Monday, October 31, 2011

A Brilliant Idea for Changing the Game on U.S. Presidency.

This is a short article that points out the waste of time a two-term presidency is and offers a brilliant alternative. You'll like this.

First Time's a Charm -By Sunil Khilnani | Foreign Policy

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Haiti Doesn't Need Your Old T-Shirt, so Don't Send It

If you're in charge of overseas missions especially into third world or developing countries, you need to read this and read it well. It took Foreign Policy magazine to tell it like it is. Bravo.

Haiti Doesn't Need Your Old T-Shirt - By Charles Kenny | Foreign Policy

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The Speaker (and her speech) that the Hyatt Hotel Banned.

I will make no comment except to say please watch the video and think for yourself, than if you like it, pass it on to every club you belong to, to every relative you have, to every church leader you know, and make sure your elected officials see it too.

Banned Speech at the Hyatt: Pamela Geller, "Truth is the New Hate Speech" - YouTube

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Never Underestimate How Well A Greek Politician Can Surprise.

He's getting tired. He hates being questioned. His majority is hanging on three seats. He has had to deal with riot after riot in the form of strikes and protests. He's afraid of another election.

He's latest agreement with the EU has resulted in a potential aid package that comes with heavy demands on Greeks. So, what does he do? He calls for a referendum (the legality of which some are questioning). He's giving the people a chance to say "yea" or "nay" to the deal.

He's taking a big risk -- for himself, his party, the people, and the country. If he wins the referendum, he will look real good but he'll be doing something that he could have done and decided with the vote. If he loses the referendum, even though he is appealing to the honor and wisdom and fairness of Greeks -- well, if he loses -- all bets are off as to what happens next.

Will he resign? Will the riots and protests grow? Will the EU walk away and let Greece hang? It's anybody's guess.

You can be sure the "nays" will be more out for this vote than the "yea" voters. No date set yet to my knowledge. The attached article and video from the link below give you an excellent perspective of what's going on -- in a word, "confusion".

As a true Greek, the Prime Minister has chosen the path of "true democracy" very conveniently.

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Greece to hold referendum on EU aid package - Europe - Al Jazeera English

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Joseph's Twenty Percent Solution - Genesis 47:22-26

Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them.  Therefore, they did not sell their land.  Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land.  And at the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.”  So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”  And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priest did not become Pharaoh’s.

It appears that the heathen priests were exempt based on a previous arrangement with Pharaoh.  They had been endowed land on which to have temples for public worship.  Since they could not grow food on their land because of its use, Pharaoh provided the priests with food directly on an annual or other basis.  Thus, now at the time of the famine, it would have been inappropriate for Joseph to withhold that allowance from them and/or to charge them the tax he was about to charge all the rest.

And charge he did, requiring all Egyptians to pay one-fifth or 20% of their annual harvest back to Pharaoh who let them stay on the land and gave them the original seed to sow.  Of course, knowing the amount of taxes some of us pay now in North America especially, twenty percent sounds like a fair deal.  But then again who knows what kind of government-provided services they were getting.  I venture to say it was very few, if any, in those days.

Clearly, Joseph tells them they and their lands have been bought.  And to help them survive on the Pharaoh’s lands he is now allowing them to occupy, he gives them seed to sow in order to produce grain for food.  This way they and their little ones could live and survival was indeed the one thing these people needed now.

And how did the people respond?  They were ecstatic, seeing Joseph as a lifesaver.  They sought for continued favor in Joseph and the Pharaoh’s eyes and in turn they would willingly be their slaves.  When you and your family are about to die from starvation or any other form of extreme condition, losing all, becoming a slave, and paying back one-fifth of your harvest looks like a great deal.    

The last sentence of the text does present some difficulties.  It appears to be saying that Joseph had the tax rule made into a law that all Egyptians would give the Pharaoh 20% of all their gains.  We read that this statute was “valid to this day”.  The reference here is to the day of the author, which we believe to be Moses many years after the events in Genesis took place.  This law was in effect more than three centuries later when Moses was born and on into his adulthood.  Even in 2011, before any new tax reforms would eventually come into play as a result of the recent Arab Spring revolution and takeover, income taxes in Egypt ranged from 0% to 20%, while corporations paid on average about 43.6%.  Some individuals seem to still be getting the deal Joseph had worked out thousands of years ago.

What is difficult to ascertain from this section is whether or not Joseph believed he was acting fairly and kindly, or whether he had succumbed to suppressing the people by taking their land and their freedom, and then taxing them in addition – for his own satisfaction or the greed of his boss.  A modern day equivalent of this may be a situation where someone with money and means goes into a third-world or developing country and offers work to the natives of the land.  Clearly he or she does not need to pay as much as he/she would have had to pay back in North America or Europe and that’s why they have moved their business to Africa, or South America, for example.  But how much should they pay and how should the new workers be treated?  I have seen terrible exploitation in Africa time and time again.  I have also seen good people loving their African employees and treating them as part of the family.

