Site Update 11/13/08 – Disqus & Page Curl

Today I updated a few things on https://www.jeffbristow.com. The comment section following every blog post is now done through a service called disqus. This will allow me to have the comment section for this site and other sites that I operate to be more uniform and ‘work together’. You can still leave anonymous comments just as you could before, but if you do choose to ‘login’ to disqus, you can claim your profile and other users can even see other sites you are leaving comments on. (any site that is disqus enabled, that is). Previous comments have not been lost, in fact they have all been imported into disqus. Essentially you will not notice any significant difference in making comments on this site. The big change for you is that now you can reply to a specific comment and see a discussion ‘thread’ rather than all of the comments simply stacking on top of each other.

The other addition is the page curl at the top right of the site. ( I noticed that Internet Explorer is unable to display the page curl. If you are wanting to see what it is you can use just about any other web browser. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Safari…) I will be using this page curl as a teaser for content that I want to have stand out more than some of the other content on the site. Most sites use this for advertising, but I think a better use for it is as a clever teaser tool.

[Update: I also added in a rating feature to each post. You can rate a post from 1-5 stars. I would love for you to comment as well, but a rating would be nice as well.)

Feel free to let me know what you think about any of these changes, or any other enhancements you might want to see at https://www.jeffbristow.com.

The Freedom of Choice Act

I have talked to a number of people who are not familiar with the Freedom of Choice Act. This is a bill that if passed by Congress, President-Elect Obama said he will sign into law. This is one of Barrack Obama’s early agenda items once he is sworn in, to pass the ‘Freedom of Choice Act’. For anyone who is pro-life, we need to write to our Senators and Representatives in Washington and let them know what we think of the ‘Freedom of Choice Act’. If Congress does not stop this Bill, then we will see many more children killed by their mothers each year in the United States. Rather than showing a summary of what this Bill involves, I found the actual word for word text of the ‘Freedom of Choice Act’ and have it below. I believe that the language in this Bill is rather clear, and very self explanatory regarding what this bill will accomplish if passed. Please post any comments you may have below…

110th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1173
To protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman’s freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 19, 2007
Mrs. BOXER (for herself, Mrs. MURRAY, Ms. STABENOW, Mr. BINGAMAN, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. LAUTENBERG, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. SCHUMER, Mrs. CLINTON, Mrs. FEINSTEIN, Ms. MIKULSKI, Mr. BAUCUS, and Ms. CANTWELL) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL
To protect, consistent with Roe v. Wade, a woman’s freedom to choose to bear a child or terminate a pregnancy, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Freedom of Choice Act’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States was founded on core principles, such as liberty, personal privacy, and equality, which ensure that individuals are free to make their most intimate decisions without governmental interference and discrimination.

(2) One of the most private and difficult decisions an individual makes is whether to begin, prevent, continue, or terminate a pregnancy. Those reproductive health decisions are best made by women, in consultation with their loved ones and health care providers.

(3) In 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut (381 U.S. 479), and in 1973, in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113) and Doe v. Bolton (410 U.S. 179), the Supreme Court recognized that the right to privacy protected by the Constitution encompasses the right of every woman to weigh the personal, moral, and religious considerations involved in deciding whether to begin, prevent, continue, or terminate a pregnancy.

(4) The Roe v. Wade decision carefully balances the rights of women to make important reproductive decisions with the State’s interest in potential life. Under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the right to privacy protects a woman’s decision to choose to terminate her pregnancy prior to fetal viability, with the State permitted to ban abortion after fetal viability except when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.

(5) These decisions have protected the health and lives of women in the United States. Prior to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, an estimated 1,200,000 women each year were forced to resort to illegal abortions, despite the risk of unsanitary conditions, incompetent treatment, infection, hemorrhage, disfiguration, and death. Before Roe, it is estimated that thousands of women died annually in the United States as a result of illegal abortions.

(6) In countries in which abortion remains illegal, the risk of maternal mortality is high. According to the World Health Organization, of the approximately 600,000 pregnancy-related deaths occurring annually around the world, 80,000 are associated with unsafe abortions.

(7) The Roe v. Wade decision also expanded the opportunities for women to participate equally in society. In 1992, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (505 U.S. 833), the Supreme Court observed that, `[t]he ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.’.

(8) Even though the Roe v. Wade decision has stood for more than 34 years, there are increasing threats to reproductive health and freedom emerging from all branches and levels of government. In 2006, South Dakota became the first State in more than 15 years to enact a ban on abortion in nearly all circumstances. Supporters of this ban have admitted it is an attempt to directly challenge Roe in the courts. Other States are considering similar bans.

(9) Further threatening Roe, the Supreme Court recently upheld the first-ever Federal ban on an abortion procedure, which has no exception to protect a woman’s health. The majority decision in Gonzales v. Carhart (05-380, slip op. April 18, 2007) and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood Federation of America fails to protect a woman’s health, a core tenet of Roe v. Wade. Dissenting in that case, Justice Ginsburg called the majority’s opinion `alarming’, and stated that, `[f]or the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman’s health’. Further, she said, the Federal ban `and the Court’s defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court’.

