Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Obama's wrecking crew

I don't think this should be that surprising:

Power Line - Paul Rahe: Obama's wrecking crew
In Tuesday's New York Post, Charles Gasparino reports that, although they will not admit anything of the sort in public, people like Morgan Stanley's John Mack, BlackRock's Larry Fink, Greg Fleming (once at Merrill Lynch), JP Morgan's Jamie Dimon, and Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein, who backed Obama at the time of the financial crisis last Fall, are now, in private, expressing grave misgivings.

Even more to the point, he reports,

I'm told that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and chief economic adviser Lawrence Summers have both complained to senior Wall Street execs that they have almost no say in major policy decisions. Obama economic counselor Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman, is barely consulted at all on just about anything -- not even issues involving the banking system, of which he is among the world's leading authorities.

At most, the economic people and their staffs get asked to do cost analyses of Obama's initiatives for the White House political people -- who then ignore their advice.

It's almost the opposite approach, the Wall Street crowd complains, from the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, whose main first-term achievement -- deficit reduction -- was crafted by his chief economic adviser, Robert Rubin. . . .

Obama, according to Wall Street people who regularly deal with his economic and budget officials, is acting as if he has a blank check to do what he wants, while ignoring the longterm costs of his policies.

As one CEO of a major financial firm told me: "The economic guys say that when they explain the costs of programs, the policy guys simply thank them for their time and then ignore what they say."

In other words, the economic people feel that they have almost no say in this administration's policy decisions.

500-carat diamond found at S. African mine


500-carat diamond found at S. African mine - Africa -
JOHANNESBURG - Petra Diamonds Ltd. says a diamond the size of a chicken egg has been found at South Africa's Cullinan mine.

The diamond may be among the world's top 20 high-quality gems. It was discovered Thursday at the mine northeast of Pretoria, South Africa.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I read about a fascinating research study done by Vicki Medvec, a professor at Northwestern University. She studied Olympic medalists and discovered that Bronze medalists were happier than Silver medalists.

Here’s why. Medvec found that Silver medalists tended to focus on how close they came to winning gold so they weren’t satisfied with silver. Bronze medalists tended to focus on how close they came to not winning a medal at all so they were just happy to be on the medal stand.

I think that study reveals a fascinating aspect of human nature: your focus determines your reality. How we feel isn’t determined by objective circumstances.

If that was the case, Silver Medalists would be happier than Bronze medalists because they had an objectively better result. But how we feel isn’t determined by our objective circumstances. How we feel is determined by our subjective (personal) focus.

Here’s another way of saying it: your internal attitudes are more important than your external circumstances.

John Milton said it best: “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven out of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

All of us know people who can find something good to focus on even in the worst of circumstances. And all of us know someone who can find something bad to focus on even in the best of circumstances.

The principle is this: we tend to see what we’re looking for. In the Christian world there tends to be two basic types of people: complainers and worshippers.

Complainers can always find something to complain about.

Worshippers can always find something to praise God about.

All of us develop ideas about everything all the time. Then we look for evidence to support what we believe and ignore evidence to the contrary.

For example, if you decide you don’t like someone you’ll notice everything that is wrong with that person. And you’ll probably ignore anything you could potentially like about them.

The flipside is true as well. If you’re head-over-heels in love with someone you tend to only notice those things you love about them.

We see is what we’re looking for.

What does that have to do with worship? A worshipper makes a pre-decision to look for something to praise God about even in the direst of circumstances.

Obama is ruining India’s security climate

The luster is fading throughout the world:

The Pioneer > Online Edition : >> Nightmare presidency
He may not relish the comparison but it is now becoming increasingly obvious that Mr Barack Obama is the most hostile American President for India since Richard Nixon. In the eight months he has been in office, Mr Obama has snubbed India more than once. He has sent repeated signals that New Delhi is not integral to his Asian security architecture. Partly as a result of his country’s economic crisis, he has bent over backwards to accommodate China. His open advocacy of protectionism has been most visibly targeted at outsourcing of technology jobs to India. He headlined anti-trade legislation by saying it would punish those who created jobs in Bangalore rather than Buffalo, a special mention that was extraordinarily impolitic and did not go unnoticed in India. In contrast, the tariff war against Chinese tyres has not been posited in such stark bilateral terms. This past week, the Obama team reversed a decade of American nuclear pragmatism and went back to an outdated non-proliferation agenda that should have died, really, in the 1990s. Once more, India has been asked to give up its nuclear weapons and sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a second-tier power. Most alarmingly, Mr Obama has swung wildly on Afghanistan-Pakistan (AfPak). At various points his diplomats and Generals have said different things. Yet, in all this the overarching political message has been missing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Last Week’s Key Polls


What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Rasmussen Reports™
Few nations are as generous with their time and money as the United States, but right now Americans are a suspicious bunch.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of voters nationwide say they’re at least somewhat angry about the current policies of the federal government. Thirty-six percent (36%) are Very Angry.

