Sunday, December 30, 2007

Culinary Shocker: Cooking Can Preserve, Boost Nutrient Content Of Vegetables

ScienceDaily (2007-12-30) -- In a finding that defies conventional culinary wisdom, researchers in Italy report that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutritional value in comparison to their raw counterparts, depending on the cooking method used.

Woo hoo! Steam them veggies!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oof... I ate too much

The holiday eating season is finally drawing to a close. I topped it off with several days of Christmas feasting involving ham and mashed potatoes and pie and ice cream and eggnog and cookies and cakes and candy and all the rest of the goodies people hurled in my direction. I turned nothing down, I ate it all! :-P~

Then my immune system crashed, what with my body being too busy trying to digest all of that food and I came down with a nasty cold the day after Christmas. I'm convinced that is why I got it, my body was weakened by too much sugar, meat and alcohol.

Overdosing on sugar: Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp) of sugar which is the equivalent of about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours. In contrast, the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, or starches, has no effect on the immune system.

Excess alcohol: Excessive alcohol intake can harm the body's immune system in two ways. First, it produces an overall nutritional deficiency, depriving the body of valuable immune- boosting nutrients. Second, alcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white cells to kill germs. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply, inhibit the action of killer white cells on cancer cells, and lessen the ability of macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factors. One drink (the equivalent of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounces of hard liquor) does not appear to bother the immune system, but three or more drinks do. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the quantity of alcohol consumed. Amounts of alcohol that are enough to cause intoxication are also enough to suppress immunity.

I gained 5 pounds since Thanksgiving and ended up sick.

Ack.

Will power? Just say no? Ha!

So, back to low fat vegetarian eating for me, so long holiday "death food"! :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

How to spin a story

Uncle Remus

Judy Wallman, a professional genealogical researcher, discovered that Hillary Clinton's great-great uncle, Remus Rodham, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Montana in 1889.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows. On the back of the picture is this inscription 'Remus Rodham; horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889.'

Judy e-mailed Hillary Clinton for comments. Hillary's staff of professional image adjusters sent back the following biographical sketch:

'Remus Rodham was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to service at a government facility, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad.

In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.

And THAT is how it's done folks!-

Blowback coming

And now, brought to you by Bush and Friends, Blowback! Starring nuclear armed Pakistan collapsing into anarchy and civil war. Watch and fear as our short sighted and foolish imperial policy of backing the vile murderous dictator of Pakistan with billions of dollars in military aid over the democratically elected government blows up in our faces. Watch in horror as REAL weapons of mass destruction vanish into the underground of terrorists and Islamic fanatics. Watch as our Glorious Leader claims it's all because they hate our freedoms! Watch as FOX claims it has nothing to do with the Empire and we just need to stay the course... until we are all vaporized by the blowback I suppose...

Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally

At Least a Dozen Others Also Killed

An attack on a political rally killed the Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto near the capital, Islamabad, Thursday. Witnesses said Ms. Bhutto was fired upon at close range and further injured by the explosion...

John Moore/Getty Images

A man injured in the attack at the rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lora & Serenity

Here is a picture of Lora and Serenity at church recently:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ron Paul on giving back money from a racist

Ron Paul was interviewed on the Fox network about a donation he got from a white supremacist group. He refused to agree to give it back, check out the interview:


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Program and Education Options

I just got back from the Christmas program at Messiah. Serenity, Mike and Lora were all in it so I was the only family member in the audience :-) Serenity was wonderful, she gave out her lines clearly and loud enough to hear, no mumbling and stumbling from my granddaughter. If there is one thing Serenity has no problem with it's talking! Getting her to stop is another matter altogether.

I've been toying with the idea of homeschooling for Serenity. I'm in the midst of doing some online research. I have a number of reasons for thinking of this. First is that I am convinced that public schools are really not good for learning anything other than obedience to authority. That is their primary purpose as far as I can tell. The idea of government indoctrination camps for 6 year olds just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I also don't agree with much of what is taught in public schools, from the glories of the American Empire and the flag waving hyper-propaganda the kids are made to participate in to the one sided presentation of science issues like evolution and global warming with the one side always being the left wing socialist view. Everything has a government solution as far as the public schools are concerned and they start teaching it in kindergarten!

When I think back on my own wasted school years I recall learning virtually nothing from school after basic reading and arithmetic. I took a lot of classes that didn't stick, took numerous tests to regurgitate information for a grade but I didn't learn anything. Everything I know now about history and science and other subjects I learned on my own, reading for pleasure and researching them outside of school. I think learning what you want to learn is really the only way to do it, otherwise you are just getting a grade.

I have other reasons for thinking this would be a good idea. One of them is that on my long weekends Serenity and I could travel about, see the area, go to museums, hike and camp and enjoy ourselves, all while she and I are learning exciting and fun things together. That would be so much better than what we have now which is me being pinned here because most of my days off I need to be around to take care of Serenity after school anyway. I may as well do the "teaching" and have some fun along the way. Oh, and staying up late and sleeping in, we would both like that once in a while and homeschooling means never having to set your alarm clock... well at least on those days I'm off anyway :-/

I've checked out a few web sites so far.

California Homeschool Network

Atypicalhomeschool.net

An Unschooling Life

Sandra Dodd on Unschooling

The last three are on the more radical side of the homeschooling movement. I, of course, lean toward the more anarchistic styles they advocate as opposed to the more formal homeschooling where you pretty much have school classes in your home.

Your prayers are invited as I ponder this idea. Advice is cool as well. :-)

Related to this issue is the fact that Lora is thinking strongly about attending Art classes. She is looking at the San Francisco Academy of Art. Or, if financial aid isn't forthcoming, a local community college's art program.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Should Islam be banned?

