Friday, October 26, 2007

Kenyan elders must resort to a big curse

Kenyan tribe punishes developers with curse
By Nick Wadhams in Nairobi
Last Updated: 2:36am BST 26/10/2007

Elders of the Kikuyu tribe in Kenya are to curse anyone they deem to have desecrated a sacred hill after enduring 20 years of logging, tea planting and the erection of a mobile phone mast.
The Kikuyu, the country's dominant tribe, believe that God uses Karima Hill as a stepping stone on his walk to Mount Kenya each day. Rather than pursuing their grievance through the courts, the elders have gathered this week in a nearby town to plan the curse that will punish the wrongdoers.


But Kikuyu leaders say the last 20 years have seen Karima Hill devastated by the planting of foreign trees such as eucalyptus and cyprus, which have dried up nearby streams.
The trees are then cut down for use by a local tea company which paid the county council for an 80-acre concession.

(rest of article at this link):

and from this site more about the precious water supply:
Under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (Emca), any of the two ministers is allowed to declare any area of land, lake or river a protected zone for the purpose of specific ecological process, natural environment system, natural beauty or certain species of indigenous wildlife or preservation of biological diversity in general. On March 19, the local community’s lawyer wrote to the clerk of Othaya Town Council and Iria-ini Tea Factory threatening to move to court.

The letters, copied to Central Provincial and Nyeri District Environment Committees, wanted the two to immediately stop carrying out any activities on the hill or face legal action.
Kaifa coordinator, Mr Kariuki Thuku, says Karima Hill has nine major streams that used to feed thousands of residents who surround it with water. Eight of them are partly underground with the exception of Gakina whose source is on top of the hill.

The streams Ichamama, Gakina, Ruiria, Maria, Gatheru, Kamuriini, Karunguni, Gaturi and Ihiga-ini are evenly distributed round the hill slopes. Apart from Ichamama, the rest gave dried up due to wanton destruction of the forest.

They started drying up when most of the indigenous trees were replaced by thousands of cedar, eucalyptus and cypress trees. The council has been planting the exotic trees in total disregard of an advice by the Ministry of Water, which called for stopping of planting the trees nearly 20 years ago.

I must admit I'm totally with the elders on their decision. Bless their hearts you see they have fought this for twenty years and now 8 of the 9 streams are dried up. So something has got to be done and I think they are doing the right thing.

Ironically I have a connection to Kenya from 1974! I was working in a land use planning lab that had a contract with the Kenyan government for some aerial photography. This was in very early days before there was much available in way of satellite images, and before computers were able to process images, so this was mostly done by hand. The graduate student who was paid for doing this was out one day when a bunch of phone calls came in wanting to know what the delay was. I was just an employee who had started there as a student, and was very junior, but since the government was involved I organized all sorts of emergency trips and activities (including my driving to Rochester to get the special film) and cajoling the staff to work on the photos later that day. When the grad student sauntered back a few days later he waved it off as alarm over nothing. But to me, it was a matter of trust, with promises made and commitment dates to be met. I enjoyed working on the Kenya photos those two days (though I didn't enjoy having the crisis dumped in my lap by someone who was getting all the prestige, money and credit, as usual!!) What a "blast from the past" as we used to say in those days lol.

The Slaughter in Cambodia

Many people alive today are too young to remember the genocide of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. Some of the leaders are finally being brought to trial for the torture and murder of millions of innocent people.

I remember it very well. I remember cheering when Vietnam finally invaded and brought this to an end. I could not believe how silent all of the countries of the world were for three full years as the slaughter had rolled on. The Vietnamese became the heroes and I'll always remember that.

This article can bring the too young to remember quickly up to speed, in a sadly artistic way:

Addressing US election angst about abortion

By the way, if anyone thinks that your vote is confidential, you are naive. People have tracked how I vote for years (when I vote, since I do not always do so, especially since I've had to move so frequently after losing my house. Plus I once reconciled with a boyfriend during an election and didn't vote then either! Bad civic citizen huh? LOL).

The reason people are so fascinated with how I vote is because they look for the stumbling block, the "gotcha" in the contradiction between my religious creed and for whom I cast a ballot.

First let me remind you that Jesus Christ had to deal with the same issues. In his case it dealt with taxation, which represents civil authority. Everyone is moderately well read and educated know that Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. In other words, if you must pay taxes and participate in government, then do so. Jesus said to likewise give to God what is God's, which is to lead a godly and god fearing life. Now, if people were as crackpot then as they are today they would have pressed the matter to say, "Hey Jesus, but some of the taxes going to Caesar goes toward purchasing wood for crucifixion crosses and torture devices! You are then a hypocrite for obeying a taxation that results in deeds that are contrary to God's law!" Simple and political minds that are tempted by the devil always insist on driving a wedge between being pious and being forced to living a real and pragmatic life among real people on a real earth.

Now, in a way Jesus anticipated what crackpots could say about how one cannot be pious and yet participate in, by definition, flawed, political and unjust government. The part that everyone misses in this event is that Jesus obtains the coin for the tax by having a disciple catch a fish who has the coin in its mouth. This is the coin he gives in tax. Now obviously, Jesus did not have to resort to a fish providing the coin, since his disciples and supporters had jobs and income to support Jesus and the fledgling Christian community who followed him. But Jesus in being challenged by the questioners made the point of using a coin that is divinely provided (his knowledge of the coin in the fish and the fish being at hand to be caught being the work of the Holy Spirit). He is doing what people nowadays ought to recognize as "thinking outside of the box." He neither defied civic authority regarding taxes, nor did he roll over and say "Sure, here's my money, spend it on any unjust activity that you can think of." In this case he chose a third way, which is to use a coin provided to him by the Holy Spirit in order to pay his obligatory tax.

Jesus is trying to teach people that there is the reality of being on earth and having to do the BEST that you can with the civic authority you are given. For example, he drove the money changers from the temple because that was a direct part of his mission and agenda. But having the mission of being the Messiah (and thus also role modeling for subsequent pious Christians) does not negate the reality of life, the part of life that is not his mission to challenge. He did not come to earth to challenge the tax code, or Rome's policy. He came to bring the New Covenant between God and humankind. So with this important story of a key event in his life (which has almost become trite because of the very quotable punch line about rendering to Caesar and to God) if you look at the entire event, you can see that Christ is demonstrating how to think outside of the box where it matters. So you can pay the coin of tax, but you can also resist the system and work to change it. This is what the divinely provided coin in the fish represents. Christ did not dip into the pockets of his followers to pay the tax. He paid it, but he did not pay it by sacrificing money from the religious community's pocket. He was showing that there is more than one way to meet the demands.

You need to use this lesson to sort your way through the coming elections and the dark weight of the injustice of abortion. People are cornered by pundits and advocates into feeling there are only two choices: to be against abortion and therefore vote only for those who oppose abortion, or to vote for someone who is in favor of abortion and thus be forced to "endorse" their belief. This is not true! It's ridiculous that every time I voted for someone who is pro choice that it in any way indicated my endorsement of their pro choice view! How childish! Does anyone think that abortion will be outlawed based on who is voted for President? Especially when the Supreme Court was firmly liberal? No... in past elections (I'm talking about the past 30 years collectively) one had to find the third way. One had to vote for a President based on what one wished to respond to in their platform that reflected the reality of the current politic.

My advice is to vote for the person who you believe can do the overall job of President the best (these are dangerous times, lest anyone need reminding, and I do not mean simply terrorism, I mean the disintegration of the cohesion of values, faith and productivity of the United States) AND who will appoint Supreme Court justices who are conservative. A person who would be a good sound President who will build cohesion in our country again AND who understands the Supreme Court needs to back away from its liberal activism can still serve the anti-abortion movement even if the candidate is soft on that particular issue. (I don't suggest being soft on abortion to anyone since it's not going to have a good outcome in one's personal final reckoning in judgment with God, but that's the "what is God's to God" part). In my voting history I have put other agenda items regarding the qualifications of a President ahead of only the abortion issue.

