NEW YORK, Dec. 29, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Odyssey Networks kicks off its 2012 election coverage today with "Run-Up to Iowa" -- a look at the faith-based factors in the upcoming Iowa caucus. Watch the video at

On Jan. 3rd, Republican voters in Iowa will caucus to choose their preferred candidate to challenge Barack Obama for the presidency. In a state where an estimated 60 percent of the GOP identify as evangelicals, candidates have been heavily courting the state's pastors and Christian power brokers in an effort to find favor with this crucial voting bloc.

"Winning and coalescing the evangelical vote is paramount if you want to win the Iowa Caucus," said Bob Vander Plaats, President of Family Leader, an organization in Des Moines. However, at this point one candidate has not emerged as representing evangelical issues over and above the others: "They're all pretty good candidates on our issues," he says. The sanctity of human life, God's design for the family and traditional marriage between one man and one woman are issues Vander Plaats cites as priorities.

The Rev. Jeff Mullen, Lead Pastor of Point of Grace Church in Waukee, IA says evangelicals are divided between the pragmatic and idealistic: those who are most concerned about which candidate could defeat Barack Obama, and those who are committed to voting based on their core values, no matter what.

Randall Balmer, Professor of American Religious History at Barnard College and Columbia University, puts the run-up to the Iowa caucus in perspective, framing the possibilities in terms of economic, social, political and religious issues that are playing out in the Republican campaigns, even before the first "official" event of the presidential primaries. Hear different viewpoints on the caucus and learn about how it works at

with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley


Q:        Why have you taken on the Federal Communications Commission?

A:        More than seven months ago, I started asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for information that would shed light on the agency's apparent rush to approve the LightSquared project.  Until public outcry, the agency was allowing LightSquared to move forward on a fast track with its plans for a nationwide wireless network, despite serious concerns of interference with the GPS systems used widely in military, aviation, emergency response venues, and even agriculture.  The agency has refused to provide the public with insight into its approval process.  This is of tremendous concern because the FCC controls a big part of the economy with its decisions about which companies can access highly valuable broadcast spectrum space.  The FCC conducts the public's business, and the public's business ought to be public.


Q:        Is there a way to make the FCC respond to your efforts for accountability?

A:        To date, the FCC has provided none of the information and found excuses not to provide the information.  Even the private companies involved - LightSquared and Harbinger Capital Partners (the hedge fund backing the project) - have promised to be more forthcoming than the FCC, even though the FCC is a public agency funded by the taxpayers.  LightSquared and Harbinger Capital promised to provide me with requested documents on their dealings with the FCC this month.  As a last resort to try to exhort more transparency and accountability from the FCC, I'll be placing a Senate hold on consideration of two nominees, a Democrat and a Republican, to serve as FCC commissioners.


Q:        What's at stake beyond accountability and the integrity of the FCC's approval process?

A:        This week, it was disclosed that Harbinger Capital Partners and fund owner Philip Falcone have received what's called a Wells Notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Last April, in my initial letter to the FCC on its decision to fast-track the LightSquared project, I noted that the hedge fund faced ongoing SEC investigations.  In July, I followed up by writing a letter that asked FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski if he was concerned about these multiple SEC investigations of Mr. Falcone related to market manipulation, especially since the FCC had granted Mr. Falcone's company a $10 billion victory with LightSquared following an unusual, shortened public comment period.  While the Wells Notice does not mean the SEC definitely will take action against Mr. Falcone and his hedge fund, it does show that the SEC staff believes there is sufficient evidence to consider recommending an enforcement action.  Now the FCC is faced with the real possibility that it made a multi-billion-dollar grant of valuable spectrum to someone who could be charged with violating securities laws.  When I raised this concern seven months ago, the FCC Chairman was dismissive.  Now, more than ever, the FCC chairman should lead the effort to provide documents and offer insight into how the agency decided to give Mr. Falcone, Harbinger Capital Partners, and LightSquared this multi-billion-dollar grant. The public spectrum is a valuable asset that the Federal Communications Commission is responsible for protecting.  It's unclear what would happen if a company gets access to a piece of this spectrum property and then falls apart.


Friday, December 9, 2011

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."  This classic line from "Casablanca" captures the essence of the relationship between American audiences and motion pictures.  That love affair, protecting the nation's cinematic heritage, and the Library of Congress' role in film preservation are examined in the documentary, "These Amazing Shadows"  (

Written and directed by Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton, "These Amazing Shadows" will air nationally on the award-winning PBS series "Independent Lens," hosted by Mary Louise Parker, on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 10:00 p.m. (check local listings). This critically acclaimed documentary has also been released on DVD and Blu-ray and will be available through the Library of Congress Shop (

Since 1989, the Library of Congress selects 25 films each year for preservation in the National Film Registry.  These films are selected for their cultural, historical or aesthetic significance and reflect the rich and diverse landscape of the American experience through a wide spectrum of genres.  They include Hollywood blockbusters, home movies, independent films, shorts, the avant-garde, documentaries and animated films.