Here is one of those rare instances when I agree with John Warwick Montgomery. In reference to the case in the Sudan, where British volunteer school teacher Gillian Gibbons was imprisoned for allowing the children to name a teddy bear Muhammad, after one of the pupils in the class, Montgomery commented:

"You'll pardon my opinion on this, but I would outlaw the Muslim
religion on the very same basis that I would outlaw the Aztec
religion. The Aztec religion holds to human sacrifice. I would not
allow that religion to prevail, nor would I allow Islam to prevail,
because the moment that they get into any situation of power, the
result is this kind of thing, which is against human rights and
against human civilization. And I don't care that there's some lovely
Muslims around. I'm sure there were some very fine Aztecs as well."

http://www.kfuoam.org/mp3/Issues7/montgomery.mp3

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eating Tips for the Holidays

I just got this from my sister Kari, now this is Holiday Reality:


1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an 'eggnog-aholic' or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think.

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat - have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert -- Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. (Larry asks, am I the only person on Earth who actually likes fruitcake?)

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember: "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO-HOO what a ride!"

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!



Katharina von Bora Luther

Katharina von Bora (1499-1552) was placed in a convent when still a child and became a nun in 1515. In April 1523 she and eight other nuns were rescued from the convent and brought to Wittenberg. There Martin Luther helped return some to their former homes and placed the rest in good families. Katharina and Martin were married on June 13, 1525. Their marriage was a happy one and blessed with six children. Katharina skillfully managed the Luther household, which always seemed to grow because of his generous hospitality. After Luther's death in 1546, Katharina remained in Wittenberg but lived much of the time in poverty. She died in an accident while traveling with her children to Torgau in order to escape the plague. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Today's readings

In the end, God will bring justice upon the earth, only we who are in Christ will live.

Isaiah 40:18-41:10, Revelation 8:1-13

Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
1When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, 4and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings,[a] flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
The Seven Trumpets
6Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

7The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

8The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11The name of the star is Wormwood.[b] A third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from the water, because it had been made bitter.

12The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

13Then I looked, and I heard an eagle crying with a loud voice as it flew directly overhead, "Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, at the blasts of the other trumpets that the three angels are about to blow!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rick Warren - Heretic

Here is yet more proof that Rick Warren is a heretic and is helping people to go to hell rather than preaching the gospel of salvation through Christ.

From the Christian Post:

Rick Warren Counsels Jews on Recruiting Congregants

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren attended a large Reform Jewish gathering last week to share tips on how to build a community.

Warren - who saw his church expand from seven people meeting in his house to 22,000 people worshipping in an expansive treasure island-like campus – said the key to holding onto visitors is involving them in a small group.

“We believe congregations have to grow large and small at the same time,” Warren said Thursday, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. “We don’t really feel like people are in the congregation until they’re in small groups.”

The “Purpose-Driven” pastor spoke to thousands of Jewish leaders Thursday night at the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial convention in San Diego.

With the holiday season in mind, Warren urged clergy to take advantage of crowded events to publicize other programs so people can get involved in the community through smaller groups.

“There are some principles that apply regardless of our faith, if it’s Jewish or Christian,” he said at the convention.

One of his principles: “Just be nice to people. Smile.”

OK, so now we know, God doesn't care if we are Christians or Muslims or Jews or even atheists I suppose, as long as we are "just nice and smile" we are all right with God. These people are going to HELL without Christ! You cannot say this sort of thing to them in a public forum, it is the very worst kind of heresy, it's a heresy that is sending people to hell thinking they don't really need the cross of Christ! You must tell them that they are sinners deserving of eternal damnation and that there is nothing at all they can do to change that, including making nice and smiling a lot! Then you can tell them that there is Good News! Tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that he came and stood in our place, lived a perfect righteous and holy life for us and then was hung and bled and died on the cross for us, that in Him we have been made children of God the Father and are saved. As Saint Paul said, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2 You cannot be ashamed of the cross of Christ!

Warren will have to answer to God for the eternal deaths of thousands, maybe millions of people who are being led astray by his lies and deceptions.

Choir

Commemoration of Adam and Eve

I didn't realize we did a commemoration of Adam and Eve, cool, today is the day...

Adam and Eve

Adam was the first man, made in the image of God and given dominion over all the earth (Gen 1:26). Eve was the first woman, formed from one of Adam's ribs to be his companion and helper (2:18-24). God placed them in the Garden of Eden to take care of the creation as his representatives. But they forsook God's Word and plunged the world into sin (3:1-7). For this disobedience God drove them from the Garden. Eve had to suffer the pain of childbirth and be subject to Adam; Adam had to toil amid thorns and thistles and return to the dust of the ground. Yet God promised that the woman's Seed would crush the serpent's head (3:8-24). Sin had entered God's perfect creation and changed it until God would restore it again through Christ. Eve is the mother of the human race, while Adam is representative of all humanity and the Fall, as Saint Paul writes, "For in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today's readings

From today's readings this encouraging word comes to me:

Isaiah 34:1-2, 34:8-35:10, Revelation 6:1-17

Isaiah 35:8 And a highway shall be there,
and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
the unclean shall not pass over it.
It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.


How can one such as I survive the journey through this life? I am on the Way (this is what Christianity was called before Antioch, see Acts 24:14.) So, since I have been baptized into Christ, "even if they are fools they shall not go astray" applies to me. At least that is how I read it this rainy early morning.

