Saturday, October 31, 2015

Elmwood Park October 2015

Raymond and his Uncle Vinny visited Elmwood Park to enjoy its beauty and do a bit of a photo shoot.  It really is a gem in the midst of a fairly crowded neighborhood.  -PD
 Raymond's Uncle Vinny who shares his love of photography
-check out a story the local news station did on him here.
 (Photos by Raymond Dague)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Court Restrains The Puddle Police For Now; Detroit "Pleased" that Kids Can't Read or Write...more

Detroit "Pleased" that Kids Can't Read or Write
Only 4 percent of Detroit public school eighth graders are proficient or better in math and only 7 percent in reading. But don't worry, this is good news. It seems Detroit public schools have sucked for so long, it's ok because they're sucking at the same level they've sucked in recent years. In short, the rate of suckage is consistent.

Check this out: "While these scores clearly indicate that Detroit Public Schools has more work to do to improve student outcomes in reading and math, we are pleased that the scores appear to be leveling out," Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle A. Zdrodowski said in a statement.

They're PLEASED????!!!!!!! What?...

Texas Student Upset over Assignment That Made Her Acknowledge God is Not Real  ...However, Jordan’s teacher said her answers were wrong and demanded that Jordan acknowledge that God isn’t real.
“It was really confusing to me at first because I didn’t really know what to do, so the first thing I did was tell my mom,” Jordan said...

Court Restrains The Puddle Police For Now   ...If the WOTUS rule is allowed to stand, private property rights for all citizens will be in jeopardy. If the EPA can claim the federal government can regulate manmade ditches and standing water, what private lands will be left? Will puddles be regulated? What about pools? Is there any real environmental benefit to having the federal government extend its reach into our backyards? The answer is clearly no...

TB 'joins HIV as most deadly infection'
Tuberculosis now ranks alongside HIV as the world's most deadly infectious disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

Each accounted for between 1.1 million and 1.2 million deaths in 2014.

The WHO said the tuberculosis figures were unacceptable for a disease that could be cured...

Should Christians Take Part in Halloween Celebrations?  Jesus-loving, Bible-reading, well-meaning Christians disagree about whether it is appropriate for a believer to participate in Halloween activities. Those who think that Christians shouldn’t participate in any way cite the holiday’s roots in the pagan celebration Samhain. Those who think Christians can engage with Halloween celebrations point out that there’s nothing inherently wrong with carving gourds and begging for candy.

These kinds of disputes are not uncommon in the history of the church. In Biblical times, believers argued about all kinds of things like food, festivals, celebrations, and rules (for example see Colossians 2:16). So what guidance does the Bible give us as we think through how to respond to Halloween? (Full disclosure: we carve pumpkins and go trick-or-treating in my house)...

Sen. Ted Cruz Demolishes CNBC Moderators

Ben Carson at GOP Debate: Belief in Traditional Marriage is Not Homophobia ..."Well obviously, you don't understand my views on homosexuality. I believe that our Constitution protects everybody, regardless of their sexual orientation or any other aspect. I also believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. There is no reason that you can't be perfectly fair to the gay community. They shouldn't automatically assume that because you believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, that you are a homophobe,” Carson said.
"This is one of the myths perpetrated on our society, and this is how they are fighting people and get people to shut up. That's what the PC culture is all about and it's destroying this nation."...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

ObamaCare's Rate Shock; Math, reading scores slip for nation's school kids...more

ObamaCare's Rate Shock Now Includes Its 'Cheap' Plans 
The Obama administration recently announced that ObamaCare enrollment would be flat — a stunning admission of failure. An IBD report Tuesday suggests even that could be too optimistic.

IBD's Jed Graham dug into ObamaCare premiums for 2016 in 37 major metro areas and found two disturbing trends.

First, average premiums for the cheapest ObamaCare plans in these markets will be almost 13% higher than this year. Premiums in 22 of them will climb 10% or more, with some showing truly eye-popping hikes...

