Saturday, June 11, 2011

Debbie Loves Cats eHarmony Video Fake, Funny Anyways

She just wants to hug all of them
Josh Wolford
June 10, 2011

A YouTube video entitled “eHarmony Video Bio” has absolutely blown up overnight, pretty much epitomizing the term “going viral.” The video wants you to believe that it is some sort of leaked online dating service bio, and it features a young, attractive girl with an extreme affinity for her feline companions.

The video info says, “I’m Debbie, I love cats and I just want a soulmate!” And that basically sums it up. The 2 1/2 minute video starts off quite normal and then turns really funny when Debbie can’t get a grip on her emotions when talking about cats.

The video has been picked up by a ton of blogs and news sites, ranging from Mashable to CBS. Some play it pretty straight, talking about how crazy Debbie is and making no mention of the validity.  the rest

A battered Germany recovers from E. coli outbreak

But Berlin's reputation is left muddied as it faces questions about the time it took to identify the source — a farm in Lower Saxony — and the haste with which it had initially blamed produce from European neighbors.
By Henry Chu
Los Angeles Times
June 11, 2011

 Salad is back on the menu in Germany, but it's being served with a big helping of humble pie.

Investigators concluded Friday that bean sprouts grown in northern Germany were responsible for the country's worst recorded outbreak of E. coli infections. Lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers — suspects originally blacklisted as vegetables non gratae — can now be welcomed back in from the culinary cold.

But rehabilitating Germany's reputation may prove a tougher task. The food scare has claimed at least 30 lives, sickened nearly 3,000 people, stirred up anger at home and strained relations with European neighbors. the rest

Organic Trade Association: manure facts
Is there a connection between E. coli and manure?
“While not all manures carry E. coli, manure is a documented source of E. coli contamination and should thus be handled cautiously in a fresh produce production system. Well-composted manures are recommended over the use of raw manures.”
(Source: Jasper Hempel, Food Safety Initiative Steering committee, California Certified Organic Farmers)  

Friday, June 10, 2011

Freedom in the 50 States-An Index of Personal and Economic Freedom

Check out your state here.

NY is the least free state in all areas by a wide margin!

Sitting can be more dangerous than smoking, study shows

By Daily Mail Reporter
9th June 2011

Going to work could be more harmful than smoking, a new study shows.

That is if your job involves sitting around for long periods of time.

Research carried out by the American College of Cardiology shows that prolonged sitting is linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and even early death and could be just as dangerous, if not more so, than smoking.

Cardiologist Dr David Coven said: 'Smoking certainly is a major cardiovascular risk factor and sitting can be equivalent in many cases.  the rest

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Devotional: A man may go into the field and say his prayer...

A man may go into the field and say his prayer and be aware of God, or he may be in Church and be aware of God; but if he is more aware of Him because he is in a quiet place, that is his own deficiency and not due to God, Who is alike present in all things and places, and is willing to give Himself everywhere so far as lies in Him. He knows God rightly who knows Him everywhere. ...Meister Eckhart image by James Doepp

Arizona Wildfires Threaten Crucial Powerlines

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

Wildfires from space-NASA:
Image of Wallow and Horseshoe Two fires from MISR instrument

Cancer medications running into dangerously short supply

Doctors scrambling to find acceptable alternatives for patients-cancer medication desperately needed by sick children and adults in the United States are running in short supply, undermining the ability of U.S. doctors to administer treatments. Top U.S. oncologists warn that for millions of people, this is a matter of life and death.

(Catholic Online) - "It's still uncomfortable to say that this is ideally what we'd like to do, but unfortunately we don't have it," Dr. Michael Link, a pediatric oncologist at the Mayo Clinic and current ASCO president said. Link has called it a disheartening crisis.

"You can imagine the conversation and I'm sure they're going on all over -- doctors have to tell their patients or their patients' parents that we can't give them the proven drug because we don't have it," Link adds.

Many drugs are scarce as there is no incentive for drug makers to manufacture low-cost generics, which have slim profit margins for pharmaceutical companies. Doctors do not expect that equation to change any time soon, making them scramble to find acceptable alternatives or to ration or delay treatment when they cannot. the rest

Boston Archdiocese Allows Gay Pride Mass

June 8, 2011

The parish is St. Cecilia in Boston. Here’s their latest bulletin, and the troubling notices...
the rest

Aberdeen church could 'break away' over gay ministers

An Aberdeen church is expected to break away from the Church of Scotland following the decision to allow the appointment of gay ministers.
9 June 2011

Gilcomston South Church in Union Street will formally vote on the issue at a later date.