Monday, December 17, 2007

2 songs of praise from my morning readings today

The first from the book of Revelation:

Revelation 5
The Scroll and the Lamb
1Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" 3And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, 4and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. 5And one of the elders said to me, "Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." 6And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying,


"Worthy are you to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they shall reign on the earth."

11Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" 13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Doesn't that just send a shiver up your spine though? :-) That will be The Day!

The second song of praise from my readings today was a version of the Te Deum:

Te Deum
O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all
believers.
Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy
Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have put my trust; let me never be put to shame.

Give all Praise to God on this Monday in the Third Week of Advent.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

One last post on the Golden Compass

Anthony Sacramone has, by far, the best description of Pullman's trilogy I have seen, read it here.

...Look, here’s the thing. The movie may be harmless in itself. Frankly, it could be Mary Poppins on ice. But I wouldn’t pay one red cent to see it or take any child I know to see it. What matters here is context, and the film’s context is the phenomenal success of a trilogy of tales intended to instill in children a red-hot hate for religion in general and in Christianity in particular...

Be sure to read the whole First Things blog article, it's great stuff.

Quote of the day

Government action generally splits the difference between “useless” and “harmful.”
William N. Grigg in a blog post about "The Fence."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Right to Life

“I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator. The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideal of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.” -- Ron Paul’s ‘Statement of Faith’


Friday, December 14, 2007

Govco vs. PCS

My oh my! Govco does hate it when private folks try to horn in on their extortion racket:

San Francisco Chronicle

Parking scam perpetrators must repay Bay Area victims

Friday, December 14, 2007

(12-13) 08:34 PST SAN RAFAEL -- A private parking company that left official-looking but fake citations on cars parked in free lots in the Bay Area will have to reimburse people who paid the tickets, according to the Marin County district attorney's office.

Under terms of a settlement reached with Parking Control Service Inc. - also known as PCS - the company will refund all parking charges paid by drivers from March 2003 to Dec. 12, if those people submit a valid claim.

The company will also pay $100,000 in civil penalties and $30,000 to Marin and Sonoma counties for the cost of their two-year investigation into PCS' practices.

According to Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian, PCS monitors free public and private parking lots at shopping centers and other places in Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo counties.

From 2003 to this month, employees of the company would leave written notices that looked like government-issued tickets on cars that allegedly violated the posted parking rules or state laws, Berberian said Wednesday.

The notices demanded that the drivers pay a fine and threatened to have their car towed or immobilized if the parking charges were not paid, he said.

"Consumers complained they were deceived into paying these charges believing PCS was a government entity based on the appearance and wording of the parking notices," Berberian said.

In addition to requiring the reimbursements, the settlement prohibits the company from threatening any actions involving vehicles unless state law allows that. The agreement also requires PCS to make "conspicuous disclosures" on future parking notices that it is not a government agency.

To receive a refund, victims must send proof of payment to the Parking Control Service Settlement Refund, P.O. Box 231, South San Francisco, CA 94083.

The last day to submit a claim is May 10. Any complaints may be e-mailed to the Marin County district attorney's office at consumer @co.marin.ca.us; people may also call the Sonoma County district attorney at (707) 565-3161.

E-mail Marisa Lagos at mlagos@sfchroncile.com.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obama's Platform

Santa Lucia

Lucia, Martyr

One of the victims of the great persecution under the Roman emperor Diocletian, Lucia met her death at Syracuse on the island of Sicily in the year A.D. 304 because of her Christian faith. Known for her charity, "Santa Lucia" (as she is called in Italy) gave away her dowry and remained a virgin until her execution by the sword. The name Lucia means "light," and because of that, festivals of light commemorating her became popular throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries. There her feast day corresponds with the time of year when there is the least amount of daylight. In artistic expression she is often portrayed in a white baptismal gown, wearing a wreath of candles on her head. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pick your poison

Here is the best description of the Republican and Democratic candidates for President of the United States of America I've seen so far this season. Check it out!

Candidates from both parties have been braying the same old line we hear during every presidential election: This is the most important election of a generation, or perhaps even a century. So much is at stake that you, the harried voter, need to hang on every word every candidate utters during the televised debates. Do you want the candidate who is "standing up for regular families," or the one "who speaks the truth and who will restore America's moral leadership," or the one who understands that our nation "embodies the belief that tomorrow can be better than today"? Such big issues and tough choices!

Read the full descriptions here.

Linked faults

I've always known that the Hayward fault in the east bay was a huge hazard, now it seems it may actually be larger than previously believed.

From SF Gate.com

[N]ew seismic research indicates that the Hayward and its neighboring fault, the Calaveras, might be connected underground to make them, in effect, a single and even more dangerous fault.

A research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park reported on the research during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Tuesday. Evidence of creep and microquakes too tiny to be felt on both faults, said Russell Graymer, makes it appear that the Hayward and Calaveras are joined as a single fault less than four miles beneath the surface. (Full story)

-----------------------------------------



Linked faults

I've always known that the Hayward fault in the east bay was a huge hazard, now it seems it may actually be larger than previously believed.

From SF Gate.com

[N]ew seismic research indicates that the Hayward and its neighboring fault, the Calaveras, might be connected underground to make them, in effect, a single and even more dangerous fault.

A research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park reported on the research during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Tuesday. Evidence of creep and microquakes too tiny to be felt on both faults, said Russell Graymer, makes it appear that the Hayward and Calaveras are joined as a single fault less than four miles beneath the surface. (Full story)

-----------------------------------------

This map shows the faults mentioned, the Calaveras is just to the east of the Hayward fault, which is the one that is indicated by the notation 1868 for the big earthquake of that year on that fault.


