Saturday, January 31, 2009

No longer a CAIR

It looks like CAIR's run as a "moderate" Islamic group is about over.  -- Beware Of CAIR
Homeland Security: You'd think the Council on American-Islamic Relations would be savoring the results of an election that favors its agenda. Instead, it's having to do major damage control.

Read More: Global War On Terror

Over the past several months, the Washington-based pressure group has suffered a series of punishing blows to its reputation as a self-proclaimed "moderate" voice for Muslim-Americans. In the latest setback, a "Dear Colleague" letter sent out to every House member warns lawmakers and their staffs to "think twice" about meeting with CAIR officials.

"The FBI has cut ties with them," the letter says. "There are indications" CAIR has links to Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The stimulas: A comparison to past spending

Ouch, no wonder we think this thing is huge, it is.  Via Hot Air.

Suitably Flip: Stimulus, Illustrated
It's difficult to visualize a million dollars, much less a million million dollars. But that's the true threshold cracked by the "$825" billion "stimulus" bill, when you include $347 billion in estimated interest costs associated with the incremental borrowing required.

So how big is the resulting $1.2 trillion spending package? Big enough to dwarf any government program in history, even after adjusting for inflation. It's bigger than the New Deal and the Iraq War combined. The interest alone will be costlier than the Louisiana Purchase or going to the moon. The $18 billion in bonuses paid legally by private Wall Street firms in 2008 - decried by the President as "shameful" - is vanishingly small in comparison (smaller even than the bill's incremental food stamps expenditures).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cheap, super-efficient LED lights on the horizon

This is a major breakthrough. 

Cheap, super-efficient LED lights on the horizon - tech - 29 January 2009 - New Scientist
Incandescent tungsten-filament light bulbs face a global switch-off as governments push for energy efficient fluorescent lamps to become the standard. But the light could soon go out on those lamps too, now that UK materials scientists have discovered a cheaper way to produce LED bulbs, which are three times as efficient as fluorescent lamps.

Although the ultimate dominance of LED lights has long been predicted, the expense of the super-efficient technology has made the timescale uncertain. The researchers now say LED bulbs based on their new process could be commercially available within five years.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rick Warren's Inauguration Prayer

Excellent prayer and a good Christian testimony, unlike this.

Transcript: the Rev. Rick Warren's invocation - Los Angeles Times
Let us pray.

Almighty God, our father, everything we see and everything we can't see exists because of you alone. It all comes from you, it all belongs to you. It all exists for your glory. History is your story. The Scripture tells us, "Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one." And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.

Now today, we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our first African American president of the United States.

We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility, where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership.

And we know today that Dr. King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.

Give to our new president, Barack Obama, the wisdom to lead us with humility, the courage to lead us with integrity, the compassion to lead us with generosity. Bless and protect him, his family, Vice President Biden, the Cabinet and every one of our freely elected leaders.

Help us, oh God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all.

When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the Earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.

And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ.

Help us to share, to serve and to seek the common good of all.

May all people of goodwill today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy and a more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet. And may we never forget that one day all nations and all people will stand accountable before you.

We now commit our new president and his wife, Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, into your loving care.

I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray, "Our father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever."


A 40 year wish list?

This comes in from the moderate voice, a blog that is...moderate.  It seems like the honeymoon might be over for Obama.

A 40 Year Wish List?
Earlier this week I found myself feeling a bit peeved with Congressional Republicans when they began urging their members to vote against the upcoming stimulus bill. While I remained uncomfortable with huge amounts of tax dollars rushing out the door and a deficit which will shatter all records, I recognize that the economy is in dire straits and the people we elected to office will need to deal with it. In fact, when I heard that President Obama had gotten the Democrats to remove some sort of family planning measure from it, it sounded like the Republicans weren’t willing to offer their own olive branch. That all changed today, as we found out some more details of this so-called stimulus package. This just in from the Wall Street Journal, saying the following about the 647-page, $825 billion package.

This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years. We’ve looked it over, and even we can’t quite believe it. There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dog riding a bike

This is different:

Vintage War Propaganda Posters

Great selection of old war posters.  The times have changed.

Vintage proganda posters | Designs Delight
Vintage War Propaganda Posters

Were Ahmadinejad's Ancestors Jews?

This would be incredibly ironic, considering his desire to "wipe Israel off the map."

Were Ahmadinejad's Ancestors Jews?
Mehdi Khazali, the son of the conservative Ayatollah Khazali, has written on his personal website that he recently learned that President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has Jewish roots.

Khazali notes that Ahmadinejad changed his family name from Saburjian, and says that the origins of the Saburjian family in the town of Aradan should be investigated.