This does not mean that I do not think that abortion is the scourge and the destroyer of humanity as we know it and thus the most dark crisis that humans face today. It means I don't think the President is going to solve the crisis. The hearts of people must change if society and humanity is going to be saved. Abortion ought to be stopped because one by one babies stop being aborted, even if eventually the aborting bastards resort to "two for one coupons" to stimulate their "legal" business. Abortion will be stopped when family by family and individual by individual a pregnancy is brought to term and the child adopted into a family or into a high quality loving foster-orphanage situation, which there is great need for anew in this country (and worldwide for that matter). I cannot describe my outrage that young people in a survey feel that "abortion" is "better" than "adoption." Are you kidding me? It is better to snuff out a life than to inconvenience oneself for nine months and give the new life to someone else who could love him or her? It is morally better to kill than to adopt out? This is the violent society that our children have been raised in, that now they think this way.

So while I am against Roe v. Wade and think it would be great if it went to a state by state legality, I'm not fooled into thinking that this is how abortion will be solved and eliminated until it is "rare and repugnant" (my preferred phrase for describing what I hope will one day happen regarding the status of abortion). My biggest quarrel with the pro life movement is how they totally dropped the ball 30 years ago when they could have organized financial intervention to sponsor unplanned pregnancy birth and adoption rather than abortion. They screwed up colossally when they focused on confrontation instead of reaching out and being a substitute mother, father, aunt, uncle, brother, sister to those who are pregnant. Women who don't have an alternative abort. Let's face it, women have become weak and selfish. But when this first happened, before the tidal wave of weakness and being selfish, women who were in an unplanned pregnancy were in real jams. They did face being thrown out of home, out of school, and with no income (since they were probably sleeping with drugged up lazy hippies, and I'm not kidding, that was when it all started, you know, "free love!") The women I knew who had abortions feared their families' reaction, and had no alternatives. Really religious people should have banded together and provided an intervention for these women so that they could pay for their prenatal care, provide a home if necessary, keep them in school or their jobs so long as practical, arrange for adoptions, and help them back into their life track after the birth with good counseling and support. I KNOW that many, not all, but many of the women would not have had abortions in those circumstances. Not only would millions of babies had been saved, but so would millions of consciences. Further both sides would not have developed the violent calluses that they have in this battle. Women (girls) have become weak and selfish and think nothing of snuffing out not only one but serial pregnancies as a means of birth control! And pro life people have developed calluses by looking down on the women and rubbing their hands saying "What can I do about it?" And we have an entire generation of pseudo men/boys who don't even know what it is like to have a father, or to be a father. The calluses are everywhere and no one is really doing the person by person work to change this monstrosity.

So grow up! Yes a candidate's position on abortion is very important and merits very sober consideration. But how stupid has this society become to think that abortion will be re-mediated, reduced, and hopefully one day "rare and repugnant" by pulling a lever once every four years? Come on, that is a cop out and you know it. So shut up and stop accusing each other of supporting an "abort" candidate if you are not at the same time doing the grunt work of changing hearts and saving souls and minds one pregnancy at a time. Sheesh.

Archbishop lecture about religious unity in Syria


Syria is Example of National Unity, Archbishop Ibrahim Says
Thursday, October 25, 2007 - 07:45 PM

ROME, (SANA) - Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Yohanna Ibrahim affirmed on Thursday that Syria constitutes a unique and distinguished example of the national unity among its sons.

In his lecture in Rome entitled /Cultures and Coexistence in Syria / Archbishop Ibrahim said the national unity, that Syria enjoys, is due to the available justice for all religions in the framework of citizenship, respect of all worship houses and the continuous dialogue which we live through our fasting, celebrations and worships .

Earlier, Archbishop Ibrahim asserted, during his participation at deliberations of the international meeting on peace and dialogue among civilizations and religions in Naboli , on different aspects of amity and coexistence in Syria, the Cradle of civilizations and the various heavenly religions.

Thawra- Ghossoun

Another thing to help in understanding angels

In the Bible there is mention of different “types” of angels. Michael, for example, is referred to by an angel as a “prince” of angels and his prince. Angels are said to be cherubim, principalities, and so forth. Great minds, such as Thomas Aquinas, have analyzed and explained these classifications of angels, and they are sound so far as they go. But because earthly human minds tend not to fully comprehend how to translate human concepts (such as hierarchy) into their relevance in heaven (which is the total expression of God’s will) they overly humanize what is described in the Bible.

In the previous post I explain that angels are constantly in existence and fueled by God’s will and love. This is what Jesus called “constantly facing God.” I explained that even the guardian angels love “their individual human” purely as a result of God’s will and love, and not of their own volition or impetus. Angels as an entirety exist only to be harmonious with God’s will. Angels are living beings who are friends and companions to God, but because they are created by God within the timeless realm of heaven, you must understand that they are born of the very substance of God’s will. So when ever they interact with humans, such as being a guardian angel, they do so as extensions of God’s will. That is why they seem to have different classifications and categories because angels are performing different services on behalf of God’s will at various times with various people. This does not mean that there is a hierarchy that is based on human concepts such as superiority. The different categories arise from the different God’s will functions that they perform. A prince who is human is someone who is an heir to governmental, military and monarchical power. This does not describe an angel who is a prince. An angel who is a prince is performing an overarching role that spans a multitude of people and purposes that fulfill God’s will. This does not make the princely angel more “powerful” than other angels, or more “sophisticated” than other angels, or more “trusted” than other angels. It simply means that the angel is empowered with a specific scope to perform God’s will.

When Jesus had his agony in the garden before he was betrayed by Judas, he was comforted by an angel. That is all that is said, that an angel comforted him. Could there have been a more important “job” than that? Yet the angel was not given a name, a title, or described in glorious terms. This example illustrates the pointlessness of imagining a human power structure among angels. In substance there is no difference between an angel that simply resides in the court of heaven and an angel that is performing a function for the Lord among earthly matters. Both are equally in total of God’s will, both are totally of God’s love, and both are entirely equal in their esteem and position in eternity. There are literally countless numbers of angels; their number approaches infinity. Only a few dozen have been involved in activity in earth’s sacred history. Really, the rest of the countless infinite angels have “nothing to do” so idea of human hierarchy and so forth are ridiculous and a misunderstanding of the information about the few who are recorded in Biblical writings.

I’ve written about the true nature of angels in previous posts, but wanted to add this blogging to supplement the previous one about guardian angels. I could intuit that it would be a logical question after reading what I wrote about guardian angels to “compare” them in “influence” and “power” to the other angels, since that is how people think. [They must think that way because it is a survival trait.] So I need to anticipate this question and explain what I have said in this blog that there is no hierarchy in a human sense, just differences in the activities and scope of activity that an angel is performing at a particular time as explained in the sacred literature of the Bible.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Understanding true nature of guardian angels

It is important to understand the true nature of guardian angels. Every person has a guardian angel. The angel joins the person when the person is conceived, becomes attached to the mother’s womb and “quickens” (that is, the cells begin to grow and are therefore viable and not dead). This is another reason people who argue in favor of abortion are ignorant. They argue that a baby is not a human until such and such an age. Well, those who think that and are not atheist have to ask themselves, when does the guardian angel recognize life? Duh, the same time that God does, which is as soon as an embryo is formed and starts to live through attachment in the womb. Think about it. Suppose a woman has a miscarriage. It’s not like that baby did not have a guardian angel “yet” because God waits for some sort of human based age determination. Every child from quickening embryo onward has a guardian angel, and that angel takes the baby’s soul to heaven with it should the baby perish. So be assured that there is a guardian angel present for every human, starting when the human is preborn.

Jesus told the disciples that the guardian angel always “faces God.” This was his way of explaining the nature of angels in general, although the topic was to be careful not to hurt children because their guardian angel has a “direct line” to God. Obviously that direct line is there via every guardian angel; it does not go away as the child grows to the adult. Jesus was saying this within the context of explaining why children are the heirs to heaven and how people need to not discount the importance of children, as people tended to do then and in that instance. But from that comment comes a very important teaching about the nature of angels. Angels, being pure spirit and created by God are in every respect always fully “of” God. By that I mean that their entire existence is the manifestation of God’s will. Angels have “personalities” but only within complete compatibility of having their only priority be whatever God’s will is. This is what Jesus meant when he said they always “face” God; they are always in communion with and part of God’s existence and will.