Despite the high level of political anger last year that helped fuel President Obama’s election, 59% say the current level of political anger in the country is higher than it was when George W. Bush was president.

A lot of that anger is directed at the people who are spending billions and billion of dollars of taxpayer money. That helps explain why members of Congress have now surpassed corporate CEOs to hold the least favorably regarded profession in the country.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Violent Tea Party Protest!

Well a violent protest...Fun and games at the G20 summit.

The Dog Ate Global Warming

Read the whole thing:

The Dog Ate Global Warming by Patrick J. Michaels on National Review Online
Imagine if there were no reliable records of global surface temperature. Raucous policy debates such as cap-and-trade would have no scientific basis, Al Gore would at this point be little more than a historical footnote, and President Obama would not be spending this U.N. session talking up a (likely unattainable) international climate deal in Copenhagen in December.

Steel yourself for the new reality, because the data needed to verify the gloom-and-doom warming forecasts have disappeared.

Or so it seems. Apparently, they were either lost or purged from some discarded computer. Only a very few people know what really happened, and they aren’t talking much. And what little they are saying makes no sense.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine

Interesting and a little scary:

Inside the Apocalyptic Soviet Doomsday Machine
Valery Yarynich glances nervously over his shoulder. Clad in a brown leather jacket, the 72-year-old former Soviet colonel is hunkered in the back of the dimly lit Iron Gate restaurant in Washington, DC. It's March 2009—the Berlin Wall came down two decades ago—but the lean and fit Yarynich is as jumpy as an informant dodging the KGB. He begins to whisper, quietly but firmly.

"The Perimeter system is very, very nice," he says. "We remove unique responsibility from high politicians and the military." He looks around again.

Yarynich is talking about Russia's doomsday machine. That's right, an actual doomsday device—a real, functioning version of the ultimate weapon, always presumed to exist only as a fantasy of apocalypse-obsessed science fiction writers and paranoid über-hawks. The thing that historian Lewis Mumford called "the central symbol of this scientifically organized nightmare of mass extermination." Turns out Yarynich, a 30-year veteran of the Soviet Strategic Rocket Forces and Soviet General Staff, helped build one.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our President is a ‘Symbol-holic’

It's no coincidence...

Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » Our President is a ‘Symbol-holic’
The Obama administration betrayed our Eastern European allies on the symbolic 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. Many in the media have chalked this up to historical ignorance, just as they claimed that “too great a workload” was responsible for his disgraceful but symbolic insult when, after receiving a pen holder fashioned from the timbers of the HMS Gannet that served for a time as an anti-slave ship, he slighted Gordon Brown with gave a gift of 25 DVDs .

...These choices are thoughtful, not thoughtless, and symbolic of current White House ideology. When Obama was simply a candidate, and not yet our chosen leader, he had already attempted to use a circular symbol suspiciously reminiscent of the presidential seal to signify that the prize was all but attained before the fact. It was adolescent pop psychology, symbolic and laughable, but a telling trait that should have warned us that we were dealing with a symbol-holic, and a degree of hubristic thinking that had danger written all over it.

Best definition of a Community Organizer


Pajamas Media
"Someone who helps pimps and prostitutes avoid tax problems when purchasing property."

Iran's only AWACS crashes

Isn't it interesting what the plane crashed into?

Israel Matzav: Iran's only AWACS crashes
Eye witnesses reported that the flaming planes landed on the mausoleum burial site of the Islamic revolution's founder Ruhollah Khomeini, a national shrine. According to Western observers, no distress signals came from either cockpit indicating that the collision and explosions were sudden and fast.

