Saturday, March 31, 2007

Why Alexander bombed and 300 was the bomb.

I haven't seen 300 but this is an interesting take.

Victor Davis Hanson

There is a great yearning among the public for just a small, rare chance to see some issue presented in terms other than moral ambiguity. 300 provided that in a way other costume dramas like Alexander or Troy either could not or did not. The 300 and those beside them were better than the alternative, had the moral high ground, and were willing to match deed with word. That proved more receptive than Oliver Stone's fantasizing for a public weary of sorta, kinda judgements (the latest being the Iranian hostage taking where the West is engaged in moral anguish over GPS data, possible provocations, a prior lapse in "engaging" the Iranians, conspiracy theorizing over the Bush role in all this, etc. rather than just a simple: "The Brits appeared vulnerable and would not act, and so for the Iranian thugocracy it was too good a chance to pass up—given its prior success with the serial kidnapping of Westerners.

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Shouldn't this be banned? Or at least taxed heavily?

Pompoms, Pyramids and Peril - New York Times

Of 104 catastrophic injuries sustained by female high school and college athletes from 1982 to 2005 — head and spinal trauma that occasionally led to death — more than half resulted from cheerleading, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. All sports combined did not surpass cheerleading.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Don in Iraq

I'm thankful for the good food we eat here in our field dining facilities. As my 1st Sergeant said, "they feed us like it may be our last meal." I'm thankful for a clean, dry bed to sleep in. I'm thankful I don't have to live in a tent this time. I'm thankful for clean laundry and clothing that doesn't feel or smell like dirt. I'm thankful for running water. That way I can at least wash my face and shave every morning. I'm thankful for flush toilets, no matter how fragile the plumbing system. I'm thankful for air conditioning and ice cream when it's 120F outside. I'm thankful for mail. E-mail's OK, but you really know you're special when someone takes the time and trouble to sit down with pen and paper and write you a letter or send you a card. It' like they're giving of themselves to you. You really know who cares about you when you receive "Snail Mail." What's particularly moving to me is when you receive mail from total strangers, like when you receive cards and letters from school children and church groups that you don't know, but they know you because of your family members and friends. I'm thankful that I have access to a telephone, so that I am able to call home on occasion and hear the voices of my loved ones. I'm thankful for the all volunteer military. I'm glad we have a military of professionals. There's nothing worse than to be in a war zone with a bunch of malcontents. I'm thankful for my fellow service members. They are truly "America's best and brightest", no matter what some people say. I'm thankful that most Americans support the troops. I'm thankful for the selfless veteran's groups that made us feel welcome and appreciated during our transit to Iraq; at midnight at a virtually deserted airport in Bangor, Maine, even when the temperature was zero degrees outside.

Read the whole thing. You'll feel better.

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Biased Media Brainwash: Rosie Melts Down

Matt Jones’ Random Acts of Verbiage » Rosie the Physicist

I’ll have to say, as frustrated as I got watching the clip (and it is EXTREMELY frustrating) I laughed quite a bit when Rosie made the ironic comment in reference to the mainstream media: “In America we are fed propaganda.” That made me laugh. Was she listening to her own rant?

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Why he wrote a book about Romney

Hugh Hewitt

I wrote the book because of the dangers of having questions about Romney's faith become occasions for attacks on the Mormon Church which will then become wider attacks on the idea of people of faith being in the public square.

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Scientific Consensus on Global (Solar?) Warming

Explanation - Global Warming Petition Project

During the past several years, more than 17,100 basic and applied American scientists, two-thirds with advanced degrees, have signed the Global Warming Petition. Signers of this petition so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists (select this link for a listing of these individuals) who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate. Signers of this petition also include 5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences (select this link for a listing of these individuals) make them especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide upon the Earth's plant and animal life. Nearly all of the initial 17,100 scientist signers have technical training suitable for the evaluation of the relevant research data, and many are trained in related fields. In addition to these 17,100, approximately 2,400 individuals have signed the petition who are trained in fields other than science or whose field of specialization was not specified on their returned petition. Of the 19,700 signatures that the project has received in total so far, 17,800 have been independently verified and the other 1,900 have not yet been independently verified. Of those signers holding the degree of PhD, 95% have now been independently verified. One name that was sent in by enviro pranksters, Geri Halliwell, PhD, has been eliminated. Several names, such as Perry Mason and Robert Byrd are still on the list even though enviro press reports have ridiculed their identity with the names of famous personalities. They are actual signers. Perry Mason, for example, is a PhD Chemist. The costs of this petition project have been paid entirely by private donations. No industrial funding or money from sources within the coal, oil, natural gas or related industries has been utilized. The petition's organizers, who include some faculty members and staff of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, do not otherwise receive funds from such sources. The Institute itself has no such funding. Also, no funds of tax-exempt organizations have been used for this project.