Thus, while angels are provided to each person, it is a mistake to think of “your” angel as being “on your side.” Your guardian angel loves you but only because God loves you. The love that a guardian angel feels for a person exists only as a subset of the love that God has for that person. An angel loves you because God loves you. A guardian angel is never an “advocate” or “intercessor” regarding matters of the soul. The guardian angel is the lifelong individual “valentine” from God to you.

The Qur’an provides some information about this that many people do not properly understand on first reading. In the Qur’an it is explained that God ordered the angels to worship Adam, the first man. Some people find that puzzling, because they reason that it is odd that God, who is perfect, would have angels, who are perfect spirit creatures of God worship flawed and sinful humans. But what this part of the Qur’an is teaching is what I explained above. God orders the angels to love humans as God does. God does not worship humans, but the use of the word worship is meant to indicate the valuing of humans in admiration of their having been created and loved by God. Anything that God loves angels will reflect God’s love onto in their turn.

So while everyone has a guardian angel who both loves the human person and has their best interest in mind, harmony with one’s guardian angel is enhanced if you understand that the angel is not “taking your side” or acting as your spiritual advocate. An angel is not a spiritual intercessor, nor does an angel perform a role of a prophet, martyr, saint, or divine intercessor. If you get in a spiritual jam, the angel is not advocating for you to God. Remember the angel loves you as a reflection of the love God feels for every one of his children. But if you think that your guardian angel is performing spiritual advocacy, you are jeopardizing the fruitful communion that is possible with your guardian angel, because you are expecting actions and language that the guardian angel does not in fact use. Suppose for example you engage in sinful or risky behavior. You might think that your guardian angel “understands.” Most assuredly the angel does not. Angels in general do NOT understand anything outside of love of God, obedience to God, and harmony with God’s will. They do not comprehend anything that is not based on love of God and submission to his will. Guardian angels do well understand the consequences of risky or sinful behavior, and also the dangers of every day life. Guardian angels intercede more than people realize in trying to get people to be careful, to double check safety measures, to be good and caring neighborhood “watchdogs” and to “look out for the other guy.” We all know stories like that but trust me, guardian angels try to do more than people realize. But their voices of caution, love of God, and performing God’s will are often drowned out, suppressed or missed out on by the ego orientation of people who think that angels are there to “cover one’s butt” or to look out for one’s interests even when one is acting contrary to God’s love and God’s will for the person.

Here are painful examples. When a person thinks only of themselves and their pleasure, they do not hear their guardian angel warning them to keep a close eye and tender care of their toddler child. Angels can do great intercessions of safety when a parent is oriented that way in the first place. Parents who listen to their guardian angels have an instinct for making their children safer. Just as angels are animated by God’s love for their human, they are role models for humans animating their children with love of God and love for their children. These types of parents are more likely to know what to do in an emergency, or to have what may even seem like miraculous aid if they have a dialogue with their guardian angel that is based on an understanding of God’s love and God’s will. Angels cannot get through to louts who are doing the bare minimum to care for their children, for example. And for sure the angel is not “on the side” of the person who is selfish and against God’s admonishments, who then experiences a tragedy based on carelessness but figures that the guardian angel and God should “understand” or have performed a miracle. If, for example, a parent ignores a nagging thought that they should put a particular safety feature in a house, then they are already ignoring the prodding of the guardian angel.

So how can one be more fruitful in one’s relationship with one’s own guardian angel? By understanding that the angel is on “your side” and “loves you” only because God loves you and wants you to thrive in life, and therefore you can feel uplifted by this tangible knowledge. It is a fact that every person has a guardian angel, so that is proof indeed that God loves every human, rich or poor, good or bad. This does not mean that the person will not be judged and if in a continuing state of sin that they will achieve eternal life just because God loved them in life. Knowing that you have a guardian angel that is with you until the time of one’s passing is a sign that God is open to loving all his children, all his creations, but he is in control and his will must be understood and obeyed. Understand that if a person sins egregiously, dies, and goes to hell, the angel does not grieve. I’m not being unkind here but explaining what is important to know. Angels do NOT understand anything other than love of God and obedience to God’s will. They do not understand someone who chooses otherwise. They will continue to try to guard and guide as long as the person lives, but they do not experience human love, manipulation or regrets. As Jesus said they constantly face God, so all their emotional and spiritual needs are met throughout eternity. They feel affection and love for humans strictly from God, just like if God were the waters of love, the angels sip from that spring in order to feel the love for you, the person each one is guardian angel toward. They continue to sip from the spring so long as you live but it is not dependent on them or on you. Their love comes from God and returns to God. When humans stray from God angels comprehend the dangers and consequences and they certainly do not want you to do that, but they do not “understand” it and they do not “take your side.” So the best way to commune with your guardian angel is to meditate on how they love you, flaws and all because God loves you and wants them to love you. This understanding strengthens human’s comprehension of the totality of God’s love. However, the second half to this is to understand that angels exist in bliss because they are creatures created by God and in perfect harmony with God’s will. This should be an example for people to understand that God does not love “no matter what you do” because if you deliberately reside outside of God’s will, you cannot thrive and be granted eternal life in his presence. Like the angels, to be in God’s presence is to be 100 percent of his intention and will. To do otherwise is to lock your selves out of God’s presence. This is what the guardian angel’s example can teach you.

The more that you work at loving God (and God understands it takes effort, just as it takes effort to be a good spouse, good parent, or good citizen) and the more you work at living within God’s will, the more likely you are to “hear” your guardian angel. This does not mean a guardian angel can prevent every car crash, for example, but it does mean that you are fully equipped to do the best that you can with maximum grace in life. And that is an immeasurable treasure. I hope this helps with your understanding.

By the way, I understand that the human mind strives to put human or material attributes to angels, such as their bodily appearance, colors or clothing. That is an error but understandable. Angels can take bodily form when God wills them to (as the Bible describes) but notice that most descriptions of angels other than Raphael and Gabriel refer to great light, a burnished brass like flame, and do not describe bodily attributes. Angels in their natural forms are like a cloud of light. You are most in tune with your guardian angel’s appearance and mode of communication if you think of them as a cloud of light in your general vicinity that always faces and is illuminated by God. And while this is an oversimplification of the nature of angels, it is also useful to think of your guardian angel as being reflective of the opposite gender than you. Notice I say “reflective” of because as I said, all of an angel’s being and existence comes from God; it is not self generating. So if you are a woman your guardian angel can be correctly thought of as a cloud of light that is illuminated by God using primarily God’s masculine qualities. If you are a man your guardian angel can be correctly thought of as a cloud of light that is illuminated by God using primarily God’s feminine qualities. These qualities have nothing to do with you or your gender or orientations. It is a natural outcome of how God established the order of life, so that the genders pair and guide, nurture and tend to each other. This is why wisdom and the Holy Spirit can be thought of at various times as masculine or feminine. So the form of your guardian angel is entirely generated by God and is not derivative from your human qualities whatsoever. People who tell you they can see your angel and they are wearing turquoise bloomers are pulling those cartoon images out of their own heads (often happily fueled by “you know who” who likes to deceive). Angels are exactly as they are described in the Bible and the Qur’an; they are not subject to human qualities and attributes, nor are they differentiated by visual vanities of humans. Angels are the light of God focused on a purpose and animated by his spirit and love. They are physical (though of heavenly physicality) embodiments of God’s will.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Reading from the Qur'an

Here is the "parable of the ashes" from the Qur'an.

Surah 14: 18-20

The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord: their actions are like ashes on which the wind blows hard on a stormy day; they shall not have power over any thing out of what they have earned; this is the great error.

Do you not see that Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth? If He please He will take you off and bring a new creation.

And this is not difficult for Allah.

Made my homemade onion soup

It's one of my favorites and very easy to prepare.