The Kirk's General Assembly last month voted to allow the induction of some gay ministers.

The Church of Scotland said it was disappointing any congregation would feel the need to leave. the rest

Albert Mohler: An Unmitigated Theological Disaster

—Kirby Godsey Strikes Again
Is God a Christian? presents a trajectory and set of theological arguments that reveal what happens when biblical authority is denied and the faith once for all delivered to the saints is repudiated.
Thursday, June 9, 2011

“Most Christians assume that Christianity is the one and only religion that is God-inspired and that carries the imprimatur of God’s blessing,” laments R. Kirby Godsey. In his new book, Is God a Christian?, Godsey sets out to oppose that assumption and to argue that “the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faith as if our understanding of God represents the only way God’s presence may be known in the world.”

The great question of the exclusivity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is necessarily bound up with the most central teachings of the Christian faith, which is why an argument like this must be considered so carefully. A closer look reveals that Godsey is not merely calling upon Christians to reconsider how we define and defend the Gospel — he is calling for a total reconstruction of everything that Christianity represents. the rest

Jesus, Godsey insists, “did not die to appease an angry God.” In a clear refutation of the New Testament, Godsey asserts that no beliefs are necessary for salvation. “God loves us and forgives us already,” he argues, “no conditions, no prerequisite, no plans of salvation to follow.”

No shaming Weiner

By Michael Graham
Thursday, June 9, 2011

In other words, Democrats can do whatever they want to whomever they want and their loyal, unthinking voter base will stand with them.

The perfect example is our own Barney Frank. He’s had one boyfriend soliciting from the Democratic congressman’s condo; another boyfriend was on the Fannie Mae payroll while Frank oversaw its budget; and a third pal busted for pot while Frank demurred that he “is no outdoorsman.”

And still the knee-jerk liberals of Newton re-elected him overwhelmingly.

For a significant part of the Democratic base, lying, cheating and sleazy behavior are acceptable as long as the sleaze in question is a tireless defender of liberal policies.

Anthony Weiner is tireless, all right, which is why he’s not leaving.

Why should he? As a Democrat, he’s among friends. the rest

Drumbeat grows for Weiner to step down

Requiem for a Lightweight: Deconstructing the Weiner Affair
...As a society, we conditioned Anthony Weiner to believe normal rules of human behavior did not apply to him. Like a star athlete or Hollywood icon whose serial misconduct finally breaks through the exasperatingly capricious threshold of public consciousness, Weiner pathetically struggled to grasp the seriousness of his dire circumstances. Like so many others before him, our prolonged indifference left him unable to understand his suddenly precarious position because he had gotten away with so much for so long.
Congressman Weiner felt secure in abusing the public trust, wielding political power in pursuit of self aggrandizement, squandering federal resources in pursuit of prurient thrills all for one reason: he knew that no one was minding the store. His assumption of impunity, in our current state, was actually the much more logical risk analysis.
We cannot go on like this. If American self-government is to survive another century in a hostile world, we must embrace once again the role of citizen participants in the determination of our own future. Quite frankly, we entrust our fate to the good offices of Anthony Weiner and company at our own peril. The remarkable period in which we could indulge such foolishness without serious consequences is fast coming to a close.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Judges sharply challenge healthcare law

Skeptical questions from three federal judges in Atlanta suggest they may be ready to declare unconstitutional all or part of the healthcare law promoted by the Obama administration and passed last year by Congress.By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
June 8, 2011

Reporting from Atlanta— If the Obama administration had any doubt that its signature healthcare law faces a severe challenge in court, it was erased soon after Chief Judge Joel Dubina opened the proceedings here.

"I can't find any case like this," Dubina said. "If we uphold this, are there any limits" on the power of the federal government?

Judge Stanley Marcus chimed in: "I can't find any case" in the past, he said, where the courts upheld "telling a private person they are compelled to purchase a product in the open market.... Is there anything that suggests Congress can do this?"

After nearly three hours of argument Wednesday, the three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals seemed prepared to declare at least part of last year's law unconstitutional. the rest

Time to Make Professors Teach

My new study suggests a simple way to cut college tuition in half.
June 8, 2011

No sooner do parents proudly watch their children graduate high school than they must begin paying for college. As they write checks for upwards of $40,000 a year, they’ll no doubt find themselves complaining loudly about rising college costs—even asking: “Is it worth it?”

It’s a legitimate question. As college costs have risen wildly, the benefits of the degree seem less and less clear. Larger numbers of college graduates are taking relatively low-paying and low-skilled jobs.