DEBKAfile's military sources say the disaster was a serious blow to the Iranian Air Force not long after its first and only AWACS went into service in April 2008. It was a renovated version of the Russian Ilyushin 76, part of Saddam Hussein's air force before it was transferred to Iran in 1991 during the first Gulf War.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Round up of European views of Obama and the Missile defense

Pajamas Media » Europeans Ambivalent About Obama’s Missile Defense U-Turn
In Germany, the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: “Obama’s biggest challenge is this: He has to quell the suspicion that he has buckled in the face of Russia. And he has to succeed in doing this not only in the U.S. Congress, but also when it comes to America’s allies in Eastern Europe. They are afraid that some people in Moscow will be able to misinterpret the decision to cancel the missile defense shield as a sign of weakness and to be emboldened to promote their interests with tanks in other places in the same way they did in Georgia.”

The Financial Times Deutschland writes: “What is truly unusual about Obama’s decision is that he is taking a huge step toward Russia without having any guaranteed quid pro quo to show for it. It is a rare thing for a U.S. president to make a down payment like this. It either shows great courage in the face of risk or pure naiveté. Just how risky Obama’s bet is can be seen from Moscow’s celebrations of the cancellation of the missile plans. Diplomats are pounding their chests and boasting that Obama’s buckling was the logical consequence of their refusal to compromise on this issue. For Obama, it will be a very expensive decision. In terms of domestic politics, he is exposing himself to accusations of being a wimp and damaging the country’s security. In terms of foreign politics, he is snubbing two allies — the Czech Republic and Poland — who view the cancellation of the missile shield as a betrayal. It would be dangerous for Obama if people got the impression that he had genuflected before the Russians. He has no way of guaranteeing that they will respond to his gesture of friendship. Moscow has the upper hand now.”

The center-right Die Welt writes: “[Obama’s decision] does raise the question of whether this policy is naïve and, in the end, dangerous. The other problem is that it leaves much of Central Europe disappointed. … People there are afraid of being abandoned again. Sandwiched between Western Europe (Germany, in particular) and Russia, the nations in Central Europe were for a long time the ping-pong ball of foreign powers. Having been admitted into NATO and the EU and having become visible partners with the U.S. raised hopes in these countries that they really counted for something. After Obama’s failure to appear at the ceremony marking the anniversary of the beginning of World War II in Gdansk, this will be the second blow to their hopes. Those who continue to believe that the freedom movement in the 1980s was right will enthusiastically welcome Obama’s decision. But they need to remember just one thing: Communism came to a peaceful end because America was both civil and well-armed.”

The Berliner Morgenpost writes: “The governments in Warsaw and Prague, which sought the deployment of the missile shields despite strong resistance in their own countries, have been duped by Obama. Their confidence in America’s reliability has not been strengthened. They may retaliate if America announces, after 2015, that it actually does want to put an entirely new missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.”

The center-left Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: “Poland and the Czech Republic have exposed themselves to a lot of criticism from their neighbors to the west, serious threats from Russia and the skepticism of their own populations. But, from now on, they will give a lot more thought to working closely with America on such controversial issues and the consequences that doing so entails. Obama might have been thinking that canceling the plan would elicit some sort of quid pro quo from Moscow. The Russians are very happy about it, less because it can (presumably) improve U.S.-Russian relations, and more because it means that Russia’s tantrum has had its desired effect. … Russia’s claim that the planned missile defense system harmed strategic stability was never meant seriously. It was rather intended as propaganda and a way to influence a public that was very touchy about this issue. So this means it pays to play hardball.”

Survey: One Quarter of Americans Could Claim 'No Religion' in 20 Years

Of course this doesn't take into consideration another Great Awakening:

If current trends continue, a quarter of Americans are likely to claim "no religion" in 20 years, according to a survey out today by Trinity College. Americans who identify with no religious tradition currently comprise 15 percent of the country, representing the fastest growing segment of the national religious landscape.

While the numbers portend a dramatic change for the American religious scene—"religious nones" accounted for just 8 percent of the population in 1990—the United States is not poised adopt the anti-religious posture of much of secularized Europe.

CBO predicts Social Security cash deficits in 2010-11

Isn't this wonderful:

Hot Air » Too much sunny optimism at CBO?
Four years ago, George W. Bush attempted to reform the entitlement program Social Security, warning that the system was accelerating into collapse and would soon run deficits. Democrats scoffed and claimed the Social Security system was solid and wouldn’t have problems for at least 50 years, as Harry Reid told PBS’ Jim Lehrer in June 2005. Just last year, the CBO — under the direction of Peter Orszag, now budget director in the Obama administration — claimed that the first cash deficits in Social Security would not come until 2019.