I melt a stick of butter in a large pot. I then cook the peeled and sliced up onion wedges until the onion "caramelizes" (it turns brown as the heat crystallizes sugar, making it sweet). This usually takes a little over an hour. Then add water for stock, with a beef bouillon cube for each cup of water you add. Slice up an entire piece of mozzarella cheese and add the slices. Cook for a few minutes until flavors blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

A tip about peeling onions. I take off not only the skin but the outermost layer of onion too to discard. This is because pesticides and other chemical residue tends to concentrate in the outer layer of fruits and veggies. This is why it's a good idea to peel fruit and veggies, even though you are discarding good nutrition and fiber. I just don't trust what is put on produce. Taking off the outer layer gets rid of most of the risk.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Great story about dog training in prison

Second chances for dogs, inmates
Inmates waiting for a new life take dogs rescued from a pound and create animals to serve others


LaVigueur is among 12 Fort Lyon inmates teaching canines rescued from dog pounds to serve disabled people and police and fire departments as well as crime victims. The prisoners teach dogs skills they will use to find cadavers following house fires, sniff out bombs and protect a victim of a brutal rape in New York City.

In the fifth year of the Colorado Department of Corrections' dog training program, inmates across Colorado are teaching dogs as many as 55 commands each. The work demands patience not suited to most inmates, yet it also requires the concentrated devotion of people like inmates who have a lot of time on their hands.

"This program will bring mean people like me to tears," said Christopher Vogt, a second-degree murder convict from Grand Junction serving a 48-year sentence. "I understand how privileged I am" to be in the program.

Vogt instructs other inmates at Fort Lyon, near Las Animas in southeastern Colorado, how to train dogs. He has taken correspondence courses, earning master dog-trainer designation.
"If I got out tomorrow, this is what I would do," Vogt said.

Only good things come from programs like this. I wish them all the best.

Worse Than Global Warming Crisis By Far

CNN reports on what I consider to be the biggest environmental and health Smoking Gun: Westerners poisoning themselves with chemicals.

Read this article. I've been warning about this for over 30 years.


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Michelle Hammond and Jeremiah Holland were intrigued when a friend at the Oakland Tribune asked them and their two young children to take part in a cutting-edge study to measure the industrial chemicals in their bodies.

"In the beginning, I wasn't worried at all; I was fascinated," Hammond, 37, recalled.
But that fascination soon changed to fear, as tests revealed that their children -- Rowan, then 18 months, and Mikaela, then 5 -- had chemical exposure levels up to seven times those of their parents.

"[Rowan's] been on this planet for 18 months, and he's loaded with a chemical I've never heard of," Holland, 37, said. "He had two to three times the level of flame retardants in his body that's been known to cause thyroid dysfunction in lab rats."

The technology to test for these flame retardants -- known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) -- and other industrial chemicals is less than 10 years old. Environmentalists call it "body burden" testing, an allusion to the chemical "burden," or legacy of toxins, running through our bloodstream. Scientists refer to this testing as "biomonitoring."

Most Americans haven't heard of body burden testing, but it's a hot topic among environmentalists and public health experts who warn that the industrial chemicals we come into contact with every day are accumulating in our bodies and endangering our health in ways we have yet to understand.

People have thought I'm an unclean idiot for not using an abundance of chemical "cleaners" or manufactured materials (instead of natural wood etc) when maintaining my household (such as it is). I've avoided plastic wherever I can, using wooden kitchen tools, glass beverage containers, and stoneware or porcelain wherever I can, and real silver flatware. Trust me, as alarming as this article is, that is just the leading edge of the crisis. People's bodies, minds, places of work, residence, and the earth itself is increasingly poisoned throughout.

Gosh, and I wonder why there is so much cancer, childhood disorders, birth defects, autism, infertility (for those who still bother actually having children), ADHD, and so forth.

Astrologers would tell you it's because Mercury is in the wrong place. New hippies say it is because of vaccinations against diseases. Get a grip. Plastic and industrial chemicals are everywhere and invade every pore of people and the environment, haunting even after it is eliminated in the waste water and leaching out of dumps, and into the very oceans around the world. Good God, when are people going to wake up to this? If there is a global manmade emergency it is this. People are turning themselves (their bodies) and the earth into plastic chemical contaminated dumps.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Monkeys considered sacred kill Indian deputy mayor

Monkeys in India kill government official.... the Deputy Mayor of New Delhi!


Last year, the Delhi High Court reprimanded city authorities for failing to stop the animals from terrifying residents and asked them to find a permanent solution to the monkey menace.

Part of the problem is that devout Hindus believe monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god Hanuman and feed them bananas and peanuts — encouraging them to frequent public places.

Over the years, city authorities have employed monkey catchers who use langurs — a larger and fiercer kind of monkey — to scare or catch the macaques, but the problem persists.

And atheists spend all their time criticizing the Christian religion? LOL.

Christ and God not found via entertainment

Big mistake.

Jesus Christ is not people's "feel good pal." Jesus Christ is, as he repeatedly taught, a pointer to God. Finding God means obeying his commandments and teaching his will with sobriety and understanding of the dignity and holiness of his name. Knowledge of God needs to be taught from childhood within structured family and/or church school/catechism.

Priests, deacons, pious parents and teachers, not entertainers.

What is truly "ugly?"

A willfully dirty soul.

I can see people's souls and trust me, their exterior is overwhelmed by their interior. It's disgusting to see, actually.

Quick important sermon by Pope's preacher

An important homily (sermon) by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Pontifical Household preacher.


Jesus himself gave us the example of unceasing prayer. Of him, it is said that he prayed during the day, in the evening, early in the morning, and sometimes he passed the whole night in prayer. Prayer was the connecting thread of his whole life.

But Christ’s example tells us something else important. We are deceiving ourselves if we think that we can pray always, make prayer a kind of respiration of the soul in the midst of daily activity, if we do not set aside fixed times for prayer, when we are free from every other preoccupation. The same Jesus who we see praying always, is also the one who, like every other Jew of his period, stopped and turned toward the temple in Jerusalem three times a day, at dawn, in the afternoon during the temple sacrifices, and at sundown, and recited ritual prayers, among which was the “Shema Yisrael!” -- “Hear, O Israel!” On the Sabbath he also participated, with his disciples, in the worship at the synagogue; different scenes in the Gospels take place precisely in this context.

Kidnapped Priests Released in Iraq

Kidnapped Priests Released in Iraq

Thank you to those who worked for their release. You know who you are. God bless you.

Naples has crime problem; thinks what to do

The deplorable situation in Naples was mentioned in the context of the Pope's visit, where he speaks about the threat of the culture of violence, especially among the young:,4670,PopePeace,00.html

People have asked for the army. The Pope urges addressing this problem too. I guess if folks don't do something maybe Sharia law is the answer after all. What can I say that I haven't already said so many times before?

JK Rowling needs a cup of shut up IMHO


NEW YORK — Harry Potter fans, the rumors are true: Albus Dumbledore, master wizard and Headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay.
J.K. Rowling, author of the mega-selling fantasy series that ended last summer, outed the beloved character Friday night while appearing before a full house at Carnegie Hall. After reading briefly from the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," she took questions from audience members.
She was asked by one young fan whether Dumbledore finds "true love."
"Dumbledore is gay," the author responded to gasps and applause.


Has JK Rowling ever seen a microphone she has not liked? How about a cup of "shut up" instead, and enjoy your money. First we hear this was a "Christian inspired" set of books (which is crap) and now this. Stop manipulating children; isn't the pots of money and fame enough for you? Sheesh.

In Memory of Max McGee

Sad Football News: the Passing of a Star and Good Man

My favorite football team is the Green Bay Packers. It has been since my childhood, and I am old enough to remember Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr's era. Max McGee of that team, who scored the first touchdown ever in Super Bowl history, died of a fall from the roof of his house. It is so sad, and he reminds me of my stepfather, who insisted on staying active around the house even when he was at an advanced age too.

I read that he fell while I was attending an outdoor concert here in Mississippi. I was standing under a tree near the side of the stage, and the weather was beautiful, the rock band great. I stood throughout their set. Yet I developed a fierce pain in my side, one that bothered me all night (if you've ever been punched in the kidney you know what kind of pain I am alluding to...) While listening to all night sports radio on ESPN I heard that Max had fallen.