I can only hope that were God’s people are involved, the laborers are treated with dignity and fairness, as well as with the care and concern that God would have us show all mankind.

Whatever you think of this section of service, one thing we do know is that through it God made it possible for His people to survive.  And that’s how it is with God.


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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Looking for God's Will for you? Let me humbly introduce you to it.

So many Christians are sitting around waiting for God's Will to be revealed to them.  Let me humbly introduce you to it through Martina McBride.   If you miss this, you don't have a leg to stand on when you explain why you did or are doing nothing for God.

Martina McBride - Gods Will: lyrics and video



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Britain says Give Gays Their Rights or Expect No Aid from the U.K.

At first you may say this is right. Or you may say this is just so wrong. But it's not that simple.

Every person deserves to be treated with dignity especially when it comes to "human rights" as most of us understand them.  You must not persecute anyone for being gay.   If you don't, British P.M. Cameron is saying, "we won't give you foreign aid."  A strong statement.  Let's look closer.

The problem arises when "gay rights" include rights which go beyond the "human rights" we all understand, and start infringing on demands reserved for the traditional approach to marriage, etc.,  e.g. equal rights in marriage, adoption, tax breaks, positions in religious, especially Christian, organizations, and so on.

Unfortunately, there is no way and no desire politically or socially for the U.K. or others to separate these two groups of demands.   What the British Prime Minister is demanding makes some sense for "human rights" -- it is out of line with what most of us believe in when it comes to the other "rights".  By introducing these conditions on aid, Britain is abetting the introduction of policies and laws in foreign countries that give gays and lesbians all they are demanding.

The good news is he seems to also have demanded "rights for Christians" in the same speech, but the media didn't focus on that. Take a look.

British PM threatens to cut aid over gay rights�- World�|nation.co.ke

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Snowstorm Record since Civil War -- 2 Deaths Already

This is way too early for this kind of event and news. The kids haven't even collected my candy yet.

Nor'easter Blamed for Two Deaths, More Than a Foot of Snow - ABC News


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Occupy Oakland Is Getting Ugly

Things are pretty bad in America when not only the unemployed, but young war veterans are joining the protest and getting shot. Take a look.

This Video Shows Protester Scott Olsen Moments Before He Was Injured By The Oakland Police


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If Our Own Commonwealth Can't Agree on Human Rights, How Can We Expect Others To?

It is a disappointment that our members of the British Commonwealth cannot agree on a charter of Human Rights.  How sad.  And then you wonder about the world at large?  To me this is a sign of one mixed up world where countries that are generally blessed cannot come to agreement on some honorable things such as Human Rights.  Clearly, darkness and self interests seem to have a stronger hold on us than we may think.  Take a look at the stalling tactics.

Commonwealth fails to reach human rights consensus - World - CBC News


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After Forced Apologies Driven by Hard Evidence, the only thing left is a Demonstration of Sincere Love and Acceptance.

The churches in Canada started apologizing several years ago in 1986 for their part in how they treated Canada's aboriginal children in the residential schools. The RCMP (Canada's national police force) did likewise back in 2004. The government of Canada in 2008. Yesterday the RCMP released its report of its involvement. The story is not pretty.

But when all this is not doing the job, what are the alternatives? There are only two: The first is to say, "nothing will satisfy these people" and then get on with your own life, and your own problems. The second is to do all in one's power to demonstrate sincere love towards our Aboriginal people. When apologies are 'forced' out of desperation or stem from obvious evidence of one's wrong-doing made public, they don't seem to accomplish what is hoped for.

It is time for the Canadian populace to stop "tolerating" and start demonstrating true love and acceptance to those whose land we and our children have the privilege of living on and profiting from.

At SCA International we are building bridges and more importantly, sincere relationships between ourselves and our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, and especially children. Please consider your role today. Click on SCA International and read our stories. And you get the RCMP's apology story on this link below.

RCMP 'herded' native kids to residential schools - Canada - CBC News


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How American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Some Women are not friends of Jesus!

I guess when you believe in a cause, you believe in a cause. Maybe Christians can learn from these guys (or should I say 'gals' as it seems to me it is mainly women with time on their hands who lead the drive against God. You'll find this story interesting. Take a look and be aware of how the Enemy works. But that's okay, contrary to what the Prince of Darkness uttered at the end of the old famous movie, "The Seventh Seal" where he jubilantly yells out, "Checkmate" -- the truth is that the King of Kings Always Has One More Move!

Jesus' name ruled 'unconstitutional'

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Obama's Team orders Border Agents to Leave Illegals Unchecked

I used to want to go and live in the States -- never figured out why my fathered immigrated here rather than New York when he had the chance. But now, I think I'm glad. The U.S. is now a country where it's own president is refusing to obey the laws of the land. And he's making a mess of things. Take a look at this confusion.

