Monday, October 31, 2011

Devotional: Just as soon as we turn toward Him...

Just as soon as we turn toward Him with loving confidence, and say, "Thy will be done," whatever chills or cripples or enslaves our spirits, clogs their powers, or hinders their development, melts away in the sunshine of His sympathy. He does not free us from the pain, but from its power to dull the sensibilities; not from poverty and care, but from their tendency to narrow and harden; not from calumny, but from the maddening poison in its sting; not from disappointment, but from the hopelessness and bitterness of thought which it so often engenders. We attain unto this perfect liberty when we rise superior to untoward circumstances, triumph over the pain and weakness of disease, over unjust criticism, the wreck of earthly hopes, over promptings to envy, every sordid and selfish desire, every unhallowed longing, every doubt of God's wisdom and love and kindly care, when we rise into an atmosphere of undaunted moral courage, of restful content, of child-like trust, of holy, all-conquering calm. ...William W. Kinsley image

Huge numbers of Irish Catholic priests call for reform

Over 500 priests want celibacy replaced, women priests allowed
Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ireland's Association of Catholic Priests is pushing for reform in the Catholic Church, calling for the ordination of women and an end to mandatory celibacy at a meeting held in Dublin early this month.

The liberal group has only been in existence for one year, but the growth of the association has been rapid with 540 Irish priests opting for membership. In its first year, the group opposed the new translation of the Roman Missal and appealed to the Irish bishops' conference to delay the introduction of the changes. The hierarchy dismissed the concerns.

At the Oct 4-5 meeting, Fr. Kevin Hegarty, a member of the association’s leadership team, said what was needed was a church that would open its doors to "married priests and women priests." the rest

Overpopulation Isn't The Problem: It's Too Few Babies

by Joel Kotkin

The world’s population recently passed the 7 billion mark, and, of course, the news was greeted with hysteria and consternation in the media. “It’s not hard to be alarmed,” intoned National Geographic. “We should all be afraid, very afraid,” warned the Guardian.

To be sure, continued population increases, particularly in very poor countries, do threaten the world economy and environment — not to mention these countries’ own people. But overall the biggest demographic problem stems not from too many people but from too few babies.

This is no longer just a phenomenon in advanced countries. The global “birth dearth” has spread to developing nations as well. Nearly one-third of the 59 countries with “sub-replacement” fertility rates — those under 2.1 per woman — come from the ranks of developing countries. Several large and important emerging countries, including Iran, Brazil and China, have birthrates lower than the U.S.

In the short run this is good news. It gives these countries an opportunity to leverage their large, youthful workforce and declining percentage of children to drive economic growth. But over the next two or three decades — by 2030 in China’s case – these economies will be forced to care for growing numbers of elderly and shrinking workforces. For the next generation of Chinese leaders, Deng Xiaoping’s rightful concern about overpopulation at the end of the Mao era will shift into a future of eldercare costs, shrinking domestic markets and labor shortages. the rest
Of course, there have always been unmarried people and childless people; some by necessity or health reasons, others by choice. But now a growing proportion of young child-bearing age women in countries as diverse as Italy, Japan and Taiwan are claiming no intention of having even one child. One-third of Japanese women in their 30s are unmarried, and similar trends are developing in other Asian countries.

Glowing ripples in the electromagnetic field of planet Earth.

Coptic Christian Student Murdered By Classmates for Wearing a Cross

October 31, 2011

In mid-October Egyptian media published news of an altercation between Muslim and Christian students over a classroom seat at a school in Mallawi, Minya province. The altercation lead to the murder of a Christian student. The media portrayed the incident as non-sectarian. However, Copts Without Borders, a Coptic news website, refuted this version and was first to report that the Christian student was murdered because he was wearing a crucifix.

“We wanted to believe the official version,” said activist Mark Ebeid, “because the Coptic version was a catastrophe, as it would take persecution of Christians also to schools.” He blamed the church in Mallawi for keeping quiet about the incident.

Today the parents of the 17-year-old Christian student Ayman Nabil Labib, broke their silence, confirming that their son was murdered on October 16, in “cold blood because he refused to take off his crucifix as ordered by his Muslim teacher.” Nabil Labib, the father, said in a taped video interview with Copts United NGO, that his son had a cross tattooed on his wrist as per Coptic tradition, as well as another cross which he wore under his clothes. the rest
The father said that everyone in Mallawi knew how the event took place, but not one of the students’ parents was prepared to let their children come forward and give a statement to the police. “They are afraid of the school administration, which has lots of ways to harass the students, as well as being afraid of the families of the two Muslim killers.”

Hospital Tells Nurses: Assist Abortions or Be Fired

October 31, 2011
By Todd Starnes

Lorna Jose Mendoza has been given a choice. She can either assist in an abortion this week at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, or she could refuse and risk losing her job.

Mendoza is one of a dozen nurses who filed suit today against the hospital – accusing them of violating federal and state law by forcing them to assist in abortions against their religious and moral objections.

“The hospital told the nurses they have no regard for their religious beliefs,” said Matthew Bowman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund. “They were going to be assigned these abortions or they would be terminated.” Here

Cult of Global Warming Is Losing Influence

By Michael Barone
October 24, 2011

Religious faith is a source of strength in many people's lives. But religious faith when taken too far can prove ludicrous -- or disastrous...

...A similar but more peaceable fate is befalling believers in what I think can be called the religion of the global warming alarmists.

They have an unshakeable faith that manmade carbon emissions will produce a hotter climate, causing multiple natural disasters. Their insistence that we can be absolutely certain this will come to pass is based not on science -- which is never fully settled, witness the recent experiments that may undermine Albert Einstein's theory of relativity -- but on something very much like religious faith.

All the trappings of religion are there. Original sin: Mankind is responsible for these prophesied disasters, especially those slobs who live on suburban cul-de-sacs and drive their SUVs to strip malls and tacky chain restaurants.

The need for atonement and repentance: We must impose a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system, which will increase the cost of everything and stunt economic growth.

Ritual, from the annual Earth Day to weekly recycling. the rest

Burma: Local Authorities Issue New Order Regulating Bible Study, Sunday School, Fasting And Prayer

London, 01 November

Burmese authorities are imposing new restrictions on religious activities in Kachin State. On 14 October, 2011 the Chairman of Maw Wan Ward in Phakant Township, Kachin State sent a letter to local churches, titled “Concerning Christians conducting cultural training”.

The letter refers to an order by the General Township Administration Department requiring Christians in Phakant Township to submit a request at least 15 days in advance for permission to conduct “short-term Bible study, Bible study, Sunday school, reading the Bible, fasting prayer, Seasonal Bible study and Rosary of the Virgin Mary Prayer”. A request for permission must be accompanied by recommendations from other departments, and must be submitted to the Township Administration Office.

According to a press release by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) obtained a copy of the document in Burmese, and a translation, last week. Churches in Burma are already required to obtain permission for any events other than Sunday services, but this new regulation imposes further severe restrictions. the rest

Church of England threatening to withdraw millions invested in ISPs over rise of internet porn

By Chris Greenwood
31st October 2011

The Church of England is threatening to use its financial power to stem the tide of internet pornography.

It is considering withdrawing the millions it has invested in Internet Service Providers (ISPs) unless they take action.

