everywhere. On April 24, students occupied five buildings at Columbia University, protesting the war. In May bloody student riots erupted in France, likely witnessed by the impressionable Mr. Sarkozy.

On June 3, Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol in a New York City loft. Two days later, Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Robert F. Kennedy Jr. In August, the Soviet Union occupied Czechoslovakia. Seven days later, antiwar demonstrators at the Democratic convention fought pitched battles with the Chicago police.

On Nov. 4, having absorbed all this, the people of the United States voted. They gave 43.4% of their vote to Richard Nixon and 42.7% to Hubert Humphrey. Alabama Gov. George Wallace got 13.5%. Four years later, George Wallace was shot while running for president. 1968 lasted a long time.

Whatever civic culture the U.S. had until the 1960s, it was now transformed. After ’68, we had a new kind of political and social culture, pounding like a jackhammer into the older bedrock. The country cracked. Look at those 1968 popular vote numbers; half the country went left and half went right…

What fell out of 1968 was a profound division over what I would call civic vision.

One side, which took to the streets in Chicago or occupied Columbia University, concluded from Vietnam and the race riots that America, in its relations with the world and its own citizens, was flawed and required big changes. Their defining document was the March 1968 Kerner Commission report, announcing “two societies,” separate and unequal. The press, incidentally, emerged from Vietnam and the riots joined to this new, permanent template. That, too, has never stopped.

The other side was, well, insulted. It thought America was fundamentally good, though always able to improve. The Voting Rights Act passed in 1964 on a bipartisan vote, opposed mainly by southern Democrats. This side’s standard-bearer called the U.S. “a shining city upon a hill.” But after 1968, no Democratic presidential candidate would ever speak those words. Nor will Mr. Obama ever repeat Mr. Sarkozy’s explicit repudiation of that era… –Daniel Henninger, from his column Wonderland: 1968: The Long Goodbye – Can America rise above the divisions of the 1960s? Not yet. From the Wall Street Journal 11.15.07