Here is the text of the petition that all of these "experts" signed:

Global Warming Petition - Global Warming Petition Project

We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

I'm not sure what to believe on global (solar?) warming. I think the fact that warming is happening is clear. Why it's happening is far from clear. Clearly, there isn't as much consensus as those who use the term would have us believe.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Surprising Clarity

The Northeast Graduate in the previous post is...

Michael Crichton

The Daily Ablution: Seven Answers From Michael Crichton...

Despite all the huffing and puffing, the truth is no one knows how much of the current warming trend is caused by man. Some of it surely is. And some of that anthropogenic warming is caused by the man-made rise in CO2. But how much is attributable to CO2 is not known. In the absence of that vital knowledge, people speak of a consensus of scientists. That's a way to get around the lack of knowledge and the inability to predict (which is the conventional proof of scientific knowledge, hence the usual emphasis in science on testable hypotheses.) Perhaps people and nations will choose to act on the basis of a claimed consensus. They have done so in the past, sterilizing their poor neighbors in the name of eugenics, gulping milk for their ulcers, downing antioxidants to prevent cancer, and soon. But all those behaviors were ultimately proven to lack a scientific basis — in other words, they are superstitions.

This is a devastating point. The scientific method somehow ends with proving warming of the Earth. In place of a lack of proof, there is "consensus".

...Any departure from environmental orthodoxy is marked by ad hominem attack, vigorous spread of false information, claims of criminality and mental derangement, and general nastiness. Apparently this is one area where reasonable people cannot disagree. It's interesting that any entity as complex, changing and difficult to comprehend as the environment should be guarded by organizations that allow no deviation from a single point of view toward what needs to be done. One might have predicted a rather broad range of environmental viewpoints, promoted by an equally broad range of institutions and activist organizations. There is some variation among organizations, of course. But on the subject of global warming, no deviation. That is to say, I am aware of no environmental organization that does not claim global warming is a major threat that must be dealt with now. I leave it to your readers to explain that puzzle. Complex subject, simplistic response.

I think the puzzle is related to man's incurable need for religion. Global Warming has become a kind of secular religion, complete with Apocalypse, Orthodoxy and  of course Messiah (e.g. Al Gore).

...Most of the people I know who are anxious about GM say that their concerns lie with the fact that the technology is of unproven safety. They share their worries with like-minded people by use of their cell phones. When I remind them that cell phones are a technology of unproven safety, and that the construction of all these wireless networks around the world and in our houses is a development of unproven safety, they just shrug. They don't care. Even though most of them are old enough to remember the false fears about cancer and electromagnetic radiation. You'd think that fear could be easily reawakened in them, but no. From this I conclude fears are a matter of fashion. Worries are like clothing styles, they come and go, rise and fall, based on what the worry fashion leaders tell the herd of independent minds to fear this year. GM is fashionable to fear. But that will change.

Fear as fashion is a compelling analysis. Again the religious analogy to religious leaders proclaiming "The End is Near!". Part of the reason for making such dire claims is that it simultaneously elevates the drama of an otherwise mundane life and the prestige of an otherwise mundane leader. That's why it's so tempting to proclaim doom, whether or not there is evidence to support the claim.

Let me be clear, there is warming. But calling it global warming seems much to narrow minded. Solar warming seems to be a much more accurate and inclusive term.

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says

In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.

"The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," he said.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Name that Northeast Graduate

The Daily Ablution: Seven Answers From ...

"Graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT."

He's "a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER".