Concern over the easy availability of vile images which demean women and corrupt the young has intensified following the disclosure that Jo Yeates’s killer Vincent Tabak was obsessed with websites showing sexual violence, bondage and strangulation. the rest

Here's How The Catholic Church Is Profiting In The German Erotic Novel Industry

Sunday, October 30, 2011

UK: Paedophilia: Lay official put on trial in Diocece of Plymouth

The Catholic Church has ordered an urgent review of its policy on child protection

Temperatures are raised in England’s paedophile priest scandal. The Catholic Church has ordered an urgent review of its policy on the protection of children, after a lay official it had put in charge of investigating into some sexual abuse cases in the Diocese of Plymouth, was incriminated of having 4.000 paedopornographic images in his possession.

At the time of his arrest, Chris Jarvis – this is the name of the former child safety co-ordinator in question, - was in charge of an investigation into the accusations of sexual violence in Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Devon. This is not the first Benedictine institute to be placed under investigation: just this week, the Vatican ordered an Apostolic visit to Ealing Abbey in west London, where abuse against children was allegedly carried out in St. Benedict’s school, which is adjacent to the abbey, in the period between the 60’s and 2009.

The fact that the church employed a paedophile to investigate into child protection, will definitely add to the sense of crisis already felt within the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Jarvis had been in charge of child protection policies in 120 churches in the Diocese of Plymouth, for nine years. the rest

Shortage of women due to sex-selective abortion in India giving rise to ‘wife-sharing’

by Thaddeus Baklinski
Fri Oct 28, 2011

 ( - Reports from some northern Indian states that have the worst gender imbalance in the country due to sex-selective abortion say that “wife-sharing” among brothers is becoming a common occurrence.

“In every village, there are at least five or six bachelors who can’t find a wife. In some, there are up to three or four unmarried men in one family. It’s a serious problem,” said retired police constable Shri Chand, 75, in a Reuters report.

“Everything is hush, hush. No one openly admits it, but we all know what is going on. Some families buy brides from other parts of the country, while others have one daughter-in-law living with many unwedded brothers.” the rest

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2 dead, over 1 million without power as snowstorm slams Northeast, Mid-Atlantic

More than 1 million households without power
From Sean Morris CNN Meteorologist
Oct 29 2011

Predicting the system could dump as much as 18 inches of snow in some spots, Malloy joined New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick in issuing emergency declarations for their respective states.

"It's like a blizzard, you can't see far at all," CNN iReporter Alban Ajro, 32, said Saturday night from Watertown, Connecticut. "This is the first time that I can ever recall this kind of storm happening before Halloween."

All domestic flights out of New Jersey's Newark International Airport were canceled around 4 p.m. Saturday, according to an announcement made at the airport. Frustrated passengers filled an array of long lines, trying to change their tickets in light of the storm.

Another airport in the Garden State, Teterboro, closed just after 2 p.m. before reopening hours later, the Federal Aviation Administration reported on its website. The FAA also reported major delays at New York's two airports -- 5 hours and 16 minutes at John F. Kennedy and just 11 minutes better at LaGuardia.

Richard Roth, a CNN correspondent, was among those affected when his Syracuse-to-Kennedy flight was diverted to Hartford because of the storm. As of 6 p.m., he'd been sitting with his fellow passengers on the runway at Bradley International Airport for about six hours.

"We're here in the dark now," Roth said. "There's no hope, at the moment, in sight." the rest image by Amber DeGrace

Noreaster Hits East Coast, Power Out For 1.7M People

US Diocese asked to rehabilitate Pelagius

October 29, 2011
by George Conger

The Diocese of Atlanta has been asked to rehabilitate Pelagius.

Delegates to the diocesan convention will be asked to reverse the condemnation of the Council of Carthage upon Pelagius, and to explore whether the Fifth century heretic may inform the theology of the Episcopal Church.

Resolution R11-7 before the convention states in part:

“Whereas the historical record of Pelagius’s contribution to our theological tradition is shrouded in the political ambition of his theological antagonists who sought to discredit what they felt was a threat to the empire, and their ecclesiastical dominance, and whereas an understanding of his life and writings might bring more to bear on his good standing in our tradition;”

“And whereas his restitution as a viable theological voice within our tradition might encourage a deeper understanding of sin, grace, free will, and the goodness of God’s creation, and whereas in as much as the history of Pelagius represents to some the struggle for theological exploration that is our birthright as Anglicans, Be it resolved, that this 105th Annual Council of the Diocese of Atlanta appoint a committee of discernment overseen by our Bishop, to consider these matters as a means to honor the contributions of Pelagius and reclaim his voice in our tradition.”  the rest

Life of flowers

Friday, October 28, 2011

Devotional: To have faith is to rely upon Christ...

To have faith is to rely upon Christ, the Person, with the whole heart. It is not the understanding of the mind, not the theological opinion, not creed, not organization, not ritual. It is the koinonia of the whole personality with God and Christ. This experience of communion with Christ is itself the continual attitude of dependence on the Saviour which we call faith. ...Kokichi Kurosaki image

Statue of Liberty celebrates 125th birthday

Oct 29, 2011

New York: The 125th birth anniversary of the iconic Statue of Liberty was celebrated in New York with events including a gun salute, fireworks and naturalisation ceremony for 125 immigrants organised to commemorate the day.

Noted singer and pianist Michael Feinstein, Academy-Award-nominated actress Sigourney Weaver and vocalist Capathia Jenkins were among the celebrities who joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for the ceremony held on Friday.

The theme for the 125th anniversary events is 'Honour History, Envision the Future.' Through the various ceremonies, the National Park Service intended to re-create the actual programme of the day the statue was gifted to the US by France. the rest image by Geraldine Curtis

Statue of Liberty Cams

Movie review: Puss in Boots 3D

posted October 28, 2011

What a delightful movie, I loved it! It is original, yet contains the pussy cat from the "Shrek" films, Puss in Boots himself (voiced by Antonio Banderas). The 3D in the movie is one of the best examples I have seen of the technique. Puss in Boot's sword seemed to be pointed right at me on a few occasions and the scenes of blades of grass and other land settings were an awesome experience in 3D. The characters are delightful and the action is plentiful. In addition, Puss in Boots finds romance in the form of a character named Kitty Sotfpaws (voiced by Salma Hayek).

One of the things I love about the film, and indeed loved about the "Shrek" films, is the original way the movies make use of fairytales and myths. They bring them to life in a contemporary and unforgettable way. In this picture we get to know Humpty Dumpty and the story of Jack and the Beanstalk in fresh and new ways. And we learn the origins of Puss. As he states in the trailer, "You may know my name, but you do not know the legend." We learn how the legend began in this film.
the rest

The Anti-God Book by ‘God'

By L. Brent Bozell III
October 28, 2011

Those prestigious publishers at Simon and Schuster selected All Saints Day to unleash the book world's latest attempt at mocking Christianity. It's called "The Last Testament, by God."

The author is David Javerbaum, a top writer for 11 years for "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, perhaps America's leading religion-hating TV network. Is it any surprise that the critics love it?

Publishers Weekly raves, "The Almighty opens up in this blithely blasphemous satire of monotheism." God, in this alleged autobiography, is "a complex, troubled Deity: vain, petulant, desperate for praise and burnt offerings, guiltily pensive in the after-wrath of unhinged smitings. Adherents of every Abrahamic faith will find plenty of hilarious, offensive manna for thought in these revelations." Kirkus Reviews bluntly adds, "Damned comical. Amen."