We are watching the death of open frontiers in Europe   The extraordinary aerial photo of a column of refugees and migrants tramping through the fields of Slovenia may come to symbolise the moment the EU began to fall apart. The irony can be lost on no one: it was in order to prevent such scenes happening again in continental Europe that the alliance was forged in the first place in the late 1950s. Yet here we are more than half a century later facing the prospect of thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of displaced people freezing and starving in the grasslands of eastern Europe as winter closes in. 

Math, reading scores slip for nation's school kids Results from national math and reading tests show slipping or stagnant scores for the nation's schoolkids.

Math scores were down for fourth and eighth graders over the last two years. And reading grades were not much better: flat for fourth graders and lower for eighth graders, according to 2015 results released Wednesday for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.

The falling mathematics scores for fourth and eighth graders mark the first declines in math since 1990...

A.S. Haley: Ave Imperator, Te Morituri Salutamus

October 27, 2015

This page contains links to all the posts I have put up about the current sad state of the so-called Anglican Communion. “So-called”? Yes: it is certainly no longer a “Communion”, because it has very little in common, and most of its members are not talking to the rest. And it can no longer be called “Anglican”, because while that term may once have taken its meaning from the doctrines and worship of the Church of England, that body’s ever-dwindling membership, too, is no longer of one mind on just what its doctrines and worship should be.

The page of Anglican posts will soon contain a link to this one—and that may be its last.

After all, I feel a bit like the Cheshire Cat—as the meaning of “Anglican” fades away, so does any role for an “Anglican Curmudgeon.” Having left the Episcopal Church (USA) on account of its adoption of blasphemous marriage rites, I no longer even have a formal tie to the wider Communion—not that the tie was all that firm, anyway, once V. Gene Robinson received a miter and ring in 2003. Those of us who remained in ECUSA after that date, as well as any who are bravely trying to stick it out still, may fairly be described as clinging to the faintest wisps of the beauty that once was there.

There is talk of a reckoning that will be demanded at the forthcoming gathering of the Anglican Primates in Canterbury next January (n.b.: not a “Primates Meeting” as such, or one of the former, now-failed Instruments of Unity, but just a gathering that has no structure in advance). The Primates of GAFCON and the Global South will be there, along with—at the former’s insistence—the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America. This alone should serve to distinguish what will take place from what has gone before.

But what are the possible outcomes of such a gathering? Let’s be logical, and list all the possibilities (within reason)...
Full essay here image
I conclude from this analysis that the Anglican Communion is almost certainly headed for a formally divided future -- one that reflects in fact the pro forma division which has been in existence ever since the Windsor Report and Dar-es-Salaam. Whether or not it remains a single but two-tiered entity, or becomes two entirely separate organizations (the old one, controlled by the minority, and a new one formed by the majority), will be up to the GAFCON / Global South Primates and how much they value an ongoing relationship with Canterbury. And that outcome will probably be determined by how well Archbishop Welby manages the first few hours of the meeting next January.

A powerful and punishing finale in the Heather Cook case

Dan Rodricks
October 27, 2015

For seventy-five minutes, the women who knew and loved Tom Palermo — his mother, his mother-in-law, his wife, his sisters-in-law — spoke for him while the woman who had killed him, Heather Cook, sat motionless at the trial table eight feet away, taking a punishment that will make seven years in prison seem like blessed relief.

Absolutely painful but absolutely necessary, the heartbreaking statements of the women from Tom Palermo's life resonated with anyone who had ever raised a child, who had ever fallen in love, who had ever started a family, who had ever imagined a long life with a single spouse.

Their hands shook slightly as they read statements prepared in answer to the prosecutor's question: "How has this event affected you and your family?" the rest

Former Episcopal Bishop Heather Cook sentenced to seven years in drunk-driving death of cyclist   ...Rachel Palermo has been dealing with life as a single mother. She had no full-time job when her husband was killed, and his health insurance expired. Her three sisters said they have stepped in to try to share her burdens.