Monday, December 10, 2007

Movies

There is a fantasy movie in theaters right now, a bit of anti-Christian garbage called "The Golden Compass" and even though I love a good fantasy movie this one will not get a dime from me, I won't be seeing it in a theater and won't be bothering with it when it comes out on DVD either. The Golden Compass is based on a book written by a sworn atheist, Philip Pullman, where witches are good, the church is bad, and in the end, god dies. I did read the whole vile Pullman series, "His Dark Materials" (it was loaned to me so he didn't get a dime from that either) and found it offensive overall.

After the first book I thought he was misguided, by the second book I thought he was a deluded heretic and by the time I finished the third I was convinced his co-author was Satan himself. I'm not joking nor am I exaggerating, this was my actual reaction.

The next fantasy movie I plan to see is the next installment of the Chronicles of Narnia. The Narnia books are Christian, and entertaining as well, we don't need to support creeps like Pullman to get decent fantasy. Lord of the Rings is another example of GOOD fantasy that is not anti-Christian but actually pro-Christian.

Here is the trailer for the next Narnia movie, Prince Caspian. If you haven't read the Narnia books you really should, they are great stuff, easy to read and fast moving too.


Sports in the Bay Area

This is a year when Bay Area teams are so awful I can't bear to watch them, the Raiders and 49ers are both beyond pathetic. The Giants and the A's went nowhere this year either.

The one bright spot for me is that my alma mater Novato High School's football team is undefeated and going to the state championship. :-) Cool, the Hornets are 13-0! When I was in high school we didn't have state bowl games but we had pretty good teams that one the local league.

Anyway, it's a bit of cheery sports news for me...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ambrose of Milan, Pastor and Hymn Writer

Born in Trier in A.D. 340, Ambrose was one of the four great Latin Doctors of the Church (with Augustine, Jerome and Gregory the Great). He was a prolific author of hymns, the most common of which is Veni, Redemptor gentium ("Savior of the Nations, Come"). His name is also associated with Ambrosian Chant, the style of chanting the ancient liturgy that took hold in the province of Milan. While serving as a civil governor, Ambrose sought to bring peace among Christians in Milan who were divided into quarreling factions. When a new bishop was to be elected in 374, Ambrose addressed the crowd, and someone cried out, "Ambrose, bishop!" The entire gathering gave their support. This acclaim of Ambrose, a 34-year-old catechumen, led to his baptism on 7 December, after which he was consecrated bishop of Milan. A strong defender of the faith, Ambrose convinced the Roman emperor Gratian in 379 to forbid the Arian heresy in the West. At Ambrose's urging, Gratian's successor, Theodosius, also publicly opposed Arianism. Ambrose died on Good Friday, 4 April 397. As a courageous doctor and musician he upheld the truth of God's Word. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Do you "Worship" the Bible?

Do you worship the bible? Have you heard anyone use the phrase "bibliolatry"?

As odd as it sounds, if you are a Christian, you must worship the bible.

Gene Edward Veith puts it this way in a recent blog entry:

"The Bible can never be honored enough. Do I worship a book? Well, I worship the God who is located in the book, so you might say that. The pagan believes that his deity is localized in his graven image. I believe that the true God is localized in His Word, namely, the incarnate Son of God. That same Word is manifest in human language, written down in ink and paper on the pages of the Bible and proclaimed in sound waves that travel through the air. I hold not to an image but to the Word, not to a word that I hear inside my head but to a Word outside myself.

The Word of God is God’s voice, His communication of Himself. The Word cannot be separated from Christ, the Incarnate Word, from the Father, who inspired it, and the Holy Spirit whom it conveys. The Word is sacramental, a physical, aural thing–no less physical than water, bread, and wine–that God employs to reach us and in which He is living and active."

To that I can only say, "Amen and Amen."

And as God's word itself says:

John 1

The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

So if you confess that the Bible is THE WORD of God, and if you confess that Jesus is THE WORD, you cannot help but worship the Bible.

Sort of :-)

Nicholas of Myra, Pastor (aka: Santa Claus)

Nicholas of Myra

Of the many saints commemorated by the Christian Church, Nicholas (d. A.D. 342) is one of the best known. Very little is known historically of him, although there was a church of Saint Nicholas in Constantinople as early as the sixth century. Research has affirmed that there was a bishop by the name of Nicholas in the city of Myra in Lycia (part of Turkey today) in the fourth century. From that coastal location, legends about Nicholas have traveled throughout time and space. He is associated with charitable giving in many countries around the world and is portrayed as the rescuer of sailors, the protector of children and the friend of people in distress or need. In commemoration of "Sinte Klaas" (Dutch for Saint Nicholas, in English "Santa Claus"), December 6 is a day for giving and receiving gifts in many parts of Europe. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Also today:

1273 Saint Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-1274) ceased writing following a tremendous mystical experience while conducting Mass. He suspended his work on his Summa Theologica. "I can do no more," he told his servant. "Such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems to me as so much straw. Now I await the end of my life."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Why we believe

We believe in Jesus because of the reliability of the many eye witnesses, as Peter explains in 2 Peter 1:16-21, they saw and heard what they wrote about, it was not a myth but history.