“Hilarious, offensive.” What they mean is that it’s hilarious because it’s offensive. the rest

The Divider vs. the Thinker

OCTOBER 28, 2011
Peggy Noonan

While Obama readies an ugly campaign, Paul Ryan gives a serious account of what ails America. the rest

A.S. Haley: New Charges of Cover-up against Presiding Bishop

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Disturbing new charges have surfaced about a cover-up concerning just how much Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, when she was the diocesan of Nevada, knew about the past sexual abuses committed by Father Bede Parry, a former Catholic priest whom she canonically received into her diocese as a priest in 2004.

The allegations stem from telephone conversations and emails exchanged between Abbot Gregory Polan, the current ordinary of Conception Abbey in Missouri, where Father Parry was only a novice when his sexual abuses of young men originally came to light in the 1970s, and a certain Patrick J. Marker. Until recently, Mr. Marker had remained anonymous as another victim of sexual abuse, who had been molested by a different Catholic priest, while a student at a preparatory school operated by a different Catholic abbey in Minnesota (St. John's).

Bede Parry, before being ordained at Conception Abbey, had taken courses from 1979-1982 at the School of Theology also run by St. John's in Minnesota, and had admitted to his then Abbot in Missouri that he had engaged in sexual misconduct with a teen-aged student there. The Abbot required him to undergo "psychological treatment", but kept him on as a priest. Notwithstanding his treatment, Fr. Parry continued to molest young men in contact with him at the Abbey, and who had been enlisted to sing in its choir. It was during a summer camp for that choir in 1987 that Fr. Parry made the sexual advances which resulted in the current lawsuit on file in Missouri, and which the Circuit Court just ruled could proceed, over objections by the Abbey that the offenses alleged were outside the statute of limitations. 
the rest

Fears over birth control pill Yaz as it increases risk of blood clots by 75%

By Daily Mail Reporter
28th October 2011

Scientists in the U.S have reported safety concerns over the popular birth control pill Yaz which they believe can increase the risk of dangerous blood clots more than older medications.

A new study released by the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the medical history of more than 800,000 U.S. women taking different forms of birth control between 2001 and 2007.  the rest

When will WHO warn women about the contraceptive jab?
The latest strong evidence that hormonal contraception is linked with AIDS finds experts still dallying.

Former KKK Grand Wizard Supports Occupy Wall Street

By Erick Hamme
October 27, 2011

( -- David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, has joined President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in expressing support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, whose protests have been marked by anti-Semitism.

In a video about the Occupy Wall Street protests, Duke said: “I cheer the men and women on the streets condemning the international banks that hold America financially hostage. These Wall Street banks are not the product of free enterprise; they are the product of crime.”

“Yes, occupy Wall Street,” Duke also said. “Finally, Americans are rising up and it feels great.” the rest image

Kermit Gosnell Employees Plead Guilty in Abortion Case

by Steven Ertelt

Two staff members at the grisly abortion business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty today over their roles in the botched abortion deaths and the abortion-infanticides of dozens of unborn children that took place at the clinic.

Gosnell, his wife, and staff members face various charges — including eight charges for killing a patient in a botched abortion and killing unborn children in the brutal infanticides that saw him stick medical scissors into the backs of unborn children purposefully induced prematurely so he could “snip” their spinal cords and take their lives.

His wife, who worked at the Women’s Medical Society abortion business with him, and staffers also face charges ranging from murder to obstructing justice to practicing medicine without a license. the rest
Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including his wife Pearl, were arrested in January after a grand jury indicted them on multiple charges after officials raided his abortion business following a woman’s death and discovered a “shop of horrors” filled with bags of bodies and body parts of deceased unborn children and babies killed in infanticides. Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s 49-year-old wife who has no medical license, faces a charge of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and conspiracy and other charges.

Another unpleasant surprise from Obamacare

By Diana Furchtgott-Roth

Whatever the disadvantages of the new health care law, Obamacare proponents appeared to be on solid ground when they said that it would extend affordable health insurance to millions of Americans.No longer.

At yesterday's hearing of the health subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Cornell University economics professor Richard Burkhauser showed that in 2014, millions of low-income Americans may be unable to get subsidized health insurance through the new health care exchanges.

It's true that under Obamacare, firms with more than 49 workers have to offer affordable health insurance coverage to full-time employees or pay a penalty. But the coverage only has to be for an individual policy, not a family policy.

And what most people don't know is that if a worker receives coverage for a single person from his employer, his family will not be able to get subsidized health insurance coverage under the exchange. the rest

Issa Report: Obamacare Hurts Married Couples

President Obama's Health Care Plan Discriminates Against Families with New Marriage Penalty and Moves 8 Million Taxpayers Off Rolls
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 -- The House Oversight & Government Reform Committee issued the following news release:

President Obama's health care plan creates a new marriage penalty that discriminates against families and many workers with employer-sponsored insurance. The law will also remove as many as 8.1 million filers off the tax rolls. After receiving the President's new refundable tax credit, some 11.3 million people will have negative income tax liability and will no longer pay the cost of government by contributing federal income taxes...

US Executive Council rejects Anglican Covenant

 Oct 28, 2011
by George Conger

On 24 Oct 2011 the council unanimously endorsed a resolution recommending the General Convention – the governing body of the Episcopal Church – not endorse the covenant as it now stands. The Anglican Covenant was a political and theological threat that would alter the American church’s power base and undo the advances made by the church’s liberal wing in recent years.

The US recommendation to reject the covenant likely spells the death blow to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s plan to forge an agreement that sets limits on the acceptable parameters of doctrine and disciple within the Anglican Communion, and follows upon last week’s vote by the Sydney synod to reject the agreement. With liberals and conservatives united in opposition to the proposed agreement – though for different reasons – the political future of the covenant is grim.

While Sydney rejected the covenant out of concern for its theology, the executive council rejected it for not been sufficient welcoming of diversity. A report submitted by an executive committee task force stated the Episcopal Church must heed “the work of the Spirit in new understandings of how we are called to be in community and relationships. We believe our unity is best expressed in our efforts to be a church that fully welcomes those who have not always been welcomed. This understanding of who we are as a church does not allow the Executive Council to support any covenant that might jeopardize this vocation.” the rest

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Devotional: Thy will be done...

Thy will be done means more than thy will be borne. No matter what sorrow invades our life, we are still to do God’s will. We shall see afterwards that the sorrow rightly accepted fitted us to do some new duty, or to do our old duty more effectively. “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth,” is the right cry in the hour of bewildering grief. ...Maltbie D. Babcock image

Women & Sharia Law in the UK

By Aaron Goldstein

Reid Smith seeks to enlighten us on the question of Sharia law. But curiously he omits one of the central tenets of Sharia law - that the word of a woman is half that of a man.

Yet Smith is correct to say that we might be surprised by the number of countries which use Sharia law. Which brings me to the United Kingdom. As of 2010, there were just under 2.9 million Muslims in the U.K. comprising 4.6% of that country's population. In less than a decade, Britain's Muslim population has increased by nearly 75%.