APNewsBreak: US northern border checks scaled back - US news - msnbc.com


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Muslim Students Complainig Abt. Crucifixes at Catholic Universities. You read right.

Unbelievable. NO other word will do. But wait until you hear the arguments for and against. Did I say unbelievable?

Muslim students at Catholic University of America complain that Christian symbols make them uncomfortable when they pray in empty classrooms - Jihad Watch

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More Reason Not to Trust Pakistan on Taliban

This is a pretty detailed account -- especially when you get down to the part about American drones. When they didn't include Pakistan in advance notices, they started hitting their targets. When they did, the target wasn't there any longer for the drones to hit. Interesting. Do you really think there's a rat in the group?

BBC News - Afghanistan: Pakistan accused of backing Taliban

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Now I Know Why Jay Leno works late every night. His wife is a nut.

This woman just doesn't get it at all. Please tell me how this is possible? How can she be so blind? Is her husband's chin getting in her line of sight?

Women's activist Mavis Leno and CNN Muslim producer dialogue in Dallas - Dallas Islam | Examiner.com

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Pretending It's All Okay to use Sharia Law by calling it Ecclesiastical

This is indeed another perspective, but we do try to keep you well balanced in your news. Personally, I don't buy it all. Whatever happened to "This is America. When you use our legal system at our expense, you are bound by our laws."?

Use of Islamic law OK in civil case, judge rules | TBO.com

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For Our Legal Beagles: How Shariah Law & Islam Creeps Into U.S. Court System.

Just some information that you may want to know and be aware of. The problem is real and we all see it. We're just not doing anything about it. That will come back to haunt us. Mark my words.

Islam makes inroads through U.S. courts

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why Only Romney and Why NOT Romney

Here's the bottom line -- netted out as usual for you by yours truly, but you really need to get your eyes and your teeth into this one. Here's the summary:

The majority of the political pundits I read would agree that unless something unforeseen happens, Mitt Romney will likely win the GOP nomination about ten months from now. Unless of course, they get scared by the argument and the potential reality outlined in the article in the link below.

Secondly, the press with Obama gleefully leading it from the sidelines line take Romney and his religion (you got it, Mormonism) apart piece by piece. They will do Romney what the press did to Stephen Harper in Canada the first time he ran. They hurt him so much, arguing that he is a right-wing nut, that he only managed to get a "minority" that time around. It was not till later when people saw he wasn't a "religious freak or monster" and that he really knew how to lead that the people of Canada gave him a solid majority.

But America does not work like that -- your party wins or loses and that's it. So, Obama will cheer the media as they make Romney look like an ogre from another planet because of his religion. They'll point out all that's wrong with it, arguing that it does not match the tenets of the Christianity that America was founded on. As if these hypocrites gave a hoot (or whatever) for what Christianity really says. Perhaps only when it suits their purposes.

So what does all this mean? Put bluntly, it means the GOP is between a rock and a hard place.  They won't win with anyone else and they may well not win with Romney.

We're open for solutions or contrary opinions.

The fourth Abrahamic religion

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Did You Really Think These Bracelets Would Not Be a Hit with Young Students?

If you make such a big fuss about them -- that's guaranteed success for them! Parents need to learn this. So do churches and other organizations. It's one thing to be strait or conservative on so many things -- it's another to blindly behave in a way which allows the liberals to win on the issue. Parents and churches you did to yourselves again. Congratulations. Now smarten up and don't pick on every little thing you may not like. Here are the details and here's a "reader warning: the article in the link contains one slang word for mammary glands" -- so reader be aware!!!! Give me strength.

Boobie bracelets big hit at schools - CBC News

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American Hotels Silencing the Wrong Speakers

For the second time in a week, a U.S. hotel has canceled an agreement to host an event on radical Islam's threat to America's freedoms.  They didn't like two of the conservative speakers.  But in reality they too got pressured by pro-Islamic groups.  You can read about the details.

All I want to point out is that we are becoming more and more run by fear.  We're silencing the wrong people in North America and the Free World.  We all know how we feel but we're too polite to stand up for what we believe.  We expect others to do it.   Well, folks, you are the "others".   I don't support the Occupy Wall Street movement, but even they have something going for them.   They're a force to be reckoned with.   Those of us who see the "Coming Storm" after the "Arab Spring" are staying silent and in silos.   We will pay the price and get what we deserve.


Nashville Hotel Cancels Anti-Shariah Conference | Fox News

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sexual assault and rape in U.S. Military: 1 in 3 women victims during service, studies suggest.

First, let me tell you that this article is from AlJazeera. It's a very well-known and usually reputable media source of sorts, but it does make one wonder, since it is Islamic in nature, how much of any story they write about the United States of America (and they seem to be fixated on that lately) is about discrediting the Americans any way they can. So, do consider the source.

