Category archives: Other Issues

Game Over For Flimsy Rating System

by Tony Perkins

March 7, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Chances are, your kids aren’t carjackers, murderers, or thieves—at least, I hope not. But they could be playing one in their newest PlayStation or Nintendo game. In “Grand Theft Auto,” players score points by killing policemen, raping prostitutes, and stealing cars. Another game, “BMX XXX,” takes bikers into strip clubs between races. And that’s just the beginning. Parents, like Senator Sam Brownback, have had enough. After all, what good is a rating system if it doesn’t give families an honest assessment? Last week, Brownback introduced a bill called the Truth in Video Game Rating. It would force reviewers to play the game before rating it — something the agencies currently don’t do. Instead, the FTC watches taped segments that are submitted by the game’s producers. And those clips only include portions of the game that would guarantee it the lowest possible rating. Hopefully Senator Brownback will convince Congress that with his bill, families will have a better chance of taking the “X” out of the XBox.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

NAE’s Dangerous Emissions on Global Warming

by Tony Perkins

March 6, 2007

stopbutton%22%20x=%2260%22%20y=%2235%22%20/%3E%3Citem%20id=%22volumecontrol%22%20x=%22180%22%20y=%2238%22%20/%3E%3C/layout%3E%3Cstyles%3E%3CBackground%20backgroundColor=%22#CECED5%22%20useBevel=%22true%22%20bevelAlpha=%2270%22%20transparent=%22%22%20/%3E%3CButton%20themeColor=%22#46FF00%22%20useCustom=%22false%22%20customPlayPauseURL=%22%22%20customStopURL=%22%22%20/%3E%3CControlIcons%20backgroundColor=%22#6F7777%22%20/%3E%3CLoadBar%20backgroundColor=%22#FFFFFF%22%20borderColor=%22#C4CCCC%22%20fillColor=%22#5EBB4D%22%20/%3E%3CPlayBar%20backgroundColor=%22#F7F7F7%22%20outerBorderColor=%22#919999%22%20innerBorderColor=%22#C4CCCC%22%20fillColor=%22#7BFF4C%22%20fontSize=%228%22%20color=%22#000000%22%20streamingText=%22Washington Watch Daily Commentary%22%20pausedText=%22Washington Watch Daily Commentary%22%20width=%22270%22%20/%3E%3CSliderThumbs%20backgroundColorOff=%22#6F7777%22%20backgroundColorOn=%22#46FF00%22%20/%3E%3CUIBorder%20borderColor=%22#666666%22%20borderWidth=%221%22%20/%3E%3CVolumeControl%20themeColorOff=%22#6F7777%22%20themeColorOn=%22#46FF00%22%20/%3E%3C/styles%3E%3C/mp3player%3E">

When it comes to setting a good example, Hollywood stinks. Literally. For all the anti-pollution celebrities, there seem to be even more environmental hypocrites. A new study by UCLA found that the entertainment industry is one of the biggest reasons for L.A.s filthy air. Turns out that all of those studios use diesel generatorsand that means lots of smog. Then theres Al Gore, winner of two Oscars for his documentary on global warming. The Tennessee Electric Company just made his power bills public and lit the fuse of conservatives everywhere. His home in Nashville uses more electricity in one month than the average American house uses in an entire year. Meanwhile, stars like Brad Pitt brag about driving electric cars but ride in plenty of private jets. His travel from L.A. to Africa guzzled 11,000 gallons of gas, and burned enough fuel to drive his Prius to the moon. Obviously, Hollywoods campaign for the environment has been a toxic waste… of time.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Live Webcast at 11:00AM EST

by Jared Bridges

February 28, 2007

Why Do You Persecute Me?

Follow this link to view the webcast.

The religious impulse is a fundamental and basic human yearning. Yet, governments and societies sometimes deny religious freedom, particularly to those whom they view as a threat to their own ideology. Within the past ten years, the question of international religious freedom has become an important part of U.S. foreign policy. How did this happen? What does it portend for the future of religious freedom around the world? In this lecture, Bill Saunders will examine these and related questions.