Thus it should not come as a surprise that there are a network of Sharia courts in Britain and their rulings are legally binding. According to a study released in 2009 by Civitas, a British think tank, there are 85 Sharia courts in the UK. Some of these Sharia courts have issued rulings which are incompatible with British and European law including rulings forbidding marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims, ordering the removal of children from the custody of Muslim women who marry non-Muslim men, compelling women to have sex with their husbands and sanctioning polygamy. This past June, Baroness Cox introduced legislation in the House of Lords to rein in the Sharia courts requiring them to uphold the supremacy of British law. However, even if the bill is approved in the House of Lords it is not expected that the Cameron government will make it a priority in the House of Commons. the rest

In the Holy Land, a changed Christian world

Oct 27, 2011
Associated Press

JAFFA, Israel (AP) -- The schedules for Mass at the two Roman Catholic churches in Jaffa, on Israel's Mediterranean coast, reveal a change that has dramatically, if quietly, altered the face of Christianity in the Holy Land.

The two Masses in Arabic for the town's native Arab Christian population are outnumbered by four in English, attended mainly by Filipina caregivers. Then there are others in Spanish, for South Americans; French, for African migrants; three South Asian languages, including Konkani, spoken in the Indian district of Goa; and, for a generation of Christians raised among Israel's Jewish majority, Hebrew.

In September, a colorful celebration for Indian Catholics alone drew 2,000 people. That's twice the total number of native Catholics in the parish.

For centuries, Christianity here meant the ancient communities of Christian Arabs. They were here when Israel was created around them in 1948, and they have kept their distinct identity within the Jewish state since. The past two decades, however, have seen one of the most significant influxes of Christians into the Holy Land since the Crusades, and it has created a wholly new Christian landscape shaped by the realities of Israel. the rest

Military homosexuals suing for marriage rights

Associated Press

BOSTON - A group of married "gay" current and former military personnel has sued the federal government, seeking equal recognition, benefits and the same support as married heterosexual couples.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Boston says the government's Defense of Marriage Act violates their constitutional rights and asks the military to recognize their marriages. The suit was filed by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Executive director Aubrey Sarvis says homosexual service members deserve the same protections as heterosexual couples because they make the same sacrifices.

Opponents of President Obama's decision to oveturn "don't ask, don't tell" policy warned that such a lawsuit would be coming once that restriction was removed. the rest

The Coming Chinese Storm?

Chinese crony capitalism could hammer an already fragile economy.
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Nick Sorrentino

For so long we have heard nothing but how the Chinese were doing things right. Hundred of millions rising up out of poverty. News cars replacing bicycles on the streets of Beijing. An economy that could not be stopped, which grew year after year after year by 10%+. But there is trouble brewing.

The first real inclination I had of what China was headed for was when I read 1 Billion Customers by James McGregor 5 years ago. McGregor is a financial journalist who had been based in Hong Kong for nearly 2 decades prior to writing the book.

The stories of blatant corruption at all levels of business, double dealing, accounting standards that are a joke-to be kind, and the ever present cronies in the Communist Party, put me on notice. There was much more to China than most of the Western investing world saw.

Then 2 years ago, right after the Central Bank of China poured billions in “stimulus” into an already very hot economy I started to hear about the Chinese ‘ghost cities.”

There are vast cities that have been created by decree in China where nobody lives. the rest

Down Syndrome Kid Inspires With “I Survived Abortion” Sign

by Steven Ertelt

A new photo of a young boy holding a sign talking about how he survived abortion as one of the 10 percent of Down syndrome children not victimized by abortion before birth has gone viral on Facebook today.

The photo has received thousands of shares and likes and is inspiring pro-life people across the world, including Josh Mercer of CatholicVote.

“This powerful message is making its way around Facebook,” he said after viewing the photo. “When I speak with friends who have a child with Down Syndrome, unfailingly they all say how much joy their child brings into their life. It makes me feel ashamed to live in a country that chooses death instead of life for 90% of babies who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome.” the rest

Richmond Tea Party Sues City: Charge #Occupy Protesters Or Refund $10,000 For Rallies at Plaza

by Jim Hoft
Thursday, October 27, 2011

The City of Richmond charged the local tea party $10,000 to hold three rallies on the plaza… But, socialist squatters get to set up camp for free.

The Richmond Tea Party is demanding a refund from the city for $10,000 it spent on for permits, portable toilets, police presence and emergency personnel for three rallies held at same plaza where the Occupy Richmond squatters set up their camp.
The Republic reported:
The Richmond tea party is demanding a refund of about $10,000 from the city, claiming it unfairly charged them for rallies while allowing the Occupy protesters to use the same space for several weeks for free.

The political organization is sending the city an invoice for the charges incurred for three rallies held in Kanawha Plaza over the past three years. The Occupy protesters have been camped in the plaza since Oct. 15.
the rest

Occupy Wall Street kitchen staff protesting fixing food for freeloaders
The Occupy Wall Street volunteer kitchen staff launched a “counter” revolution yesterday -- because they’re angry about working 18-hour days to provide food for “professional homeless” people and ex-cons masquerading as protesters.

For three days beginning tomorrow, the cooks will serve only brown rice and other spartan grub instead of the usual menu of organic chicken and vegetables, spaghetti bolognese, and roasted beet and sheep’s-milk-cheese salad...

The Occupy protest at St Paul's Cathedral - a parable of our times

The disgraceful closure of Wren’s masterpiece has been a debacle. The Church of England must urgently examine its values says a former Archbishop of Canterbury.
By George Carey
27 Oct 2011

Like many others in the Church, I have a great deal of sympathy for the raw idealism of the protesters. Their contention that the banks have not paid an equitable price for the damage caused, in part, by their reckless lending and profiteering strikes a powerful chord.

However, after their initial welcome to Occupy, the cathedral authorities then seemed to lose their nerve. In daily-changing news reports, the story see-sawed between a public debate about the merits or otherwise of the protest, the drama of internal disputes at St Paul’s over lost income from tourists, and the ill-defined health, safety and fire concerns that caused it to close its doors to worshippers.

One moment the church was reclaiming a valuable role in hosting public protest and scrutiny, the next it was looking in turns like the temple which Jesus cleansed, or the officious risk-averse ’elf ’n safety bureaucracy of urban legend. How could the dean and chapter at St Paul’s have let themselves get into such a position?

And what of the protesters themselves in this sorry story? Their intransigence, once the cathedral stopped welcoming them with open arms and began to plead with them to leave, did them no favours. Ironically, they started off fulsomely thanking the Church for allowing them to stay, but then repaid that generosity by refusing to leave when asked.

At a time when secularists are striving to drive Christian voices from public life with strident campaigns to abolish church schools and council prayers, and when workers can be suspended for offering to say a prayer for colleagues or for wearing a cross, it seems that on the doorstep of St Paul’s, of all places, yet another blow has been struck against Christian worshippers. In this case, “anarchist” protesters threatened the freedom to worship – one of our most basic and hard-fought-for rights – by forcing the cathedral authorities to halt public access.  the rest

Egg Harvesting Raises Risk of Ovarian Tumors

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wesley J. Smith

IVF has been painted as a virtually risk free enterprise. But we haven’t much studied the long term impact on children–who appear to have higher rates of certain health issues than those conceived through the natural process–or on women who have had their ovaries hyper-stimulated to produce eggs. Now, a new study indicates that sub fertile women who were stimulated have higher rates of ovarian tumors than sub fertile women who did not go through the IVF process. From the Human Reproduction Journal Report:
The long-term risk for ovarian malignancies ( and borderline ovarian tumours) is twice as high among women who undergo for IVF compared with subfertile women not treated with IVF. This is due to the increased incidence of borderline ovarian tumours, according to the research, published online today (Thursday Oct. 27) in Europe’s leading journal ...

