Thursday, January 13, 2011

Italy: Erupting Etna lights up sky and closes local airport

13 Jan. 2011

(AKI) - Sicily's Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, briefly erupted belching ash and sending lava down its slopes as vulcanologist kept an eye on the mountain for signs of further activity.

The two-hour eruption late Wednesday lit up the sky and temporarily closed the nearby airport in Catania in eastern Sicily. Fontanarossa airport reopened around 6:30 am on Thursday after delaying or diverting some domestic flights.

There were no reported casualties caused by the eruption.

Etna's last major eruption was in 1992. the rest

Hundreds dead in Brazil slides, search to continue

Australian Floods Peak in Brisbane

Hundreds of Christians demonstrate on Cairo's edge

By Hamza Hendawi
Associated Press
January 12, 2011

 CAIRO—Hundreds of Christians demonstrated late Wednesday near a large Cairo slum, blocking a major highway and clashing with police following the shooting death of a Christian man the day before, said a security official.

The demonstrators were protesting the treatment of Christians in the country in the wake of the Tuesday's shooting and a New Year's Day suicide bombing of a church in the port city of Alexandria, which killed 21 worshippers.

The bombing prompted three days of riots by Christians and now the recent shooting is threatening to set off a new round of demonstrations by the disaffected minority which makes up 10 percent of Egypt's 80 million. the rest

Radical Muslim in America: All the Benefits and Still Turning to Jihad

by Raymond Ibrahim
January 12, 2011
Recent remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder on the threat posed by "radicalized" American Muslims deserve close attention—not just because of what they say regarding the domestic situation, but for their international implications as well. According to Holder:

"[T]he threat is real, the threat is different, the threat is constant. The threat has changed … to worrying about people in the United States, American citizens—raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born. It is one of the things that keeps me up at night. You didn't worry about this even two years ago—about individuals, about Americans, to the extent that we now do." Holder noted that while he was confident in the United States' counter-terrorism efforts, Americans "have to be prepared for potentially bad news…. The terrorists only have to be successful once."

Holder's assertion that "the terrorists only have to be successful once" has important implications: aside from the obvious—that it only takes one strike to create devastation on U.S. soil—they are a reminder that when people argue that most American Muslims are moderate, and only a few are radical, it does not help our security. It took nineteen to commit 9/11; and we have already seen that some American Muslims are radical. According to Holder, in the last two years, 50 of the 126 people charged with terrorism were U.S. citizens the rest
More significantly, these revelations not only bode ill for U.S. security; they also suggest that American efforts in the Muslim world are doomed to failure. Consider: if American Muslims, who enjoy Western benefits—including democracy, liberty, prosperity, and freedom of expression—are still being radicalized, why then do we insist that importing these same benefits to the Muslim world will eliminate its even more ingrained form of "radicalization"?

Abby Johnson reveals details of pro-life turnaround and Catholic conversion

By Benjamin Mann
College Station, Texas
Jan 13, 2011

(CNA) Despite legal challenges and personal attacks from Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson has published a new memoir explaining why she left the abortion industry to join the ranks of the pro-life movement. Going even further, she's also rejected contraception, and decided to enter the Catholic Church.

Johnson's new book, “UnPlanned,” hit stores on Jan. 11, 2011, one day after the Texas-based activist addressed more than 20,000 listeners in an online broadcast. The Catholic publisher Ignatius Press has released a special edition of the book, with extra material including a foreword by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests For Life.

In the webcast, Johnson explained how she became involved in the abortion industry, despite her strongly Christian upbringing. She found Planned Parenthood's booth at a job fair, she said, and embraced the group's rhetoric about reducing the rate of abortion while making it available as an matter of “personal choice.”