Bill Saunders is Senior Fellow and Human Rights Counsel at the Family Research Council. A graduate of the Harvard Law School, he has been active in the cause of international religious freedom for more than a decade, first at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, then at the Family Research Council. He was involved from the beginning in the movement to make this part of U.S. foreign policy. In 1999, he founded an organization to provide relief to persecuted Christians and others in Sudan. He has written on this topic frequently, in a variety of journals.

Filthy Rich

by Family Research Council

February 27, 2007

Anthony Esolen of Touchstone magazine reminds us of the unnoticed gift of trickle-down decadence:

The rich can afford their vices, for a time anyway; the poor have no such margin for comfort. They are, in fact, endangered by the vices of the rich. I dont simply mean that the rich man can extort his will from the poor, or wield the law as a club to keep the poor man in his place. He can do worse: He can infect the poor man with his vice, and that may be the quicker way to destroy him.

Read the rest of Esolen’s editorial here.

What a Tangled Web We Weave…

by Tony Perkins

February 27, 2007

Two years after FRC helped to defeat the idea, the push for a “Triple X” domain for pornographic web sites is on again. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) continues to debate whether or not to establish an online .xxx domain specifically for the adult industry. While supporters argue that it would help regulate pornography, FRC strongly disagrees. Instead of relegating it to a specific domain, the government would actually be facilitating the adult industry’s growth. Without the necessary enforcement, pornographers would simply retain their .com sites and add to them. If successful, ICANN could be responsible for potentially doubling the number of porn sites on the Internet. Proponents claim the .xxx domain will make it easier to filter out these graphic sites, while web experts say it will make it more difficult because the sites will be operating under dual domains.

The .xxx would also establish a virtual red light district or “safe haven” for illegal, hardcore obscenity. Rather than legitimize an industry that exploits women and endangers children, ICANN should focus its efforts on making the web safer for families.

Hate Crimes: An American Debate In Paris

by Tony Perkins

February 22, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

Since Congress started debating the new hate crimes bill, some people are seeing the French connection. In Paris, an Islamic mosque is suing a magazine for printing cartoons about the prophet Mohammed. The comic was one of twelve that have been published around Europe, but French Muslims say the cartoon is no laughing matter. Lawyers for the Paris Mosque are charging them with slander, a crime thats punishable by six months in jail. If the mosque wins, then its bon voyage for the countrys freedom of speech. Several French citizens support the magazine. One said, If we cant laugh at the terrorists, what weapon is left? Obviously, not all humor is appropriate, but who gets to decide whats acceptable and what isnt? The case against these cartoons has serious consequences for Europe. Hate crimes is definitely making a tour de France, but it could soon become American law. Call your representatives and tell them to vote no on hate crimes legislation in Congress.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

There Are Some Things Money Cant BuyAnd That Should Include Mastercard

by Tony Perkins

February 20, 2007

Here’s today’s Washington Watch Daily commentary from FRC Radio:

At the Bank of America, interest rates are skyrocketing. But the interest has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the national attention the companys getting for its latest decision. Last week, Bank of America announced that it would start offering credit cards to illegal immigrants. Anywhere from 12 to 20 million people are said to be living in the country illegally, and the bank says its decision will help them put down roots. But the moves caused outrage from lots of citizens who say the bank should not be in the habit of lending to illegalsand that includes lending the wrong impression. Offering them credit only legitimizes millions of lawbreakers. Obviously, the company has a vested interest in expanding their base. But someone should remind them that the Bank of Americaof all placesshouldnt be giving special treatment to people living here illegaly. On an issue like this, banks should only give credit where credit is due.

To download this commentary as an MP3, follow this link. To subscribe to the Washington Watch Daily radio commentary, go here.

Coming to a Library Near You…

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

Hey kids, want to see a R-rated movie? Whats that? Your parents wont take you to see and the video clerk wont rent it to you because youre under age? No problem. Just get the movie from your local librarian.

Libraries in Johnson County will let anyone, regardless of age, check out an R-rated movie. This news surprised Sally O’Rear. She found out the hard way. She saw her 13-year-old daughter with the movie.

ORear said, I want people to know you can go out there to the library and check these out. I want to be that voice to say, ‘Hey parents wake up. Look this is what’s going on.’”