Ahmadinejad's relatives had told Britain's "The Guardian" following his election that the family had changed its name for "a mixture of religious and economic reasons."

"The name change provides an insight into the devoutly Islamic working-class roots of Mr. Ahmadinejad's brand of populist politics," journalist Robert Tait wrote in "The Guardian." "The name Saborjhian derives from thread painter -- sabor in Farsi -- a once common and humble occupation in the carpet industry in Semnan Province, where Aradan is situated. Ahmad, by contrast, is a name also used for the Prophet Muhammad and means virtuous; nejad means race in Farsi, so Ahmadinejad can mean Muhammad's race or virtuous race.”

Ahmadinejad, of course, is known for his frequent slurs and threats against the Jewish state of Israel. The claim about his background should be seen in the context of a growing rift among the president's political allies, the so-called principalists, in the run-up to the June presidential election.

Top 20 Fast Facts About the House Democrats' Trillion Dollar Spending Plan

Via Gateway Pundit:

Top 20 Fast Facts About the House Democrats' Trillion Dollar Spending Plan | Republican Leader John Boehner
Earlier this month, when then-President-elect Obama met with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders, he laid out a vision of crafting a bipartisan economic recovery package focused on creating jobs and fast-acting tax relief. However, in the weeks since that meeting, Democratic leaders in Congress have taken that vision and turned it upside down, crafting a plan loaded with hundreds of billions in spending on programs and projects – most of which will not impact our ailing economy for many years, if ever, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Rather than working with Republicans on a proposal that lets families, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed keep more of what they earn to create jobs and help fix our economy, it seems congressional Democrats are prepared to barrel ahead with the same-old, same-old – more and more aimless spending – at a time when the American people expect so much more out of their elected officials in Washington. For a taste of just how badly Capitol Hill Democrats have strayed from the vision of a bipartisan plan to get our economy moving again, take a look at these 20 fast facts about their bloated plan:

1. The $825 billion package slated for a House vote later this week will exceed more than $1.1 trillion when adding in the interest ($300 plus billion) between 2009-2019 to pay for it.

2. The Capitol Hill Democrats’ plan includes funding for contraceptives; regardless of where anyone stands on taxpayer funded contraception, there is no question that it has NOTHING to do with the economy.

3. The legislation could open billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which has been accused of voter fraud, is reportedly under federal investigation; and played a key role in the housing meltdown.

4. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats’ proposal:

· $650 million for digital TV coupons.

· $600 million for new cars for the federal government.

· $6 billion for colleges/universities – many which have billion dollar endowments.

· $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.

· $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.

· $200 million for the National Mall, including $21 million for sod.

5. The plan establishes at least 32 new government programs at a cost of over $136 billion. That means more than a third of this plan’s spending provisions are dedicated to creating new government programs.

6. The plan provides spending in at least 150 different federal programs, ranging from Amtrak to the Transportation Security Administration. Is this the “targeted” plan Democratic leaders promised?

7. Even though the legislation contains at least 152 separate spending proposals, the authors of the plan can only say that 34 have any chance at keeping or growing jobs.

8. Just one in seven dollars of an $18.5 billion expenditure on “energy efficiency” and “renewable energy programs” would be spent within the next 18 months.

9. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

10. The House Democrats’ bill will cost each and every household $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

11. The bill provides enough spending – $825 billion – to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000.

12. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the United States $22,000.

13. Although the House Democrats’ proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill – or three percent – is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion.

14. Much of the funding within the House Democrats’ proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – a program that already has $16 billion on hand. States also are sitting on some $9 billion in unused highway funds – funds that Congress is prepared to rescind later this year.

15. All board members of the “Accountability and Transparency Board” created by this legislation are appointees of the President; none will be appointed by Congress.

16. A scant 2.7 percent, or $22.3 billion of the overall package, is dedicated to small business tax relief.

17. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the legislation increases by seven million the number of people who get a check back from the IRS that exceeds what they paid in payroll and income taxes.

18. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit at the center of the plan amounts to $1.37 a day, or about the price of a cup of coffee.

19. Almost one-third of the so-called “tax relief” in the House Democrats’ bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package – not the 40 percent that President Obama had requested.

20. $825 billion is just the beginning – many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their “stimulus” plan. In fact, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. David Obey (D-WI), told Roll Call earlier this month, “I would not be surprised to see us go further on some of these programs down the line.”

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Excerpt from tomorrows sermon:

Acts 2:42-47

How many of you remember the song "We are Family"? 

The question is what does a real model family look like?

Today's society, dysfunctional families are the norm, not the exception.  There are families with absent parents, single parents, step-parents.