Secondly, I find this story difficult to cover for a couple of reasons, the main one being that one can no longer say freely without being ridiculed that "maybe, just maybe, the military is not the place for my daughter or grand-daughter". Perhaps if I make it that personal, I can get away with that statement to a certain extent. The truth is that I believe my assertion is indeed correct.

Thirdly, having said that, I expect that young women who do choose to join the military are indeed entitled to being fully protected from being raped by their own colleagues and the men with whom they lay down their lives for their country. It appears, that the U.S. has failed to offer them even a reasonable amount of that protection, never mind a guarantee they won't be raped.

It appears that men and women sacrifice a lot for their country when they enlist. It seems, however, that many women sacrifice a lot more than their 'brothers' by the time their term of service is over.

We need to change that. The statistics you'll read in this link are atrocious. Perhaps it is better that more women "come out" with what they have suffered. But it is best if some of the men that weren't part of the crime (for that is what it is) yet knew it was going on, stood up and told the truth.

Military sexual assault and rape 'epidemic' - Features - Al Jazeera English

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Do Americans Know U.S. Planes Being Used in Battle between Kenya & Somalian rebels?

Here are the details right from Nairobi, Kenya, today. Not sure if this has hit the American press yet.

US planes join Kenyan battle�- News�|nation.co.ke

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If You're Worried About Where America is Heading (see Egypt, see Libya, etc.), May I Humbly Suggest Herman Cain Is No Longer Your Man.

Not only because he doesn't think before he speaks or because he does not listen carefully to questions or try to clarify them before he responds, but now because he's just the wrong man for the job. He has no guts to stand up for what he really believes when challenged.

Republican voters, the sooner you arrive at the conclusion that only man can win the majority of votes (including non-GOP'ers) in the next election, the bigger the win it will be.

Anyway, here are the details on unfortunately, another loser. Calling them as I see them.

Cain Apologizes After Meeting With Muslim Leaders | Fox News

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Tax & Run approach against Free Speech and Churches is the Ploy of the IRS.

Do you want to know how they're making things tough for Christians to even have a theological discussion among themselves? Take a look at this latest approach by America's IRS. They tax you and then when you spend money to fight the taxes in the courts, they give you your money back -- but won't change the rules.   Be careful what you say at church or on your church blog this morning!

Faith group to IRS: Don't tread on us!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just When You Thought that Joining the Military was about protecting one's country. Not for many.

You've heard of "state of the Nation" speeches. Well, now we have "state of the Military" reports. And they're not too good when it comes to who exactly is enlisting and why. The implications are horrendous. Couple this, once you read it, with those with anti-America sentiment (many of them and their friends are actually "occupying the world" these days) and with pro-Islamic Radicalism tendencies (you now, the "we'll get America from the inside" kind), and you've got a great big deal of trouble ahead for the U.S. of A. Take a look.

The FBI Announces Gangs Have Infiltrated Every Branch Of The Military

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I can't talk about this. And neither can the children.

Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US. Here are the gruesome details. Please read it. If you know of someone who may be responsible, learn what you can do about it. Then take action.

At the very least, let's get this story out "in the open" -- for those that can't scream it out themselves.

BBC News - America's child death shame:

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"Tattooed Barbie for the Adult Collector, my foot." -- signed, Ken.

This is ridiculous. You want to make a statement, click on the one-question survey in the link below and then make sure that you don't buy from Mattel again. Here's why:

They have a new Barbie Doll, with tattoos on her shoulder, neck and upper chest, wearing an off-the-shoulder black top. They made 7,400 copies for $50 each and they went on sale October 13th. They have sold out.

One professor calls the doll a "cynical exercise". Mattel suggests the doll had been intended more "for the adult doll collector". Let me be the first to call them "liars in my opinion". The doll was indeed an attempt to make lots of money and try out as a trial balloon to see how far and fast they can push the envelope. They have no regards for how they influence children, nor were they thinking about "adult collectors" -- or if so, this is the first time or the first time I've heard of it.

The bottom line is that it is, once again, up to you, the parent and grand-parent and uncle and aunt to say, "no, this is stupid; we won't buy it." But hey, I'm sure there will be many out there (and some Christians as well) that say:
a. You're making a mountain out of a mole hill
b. And what's wrong with tattoos?
c. Let the kids have some fun.

I'm not against tattoos like I once was. But this is not about that. This is about using dolls to push the latest fashion trends as well as mold the minds of young children. That's not Mattel's job.  That's your job as a parent or close relative.  Mattel's push is all for the sake of the almighty (well not so almighty as it once was) dollar.

That's my take. What's yours?  Yours truly, the real "Ken", not the plastic doll.