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The Beauty Myth, Exposed

For years I've given a talk about the modern concept of physical beauty and how it reinforces an arbitrary, inhuman standard of physical perfection that all women are measured by and sadly found wanting.

This is one example of advertisement that cuts against that grain. It is shocking because it's approach is so different.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Jeff Corwin pinched by Elephant

All you need is love...

Pajamas Media: From the "We No Longer Question Their Patriotism" File:

“Perhaps the most disturbing scene of the afternoon, however, involved the man who pulled down his pants in front of women and children and defecated on a burning U.S. flag.”

Why are they wearing masks?

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Why blogs are influential...

Dean Barnett:

First, let’s start with a couple of facts: The blogosphere is important. It’s more important on the left than it is on the right, for sure, but politicians of all stripes have reached a consensus that the goodwill of the blogopshere is something to be courted.

This isn’t because of bloggers. Rather, it’s because of our readers. Blog readers, both left and right, are exceptionally high–end consumers of news. Among blog readers, there is a disproportionate amount of what Malcolm Gladwell calls “mavens” in his book “Tipping Point.” To generalize, blog readers are well informed big-mouths. They wield influence beyond their numbers.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Words on Death - Remembering Special Friend, Conservative Columnist Cathy Seipp - Blog | Blogs | Popular Blogs | Video Blogs

In October 2005, when she first wrote in her blog about her cancer, Cathy had this to say:

“I’m beginning to feel a responsibility to point out that lung cancer, which kills more people annually (about 163,000) than the next four most common cancers (colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate) combined, is terribly underfunded compared to other diseases: $950 in research money per lung cancer death, compared to $8800 for breast cancer and $34,000 for AIDS.

"That’s because the vast majority of lung cancer (about 85 percent) is still caused by smoking, even though the rate for lifelong nonsmoking women like me (and Christopher Reeve’s widow) has been going up for some mysterious reason, and the general attitude is that smokers deserve whatever they get.

"But half of all lung cancer patients have been nonsmokers by the time of diagnosis, sometimes for decades, like Warren Zevon. If they deserve to get sick, then I suppose so do people who are overweight or don’t exercise or who have promiscuous sex with strangers, all of which are contributing factors for various illnesses that get much more sympathy in the form of research dollars. Maybe the amount of attention we pay to a disease should have less to do with how many celebrities, magazine editors and junk bond kings carry its banner, and more with how many people actually die of it.”

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The Planet needs more Cowbell

A Fever?

My Way News - Gore Implores Congress to Save Planet

"Global warming science is uneven and evolving," Barton said.

Gore insisted that the link is beyond dispute and is the source of broad agreement in the scientific community.

"The planet has a fever," Gore said. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action."

Gore's congressional testimony marked the first time he had been to Capitol Hill since January 2001, when he was the defeated Democratic presidential nominee still presiding over the Senate in his role as vice president. It comes 20 years after Gore, then a congressman from Tennessee, held the first hearings in Congress on global warming.

(AP) Former Vice President Al Gore testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2007,...
Full Image
Gore appeared before a joint hearing by two House committees, with his wife, Tipper, sitting behind him and a stack of boxes beside him containing hundreds of thousands messages asking Congress to act on global warming.

Later in the day, he was to testify before a Senate committee that included Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gore has said he has no plans to seek the presidency again, but he ranks third in some polls and could threaten Clinton's front-runner status if he decided to enter the race.

Gore said he hopes whoever is elected president in 2008 "can use his or her political chips" to lead the world toward a new global climate treaty to replace the 1997 Kyoto protocol that requires 35 industrial nations to cut greenhouse gases. The Bush administration argues Kyoto would hurt the U.S. economy and objects that high-polluting developing nations like China and India are not required to reduce emissions.

"I fully understand that Kyoto, as a brand if you will, has been demonized," Gore said.

Gore was warmly welcomed back by some of his critics, such as Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who remembered serving with Gore's father and bantered with Gore about an evening boat ride they took together. "You're dear to us, but I just don't agree with you on this," Hall said.