The good news? There are ways to greatly ease the burden and make college more affordable, according to new data from the University of Texas at Austin.

In a study for the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, Christopher Matgouranis, Jonathan Robe and I concluded that tuition fees at the flagship campus of the University of Texas could be cut by as much as half simply by asking the 80% of faculty with the lowest teaching loads to teach about half as much as the 20% of faculty with the highest loads. The top 20% currently handle 57% of all teaching. the rest

The Fountainhead of Satanism

June 8, 2011
Joe Carter

Over the past few years, Anton LaVey and his book The Satanic Bible has grown increasingly popular, selling thousands of new copies. His impact has been especially pronounced in our nation’s capital. One U.S. senator has publicly confessed to being a fan of the The Satanic Bible while another calls it his “foundation book.” On the other side of Congress, a representative speaks highly of LaVey and recommends that his staffers read the book.

A leading radio host called LaVey “brilliant” and quotations from the The Satanic Bible can be glimpsed on placards at political rallies. More recently, a respected theologian dared to criticize the founder of the Church of Satan in the pages of a religious and cultural journal and was roundly criticized by dozens of fellow Christians.

Surprisingly little concern, much less outrage, has erupted over this phenomenon. Shouldn’t we be appalled by the ascendancy of this evangelist of anti-Christian philosophy? Shouldn’t we all—especially we Christians—be mobilizing to counter the malevolent force of this man on our culture and politics? the rest

Poll: Americans massively overestimate prevalence of homosexuality

by John JalsevacTue Jun 07, 2011

( – Even though the best data available puts the prevalence of homosexuality at somewhere between 1% and 4% of the U.S. population, on average American adults believe that 25% of the population is homosexual, according to a new Gallup poll.

Over half of Americans estimate that 1 in 5 (20%) are homosexual, and thirty-five percent estimate that 1 in 4 (25%) are homosexual, according to the poll, which involved interviews with 1,018 U.S. adults in all 50 states.

“Americans perceive that there is a large U.S. gay population—one far larger than is likely reality,” concludes the pollster, observing that the tendency to overstate the population is likely due, at least in part, to the level of exposure that Americans have to homosexuality. the rest

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Facing First Amendment Battle

Wednesday, 08 June 2011

Efforts to stop the work of crisis pregnancy centers are gaining momentum.

In a move to keep these services up and running, the American Center for Law and Justice this week filed an amicus brief in federal appeals court on a Baltimore ordinance targeting crisis pregnancy centers, and is also challenging a similar ordinance in New York City.

Specifically, a federal district court in Baltimore declared earlier this year that a law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs indicating they do not offer abortions or birth control violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.

"There's a concerted effort on behalf of pro-abortion organizations to systematically target and punish crisis pregnancy centers in cities across America," says CeCe Heil, senior counsel of the ACLJ. "The Baltimore ordinance was the first of its kind, and now other cities are following suit. We're hopeful that these laws, including the one in New York City that we're challenging in federal court, will ultimately be exposed for exactly what they do: violate the First Amendment rights of crisis pregnancy centers." the rest

Powerful Solar Flare May Charge Up Northern Lights Thursday

NASA video of solar flare

Skywatchers in Earth's northern regions may be treated to a dazzling aurora display tonight and tomorrow (June 9), thanks to a huge solar flare unleashed by the sun this week.

The solar flare occurred early Tuesday (June 7) and spewed a massive amount of charged particles into space, but NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory monitored the flare, and space weather experts have said that the medium-class sun storm should not pose significant danger to satellites or Earth.

The solar eruption triggered by the flare, known as a coronal mass ejection (CME), could lead to extra-luminous aurora displays for some lucky skywatchers. the rest

San Joaquin: Episcopal Church to perform same gender union blessings

By Kristina Hacker  June 7, 2011

As of Sunday, clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin — which includes St. Francis Episcopal Church of Turlock — may perform blessings of same gender civil unions and domestic partnerships.

The change in church policy was announced Tuesday by the diocese. The Rt. Rev. Chester Talton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, authorized "the clergy in the Diocese of San Joaquin (to) perform blessings of same gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by `fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God.' "

In Turlock, there have been no requests for same gender blessing ceremonies, said Rev. Kathryn Galicia of St. Francis Episcopal Church. But Galicia doesn’t foresee any negative responses within the congregation to the new church policy. the rest

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Obama Administration Youth Summit: Gov’t ‘Has Finally Come Out of the Closet'

Monday, June 06, 2011
By Penny Starr

( – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke at the first “Federal LGBT Youth Summit” on Monday after being introduced by a homosexual on her staff, who said the secretary “gets us” and is “tireless” in her support of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender youth.

