Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stimulus Bill: the latest receipt on Wasteful Spending

As we close in on the election, I’ve noticed Democrats aren’t touting their February 2009 Stimulus Bill, which as revised by the Congressional Budget Office, cost $862 billion.
In December 2009, the LA Times reported $157,8 billion in stimulus funds had been spent to save 640,320 jobs. Wow, that’s only $246,346 per job!
Woohoo! We redirected, borrowed, or printed nearly $250,000 to save a job.
Isn’t the government efficient?
In October of 2009 the government released the data that the “average payroll employee (for October 2009) was $59,867. The government spends FOUR TIMES the average salary to “Create a Job”. Using their ridiculous figures and the average payroll – that would have been 2.4 million jobs.
So this was the recent headline:
NIH, spent $823,200 of economic stimulus funds in 2009 on a study by a UCLA research team to teach uncircumcised African men how to wash their genitals after having sex. (read
Let’s review what we’ve spent some of this money on…
Mapping Radioactive Rabbit Feces                                                       $300,000
University of Hawaii: Honey Bee Study                                               $210,000
Oregon Fishermen:Lost Crab Pot Recovery                                      $700,000
Mark Penn (repay Hillary Clinton campaign debt)                       $5,970,000
Univ. of Arizona/Ariz State: Ant Research                                          $970,000
Connecticut insect research                                                                    $2,300,000
Duluth, Minn. Snow Making Facility (15th in yearly snowfall)       $6 million
Minn. (Heart of Beast) socially conscious Puppet Show                   $100,000
Penn State fossil research in Argentina                                               $1,570,000
Lockheed Martin: study supersonic corporate Jet                        $4,700,000
Washington State visitor center(closed in 2007) repairs                 $554,763
National Institute of Health:study college students sex lives          $219,000
California College students to poll African election patterns          $230,000
Study how cocaine effects monkeys’ brains                                             $147,000
Study on ‘Why Young Men Don’t Like Condoms’                                    $221,000
Tennessee Mall: Geothermal heating (mall’s nearly empty)        $5,000,000
Study Buffalo, NY residents’ drinking habits                                          $400,000
Boynton, Oklahoma: replace 5 year old sidewalks                                  $90,000
Sunset Strip renovation                                                                                $1,000,000
Lancaster, PA Train Station(not used for decades) Renovation   $9.38 million
Facebook privacy study                                                                                  $498,000
Turtle Tunnel in Tallahassee, Florida                                                     $3,400,000
Wichita, Kansas: Spay and Neuter pets                                               $380,000 – this includes an undisclosed amount for roads as well
Georgia Tech University study on improvised music                      $762,372
“Dance Draw” – UNC: Charlotte (interactive dance)                           $750,000
Land purchase Arizona and Colorado Spring Training Facilities    $30 Million
Connecticut WNBA team’s practice facility                                             $50 million
Light rail tunnel under the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh              $62.5 million
Fire Stations in San Antonio (2 stations)                                                  $73 million

Read more:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Does the Huffington Post have all of the answers?

Newsweek’s article on the Huffington Post and Arianna Huffington ask a very interesting question: Has the Huffington Post figured out the future of journalism?
“The Huffington Post, attracted 24.3 million unique visitors last month, five times as much traffic as many new-media rivals, more than The Washington Post and USA Today, and nearly as many as The New York Times. HuffPo’s revenue this year will be about $30 -million—peanuts compared with the old-media dinosaurs, but way better than most digital competitors. And HuffPo has finally started to eke out a profit.”
The article mentions how Newsweek is/was for sale and how these traditional journalism outlets are bleeding cash. Their costs are too high, the product can no longer compete with the timeliness of Internet news and are incredibly bias and prejudiced in their reports.
So how and why is the Huffington Post so successful?
They cashed in and built a brand attracting the “Bush haters” and are reaping amazing benefits. The Huffington Post is very timely with their news and have a flashy, attractive website that is incredibly user friendly.
I and, DOB, share a similar mission statement: “HuffPo’s mission, Huffington says, is “to provide a platform for a really important national conversation.”

Read the rest of the article:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ryan Hughes interview

My family had the honor of attending a fundraiser for LifeCare of Brandon, a non-profit organization which offers counseling and support for women enduring an unplanned pregnancy or a past abortion.
This benefit concert was headlined by Ryan Hughes and his “To Be Determined” band which was an amalgam of artists playing guitar, sax, drums, and provided backup vocals. It was an amazing show and I took the opportunity to talk to Ryan briefly about the experience.
Brandon Jones: “New Day” is the first song on your album “Step Out Again” and, in my opinion, it’s a great concert anthem song, so tell me a little about how it came to be and how you approach it with the audience.
Ryan Hughes: I have always loved the verse in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! Romans 8:1 similarly reminds us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”
I believe that more than ever people need to know that they are not bound to be what they’ve been in the past. Instead there is new life and freedom moving forward in Christ. In many ways our lives are yet “to be determined” by the choices we make. Accepting Christ into our lives is a choice we can make which brings us into a “New Day”.
Brandon Jones: I think it’s a great message.
One of the great moments of the show was when you brought your two sons up on stage to join you and your wife, Patty, in a number. I know it makes you proud, but tell me did this experiment start and could we expect more of it.
Ryan Hughes: Life is full of blessings that we often are too busy to recognize, I appreciate you mentioning it. It was truly a highlight for me to share the stage and a ministry moment with my entire family. Prior to the night of the concert, we had only performed together as a family once before. I am glad I chose to include them, and I will continue to include them in the future.
Both boys are self-taught, and simply play from the passion that God has placed in their hearts. Patty has been with me since I started in ministry, and helps share the workload for keeping our group together.
BBJ: That’s amazing. God has truly blessed your family with an incredible musical talent.