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Another Botched Joke Apparently Below Average

San Francisco Bay Times
Radio personality and writer Garrison Keillor, of “Prairie Home Companion” fame, has apologized to gays upset by the March 14 installment of his syndicated newspaper column, saying he was just teasing. In the column, Keillor said: “Gay marriage will produce a whole new string of hyphenated relatives. In addition to the ex-stepson and ex-in-laws and your wife’s first husband’s second wife, there now will be Bruce and Kevin’s in-laws and Bruce’s ex, Mark, and Mark’s current partner, and I suppose we’ll get used to it. “The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men—sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That’s for the kids. It’s their show.”" Syndicated gay columnist Dan Savage and New York City activist Andy Humm, among others, took exception to Keillor’s piece. Savage called “Keillor’s attack on gay parents” “offensive,” “damaging” and “misinformed.” Humm called it “viciously homophobic,” and staged a one-man picket of a March 17 live broadcast of “Prairie Home Companion” in Manhattan. “Keillor is so repelled by the idea of gay parents and same-sex marriage that he needs to employ trivializing stereotypes to put them down,” Humm said. “Bigotry like this is shameful and we hope the NPR audience will tell Keillor what they think of his prejudices.”

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Earth's Heater is a Mystery

Dazzling new images reveal the 'impossible' on the Sun - space - 21 March 2007 - New Scientist Space:
Another surprise sighting is that of giant magnetic field loops crashing down onto the Sun's surface as if they were collapsing from exhaustion, a finding that Golub describes as "impossible". Previously, scientists thought they should emerge from the Sun and continue blowing out into space.

"Almost every day, we look at the data and we say – what the heck was that?" says Golub, a member of the XRT science team.

Astronomers do not yet know what to make of the surprises, but they hope Hinode will help solve many big puzzles. One is that the temperature of the Sun's tenuous outermost atmosphere, or corona, is far hotter than the layers underneath, which are nearer its energy-generating core.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Hot Topic: Global Temperature

ScienceDaily: Researchers Question Validity Of A 'Global Temperature'

Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, who has analyzed this topic in collaboration with professors Christopher Essex from University of Western Ontario and Ross McKitrick from University of Guelph, Canada.

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Questions for Mr. Gore


Mr. Gore: You have said several times that we have 10 years to act to stave off global warming. Was that 10 years from the first time you said that or 10 years from now? We just wanted to get a firm date from you that we can hold you to.

Mr. Gore: How can you continue to claim that global warming on Earth is primarily caused by mankind when other planets (Mars, Jupiter and Pluto) with no confirmed life forms and certainly no man-made industrial greenhouse gas emissions also show signs of global warming? Wouldn’t it make more sense that the sun is responsible for warming since it is the common denominator?

Mr. Gore: Joseph Romm, the executive director for the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, has said we must build 700 large nuclear plants to stave off climate change. Where do you stand on the need for nuclear energy?

Mr. Gore: Do you think the earth is significantly overpopulated and that is a major contributor to your view of climate change. (If yes, what do you think is a sustainable population for the planet?)

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Quiet Man: We're watching this today.

The Quiet Man is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Today, in honor of St. Patty's day, we'll be watchin' in our humble home.

The proprieties will be observed at all times, if you please.

Lyrics to "Mush-Mush-Mush Tural-i-addy" from The Quiet Man (1952) at Reel Classics

It was there that I learned all me courtin' --

Many lessons I took in the art --

Till Cupid, the blackguard, while sportin',

An arrow drove straight through me

Mush, Mush, Mush tural-i-addy

Me Mush, Mush, Mush tural-i-ay.

So I lathered him with me shillelagh

For he trod on the tail of me

Mush, Mush, Mush tural-i-addy.

And just like the Dingle for gold,

I lathered him with me shillelagh

For he trod on the tail of me coat.

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Colors of a prayer for peace...

Irish Flag

* orange — standing for Irish Protestants

* green — signifying Irish Catholics and the republican cause

* white — representing the hope for peace between them

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Green Day

The History of St. Patrick's Day - The History Channel

St. Patrick is believed to have driven the snakes from Ireland. Once a pagan himself, St. Patrick is one of Christianity's most widely known figures.

The modern secular holiday is based on the original Christian saint's feast day also thought to be the date of the saint's death. In 1737, Irish immigrants to the United States began observing the holiday publicly in Boston and held the first St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City in 1766.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Reminding you who is down in Guantanamo

One of th edetainees confession is detailed below.