In the letter, Rachel Palermo said she was still having trouble coming to terms with her situation.

"I'm having a hard time believing this is my life now," she wrote...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

11th PP video-Selling Aborted Babies' Heads; In Defense of Christendom...more

11th Video Catches Planned Parenthood Abortion Doc Selling Aborted Babies’ Heads  ...The eleventh video release from The Center for Medical Progress in the ongoing Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal shows the abortion doctor for Planned Parenthood in Austin, Texas. Amna Dermish is caught on tape describing a partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term unborn babies which she hopes will yield intact fetal heads for brain harvesting...

In Defense of Christendom The death of Europe is in sight. Still hazy and not yet inevitable, but nevertheless visible and drawing nearer—like a distant planet in the lens of an approaching satellite. Europe is reaching its end not because of its sclerotic economy, or stagnant demography, or the dysfunctions of the superstate. Nor is the real cause the massive influx of Middle Eastern and African migrants. Those desperate people are just the latest stiff breeze against the timber of a desiccated civilization.

Europe is dying because it has become morally incompetent. It isn’t that Europe stands for nothing. It’s that it stands for shallow things, shallowly. Europeans believe in human rights, tolerance, openness, peace, progress, the environment, pleasure. These beliefs are all very nice, but they are also secondary.

What Europeans no longer believe in are the things from which their beliefs spring: Judaism and Christianity; liberalism and the Enlightenment; martial pride and capability; capitalism and wealth. Still less do they believe in fighting or sacrificing or paying or even arguing for these things. Having ignored and undermined their own foundations, they wonder why their house is coming apart...

We Cannot Be Silent
It takes no courage to write a book that simply drifts and bobs along in the cultural mainstream. It takes no courage to say the things that are already popular in the world around us. But to stand firm on ideas, on truths, that people despise—now, that takes courage. In that way Albert Mohler’s We Cannot Be Silent is a genuinely courageous work. It closely and critically examines the defining moral issues of our day—sex, gender, and sexuality—and stands firm on the unpopular, traditional, biblical viewpoints.

Mohler begins by positing “The Christian church in the West now faces a set of challenges that exceeds anything it has experienced in the past. … This is a revolution of ideas—one that is transforming the entire moral structure of meaning and life that human beings have recognized for millennia.” Some might accuse him of exaggeration, but I believe he is exactly right. We are caught up in a full-out moral revolution that is changing everything. “This new revolution presents a particular challenge to Christianity, for a commitment to the authority of Scripture and to revealed truths runs into direct conflict with the central thrust of this revolution.” As Christians come into conflict with the revolution, they will inevitably come into deep conflict with those who are swept up in it. “The moral revolution is now so complete that those who will not join it are understood to be deficient, intolerant, and harmful to society. What was previously understood to be immoral is now celebrated as a moral good.”

We Cannot Be Silent is Mohler’s attempt to speak truth into this moment of crisis. He does so with boldness and conviction...

Islam and 9/11 Not Connected, 12-Year-Olds Taught in America   Parents in Illinois are outraged that a public school there is painting a positive picture of Islam and teaching impressionable young students that Islam bears no responsibility for the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States...

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

by Betsy Childs Howard

On December 13, 2012, the liver of a male infant at 17 weeks gestation was mailed from San Jose, California, to Massachusetts. The baby’s brain was sent to Stanford, same day delivery.

On January 10, 2013, the liver of a baby at 16 weeks gestation was sent via FedEx from San Jose to Colorado. The same day, the liver of an 18-week male was overnighted from San Jose to Placerville. All of these packages had tracking numbers.

You’ve probably guessed, correctly, that these body parts were sent from Planned Parenthood clinics. While Planned Parenthood disputes the claim made by The Center for Medical Progress that its clinics sell body parts, it doesn’t deny that it’s mailed them all over the country.