Now, however, the CBO has determined that Social Security will run cash deficits next year and in 2011, and by 2016 will be more or less in permanent deficit mode. Hot Air has exclusively obtained the summer 2009 CBO report sent to legislators on Capitol Hill but not yet made public, which shows that outgo will exceed income for the first time since the 1983 fix on an annual basis in 2010:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lesson in what not to read concerning biblical prophecy

This site basically does everything your not supposed to do in reading apocalyptic literature.  If I didn't think it was real I would have thought it to be a parody site:

THE RAPTURE – Fall 2009?

Will The Rapture take place on Monday-September 21st 2009,
at The Last Trump of Rosh Hashanah?

FALL 2009 – THE END?


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Planting the Seeds: The Politicized Art Behind the ACORN Plan

Oh my, it seem Andrew Breitbart has more bomb shells:

Big Government
Everything you needed to know about the unorthodox roll out of the now-notorious ACORN sting videos was hidden in plain sight in my Sept. 7 column, “Katie Couric, Look in the Mirror.” ACORN was not the only target of those videos; so were Katie, Brian, Charlie and every other mainstream media pooh-bah.

They were not going to report this blockbuster unless they were forced to. And they were. What’s more, it ain’t over yet. Not every hint I dropped in that piece about what was to come has played itself out yet.Stay tuned.

Ideology of a Liberal

This is the same conclusion I have come to:

Big Hollywood
The other day I was playing on Facebook and saw a number of posts from my liberal friends regarding health care. The comments posted were all similar. No one should go without health care in this country and no one should go broke because they got sick. Why only liberals would post this amazes me, because there are not too many people in the world that disagree. However, it is just not that simple.

In response, I posted a few comments. The majority of them were along the line of “Yes, I agree too, but who is going to pay for it and how is it going to work?” Almost universally, the liberal responses were either “The Rich,” or “Bring the Troops Back from Iraq and Afghanistan.” I then realized that most thinking from Liberals is not based upon logic. In fact, from these responses, it appears liberal thinking is idealist and based upon emotion. This has been argued in the past by both Ann Coulter and Dennis Prager among others. I now agree.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Being Politically Correct and the rules of Multiculturalism

Big Government » The Hierarchy of Multiculturalism
# If a person is a member of a group guilty of past racial oppression, that person has no moral standing in relation to anyone in any group that’s ever been a victim of that oppression.
# A member of an oppressor group is always assumed to be guilty in relation to a member of a victim group.
# An oppressor can only avoid presumed guilt by making a display of his or her sympathy for the oppressed.
# Members of victim groups can lose their moral standing by expressing a preference for individual rights as opposed to group rights.
# Advocating on behalf of a victim makes one almost as unassailable as being that victim.
# Coming to the defense of an oppressor is even more repugnant than being that oppressor.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

AA-12. World's deadliest shotgun!

First Communion on the Moon

Pretty amazing.  HT: Glenn.

The Lead
Bosco Peters remembers the 40th anniversary of the first communion on the Moon.

He writes on his blog Liturgy:

On Sunday July 20, 1969 the first people landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were in the lunar lander which touched down at 3:17 Eastern Standard Time.

Buzz Aldrin had with him the Reserved Sacrament. He radioed: “Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way.”

Star of Bethlehem

I haven't had time to really dig into this site, but it does look like it has been well put together.  HT: Ken.

Star of Bethlehem
Was the Star of Bethlehem a real astronomical event? A myth created by the early church? Explore the history and science for yourself...

World's Smallest Political Quiz

Interesting.  HT: Ken

World's Smallest Political Quiz
Take the Quiz now and find out where you fit on the political map!

Space Shuttle Unleashes Magnificent Plume of Pee

And now for something a little different:

Space Shuttle Unleashes Magnificent Plume of Pee | Popular Science

To anyone who's ever pondered what urine looks like in space -- c'mon, don't be shy -- we say: wonder no more, because photos of the phenomenon have finally hit the internet.

Last Wednesday, a number of skygazers were lucky to sight a mysterious flare in the night sky, that, as it now turns out, was a 150-pound cocktail of astronaut urine and waste water released from the shuttle Discovery.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul

Game changer?
Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.

The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors' own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.