Prof van Leeuwen said: “We found that of the 25,152 subfertile women included in the analysis 77 had ovarian malignancies. Surprisingly, of the 61 women who had ovarian malignancies in the IVF treatment group, 31 had borderline ovarian cancer and 30 had invasive ovarian cancer. This proportion of ovarian borderline tumours was unusually high. Borderline ovarian tumours are tumours with a low malignancy potential, which means that they are not fatal, but would require extensive surgery and cause substantial morbidity.”
the rest

Crystal Cathedral picks Chapman University as its buyer

Under the plan, Chapman would purchase the campus for $50 million and allow the church ministry to lease and eventually repurchase its core buildings.
By Nicole Santa Cruz
Los Angeles Times
October 27, 2011

Chapman University has been picked by the board of the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral as the preferred buyer of the Garden Grove property.

Under the plan, Chapman University would purchase the campus for $50 million and allow the church ministry to lease and eventually buy back its core buildings.

Chapman President James L. Doti said he had not spoken to the board about the decision, but believes it is the right one for the ministry, founded by Robert H. Schuller in 1955.

"All the creditors will be paid," he said. "And the Crystal Cathedral ministries will continue." the rest image by Bruce Tuten

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Coffee linked to reduced risk of common skin cancer

By Eryn Brown
Los Angeles Times
October 24, 2011

Scientists reported Monday that drinking coffee was associated with decreased risk of a common and slow-growing form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. It appears that caffeine may play a role, they said.

The team, based at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, presented their study at the American Assn. for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Examining data from the Nurses' Health Study, which followed 72,921 people between 1984 and 2008, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which followed 39,976 people between 1986 and 2008, they found 25,480 skin cancer cases. Basal cell carcinomas represented 22,786 of the cases, squamous cell carcinomas 1,953 and melanomas 741. the rest

Catholic University Accused of Discriminating Against Muslims

Amanda Pellegrino, Tower Staff
October 20, 2011

New charges have recently been filed against the University on counts of illegal discrimination against its Muslim and female students. The allegations are being reviewed by the District of Colombia Office of Human Rights (OHR), which has the strictest discrimination laws in the country. President John H. Garvey and the University is being urged to respond to the charges.

John F. Banzhaf III, the George Washington University Professor of Public Interest Law who initiated the legal controversy surrounding same-sex residence halls, is also the one behind these new charges.

The official allegations claim that CUA, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to a press release on the rest

Military dad reads prerecorded bedtime story for daughter


Japanese engineers develop flying robotic orb


Occupational hazards: Health conditions ripe for disaster, officials fear

By Laurel J. Sweet, Dave Wedge and John Zaremba
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Food-borne illnesses, a flu outbreak, hypothermia, sexually transmitted diseases and vermin are just some of the hazards experts say make Occupy Boston a public health disaster waiting to happen — as City Hall turns a blind eye.

“The longer you’ve got a big group of people in an unsanitary location, the more at risk they’re going to be for infectious diseases. Time is only beginning to tell where this is going to go,” said Janelle Vaesa, a public health researcher who has studied similar deteriorating conditions at Occupy Wall Street in New York.

San Francisco health officials report they’ve subjected that city’s two Occupy sites to twice-daily inspections, and have found a rash of food, garbage and other sanitation issues. the rest

When it became apparent Occupy San Franciso was there for the long haul, that city’s Health Department began inspecting, spokeswoman Eileen Shields said: “Hand-washing is a problem. Garbage is a problem. They’re mixing it with medical waste. Food preparation, food is stored on the ground, food is not being served at the correct temperature. The usual things you might expect to find in people camping outdoors.”

Equally Poorer

Michael Tanner
October 26, 2011

According to data just released by the Tax Foundation, the top 1 percent of the wealthiest Americans earned 16.9 percent of all adjusted gross income in the United States. While no doubt that’s a lot of money, it actually represents a decline from 2008, when the rich earned 20 percent of all income. That’s right; the rich are earning a smaller proportion of U.S. income.

In fact, there has been a 39 percent decline in the number of American millionaires since 2007. Among the so-called super rich, the decline has been even sharper. The number of Americans earning more than $10 million per year has fallen by 55 percent. Perhaps someone should tell the folks in Zuccotti Park: Inequality is actually declining.

Interestingly, the decline in earnings by the rich has corresponded with higher unemployment and rising poverty overall. We are all poorer, but at least we are more equally poor. Hooray.

Could it be that the rich might actually perform a valuable service in our economy by, say, creating jobs? After all, what does the president think that the rich do with their money: Bury it in their back yard? In reality, individuals either spend that money or they save and invest it. If they spend it, it helps provide jobs for the people who make and sell whatever it is they buy. If the money is instead saved and invested, it provides the capital that is needed to start businesses and hire workers. It is trite but true — not many Americans have been hired by a poor person. the rest

Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House

 Oct 25th 2011

The anti-Middle East Christian lobbying in Washington, attributed to Muslim Brotherhood front groups and sympathizers is not limited to the Maronites, who form the bulk of the two million Lebanese Americans. According to research showing the links between Presidential adviser Dalia Mogahed and the Muslim Brotherhood, and to NGOs representing Middle East Christian groups in the US, blocking Middle East Christian meetings at the White House and the State Department have been associated with the work of the “advisors” and their allies in the Islamist camp in Washington such as CAIR and MPAC.

Coptic Solidarity International which has been trying to obtain meetings at the White House or with Secretary Clinton at State to expose the horrors committed against the Christian Copts of Egypt, were not granted such access. “Probably because of fear that American Copts will expose the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in Egypt” said an official with Coptic NGOs.

Also and despite the many massacres against Christians in Iraq over the past two years, representatives from the Assyro-Chaldeans of the US were not received in the Oval Office or by Secretary Clinton, at a time Islamist linked groups are on the roaster of invitations to the White House. Indicatively, Administration officials declined invitations to speak at the annual Assyrian Christian convention this year, few months from the start of the withdrawal from Iraq.

US official attitudes towards the Middle East Christians are, according to this behavior, dictated by the “Muslim Brotherhood friends” now very influential in the Obama Administration. Of late, CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) are pushing to eliminate any intelligence analysis focused on Islamist and Jihadist violence in general and directed against the Christian communities in the Middle East in particular. This could explain why Maronites, Copts and Chaldo-Assyrians have been cut off the Administration. the rest

Survey: U.S. Catholics going to church less frequently

October 25, 2011
By Dan Merica, CNN

A new survey paints a picture of a less-strict American Catholic community, with 86% of respondents stating they believe a Catholic "can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church."

Among the most devout, older Catholics, Mass attendance has fallen from 64% in 1999 to just over 50% in 2011, according to a new survey of American Catholics.