There are even "families" with 2 dads or 2 moms.  Is it any wonder our society is in such deep trouble when the family unit is breaking down at such a rapid pace?

Loneliness is so prevalent today that people are paying for others to sit and listen to them! 

30% of Americans say that they have experienced long periods of painful loneliness. 

70% of Americans don't know their neighbors. 

Internet chat rooms are booming.  

But where is the family in all of this? Where is the togetherness?

...This Church is a family, not a building.  We're the family of God that happens to meets in the Siuslaw Valley.  And together, we can do so much more than separately.

When we function as a body, a family, we are able to make a huge difference in each others lives and the community.

Illus. When geese fly, they fly together in a V shape in order to help each other.   It creates an upward thrust that helps the bird behind.  In fact, scientists have discovered that the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. 

When we are together, we can do so much more than when we're alone.  We get where we're going on each other's effort.  Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone.  

When we fall out of formation with God's family, we also feel the resistance pull us away from our fellowship with Christ.

D.L. Moody once called on a leading citizen in Chicago to persuade him to accept Christ. They were seated in the man's parlor.

It was winter and coal was burning in the fireplace. The man argued that he could be just as good a Christian outside the church as in it.

Moody said nothing, but stepped to the fireplace, took the tongs, picked a blazing coal from the fire and set it off by itself. In silence the two watched it smolder and go out. "I see," said the man.

Cheering for the other side...Makes an impact.

It's wonderful how this story keeps spreading.  Let all of us be able to catch faith in action.

Two schools’ football meeting has national impact | Sports |
Gainesville State School and Grapevine Faith Christian came together in Grapevine for one night, for one high school football game.

Two and a half months later, across the country, people are still talking about that game.

"That Game."

It is all over the Internet. You can find more than 450 blogs and message boards that have discussed the game.

"Wow." "Beautiful." "Amazing." "Why didn’t you warn me I’d need Kleenex?"

Both schools have been flooded with phone calls and e-mails.

"You have inspired me to help others." "Is there anything I can do to help?" "How can I send your school a donation?"

There remains a fascination over the Friday night that Faith Christian fans made their guests from the correctional facility feel like the home team. The spirit line. The banner. The Faith fans and cheerleaders on the Gainesville State side, actually cheering for the other team.

Oprah Show Glows for Obama: 'The Light of the New Age Is Here'

Objectivity, clear thinking, strong reasoning.  Yep that's Oprah!

Oprah Show Glows for Obama: 'The Light of the New Age Is Here' |
Wednesday’s post-inaugural edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show, taped at a Washington restaurant, overflowed with strange and messianic notions about Obama and how the thrill over him is unanimous. Actor Forest Whitaker summed it up for Oprah: "The light of the New Age is here." Oprah pal Gayle King passed along her agreement with a message that "Not only does he hear us. He feels us. That when I hear Barack Obama, they said, he talks to my soul." Whitaker also strangely claimed "we’re not used to seeing" a president and a First Lady who love each other, but the Obamas have signaled "it’s okay to love."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama to sign EO authorizing aid money for abortions today

The most interesting aspect of this is that Obama waited for a friday and a low news day:

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Obama to sign EO authorizing aid money for abortions today
Yesterday, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, abortion supporters expected Obama to issue an executive order reversing the Mexico City policy imposed by George Bush prohibiting American aid dollars for international abortions. Obama demurred, perhaps wishing to avoid the media scrutiny that would attend such a move on Roe’s anniversary. Instead, Obama will quietly sign the new EO today, away from the media spotlight:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Change you can count on... Obama

Via Instapundit:

Aboard the Bush Plane

Good story.  This is also good.

Aboard the Bush Plane - The Daily Beast
President Bush acknowledged that before Obama was even sworn in today, he knew his life had changed when his usual morning papers failed to be delivered at the White House.

About midflight, everyone gathered with President Bush in the conference room to view a moving and emotional 22-minute video produced by Scott Sforza and edited by Laura Crawford that included administration highlights and personal messages and thank-yous from staff and Cabinet members.

Mrs. Bush strolled the aisles thanking friends and staffers. The president’s father, with his walking stick, hobbled through, as well, with a familiar glint in his eye and smile at the corner of his lips. Wife Barbara padded around behind him, ever ready with a witty riposte to any and all. Karl Rove was in his usual seat in the conference room, challenging Joe Hagin and Blake Gottesman to a game of cards. And winning. Insisting they autograph the final score.

Unsold Cars

Unsold new cars in the UK.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

44% Say Global Warming Due To Planetary Trends, Not People

Seems like a change in attitude is happening:

Rasmussen Reports™: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a presidential election.
Al Gore’s side may be coming to power in Washington, but they appear to be losing the battle on the idea that humans are to blame for global warming.