Tattooed Barbie called too risque for young girls - CBC News

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Pharaoh Gets All The Land and Its Owners As His Slaves - Genesis 47:20-21

So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them.  Thus the land became Pharaoh’s.  And as for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other.  Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them.  Therefore, they did not sell their land.  Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land.  And at the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.”  So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”  And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priest did not become Pharaoh’s.

It was either starve to death with your family or sell your land to Pharaoh for seed so you grow grain on it and survive.

Once Joseph bought all the land for his boss, the scriptures say “he removed them to the cities” over the entire country.  Most commentators I have read stay clear of this phrase, and I do not blame them.  There seems to be little reason for the statement.  And what does it really mean?  One possibility is that indeed since their land was ‘sold’ to the Pharaoh and since they had sold themselves as slaves, Joseph could well have assigned them across the land in accordance with their skills and abilities and Egypt’s needs.  To say the least, many Egyptians (and others that lived in the land at the time) were displaced from their former homes to live elsewhere as it suited Joseph and the Pharaoh.  And clearly there was still a lot of agricultural land around the various cities that were being built up in Egypt at that time.

I am, however, amazed how the plight of those who lived in Egypt during the great famine we read about in Genesis parallels considerably with what happens to modern man/woman as he/she battles his/her own ‘enemy’ – be it evidenced in material, physical, physiological, psychological, emotional, or spiritual aspects of our lives.  There is a process that we go through.  It starts with our pre-occupation of what we must have.  Then there is spending of all our money on the ‘enemy’ followed by the enemy taking all our possessions including our land.  To stay alive we finally sell ourselves to him.  And then we’re the enemy’s to do with, as he likes.  We’re his to be moved around at will.

Many who read this story simply see Joseph, the Israelite, being successful and using his God-given talents to save Egypt.  And he did.  But let us not miss out on what was happening to the people that he helped save from starvation.  Their independence, their confidence, their honor, their hopes and aspirations, any respect they had in the community, and so much more, were all lost as they and their families were reduced to slaves in the land.  The only thing they had going for them was that chances are, they could live another day with the grain they now could grow.  But do so for what? Just simply to work another day for Pharaoh.

Contrast that and the saga of many a slave to sin today with a life of joy and freedom in serving God and being blessed by His protection and guidance and provision.  While the Egyptians had no choice at this time, some of us still do.  We can succumb to the enemy that is hunting us down and tormenting our souls, or we can surrender willingly to the King who loves us in ways we will never fully understand, but yet can experience and feel the warmth and care of His passion for us.

What choice have you made?  What choice do you need to make today?  The choice is clearly ours.  I pray we make the right one. 


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Friday, October 21, 2011

The Price of Democracy: How Pedophiles, the Justice System, & the Laws Cost Us Millions

Here is a story from page A22 of today's Toronto Star. It's about a man who downloaded and collected videos and photos of horrific child and sexual abuse. These were collected, not once by accidence or curiosity, or not even over a short-term if were to believe he was working on an artistic project, but over the span of seven years (1999 to 2006).

The court said, according to the Star article, that the material showed, "the actual abuse of real children, including babies."

Now, here's the stupidity of it all. A 2005 law that Parliament passed said a person can be acquitted of a guilty decision if he has "a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education, or art".

Instead of doing what Parliament intended to do, this law left more room for offenders to hide behind it claiming they're looking at child pornography for the sake of art. Give me a break.

I say if looking at, downloading, or having child pornography is a criminal offense, pretending you're doing it for the sake of art should be too.

The only way one should be allowed to download or view or possess such material for all the legitimate reasons I can think of  (to help defeat it, eliminate it, reduce it, or catch those that do it, and maybe perhaps to help treat pedophiles) -- the only legitimate way to do that, is to require a special permit granted by some body that is capable of discerning whether the rationale for doing so helps society rather than harms it.

When you think about what I'm suggesting, you see a parallel with the legal use of drugs or marijuana in particular. If we don't do that, then maybe we can allow drug addicts to use such drugs "for artistic reasons" and not be guilty of any crime. What rubbish. What insanity.

And then think of the cost of this now overturned higher court appeal decision to the Supreme Court which already resulted in the Supreme Court ordering a new trial 'to be fair'. The only fair thing on the prima facie evidence is to throw this guy in the solitary slammer for years.  That would be too good for him.

On the other hand, being a most reasonable man, I understand that this is the price we have to pay for democracy.  In many other countries making the news these days -- someone like this just might be stoned without a trial.  But then again, he might not, since we're only talking pedophilia and not homosexuality.  Don't we just have a crazy mixed-up world.

Here's your link, I've said enough.

Canada News: New trial ordered for man at centre of child porn-as-art case - thestar.com

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For Our Baseball Fans Out There - Here's a Story About the World Series Umps and Their Faith

When you're watching the rest of the Series -- think of what some of these men who make the calls have to decide and what they go through. Then remember how some of them handle the pressure through their faith. It's a heart-warming article.

