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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Florida Primary Results 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. — Trounced in Florida, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Tuesday used the defeat to declare that he alone is the conservative alternative to GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.
Gingrich ignored the fact that the other two candidates in the race – Ron Paul and Rick Santorum – chose not to run aggressive campaigns in the state.
"It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, Newt Gingrich, and the Massachusetts moderate, and the voters of Florida made that clear," Gingrich said following returns that showed him trailing Romney badly.
Gingrich's defiant pledge to continue on against Romney sets the stage for a bitter brawl for the Republican nomination that could last for months. Gingrich supporters Tuesday night hoisted signs that read "46 States to Go."
It was a message, the former House speaker said, to those eager to write his political obituary.
"I just want to reassure everyone, we are going to contest every place and we are going to win and we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August," he said.
Signs pointed to an uphill fight. Gingrich spoke to a half-empty hotel balloon in Orlando where reporters appeared to outnumber supporters. It was a turnabout for a candidate who just 10 days ago bounded to a decisive comeback victory in South Carolina. Gingrich arrived in Florida to huge crowds and a lead in the polls. But a pair of lackluster debate performances a bruising advertising assault by Romney took their toll.
Gingrich never mentioned Romney by name Tuesday night and offered the winner of Florida's primary no words of congratulation.
The two have been locked in an increasingly vicious fight for the Republican nod with Gingrich calling Romney dishonest and his campaign "pathetic." Romney took off the gloves against Gingrich in Florida, assailing his work for Freddie Mac in a state hit hard by the housing bust. He also questioned Gingrich ties to President Ronald Reagan, which left the former Georgia congressman visibly irked.

Favorite Songs


Money Money Money
I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay 
Ain't it sad


The winner takes it all

Slipping through my fingers all the time


Lyle Lovett biscuits in church

Well my name's John Lee Pettimore 
Same as my daddy and his daddy before 
You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here 
He only came to town about twice a year 
He'd buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line 
Everybody knew that he made moonshine 
Now the revenue man wanted Grandaddy bad 
He headed up the holler with everything he had 
It's before my time but I've been told 
He never came back from Copperhead Road 
Now Daddy ran the whiskey in a big block Dodge 
Bought it at an auction at the Mason's Lodge 
Johnson County Sheriff painted on the side 
Just shot a coat of primer then he looked inside 
Well him and my uncle tore that engine down 
I still remember that rumblin' sound 
Well the sheriff came around in the middle of the night 
Heard mama cryin', knew something wasn't right 
He was headed down to Knoxville with the weekly load 
You could smell the whiskey burnin' down Copperhead Road 

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday 
They draft the white trash first,'round here anyway 
I done two tours of duty in Vietnam 
And I came home with a brand new plan 
I take the seed from Colombia and Mexico 
I plant it up the holler down Copperhead Road 
Well the D.E.A.'s got a chopper in the air 
I wake up screaming like I'm back over there 
I learned a thing or two from ol' Charlie don't you know 
You better stay away from Copperhead Road 

Copperhead Road 
Copperhead Road 
Copperhead Road

Monday, January 30, 2012

Where did Cain get his wife?

Where did Cain get his wife?

Many have argued that Cain simply married one of his sisters. I believe that this answer is a biblical impossibility. Those who hold to this answer concede that god gave laws forbidding sexual acts between close relatives (Leviticus 18; Deuteronomy 27), but they argue that god
did not give these laws until the time of Moses, and so early humans (including Cain) were excluded from these laws. However, this argument fails for the reason that god’s moral law is supposedly unchanging. If the moral law of god has no meaning until it is given, then Cain also did no wrong in murdering his brother Abel, and yet god holds him responsible for it. For the ‘sister argument’ (if I may call it that) to work, incest must be considered ceremonial or civil law, but it is clear from the context of Leviticus 18 and Deuteronomy 27 that Christians are to consider incest to be moral law. If it is indeed moral law, then it is impossible for god to have commanded mankind to multiply and fill the earth by means of incest, for god would have been commanding disobedience to himself.

Why was Cain guilty of murder although the Mosaic Commandment
had not been given (and why were the Sodomites guilty of sexual sin before the Mosaic commands against homosexual behavior)?