God bless his soul and comfort his family and friends.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Jews not "Un-perfected" Christians not "Complete"

I would certainly not say that Jews who accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah become "perfected" or "complete." This is what a conservative (somewhat reactionary) firebrand commentator Anne Coulter is supposed to have said recently, which is causing great consternation among some Jews.

Both sides are in error. She was not making hate speech but rather expressing the politically incorrect but accurate view that Christians affirm that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of Israel foretold in the Book (the Old Testament). Jews are so fearful of the slippery slope of anti-Semitism that they overreact when a Christian states that he or she believes that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews. I mean, duh, that is the Christian belief.

However, she and others who state this are in error to assert that Jews, either individually or collectively, are somehow incomplete or unperfected. They are and remain the first to whom God revealed himself. It is very presumptuous of certain evangelical or fundamental Christians to assume that God views his first people as incomplete. And certainly Christians are not "perfected" or "complete" themselves. Jesus himself stated in the Bible, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God." If Jesus would not accept the title of "good" from an "average Joe" then how can certain Christians claim to know who is "complete" and "perfected?" They cannot and they should not put words in God's mouth that Jesus Christ himself would not do. And they certainly should not second guess God's relationship with the Jews. However, Jews need to chill out and understand that while they are still awaiting their Messiah (those who still are faithful and have not secularized) Christians (and Muslims incidentally) recognize and affirm that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of Israel. While Christians have no right to be judgmental, as I described above, likewise they should not be ashamed of expressing that core belief and truth of their faith.

Ghana Catholics Read Qur'an to Promote Dialogue

Please read this story about Ghana's Cardinal and how he is promoting the reading of the Qur'an by Catholics to help in dialogue and peace:


GHANA-ISLAM Oct-16-2007 (440 words) With photos posted July 2. xxxi Cardinal: Ghana's Catholics learn Islamic texts to further dialogue. By Simon Caldwell

Catholic News ServiceLONDON (CNS) -- Catholics in Ghana are being taught the Qur'an and Islamic scriptures to further interreligious dialogue and community cohesion, said the country's first cardinal.

Cardinal Peter Turkson of Cape Coast, Ghana, said in an Oct. 15 interview with Catholic News Service that relations between Catholics and Muslims in Ghana were "pretty cordial," but he acknowledged that rising Islamic militancy around the world presented new challenges to relations between Christians and Muslims in his country.

Cardinal Turkson said that any rising tensions were being countered by a "dynamic program of action."

"We are promoting the study of the Qur'an among Catholics so there is no ignorance about or intolerance of what it stands for," the cardinal said.

"We have what we call a dialogue of action," he said. "We come together to undertake common projects.

"If a well needs digging for water, we will drill the borehole together, for example, and we build schools together," he said.

I am delighted to see this. There is nothing to fear in reading the Qur'an (or the Bible for that matter) because both enhance rather than detract from the glory of the one God.

My thoughts about Russian Orthodox Church

Here is the web site of the Russian Orthodox Church:

There is a lot of good reading here and I highly recommend it. It includes the speech by Patriarch Aleksy II of Moscow and All Russia to the European Community at PACE.

My stepfather, rest his soul, was Russian Orthodox and I have always had a great fondness for both the Russian Orthodox Church, praying for it through its tribulations of the Soviet era, and also for its very devout people. They are rightfully proud of their orthodoxy and deep roots in the Christian faith, holding much in their liturgy that is dear and historically sound.

My only wish is that the Russian Orthodox Church be more responsive to reaching out to the Catholic Church. One of my greatest disappointments is that Pope John Paul II died snubbed in his wish to visit Russia (he received an invitation from the government, but not from the Russian Orthodox Church). I know that it made him very sad, and he did not deserve that at all. It pains me whenever I think about it and it is an example of how some things cannot be undone. There is a snippiness about conversion and other issues that I think is unbecoming to the gravitas that I believe the Russian Orthodox Church possesses, to its enormous credit. As a life long Roman Catholic I hope that I see more signs from the Russian Orthodox Church of receptivity to the overtures from the Vatican and specifically Pope Benedict XVI.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

USA neither matriarchal or patriarchal

I listened to a radio talk show host opine that the United States has become a matriarchal society. I understand what he meant but he is wrong. The United States is neither a matriarchal or patriarchal society. It is what one would most precisely call a "pussy whipped" society.

A matriarchal society posits that lineage (children within male-female marriages) is managed through the female side of the family. In other words, family history, inheritance, and the joining of children to clan and community runs through the female line. Like a patriarchal society this implies that the primary concern of the society is the having of children within male-female marriages and the structure of families and their treasure.

The United States, like Westernized Europe, is as far from being concerned about having children as can be imagined. The thought that the US is "matriarchal" at the same time that having and raising children within a family has disappeared off of people's list of priorities is just laughable. A real matriarchal society would spit on the aborting self absorbed stripper pole installing "fully actualized" "career women with booty" that populate this "society" today. Likewise a real patriarchal society would spit on the pussy whipped men of this society, who do not care at all about having a normal family and raising children who are the light of their eyes and the pride of their lives. It was not so long ago that the gift of a child within a family to a husband and wife was the highest prize, a gift from God, that both the poorest and the richest people shared in their esteem.

So don't call this a matriarchal society; that is an insult to those societies who actually valued their children as their treasures. This is P. W. S. A.

Using logic discerning "insanity defense"

Expert: Killer believed she was pregnant

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A psychiatrist testified Tuesday an unstable Kansas woman believed she was pregnant when she killed an acquaintance and cut the woman's baby from her womb.

Vilayanur Ramachandran said Lisa Montgomery is delusional and suffered from pseudocyesis, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported.

Montgomery could face the death penalty if convicted of strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett in Skidmore, Mo., and cutting her fetus from her womb. The defense does not deny the killing but says Montgomery, who lived in Kansas and knew Stinnett through their mutual interest in dog breeding, was deranged at the time and did not understand what she was doing.

Um, anyone notice a problem with this argument? If she thought she was pregnant why did she have to go out and procure a baby from someone else?

She may well be insane but the argument that someone thinks she is pregnant, and then goes to cut the baby out of someone else is self contradictory.

My thoughts on the insanity defense. I do not believe it applies unless the person is so out of control that they cannot physically or mentally stop themselves. That's a lot rarer than people think.

Any "preparation" and "cover up" work really negates an insanity defense. The ability to control one's decision making is contraindicative of an insanity defense. (Notice I'm not saying that the person may not have a mental illness. I am saying that there's a difference between a suspect having a mental illness, and stating that the mental illness was in control when the crime occurred.) Lawyers have really taken advantage of jurors on this issue for a long time. An insanity defense should be legitimate only when the person truly is unable to stop themselves due to being taken over by a specific illness at the time of the crime. Having a mental illness is different than an insanity defense. People need to wise up about this for their own safety. People can have a mental illness ("be insane") and still be culpable for crimes, as they, not the mental illness, are in control when they commit the crimes. People totally missed that about the Yates crime years ago. And by the way, people with mental illnesses are not stupid. Some now think that they can be cogent (willing and in control) while committing a crime (they could stop themselves if they wanted to) yet know they can claim the insanity defense. They actually tell themselves that they cannot stop themselves as they plan, conduct, and cover up the crime. A truly "insane defense" person is not even having those thoughts; they really are running amok unable to discern reality and stop themselves. Again, this is not to say that people do not have "reasons" and "mental illnesses," but I am reminding people that a person can be guilty of a crime and have a mental illness. A mental illness is rarely the actual reason for a violent crime in the sense that it takes control and is a legitimate defense for the specific criminal

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Psalm 134: A Song and Prayer for the Night Watch

Psalm 134

Exhortation to the Night Watch to Bless the Lord
A song of ascents

Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who stand
in the house of the Lord during the hours of night. Lift up your hands
toward the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. May the Lord bless you
from Sion, the maker of heaven and earth.

[This short song seems to have been sung in the temple as an encouragement
for the priests and Levites who were on duty there during the night; they respond
by blessing the people.]

I like this psalm because it is a reminder that just as the Lord does not sleep and watches over all, so too do honest people who keep the night safe and holy.