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

1. I was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation

2. I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.

3. I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, [Wall Street Journal reporter] Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.

4. I was responsible for the Shoe Bomber Operation to down two American airplanes.

5. I was responsible for the Filka Island operation in Kuwait that killed two American soldiers.

6. I was responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which was frequented by British and American nationals.

7. I was responsible for planning, training, surveying, and financing the New (or Second) Wave attacks against the following skyscrapers after 9/11:
a. Library Tower, California.
b. Sears Tower, Chicago,
c. Plaza Bank, Washington state.
d. The Empire State Building, New York City.

8. I was responsible for planning, financing, follow-up of Operations to destroy American military vessels and oil tankers in the Straights of Hormuz, and Straights of Gibralter, and the Port of Singapore.

9. I was responsible for planning, training, surveying, and financing for the Operation to bomb and destroy the Panama Canal.

10. I was responsible for surveying and financing for the assassination of several former American Presidents, including President Carter.

11. I was responsible for surveying, planning, and financing for the bombing of suspension bridges in New York.

12. I was responsible for planning to destroy the Sears Tower by burning a few fuel or oil tanker trucks beneath it or around it.

13. I was responsible for planning, surveying, and financing for the operation to destroy Heathrow Airport, the Canary Wharf Building, and Big Ben on British soil.

14. I was responsible for planning, surveying, and financing for the destruction of many night clubs frequented by American and British citizens on Thailand soil.

15. I was responsible for surveying and financing for the destruction of the New York Stock Exchange and other financial targets after 9/11.

16. I was responsible for planning, financing, and surveying for the destruction of buildings in the Israeli city of Elat by using airplanes leaving from Saudi Arabia.

17. I was responsible for planning, surveying, and financing for the destruction of American embassies in Indonesia, Australia, and Japan.

18. I was responsible for surveying and financing for the destruction of the Israeli embassy in India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines, and Australia.

19. I was responsible for surveying and financing for the destruction of an Israeli 'El-Al' Airlines flight on Thailand soil departing from Bangkok Airport.

20. I was responsible for sending several Mujahadeen into Israel to conduct surveillance to hit several strategic targets deep in Israel.

21. I was responsible for the bombing of the hotel in Mombasa that is frequented by Jewish travelers via El-Al airlines.

22. I was responsible for launching a Russian-made SA-7 surface-to-air missile on El-Al or other Jewish airliner departing from Mombasa.

23. I was responsible for planning and surveying to hit American targets in South Korea, such as American military bases and a few night clubs frequented by American soldiers.

24. I was responsible for financial, excuse me, I was responsible for providing financial support to hit American, Jewish, and British targets in Turkey.

25. I was responsible for surveillance needed to hit nuclear power plants that generate electricity in several U.S. states.

26. I was responsible for planning, surveying, and financing to hit NATO Headquarters in Europe.

27. I was responsible for the planning and surveying needed to execute the Bojinka Operation, which was designed to down twelve American airplanes full of passengers. I personally monitored a found-trip, Manila-to-Seoul, Pan Am flight.

28. I was responsible for the assassination attempt against President Clinton during his visit to the Philippines in 1994 or 1995. . . .

29. I shared responsibility for the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul the second while he was visiting the Philippines.

30. I was responsible for the training and financing for the assassination of Pakistan's President Musharraf.

31. I was responsible for the attempt to destroy an American oil company owned by the Jewish former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, on the Island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Chastity: not just for children anymore.

Rich Street sent me this interesting article.

BreakPoint: A Chaste Approach to Sex, 2/14/07 - 2/14/2007 12:36:19 PM

When college students pack up and spend a couple of days at another campus, it's usually to attend a sporting event—or maybe a long, boozy fraternity party.

But at Princeton this week, college students are gathering from around the country to take part in something radically different: a workshop on chastity.

If your jaw just dropped, you probably have plenty of company. But when you recover, you ought to start cheering: The workshop is a healthy sign that young people are becoming disillusioned with today's "hook-up" culture.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Gore Effect

UNITED STATES Climate Summary

The average temperature in February 2007 was 32.9 F. This was -1.8 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 34th coolest February in 113 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.