It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the doctors polled disagree with the administration's claim that the government can cover 47 million more people with better-quality care at lower cost.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Paranoid Center

Read the whole thing:

Reason Magazine
On June 10, 2009, an elderly man entered the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, raised a rifle, and opened fire, killing a security guard named Stephen Tyrone Johns. Two other guards shot back, wounding the gunman before he could end any more lives.

The killer was soon identified as James Wenneker von Brunn, an 88-year-old neo-Nazi. Von Brunn acted alone, but there was no shortage of voices eager to spread the blame for his crime. The murder was quickly linked, in a free-associative way, to the assassination 10 days earlier of the Kansas abortionist George Tiller. This, we were told, was a "pattern" of "rising right-wing violence."

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Valerie Jarrett: The Next Van Jones

I personally believe this article is somewhat over the top, at the same time if even half is correct...that would give me pause.

FrontPage Magazine
Many have wondered how ANYONE AS EXTREME AS Obama’S “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones – a self-described “Communist” obsessed with racial conspiracy theories – could have been named to head a federal agency. David Horowitz described the radicalization of the Democratic Party as the appointment’s subtext. Closer to the fore, Jones owed his elevation to another new factor: the unparalleled influence of Valerie Jarrett. To call Jarrett a presidential adviser, even a close adviser, is misleading. She is an alter ego, an inner conscience, a touchstone of clarity for both President Obama and first lady Michelle. In the frenzy of the presidency, she reminds both Obamas of their identity and deepest-held beliefs. In exchange, the president makes no decision without her and has said she can “speak for me.” Unfortunately, she is also a racially polarizing elitist. She obtained her first foothold in Chicago politics through the patronage of a former SDS radical who regrets “nothing” about her role in the Days of Rage and ventured in 2003 that she “would probably reject violence as a useful form of revolution.” The same radical tried to persuade Rod Blagojevich to name Jarrett to Obama’s empty senate seat. Instead, Jarrett has served as a conduit of far-leftists into the administration.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Betting against marriage, fidelity

I had never heard of this website either and have absolutely no intention of ever going there.  I wonder how many marriages this will destroy?  From Ed Morrissey:

Hot Air » Blog Archive »
I confess that I have never heard of the website AshleyMadison before reading Kathryn Jean Lopez’ column at National Review Online today. The online dating service has targeted what it must see as an underserved niche in Internet matchmaking — married people. Lopez wrote her column after seeing this execrable ad on television:

Revealed: The ghost fleet of the recession


Revealed: The ghost fleet of the recession | Mail Online
The biggest and most secretive gathering of ships in maritime history lies at anchor east of Singapore. Never before photographed, it is bigger than the U.S. and British navies combined but has no crew, no cargo and no destination - and is why your Christmas stocking may be on the light side this year

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Armadillo Aerospace Claim Level 2 NGLLC Prize

International Space Fellowship
Armadillo Aerospace have officially completed the 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2, on a rainy day at Caddo Mills, Texas. Reports came in from various locations during the day and spectators posted videos and images using social networking tools such as Twitter. The Space Fellowship earlier reporting that the team were getting ready to fly.

Level 2 requires the rocket to fly for 180 seconds before landing precisely on a simulated lunar surface constructed with craters and boulders. The minimum flight times are calculated so that the Level 2 mission closely simulates the power needed to perform a real descent from lunar orbit down to the surface of the Moon. First place is a prize of $1 million while second is $500,000.

FLIGHT #1 of Armadillo Aerospace's Level 2 attempt at NGLLC 2009

Obama's Rhetoric vs. Common Sense

Thomas Sowell on Obama's speech:

"Hubris-laden charlatans" was the way a recent e-mail from a reader characterized the Obama administration. That phrase seems especially appropriate for the Charlatan-in-Chief, Barack Obama, whose speech to a joint session of Congress was both a masterpiece of rhetoric and a shameless fraud.

To tell us, with a straight face, that he can insure millions more people without adding to the already skyrocketing deficit, is world-class chutzpa and an insult to anyone's intelligence. To do so after an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office has already showed this to be impossible reveals the depths of moral bankruptcy behind the glittering words.

Did we really need CBO experts to tell us that there is no free lunch? Some people probably did and the true believers in the Obama cult may still believe the President, instead of believing either common sense or budget experts.

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Time lapse of the 9-12-09 march in Washington DC

An Important Qualifier (Washington Tea Party)

Good point:

Chicago Boyz
Getting hundreds of thousands of kids, the professionally unemployed and government workers to show up isn’t that hard (especially if someone buys the bus tickets). Getting two million middle-class, middle-aged people with jobs, careers, children and businesses is way, way more impressive.