2 Peter 1:16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Pray: Blessed Lord, who has caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may so carefully hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Your Holy Word we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which You have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen (The Lutheran Hymnal 1941)

December 4

John of Damascus

John (ca. 675-749) is known as the great compiler and summarizer of the orthodox faith and the last great Greek theologian. Born in Damascus, John gave up an influential position in the Islamic court to devote himself to the Christian faith. Around 716 he entered a monastery outside of Jerusalem and was ordained a priest. When the Byzantine emperor Leo the Isaurian in 726 issued a decree forbidding images (icons), John forcefully resisted. In his Apostolic Discourses he argued for the legitimacy of the veneration of images, which earned him the condemnation of the Iconoclast Council in 754. John also wrote defenses of the orthodox faith against contemporary heresies. In addition, he was a gifted hymn writer ("Come, You Faithful, Raise the Strain") and contributed to the liturgy of the Byzantine churches. His greatest work was the Fount of Wisdom, which was a massive compendium of truth from previous Christian theologians covering practically every conceivable doctrinal topic. John's summary of the orthodox faith left a lasting stamp on both the Eastern and Western churches. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today's readings

Psalm 18
Isaiah 9:8-10:11
1 Peter 5:1-14

The reading from 1 Peter is an encouragement and a warning against pride.

1 Peter 5:6-9 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Today's Readings

Isaiah 8:9-9:7
1 Peter 4:1-19

A thought for today from the readings:

Isaiah 8:12"Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Prayer for The Last Friday in the church year

From "The Lord Will Answer" for today, the Last Friday of the church year.

God, You are my Father. Lord, You are my Brother. Spirit, You gave me birth through my dear mother, the holy Christian church. Triune God, I did not discover these truths in solitude. I did not find them in the forests or the grassy fields. You called to me where eager children walk and sing and say "I believe." Make me a devout sibling in this communion of saints, through the forgiveness of sins, unto the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen. (EE)

(Most prayers in this book are attributed to various people, but some just say "EE" and I'm not really certain what that means. In any case, this is my prayer for today. Thanks be to God.)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Liverpool Cousins

I just got an email from a cousin in Liverpool, UK, Tony Rossiter. Family members here might enjoy this photo of the Rossiter clan back in the 1970's. :-)

Tony sent this identification of the folks in the photo:

thats me on Bella;s lap and my brother Aaron on Debbie's lap...Thats my mum standing next to Tony

So we have in the rear from left to right, the "English" Tony Rossiter's mom, "American" Tony Rossiter, front row from left to right, Debbie Rossiter with Aaron, Jimmy Rossiter, Bella Rossiter with English Tony Rossiter and Frankie Rossiter on the end. :-)

Enjoy:



Just to make us all feel really old here is a more recent photo from Bella, Frankie and Tony with their Dad Frank on the right :-)



Stem Cells

The Wall Street Journal has an opinion piece on the new stem cell research from Japan and what this says about the left wing pro-abortion crowd's take on science:


OPINIONJOURNAL FEDERATION

Trading Places
Will the secular left soon attack the religious right for being pro-science?

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

If the news of major breakthroughs in cell research should turn out to be correct, we are about to witness something like victory in the fight over embryonic stem cells.

And that will open a nest of interesting questions, beginning with this one: All those editorialists and columnists who have, over the past 10 years, howled and howled about Luddites and religious fanatics thwarting science and frustrating medicine--were they really interested in technology and health, or were they just using all that as a handy stick with which to whack their political opponents?

Full Story is here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Toxic Corn Nuts

I just ate a 1.7 ounce bag of Ranch flavored Corn Nuts. I normally don't eat that sort of food anymore but someone gave us a box of them here at work and so I took a bag from the box and tried them. I ate the whole "single serving" bag. Of course these are extremely salty so you get thirsty, they were invented in Oakland as food to be served in taverns after all. They are also loaded with MSG.

So, now that I have consumed my 220 calories worth of MSG, salt and fat I feel horrible. My lips are sore from the salt, I have a headache, probably from the MSG, and I am famished even though I was not actually hungry before I ate the stupid things!

Snack foods are EVIL!

Die pigeons die!

The plague of flying rats just gets worse and worse...

TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL

Cities Tackle Surge in Global Pigeon Population

By David Crossland

Gray and inconspicuous they may be, but pigeons are highly adaptable and their numbers are surging around the world, heightening the risk of disease. Cities have resorted to imaginative techniques to kill the birds over the years, but the only effective curb is to stop feeding them, says a Swiss scientist.

Venice has the highest pigeon density at three pigeons per citizen.
Zoom
DPA

Venice has the highest pigeon density at three pigeons per citizen.

The pigeon is a heavenly symbol of peace, love and purity but it also produces 12 kilos of excrement a year and is widely decried as a flying rat that soils facades and spreads disease in cities all over the world.

Scientists, city officials and animal welfare activists met in the western German city of Essen on Tuesday for Germany's first Town Pigeon Conference to discuss how to deal with the growing pigeon population which is expected to rise by around 50 million to up to 400 million worldwide in the next 10 years as a result of growing urbanization. (Full Story here)

Ron Paul made the front page!

Ron Paul made the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle today! It wasn't that long ago that they managed to ignore him completely, they can't any more.

GO RON!

San Francisco Chronicle

CAMPAIGN 2008
RON WHO?

Longshot candidate from Texas, once an unknown, gains on GOP leaders and rakes in funds...

They were a lonely band of rebels until just a few weeks ago, backing the darkest of dark horse presidential candidates.

But with Republican Rep. Ron Paul's fundraising on the rise - $4.2 million raised on the Internet in one day this month - and his poll numbers jumping, the Texas congressman might no longer be a "who?" but a potential problem for leading Republican presidential candidates in key states such as New Hampshire.



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Creation, evolution and Christianity

Now that my Thanksgiving dinner has at last fully digested I suppose I can get back to making the occasional post here on my blog.