Baptist Press - These World Series umps have seen Christ change lives - News with a Christian Perspective


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Obama's Job Approval in 11th quarter is the worse yet.

You need to see this chart. Things are getting worse and worse for the POTus. Yet, he thinks he's doing a great job. But then again so did Nero playing his fiddle while Rome burned.  (Any similarity in the comparison is strictly intentional.)

Still, he's either trying his best to get votes -- think of his announcement today regarding the return of all the troops (except for a few to help sell arms) from Iraq, or he's trying the best to help America fail even worse than it has -- think of the same thing.    Listen to his announcement, "the troops" now wait for it, "will be home for the holidays".    Oh, if he could only hire Bing Crosby and Bob Hope to read his teleprompter.   That would be a great improvement.    Anyway, here are the details on his own security.

Obama Job Approval Average Slides to New Low in 11th Quarter


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Picking On Jewish Gender Discrimination Practices.

This is a most interesting story.  Here we are again in New York City.  The public bus company has franchised a bus route and buses to a private company to provide services to a Jewish Orthodox neighborhood.  So far, so good.  The problem arises when women riding the bus are asked to give up their seats and move to the back of the bus, especially when male Orthodox Jews board to ride it.  The public company says they're in violation of the agreement and have no authority to discriminate.

I would agree.  The Hasidic group is wrong in this case.  If they want to discriminate, let it be on totally private buses, not those franchised from the city.  Although, personally I would not be discriminating under those circumstances either -- just for the record.   But then thinking like that might go contrary to their "religious beliefs" and I'd be in deep trouble with my religious authorities.

Does all this sound familiar?  What are we doing about all the religious practices that go against our societal mores but are so-called requirements under the Islamic beliefs?   Not much.  For those we turn a blind eye and deaf ear because it would be un-Obama-American these days to go against anything the Muslims want.  If they were Jews, well that's another story.   Do you get my point here?  I hope so.

NY may close gender-seg... JPost - Jewish World - Jewish Features


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Hertz Fires 25 Muslim Drivers in Seattle Dispute Over Prayer Time.

Here is a follow-up to a blog we brought you recently.  The links gives you a fair picture of the details.  Let me make some comments beyond that.  This case has gone to the National Labor Relations Board from a union-management perspective and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from a religious discrimination perspective.  It will be a most interesting one to follow.

For me the bottom line is this: do what you like on your paid "ten-minute" breaks.  But since you're taking longer, then what the company has done makes sense.  The problem is that traditionally companies are expected to deal with this kind of rule-breaking individually as bad performance.  By dealing with it as a group, they risked the chance of having it being called "religious discrimination" and "unfair labor practice".   Can't even guess how this will turn out, although I know that the NLRB these days seems to back the unions and whatever Obama seems to support, including Muslims.   If you hear more, please keep us informed as well and I'll try to do likewise.

Local News | Hertz fires 25 Muslim drivers who refuse to clock out | Seattle Times Newspaper


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People Offer Joseph Their Land and Themselves As Slaves - Genesis 47:18-19

And when that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord’s.  There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands.  Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land?  Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh.  So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”

If you live for the short term, you will find there is always another short term, unless of course, you come to the end of life.  Two years earlier the people had given Joseph all their money for grain.  One year earlier they had given him all their livestock.  Now there is nothing left to trade for the essentials of life but their land and themselves.

It is funny how that works.  When all our possessions have been spent to purchase either the necessities of life, or foolishly – it does not matter – when they are gone, some of us have only two things left to barter with – any property we may own and ourselves.  And in today’s economy, I venture to say most of have only ourselves we can exchange for anything of value or for survival itself.

When you reach that point, you realize the ones that have what you want, have got you.  You have to be turned over to them as slaves – be it an addiction, be it a debt that you can’t pay, be it moral sin that you can’t have exposed and you have succumbed to their blackmail.  Whatever is the cause of your exhausted resources, if you are going to live any longer, ultimately you are no longer your own, but theirs.

That is the situation that the Egyptians found themselves in during the great famine of the land recorded here in scriptures.  But it is also the situation many people find themselves in today.  They have exhausted their own resources.  They have nothing left to give but themselves in order to survive.  And it is at this point that we have an option.  We can either give in to those people that have, or that ‘thing’ which has, brought us to this point, or we can turn to the Giver of Life Himself, and say, “I cannot do this alone.  I need You.  I welcome You into my life and allow You to take over.  I want to be in Your Hands, not theirs.”

In our Genesis story of the great famine, the people appealed to Joseph for grain and attempted to persuade him with their desire and offer to keep the land of Egypt from becoming desolate.  It would be in Joseph’s best interests, they argued, to give them seed for them to survive, so they could work the land and allow it to remain fertile.