We can safely assume that for every individual who made it to the protest that there are dozens of people whose grown-up obligations prevented them from attending.

That thought should keep Obama and Pelosi up at night.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Unity Through Diversity

This was the segment that I preached this last Sunday. We held a combined worship service for the Churches in Florence at the High School stadium. It was packed. What a wonderful experience and I truly feel privileged to have been a part, of what we hope will be an annual event:

Unity Through Diversity (Combined service)

Romans 12:3-9 (Ron 4,5)

4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

An Assemblies of God preacher tells a story about himself about receiving a call from a woman who was quite upset over the death of her pet cat, Homer. She wanted the preacher to conduct the funeral service for Homer!

The preacher explained that this was little out of his line, and he referred her to a friend, a Christian Church pastor at a church down the street. Later, the preacher learned that his friend had referred her to a Nazarene minister, who had referred her to An Evangelical then someone else.

About an hour later, she called the Assemblies of God preacher back and she was still upset. The woman said she was at her wit's end. She couldn't find a preacher to conduct Homer's services and didn't know what to do. She said she planned to give $1000 to the church of the minister who performed this service for Homer.

The Assemblies of God preacher said it took him only a moment to mull this over and then say to her, "Well, why didn't you tell me Homer was a Assemblies of God cat in the first place?!"

Why indeed so many denominations, so many churches? Should we not have unity rather than division?

William Barclay wrote concerning vv. 4,5:

"One of Paul's favorite thoughts is of the Christian Church as a body. Each part of the body carries out its own function, however prominent or however humbly unseen that function may be.

It was Paul's conviction that the Christian Church should be like that. Each member has a task to do; and it is only when each contributes the help of his own task that the body of the Church functions as it ought."

Beneath this passage lie very important rules for life.

(i) First of all, it urges us to know ourselves. (What has God called us to do?)

(ii) Second, it urges us to accept ourselves and to realize that we are all important in the body of Christ. We need each other.

It's time we celebrated the diversity of Jesus' body. Not only in our individual congregations but in all of the different congregations here in Florence.

We, the church, truly can be a working living example of Unity through Diversity, let's embrace that. Without Diversity, we could not function as a body. Just as a body made up of all feet or eyes would not function in unity.

Christian Singer Betsy Walker wrote this on her blog:

"Yesterday morning I broke my pinky toe. I don't even have a cool story to go with it! I was carrying cantaloupe to the table for breakfast and caught my toe on the chair. Guess it doesn't take much.

Now, when you break your pinky toe there's no medical emergency. You basically just continue on - life as usual.

I can still walk...but it hurts. I can still work out at the gym...but I've adjusted which exercises I do. So, I'm functioning, but I'm limping.

This morning the Lord woke me up with this thought: how many people think they are pinky toes?

Maybe you are a pinky toe in the body of Christ. Maybe the church can go on without you but it will be running with a limp.

Betsy goes on: I have found that my big toe (which is strong and healthy) has been trying to compensate for my gimp pinky and as a result my whole foot is starting to hurt.

The big toe isn't supposed to carry such a heavy burden. And if my whole foot is damaged as a result, that is a medical emergency! I would have to make some serious changes in my lifestyle.

I see a lot of people sitting in their seats on Sunday morning, and that is the extent of their participation.

But don't you see?

When you don't participate -it hurts
When you don't give - it hurts
When you don't serve - it hurts
When you don't love - it hurts

Maybe your role on this earth seems behind the scenes or small...maybe your main job is to be a support for Big Toes, but even then your role is huge. You enable us, the church, to run the race in the manner we were meant to run."

We may not choose to be the pinky toe, but if that is what God has called us to do, let's do it well.

There shouldn't be any super stars in the body of Christ.

We each have our own role to play and our own gifts to use. God designed the body of believers to be able to use their abilities to support the other members of the body.

No one is more important, but all must work together for the common good. If one person doesn't participate then the entire body suffers.

This applies to the individual and the local church. We all must do what God has called us to do.

Never feel as though you aren't important in the body of Christ.

Until we all accept our roles and support one another we will never rise to our full potential as the body of Christ.