Forty-four percent (44%) of U.S. voters now say long-term planetary trends are the cause of global warming, compared to 41% who blame it on human activity.

Seven percent (7%) attribute global warming to some other reason, and nine percent (9%) are unsure in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

President Obama

May God bless President Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Little Objection to Rick Warren Giving Inaugural Prayer

With all of the negative publicity you would think most of the US was against Warren.

Poll: Little Objection to Rick Warren Giving Inaugural Prayer
Despite media reports of controversy over Barack Obama's selection of megachurch pastor Rick Warren to give the prayer at Tuesday's inauguration, the average American seems to be either unaware of the selection or to approve. Fifty-two percent of Americans say they don't know enough about the decision to have an opinion either way. Among Americans who do have an opinion, those who approve outweigh those who disapprove 39% to 9%.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cheering for the Other Side redux

I received an e-mail from David Thomas who is the sports writer for the Star-Telegram.  This is the article he wrote after he had seen the game. 

This is a wonderful example of Christians showing the love of Christ.

Unique fan support lifts spirits for players at Gainesville State School | Sports |
The Gainesville State School Tornadoes’ spirit line stretched halfway across the end zone. The players —- all 14 of them —: ripped through the paper sign that read "GSS Go Tornadoes" as the line turned toward the playing field, then extended past the 30-yard line.

The Tornadoes sprinted through the tunnel of 300 cheering fans. The players’ black and white uniforms contrasted with the fans’ red sweatshirts and T-shirts that read "FAITH LIONS."

Gainesville State coach Mark Williams jogged outside of the spirit line. He raised his hands head-high and clapped. "Thank you, thank you," he said to anyone who could hear him.

Then Faith’s fans began making their way to the stands. Half went to the home side, half to the visitors’ side.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hudson plane crash caught on Coast Guard camera!

Crash is at 2:02.

Update: See also this video.

Cheering for the other side

Excellent: HT:  CRN info.

Rick Reilly: Gainesville State high school football gets the best gift of all: hope - ESPN The Magazine
They played the oddest game in high school football history last month down in Grapevine, Texas.

It was Grapevine Faith vs. Gainesville State School and everything about it was upside down. For instance, when Gainesville came out to take the field, the Faith fans made a 40-yard spirit line for them to run through.

Did you hear that? The other team's fans?

They even made a banner for players to crash through at the end. It said, "Go Tornadoes!" Which is also weird, because Faith is the Lions.

It was rivers running uphill and cats petting dogs. More than 200 Faith fans sat on the Gainesville side and kept cheering the Gainesville players on—by name.

"I never in my life thought I'd hear people cheering for us to hit their kids," recalls Gainesville's QB and middle linebacker, Isaiah. "I wouldn't expect another parent to tell somebody to hit their kids. But they wanted us to!"

And even though Faith walloped them 33-14, the Gainesville kids were so happy that after the game they gave head coach Mark Williams a sideline squirt-bottle shower like he'd just won state. Gotta be the first Gatorade bath in history for an 0-9 coach.

But then you saw the 12 uniformed officers escorting the 14 Gainesville players off the field and two and two started to make four. They lined the players up in groups of five—handcuffs ready in their back pockets—and marched them to the team bus. That's because Gainesville is a maximum-security correctional facility 75 miles north of Dallas. Every game it plays is on the road.

This all started when Faith's head coach, Kris Hogan, wanted to do something kind for the Gainesville team. Faith had never played Gainesville, but he already knew the score. After all, Faith was 7-2 going into the game, Gainesville 0-8 with 2 TDs all year. Faith has 70 kids, 11 coaches, the latest equipment and involved parents. Gainesville has a lot of kids with convictions for drugs, assault and robbery—many of whose families had disowned them—wearing seven-year-old shoulder pads and ancient helmets.

So Hogan had this idea. What if half of our fans—for one night only—cheered for the other team? He sent out an email asking the Faithful to do just that. "Here's the message I want you to send:" Hogan wrote. "You are just as valuable as any other person on planet Earth."

Friday, January 16, 2009

Answers for scientology kids

This is a good resource:  HT: Ken

Operation Clambake presents
Someone said that a scientologist had told him that their children are disturbed because of what they have read on the internet, and started to ask embarassing questions. So here is an attempt to explain scientology with simple words.