With us, we don’t have to persuade God to do anything for us.  He knows our needs.   Later in the Psalms (chapter 77, verse 14) we will read words to this effect, “You are the God who does wonders; You have made known Your strength among us.”  As Charles Stanley says on this verse, “God gives us what He knows will bring us great pleasure and joy, even though we in our finite wisdom and understanding may not know fully what we need or desire.  God does not wait for others to initiate the provision for our innermost needs.  He assumes a proactive position in meeting our needs.  God may use other people in the process, but He creates, orchestrates, and engineers the solution that satisfies.”[1]  All we have to do is ask Him to take over lives.

My prayer is that you and I do not get caught up in a funnel that leads ultimately to our death, but rather call on God to take over our lives and our circumstances, because He alone is able to do so, to our betterment.


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[1] God’s Way Day by Day, Charles F. Stanley, dayspring.com Calendar, entry for October 21.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quick Question: When it Comes to Adversity, Are you a Carrot, an Egg, or Coffee Beans?

A story that needs to be savored when you're alone and reflecting on your general outlook to life and the challenges that it brings you:   (Sorry but at this point the original author is unknown.)

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. 
Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying 
a word. 

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. 

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see." 

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied. 

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. 

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled, as she tasted its rich aroma the daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?" 

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. 
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its insides became hardened. 
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. 

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? 

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? 

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? 

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?





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An Insider Looks At the Situation in Egypt for Christians.

Dear Epistoli readers -- I was able to get a hold of this link through a friend who knows the author personally. We checked with the author to see if it would be okay to blog this site and we were given permission. It is a very frank and gut wrenching account of what it is like to be a Christian and a Christian who shares the Word in Egypt today.

Our Christian brothers and sisters need your prayers and God's Wisdom and Strength. Please read this and refer others to our blog on this. Here's the link:

"And seek the peace of the city..."

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Man is Arrogant, Deaf, Blind, and/or Reality Challenged (my kids won't let me say 'stupid'). Guess Who?

Can you really believe this? It is stretching my confidence in mankind.

Obama: “All the choices we’ve made have been the right ones” � Hot Air


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Ethics and "Females vs. Perverts" Controversy

More ranting by yours truly as I find things in the news today that just irk me.  Like these next two stories.

Ethics

The Palestinian "envoy" to Canada is going home.  Why you ask?  Because we (Canada, that is) caught her tweeting a link to a video which we felt was offensive to Jews.  The Palestinians agreed to recall Linda Sobeh Ali after our Foreign Affairs Minister gave her a "dressing down" according to the Toronto Star.

What was offensive about the video of a poem being recited?  Well, apparently the poem was calling people "to a war that (raze) the injustice and oppression and destroy(s) the Jews" -- or so said the English subtitles.

Good for Canada.  More countries should take more stands like this.  But the envoy herself? -- Well, she gave a most lame excuse while expressing regret about the video.  She said, according to CTV via the Toronto Star, that she had "not actually viewed the video before tweeting a link to it".  Now, that's stupid.  And because she should know better and be aware of her position and anything that would be considered offensive, it was also a matter of ethics.  Recall was the least we could hope for.  She's lucky.

Of course, why we even bother with a Palestinian envoy beats me, but hey, let's play nice.   Unlike the author of the next story who wants it all her way.  Take a read . . .

"Females vs. Perverts" Controversy

Columnist Heather Mallick is a little excited.  She's angry at the police.  If it was a video account, I'm sure some of us would see venom coming forth.   The story has to do with the fact that two girls claimed some pervert on the subway was trying to look up their short private-school skirts (or kilts).  In trying to protect the girls and maybe the school, the officer who investigated the matter tried to suggest that perhaps students may wish to change at school before venturing unto Toronto's subways to head home and vice-versa in the mornings.  The principal took the suggestion to heart and relayed the message to parents as a precautionary action.  And now Mallick has him in her sights as well.

Look, there is no excuse for perversion.  Absolutely none.  But here's the bottom line for me as a parent and now a grandparent.   I accept the fact that there are perverts out there.  I accept the fact that we can't afford a guard on every bus or subway car.  I accept the fact that those young girls look very seductive to the kind of guy like the one who was stalking Shania Twain lately.  In short, they would appear pretty attractive to all perverts and maybe some of us who aren't and know better.   (By the way, Mallick in her eagerness to use every word she was allowed in the column to go after the police and the perverts, neglected to tell us how old the girls were.)  Yes, I know they're students -- but they don't always act, dress, talk or look like just students.  Of course, Mallick's point is that none of that should matter.  Perverts should keep their hands to themselves.