Psalm 133: A Vision of Brotherly Concord

Psalm 133

A Vision of a Blessed Community.
A song of ascents. Of David

How good it is, how pleasant,
where the people dwell as one!
Like precious ointment on the head,
running down upon the beard,
Upon the beard of Aaron,
upon the collar of his robe.
Like dew of Hermon coming down
upon the mountains of Zion.
There the Lord has lavished blessings,
life for evermore!

[Hermon referred to a majestic snow capped mountain visible in the north of Palestine.]

Saudi leading religious warns young not to jihad

Saudi mufti warns against joining jihad abroad

Sheikh Abdulaziz says ‘zealous’ young men are being exploited by outside forces for shameful goals under jihad banner.

RIYADH - Saudi Arabia's leading religious authority on Monday warned young men in the ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom against travelling abroad to wage jihad, or holy war.

Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said in a statement carried by the official state SPA news agency that "zealous" young men were being exploited by "outside forces... for shameful goals" under the banner of jihad.

The Saudi mufti and his Council of Grand Ulemas (religious scholars) carry great influence in Sunni circles, the majority religion in the Muslim world.

The mufti warned that participation in a jihad which was not condoned by the appropriate religious authorities was a "violation of the foundations of Sharia (Islamic law)."

Saudi Arabia was the country of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's birth and the militant network has been behind a wave of deadly violence in the kingdom since May 2003.

The majority of the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11, 2001 against the United States were from Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home of its holiest sites.

The kingdom, a close ally of Washington, has come under international pressure to crack down on religious scholars who preach radical Islam.


I hope that people who criticize Muslims for not condemning terrorism and correcting extremist error in their faith make note of this very important statement.

US Congress Hides From Real Leadership/Problems

I've just seen headlines (I didn't bother to read the article) that the US Congress wants to pass some sort of resolution about the WWI era slaughter of Armenians being labeled as a genocide. Excuse me, but are there not incredible problems of injustice and lack of child care and security and so forth that are taking place today that Congress should be addressing instead?

This is just the latest in "aggrieved party" legislation and reparation gymnastics, all of whom I am against because it serves no good purpose, and is actually counterintuitive. By the same logic, I suggest the US Congress pass a resolution that all people are sinners and genocide enablers because Cain slew Abel. Why does not the US Congress start there? (Oh, that's right, they might have to actually mention God the Creator in order to pass that particular resolution!) But is that not the first injustice, and is that not the father of all murders? Should not the educated and progressive US Congress start with the first offense and work their way forward, forgetting no war, no oppression, no injustice, until they eventually get around to exploring what is happening under their very long noses today?

It does not matter that I had Armenian friends whose families suffered, any more than it matters that I have had friends in every cultural group that has experienced tragedy and slaughter in the past 10,000 years of "human civilization." I'm so tired of the old dodge of trying to look compassionate and relevant by raking over the bones of those who lost their lives in the past, and thus avoiding the injustices that are rampant today. Do not think that God does not see, know that this is also another attempt to look "moral" by singling out specific groups for condemnation, yet ignoring other past transgressions. This is why it is a waste of time and worse, a diversion from addressing today's lack of piety and the prevalence of injustice. We've been over this before: slavery, Native Americans, the Holocaust (both Jewish and non Jewish victims), and by the way, Christians are never supposed to mention that Jesus was killed by someone...

Do we condemn Native American groups who sacrificed children and slaughtered neighboring tribes, at the same time we apologize for the white invasion of their lands? Do they then balance out in some crazy ledger? Will the US Congress pass resolutions for "The Unknown Genocides?" You know, all those genocides that have taken place in the past 10,000 years but are forgotten or never known in the history books? Ancient Israelites should be condemned for slaughtering the Canaanites, while at the same time we should pass a resolution condemning the slaughter of babies by the Canaanites in pagan idol infant sacrifices. Why do we not pass resolutions about that? Is that not equally bad? Should we pass resolutions to condemn from the past two centuries... but only after finding out what tribes co-enabled the selling of slaves to the whites? So we can pass the resolution condemning the US use of slaves, but we also research which tribes in Africa captured members of rival tribes and sold them into slavery in the first place?

I have a news flash. Humans are terrible evil sinners and have been since, well, as I mentioned above, Cain killed Abel. If we had nothing to do with our time but be idle scholars (since we live in such a perfect and enlightened society) I would have no problem with people generating resolution after resolution about injustices of the past. But to do so when the world is in the biggest crisis of faith and decency since World War II is unbelievably irresponsible. And don't think I don't know that it is politics and "progressiveness," not morality, that is driving this resolution about the Armenians. If people really cared about the Armenians you would be encouraging the flourishing of their Christianity and community today, not exploiting them by meaningless resolutions that do nothing but exacerbate a current problem (and I've been in Turkey so I know what I'm talking about.) When are people going to use a common belief in God and goodness to solve current problems, instead of cynically shaking the bones of the hundred year old past?

Meanwhile I can imagine God waiting for that resolution about humanity's sinfulness, desire to repent and return to piety, and condemnation of the sin of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel. I guess if Abel was gay we'd see a resolution passed much more quickly. US Congress: get a grip, stop the war on God, and get back to work. Your living constituents are suffering today. Sheesh.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Why gardening/agriculture fights depression

Here is yet another reason why I've argued that being isolated from gardening and agriculture increases mood disorders and other depression related problems.

The article demonstrates that components of the earth are beneficial to human well being. Not surprising - only surprising how people have forgotten this. People are humans, not robots in sterile environments. Now if only people could get back to the earth but have sterile hospitals, that would be nice.

Hell will be paid for pet massacre in PR

No one deserved their pets to be seized and massacred.

What a disgrace to humanity.

God knows, sees.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Bible warns against porn and coveting

It's all there if you check the Bible.

Proverbs 27: 20

The nether world and the abyss are never satisfied; so too the eyes of men.


Custody of the eyes is a requirement for avoiding the nether world and the abyss (that's parlance for hell).

Bible about kindness to animals

People have asked; here is the most direct quote.

Proverbs 12: 10

The just man takes care of his beast, but the heart of the wicked is merciless.


When something is denoted as "wicked" that represents an evil that is an offense against God. So there you have it.

Fathers Responsible for Teaching Children Faith

Christian, Muslim or Jewish... men who are fathers have the responsibility for learning their own faith and teaching it to their children, from the earliest age. Women cannot be trusted to do this, especially nowadays as they are too "busy" and self absorbed. Once women started caring only about their "self actualization" and "liberation" and "progressiveness," they stopped caring about God or their children.

One sure sign of being a man is one who is secure and knowledgeable in his faith, and who takes responsibility for teaching it to his children.

Proverbs 2: 11

My son, if you receive my words and treasure my commands, turning your ear to wisdom, inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call to intelligence, and to understanding raise your voice; if you seek her like silver, and like hidden treasures search her out; then will you understand the fear of the Lord; the knowledge of God you will find; for the Lord gives wisdom, from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding; he has counsel in store for the upright, he is the shield of those who walk honestly, guarding the paths of justice, protecting the way of his pious ones.

Then you will understand rectitude and justice, honesty, every good path; for wisdom will enter your heart, knowledge will please your soul, discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 22: 6

Train a boy in the way he should go;
even when he is old, he will not swerve from it.

Proverbs 23: 15-18

My son, if your heart be wise, my own heart will also rejoice; and my inmost being will exult, when your lips speak what is right.

Let not your heart emulate sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord always; for you will surely have a future, and your hope will not be cut off.

Tired of Pelosi

People keep expecting me to comment about her. I'm just tired of her and her self preciousness. Something that is not in short supply with politicians, celebrities, mandarins, and puffed up women. So I'm just tired of her and bored and don't even read any thing and don't care what she does, actually.

(If you don't know who she is consider yourself fortunate ha ha.)

What future do people have?

Those who reject love, and those who reject God. What future do they expect?