And as those older Catholics die, they are replaced by a millennial generation that questions some of the church's social beliefs and attend church less often than older worshipers. the rest image by Kevin Coles

London: Bishop tells protesters to pack up

posted October 26, 2011

The Bishop of London has stepped into the row over campaigners camped outside St Paul's Cathedral, saying it is "time for the protesters to leave".

Anti-capitalist protesters set up tents outside the cathedral 11 days ago.

Richard Chartres, the third most senior cleric in the Church of England, said in a statement: "This demonstration has undoubtedly raised a number of very important questions.

"The St Paul's Institute has itself focused on the issue of executive pay and I am involved in ongoing discussions with City leaders about improving shareholder influence on excessive remuneration. the rest

Christchurch: Fears Cathedral at risk of demolition

By Newstalk ZB staff

There are fears ChristChurch Cathedral is at risk of being demolished.

The iconic Anglican church was extensively damaged in the February 22 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, and its future has always been uncertain.

Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns says sources have told him engineers have suggested demolition.

"I'm not wanting to cause anxiety but it's starting to emerge in the community, people are starting to ask the question 'what is happening, is the Cathedral under threat,' and I think this is the time when we have to be taken into confidence on these issues."

The Anglican Diocese of Christchurch has confirmed it's considering all the options for its churches and other buildings and isn't ruling out demolition for the Cathedral. the rest

Proposed aid for Washington National Cathedral draws criticism

Property litigation involving Episcopal Diocese is over

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
By Ann Rodgers
 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Eight years of property litigation involving the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has ended, but most parishes that broke from the Episcopal Church still face negotiations over their buildings.

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last week denied an appeal from the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, which had argued that it owned the property, the Anglican decided diocese it will not appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, spokesman David Trautman said.

"This whole string of litigation is ended, is done," he said.

The lawsuit was filed in 2003 by Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside, whose leaders believed that Bishop Robert Duncan and many others might leave the denomination and try to take property. According to the Episcopal canons, all property -- including parish buildings -- is held in trust for the denomination. the rest

Episcopal Church Drops Below Two Million Members

October 25, 2011
Jeff Walton
Washington, DC

Once a flagship denomination of American mainline Protestantism, the U.S.-based Episcopal Church has for the first time in decades reported membership below two million.

Self-reported statistics provided by the denomination this month show that the church has dropped from 2,006,343 members in 2009 to 1,951,907 in 2010, the most recent reporting year. The loss of 54,436 members increases the annual rate of decline from 2 percent to 3 percent, outpacing the most recently reported declines in most other mainline churches. The church’s 10-year change in active members has dropped 16 percent.

A branch of the otherwise fast-growing 80 million member worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest family of Christian churches globally, the Episcopal Church had also seen a steady decrease in the number of parishes, losing or closing over 100 in 2010, as well as a drop in attendance from 682,963 in 2009 to 657,831 in 2010, a 4 percent drop. Fifty-four percent of all U.S. Episcopal Churches suffered attendance loss over the prior year. Over the last decade, attendance was down 23 percent.

The denomination, which once claimed over 3.5 million members as recently as the mid-1960s, has lost over 40 percent of membership even while the U.S. population grew by over 50 percent. the rest
“Despite all its liberal cheerleading about inclusiveness, the once influential Episcopal Church is a dwindling, nearly all white, increasingly gray-headed denomination with a grim future, absent divine intervention.”  -Jeff Walton, Spokesman for IRD’s Anglican Action Program

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Devotional: All of us have wondered at times...

All of us have wondered at times why God doesn't do more to fix our problems. But our human eyes often fail to see that God isn't rushing to change our circumstances because he is concerned with a much more serious problem - our character. While you struggle with the woes of this world, God's main occupation is preparing you for the world to come. The focus of what God is doing in your life takes place in you, not around you. ...Andy Stanley image by Kevin Krejci

Study: Gays can change sexual orientation

 Oct 25, 2011
by Michael Foust

 (BP) -- A major seven-year study published in a mainstream journal is challenging the secular notion that gays and lesbians cannot change their sexual orientation.

The longitudinal study followed 61 subjects for between six and seven years and found that 23 percent of them reported successful conversion to heterosexual orientation and function and another 30 percent reported stable behavioral chastity with a significant dis-identification with gay orientation. Twenty percent of the subjects had given up and embraced a gay identity.

It is believed to be the first study of its kind -- that is, one that followed people over a series of years and monitored success or failure. The study followed subjects who voluntarily were taking part in Christian ministries affiliated with Exodus International, the nation's largest ministry devoted exclusively to reaching out to homosexuals.  the rest

It’s a Girl

by Michael Stokes Paulsen
October 24, 2011

The Supreme Court’s abortion jurisprudence appears to protect a right to abortion even for reasons of sex selection. Yet this gruesome reality might provide an opening for a frontal assault on the premises of Roe v. Wade.

Millions of women obtain abortions because they do not want baby girls.

It’s shocking, but incontrovertible. Two decades ago, Harvard economist Amartya Sen, in an arrestingly titled article, documented the statistical reality that “More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing.” In a recently published book, Unnatural Selection, journalist Mara Hvistendahl convincingly demonstrates that the overwhelming reason for the increasingly large demographic disparity in the male-female birth ratio is sex-selection abortion. Hvistendahl estimates the number of missing or dead now to be 160 million and counting. Women have abortions because (among other reasons) they are able to learn the sex of their unborn baby and kill her if she’s a girl.

The phenomenon is most pronounced in certain Asian populations where the birth of girls is especially discouraged, but is not limited to Asia. Hvistendahl shows that sex-selection is not culturally or uniquely Asian. Male-child preference exists everywhere. Sex-selection abortion rises as birth rates fall, as wealth increases (especially in developing nations), and as technology for identifying a child’s gender in utero becomes more reliable and more available. the rest image by Kelly Bailey

Christians Under Threat as Radical Islam Spreads in 'New Middle East'

Monday, 24 Oct 2011
By Henry J. Reske

Attacked by mobs and terrorists, repressed by the growing popularity of fundamentalist Islamic law and cut off from crucial business ties, Christians are fleeing the Middle East in an unprecedented exodus.

More than half of Iraqi Christians — an estimated 400,000 people — have left that country over the last decade as power has fallen in the hands of increasingly hostile Shi'a Islamic leaders.

In Egypt, home to at least 8 million Copt Christians — a number that exceeds the populations of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia — at least 95,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. The number could reach 250,000 by the end of this year, reports the Egyptian Federation of Human Rights.

"At the present rate, the Middle East's 12 million Christians will likely drop to 6 million in the year 2020. With time, Christians will effectively disappear from the region as a cultural and political force," reports Daniel Pipes, a leading scholar of the Middle East. the rest

Christian faces losing home for opposing gay weddings in churches

By Jaya Narain and Steve Doughty
23rd October 2011

A housing association manager faces losing his home because of his Christian views about gay weddings in churches.

Father-of-two Adrian Smith, 54, was demoted and had his pay drastically cut after he posted comments on his private Facebook page in which he said that celebrating same-sex weddings in churches would be ‘an equality too far’.

He was hauled before bosses at the taxpayer-funded Trafford Housing Trust in Greater Manchester and found guilty of gross misconduct.

His salary was cut from £35,000 a year to £21,396 and he was given a final written warning that means any further offence will result in his sacking. Mr Smith, who now handles rent collection, was told he had been spared the sack only because of his long service of 18 years.