And I agree with her on that last point -- that perverts should keep their hands and their thoughts to themselves.  But not on her previous point -- that none of that should matter.  Oh, yes, I promised you the bottom line for me.  Well, here it is:

I would rather ask my grand-daughter to change her clothes at school before coming home on the subway and have her alive and untouched, than, like Mallick, insist that police are wrong with their suggestions.  Or worse still, demand that all perverts "avoid attacking people in order not to be arrested" and have my grand-daughter attacked, molested, sexually assaulted, or even dead.  Her argument only shows that Mallick just does not understand our society; she leaves no room for the fact that every pervert can't be watched every minute; and she knows nothing about the psychology of a rapist and a pedophile.  I don't care what other part of her body she chooses to cover or not, but I would strongly recommend that she get a nice mask for her mouth.  The woman is so out of touch with what we call "balance".

If you really want to read her side of it, go ahead.  Here it is:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1072165--mallick-why-dress-down-for-perverts

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The Very Latest Story on What's Happening in Greece Now.

I would not know how to comment.  This is so sad for an otherwise civilized country.  And there does not seem to be an end in sight.  No solutions that will calm these people or cure their problems.

News from The Associated Press

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Bullying first and then Stupid Rules

As I read today's paper, I thought I might just rant a little about some of the news it contained.  I find some of the things people and organizations do so insane.  Here are two more of my targets tonight . . .


Bullying

Another young teenager takes his own life because other kids were bullying him.  That's criminal.  The 15 year old was tormented by others for being gay.  In other societies, people get stoned or otherwise killed openly for such activities.  Here it seems we just shame them or get them to the point where they feel life is not worth living any more and they kill themselves.  Both approaches are just out and out wrong -- wickedly, immorally, and feloniously wrong.  Have I made that perfectly clear.  I say track these bullies down and make them never forget what they have done and force them to pay a heavy and memorable price (perhaps of service or loss of privileges) to society and/or the victim's family.  Maybe it's time we started forcing them to wear a scarlet letter "B" for bully on all their clothes, and if their victim ended up committing suicide, we need to add an "MA" to designate "murder abettor" to the B.

I still believe practicing homosexuality is wrong and moral sin against God.  You don't have to agree with me.  But you need to know that I believe no teenager, no adult, has the right to take a person's life because of that or to cause the person to take their own life because of the agony caused by the bully.  For me, the task is to love that kid and to show him/her that God loves them and so do I.  And instead of condoning his/her behavior, I honestly share with them that I distinguish them from their actions.  In short, I love the sinner, but condemn only the sin.  He/she doesn't have to accept it, but he/she should know beyond a shadow of a doubt by my words and actions, that I do indeed love him/her.

And as for the bullies, there is a sure way to cure them from their bad habits.  I remember being a young kid and a newcomer to Canada with a long funny and difficult-to-pronounce last name.  When the kids also heard my parents call me by my Greek first name, "cool-eee", that even made matters worse.  It was easy and great fun picking on me.   I remember one day I came crying all the way home after school, screaming because a considerably older boy was chasing me and kicking me -- right up our driveway.  Only to be met that day by my father as we rounded the corner of the house.  Dad went after him with the broom he was holding and gave him a few good hits (lightly) across the legs.  He then grabbed him and almost shook the living daylights out of him, giving him the sternest of warnings which included being dragged both to his parents home and to the police if this ever happened again.  It didn't.  And to boot (no pun intended), this young man became my protector at school.  Go figure.

Maybe there's a lesson here for the authorities as to how to deal with bullies.  But then again, back in 1953, there were no laws against disciplining a neighbor's kid.  The authorities (and most parents) saw it as "correcting a child" who otherwise would err as an adult.

Stupid Rules
Now, get this.  An 82 year old lady visiting her dying husband in a hospital, is leaving with her adult son to go home.  She falls and actually breaks her hip in the lobby of the hospital and there's blood all around.  And what is she told?  You guessed it (or did you?) -- "no one can help you until you call an ambulance".  Wow.  Stupidity plus.   Top marks for that.  Of course, the hospital said it was poor communication (and I'd add poor training) among staff who were still using old rules.  Really?   Don't get me going.  If you want the details, they're in the link below.


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Hunger Strikes

As I read today's paper, I thought I might just rant a little about some of the news it contained.  I find some of the things people and organizations do so insane.  Here is one such story:

Hunger Strikes


Remember that dairy farmer who thought he'd get rich by selling shares in cows to individuals so they can have their own unpasteurized milk?  He is 57 years old and an advocate of organic raw milk.  He is appealing a recent (second level) Ontario Court of Justice decision that found him guilty of several counts related to selling unpasteurized milk -- a no-no in Ontario.  Well, he's prepared to die for the cause.  And right now he's heading into his 20th day of a hunger strike -- down to just water.  I was behind this man all the way hoping he'd fight the system legally as best he can and as far as he could.  I agreed with his position.

But I can't support the use of "emotional blackmail" (which is what a hunger strike) when it comes to matters that are not ones of life and death.   So, I now leave him to his own devices.  He no longer has my sympathy.  A hunger strike over this is either stubbornness or stupidity, and often both.   You can check the story out at:


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