For O’Rear, it is not so much that the movies are available. She wants the staff to help monitor what kids are doing inside the library. She said, I feel the parents should keep an eye also, but I feel the library needs to put up notification.”

North Liberty librarys assistant director Jennie Garner said, We can’t be baby sitters. We can’t monitor everyone’s age.” Library staff will tell you blocking kids from any material at the library is unconstitutional.

Garner said, Anyone, including minors, has the right to access any materials under the First amendment.”

The American Library Association’s website offers a “sample answer” that librarians can give when parents ask about such policies:

Kids can’t rent R-rated movies at the video store, or buy Playboy at the newsstand. Why won’t you use the same common sense restrictions at my public library?

* Those types of rating systems are voluntary, and libraries make them available to assist parents and others in making decisions for their families and themselves. As librarians, we strongly encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring what their children see and view, but as public employees, it’s not appropriate for librarians to make those decisions for them.

Meet Generation Next

by Family Research Council

February 19, 2007

The Pew Research Center released a survey report that examines how young people ages 18 to 25 view their lives, futures, and politics. The results are alternately fascinating and disheartening:

About half of Gen Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.

Beyond these social issues, their views defy easy categorization. For example, Generation Next is less critical of government regulation of business but also less critical of business itself. And they are the most likely of any generation to support privatization of the Social Security system.

They maintain close contact with parents and family. Roughly eight-in-ten say they talked to their parents in the past day. Nearly three-in-four see their parents at least once a week, and half say they see their parents daily. One reason: money. About three-quarters of Gen Nexters say their parents have helped them financially in the past year.

One-in-five members of Generation Next say they have no religious affiliation or are atheist or agnostic, nearly double the proportion of young people who said that in the late 1980s. And just 4% of Gen Nexters say people in their generation view becoming more spiritual as their most important goal in life.

They are somewhat more interested in keeping up with politics and national affairs than were young people a generation ago. Still, only a third say they follow whats going on in government and public affairs most of the time.

In Pew surveys in 2006, nearly half of young people (48%) identified more with the

Democratic Party, while just 35% affiliated more with the GOP. This makes Generation

Next the least Republican generation.

They use technology and the internet to connect with people in new and distinctive ways. Text messaging, instant messaging and email keep them in constant contact with friends. About half say they sent or received a text message over the phone in the past day, approximately double the proportion of those ages 26-40.

They are the Look at Me generation. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and MyYearbook allow individuals to post a personal profile complete with photos and

descriptions of interests and hobbies. A majority of Gen Nexters have used one of these

social networking sites, and more than four-in-ten have created a personal profile.

Their embrace of new technology has made them uniquely aware of its advantages and

disadvantages. They are more likely than older adults to say these cyber-tools make it easier for them to make new friends and help them to stay close to old friends and family. But more than eight-in-ten also acknowledge that these tools make people lazier.

Their parents may not always be pleased by what they see on those visits home: About half of Gen Nexters say they have either gotten a tattoo, dyed their hair an untraditional color, or had a body piercing in a place other than their ear lobe. The most popular are tattoos, which decorate the bodies of more than a third of these young adults.

Voter turnout among young people increased significantly between 2000 and 2004,

interrupting a decades-long decline in turnout among the young. Nonetheless, most members of Generation Next feel removed from the political process. Only about four-in-ten agree with the statement: Its my duty as a citizen to always vote.

They are significantly less cynical about government and political leaders than are other

Americans or the previous generation of young people. A majority of Americans agree with the statement: When something is run by the government, it is usually inefficient and wasteful, but most Generation Nexters reject this idea.

Their heroes are close and familiar. When asked to name someone they admire, they are

twice as likely as older Americans to name a family member, teacher, or mentor. Moreover, roughly twice as many young people say they most admire an entertainer rather than a political leader.

They are more comfortable with globalization and new ways of doing work. They are the most likely of any age group to say that automation, the outsourcing of jobs, and the growing number of immigrants have helped and not hurt American workers.

Asked about the life goals of those in their age group, most Gen Nexters say their

generations top goals are fortune and fame. Roughly eight-in-ten say people in their

generation think getting rich is either the most important, or second most important, goal in their lives. About half say that becoming famous also is valued highly by fellow Gen


(HT: Jollyblogger)