Furthermore, Christians must consider the reason that god gives for forbidding incest, or as the Bible expresses it, uncovering the nakedness of a relative: ‘for their nakedness is your own’ (Lev. 18:10). Those who argue that Cain married one of his sisters claim that the law against incest was only given at a later time in order to protect people from biological defects, but that is not the reason that the biblical god gives for His commandment.

The argument is often made that incest could not be inherently against god’s moral law if He blessed the marriage of Abraham and Sarah, who were half-siblings. This argument can be refuted quite simply. Does the god in the bible only bless people and their actions if they are sinless? Since none are considered sinless, the answer is obvious.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Are catholics are the only ones molesting children???

Protestant Clergy Abuse Equals or Exceeds Catholic Clergy Abuse 
Posted on June 20, 2008 by dannimoss 
This article is courtesy of It was originally posted to the site July 6, 2007. 
By Bob Allen 
The Associated Press reported recently that three insurance companies receive upward of 260 reports each year of young people under 18 being sexually abused by Protestant clergy, challenging the assumption that clergy sexual abuse is an exclusively Catholic problem that does not take place in other churches. 
That is a higher number than the annual average of 228 “credible accusations” brought against Catholic clerics in records reported by the Catholic Church in response to media scrutiny, a priest observed in a Fox News commentary questioning why the story isn’t garnering more attention.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is Newt Gingrich really the best candidate?

Gingrich was raised a Lutheran. In graduate school he was a Southern Baptist. He has now converted to Catholicism. I hope his political views are stronger than his religious ones.

In the spring of 1980, Gingrich left his wife after beginning an affair with Marianne Ginther.[144][145] In 1984, Jackie Gingrich told The Washington Post that the divorce was a "complete surprise" to her. According to Jackie, in September 1980, Gingrich and their children visited her while she was in the hospital, recovering from surgery, and Gingrich wanted to discuss the terms of their divorce.[146] Gingrich has disputed that account.[147] In 2011 their daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, said that it was her mother who requested the divorce, that it happened prior to the hospital stay, and that Gingrich's visit was for the purpose of bringing the couple's children to see their mother, not to discuss the divorce.[148] Although Gingrich's presidential campaign staff continued to insist in 2011 that his wife requested the divorce, court documents obtained by CNN from Carroll County, Georgia, indicated that Jackie had asked a judge to block the process stating that although "she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce... she does not desire one at this time [and] does not admit that this marriage is irretrievably broken."[149]
Gingrich speaking to supporters at a townhall in Derry, New Hampshire, along with his wife, Callista.
According to L. H. Carter, Gingrich's campaign treasurer, Gingrich said of his first wife: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer."[150][151] Gingrich has denied saying it. His supporters dismiss Carter as a disgruntled former aide who was miffed at not being asked to accompany Gingrich to Washington.[152]
In 1981, six months after the divorce from Jackie Gingrich was final, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther.[153][154][155][156] In 1993, while still married to Marianne, Gingrich began an affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek, who was 23 years his junior.[157] Gingrich and his second wife were divorced in 2000 having produced no children. On January 19, 2012, Marianne Gingrich alleged in an interview on ABC's Nightline that she had declined to accept Gingrich's suggestion of an open marriage.[158] This allegation was disputed by Gingrich during the South Carolina primary debate on the same day, claiming that the story was false.[159] Marianne Gingrich re-affirmed the story the next day.[160]
In 2000, Gingrich married Callista Bisek shortly after his divorce from second wife Marianne was finalized. He and Callista currently live inMcLean, Virginia.[161] In a 2011 interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gingrich addressed his past infidelities by saying, "There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."[155][156] In December 2011, after the group Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government requested that he sign their so-called "Marriage Vow", Gingrich sent a lengthy written response. It included his pledge to "uphold personal fidelity to my spouse".

Do Christians follow the requirements of Jesus?

Jesus made a number of very clear statements about money and wealth in the Bible. For example:

Matthew 6:19

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 14:33
Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.
Matthew 19:21-24
Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Matthew 19:28-29
Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Luke 9:23-25
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
Matt 13: 22
The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Phil 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Acts 2:44-45
All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.

Have you done as your lord commanded? If not, why not? Why don't you sell everything and follow Jesus, as he requires in the Bible? Do you know better how to live your lives?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It is time to try a new idea on the war on drugs

In the face of a growing number of deaths and cases of HIV linked to drug abuse, the Portuguese government in 2001 tried a new tack to get a handle on the problem—it decriminalized the use and possession ofheroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other illicit street drugs. The theory: focusing on treatment and prevention instead of jailing users would decrease the number of deaths and infections.