Add it to the list:

Gore Effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Gore Effect is a phenomena in which several places Al Gore visits to give his global warming speech experience unusual snowfall or record cold temperatures. Examples include:
* Jan 2004, when Gore spoke in NYC, NYC had the coldest weather in nearly 50 years.
* Nov 2006, 2 weeks before summer, Al Gore visits Australia to give his speech, as a huge snowstorm hits.
* Feb 2007, Gore presentation canceled at Maryville University, due to snowstorm

And now: * Feb 2007, Gore wins Oscar for Severe Global Warming documentary, month cooler than average.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

French Freedom of Speech

Macworld: News: France bans citizen journalists from reporting violence
The French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The law could lead to the imprisonment of eyewitnesses who film acts of police violence, or operators of Web sites publishing the images, one French civil liberties group warned on Tuesday.

They don't have Freedom Fried either. It's ironic that people say that Bush is Hitler, while the French require government oversight of all reporters and now apparently are ready to prosecute anyone who acts like one.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sun Devil Pride

They didn't have stuff like this when I was there:

Sun Devil Gridiron - The Home of Sun Devil Football

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Movement toward the Poor

OnMovements » Blog Archive » Movements: Some New Thoughts (To Me Anyway)

And this is the new thought to me:

How can we be serious about the Great Commission, if very little discussion surrounds seeing the poor as an unreached people group worth reaching, even though they make up 2/3rds of the world?

I realize that the poor haven’t been traditionally included in the “ethnos” category — the people/language group distinction as defined in the Great Commission passages (ie make disciples of all nations). Yet, as Hayes argues, the same kind of cross-cultural, contextualized, incarnational ministry is required to reach the poor as is required to reach other people groups.

In other words, we talk of learning a language and culture of a people group so we can do contextualized, incarnational ministry, but we rarely talk about crossing the socio-economical barrier to understand the “common realities” of the poor as a “people group.”

Yet, nearly 1 in 10 verses in the Bible speaks of the poor in some way. The poor, the widow, the orphan, the outcast, the hungry and thirsty, are central to God’s heart. And as Matthew 25 argues so clearly, Jesus wants them in his kingdom and he wants us to help get them there.

What would happen to our movement building strategies if we embraced the poor as a distinct people group worth reaching?

I wonder.

I think that Campus Crusade has struggled with the trade off between ministry to influential people (students, leaders, etc.) and the growing realization that ministry to the poor is not just a strategy but part of following Christ. That's why I think the future of our movement will be combining the two. Thankfully Bono and Bill Gates and others have shown examples of how there need not be a wall of separation between people of power and peoples in need.

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Is there a link between Evolution and Racism?

The Volokh Conspiracy - -
The book that Scopes was teaching was a popular biology book of the day--George Hunter's Civic Biology (1914). Bryan was not just disturbed by the teaching of evolution but more broadly by the whole social Darwinist agenda, including both capitalism and genetic superiority. Civic Biology was a vicious social Darwinist tract. Here are some excerpts from the book, courtesy of Eugenics Watch:

Hunter's Civic Biology, p. 195-196 The Races of Man. — At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; The American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America. Hunter's Civic Biology, p. 261-265 Improvement of Man. — If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on the earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection. This improvement of the future race has a number of factors in which we as individuals may play a part. These are personal hygiene, selection of healthy mates, and the betterment of the environment. Eugenics. — When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics. The Jukes. — Studies have been made on a number of different families in this country, in which mental and moral defects were present in one or both of the original parents. The "Jukes" family is a notorious example. The first mother is known as "Margaret, the mother of criminals." In seventy-five years the progeny of the original generation has cost the state of New York over a million and a quarter dollars, besides giving over to the care of prisons and asylums considerably over a hundred feeble-minded, alcoholic, immoral, or criminal persons. Another case recently studied is the "Kallikak" family. (Footnote: The name Kallikak is fictitious.) This family has been traced back to the War of the Revolution, when a young soldier named Martin Kallikak seduced a feeble-minded girl. She had a feeble-minded son from whom there have been to the present time 480 descendants. Of these 33 were sexually immoral, 24 confirmed drunkards, 3 epileptics, and 143 feeble-minded. The man who started this terrible line of immorality and feeble-mindedness later married a normal Quaker girl. From this couple a line of 496 descendants have come, with no cases of feeble-mindedness. The evidence and the moral speak for themselves! Parasitism and its Cost to Society. — Hundreds of families such as those described above exist today, spreading disease, immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites. The Remedy. — If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country. Blood Tells. — Eugenics shows us, on the other hand, in a study of the families in which are brilliant men and women, the fact that the descendants have received the good inheritance from their ancestors. The following, taken from Davenport's Heredity in Relationship to Eugenics, illustrates how one family has been famous in American History. ...