We already knew that Planned Parenthood kills babies. The abortions that end lives are the true tragedies, not the disposal of body parts. Nevertheless, the shocking fact that clinicians dismember babies and mail their organs across the country has led to a national debate about abortion, even prompting self-doubt among some abortion supporters. This is not the first time that a needed wake-up call has been delivered by a gruesome mailing. 

If I had to pick the most horrifying story in the Bible, Judges 19 would win my vote hands down... the rest image
The refrain in the book of Judges is, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” The result was that no one did right.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Impact of Pornography on Children; Refugees will freeze to death, warn EU heads...more

Islamic group blocked from building 'Britain's biggest mosque' in London ...The highly controversial plans by the Tablighi Jamaat sect – accused by some of being a gateway to terror - would have created a so-called “megamosque” with 190-foot minarets and three times the floorspace of St Paul’s Cathedral. The 290,000 square foot mosque, near the Olympic Park in east London, would have accommodated up to 9,300 worshippers in two main gender-segregated prayer halls and a further 2,000 in a separate hall.

The bitterly-fought struggle has seen street blockades, accusations of racism, High Court action and even a video “obituary,” linked to from the mosque website, making implicit death threats to the main protestor against the plans and his family...

Austrians stocking up on weapons (Google translator)
The wave of refugees brought the arms dealers in the country record sales.

The Austrians have always been one of the most armed countries in Europe. But now all the dams are broken. More than 70,000 weapons over the same period last year were sold. The most common reason for the upgrade: fear of refugees and before dawn burglars. Almost 900,000 weapons stored in households...

Refugees will freeze to death, warn EU heads
Migrants crossing the Balkans will begin freezing to death as winter approaches, the head of European Union has said, as leaders warned the continent was "falling apart" trying to deal with the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.

As leaders of eastern European countries turned on each other at a foul-tempered emergency summit in Brussels, they said the Schengen visa-free zone and even the European Union itself could be pulled apart as states threw up borders to halt the influx...

The Impact of Pornography on Children The availability and use of pornography has become almost ubiquitous among adults and adolescents. Consumption of pornography is associated with many negative emotional, psychological, and physical health outcomes. These include increased rates of depression, anxiety, acting out and violent behavior, younger age of sexual debut, sexual promiscuity, increased risk of teen pregnancy, and a distorted view of relationships between men and women. For adults, pornography results in an increased likelihood of divorce which is also harmful to children. The American College of Pediatricians urges healthcare professionals to communicate the risks of pornography use to patients and their families and to offer resources both to protect children from viewing pornography and to treat individuals suffering from its negative effects...

Marijuana Madness: The Negative Effects of Weed ...And Jodi Gilman, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, says pot smoking is an epidemic among younger smokers. As she notes, “If you go into a high school and ask the classroom, ‘Are cigarettes harmful? Is alcohol harmful?’ every kid raises [his or her] hands. But if I ask," she says, "Is marijuana harmful?--not a hand goes up.”

And while tobacco and alcohol use among 12-to-17-year-olds has fallen in the last year, habitual use of marijuana is on the rise...

Clock and Bull Story  ...The case that the teen was deliberately trying to provoke a confrontation was strengthened as more was learned about his family. His older sister, Eyman, was once suspended from her school for threatening to blow it up. His uncle runs a trucking company called Twin Towers Transportation. And his father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, is a publicity hungry activist who calls himself a sheik, wears flowing white robes, and is a 9/11 Truther. The elder Mohamed routinely returns to Sudan to run as a presidential candidate, and he once debated Pastor Terry Jones of Koran-burning fame...

Eight Men on Trial in Germany for Robbing Churches to Fund the Islamic State  ...The men allegedly sent the stolen items to Syria to fund Islamic State fighters in their terrorist campaign, although the court was not able to determine how much money actually reached Islamic State fighters.
A Moroccan man was found to be the leader of the gang of men. He appeared in a Youtube video, encouraging Muslims to participate in jihad. He also reportedly traveled to Syria to train at an ISIS military camp...