Five years later, the number of deaths from street drug overdoses dropped from around 400 to 290 annually, and the number of new HIV cases caused by using dirty needles to inject heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances plummeted from nearly 1,400 in 2000 to about 400 in 2006,  according to a report released recently by the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C, libertarian think tank.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christians and divorce

Divorce—The grave sin of divorce condemns those who divorce and remarry (Matthew 5:32) and those who divorce in the civil sense (except by grave dispensation). Hence divorce between two baptized Christians is a mortal sin. Yet, many Christians get divorced. 

Barna report: Variation in divorce rates among Christian faith groups: 

Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate) 
% who have been divorced 

Non-denominational **34% 
Mainline Protestants25% 
** Barna uses the term "non-denominational" to refer to Evangelical Christian congregations that are not affiliated with a specific denomination. The vast majority are fundamentalist in their theological beliefs. More info. 

So, Christians rail against all sorts of evils because they are sins according to their belief system. Yet divorce is also a sin according to their belief system. Yet, they are willing to get divorced in large numbers. Why the hypocrisy?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

How many people would it take to create a healthy community?

Biologists striving to save threatened animal species from extinction have developed some rules of thumb for estimating population sizes to overcome genetic problems:
  • A size of 500 to 5000 individuals may ensure overall genetic diversity (Frankham). 
  • Another figure (based on work by Soulé and Foose in 1986) states a founding population of 20 to 30 individuals that are unrelated and non-inbred would preserve 90% of the original genetic diversity for 200 years.
  • An initial population size (the founders) of 50 (Frankham and Franklin) avoids inbreeding problems. 
Rules of thumb, however, rest on theoretical modeling, without much experimental evidence to support the predictions.  Unfortunately, this is especially true of projecting populations needed to colonize space.  So, let's consider a bit of history.  What worked on Earth?
A case study
Starting in 1816, fifteen British immigrants settled the most remote island on our planet, Tristan de Cunha ― located almost half way between Cape Town, Africa and Buenos Aires, South America in the Atlantic Ocean.  We know much about the islanders' founders and their lonely struggle for survival.  Colonizing a remote island is similar to colonizing a remote planet. 
It all started with Napoleon, imprisoned on St Helena, about 2,430 kilometers (1,510 mi) to the north.  The Brits had exiled Napoleon to this tiny windswept island in 1815. But now, rumors of rescue plans reached the halls of Parliament.  What if the French launched a rescue of Napoleon from Tristan? In August 1816, Britain annexed Tristan de Cunha to thwart the possibility.
The Royal Army sent five officers and 36 soldiers from South Africa to take possession of Tristan da Cunha in 1816. Corporal William Glass from Kelso in Scotland, with his South African wife and two children, asked to stay when the troops withdrew a year later. 
Glass and his family became the first settlers of Tristan.  In all, just 15 people (seven founders and eight men) founded the colony, says geneticist Himla Soodyall from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.  They arrived at various times between 1816 and 1908.  Colonizing over the decades undoubtedly increased the colony's genetic diversity and helped them survive. 
We have traced the mitochondrial DNA of the present approximately 300 people back to just five female ancestors, including one pair of sisters, says Soodyall.  The population grew and fell with the flow of immigrants and disasters:
  • By 1827, shipwrecked sailors, brides from St. Helena and South African settlers boosted the total from 15 to 24 (7 men, 6 women and 11 children)
  • 1832:  population of 34 with 6 couples and 22 children
  • 1852: 85 people
  • 1856:  population reached 96, then fell to 71 when 25 left for Massachusetts after Glass' death
  • 1857: population crashed to 28 (only four families) because 46 left on the rescue frigate HMS Geyser, to avoid starving to death.
  • 1887 started off well with a population of 107, but then 15 out of the island's19 adult men died at sea trying to intercept the ship, West Riding, and barter for food. Their potato crop had failed, so, despite poor weather, the men launched their longboat and were never seen again.  This left only 92 people (4 elderly men and 88 women and children)
  • 1890:  34 emigrated to South Africa, leaving 58 on the island.
  • 1987: population of 296.  [Data from Steve Mack and Arnaldo Faustini.]
Only seven family names are in use now, corresponding to the original eight male founders (minus one).  Any pair of the 300 islanders is as closely related as first cousins.  But it's a healthy human population since it survived.  The people (taken as a group) were able to cope with the hardships they encountered, and the few inheritable diseases were not life-threatening. 
By and large, this is an impressively successful (and lucky) colonization still viable almost 200 years later.

