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Member since: Tue Jun 1, 2010, 11:14 AM
Number of posts: 872

Journal Archives

Meet Your Taxpayer-Subsidized Farm Bill Billionaires!

Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) and Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) both cited the Bible last week to argue that while individual Christians have a responsibility to feed the poor, the federal government does not.
"We're all here on this committee making decisions about other people's money," Fincher said.

LaMalfa said that while it's nice for politicians to boast about how they've helped their constituents, "That's all someone else's money."

Yet both men's farms have received millions in federal assistance, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that advocates for more conservation and fewer subsidies. LaMalfa's family rice farm has received more than $5 million in commodity subsidies since 1995, according to the group's analysis of data from the U.S. Agriculture Department, while Fincher's farm has received more than $3 million since then.

Last year alone, Fincher's farm received $70,574 and LaMalfa's got $188,570.


Hunger Games Theme Parks Are Coming, Because Nothing Says Fun Like Children Fighting to the Death

Some days the news is just surreal.

Shoot an arrow through the heart of your opponent and win a stuffed animal!

If you were starting to wonder if Hollywood could possibly squeeze any more money out of the Hunger Games franchise, shame on you for doubting them. Lionsgate is now in talks to develop theme parks based on the popular series, Variety reports. The entertainment company’s CEO Jon Feltheimer made the announcement Friday morning.

“We have been approached in two different territories about potential theme park opportunities, which gives you a sense of the cultural impact of this franchise,” Feltheimer told analysts on a conference call. He said they were “pursuing” those opportunities, but beyond that, didn’t offer too many additional details.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second film in the series — based on the dystopian novels by Suzanne Collins — opens worldwide on Nov. 22. No word yet on when these theme parks will open, but here’s hoping they’ll include sweet roller coasters that allow you to shoot arrows and blow things up in midair.


So Help Me God

In light of the fact that the Air Force academy has made this oath optional, I'm wondering how others feel about this. On the one hand, I would be tempted to make a statement by protesting the oath, having to put my hand on the bible in court, etc., but on the other hand the words and the book mean nothing to me anyway so I might just pass on the flack and blowback.


American Exceptionalism

I'm just cringing, imagining how our current political circus is being viewed by the rest of the civilized world. Surely this isn't the example of democracy in action we need to be demonstrating. Don't know when I've felt such deep national embarrassment. Does anyone else think that the PR is suffering?

Kenyan lawyer seeks to overturn conviction of Jesus

As much as this sounds like something from the Onion, it's not. Gives "frivolous lawsuit" a whole new meaning.

Dola Indidis has one goal: get justice for Jesus, even if it comes 2,000 years later.

To that end, the Kenyan lawyer named quite the roster of defendants -- including Pontius Pilate, King Herod, the former Emperor of Rome, and the states of Israel and Italy -- in the lawsuit he recently filed with the International Court of Justice, media outlets report.

“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidis told Standard Media, a Kenyan news website. “His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”

Including modern-day states in the suit, Indidis explained to another news outlet, is the result of those countries having previous ties to the Roman Empire.

"The government for whom they acted still is answerable for their act," Indidis told Kenya's Citizen TV. "Pontius Pilate was acting under the government of Rome, which was headed by Caesar."

Indidis went on to tell the news station that he would be relying on the Bible for evidence and that he thinks he has a good case.


Republicans on climate change

Eight Republicans on the Senate ENVIRONMENT Committee are climate change deniers. This is so depressing.

Is God messing with Glenn Beck?

After reading about Beck's throat paralysis yesterday I had a brief "Wow, maybe there is a god!" moment. It passed, but it brought me back again to what I consider the most puzzling quality of committed believers. This is the ability to interpret everything positive as evidence of an intervening personal deity while absolving that same deity from anything negative. The mental acrobatics required to do this are sometimes just amazing. How, for example, could Beck NOT interpret this as a sign from god telling him to STFU?


BTW: about a year ago Beck announced he had macular degeneration and would probably be blind in a year. Whatever.

Impact of Sequestration on the National Institutes of Health

Source: National Institutes of Health

On March 1, 2013, as required by statute, President Obama signed an order initiating sequestration. The sequestration requires NIH to cut 5 percent or $1.55 billion of its fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget. NIH must apply the cut evenly across all programs, projects, and activities (PPAs), which are primarily NIH institutes and centers. This means every area of medical research will be affected.

Read more: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2013/nih-03.htm

Food Choice By the Numbers

If you're like me you may get tired of hearing about fat, lazy Americans and our horrible food choices. I think too many of our food choices are being made for us.

Corporate control of agriculture means farmers have fewer choices in what they grow, significantly reducing consumer choice in foods we can buy economically and deciding for us what goes into processed foods. It eliminates choice by destroying biodiversity, leaving us fewer varieties and species from which we can eat, and requiring us to consume more toxins, antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. Corporate strangleholds on Washington and our politicians mean that our own tax dollars are being used to subsidize a very few commodity crops--the ones that are fueling the obesity epidemic, driving up health care costs, and further driving up our taxes.

Here are a few numbers that show how our choices are being narrowed.

10 corporations control nearly 70 percent of the world's seed market.
If you eat corn, there’s an 80 that the seeds came from Monsanto.
If you eat anything made from soybeans, there’s a 93 percent chance it came from Monsanto.
90 percent of the world’s transgenic crops are now owned by Monsanto.
90 percent of US farm subsidies fund only 5 crops.
More than 50 percent of the beef, pork and turkey markets are concentrated in just 4 companies.
80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the US go to food animals, not people.
A full 95 percent of the calories we eat now come from only 30 varieties of plants..
Up to 60 percent of processed foods already have some genetically engineered ingredients that many consumers would like to avoid.
6 companies control 80 percent of the pesticide market.

How Does BJU Teach Science?

In trying to research the curriculum for my granddaughter's school, I learned that the science textbooks are published by Bob Jones University. I found this "policy statement."

How does BJU teach science?
The Christian teaching of science requires not only a good command of basic subject matter, but also the spiritual perception to discern truth from error in a great variety of contexts. As a prerequisite for this, the Christian teacher of science must be thoroughly grounded in the Word of God. Moreover, he must have firmly implanted in his mind a biblical framework of truth which serves as the touchstone for his decision making. True science will fit that framework; anything that fails to fit the biblical framework must be rejected as erroneous.

That last sentence is making me heartsick. I don't know what to do about speaking to my son and daughter-in-law, who are reasonable people, but very committed to this school otherwise.
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