For the last few months I have been investigating the claims made by what are called "Young Earth Creationists." I am not going to try and rehash the details here but thought I would update you on where I am on the subject these days.

Young Earth Creationists are folks who read Genesis 1 & 2 as a sort of science text and attempt to make sense of the world in light of this. They claim that the earth is, at most, 10,000 years old and that it was created in 6 literal days as described in Genesis.

My own church, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, seems to hold this very view of things, though, as far as I know, it is not something that will get one tossed out on his ear if he doesn't buy it. At least I hope that is so. I'll let you know if I discover otherwise.

The Young Earth Creationists (YEC) endeavor to explain the geologic record, all of those layers of rocks and fossils, as being nothing more than a result of the worldwide flood that Noah and his family survived. They try to explain all of these hundreds (or is it thousands?) of layers of sediment, with fossils that seem to show an evolutionary history of descent with gradual change as simply an artifact of a single massive flood.

I read quite a few documents on the web that purported to be YEC science and it was all very weak as science, in fact in almost every case I laughed out loud at some point in my reading. None of it was remotely convincing and it all sounded sadly desperate to me.

YEC people have concluded, for some reason, that if this interpretation of Genesis falls then all of Christianity falls as well. The reasoning for this is actually a little better than their scientific reasoning but I still don't find it totally convincing.

A well known YEC organization is Answers in Genesis. AiG is devoted to spreading the word to the masses that mainstream science is all wrong. They have daily radio spots on Christian radio stations and huge multi-million dollar "Creation Museum"

Another famous YEC outfit is the Institute for Creation Research. ICR is dedicated to promoting scientific research that is aimed at demonstrating YEC.

I found the positions of the YEC crowd to be absurd in the end, simply not plausible in any way to one who has even the most rudimentary knowledge of science, unless one is willing to make the assumption that Genesis 1 & 2 are actually intended to be science and then is also willing to do the extreme mental and logical gymnastic twisting required to wedge the real world into that view. I can't do it.

Does this mean that I don't believe the bible to be the inerrant word of God? Nope, I do believe that. I have gone back to my previous position that God used the normal laws of the universe that he created in the big bang to bring about his perfect will.

I can't explain how it all works, and I probably never will. But I can say that my faith in God is not dependent upon making the Genesis account into science. I am a sinner and Jesus Christ died in my place to give me eternal life, that doesn't depend on the outcome of this debate I'm having with myself :-) (IMHO)

I am now reading up on what seem to me to be more reasonable attempts to read Genesis in the light of scientific knowledge. All of the following sites start with the assumption that God created the cosmos, and that science is a reasonable way of investigating God's creation. Among the sites I'm looking at now are Answers in Creation, Reasons to Believe and The American Scientific Affiliation. I'm also now participating, well lurking, on the ASA email list that discusses these issues. All three of these Christian science organizations present more plausible views than any of the YEC folks I've found.

A final note. It is my opinion, based on my own experience over the last few months, that YEC is actually dangerous to the faith of educated Christians. The claim is made that if YEC is not true then Christianity as a whole is a lie. When reasonable, educated people see that the YEC position is totally unable to account for real world observations they are confronted with the possibility that their very faith might be in vain. I know that some people I've talked to have gone from YEC to atheism, not realizing there are other more plausible accounts out there. YEC is absurd but very loud. That is unfortunate.

All of that being said I'm sure glad I didn't sell all of my science books, as I nearly did a few months ago :-). I still need to finish Stephen J. Gould's "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" along with dozens of others I have on the shelf at home. I was feeling like I should get rid of them since they contradicted YEC in so many ways. Now I have decided that I can keep them and read them without risking my eternal soul ;-)

Thanks be to God.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Happy Thanksgiving Day

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Lora, Serenity and I attended Thanksgiving Eve Vespers on Wednesday night at Messiah. Then on Thursday, after Lora got off of work at Starbucks, we went to Mountain House and shared a huge and delicious Thanksgiving Feast with Jon, Celeste, Jory, Derek, Hans, Ethan and Nicholas Domke.

There was turkey and sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, salads, cranberries and so forth. Lora made an apple cobbler and her yummy broccoli and bacon salad. There was pumpkin bread, ginger bread, rolls and butter, pumpkin pecan pie, whipped cream and more at desert. Wine, beer a dozens sorts of soda pop to drink and coffee at the end.

We gave thanks to God for the abundance we are privileged with here in our land and we had a pleasant time of visiting relaxing. All told it was a wonderful day of feasting and fun. Serenity had a great time playing with the Domke children and today is sleeping in late to recover :-)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving as well!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Clement of Rome, Pastor

Clement (ca. A.D. 35-100) is remembered for having established the pattern of apostolic authority that governed the Christian Church during the first and second centuries. He also insisted on keeping Christ at the center of the Church's worship and outreach. In a letter to the Christians at Corinth, he emphasized the centrality of Jesus' death and resurrection: "Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ, realizing how precious it is to His Father, since it was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of repentance to the whole world" (1 Clement 6:31). Prior to suffering a martyr's death by drowning, he displayed a steadfast, Christ-like love for God's redeemed people, serving as an inspiration to future generations to continue to build the church on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, with Christ as the one and only cornerstone. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Glorious Pro-War Propaganda

Here is some "Glorious Pro-War Propaganda" that was sent to me by a family member. Click here if you don't see the video embedded below.

It came with this explanation, FYI it actually came out last year but is still making the rounds, nothing ever totally vanishes from the net:

This film was made by a 15 year old girl.
>
> The following is the hottest thing on the internet and on Fox News today.
>
> Lizzie Palmer who put this YouTube program together is 15 years old. There
> have been over 3,000,000 hits as of this morning. In case you missed it,
> here
> it is.
>
> Watch all of it.......and, pass it on!!