Read more here:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stephen Hawking & his juvenile assault on God to sell a book

Stephen Hawking is one of the greatest minds of our century (that’s what we’re told), which is why it’s so frustrating to witness him being exploited, or worse, exploiting science to make a buck. His publisher was thrilled to release the following provocative anti-theisitic statements from Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design”: “Because there are laws such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself out of nothing. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going” and “How did the universe begin?…does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god.”
I’ve received several emails asking if I’m planning to respond – I wanted to wait to see the book for myself. Meanwhile, atheists pound their chests as though they’ve just held up Madusa’s head to defeat the Kraken and they haven’t read one page. I personally laughed at some of the comments that I’ve read by atheists describing how “they’re basically smarter than the rest of us” and can don an arrogant smile like a Hybrid driver pulling away from the gas pump.
While Hawking and his comrades have made careers out of their wild speculations, their assertions are hardly new or prophetic. The theory of the “vacuum fluctuation” (to imply that matter can simply spontaneously appear, created out of “nothing”) has been combined with the string theory, M-theory and other elements of quantum physics to hypothesize scenario after scenario to support the “everything from nothing” (i.e. Big Bang) theory.
Hawking’s statement is no big deal. It’s not original, it’s not certain, and even it were true: it’s no threat to authentic faith in God.
From Hawking’s “A Brief in Time”
There are something like ten million million million million million million million million million million million million million million (1 with eighty zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of particle/antiparticle parts. But that just raises the question of where the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero.
The problem is that his statement of absolutism is just a theory. “In quantum THEORY” particles can do whatever the scientists dream up.
So in this latest send up, “The Grand Design”, the genius Hawking fails to illustrate any but another tier on the house of cards of “hypothetical science” My favorite is Hawking trying to explain “M-theory is not a theory in the usual sense. It is a whole family of different theories.”

Read the rest of the article:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Degrassi" is Disgraceful, even for teens

Life is not an episode of “The Waltons” or “The Cosby Show” but television shows, especially kids’ shows integrate the most liberal or extreme scenarios into their storylines normalizing the behavior.

“Degrassi”, or more specifically, “Degrassi: The Next Generation” is the flagship show of TeenNick which was revamped in 2009 and features the long running Canadian show. (Note to be confused with Canadien as in Montreal Candadiens, see comments below-BBJ)

TeenNick sounds like a safe haven for parents to unleash their children for some mindless television time. Unfortunately, you need to be concerned.

This is “Degrassi”:

*Jimmy tries to advance his sexual relationship with girlfriend Ashley, he learns that his physical disabilities have caused him to have some erectile issues
*Episode entitled: “It’s Raining Men” – teens Marco and Dylan go on a date, have their first kiss after season long tension including a GLAAD mixer
*One character is caught snorting cocaine and that character joins the first to “find out what it’s like”
*The Coach takes KC to a hotel, gets him drunk, watches porn with him, shows his gun and hires KC a hooker.

Sex, drinking, suicide, even some drug use, getting DRUNK…”Degrassi” delivers it all.

“Part of making stories about the next generation involves tackling social issues relevant to today’s adolescents, even if that means pushing the envelope of what’s conventionally seen in youth-oriented programs” said co-creator and producer Linda Schuyler.

Read the rest of the article:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Faith Matters: Burning Quran, Ground Zero Mosque & Tony Blair - how to make sense of it all

With recent headlines of protests and animosity surrounding a "Community Center" aka mosque, being built at Ground Zero and a Preacher (Terry Jones) organizing a burning of the Quran, it is clear that we are witnessing a resurrection of religious tensions more publicly.

Blair discusses his concern for his atheist father's fate, telling a teacher: "I'm afraid my father doesn't believe in God." Amazingly the child received a healthy response: "That doesn't matter. God believes in him. He loves him without demanding or needing love in return."

Blair continues:

" matters because it inspires people to act and raise their sights beyond themselves. Sadly, religion can be distorted into violent extremism. Having spiritual beliefs has never rendered a person incapable of doing wrong or evil. But far more often, faith can be a force for good."

As the fervor surrounding the Quran burning stirred throughout the week, I discussed it with several individuals and my Pastor send me the response from the Assembly of God (my denomination) Superintendent, George O Wood:

Assemblies of God denounces burning of Qur'an

In what has become a national furor, a small non-denominational church, Dove World Outreach Center, in Gainesville, Florida, has announced plans to burn copies of the Qur'an on Saturday, September 11 ‹ the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

As the church has reportedly made claims of Pentecostalism, the Assemblies of God, the overall ninth largest denomination in the United States and one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the United States, has made it clear it has no ties with the church and has publicly objected to the burning.

"I don't believe that [burning the Qur'an] is respectful toward the
very people we want to love into the Kingdom," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "It only drives Muslims farther away from the Lord Jesus and reinforces the false notion that followers of Jesus are crusaders from the Middle Ages."

Just as Blair calls for find "common values to bring us together", we need to strive to bridge gaps not divide people further.

Wood continued:

"Such actions as these only make it more difficult to effectively
witness to Muslims. Our focus should be on sharing the
amazing love of God that brought Jesus into this world to die for
our sins, not engaging in activities that only drive people farther away from Christ."


Read more at "State of the Nation" on