Muslim scholars send Open Letter and Call

The official site is found here:

I have read the entire letter and it is very pleasing and of the highest nobility and piety. Surely God must be smiling (at long last, something to smile about instead of the world devolving) at this endeavor. May only peace, goodness, faith, love and brotherly/sisterly love of neighbor grow from this.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Request Assistance Finding Kidnapped Indian Boy

Family's agony over kidnapped Bihar boy
By Amarnath Tewary Patna, Bihar

Every time the phone or the door bell rings, hope rekindles for the Pandey family in the eastern Indian city of Patna, capital of Bihar state. They hope that somebody will be calling with good tidings about their only son, Aakash Pandey, 14, who was kidnapped two months ago in what is India's most lawless state. On 10 August, Aakash was abducted by a group of men while on his way to his school.

In Bihar, extortionists and kidnappers regularly target the rich - but it's still not clear why Aakash was seized.


After spending more than 50,000 rupees ($1,100), the family's efforts have come to a naught.
Mr Pandey works as laboratory assistant in a government office earning barely enough to run his family of five.

"I have gone into severe debt with all these expenses but once Aakash returns I will take a loan from the office to repay," says a teary-eyed Mr Pandey.

"My tears are drying up. I'm a broken man. I don't know where to go and to whom," he said in a choked voice.

His wife, Anju Pandey, and two daughters, Aakanksha and Ankita, also cannot hold back their tears.


Yogendra Pandey cannot understand why the son of such a lowly paid government employee was kidnapped.

"I do not have the means to even pay 10,000 rupees ($256) as ransom. They must have abducted him on a mistaken identity," he said.


The police appear to have washed their hands of the case - they have not even been able to recover the minivan which was used for the kidnapping.

"We're absolutely clueless about this," said Bihar police chief Ashish Ranjan Sinha.
Bihar has a reputation as India's kidnapping capital.

I request and pray that a wealthy person announce an award for information leading to the return of this young boy and information about his whereabouts. I also hope this sponsor of justice can help the family financially and with interfacing with the police. Many thanks in advance.

Furious At Australian "Security" Company,2933,300329,00.html

Security Guards From Australian-Owned Security Firm Fire on Car, Killing Christian Women
Tuesday, October 09, 2007

BAGHDAD — Guards working for an Australian-owned security company fired on a car as it approached their convoy Tuesday, killing two women civilians before speeding away from the latest bloodshed blamed on the deadly mix of heavily armed protection details on Baghdad's crowded streets.


"We deeply regret this incident," said a statement from Michael Priddin, the chief operating officer of Unity Resources Group, a security company owned by Australian partners but with headquarters in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Priddin said the company would disclose more details of the shooting after "the facts have been verified and the necessary people and authorities notified." Priddin would not comment on whether his guards killed the women.


Majid said the convoy raced away after the shooting. Iraqi police came to collect the bodies and tow the car to the local station.

A second policeman, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution, said the guards were masked and wearing khaki uniforms. He said one of them left the vehicle and started to shoot at the car while another opened fire from the open back door of a separate SUV.

The victims were identified by relatives and police as Marou Awanis, born in 1959, and Geneva Jalal, born in 1977. Awanis' sister-in-law, Anahet Bougous, said the woman had been using her car to drive government employees to work to help raise money for her three daughters. Her husband died during heart surgery last year.

"May God take revenge on those killers," Bougous said, crying outside the police station. "Now, who is going to raise them?"

"These are innocent people killed by people who have no heart or consciousness. The Iraqi people have no value to them," said a man who was part of a group of relatives gathered with a Christian priest at the local police station.


What cowardly excuses for human beings. This is an unbelievable outrage. I hope this disgraceful company "verifies the facts" and does the right thing by the relatives of the victims in a damn hurry. God sees all, knows all.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Am Pressing Hamas for Justice for Christians

The killing of a prominent Palestinian Christian activist on Sunday sent a shudder of fear through the Gaza Strip's tiny Christian community, which is feeling increasingly insecure since the Islamic Hamas seized control there last summer.
The body of Rami Khader Ayyad, the 32-year-old director of Gaza's only Christian bookstore, was found on a Gaza City street early Sunday. The body bore a visible gunshot wound to the head, and an official at Gaza's Shifa Hospital said he was also stabbed numerous times. Ayyad had been missing since Saturday afternoon.
Ayyad's store, the Teacher's Bookshop, is associated with a Christian group called the Palestinian Bible Society. Ayyad regularly received anonymous death threats from people angry about his perceived missionary work, a rarity among Gaza's Christians, and in April, the bookstore was firebombed.

I am embarrassed and disappointed that Hamas has not only NOT kept their promise to remedy harm done to the persons and property of Christians during the Hamas - Fatah conflict, now they have allowed murder of this Baptist Christian to take place.

How can Hamas govern with honor if you do not keep your promises of safety and remediation?

I recognize that you have severe economic problems with your relationship with Israel but this does not mean that Christians, who do only good in your situation, should be harmed. I do not like to think of my reconsidering my position of support for Palestinian rights.

Nigerian Muslims Murder Christians Burn Churches

10 Christians slaughtered over alleged Muhammad cartoon61 injured, 9 churches burned, hundreds displaced after rumored 'insult' to Islam
Posted: October 5, 20077:53 p.m. Eastern
© 2007

Rampaging Muslims have killed 10 Christians, injured 61 others, destroyed nine churches and displaced more than 500 people in northern Nigeria, according to eyewitnesses – all because Muslim high school students claimed a Christian student had drawn a cartoon of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, on the wall of the school’s mosque.
The rampage occurred Sept. 28 in the town of Tudun Wada Dankadai, in Nigeria's northern state of Kano.
According to Compass Direct News, which specializes in reporting on Christian persecution worldwide, there are 1,500 students at the high school, called Government College-Tudun Wada Dankadai, of which only 14 are Christians, and only seven of those actually live on campus. The Christian students at the school insist no one ever saw the alleged cartoon, and furthermore that no one in the tiny minority group of Christians would have dared such a feat, especially during Ramadan.


What a disgrace to Islam. I am embarrassed. What mature Islamic person of faith believes rumors of children and run like pagans to slaughter the innocent and burn Churches that you are obligated to protect the rights of. Surely you know better.

I am ashamed that Imams and knowledgeable Muslim scholars have not chastised and corrected their brothers in Nigeria.

When I think how often I have defended mainstream Islam I am embarrassed by this crime.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

NIce article about Bibles sold but not read

A very neat reminder of how the Bible used to provide essential societal structure and a sometimes humorous with a *sigh* about how little it is read today.

A Nice Story from Dodge City Catholics

Here’s a sweet conversion story. At last, one that is simple, peaceful and joyful, with love of children and the Lord, and not full of anger, meanness and angst. Thanks to the Dodge City Daily Globe for such a gentle and personal story.
Change of faith
Former DCHS teacher becomes principal at Sacred Heart
By Ashley Nietfeld
Dodge City Daily Globe

Only one year ago, if you had asked Laura Mead to imagine where she would be today, she probably wouldn't have said, "Principal at Sacred Heart School." And yet, that's where this former high school teacher has found herself.

"This opportunity has been so wonderful for me," said Mead. "I'm not so different from these kids in the classrooms learning their prayers."

When Mead and her husband first decided to send their son to Sacred Heart, Mead decided she wanted to learn more about the faith. Growing up in a Protestant household, she wasn't familiar with the saints and prayers that her son would soon be learning.

"I asked a friend if there was a class that I could take to learn more about the Catholic religion, and I was directed to the RCIA," said Mead. "I had no idea what the RCIA was, but I signed up and began taking classes once a week at the cathedral."

The RCIA, or Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is an educational and spiritual process that eventually leads to baptism and confirmation into the Catholic church.

As the Christmas season drew to a head, the Rev. Ted Skalsky approached Mead about becoming a member of the church.

"All I knew at the time was that I didn't want to stop going to the class, but I'd never considered becoming Catholic before," Mead said.

After sitting down with her husband and son, Mead finally made the decision to convert.

"We decided that perhaps we were being called to do this," she said.

She received the Sacraments of Initiation during Easter Vigil and was surprised when Skalsky once again approached her, this time about a position that had become available at Sacred Heart.

Mead, who had taught social studies at Dodge City High School for the past 10 years, had just received her master's degree in education administration from Fort Hays State University.
Although she had wanted to move into administration, she hadn't considered a job at an elementary school, and a Catholic school at that.