This is one aspect of science that is rarely discussed.

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It's only harrassment of we say so...

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today

When 'Sensitivity' Is a One-Way Street

The Associated Press reports from Santa Rosa, Calif., on an interesting political-correctness kerfuffle:

When a few classmates razzed Rebekah Rice about her Mormon upbringing with questions such as, "Do you have 10 moms?" she shot back: "That's so gay." . . .

After Rice got a warning and a notation in her file, her parents sued, claiming officials at Santa Rosa's Maria Carillo [sic] High violated their daughter's First Amendment rights when they disciplined her for uttering a phrase "which enjoys widespread currency in youth culture," according to court documents.

Testifying last week about the 2002 incident, Rice, now 18, said that when she uttered those words, she was not referring to anyone's sexual orientation. She said the phrase meant: "That's so stupid, that's so silly, that's so dumb."

But school officials say they took a strict stand against the putdown after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the year before.

"The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment," the district's lawyers argued in a legal brief. "In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase 'That's so gay' . . . was a reasonable regulation."

We're not sure this is worth making a federal case over, but it's certainly a revealing window into the politically correct mindset. So vigilant is Carrillo High about protecting gay students from harassment that it has declared certain phrases unsayable, even when the intent plainly is not invidious and when--as appears to have been the case here--there were no gays around to feel "harassed" by the comment. Yet according to Rebekah's parents, the students who actually were harassing her for her religion were not disciplined. Political correctness is not really about sensitivity and courtesy, which require mutual respect. Rather, political correctness entails intolerance for some prejudices but impunity for others.

I think respect for everyone is a great policy.

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A Mormon in the Whitehouse?

Q Hugh Hewitt | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Why shouldn't Christians oppose Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism?

Because the civic religion in America is founded very much on the Constitution's Article Six premise that there is no religious test. That was to act as a formal impediment to state action and to foster an attitude of Americans—that we love religious liberty, that we are defenders of religious tolerance.

Would any theological beliefs be disqualifying?

Not a theological belief. But if a theological belief resulted in a political position, it could. For example, if a Raelian believed that we needed to embrace cloning, I would say, "I can't vote for you because you're in favor of cloning."

Agree or disagree? I tend to agree because I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the political processes of Democracy are fundamentally about compromise. The process of faith is fundamentally about faithfulness. It's not that the two are mutually exclusive, its just that one involves excellence, the other tolerance.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Come help change the world...

The Amazing Change is a website about ending human trafficking around the world.

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Amazing Grace begins well...

The numbers look good to me according to this link:

Weekend Box Office Results for February 23–25, 2007

Amazing Grace was the number 10 movie last weekend, it's first weekend in release. But it was only released in 791 theaters, which is more than one thousand theaters less than all of the films in the top nine (except for Breach). But when you look at the Average $ per screen, Amazing Grace is over $5000 per screen which is second only to the top 2 films of the weekend. It's more than twice as much as The Astronaut Farmer.

Nice work Bristol Bay.

Amazing Grace is worth your time. My review is here.

I'm shocked! Shocked!

APA Press Release: Sexualization of Girls Is Linked To Common Mental Health Problems in Girls and Women

WASHINGTON, DC—A report of the American Psychological Association (APA) released today found evidence that the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development.

I've been giving talks on this kind of thing for years.

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I switched back...

I'm enjoying browsing and blogging again because I switched back to Firefox. Internet Explorer 7 is clunky, sluggish. Firefox is much more nimble and easy to configure and tweak.


Interesting Stuff