Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

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On Boyhood and the Oscars

February 24, 2015

On Boyhood and the Oscars.

Sharing a friend’s take on one of the events of the week. She is a beautiful and skillful writer. You might like to follow her.

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What is a GMO?

July 4, 2013

Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face

Here is a good and brief overview of genetic modification (GM), also known as genetic engineering (GE) and why it’s not such a good idea when it comes to the foods we consume. I found this very interesting:

What combinations have been tried?

It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:

  • Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
  • Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
  • Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
  • Arctic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.

Field trials have included:

  • Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
  • Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
  • Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
  • Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
  • Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
  • Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
  • Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
  • Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.

Here is the full article:  http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process

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“Paying It Forward” and Passing It On

February 27, 2013

I would like for you to hear my friend, Samson.

Samson Nyongesa is a fine young leader in Nairobi. My husband and I first learned of him when he was much younger, through our dear friend Erna Grasz, founder and CEO of Asante Africa. Samson was the first person we sponsored to obtain an education that otherwise might not be possible.

It’s obvious that this bright young man not only excelled at his studies, he graduated and is becoming a leader in areas that count: He is passing it on.

pay-it-forward

There are many ways we can make a difference in this world. One way we think is very impacting is through education. Why?

“Education is vital to a thriving society. A society that is ignorant will become the breeding ground for violence and intolerance. But an educated society will be a breeding ground for tolerance and peace, justice and understanding, innovation and advancement, and positive, self-sustaining growth. It’s important to educate our children, no matter where they live, for they will grow to become responsible citizens of their society. Each child represents a future, the future of the community, of the country, and indeed the future of the whole world.”

There is a Proverb in God’s word that goes like this: “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Of course this is true. And when we use this knowledge to improve the lives of those around us, I think that makes the heart of God very glad. May knowledgeable people seek God for true life and their purpose in how to “pay it forward.”

God bless Samson and those like him.

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do

January 19, 2013

MP900262971

Your government does not respect you. This much is clear just at passing glance:

I could go on. (Harold Estes said it best. Worth the read.)

So, what’s the answer? For many of us it is concerted prayer. We need to keep that up–it could take a miracle to turn this country around. But we need to do more. We are on the road to a crisis and it doesn’t do us good to sit on our backsides or stick our heads in the sand. I recently read an older piece by retired journalist, Charlie Reece, in his final column in the Orlando Sentinel. Here it is:

545 vs. 300,000,000 People

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private,central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Amen.

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What Is Kwanzaa and Why Should You Care?

December 27, 2012

If you were like me, you’ve heard of Kwanzaa (also spelled, Kwaanza), may have friends who celebrate it, but don’t know much about it. If you’re in that boat, here is a primer:

  • It is a non-religious week-long holiday generally celebrated only in the U.S. but also somewhat in Canada.
  • It is a celebration that honors African heritage in the African-American culture.
  • It’s observed from December 26 to January 1 and culminates in a feast and gift-giving.
  • Kwanzaa has seven core principles called Nguzo Saba: Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
  • It was created by Maulana Karenga (born Ronald McKinley Everett) in 1966, founder of United Slaves, a violent nationalist rival to the Black Panthers.

Kikombe Cha Umoja

Not many people celebrate this “new” holiday these days, but many of those who are still celebrating are likely not aware of the history of its founder.

Can you separate the holiday from its founder?

The founder, Ronald Everett (AKA Maulana Ron Karenga, AKA Maulana Karenga) has a long criminal record. In 1971, for instance, Everett served time in jail for assault. (By then Everett had changed his name to Maulana Ron Karenga and began to affect a pseudo African costume and act the part of a native African — even though he had been born in the USA.) This wasn’t mere assault: It was the sexual assault and even torture that he perpetrated against some of his own female followers. At the time, The L.A. Times reported that he placed a hot soldering iron in one woman’s mouth and used a vise to crush another’s toe. Nine years after he invented Kwaanza, Karenga became a Marxist.

As writer Lynn Woolley wrote of Professor Karenga:

And so this is Kwanzaa. The militant past of the creator is now ignored in favor of the so-called seven principles of Nguza Saba, principles such as unity, family and self-determination that could have come from Bill Bennett’s Book of Virtues. The word “Kwanzaa” is Swahili, meaning something like “fresh fruits of harvest.”

No one remembers the part about “re-Africanization” or the sevenfold path of blackness that Dr. Karenga once espoused. Hardly anyone remembers the shootings, the beatings, the tortures and the prison terms that were once the center of his life. It’s just not PC to bring that sort of stuff up now that Kwanzaa is commercialized and making big bucks.

Ann Coulter does not entirely agree:

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are the very same seven principles of the Symbionese Liberation Army, another charming legacy of the Worst Generation. In 1974, Patricia Hearst, kidnap victim-cum-SLA revolutionary, posed next to the banner of her alleged captors, a seven-headed cobra. Each snake head stood for one of the SLA’s revolutionary principles: Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, Ujamaa, Nia, Kuumba and Imani — the exact same seven “principles” of Kwanzaa.

Kwanzaa emerged not from Africa, but from the FBI’s COINTELPRO. It is a holiday celebrated exclusively by idiot white liberals. Black people celebrate Christmas.

Regardless of what pundits pose, most of Karenga’s crimes were committed against Black people, but today he is simply touted as the African-American academic who created a holiday for “cultural unity.”