"I told him that I didn't even have all the prayers memorized," remembered Mead. "He simply asked, 'Do you think you know them as well as first-graders?'" [This was so cute!!]

Only a few weeks into her new job, Mead has become a beloved member of the school. Receiving hugs from the kids has become the most gratifying part of her day, and she said she enjoys the family atmosphere that the school imbibes. [She sounds like a great lady.]

"There is a lot of parent involvement, and it is such a giving community," said Mead. "There are not only shared values, but a shared faith. You get to know families on an academic level as well as a spiritual level."

Saturday, October 6, 2007

St. Paul's Thorn not really a mystery

People continue to speculate about the possible meanings of St. Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh:”

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. – 2 Corinthians 12.7

People keep missing the obvious and true explanation, so far as I see in the conversations I have glanced in on.

Paul said:

“I was zealous for the Law [in Greek this is translated as “zealous for God”] just as all of you are today. And I persecuted this Way even to the death, binding and committing to prisons both men and women, as the high priest can bear me witness, and all the elders. In fact I received letters from them to the brethren in Damascus, and I was on my way to arrest those who were there and bring them back to Jerusalem for punishment.” Acts 22: 4-5

Paul said:

“Now I exhort you, brethren, that you watch those who cause dissensions and scandals contrary to the doctrine that you have learned, and avoid them. For such do not serve Christ our Lord but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattery deceive he hearts of the simple. For your submission to the faith has been published everywhere. I rejoice therefore over you. Yet I would have you wise as to what is good, and guileless as to what is evil. But the God of peace will speedily crush Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16: 17-20)

Paul said:

“For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized in Moses, in the cloud and in the sea. And all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink (for they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and the rock was Christ). Yet with most of them God was not well pleased, for ‘they were laid low in the desert.’” (1 Corinthians 10: 1-5)

Paul said:

“Now I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-I who to your face indeed am diffident when among you, but when absent am fearless toward you!” (2 Corinthians 10: 1)

Paul said:

“Behold, this is the third time that I am coming to you: “On the word of two or three witnesses every word shall be confirmed.” I have already warned, when present, and now in my absence I warn again those who sinned before, and all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare. Do you seek a proof of the Christ who speaks in me, who is not weak in your regard, nay, is powerful in you?” (2 Corinthians 13: 1-3)

Paul said:

“I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you to the grace of Christ, changing to another gospel; which is not another gospel, except in this respect that there are some who trouble you, and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel to you other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema!” (Galatians 1: 6-8)

Paul said:

“Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the Principalities and the Powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness on high. Therefore take up the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and stand in all things perfect. Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of justice, and having your feet shod with the readiness of the gospel of peace, in all things taking up the shield of faith, with which you may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, that is, the word of God.” (Ephesians 6: 10-17)

Paul said:

“He has destroyed death and brought to light life and incorruption by the gospel, of which I have been appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles. That is why also I am suffering these things; yet I am not ashamed. For I know whom I have believed, and I am certain that he is able to guard the trust committed to me against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:10-12)

OK, now think about those passages. So many people quote the touchy-feely passages from St. Paul that they forget that he is the chief among the whoop ass Apostles, exceeding even the zeal of the Old Testament Prophets. People miss one obvious fact. When he persecuted Christians, leading them even to death, without mercy, he was not an “employee” of the Temple or the military! He was a tent maker! What makes a tent maker take to the road and round up Christians in his self described zeal as a full time obsession and occupation? There is a clue in the first passage I quote where the Greek translation speaks of his zeal for God. St. Paul clearly felt an angry calling that he attributed to God, causing him to leave his family tent business and “take to the road” hunting down Christians. It is as if a real estate developer today abandoned his family business just to persecute and arrest Catholics.

So the thorn in St. Paul’s side was his angry zealotry that he felt was in response to God’s demands. When the resurrected Christ appeared to him and converted him, he “saw the light” and as he says, as I cite above, his meekness and gentleness comes from Christ. But if you read the passages that I have pointed out above, you will see that he is still the most blunt and militaristic of the Apostles or disciples. He is not militaristic in the sense of persecuting or harming non believers, or forced conversion. But he still has that spark (the thorn) of compulsion to shake people up and be very blunt about the consequences of sinful and heretical behavior. This thorn that he has that keeps him humble is the knowledge that for him is a certainty that God is in charge. Even the most faithful of believers have to rely on, well, faith. They do not actually KNOW. But St. Paul knows the power of God; he felt it (wrongly focused, as it turns out, which is why he says the thorn is Satan's) when he persecuted Christians, and then he experienced it first hand in his revelation on the road to Damascus. This “righteous anger on behalf of God” (my words and way of looking at him) are the thorn that both goads him and keeps him humble. A thorn does both. A thorn is a prod, and that is mostly how he means it. Remember that St. Paul was one tough cookie and he did not mean a thorn the way a wimp might mean it today, as a boo-boo in the paw that causes him to whimper. No, when St. Paul talks of a thorn he means a goad, a prod, but one that also reminds him that he may be the messenger but he is not the originator of the message.

Bible Reading: Jeremia

Jeremia 29: 11-15
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe!
Plans to give you a future full of hope.
When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.
When you look for me, you will find me.
Yes, when you seek me with all your heart,
You will find me with you, says the Lord,
And I will change your lot;
I will gather you together from all the nations and all the places to which I have banished you, says the Lord,
And I will bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.

(But people have to call for the Lord, pray to the Lord, look for the Lord, and seek the Lord with “all your heart.” Not exploit and profane.)

Oral Roberts family phone not working

From AOL news:

Now, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal. Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter's senior trip to the Bahamas, and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay. She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as "underage males." At a chapel service this week on the 5,300-student campus known for its 60-foot-tall bronze sculpture of praying hands, Roberts said God told him: "We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate case or not. This lawsuit ... is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion."


I have always thought that Roberts et al mistakenly installed a phone line in their bathroom when they think they are getting messages from God. I ask you, does that sound like God? You must be kidding me.

I think they've been on a bathroom party line with 1-666- S-A-T-A-N-J-O-K-E-S-W-I-T-U

I have an unpleasant revelation and insight

After listening to the news yesterday I had a sudden moment of clarity. I thought about it all evening and fumed about it instead of falling asleep when I went to bed later. I realized that a group of females of a certain ethnic group have had a totally unjustified beef against me for, as far as I can figure it, over twenty five years.

The reason it never dawned on me before is because there is no “incident” that triggered this imaginary beef, plus I’ve had warm relationships with females of this group throughout that time. It never occurred to me before yesterday, but thinking back on it, I can now trace an almost unbroken line of representatives of this female ethnic group that have contrived conflict with me. I realize now that they’ve done quite a bit of harm to me, but no where near the harm they have done to themselves and their sisters.

The first woman I ever comforted for having had a miscarriage was from this group. My first executive secretary was from this group and I adored her. I watched my neighbor raise two beautiful girls from childhood through college and all three of them are from this group. I’ve opposed the violence and demeaning of this group for decades, never dreaming that some of them were advocating that I myself should be a victim of violence and demeaning.

It never occurred to me that there would be a strand of surly faced women who had some sort of imaginary beef against me running through my life. It is odd because I took a severe job hit defending a male from this ethnic group who worked for me (he punched out a bigot who rejoiced in the King assassination, and he had, shall we say, a very serious demeanor which was unpleasing to the white mandarins who wanted him to “smile more.”) Because I would not demark him on his performance review I ultimately had to leave that job before I was vested. And looking back, sure enough, there was a female contriving a beef with me at the same time. It never ever occurred to me.

Well, now it has occurred to me and mark my words, faith has been broken and I’ll never fully trust a person from this grouping again. I’ll continue to be outraged at the terrible treatment that normal average non-beefing members of this group receive, just as I have all of my adult life. But I don’t think any of them can ever be personally close to me. It’s a shame because I have had a very warm heart for all of them, which was what blinded me to seeing what was happening. Whenever I encountered a beef I could not explain, I always thought it was a fluke of the individual. I did not know that I was the subject of targeted harassment, endangerment and libel by them. It’s outrageous, unbelievable, and hurtful to the extreme, because of its incredible unfairness. You’ll never know what my friendship could have been like.