But through her experiences at Planned Parenthood, first as a volunteer and eventually as a clinic director, Johnson came to see the organization quite differently. As a business, Johnson said, Planned Parenthood was primarily focused on providing its most profitable service –abortion– as often as possible. the rest

Vanderbilt Rescinds Abortion Pledge Policy

ADF Senior Legal Counsel Casey Mattox
January 13, 2011

In response to the complaints filed yesterday by ADF with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concerning Vanderbilt’s requirement that Women’s Health Track applicants in its Nurse Residency Program must sign an acknowledgement that they must assist in abortions, Vanderbilt has today amended its application packet to eliminate this requirement. Applicants are now asked to read a statement that such procedures are in the program, but it also explicitly informs applicants of the availability of a right to be excused from assisting with abortion procedures and does not require applicants to acknowledge in advance of admission any willingness to participate in abortions. An email by Vanderbilt to all applicants informed them of the change this afternoon.  the rest

Andrew Burnham interview: Full transcript

Days before his ordination to the Catholic priesthood, former Anglican bishop talks candidly about his path to the ordinaritate
By Anna Arco
Thursday, 13 January 2011

How do you see the ordinariate working alongside existing dioceses and existing churches?

I think we’ll be very close because there are so many ex-Anglicans in existing churches. And also in order to function the ordinariate clergy will want to – and have to – work in the Catholic dioceses. Some of them will be doing specialist jobs like school chaplains, prison chaplains, hospital chaplains, and some of them will be simply mucking in with the local diocese, helping ease the shortage of priests. So there’ll be thorough intermingling. Just as in any diocese there are clergy where you look in the handbook and you are somewhat surprised to find they are a White Father on loan or actually they’re a Benedictine who isn’t in their mother house, you will find that there will be ordinariate priests serving in the diocese.

So it will be quite porous?

I think it will. There are stories we are getting already of people where the priest is saying to an ordinariate priest: “Well, I have two churches and two presbyteries: why don’t you have one of the presbyteries and one of the churches, if you don’t mind looking after that congregation as well as your own?’

Do you think that in the next two or three generations there will still be a need for an ordinariate?

I don’t know is the answer to that. I can see two equally likely eventualities. One is that this will have proved to be a very useful bridge for individual Anglicans and individual Anglican congregations to explore the future. And the bridge is permanent. The Apostolic Constitution is permanent, so it will be a bridge that can always be crossed and nobody is ever going to shut it down. So one outcome is to see it growing and growing and growing and seeing it as hugely influential. Indeed one commentator said that the Catholic Church in this country, in five years’ time, will be unrecognisable as a result. That is one possible outcome.

Another possible outcome is that, after an initial interest, this will not become the way that people do it and that just as in 1994 there was an initial flurry of interest from them, it will all quieten down again. And it may all quieten down again.

So I really don’t know and I don’t think it matters actually. I think that the important thing is that all those who should be Catholics are able to be so and, whether or not they live in an ordinariate or a diocese, who cares? Many Catholic and many Anglican laity are hardly aware of what diocese they’re in. What is important to them is their parish priest.

Full Interview

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nursing Student Fights School Policy Requiring Abortion Pledge

Wed, Jan. 12 2011
 By Stephanie Samuel
Christian Post Reporter

A nursing student has partnered with a Christian legal defense group in filing a complaint against a Nashville, Tenn., university policy that requires participation in abortion procedures in order to enter its nurse residency program.

Alliance Defense Fund attorneys filed the complaint Tuesday against Vanderbilt University with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

A fourth-year nursing student, whose name was not revealed, is currently at another university but wishes to apply to Vanderbilt’s nurse residency program. The female student, however, is unable to do so because the admission forms require her to promise to participate in abortions.

“Christians and other pro-life members of the medical community shouldn’t be forced to participate in abortions to pursue their profession,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. the rest

Haiti: The year of surviving in squalor

Even allowing for some unique difficulties, the efforts of the government and outsiders to rebuild have been disappointing
The Economist
Jan 6th 2011

But when visiting journalists parachute in to Port-au-Prince for the anniversary of the earthquake, they will see few signs of progress and many of stasis. Rubble still blocks many streets. Even if the work of removing it goes according to the official schedule, less than half will be cleared by October. Only about 30,000 temporary shelters have been built. The National Palace, the emblem of Haitian sovereignty, has yet to be demolished, let alone rebuilt. The tent camps that dot the city look ever-shabbier, and their inhabitants thinner and more bedraggled.