(10) Legal and practical barriers to the full range of reproductive services endanger women’s health and lives. Incremental restrictions on the right to choose imposed by Congress and State legislatures have made access to reproductive care extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many women across the country. Currently, 87 percent of the counties in the United States have no abortion provider.

(11) While abortion should remain safe and legal, women should also have more meaningful access to family planning services that prevent unintended pregnancies, thereby reducing the need for abortion.

(12) To guarantee the protections of Roe v. Wade, Federal legislation is necessary.

(13) Although Congress may not create constitutional rights without amending the Constitution, Congress may, where authorized by its enumerated powers and not prohibited by the Constitution, enact legislation to create and secure statutory rights in areas of legitimate national concern.

(14) Congress has the affirmative power under section 8 of article I of the Constitution and section 5 of the 14th amendment to the Constitution to enact legislation to facilitate interstate commerce and to prevent State interference with interstate commerce, liberty, or equal protection of the laws.

(15) Federal protection of a woman’s right to choose to prevent or terminate a pregnancy falls within this affirmative power of Congress, in part, because–

(A) many women cross State lines to obtain abortions and many more would be forced to do so absent a constitutional right or Federal protection;

(B) reproductive health clinics are commercial actors that regularly purchase medicine, medical equipment, and other necessary supplies from out-of-State suppliers; and

(C) reproductive health clinics employ doctors, nurses, and other personnel who travel across State lines in order to provide reproductive health services to patients.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:

(1) GOVERNMENT- The term `government’ includes a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, or official (or other individual acting under color of law) of the United States, a State, or a subdivision of a State.

(2) STATE- The term `State’ means each of the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each territory or possession of the United States.

(3) VIABILITY- The term `viability’ means that stage of pregnancy when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular medical facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the sustained survival of the fetus outside of the woman.

SEC. 4. INTERFERENCE WITH REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROHIBITED.
(a) Statement of Policy- It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.

(b) Prohibition of Interference- A government may not–

(1) deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose–

(A) to bear a child;

(B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or

(C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or

(2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.

(c) Civil Action- An individual aggrieved by a violation of this section may obtain appropriate relief (including relief against a government) in a civil action.

SEC. 5. SEVERABILITY.
If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to which the provision is held to be unconstitutional, shall not be affected thereby.

SEC. 6. RETROACTIVE EFFECT.
This Act applies to every Federal, State, and local statute, ordinance, regulation, administrative order, decision, policy, practice, or other action enacted, adopted, or implemented before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act.

TV on Your iPhone

TV on Your iPhone

I discovered an iPhone app that can truly make your iPhone 3G a far more interesting little device. The app is called OrbLive. This app allows you to stream movies, watch recorded TV shows (via your media center pc), and watch live TV directly to your iPhone. This app works with the Orb server software that you will need to have installed and running on your Windows XP or Vista PC. (To watch live TV you will need to have a TV tuner card installed in your PC.)

I tried the Orb Free app to test out how it all works and was so impressed with it that I made the plunge and spent $10 for the real app. I can now watch live TV on my iPhone, I can stream my entire music collection to my iPhone, and I can any recorded shows in media center, or movies I have saved on my hard drive. I now truly wonder why I would ever need more than the 8GB of space on my iPhone….

So, is the video quality any good?
The video quality is fairly good considering that it is all being streamed. It is certainly not HD quality, but who needs HD quality on a tiny screen anyway? It is honestly good enough for me. I guess I have gotten used to low quality video on the web via youtube, so the video quality is not a concern for me.

What about the audio quality?
The audio quality is perfect. Playing streamed MP3’s has no lag for me at all, and the sound quality sounds as good as any CD I have ever listened to. I have noticed an issue with the audio being garbled on some of my media center recorded TV shows, but other shows the audio is just fine. I have yet to figure this issue out…..

Does this work over Edge or 3G?
Surprisingly apple has allowed this app, and it does allow you to stream video and audio via the Edge or 3G network. There is no wifi restriction, which makes this a perfect mobile entertainment solution.

This is a fairly basic review of this app. But all in all OrbLive with the Orb Server software make a very clever solution to bring your home entertainment content to you wherever you are.

Proper Christian Perspective on Obama as President

Proper Christian Perspective on Obama as President

There are a great number of Christians who find themselves not really knowing what to think about Barack Obama being the next President of the United States. And it is not because they believe Obama is a Muslim. It is because they believe that Obama does not value the life of an unborn child. I read Randy Alcorn’s blog this morning and he provides some much needed perspective for a good number of Christians. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 sums up what our response should be towards Barack Obama.

1 Timothy 2:1-4: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

We should be praying for Barack Obama and his family. We should be praying that God gives him wisdom to make the right choices, the wisdom to be strong in the face of adversity, the wisdom to bring peace to all Americans and to the world, the wisdom to follow God in all things. We should not be cold hearted towards Barack Obama, even if we disagree adamantly with his policies toward the unborn, or with redistribution of wealth. As a Christian I believe God is sovereign and guides Kings and Rulers to be in those places of power. So, as much as I disagree with Obama, God has given him the authority to be President of the United States. Barack Obama is our next President, and as believers we need to be respectful and honoring towards him as followers of Christ.

May God Bless Barack Obama and his family and provide him the wisdom to lead the United States of America in a manner that is honoring to our Lord Jesus Christ.