Food for thought as you consider what to celebrate this season.

Resources:

You can pretty much link to all of them from here.

 

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Gun Control Out of Control

July 28, 2012

“Guns don’t kill people and spoons don’t make people fat.” Gun owners don’t advocate violence. Spoon collectors don’t advocate obesity. Perhaps those slogans are tired and a bit trite, but they are not untrue. If guns truly killed people there would be a lot of dead people on rifle ranges and corn fields during pheasant hunting season. You can extend that statement to say if lawful citizens with guns killed people there would be a lot more dead people…

Responsible gun ownership (e.g. you purchased it legally and you know how to use—and not use—it) has been proven over and over and over again to REDUCE violent crime. Abolishing the 2nd amendment of the United States Constitution would do nothing, absolutely NOTHING to stem the tide of criminal procurement of arms, ammo and the use of both. Implementing even crazier gun control laws does NOTHING to stop the crazier James Holmes’s of the world.

My heartfelt prayers and sympathy is extended to families and friends of senseless tragedies like the Aurora theater shooting. But the answer is not taking guns away from me and people like me. How difficult is this to understand? Lawful people possessing firearms do lawful things with them (hunt, shoot targets, and if necessary protect their families from criminals). Lawless people possessing firearms do lawless things with them (threaten, rob, and kill people, mostly those who are unarmed). Now read this slowly: Lawless people do not care about the law. It’s not a difficult statement to understand. Gun control laws and the unconstitutional tweaking of the 2nd amendment only impacts lawful citizens. The only ones left with the arms are the government and the criminals. Do you really want the rest of the country in the cross fire (or crosshairs!) of those two?? Surely not!

Here is another simple statement: Guns are valuable in many self-defense situations. The point is especially important because no one, even those in favor of gun control, oppose the right of people to defend themselves or their families. Fact: During the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, every major news network carried footage of armed Korean store owners sitting on the roofs of their establishments. Those were the stores that were not torched, and those were the people that were not dragged into the street and beaten by rioters.

Fact: In 2007, the city of Kennesaw, Georgia was selected by Family Circle magazine as one of the nation’s “10 best towns for families.” The city is perhaps best known nationally for its mandatory gun-possession law. In 1982 the city passed an ordinance [Sec 34-21]:

    (a) In order to provide for the emergency management of the city, and further in order to provide for and protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants, every head of household residing in the city limits is required to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.

(b)Exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who suffer a physical or mental disability which would prohibit them from using such a firearm. Further exempt from the effect of this section are those heads of households who are paupers or who conscientiously oppose maintaining firearms as a result of beliefs or religious doctrine, or persons convicted of a felony.

There is evidence that this gun law has reduced the incident rate of home burglaries. In the first year, home burglaries dropped from 65 before the ordinance, down to 26 in 1983, and to 11 in 1984. Another report observed a noticeable reduction in burglary from 1981, the year before the ordinance was passed, to 1999. Overall crime rate had decreased by more than 50% between 1982 and 2005. The city’s website claims the city has the lowest crime rate in the county. As of this writing, there have been but four murders since 1982 and three of those happened in the ‘safe school zone’ in which no weapons at all are allowed. Again, murderers do not care about laws, including safe school zones…

Do not believe the rhetoric of those who want to take away legal firearms from lawful people like me. If you want to do something about gun-related crime, do something about the criminal. Educate him before he becomes one (and while you’re at it, educate his parents), train him for a good job in his teens before he has too much time on his hands in his 20’s, try another crime deterrent approach instead of locking him up with other like-minded criminals so he leaves prison better equipped in his skills than before he went in, best of all: share with him the saving love, grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ. But for goodness sake, don’t let the Government take away the right of the rest of us to protect ourselves from those who couldn’t care less about gun laws.

Two of my babies: Reva and Junior.

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KONY 2012 (In case you haven’t read enough.)

March 13, 2012

I was going to post my thoughts on the Invisible Children Kony 2012 campaign, but after reading so many other insightful blogs on the topic, I have nothing to add. So instead, here are links to a few of those so you can form your own opinion (mine is at the end).

First, the record-breaking YouTube video (nearly 77 million views in about twice as many hours):

Up-to-the-minute news coverage from the UK’s The Guardian:  Kony 2012: What’s the Real Story?

A blog  (Paradox Uganda) by missionaries who are there: On Kony and Viruses.

A number of resources posted by Rachel Held Evans:  Some Resources on the Invisible Children Controversy as well as her post on RELEVANT magazine:  Is Kony 2012 Good or Bad?

My opinion, in brief:

  1. Shining a bright light on injustice and causing people to fight evil and protect the innocent is a good thing.
  2. We would do well to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves with regard to our response to a very complex and ongoing situation which is very unfamiliar to most Americans. Any approach should honor the very people who are the objective of the ‘rescue.’
  3. Evil is not one man, wickedness lurks in every heart. Jesus Christ is the only Changer of hearts.

My prayer is that God uses the movement, the controversy, and the conversation to bring justice to innocent people, people to saving grace, and most of all: glory to Himself.

Update — 3.16.12:

A couple of additional resources worth checking out:

Matt Papa’s response to Kony

Michele Perry asks what it really means to love our enemies

Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey answers some of the questions about Invisible Children that have been raised in the wake of KONY 2012’s viral success