This landscape of neglect and degradation mocks the widespread hope in the weeks after the quake that Haiti could “build back better,” as Bill Clinton, the United Nations special envoy to the country, put it. The government’s promising reconstruction plan, unveiled at a donor conference in March, envisioned moving many people outside the swollen capital and injecting economic life into rural areas, as well as rebuilding Port-au-Prince.

Little of this has happened. The only official relocation site is a barren wasteland on the outskirts of the capital which shelters fewer than 10,000 people, many of whom feel they were tricked into moving there. Donors pledged $5.8 billion for recovery and reconstruction until September 2011. But less than half of that has been disbursed, and a big chunk has gone on debt relief rather than fresh funds. the rest image

Shingles Vaccine Looks Like a Safe Bet for Seniors: Study

Although not perfect, the shot will protect many older folks, researchers say
By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Jan. 11

Jane Adrian, 61, a landscape architect in Glendale, Calif., saw her parents and two co-workers suffer from the painful, blistering condition known as shingles, so when the vaccine became available, she got it.

Even though the vaccine is only about 55 percent effective, "it's better than nothing," she said. "Now I feel relieved."

A study of a cross-section of adults enrolled with a health-management organization in southern California shows that the vaccine provides protection for many older adults without many side effects. the rest
The vaccine also reduced the risk of ophthalmic herpes zoster (infection that affects the eye) by 63 percent and hospitalization by 65 percent.

Church reveals fine details of ordinariate

By Anna Arco
 Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Personal ordinariates for groups of Anglican converts around the world are likely to develop their own missal according to traditional Anglican use, an English Church official has said.

Fr Marcus Stock, the general secretary of the Bishops of England and Wales, said that while an ordinariate in Britain would be likely to follow the Roman Rite, he expected that there an Anglican use of the Roman Rite would be developed.

Fr Stock said: “When we are talking about the ordinariate we’re not just talking about England and Wales but for across the world and I’d be surprised if something isn’t developed for use for all the ordinariates. I don’t think they’ll develop particular ones. the rest

Church of England braced for wave of defections to Catholic Church
John Broadhurst, Andrew Burnham and Keith Newton will be ordained into the priesthood at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday, it was announced yesterday....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

'Internet ID?' No thanks, say online privacy advocates

By Andrew Ian Dodge

Lost in all the press about the disturbing events this weekend in Arizona is the fact that Obama wants to creative an “internet ID.” He plans on using the Department of Commerce for this effort. Needless to say libertarians, technology and privacy advocates are not impressed.

CNET reports on this next step in the government take-over of the internet. The words of the White House person in charge of such things will send chills down the spine of many.

“It's "the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government" to centralize efforts toward creating an "identity ecosystem" for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.

Fox reports that the CD&T spokesman is wary of such a move. He like many others do not seem at all calmed by government assurances it will be “centralized database.” the rest

'Mother' and 'Father' to Remain on Passport Forms After Clinton Intervenes

Christopher Weber
posted January 11, 2011

From controversy to compromise. After announcing that on children's passport applications, "mother" and "father" would in the future be referred to as "parent 1" and "parent 2," the State Department Saturday changed course and retain the titles "mother" and "father," while also adding the term "parent."

The agency said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton ordered that "mother" and "father" remain on passport forms and paperwork that documents the birth of a child to Americans overseas. Nicole Thompson, State Department spokesperson, told PoliticsDaily the forms will now ask for the names of the child's "mother or parent" and "father or parent," or possibly "mother or parent 1" and "father or parent 2."

"With Secretary Clinton's input, the State Department decided to revise those . . . forms to retain the previous designation in addition to the word 'parent,'" said Thompson. the rest

The Romance of Domesticity

Marriage Thrives in Reality, Not in Our Dreams
by Nathan Schlueter
posted January 11, 2011

I once had a disagreement with a colleague who was an economist. His daughter had recently been married, and though he liked the young man well enough, he told me that he had advised his daughter always to keep her job, “just in case.” While lifelong marriage is fine when you can get it, he told me, it is foolish and naïve to trust in it overmuch.

On the contrary, I argued, a withholding of trust in the initial promise strikes at the very root of what a marriage is. There is a difference in kind, and not merely in degree, between a relationship rooted in an unconditional pledge of fidelity and a relationship with an exit strategy.