The biblical god kills people for absurd reasons

Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, "Strike me!"  But the man refused to strike the prophet.  Then the prophet told him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me."  And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him.  (1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT)

And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter.  And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?   (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)

 From there Elisha went up to Bethel.  While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him.  "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!"  The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord.  Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces.  (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

The ark of God was placed on a new cart and taken away from the house of Abinadab on the hill.  Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab guided the cart, with Ahio walking before it, while David and all the Israelites made merry before the Lord with all their strength, with singing and with citharas, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, for the oxen were making it tip.  But the Lord was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God.  (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Top Marine says service is embracing the gay ban repeal

Since the lifting two months ago of a longstanding U.S. ban on gays serving openly in the military, U.S. Marines across the globe have adapted smoothly and embraced the change, says their top officer, Gen. James F. Amos, who previously had argued against repealing the ban during wartime. "I'm very pleased with how it has gone," Amos said in an Associated Press interview during a week-long trip that included four days in Afghanistan, where he held more than a dozen town hall-style meetings with Marines of virtually every rank.
Our men and women in uniform are some of the bravest, strongest, most selfless people on the planet. I had no doubt that they would handle this change with dignity. What did surprise me was the number of people (many who count themselves as strong supporters of the military) who did doubt that our armed forces could or would adapt. These people put their lives on the line every day and they already serve with (and know of) gay soldiers - they weren't going to fall apart just because those gay soldiers are finally allowed to come out of the closet.
As always, my hat is off to the men and women serving this country. Thank you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christianity and Poor Countries

There is a popular notion among Christian missionaries that Christianity is a panacea for all the ills of the world, that it alone held the solution to all human problems, and therefore all should get converted to Christianity.  

Here are some examples that will help explode this notion:

Ethiopia, the world's oldest Christian country, adhering to Christianity for more than a thousand years, is also the poorest country in the world. More than a thousand years of Christianity did not mitigate the awful poverty of its people and religion did not help raise their standard of living. Just a decade ago millions perished due to famine. The citizens of Ethiopia continue to remain ill-fed, ill-clothed and illiterate, steeped in poverty and disease. War and poverty still remain the dominant realities in Africa.

In South America - Brazil is said to be the largest Roman Catholic country in the world. In 1996 about 76 percent of the population, or about 122 million people, declared Roman Catholicism as their religion. A third of Brazilians live on $1. One-third of Brazil's population, or some 58 million people, live on less than a dollar a day, a report says. The "Map of Hunger" report, by the local Getulio Vargas Foundation, says poverty has increased greatly in cities over the past decade.

Christianity is the dominant religion of Peru. Roman Catholics are the major tradition, with 88.8% of the population Currently 54% of Peruvian citizens live below the poverty line.

The Philippines, is perhaps the most staunch Christian ( today 83% of Philippinos are Christians) nation of Asia, remains among the most backward. Conversion to Christianity did not raise the country economically. Religion was imposed on the people by the Conquistadors who imposed the Catholic faith against the will of the Ilocanos in the pretext to grab their land and gold. The cross came in the form of sword.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Iowa caucus results: Mitt Romney beats Rick Santorum by 8 votes

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney eked out a narrow victory over former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses Tuesday, winning the first contest for the Republican presidential nomination, the Hawkeye state's Republican party chairman Matt Strawn said early Wednesday morning after a long night with the two candidates in a dead heat.
Santorum pulled off a stunning come from behind performance in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, garnering just eight fewer votes than a much better funded and better organized Romney in the closest Iowa contest since the modern caucuses were formed in 1976.

Results for Iowa Republican Caucus (U.S. Presidential Primary)
Jan 03, 2012 (100% of precincts reporting)
Mitt Romney30,01524.6%
Rick Santorum30,00724.5%
Ron Paul26,21921.4%
Newt Gingrich16,25113.3%
Rick Perry12,60410.3%