My prayer for today is this:

(Everyone repeat after me)

Lord let me be the best pinky toe that I can possibly be!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Civil War Photos

Absolutely fascinating. HT: Glenn

Original Civil War photographs

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Question a doctor and lose your child

Hard to believe although governments by there nature try and control criticism:

Question a doctor and lose your child - Times Online
PARENTS are being threatened with having their children taken into care after questioning doctors’ diagnoses or objecting to their medical care.

John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP, who campaigns to stop injustices in the family court, said: “Very often care proceedings are used as retaliation by local authorities against ‘uppity’ people who question the system.”

Cases are emerging across the UK:

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Listening to a Liar

Very interesting:

Thomas Sowell
One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess-- for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years-- more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Obama's Summit Flop

Naive?  Hard to believe:

Obama's Plans to Meet Hostile Leaders Rebuffed -
So it seems worth noting that as Obama heads into the homestretch of his first year he has yet to meet with any of the enumerated rogues -- a passing handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez at an inter-American summit notwithstanding. Nor is he likely to have any such meetings in the foreseeable future. In fact, one of the emerging lessons of the Obama administration's foreign policy might be summed up as follows: The idea that presidential "direct diplomacy" with actors such as Chávez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il or Fidel Castro is feasible or likely to produce results is, well, naive.

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Obama 'Green Jobs' Adviser Van Jones Resigns Amid Controversy

Well, he didn't make it till Monday:

Obama 'Green Jobs' Adviser Van Jones Resigns Amid Controversy - Political News -
President Barack Obama's adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday.

Van Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly "green jobs" with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.

The resignation comes as Obama is working to regain his footing in the contentious health care debate.

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Honduran Headache

It's hard for me to understand why the US is punishing Honduras for upholding their own constitution:
The June 28 ouster of Honduran President Mel Zelaya is rapidly shaping up as a never-ending crisis for the Obama administration. The more it tries to punish Honduras for getting rid of its would-be dictator, the more the freedom-loving Hondurans dig in to keep their democracy.

That isn't going to be good for us in the long run. Back in June, Zelaya launched an illegal referendum to extend his rule. As recently as Thursday, he called the referendum "necessary to the legislature and the constitution" in a George Washington University speech.

The Honduran Constitution is quite clear: Any president who expresses such talk gets the boot. Hondurans have stood by it.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

What's In Store, Inflation or Default?

Somewhat scary, but interesting:

Power Line - What's In Store, Inflation or Default?
I've assumed that the profligate spending and borrowing planned by the Democrats in Congress and the White House will run up a debt that we and our children just can't pay, so, in the time-honored tradition of banana republics, the Obama administration or its successors will inflate our currency and repay its creditors (China, mostly) in devalued dollars. Thus, I've been buying gold. I've assumed that an actual default by the United States government is unthinkable.

Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, however, disagrees. He writes: Why Default on U.S. Treasuries Is Likely. HIs thesis is that times have changed, and it isn't so easy to inflate our way out of debt:

Many predict that...the government will inflate its way out of this future bind, using Federal Reserve monetary expansion to fill the shortfall between outlays and receipts. But I believe, in contrast, that it is far more likely that the United States will be driven to an outright default on Treasury securities, openly reneging on the interest due on its formal debt and probably repudiating part of the principal.

Hummel explains that most money is now created privately by banks and other institutions, not the government, so that "[o]nly in poor countries, such as Zimbabwe, with their primitive financial sectors, does inflation remain lucrative for governments."

A steep tax increase won't really work for the Obama admi

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Labor Unions See Sharp Slide in U.S. Public Support

From Gallup:

Labor Unions See Sharp Slide in U.S. Public Support
Gallup finds organized labor taking a significant image hit in the past year. While 66% of Americans continue to believe unions are beneficial to their own members, a slight majority now say unions hurt the nation's economy. More broadly, fewer than half of Americans -- 48%, an all-time low -- approve of labor unions, down from 59% a year ago.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

China Puts Up a Fighter

This is potentially not good, at the same time I remember when everyone said the old Soviet fighters were as good as ours.  They weren't:
With few exceptions, Beijing rarely says much of substance about its ongoing military build-up or its strategic thinking. But the overriding message from the recent Moscow Airshow and other airshows, plus occasional interviews with Chinese and Russian engineers, is that Beijing is not conceding next-generation air superiority to anyone, least of all the United States.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Americans regard themselves as citizens, not subjects


When Falls the Coliseum
Americans regard themselves as citizens, not subjects. They may respect their government, but few feel servile toward it, and most are wary of it.