I have a couple of comments to make about it.

1. This is a very nicely done and professional looking bit of propaganda.

2. It makes the claim, during the middle portions, that these people are fighting "for you." This is not true, they are fighting for an empire, they are fighting for Oil companies and they are fighting on behalf of Israel, none of these things has the slightest connection to "me."

3. The video shows only two options for these young men and women when they come home, either hale and well to happy families or in a casket to grieving families. Somehow the many tens of thousand of maimed and disabled vets were left out, I guess we would not want to look at their disfigured faces and missing limbs, that would be too disturbing to our warm and fuzzy propaganda aims. Go here, to Disabled American Veterans, to learn more about the real results of these wars, and to help out the victims, the wounded and disabled soldiers who will NEVER be whole again.

4. The video shows the troops serving and smiling in far off lands but does not give the slightest indication of the horrors they have brought to these nations that never did a thing to the United States of America, the hundreds of thousands of dead and maimed men, women and children, the destruction and terror they have made a seemingly permanent state as they obey the orders of those who have sent them there to enrich the corporate sponsors of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

Nice video, evil deception.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stem Cell Research

Cool, stem cells without having to murder babies to get them!

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Researchers have transformed ordinary human skin cells into batches of cells that look and act like embryonic stem cells -- but without using cloning technology and without making embryos.

Their breakthroughs, reported on Tuesday, could make possible the long-sought goal of tailor-made medicine, but without the political, scientific and ethical roadblock of using human eggs or embryos. Full Story.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Today in History - November 19

Commemoration for today:

Elizabeth of Hungary

Born in Pressburg, Hungary, in 1207, Elizabeth was the daughter of King Andrew II and his wife Gertrude. Given as a bride in an arranged political marriage, Elizabeth became the wife of Louis of Thuringia in Germany at the age of 14. She had a spirit of Christian generosity and charity, and the home she established for her husband and three children in the Wartburg Castle at Eisenach was known for its hospitality and family love. Elizabeth often supervised the care of the sick and needy and even gave up her bed to a leper at one time. Widowed at the age of 20, she made provisions for her children and entered into an austere life as a nun in the Order of Saint Francis. Her self-denial led to failing health and an early death in 1231 at the age of 24. Remembered for her self-sacrificing ways, Elizabeth is commemorated through the many hospitals named for her around the world. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Turkey Stuffing

A Turkey Poem ;)

The turkey shot out of the oven
And rocketed into the air.
It knocked every plate off the table
And partly demolished a chair

It ricocheted into a corner
And burst with a deafening boom
Then splattered all over the kitchen
Completely obscuring the room

It stuck to the walls and the windows
It totally coated the floor,
There was turkey attached to the ceiling,
Where there'd never been turkey before.

It blanketed every appliance
It smeared every saucer and bowl
There wasn't a way I could stop it,
That turkey was outta control.

I scraped and scrubbed with displeasure and
Thought with chagrin as I mopped,
That I'd never again stuff a turkey
With popcorn that hasn't been popped!

Author unknown

Friday, November 16, 2007

The American Dictatorship Institute

Thomas DiLorenzo on the supreme soviet of neoconservatism.

"...The "National Continuity Policy" directive "concentrates power into the office of the president to coordinate any and all government and business activities" in the event of a "catastrophic emergency," writes the judge.

The problem this creates for the American public is that "the pliable language in the directive creates the ability for a vast scope of executive authority without the checks and balances of the other branches of government," writes Napolitano. It creates dictatorial powers, in other words.

"Catastrophic emergency" is defined so broadly that it could include an economic downturn, an environmental catastrophe, large-scale protests against the Iraq war, a power blackout, a bridge collapse such as the one on the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis last summer, a tsunami, a volcanic eruption such as Mount Saint Helen’s, and, says Napolitano, possibly even if "a plague of fire ants invades Crawford, Texas."

The president gets to decide what constitutes a "catastrophe" that allows him to enforce his own directive and assume dictatorial powers over the government and the economy. If the president does declare such an emergency, writes Napolitano, "he can take over all government functions including the Congress and the federal courts and direct all private sector activities." Moreover, "the emergency exists until the president decides it is over." The question is not, why was Ron Paul suspicious of the government "commission" that dreamed up this dictatorial nightmare, but why wasn’t every other member of Congress?..."

Be sure to read the whole article here.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Power of Prayer

The power of prayer comes not from us, it comes from God, as was said by Pastor Drosendahl the other day:

"....likely, someone will ask also about the *power of prayer* (probably wanting to become a *prayer warrior* or some such non-biblical animal). The best response to this is gently, but firmly, to remind the folks that there is not much power in the pray-er, but almighty power in the Answerer of the prayers."

It's always good to keep the emphasis where it belongs. :-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Justinian

Justinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ

Justinian was emperor of the East from A.D. 527 to 565 when the Roman Empire was in decline. With his beautiful and capable wife, Theodora, he restored splendor and majesty to the Byzantine court. During his reign the Empire experienced a renaissance, due in large part to his ambition, intelligence and strong religious convictions. Justinian also attempted to bring unity to a divided church. He was a champion of orthodox Christianity and sought agreement among the parties in the Christological controversies of the day who were disputing the relation between the divine and human natures in the person of Christ. The Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in A.D. 533 was held during his reign and addressed this dispute. Justinian died in his eighties, not accomplishing his desire for an empire that was firmly Christian and orthodox. [From "Commemorations Biographies," Lutheran Service Book, LCMS Commission on Worship]

Monday, November 12, 2007

On the place of the catechism in the life of believers

We believe: The Law of the Ten Commandments, the Gospel of the Creed, and the petitions of the Lord's Prayer are the footsteps and breath of the Christian life. We daily breathe in the Gospel, we exhale the Our Father, and we walk in the Lord's Commandments.