“Your federal government has finally come out of the closet in support of LGBT youth,” said Pam Hyde, HHS administrator for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

“It’s great to see so many young faces out there, all gay and proud,” Hyde said. the rest

A photograph of “Max” says: “In high school I dated boys. I was a straight girl. After starting college, I indentified as a card-carrying dyke. Soon I realized that what I was feeling wasn’t about sexual orientation, it was about gender. I came out as a guy the summer of ’99. Now I live my life as a gay man – a punk rock queer boy who happens to also be in love with a girl. Who knows? Maybe next year I’ll grow a tail.”

With nurse shortage looming, America needs shot in the arm

By Claire Courchane
The Washington Times
Monday, June 6, 2011

At a time when many Americans are in desperate need of a job, the field of nursing will soon be in desperate need of Americans.

The economic downturn of the past few years has temporarily eased the nation’s shortage of nurses, but university nursing schools say they are struggling to keep up with what is expected to be soaring demand and chronic shortfalls in years to come.

Employment services routinely list nursing as one of the hot hiring professions of the next decade, but supply never seems to catch up with demand - even as the national unemployment rate tops 9 percent.

The need for more nurses in the coming years stems mainly from an aging baby boomer population as well as a generation of aging nurses who will retire. Although the nursing shortage of the early 21st century has been helped temporarily by the economy, many are predicting a shortage in the next several years. the rest

Shifting sands of religion and politics

Americans tolerate a broader array of religious affiliations in their politicians.
Doyle McManus
June 5, 2011

Of the 44 U.S. presidents, all but a handful have been affiliated with a relatively narrow list of traditional Protestant denominations.

Eleven were Episcopalians (12 if you count Thomas Jefferson, whose adult beliefs are a subject of debate), eight were Presbyterians, four were Methodists and four were Baptists. Others included Congregationalists, Dutch Reformed and Disciples of Christ.

President Obama attended Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, a congregation with traditional Protestant roots despite its untraditional pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. In Washington, Obama has attended services at mostly black Protestant churches.

The only chief executive whose roots were clearly outside that mainstream tradition was John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic.

But among the leading candidates for this year's Republican presidential nomination, not one is a member of the Protestant denominations that for so long have dominated American political culture. the rest

Chile volcano ash grounds flights in Argentina

This image of the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano, Chile was captured by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite on June 6 at 14:25 UTC (10:25 a.m. EDT). The volcano is to the left center of the image and the ash plume is blowing northeast, then turns to the southeast and moves over the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team
This image of the eruption of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano, Chile was captured by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite on June 6 at 14:25 UTC (10:25 a.m. EDT). The volcano is to the left center of the image and the ash plume is blowing northeast, then turns to the southeast and moves over the Atlantic Ocean. Credit: NASA Goddard/MODIS Rapid Response Team

By Mark Dunphy
Tue Jun 07, 2011

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Stiff winds blew ash from a Chilean volcano Tuesday in a widening arc across Argentina to the capital, grounding most air travel to and from the country.

Since airborne ash can severely damage jet engines, Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral, the country's state-owned international and domestic airlines, canceled all flights within Argentina as well as to and from other countries until further notice. the rest

Census reveals plummeting U.S. birthrates

By Haya El Nasser and Paul Overberg
posted June 7, 2011

Children, the mainstay of suburbia and residential neighborhoods across the nation for more than a half-century, are fewer and increasingly sparse in many places.

The share of the population under age 18 dropped in 95% of U.S. counties since 2000, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the 2010 Census.

The number of households that have children under age 18 has stayed at 38 million since 2000, despite a 9.7% growth in the U.S. population. As a result, the share of households with children dropped from 36% in 2000 to 33.5%.

There are now more households with dogs (43 million) than children.
the rest

Two More Catholic Adoption Agencies Opt Out Over Civil Unions

June 4, 2011

Catholic Charities of Peoria and Joliet have followed the lead of Rockford Catholic Charities and informed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services that they will no longer license families for foster care and adoptions over the state's civil unions law.

In separate letters to DCFS, Catholic Charities of Joliet executive director Glenn Van Cura and Catholic Charities of Peoria chief executive officer Tricia C. Fox each wrote that it was not the policy of Catholic Charities to place children with unmarried cohabiting couples, whether straight or gay. Fox also wrote that Peoria Catholic Charities is temporary if the state can add language to the law that would allow Catholic Charities to refer couples to any of the other 45 adoption agencies in Illinois so that they don't face litigation for refusing adoptions of foster care due to their moral code.

DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe acknowledged the requests by the three diocesan Catholic Charities present legal and logistic issues that are being reviewed. "Short term, we will explore every option to prevent further disruption in these children's lives. This isn't a viable long-term solution. Eventually these agencies would attrit their way out of foster care simply because they'd run out of foster homes." the rest 
(h/t Religionclause blog)

105,000 Christians martyred yearly, says European official

June 6, 2011

This shocking figure was disclosed by Italian sociologist Massimo Introvigne, representative of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) on Combating Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, at the “International Conference on Inter-religious dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims,” sponsored the Hungarian presidency of the European Union (EU) in Gödöllo, near Budapest.

“Every five minutes”, Introvigne said in his speech, “a Christian is killed for his faith." The figure does not include the victims of civil wars, or wars between nations, but only the people put to death because they are Christians.

"If these figures are not cried out to the world, if this massacre is not stopped," Introvigne continued; "if it is not recognized that the persecution against Christians is the first worldwide emergency with regard to religious discrimination and violence, dialogue between religions will only produce wonderful symposia but no concrete results." the rest

Maryland Episcopal Church Will Be First in U.S. To Join Roman Catholic Church

by Jaweed Kaleem

An Episcopal parish in Maryland announced Monday that it will become the first in the United States to join the Roman Catholic Church under a Vatican process designed to bring disgruntled Anglicans and Episcopalians into its fold.

St. Luke's Episcopal parish in Bladensburg will become part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington within the next few months. It will sever ties from its liberal bishop, who has spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage and other controversial issues.

The bishop, John Bryson Chane, said in a statement Monday that he approved the separation. Chane said the decision was made with "mutual respect," adding that "Christians move from one church to another with far greater frequency than in the past, sometimes as individuals, sometimes as groups."

The parish will lease its land from the Episcopal diocese with the option to purchase. the rest

Md. Episcopal church to become Catholic

Monday, June 06, 2011

Why PBS Is a Public Menace

by David Boaz
June 2, 2011

So why should working- and middle-class taxpayers be subsidizing the news and entertainment of the rich?

The main point here isn't the money, it's the separation of news and state. If anything should be kept separate from government and politics, it's the news and public-affairs programming that informs Americans about government and its policies. When government brings us the news — with all the inevitable bias and spin — it is putting its thumb on the scales of democracy.

A healthy democracy needs a free and diverse press — but Americans today have access to more sources of news and opinion than ever before: more broadcast networks than before, cable networks, satellite TV and radio, the Internet. Any diversity argument for NPR and PBS is now a sad joke. the rest

"We don't need a government news and opinion network. More important, we shouldn't require taxpayers to pay for broadcasting that will inevitably reflect a particular perspective on politics and culture. The marketplace of democracy should be a free market, in which the voices of citizens are heard, with no unfair advantage granted by government to one participant."

Scientologist charged for 'intimidating' alleged sex abuse victim

Leo Shanahan
The Australian
May 31, 2011

A SENIOR member of the Church of Scientology has been charged by police for intimidating a young girl who wanted to report sexual abuse allegations within the church.

Jan Eastgate, the head of the church's "International Commission on Human Rights" which attacks psychology, has been charged by NSW Police with perverting the course of justice.

According the ABC TV's Lateline, police have alleged Eastgate intimidated a then 11-year-old Carmen Rainer to provide false statements about sexual abuse by her stepfather. the rest

"Ms Rainer had previously said that she was told by senior Scientology members that abuse was punishment for being bad in a previous life."

Jan Eastgate, Scientology Official, Arrested in Australia for Covering Up Sexual Abuse Claims

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Pope Benedict: Stop disintegration of the family in Europe

By Philip Pullella
Sun Jun 5, 2011

(Reuters Life!) - Pope Benedict warned on Sunday that the traditional family in Europe was disintegrating under the weight of secularization and called for laws to help couples cope with the costs of having and educating children.

On the second day of his trip to Croatia, a bastion of Roman Catholicism in the Balkans, the pope said an open-air mass for hundreds of thousands of people and hammered home one of the major themes of his papacy.

"Unfortunately, we are forced to acknowledge the spread of a secularization which leads to the exclusion of God from life and the increasing disintegration of the family, especially in Europe," he said in his sermon on the edge of the capital.

The 84-year-old Benedict's sermon was the latest in a series of salvos against what the Church sees as growing anti-Catholicism and "Christianophobia" in Europe. the rest