1. I hear the word "cult" all the time. What is a cult?
2. Do people hate scientology?
3. My parents almost never have time for me. Why?
4. I want to get help. What should I do?
5. But scientology is the most ethical group on the planet!
6. How are other schools different from scientology schools?
7. How is life outside of scientology?
8. Are psychs evil?
9. But it WORKS !
10. Do other children have to work?
11. A scientologist touches me in a way I don't like. What can I do?
12. Has anyone ever died because of scientology?
13. Can I trust my fellow scientologists?
14. Will scientology use my personal folders against me?
15. I was born and educated in scientology. What will happen?
16. Is there anything that I am not told by scientology?

Bush and the Troops

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teens bare all on phones

Frightening behavior.  Parents you need to get a clue:  Via Drudge.

Teens bare all on phones | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com
In the Cincinnati area, where legend holds that trends come 10 years late, "sexting" arrived well ahead of time.

Teens here are taking nude photos of themselves or others, sending them on their cell phones or posting them online.

Some teens do it as a joke.

For others, it's the new bold pickup line to get a date.

A year ago, a 19-year-old Goshen cheerleading coach was charged and prosecuted for a misdemeanor, contributing to the unruliness of a child, for taking a topless photo of herself and a 15-year-old girl. A Glen Este Middle School boy was taken to juvenile court during the last school year for taking explicit photos of his girlfriend.

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and last month revealed results of a study that showed 20 percent of teens say they have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves.

The results don't surprise local teens, school officials, police officers and others.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Book Is Rallying Resistance to the Antivaccine Crusade

Polio is now on the rise in some places because of the anti vaccine crowd:

Paul Offit's Book "Autism's False Prophets" Is Rallying Resistance to the Antivaccine Crusade -
A new book defending vaccines, written by a doctor infuriated at the claim that they cause autism, is galvanizing a backlash against the antivaccine movement in the United States.  But there will be no book tour for the doctor, Paul A. Offit, author of “Autism’s False Prophets.” He has had too many death threats.

Monday, January 12, 2009

PERS, the next catastrophe?

It sounds like the retirement funds could be in trouble.  I really hope not.  Via Instapundit.

The Next Catastrophe: Think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were a politicized financial disaster? Just wait until pension funds implode. - Reason Magazine
Funds worth trillions of dollars start to plummet in value. Political pressure to be “socially responsible” distorts the market decisions of government-related enterprises, leading to risky investments. Investors who once considered their retirements safely protectedwake up to a sinking feeling of uncertainty and gloom.

Sound like the great mortgage-fueled financial crisis of 2008? Sure. But it also describes a calamity likely to hit as soon as 2009. State, local, and private pension plans covering millions of government employees and union workers with “defined benefit” accounts are teetering on the brink of implosion, victims of both a sinking stock market and investment strategies influenced by political considerations.

From January to October 2008, defined benefit funds—those promising a predetermined amount of retirement money to the payee—averaged losses of 26 percent, according to Northern Trust Investment Risk and Analytical Services, making it the worst year on record for corporate and public pension funds. The largest public pension fund in the United States, the California Public Employees Retirement Security System (CalPERS), lost a staggering 20 percent of its value in just three months last year. In May 2008, Vallejo, California, became the largest city in the state ever to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, thanks largely to unmanageable pension obligations. The situation in San Diego looks worryingly similar. And corporations with defined benefit plans are seeking relief in Washington as part of a bailout season that shows no sign of slowing down.

How Gaza is alienating Britain's Jews and Muslims

Looks like antisemitism is becoming the new vogue, disturbing.

Francesca Segal on how antisemitism means she no longer feels safe in Britain
I am a secular, liberal, identifying British Jew. My parents would have taken great pleasure if my acting talents had landed me a starring role in the primary school nativity play; on Christmas Day, we gather at home eating smoked salmon bagels and mince pies. There is no conflict whatsoever between my religion and nationality. On the contrary, they have always supported and echoed one another in terms of the values and moral structure they promote. Judaism has taught me to value liberalism, education, tolerance, family and charity. All Jewish religious services and celebrations include a heartfelt toast to the Queen, because Jews in this country have felt safe,...

well-assimilated and, most of all, grateful.My little sister arrived back at her university last week to discover buildings had been daubed with antisemitic graffiti. Across north London, the same scrawled vitriol has been appearing - "Jihad to Israel", frequently accompanied by the message: "Kill Jews."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hospital Scrubs Are a Germy, Deadly Mess

So I guess the old saying is true, cleanliness is next to Godliness:

Opinion: Hospital Scrubs' Deadly Mess -
You see them everywhere -- nurses, doctors and medical technicians in scrubs or lab coats. They shop in them, take buses and trains in them, go to restaurants in them, and wear them home. What you can't see on these garments are the bacteria that could kill you.