From "The Lord will Answer" Third last Monday of the Church Year.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ron Paul vs. the Gatekeepers

by Gary North


I rarely discuss presidential politics in my reports, because I think a presidential election is a half-billion dollar Punch and Judy show whose practical outcome is orchestrated well in advance. The presidential campaign is held for tradition’s sake and for its entertainment value, the better to shill the voters. Let’s face reality: when the outcome of the 2004 presidential race had to be the election of a member of Skull and Bones, a Yale undergraduate secret society that initiates 15 students a year, the available two choices were not the result of the system we read about in our high school civics textbooks.

Ever since 1932, the presidential campaigns have been conducted between Council on Foreign Relations Team A vs. Council on Foreign Relations Team B. In 2004, the range of choices narrowed: Skull and Bones Team A vs. Skull and Bones Team B.

Phyllis Schafly complained in print back in 1964 about the orchestrated party primary system’s never allowing voters a choice rather than an echo. Her complaint is still valid.

These days, the choice is mainly between which Yale graduates you want: the two Clintons vs. the two Bushes, with Kerry thrown in for amusement value. It’s like one of those TV reality shows. "Which Yale graduate will be eliminated this time?" You might respond by saying that Gore was an exception. Good point! He graduated from Harvard. Then there was Dukakis, who graduated from the Harvard Law School. George W. Bush has been the most broadly based candidate we have had since 1984. He graduated from Yale and also the Harvard Business School. Do you feel reassured? Democracy marches on!

So, I have not written much about presidential campaigns since the fall of 1980, when Reagan accepted George H. W. Bush as his Vice Presidential candidate. He had promised his supporters that he would not do this. I wrote an issue of Remnant Review titled "The Fix Is In." It was. Bush’s right-hand man, James Baker, took over running the White House staff. All of the Reaganites at the White House – there were very few – departed within a year. If conservatives had been honest, their slogan would have been: "Let Reagan be Reagan . . . he’s the only Reaganite still there."

But I have decided to change my policy, briefly. Something happened this week that deserves comment, for it points to a change that is unprecedented.

GUY FAWKES DAY, 2007

On November 5, Guy Fawkes Day, a privately run Web site took in over $4 million for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. In one day. Dr. Paul had not organized this. This was 100% word of mouse.

The Establishment news media were stunned – almost speechless. This was impossible, as far as they were concerned. This was completely unprecedented in American political history.

They do not understand what is going on.

A revolution is going on.

Here is the rest of the article on LewRockwell.com

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ron Paul on Face the Nation

Dr. Paul will be interviewed Sunday morning (Nov. 11) on CBS News' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer.

Shape Shifting on Veterans Day

by David W. Gorman

Washington Headquarters Executive Director, Disabled American Veterans

On Veterans Day, politicians will praise the 30,000 troops “officially wounded” in action in
Iraq and Afghanistan as if this “statistic” were some kind of “fact.” In doing so, they’ll harm the
men and women who carry the burden of our nation’s defense in today’s very dangerous world.
That 30,000 number is a fantasy.

Here’s the truth about the human cost borne by the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as shown
by data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Of the 1.5 million troops who
served in Iraq or Afghanistan, 720,000 (48%) are now veterans in the civilian population.
Of these, 202,000 have filed claims for VA disability benefits. The VA granted benefits in
more than 90% of the cases processed so far, and will grant more upon appeal or presentation of
additional evidence.

In other words, real statistics show that one out of four veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan
is disabled in military service. This should shock no one as troops return to the war zones for
their third, fourth, and now fifth tours of combat duty.

Of the 720,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, a quarter million have turned to the VA
for treatment – more than one out of every three veterans of the combat theaters.
The figures above don’t include troops still on active duty, many of whom remain in the
service after being harmed by war. They too must not be forgotten.

Yet that 30,000 figure keeps floating in political and media circles as if it had authority.
Well, it all depends on what you count. If you intentionally count to get a low number, you’ll get
a low number. Obviously, someone wants a low number. But what happens as a result?
For one thing, the scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center developed as Washington
officials dazzled each other with low “casualty counts,” but this was just the tip of an ugly
iceberg! Even as our troops shed their blood in Afghanistan and Iraq, health care and benefits for veterans have been decaying across the nation.

Our government tried to do war on the cheap, failing to recognize the back-end cost of
veterans with disabilities. True, it increased funding for VA programs each year – by amounts far below the rapidly increasing needs of our disabled heroes.

By using the tightest definition to minimize the casualty count, politicians deny reality,
preparing a ruinous future for all disabled veterans, especially our youngest generation. In no
way is America prepared to deal with the aftermath of today’s wars as it will be experienced by
veterans in the VA.

This is not meant as criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to present a more
complete picture of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.

Much is made of the idea that veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan differ from past generations
of America’s defenders. Actually, that’s been true of every generation of veterans to date, and
the veterans’ movement has accommodated those differences.

But one thing will always be the same. Veterans age, and the costs of war last a lifetime.
A soldier who suffers a severe brain injury in Iraq today will still be a disabled veteran 60
years from now when reaching the age of today’s World War II veterans. Our nation will still
owe that veteran every care in the world.

We must not allow self-serving rhetoric to shortchange any American hero – not now, not
ever!

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