The housing official now faces homelessness himself, said Mike Judge of the Christian Institute think-tank, which is supporting Mr Smith. the rest

Anglican Unscripted for October 24th, 2011

Intrepid hosts Kevin and George explore the theology of Pelagius and the conflicted morality Capitalism in a Communist country. Tough topics to be sure, but with contributors Mollie Hemingway and Allan Haley Episode fifteen becomes a sound addition to the archives and Anglican.TV.

What IS going on in Britain's mosque schools?

Beatings, humiliation and lessons in hating Britain
By Paul Bracchi
25th October 2011

The punishment is almost medieval in its cruelty. Victims are forced to crouch down and hold their ears with their arms threaded under their legs. Beatings are often administered at the same time.

This brutal practice has its own name: the Hen, so called because those forced into the excruciatingly painful squatting position are said to resemble a chicken.

It is the kind of shockingly degrading treatment you might expect to feature in an expose of torture techniques, like say, the use of waterboarding (simulated drowning) on terrorism suspects. You’d be wrong, though.  the rest
The true scale of the scandal is unknown. Many families, it is suspected, are reluctant even to report the ill-treatment of their sons or daughters for fear of upsetting their fellow Muslims. Such fears are more than justified. In some cases, parents have been intimidated and threatened for going to the police.

Rationing: States Limiting Hospital Stays for Medicaid Patients

By Susan Jones
October 24, 2011

( - As Obama stimulus dollars run out, more and more states are "sharply" limiting hospital stays for Medicaid patients in an effort to contain costs, USA Today reported on Monday.

Hawaii plans to cut Medicaid hospital coverage to 10 days a year in April, the fewest of any state; and by November, Arizona plans to limit adult Medicaid beneficiaries to 25 days in the hospital.

Critics say the moves will restrict access to care, force hospitals to absorb more costs and lead to higher charges for privately insured patients, whose hospital stays are generally not limited, USA Today reported. the rest

New York Sex Education Criticized for Graphic Content

Mon, Oct. 24 2011
By Justin L. Ayoub
Christian Post Contributor

A new sex-ed curriculum in New York is causing uproar among parents who are concerned it might be inappropriate.

Reports have indicated that workbooks include a number of controversial assignments such as high school students going to stores to record condom prices, brands and features.

Kids aged 11 to 12 were required to evaluate the safety of certain sexual activities including "Intercourse using a condom and oil-based lubricant," mutual masturbation, oral sex and anal sex.

The workbook also revealed high school students would be directed to resources like Columbia University's Web Site Go Ask Alice. The website covers sexual topics such as "sadomasochistic sex play" and different sexual positions.

The curriculum is set to be implemented next spring. the rest

Church receives 'gift from God'

Oct 24, 2011
By Chuck Flagg

St. James, now building-less, rented space for worship at community centers in San Jose and Saratoga. They were resigned to spending years as a "portable church."

One day Father McNeil heard of a church building that might be available in Willow Glen. When he contacted the pastor of Christian Assembly, he discovered that it was indeed for sale. Although St. James had no building fund, they had the building appraised between $400,000 and 500,000. Christian Assembly wanted nearly twice this amount, so the idea was dropped.

This spring, Christian Assembly's pastor contacted McNeil again, mentioning that the congregation had made many improvements to the property and was still interested in selling. The price, however, was still too high.

In July, conversations began again. It was finally decided that St. James would purchase both the church and a nearby cottage (with kitchen and office/meeting space) for $900,000 with a 10-year zero percent mortgage - extremely generous terms.

Then astounding news came in August: Christian Assembly offered to sell both properties to St. James for just the $311,000 in their building fund. According to Fr. McNeil, "They believed that God wanted us to have these buildings ... The Holy Spirit was directing them. ... They did not want our ministry hampered by a mortgage." the rest

Albert Mohler: Total Capitulation: The Evangelical Surrender of Truth

Evangelical Christians will either stand upon the authority and total truthfulness of the Bible, or we will inevitably capitulate to the secular worldview.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Evangelical Christians are not surprised to find themselves analyzed and criticized within the pages of the secular press. After all, the truth claims that characterize authentic evangelicalism are increasingly seen as unusual (and perhaps even dangerous) by the secular mind. Nevertheless, evangelical readers of The New York Times recently found themselves taken to task by writers presenting themselves as fellow evangelicals. Their essay reveals the central question that evangelicals must now answer: Do we really believe that the Bible is the Word of God?

In their opinion essay, Karl W. Giberson and Randall J. Stephens accuse evangelicals of “simplistic theology, cultural isolationism, and stubborn anti-intellectualism,” among other things. They point specifically to the rejection of evolution, which they call “the rejection of science,” and then refer to this as “textbook evidence of an unyielding ignorance on the part of the religious.” the rest

Again and again, Giberson and Stephens point to the Bible as the issue. Evangelicals follow the wrong leaders, they assert, because they tend to trust those who “first and foremost have an unquestioning belief in the literal truth of the Bible.” Who would have known?

George Conger: Mollie and the Spin Doctors

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No, the title of this post does not refer to a now forgotten second tier ’80s band. Mollie and the Spin Doctors will not join Souxsie and the Banshees, Hootie and the Blowfish, Adam and the Ants, and Echo and the Bunnymen in the remainder aisle at Wal-Mart. I chose this title to tell a cautionary tale about religious journalism concerning one of my colleagues at GetReligion, Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, and the Communications Office at the Episcopal Church.

The moral of the story if you want to skip to the end of the piece can be found in Numbers 32:23. “But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”

Now I am not equating journalism or journalists with the godhead (though the New York Times does tend towards an omniscient, holier than though attitude towards creation). What I am drawing from this passage from Scripture is the lesson not to exaggerate, lie or spin an unpalatable truth. For in the end you will be found out.

Our parable begins with an article written by Ms Hemingway for the Wall Street Journal entitled “Twenty-First Century Excommunication”.    the rest

Monday, October 24, 2011

We believe that the death of Christ...

We believe that the death of Christ is just that point in history at which something absolutely unimaginable from outside shows through into our own world. And if we cannot picture even the atoms of which our own world is built, of course we are not going to be able to picture this. Indeed, if we found that we could fully understand it, that very fact would show it was not what it professes to be--the inconceivable, the uncreated, the thing from beyond nature, striking down into nature like lightning. You may ask what good it will be to us if we do not understand it. But that is easily answered. A man can eat his dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him. A man can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it. ...CS Lewis image by John Fowler

Squirrel Eats Peanut Butter From Inside the Jar

NASA Telescopes Help Solve Ancient Supernova Mystery

Multi-wavelength view of all that remains of the oldest documented example of a supernova, called RCW 86

In 185 A.D., Chinese astronomers noted a "guest star" that mysteriously appeared in the sky and stayed for about 8 months. By the 1960s, scientists had determined that the mysterious object was the first documented supernova. Later, they pinpointed RCW 86 as a supernova remnant located about 8,000 light-years away. But a puzzle persisted. The star's spherical remains are larger than expected. If they could be seen in the sky today in infrared light, they'd take up more space than our full moon.

The solution arrived through new infrared observations made with Spitzer and WISE, and previous data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton Observatory.

The findings reveal that the event is a "Type Ia" supernova, created by the relatively peaceful death of a star like our sun, which then shrank into a dense star called a white dwarf. The white dwarf is thought to have later blown up in a supernova after siphoning matter, or fuel, from a nearby star. the rest/image

OWS: These young people also suffer from a vast intellectual and moral poverty...

October 23rd, 2011

But in a peculiar way, those non-starving, non-homeless, non-refugee young people playing at being poor in cities across America have a point. They represent some very specific — and sad — types of poverty.

To begin with, there’s the sense of poverty created by utterly ludicrous expectations. We promised these kids that they were all “good enough, smart enough and, gosh darn it!, that everyone would like them.” We promised them that they were all number one, and that they would never need to make any actual effort to achieve that blue ribbon status. We taught them, through MTV and computer games, that a 3 minute attention span is sufficiently long to be awesomely cool and win the game. And, God help us, we taught them that a Womyn’s Studies, or Africana Studies, or GLBT Studies, or Oppressed People’s degree from some big name university would assure them the kind of job that would enable them to pay off $25,000 or $100,000 or even $250,000 in student loans. We, the older generation, created this wealth of stupidity.

These young people also suffer from a vast intellectual and moral poverty. One of the things that shines through when we interview the people taking to the streets is that so many are woefully ignorant, and that they wallow in a sea of relativism that allows for no morality other than that gained by intense navel gazing. They are the antithesis of the original American revolutionaries, whose leaders were men of exceptional erudition and thoughtfulness, and whose followers knew at the very least their Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress. Revolutionaries of old were shaped by philosophy, known science, literature, practical life experience, and a deep sense of morality and justice. Today’s little park piddlers are shaped by an aching sense of unfairness, a terrible fear of human-kind (that would be the AGW shtick), and a morality shaped by Oprah and whichever fabulously rich Hollywood Leftist happens to grab the microphone on any given day.

These self-styled 99%-ers are not poor, not by any known standard, either today or in the history of the world. They are intellectually and emotionally bereft, but otherwise awash in material benefits.
the rest-excellent! image

A Hearing Aid That Cuts Out All the Clatter

October 23, 2011

After he lost much of his hearing last year at age 57, the composer Richard Einhorn despaired of ever really enjoying a concert or musical again. Even using special headsets supplied by the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway theaters, he found himself frustrated by the sound quality, static and interference.

Then, in June, he went to the Kennedy Center in Washington, where his “Voice of Light” oratorio had once been performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, for a performance of the musical “Wicked.”

There were no special headphones. This time, the words and music were transmitted to a wireless receiver in Mr. Einhorn’s hearing aid using a technology that is just starting to make its way into public places in America: a hearing loop. the rest
A hearing loop, typically installed on the floor around the periphery of a room, is a thin strand of copper wire radiating electromagnetic signals that can be picked up by a tiny receiver already built into most hearing aids and cochlear implants. When the receiver is turned on, the hearing aid receives only the sounds coming directly from a microphone, not the background cacophony.

Don’t worry, your centralized medical records are safe

by William A. Jacobson
Monday, October 24, 2011

Creating a centralized electronic medical record is one of the primary goals of the Obama administration (and Bush before that, although not funded) under the theory that a centralized record will lead to greater efficiencies.

Don’t worry, your centralized medical records will be safe.

Unless, of course, someone working for the government decides to steal it and sell it, as happened in Israel:

A contract worker from the Ministry of Labor and Welfare was charged with stealing the personal information of over 9 million Israelis from the Population Registry, the Justice Ministry announced Monday after a media ban was lifted.

The worker electronically copied identification numbers, full names, addresses, dates of birth, information on family connections and other information in order to sell it to a private buyer….

the rest

7.2 Quake in Turkey Kills Hundreds, Search for Survivors Continues

October 24, 2011

ANKARA, Turkey – Rescue teams on Monday sifted through rubble of flattened multistory buildings to try to reach dozens of people believed trapped beneath after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey.

Cries of panic and horror filled the air as the earthquake struck, killing at least 238 people as buildings pancaked and crumpled into rubble.

Tens of thousands fled into the streets running, screaming or trying to reach relatives on cell phones as apartment and office buildings cracked or collapsed. As the full extent of the damage became clear, survivors dug in with shovels or even their bare hands, desperately trying to rescue the trapped and the injured.  the rest

More states limiting Medicaid hospital stays

By Phil Galewit
Kaiser Health News

A growing number of states are sharply limiting hospital stays under Medicaid to as few as 10 days a year to control rising costs of the health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

Advocates for the needy and hospital executives say the moves will restrict access to care, force hospitals to absorb more costs and lead to higher charges for privately insured patients.

States defend the actions as a way to balance budgets hammered by the economic downturn and the end of billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds this summer that had helped prop up Medicaid, financed jointly by states and the federal government. the rest

Israel gifts pope with olive tree

October 24, 2011

(JTA) -- An olive tree more than 200 years old grown near Nazareth was sent as a gift from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Pope Benedict XVI.

The tree will be planted Wednesday during a ceremony at Viale Degli Ulivi, or Olive Tree Boulevard, in the Vatican Gardens.

According to Netanyahu, the tree symbolizes the blooming friendship between Israel and the Vatican, and it represents the aspiration to foster peace and brotherhood between peoples and religions. The gift follows the prime minister's recent visit to the Vatican Museum. the rest

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Devotional: Fall on your knees and grow there...

Fall on your knees and grow there. There is no burden of the spirit but is lighter by kneeling under it. Prayer means not always talking to Him, but waiting before Him till the dust settles and the stream runs clear. ...FB Meyer
image by Peter Castleton

Solar Bottle lights in the Philippines

Key evidence in Planned Parenthood case destroyed, prosecutors say

The Kansas City Star
Fri, Oct. 21, 2011

The country’s first criminal prosecution of Planned Parenthood was left teetering Friday when it was revealed the state of Kansas destroyed abortion records that prosecutors planned to use as evidence.

Johnson County prosecutors asked a judge to delay a Monday hearing to decide if there’s enough evidence to try Planned Parenthood on 23 felony counts of falsifying termination of pregnancy reports.

Prosecutors say the records, which are central to making their case, were shredded sometime in 2005, roughly two years before charges were brought against Planned Parenthood by former Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline. the rest

Albert Mohler: In the Danger Zone: Raising Our Children in the Age of the Screen

Christian parents must be concerned, not just with what content children are watching, but how much exposure they really experience. Something has gone wrong when the default position of the television is on, rather than off.
Friday, October 21, 2011

We are now the people of the screen. We are surrounded by screens, monitors, and other flickering devices, and each demands our attention. What began with the television has now spread to a host of other technologies. Our minds are increasingly shaped, entertained, informed, stimulated, and perhaps even altered by the Age of the Screen — and so are the minds of our children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, meeting this week in Boston, expressed concern about the effects of exposure to screens on children. Over a decade ago, the academy proposed that pediatricians should ask questions about screen exposure when conducting routine medical exams and evaluations. Just this week, the groups adopted a new set of guidelines, calling upon parents to put severe limits on the exposure of young children to television.  the rest

The physicians called for “unstructured, unplugged play” for toddlers, warning specifically that television exposure around bedtime is associated with “poor sleep habits and irregular sleep schedules, which can adversely affect mood, behavior, and learning.”