Dirty scrubs spread bacteria to patients in the hospital and allow hospital superbugs to escape into public places such as restaurants. Some hospitals now prohibit wearing scrubs outside the building, partly in response to the rapid increase in an infection called "C. diff." A national hospital survey released last November warns that Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections are sickening nearly half a million people a year in the U.S., more than six times previous estimates.

The problem is that some medical personnel wear the same unlaundered uniforms to work day after day. They start their shift already carrying germs such as C.diff, drug-resistant enterococcus or staphylococcus. Doctors' lab coats are probably the dirtiest. At the University of Maryland, 65% of medical personnel confess they change their lab coat less than once a week, though they know it's contaminated. Fifteen percent admit they change it less than once a month. Superbugs such as staph can live on these polyester coats for up to 56 days.

Penny Alcohol Backpacking Stove

This is really cool and should be easy to use. This would also be great if the electricity went out. HT: Ken.

Penny Ultralight Alcohol Backpacking Stove
For hiking, camping, biking, boating, Scouting, RVing - use by homeless, survivalists, search & rescue, disaster and third world relief.

Friday, January 09, 2009

This is a classic article show casing the absolute cultural incomprehension of so many on the left.  Until people with these attitudes (like those of this author) can come to a realization that any country that is attacked will fight back, there can be no dialog with them.  There is also a fundamental misunderstanding of the radical teachings of Islam.

Just remember, if the west and America are for something, these people will be against it.

HT:  Ken.

New Statesman - Gaza under fire
Every war Israel has waged since 1948 has had the same objective: expulsion of the native people and theft of more land. But why are we in the west silent on this truth?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Hamas terrorists kill innocent Palestinian in Gaza

And some people support Hamas? HT: IsraellyCool.

ABC: Anything But Cole

Normally I won't get involved in these inter blog spats, but this one is different.  If you don't know who Juan Cole is...your not missing anything.  Very anti Israel and so on and so on.  Typical extremist. 

So vote for Michael Totten or Kramer or IsraellyCool.

ABC: Anything But Cole [Martin Kramer's Sandbox]
Juan Cole is running two campaigns on his blog. One is against Israel—business as usual for Cole. The other is promoting his blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards competition (Middle East category), where there are ten finalists (I am one).

Yesterday, Cole called on his readers to turn out and vote for him. His pitch? "The 'Middle East' category is dominated by Neocons. Where are Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark), Helena Cobban, Angry Arab, Raed in the Middle, etc., etc. I think the initial nomination voting must have been orchestrated." In other words: a neocon conspiracy! It's even subverted the 2008 Weblog Awards!

So Cole, having raised the specter of the neocons, riled up his supporters, and his vote count rose considerably, putting him in the lead. But at that point, he must have realized that it was unseemly for him to have dismissed the procedures of an award he might even win. (Hey, with all those neocon blogs splitting the neocon vote, he could emerge on top! They've screwed up, like in Iraq!) No problem. Just cut out the offending passage, as though it never existed.

The scoop on Obama's nominations


Obama Nominations is your one stop shop for information regarding the Obama Administration's latest Executive and Judicial Nominees. Check back with us often.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Dealing with Pathological Antagonists

Good review:

Frontline Fellowship - Dealing with pathological antagonists
A review of: ”The Wounded Minister – healing from and preventing personal attacks” by Dr. Guy Greenfield

Every church and ministry has to deal with personality conflicts and intermittent discord. The writer of this book considers that normal. However, what he deals with in The Wounded Minister is the “growing phenomenon”, “major problem approaching crisis proportions” of “pathological antagonists” and their allies and sympathises who launch systematic and sustained attacks on the leader of a church or ministry.

Dr. Kenneth Haugk, a clinic psychologist, defines pathological antagonists as “individuals who, on the basis of non-substantive evidence, go out of their way to make insatiable demands, usually attacking the person or performance of others. These attacks are selfish in nature, tearing down rather than building up, and are frequently directed against those in a leadership capacity.”

G. Llloyd-Rediger describes these antagonists as “clergy killers”, who have as their one major objective, to abuse or hurt the minister to the degree that they will leave the ministry. Rediger notes that this abuse is “increasing in epidemic proportions … it is a phenomenon that is verified by both research and experience.” He identifies clergy killers as “people who intentionally target pastors for serious injury or destruction.”

These researchers have noted certain common features in the modus operandi of pathological antagonists.

1. There is always a set of problems in the church or ministry which serves as a background. The antagonist begins identifying the minister as the cause of the problems. (These problems may include finance, inter-staff conflict, a mailing, a popular staff person resigning, “it does not really matter what the problems are” - in most cases, the minister is blamed).