"These Amazing Shadows" examines the creation of the Library's congressionally mandated preservation initiative and explores the nation's love of movies through rich imagery and insightful commentary. The documentary artfully blends together popular-to-obscure registry film clips and interviews with directors, actors, producers, critics, scholars, archivists, Library staff and members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB).

The producers highlight more than 165 film clips from such movie classics as "Casablanca" and "The Wizard of Oz" to provocative documentaries and historic home movies.  Discussing the power of cinema and the need to preserve it are such notables as Christopher Nolan, Rob Reiner, John Singleton, John Waters, Tim Roth, Debbie Reynolds, Leonard Maltin and the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington.

As part of his mission to preserve the nation's film legacy, the Librarian of Congress names the 25 annual selections to the registry after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and conferring with Library staff and NFPB members.  The number of selections in the registry currently totals 550.  The 2011 selections for the National Film Registry will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 28.

Described as a "valentine" to motion pictures, "These Amazing Shadows" showcases compelling moments and poignant examples of the power and influence of film on American culture.  Among them are:

•  "Boyz N the Hood" director John Singleton commenting on why he supported the controversial inclusion to the registry of D.W. Griffith's racially biased masterpiece "The Birth of a Nation";

• "Star Trek" actor George Takei recounting the experience of Japanese-Americans in relocation camps during World War II, which is authenticated by revealing scenes from "Topaz," Dave Tatsuno's home movie about the internment camps;

• Stephen Peck's emotional insight into the value of such war films as "The Deer Hunter" and "Best Years of Our Lives";

• Before-and-after restoration work on "The Godfather" negatives left in tatters from overuse;

• The Library's discovery and restoration of the uncut 1933 drama, "Baby Face," starring Barbara Stanwyck;

• The role of women filmmakers and the pioneering work of Dorothy Arzner and Lois Weber, who was Universal's top director before 1920.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library's rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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As the sword-and-sandals-epic "Wrath of the Titans" has become one of independent comic book publisher Bluewater Production most successful fiction titles, the original 2008 mini-series is being re-released this spring as a special edition graphic novel through partner Skyhorse Publishing.

According to Bluewater, the expanded version will include over 30 pages of never-before-seen material and be released in hardcover format and as an eBook through Paperless Publishing.

"It's a timeless story; a classic story and with all the new material, it still seems fresh," said Bluewater president Darren G. Davis, "I'm looking forward to seeing the title in libraries, schools and book stores across the country."

Written by Davis and his brother Scott Davis, "Wrath of the Titans" tells the story of Greek mythological hero Perseus after he has defeated Medusa, saved the city from the Kraken and became king of Argos. The story is full of Olympian intrigue, double-crosses, revenge, heroes, gods, monsters...and mayhem.

"Wrath of the Titans," scheduled for a March 2012 release, is a 128-page graphic novel (comprised of the four original individual issues plus additional promotional extras including a new cover by famed DC artist Joe Phillips). It is illustrated by Nadir Balan.

This book will be the first Bluewater title distributed as a hardcover edition. It includes a new cover by DC Comics' Joe Phillips.

"It is the first step of a great adventure," said Skyhorse Publisher Tony Lyons, "We look forward to the success of this book and to putting many future Bluewater titles in the hands of new fans."

Additionally the expanded edition is being prepared for an eBook rendition at the same time by Paperless Publishing.

"Our goal from the beginning of Paperless Publishing was to take eBooks and translate them into hard covers.  I am pleased that we are doing that with "Wrath of the Titans" and Skyhorse Publishing. Bluewater has been a great partner for Paperless Publishing as we have distributed over 100 of their eBooks to much success," said Meghan Kilduff, Paperless' publisher.

Bluewater president Darren G. Davis emphasizes that "Wrath of the Titans" is an extension of the original movie's vision and concept and has no current ties with the sequel to the "Clash of the Titans" remake baring the same name.

The graphic novel will retail for $18.99. It will be available through traditional retail outlets, comic book shops, traditional book stores and several online venues including and the Barnes and Noble.

High-resolution images and interview opportunities are available upon request.