This is not merely a philosophical distinction; it has incredible consequences for human experience. Marriage is not a contract—or at least it is not like any other contract—for it establishes a community that, in turn, transforms the individuals that comprise it.
 Full essay image by David Boyle

Court: Canadian Commissioners Must Wed Gay Couples

Tue, Jan. 11 2011
By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter

Marriage commissioners cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriages, even if doing so would be contrary to their religious beliefs, the highest appeal court in Saskatchewan, Canada, ruled Monday.

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal rejected two amendments to Canada's Marriage Act that would have protected the religious and conscience freedoms of marriage commissioners.

"Either of them, if enacted, would violate the equality rights of gay and lesbian individuals," the court said in its decision as it declared the amendments to be unconstitutional.

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, an intervenor in the case, expressed disappointment in the ruling. the rest

Cracks in the Crystal Cathedral

Why we are better off letting God make the gospel relevant.
A Christianity Today editorial

But already in Schuller's day, there were concerns. The most scathing critique of this general cultural mood was from Christopher Lasch, who noted, particularly in The Culture of Narcissism, that the new therapeutic culture was leaving people trapped and isolated in the self.

It's like building a state-of-the-art structure. Technology moves at such a rapid pace that as soon as you move into the new building, you immediately find yourself stuck with an architecture that is already technologically dated, if only in small degrees at first. It isn't long before another developer announces plans for something even more state-of-the-art.

Today both the Crystal Cathedral and the theology that undergird it seem woefully inadequate buildings in which to house the gospel. In an age deeply sensitive to energy conservation, a glass house of worship is a sinful extravagance. In a culture increasingly addicted to the self, the gospel of self-esteem is clearly part of the problem. In short, the Schuller enterprise is filing for bankruptcy on more than one front.

Some are tempted to hit the man while he is down, but this is unwise. Robert Schuller is not the problem—contemporary evangelicalism is. Schuller was only leading the parade of those who believe they are responsible for making the gospel relevant. The lesson is not that Schuller got it wrong or that his theology is out-of-date; it is not that we just need to find a better, more current point of cultural contact. The lesson is that our attempts to find and exploit a point of cultural contact inevitably end in bankruptcy. the rest image

Women at risk donating eggs

By Rebecca Hagelin
The Washington Times
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our young women need to know the truth.

Egg donation exploits young women for the benefit of older women. The fertility business needs an increasing supply of "donor eggs" from healthy, fertile young women. The pitch? Money. Students and young women don't have much, but many older infertile couples do. Donor agencies place ads in university newspapers or on, promising anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 to women who donate eggs. Repeat donations (up to six) are encouraged. Economically vulnerable young women face an undue temptation to trade their eggs for money.

Egg donation itself carries significant risks because it requires fertility drugs, anesthesia, and invasive egg retrieval. Donors take drugs first to induce temporary menopause, then to hyperstimulate the ovaries so they'll produce from 16 to 35 eggs in one cycle. Worse, doctors really don't know the long-term risks to egg donors, because so few studies have been done. And fertility specialists are in no hurry to find out.
the rest

Machete attack in central Nigeria leaves 13 dead

The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 11, 2011

JOS, Nigeria -- A community leader says men armed with rifles and machetes killed 13 people in an attack on a village in central Nigeria.

The Riyom local government chairman said Tuesday three homes were attacked in the Christian village of Kuru Station around midnight on Monday. Simon Mwaekwom says villagers told him the attackers included soldiers and that soldiers stationed nearby refused to help.

He says the attackers killed children and adults and burned down their houses. He says three people were injured. the rest

After Giffords Shooting, Blame Game Begins on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
Tucson, AZ

The issue of abortion has been a significant one in the response to the shootings.

The social networking web site Twitter became an early place for people on all sides of the debate to easily weigh in with their comments in response, and it quickly became a bastion of misinformation. Apparently based on early reports wrongly indicating Giffords was shot because she was pro-life, Twitter became dominated by comments from those who claimed she opposed abortion.

“Gabby Giffords voted against amnesty and was pro-life,” a frequently re-tweeted message said.

Yet, according to the National Right to Life Committee, Giffords had a 100% pro-abortion record during the 2009-2010 session of Congress, including supporting the ObamaCare bill that funds abortions. Although she supports legalized abortion, Giffords, who barely defeated her pro-life Republican opponent Jesse Kelly in November, does take conservative stands on other political issues, including immigration. the rest

Judge Remembered as Fair-Minded
John Roll, the Arizona federal judge killed Saturday by a gunman at a political event, was known within the Tucson legal community as a conservative and even-handed jurist who, in recent years had worked hard to increase funding for an overstretched Arizona federal bench...

Friends, Critics Dispute Arizona Sheriff's Remarks

By Jana Winter
January 10, 2011

Just hours after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, was shot in the head by a crazed gunman, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik -- addressing the media for the first time -- made headlines for saying that “vitriolic political rhetoric” heard on the radio and TV caused Jared Loughman to go on a bloody killing spree that left six dead and 14 wounded.

"When the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates, and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it has impact on people especially who are unbalanced personalities," Dupniks said Saturday night.

The sheriff, a Democrat who has served as the county's top cop for 31 years, angered many with the remarks -- including some of his friends, who felt his editorializing had no part in a news conference, typically reserved for impersonal facts and details. the rest 

(political cartoon: Click to enlarge and feel free to use it and pass it on)

...Neither the left nor the right should confuse political terrorism with the random insanity of a crazed gunman. The attack on Giffords had as little to do with ideology as the attack on the students of Virginia Tech or Columbine High School...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ad playing Doritos for Eucharist yanked from Super Bowl contest

Jan 07, 2011

Step aside Tim Tebow. The evangelical quarterback's pro-family ad was last year's Super Bowl ad dust up. In 2011, the hot spot is an entry in the annual Pepsi-owned Doritos Crash the Super Bowl ad contest that will never air for being over-the-top offensive to people who take Communion seriously. It plays the bread and wine for snack food.

But the body and blood of Christ are no joke to those who believe they are in Communion with their God when they accept the Eucharist and the wine during Mass.

Hence the uproar among some believers when they saw one of the 5,000+ entries in the annual competition for a slot in the Super Bowl ad line up. the rest

Anglicans heading to Rome told they can't stay in their churches

Anglicans defecting to Rome are being told they must leave their churches with clergy even been asked to move away from their parish.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, and Rebecca Lefort
 08 Jan 2011

They have worshipped together for decades on the pews of their parish church. Generations of their loved ones have been baptised, married and buried there.

But now a Church of England congregation is being torn apart by the Pope's offer to welcome disaffected Anglican traditionalists into the Catholic Church.

In a vote which has split the local community and left long-standing friends on opposite sides of a growing divide, 54 parishioners at St Barnabas Tunbridge Wells have indicated that they intended to become Catholics while 18 said they would remain in the established Church.

While the Kentish churchgoers are among the first to take such a stand, congregations up and down the country will soon follow suit as worshippers and clergy weigh up whether to enter the Ordinariate, the structure set up by Pope Benedict XVI to embrace defectors from the established Church. the rest

New converts flocking to an ancient church

Orthodox traditions dating back centuries attract members
Jan. 9, 2011.

Like many of his parishioners, Father Richard Petranek came to the Orthodox church in search of the past.

After 30 years as an Episcopalian priest, Petranek converted to the Antiochian Orthodox Church and leads a new but growing parish in west Houston, filled almost entirely with converts to the ancient faith.

"Most people come for the stability," he said. "The same thing that is taught today in the Orthodox church was taught 500 years ago, was taught 1,000 years ago, was taught 1,500 years ago."

At a time when most mainline Christian churches are losing members, Eastern Orthodox churches — which trace their beliefs to the church described in the New Testament - are growing, both in Houston and across the United States. the rest

A vanishing breed

What will happen to society if dismal marriage trends continue?
Janie B. Cheaney
posted January 10, 2010


With California's Prop 8 under review, we're rightly concerned about the legal future of same-sex "marriage." But in the long run, that burning issue may be little more than a side show. The real problem is among heterosexuals.

A study by the National Marriage Project, disturbingly titled When Marriage Disappears, indicates that stable unions are vanishing in the very social strata where they once were strongest: the "moderately educated middle," or high-school graduates with some college. "In the last three decades," says project director W. Bradford Wilcox, "nonmarital childbearing, divorce, low-quality marriages and family instability all have been on the rise in middle-American homes. For instance, nonmarital childbearing among women with high school degrees more than tripled in the last three decades—from 13 percent in 1982 to 44 percent in 2006."

The results are reduced earning power, greater stress, and troubled adolescence leading to a continuation of the cycle: "So the health, wealth and happiness of middle America is taking a serious toll." The good news is that marriage rates among the more affluent and educated (about 30 percent of the population) have actually improved. But if trends continue, the gap between rich and poor will only widen, with an increasingly hopeless and tumultuous underclass creating havoc outside the gated communities of the happily married. (For more about the National Marriage Project findings, see page 61.)  
the rest 

Michelle Malkin: The progressive “climate of hate:” An illustrated primer, 2000-2010

By Michelle Malkin
 January 10, 2011

-The Tuscon massacre ghouls who are now trying to criminalize conservatism have forced our hand.
-They need to be reminded. You need to be reminded.
-Confront them. Don’t be cowed into silence.
-And don’t let the media whitewash the sins of the hypocritical Left in their naked attempt to suppress the law-abiding, constitutionally-protected, peaceful, vigorous political speech of the Right.
-They want to play tu quo que in the middle of a national tragedy? They asked for it. They got it.

The progressive climate of hate: A comprehensive illustrated primer in 8 parts:
V. LEFT-WING MOB HATE — campus, anti-war radicals, ACORN, eco-extremists, & unions
VIII. HATE: CRIMES — the ever-growing Unhinged Mugshot Collection

Story here-don't miss this!

The Left, Not the Right, Owns Political Violence
It took less than 24 hours for the political Left to seize upon the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six people on Saturday to blame the political Right for the shooting...

Anglican meeting to go ahead despite boycott

09 January 2011
By Kieron Wood

There are no plans to cancel the meeting of Anglican Church leaders in Dublin this month, despite a boycott by up to a quarter of the primates, a senior Anglican has confirmed.

Up to ten of the leaders of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces have said they won’t attend the biennial meeting because of the presence of Katharine Jefferts-Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopalian Church of the United States and a supporter of gay bishops and same-sex marriage.

The Church of England newspaper had reported that the head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, was considering scrapping the event because of the proposed boycott. the rest

AU: Couple aborts twin boys for girl

Shelley Hadfield
 Herald Sun
 January 08, 2011

A COUPLE so desperate for a baby girl that they terminated twin boys are fighting to choose the sex of their next child.
The couple, who have three sons and still grieve for a daughter they lost soon after birth, are going to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal to win the right to select sex by IVF treatment.

They say they want the opportunity to have the baby daughter they were tragically denied. (emphasis mine)

An independent panel, known as the Patient Review Panel, recently rejected the couple's bid to choose the sex of their next child using IVF. the rest

Abortion lobby pillories conservatives for shooting of pro-abort U.S. Rep Giffords

by Kathleen Gilbert
Sat Jan 08, 2011

 ( – U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a fiscally conservative Democrat with a strong pro-abortion record, has been critically injured in a shooting that took the lives of at least six individuals during a political appearance in Tuscon Saturday morning. While the National Organization for Women (NOW), one of the country’s leading pro-abortion groups, and other liberal commentators quickly blamed the conservative tea party movement, evidence available on the Internet is initially painting a portrait of the alleged gunman as an enigmatic, anti-religion figure described as decidedly “left-wing” and a “quite liberal” drug abuser.

An additional twelve individuals were critically injured in the attack that took place at 10 am MST, at the start of a scheduled “Congress on Your Corner” event featuring Giffords at a local Safeway grocery store. Among the dead are Justice John Roll, Arizona’s chief federal trial judge, and an unidentified 9-year-old girl.

Giffords was reportedly shot once through the head at point-blank range and was airlifted to the University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson for emergency surgery. In a press conference hours later, UMC surgeon Dr. Peter Rhee said that congresswoman was in critical condition but responding to commands, and the surgeon was “very optimistic” about her recovery.  the rest

After Giffords Shooting, Blame Game Begins on Abortion