2. “One person seems to get the criticism train rolling. One person takes it upon himself to begin pointing out these ‘serious problems that are hurting our church.’ Phone calls are made … letters are written … “

3. “Often the person who leads the complaint charge takes several weeks, maybe months, to marshall sympathetic support for his position. Unsuspecting people begin to wonder whether there may be some truth to the complainers accusations.”

4. “In many cases the initial accuser enlists a few key leaders to plan some meetings to be held at his or a sympathisers home. These meetings are secret, that is ‘invitation only’ meetings of people who the accuser believes will agree with his accusations. The primary purpose is to gather support for the eventual attack on their minister … gathering additional evidence that the minister is to blame for the church’s problems. Meticulous notes are usually taken by the accuser or one he designates to do this”.

5. “They will try to build a paper trail of accusations with which to charge the minister with inefficiency, poor leadership, lazy work habits, questionable moral behaviour or unChristian attitude. An often-heard complaint is ‘oh, it’s not so much what he does or says that is so bad, it’s the way he does or says it.’ The way is seldom explained; it is just assumed to be bad, unhealthy, conflicting, in appropriate, unkind or harsh.”

6. ”The accusing leader plans his attack very carefully … he turns on his charm to win the friendship and support” of key people.

7. “The clergy killer knows he must work through recognised authority … to accomplish his goal of getting rid of the minister. When he knows he has their backing, he will move swiftly, with careful calculation.”

8. “The attack has actually been going on for some time, but the clergy killer, when the time is right, gets his plan of attack on the agenda of the official board of his church. He arranges for the minister not to be present.”

9. “At this crucial meeting, the clergy killer lays his charges before the assembled body of lay leaders. He will use ‘statistics’ to bolster his accusations.”

10. “When the statistics are interpreted negatively, the finger of blame is pointed at the minister. The bottom line of the charges is very simple: if we get rid of our minister, all of our problems will be solved.”

11. “He will probably try to get a special committee appointed (hopefully his friends) to visit the minister in his office as soon as possible to pressure him to resign quietly ‘for the sake of the church’s unity and future’. By this time … many ministers have been so harassed and worn out emotionally by all the accusations (by phone calls, letters … personal visits and rumours) that they will go as quickly and quietly as possible.”

12. “It is possible that open conflict will explode … “

13. “The abused clergy person usually goes into a clinic depression … his wife and children also feel rejected … the ‘collateral damage’ can be quite heavy and devastating.”

14. “Abused clergy are frequently abandoned and treated as if they ‘now have some dread disease, and their friends, colleagues and superiors keep their distance. Rarely does anyone come to their aid.”

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Funds Tie Obama to Richardson Probe Figure

What's going to happen when he actually becomes president?

ABC News: Funds Tie Obama to Richardson Probe Figure
President-elect Barack Obama took big money from a man at the center of a federal probe that has forced one of Obama's top Cabinet picks to withdraw.

Nano Computers

Wow.  Via Instapundit.

Nanodot: Nanotechnology News and Discussion » Blog Archive » Toward atomic-scale computing with nanotechnology
How many atoms to build a computer?

“The question we have asked ourselves is how many atoms does it take to build a computer?” Joachim says. “That is something we cannot answer at present, but we are getting a better idea about it.”

The team has managed to design a simple logic gate with 30 atoms that perform the same task as 14 transistors, while also exploring the architecture, technology and chemistry needed to achieve computing inside a single molecule and to interconnect molecules.

They are focusing on two architectures: one that mimics the classical design of a logic gate but in atomic form, including nodes, loops, meshes etc., and another, more complex, process that relies on changes to the molecule’s conformation to carry out the logic gate inputs and quantum mechanics to perform the computation.

Innapropriate Political Intrusions

Jay Nordlinger brings out a subject which has annoyed me for some time, why do so many people try to politicize EVERYTHING?  I have seen it from the left and the right, but quite honestly more from the left.  If you are one of these people, and I'm sure your not, please stop.  Many will thank you.

My Kingdom for a Safe Zone by Jay Nordlinger on National Review Online
Shortly before Christmas, I posted an item in the Corner called “The Conductor’s Podium as Political Platform.” This drew an unusually big response, from readers. I propose to examine that response and see what it tells us about our political culture today — or about our culture plain and simple.

But first, that item:

One reason I became a conservative, many years ago, is that the Left in my hometown — Ann Arbor, Mich. — insisted on politicizing everything. There was never any respite from politics. There was no “safe zone.” Politics was infused into everything — and it was one kind of politics, of course: Left.

This sort of “creeped me out,” to use a modern expression.

So, on Friday night, I go to Carnegie Hall for a Christmas concert. The King’s Singers are performing with the New York Pops Orchestra; Marilyn Horne is a special guest. This should be an evening away from politics — just a little fodder for my next New Criterion music piece, you know?