About Bluewater Productions

Bluewater Productions Inc. is one of the top independent production studios of comic books, young adult books and graphic novels. Its extensive catalog of titles includes the bestsellers "10th Muse" and "The Legend of Isis" "Bluewater publishes comic books in partnership with entertainment icon William Shatner ("TekWar Chronicles"),  legendary filmmaker Ray Harryhausen ("Wrath of the Titans," "Sinbad: Rogue of Mars," "Jason and the Argonauts," et al) and celebrated actor Vincent Price ("Vincent Price Presents"),  Additionally, Bluewater publishes a highly successful line of biographical comics under the titles "Female Force" and "Political Power."

Bluewater aims to unite cutting-edge art and engaging stories produced by its stable of the publishing industry's top artists and writers.

Bluewater's books are managed by Jarred Weisfeld of Objective Media.

About Skyhorse Publishing
Skyhorse Publishing was launched in September 2006 by Tony Lyons, former president and publisher of the Lyons Press, and its first titles were published in March 2007. Lyons talked to dozens of potential investors, all of whom asked the same question: "Can a new book publishing company make it in the current environment?" His response remains: "Succeeding as an independent publisher is not going to be easy, but by scouring the country for genre books that large publishers ignore, resurrecting forgotten classics, and by moving both more quickly and with greater attention to detail than other publishers, I believe we can flourish."
Skyhorse?with its four imprints (Arcade Publishing, Allworth Publishing, Sports Publishing, and Sky Pony Press) now boasts a backlist of 1,500 books. Since its founding, Skyhorse has published an eclectic and maverick list that includes books on history, politics, rural living, humor, and more. With its new imprints, the Skyhorse program now includes business, art, fiction, regional books, and children's books.
About Objective Entertainment (Paperless Publishing)

Paperless Publishing was founded by Objective Entertainment's Jarred Weisfeld and is a full service book to eBook conversion and publishing house. Meghan Kilduff has moved over from Objective Entertainment to be the new company's Publisher. Paperless Publishing is looking to publish both fiction and nonfiction in all genres. We plan to publish over 100 titles in the next year.
MOLINE, ILLINOIS - On Thanksgiving night 2010 WQPT premiered a brand new public affairs program called "The Cities with Jim Mertens." This Thanksgiving the program celebrates one year on the air. Producer Lora Adams said "We've interviewed more than 100 guests, everyone from Governor Branstad to original Freedom Rider, Diane Nash. Plus, we've been able to introduce our audiences to variety of local musicians and artists."

Host Jim Mertens had wanted for some time to do a longer format public affairs program. "I have the best of both worlds," Mertens said referring to his job as morning anchor at WQAD and his hosting duties for WQPT. "We've had the opportunity to talk with folks about the most up-to-the minute topics. From the flooding on the Mississippi to a couple who were caught in the civil unrest in Egypt to most recently, discussing the construction projects taking place in downtown Moline. We're also really excited that the Victor and Doris Day Foundation,
who were the original funders for the program, have once again provided funding for a second year" Mertens said.

"The Cities" is taped at Fusion Communications in Davenport, Iowa and airs on Thursdays at 6:30 pm and Sundays at 5:30 pm. WQPT is a media service of Western Illinois University, located in Moline, Illinois.


British writer Chris Scott Wilson who has five of his westerns released worldwide as ebooks by Boson of North Carolina is gratified to see they now have trailers to help promote them on YouTube. Chris admits he is pleased publishers can now generate video teasers just as Hollywood always has done for movies. "I find it tremendously exciting," he enthuses. "It's a new kind of marketing for books, and any step forward in bringing books to the public's attention can't be a bad thing. And presenting them visually hauls them into the 21st century."

"I also find it incredible that somebody on the other side of the world from the US," Chris reveals, "in Europe, India or Japan, or even Australia can turn on their computer and see a trailer for one of my books. Even more amazing, now that we're moving into a digital age, they can follow on from watching the trailer and visit their on-line retailer to buy the book and have it downloaded on their computer within minutes if not seconds. All the fences have gone."

While there are those who rigidly stick to their taste for print books, Chris says, "There's no reason print and digital can't exist side by side. There are those who want to keep books on their shelves. I do too, but there are also times when we read on the move, for example on holiday or commuting, and ebook readers enable us to carry as many as we want. Technology is advancing so fast. We should embrace, not resist those parts that are beneficial to us." He smiles. "I like to think of my ebook reader as an iPod for my books."

To see the trailers, either follow links from Chris's website or search for "chris scott wilson" on Youtube where you will locate a list. His books Desperadoes, The Quantro Story, Double Mountain Crossing, The Copper City and The Fight at Hueco Tanks can all be found on leading US ebook retailers' websites, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, Books on Board, Booksamillion and many others.


Moline, IL -– Donna Marie Beserra, Publisher and Author for Artisitc Creations Book Publishing, has been selected as an Honored Member of the Biltmore Who's Who Executive and Professional Registry. The selection recognizes Donna Marie Beserra's commitment to excellence in Children's Books.

Beserra, who began working in book publishing in 2002, started her own business just five years later, writing, producing and publishing children's books.

Currently working on an autobiography that she hopes will help others interested in writing and publishing books on their own, Beserra studied creative writing at Black Hawk College and has taken numerous business, writing and self-publishing courses over the years.

In addition to her writings, Beserra is currently producing her own television show, Discover Your Talent, which is viewed on Mediacom's channel 19 on Monday evenings at 8pm central time. Her "Creative Creatures" interactive books are featured on the show, along with creative ideas and acts performed by various children.

"I hope to inspire kids around the world to discover their talents," Beserra said about her show.

Beserra is a member of the Midwest Writing Center and has taught numerous classes at Black Hawk College. She hopes to soon have her first book, Twirly Shirley In My Sister The Twister, made into a computer animated film or an onstage production.

Beserra will be offering some free ebooks on her website on how to write a children's book, please visit She also has a new Christmas site at

About Biltmore Who's Who:

Biltmore Who's Who specializes in providing members with pertinent biographical information of key Executives and Professionals that comprise its membership throughout North America. Biltmore Who's Who encourages all members to use the publication to contact and network with other members to enhance public relations or possibly develop mutual and beneficial business relationships.

Contact: Biltmore Who's Who, Hollywood, Fl.
Holli C., 954-893-0114

Davenport native, Brendon O'Connor is currently seeking donations for her upcoming graduate student thesis film. O'Connor, in her final year of graduate film school at Chapman University is production designing "The Devout", a new short thriller film set during the Black Death that follows one woman who must risk everything to ensure the safety of the ones she loves. The film, which shoots in January, in Los Angeles is funded by the students.  The filmmakers are hoping to reach out to local support back in Iowa for donations, which will fund camera and lighting rentals, and construction cost of the medieval village. O'Connor, graduated from Davenport Central high school in 2004 and is receiving an MFA in Production Design this spring. Please visit to learn more about the production and how you can help. We are also accepting donations at


A story filled with secrets, isolation, agony, and love, The Devout takes us on a journey into the dark world of the Black Death. Set in the early 1400's, The Devout follows the people of medieval Exmoor, England as they witness the systematic killing of the village's sick by a demonic, cloaked rook creature. Two conflicting avenues emerge to lead the villagers to salvation, each guided by a brother and sister, Luke and Emery. One avenue is led by Emery, an intelligent woman who serves as the village doctor and mentor to Ana, Luke's daughter. The other avenue falls under the watchful eyes of the town preacher, Brother Luke, who attributes the recent deaths as a punishment from God and directs the people of Exmoor on a journey to find salvation by openly repenting their sins. As Emery and Ana wield the proven practices of science, Emery faces the ultimate test when she must go against her brother and his beliefs to ensure the safety of Exmoor at whatever cost.
GAHC Members and Friends,


If you are unfamiliar with the "Germans in America" series previously broadcast by WQPT, (Digital Channel 24.1 and 24.2 or Cable Channel 10) or would like to see it again, take note of the following episodes on Monday evenings through Novermber, 2011. Programs begin at 9:00 p.m.


Monday, Nov. 7
"Into the Promised Land" A group of German-Americans from Loose Creek, Missouri travel to Germany in search of their roots.


Monday, Nov. 14
"The Price of Freedom" Recalls the stenuous ordeals faced by the first German settlers to arrive in Texas.


Monday, Nov, 21
"Little Germanies" German-speaking communities bloomed all over the country in the second half of the 19th century.


Monday, Nov. 28
"A People Disappears" German-Americans try to keep their identity under wraps as intolerance grows during the world wars.
A definitive look at the state of teaching in America that offers a solution to the education crisis.
Narrated by Matt Damon
In collaboration with Microsoft Partners in Learning

Sunday, November 6th, 2011
6:00 pm
2108 3rd Ave Rock Island, IL 61201
This is a free event.

American Teacher is the feature-length documentary produced and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth; produced by Ninive Calegari, co-founder of the literacy nonprofit 826 National, and bestselling author Dave Eggers; and narrated by Academy Award-winner Matt Damon. American Teacher chronicles the stories of four teachers - Erik Benner, Jonathan Dearman, Jamie Fidler, and Rhena Jasey - who live and work in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, the film tell the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today. The film shows us the experience of these four young teachers as they recognize the importance of what they do, and how much they love what they do, but have to ask themselves: Can I afford to continue to teach?