Shortly into the concert, the conductor turns to the audience and speaks about “the holidays.” This year, he says, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are overlapping with Christmas. (According to what I can find, Kwanzaa begins on December 26, but never mind.) Then we have New Year’s Day. And “on January 20, there will be a new beginning for our country.” The crowd, of course, erupts into cheers. Then he says, “I see I’m not the only one who’s ready.”

They can’t help themselves, can they? They can’t help preening, saying, in effect, “See how virtuous I am? My politics are correct. I am a fully paid-up member of the herd — nothing independent-minded about me.” I have seen this in Carnegie Hall before (as elsewhere): The conductor, or someone else, makes a partisan political statement, releasing a little stink bomb that smells up the entire evening, no matter how good the music is.

At least it’s that way for some of us.

Politics aside, where are manners? Where is consideration for a minority of audience members? Where is a sense of public space, and what is appropriate and not? The guy was uncouth, as much as anything. And the sad thing is: There’s no one to call him on it.

And, no, I don’t count. One of his own — someone from the New York Times or The New Yorker or the local arts establishment — has to call him on it. Otherwise, it doesn’t count.

I suppose that conservatives, somewhere, act like that conductor, injecting politics where it doesn’t belong, transgressing against public decorum (and simply displaying bad manners). I have not witnessed it, though.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Prayer: From Sunday Sermon January 4.

When she was in high school, Karol’s dad told her that she was in the “McDonald’s drive-thru generation” because her generation didn’t know how to wait, save or work for anything. (Can you tell he is of the builder generation?)

Sometimes we see God as the “great and almighty drive-thru window” and if he doesn’t dispense what we want when we want it we get a little bit perturbed or just flat out doubt God period. God is always on time, but God does NOT function like a drive-thru, just place your order and drive around and pick it up.

Sometimes a bout of what we feel were unanswered prayers can prevent us from praying with devotion and persistence. No matter what God’s response is to our request we need to prayer persistently and continue to trust in Him.

Sometimes unanswered prayers can hinder us from continuing to ask. It is also very possible that sometimes we do not take the time to pray because we do not really believe it is possible that God will answer prayer.

When you have a problem going on do you really believe God can handle it? When there is something big going on do believe God can take care of it? Do you believe that God still answers prayer? If you do, why not pray more?

Alaskan Glaciers Grow for First Time in 250 years

So it is getting colder!

DailyTech - Alaskan Glaciers Grow for First Time in 250 years
High snowfall and cold weather to blame.

A bitterly cold Alaskan summer has had surprising results. For the first time in the area's recorded history, area glaciers have begun to expand, rather than shrink. Summer temperatures, which were some 3 degrees below average, allowed record levels of winter snow to remain much longer, leading to the increase in glacial mass.

"In mid-June, I was surprised to see snow still at sea level in Prince William Sound", said glaciologist Bruce Molnia. "In general, the weather this summer was the worst I have seen in at least 20 years".

"On the Juneau Icefield, there was still 20 feet of new snow on the surface [in] late July. At Bering Glacier, a landslide I am studying [did] not become snow free until early August."

Molnia, who works for the US Geological Survey, said it's been a "long time" since area glaciers have seen a positive mass balance -- an increase in the total amount of ice they contain.

Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979

Via Drudge: Interesting.

DailyTech - Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979
Rapid growth spurt leaves amount of ice at levels seen 29 years ago.

Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.

Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.

The data is being reported by the University of Illinois's Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Remains of the Day

Interesting:  This concerns the remains of the people killed in 9/11.

Remains of the Day | Print Article |
In the grim, sleepless months of excavation after the September 11 attacks, forensic pathologists in New York City worked day and night to identify the dead. They didn't have much to go on. The collapsed World Trade Center towers had burned at temperatures reaching 2,000 degrees, incinerating those trapped inside. Many of the bodies of the passengers aboard the two airplanes that struck the buildings were consumed by burning jet fuel, leaving only traces of DNA, much of it so damaged that it was impossible to read. Few bodies were found intact. Most of the human remains culled from the vast wreckage at Ground Zero were little more than tiny fragments of charred tissue and bone. The volume was overwhelming. Robert Shaler, who headed the city's Department of Forensic Biology and was a leader of the identification effort, worried his lab would be paralyzed if it tried to identify every piece. At first, they decided they would only attempt to test samples that were "the size of a thumb or larger," he says. But when they saw how small many of the fragments were, they changed their minds. "If we were really going to make an honest effort," Shaler says, "we had to do everything that came along."

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Al Jazeera poll on Israel

So far the outcome of this poll that Al Jazeera is conducting is surprising: