Car Company Gets U.S. Loan, Builds Cars In Finland

| Tuesday, December 20, 2011 | 0 comments |


Update: Fisker Karma Electric Car Gets Worse Mileage Than an SUV...

by Warren Meyer

The Fisker Karma electric car, developed mainly with your tax money so that a bunch of rich VC’s wouldn’t have to risk any real money, has rolled out with an nominal EPA MPGe of 52 in all electric mode (we will ignore the gasoline engine for this analysis).

Not bad?  Unfortunately, it’s a sham.  This figure is calculated using the grossly flawed EPA process that substantially underestimates the amount of fossil fuels required to power the electric car, as I showed in great depth in an earlier Forbes.com article.  In short, the EPA methodology leaves out, among other things, the conversion efficiency in generating the electricity from fossil fuels in the first place [by assuming perfect conversion of the potential energy in the fuel to electricity, the EPA is actually breaking the 2nd law of thermodynamics].

In the Clinton administration, the Department of Energy (DOE) created a far superior well to wheels MPGe metric that honestly compares the typical fossil fuel use of an electric vs. gasoline car, using real-world power plant efficiencies and fuel mixes to figure out how much fuel is used to produce the electricity that goes into the electric car.

As I calculated in my earlier Forbes article, one needs to multiply the EPA MPGe by .365 to get a number that truly compares fossil fuel use of an electric car with a traditional gasoline engine car on an apples to apples basis.  In the case of the Fisker Karma, we get a true MPGe of 19.  This makes it worse than even the city rating of a Ford Explorer SUV.

Read More...

US Debt Visualized

| Tuesday, December 13, 2011 | 0 comments |
One Hundred Dollars
$100 - Most counterfeited money denomination in the world.

Keeps the world moving.


Ten Thousand Dollars
$10,000 - Enough for a great vacation or to buy a used car.
Approximately one year of work for the average human on earth.


One Million Dollars
$1,000,000 - Not as big of a pile as you thought, huh?
Still this is 92 years of work for the average human on earth.


One Hundred Million Dollars
$100,000,000 - Plenty to go around for everyone.
Fits nicely on an ISO / Military standard sized pallet.


One Billion Dollars
$1,000,000,000 - You will need some help when robbing the bank.
Now we are getting serious!


One Trillion Dollars
$1,000,000,000,000 - When the U.S government speaks about a 1.7 trillion deficit - this is the volumes of cash the U.S. Government borrowed in 2010 to run itself.
 Keep in mind it is double stacked pallets of $100 million dollars each, full of $100 dollar bills. You are going to need a lot of trucks to freight this around. If you spent $1 million a day since Jesus was born, you would have not spent $1 trillion by now...but ~$700 billion - same amount the banks got during bailout.


One Trillion Dollars
Comparison of $1,000,000,000,000 dollars to a standard sized American Football field and European Football field.
Say hello to the Boeing 747-400 transcontinental airliner that's hiding on the right. This was until recently the biggest passenger plane in the world.


15 Trillion Dollars
$15,000,000,000,000- Unless the U.S. government fixes the budget, US national debt (credit card bill) will topple 15 trillion by Christmas 2011.
 The Statue of Liberty seems rather worried as United States national debt passes 20% of the entire world's combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product). 
In 2011 the National Debt will exceed 100% of GDP, and venture into the 100%+ debt-to-GDP ratio that the European PIIGS have (bankrupting nations).


114.5 Trillion Dollars
$114,500,000,000,000 - US unfunded liabilities.
To the right you can see the pillar of cold hard $100 bills that dwarfs the 
WTC & Empire State Building - both at one point the world's tallest buildings.
 If you look carefully you can see the Statue of Liberty.
The 114.5 Trillion dollar super-skyscraper is the amount of money the U.S. Government 
knows it does not have to fully fund the Medicare, Medicare Prescription Drug Program, 
Social Security, Military and civil servant pensions. It is the money the USA knows it will not 
have to pay all its bills.
If you live in the USA, this is also your personal credit card bill; you are responsible along with 
everyone else to pay this back. The citizens of the USA created the U.S. Government to serve
 them, this is what the U.S. Government has done while serving The People.
The unfunded liability is calculated on current tax and funding inputs, and future demographic 
shifts in US Population.
Note: On the above 114.5T image the size of the base of the money pile is half a trillion, not 1T as on the 15T image. 
The height is double. This was done to reflect the base of Empire State and WTC more closely.
Everyone needs to see this.
Source: Federal Reserve & www.USdebtclock.org - visit it to see the debt in real time and get a better grasp of this amazing number.

Economic Freedom of North America

| Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | 0 comments |
Economic Freedom of North America is an attempt to gauge the extent of the restrictions on economic freedom imposed by governments in North America. The index published here measures economic freedom at two levels, the subnational and the all-government. At the subnational level, it measures the impact on economic freedom of provincial and municipal governments in Canada and of state and local governments in the United States. At the all-government level, it measures the impact of all levels of government—federal, provincial/state, and municipal/local—in Canada and the United States. All 10 provinces and 50 states are included.


Say Merry Christmas! (No More Politically Correct BS!)

| Sunday, December 4, 2011 | 0 comments |
Watch the whole video to see where it's going...

Protester defaces U.S. flag as Democrats celebrate Communism

| Thursday, December 1, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Robert Moon

The violent, degenerate lawlessness of the left's fake union rent-a-mobs (see here, here and here) hysterically rioting against Wall Street all across the country have not been enough to deter the Democratic Party from enthusiastically endorsing their openly Communist agenda any more than their bigoted racial attacks on anyone who dares to support the free market and the Constitution.

And neither has the fact that this entire Astro-turf "movement" is based on two outrageous partisan lies--one about why the economy tanked in the first place and the other about how much "the rich" (those who create all the jobs in this country) pay in taxes, compared to everyone else. But you would think that once they began defecating on police cars and even U.S. flags (see photo), Democrats in office would at least temporarily put the slobbering love affair on hold.

You would be mistaken. When Democrat power is on the line, there is nothing these "post-partisan" champions of "civility" and "tolerance" won't throw under the bus. Nothing.

Unions, Hollywood celebrities, the "news media" and even elected Democrats including Obama and Pelosi continue not only defending, lying for and publicly embracing these tantrum-throwing Marxist fanatics, but now they are even calling them "patriotic" and organizing petitions to support them.

Leftist mobs rioting in the streets against job-creators for daring to succeed and make money. Welcome to "the change we need."

Read More...

Plastic Bag Bans Are Bad for the Environment

| Sunday, November 27, 2011 | 0 comments |
The past several years have seen a groundswell of regulations on plastics, particularly plastic bags and cups and food containers made from polystyrene or Styrofoam. Supporters of these bans mostly claim that such policies promote environmental protection, when in reality they carry considerable environmental tradeoffs and impose needless burdens on consumers and economic growth, says Angela Logomasini, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Plastic bags generate 39 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than regular paper bags and require only 6 percent of the water necessary to make paper bags. Simultaneously, they consume 71 percent less energy during production than paper bags and produce one-fifth the amount of solid waste. Similarly, reusable bags are only more environmentally friendly than plastic bags if they are used 103 times, yet on average they are used only 51 times before they are thrown away. A comparison of the environmental impacts of plastic cups with paper alternatives yielded similar results, with plastic causing 50 percent less solid waste by volume.

Much of the craze that has inspired frivolous and counterproductive environmental bans stems from news stories that emphasize the negative impacts of excessive pollution and littering. Specifically, numerous references are made by environmental blogs and activists to the infamous garbage "island" in the Pacific -- a giant trash heap that is "twice the size of Texas." However, researchers have debunked much of the hype regarding this "island" by showing that no such island exists. Regardless, concerns about littering should not provoke environmental bans -- they should provoke greater public support of antilittering movements, says Logomasini.

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Gene Simmons: “Capitalism is the best thing that ever happened"

| Sunday, November 13, 2011 | 0 comments |
'Debt crisis like fat people blaming bakers'

by Gene Simmons

THE first thing I would do if I was the benevolent dictator of planet Earth would be to fire all politicians — who are basically university lecturers in positions of power.

They might be able to quote the existential philosophers but that doesn't mean they know how to run businesses.

Countries are businesses — they have imports and exports and you want your exports to be higher than your imports so you can have a profit.

You want to make sure that whatever money you give out to your population is money that you can afford to send out.

Countries are a house of cards — and when the bottom few cards fall down they all topple over. Look at Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

If businessmen ran the country, this wouldn't happen. Richard Branson would make a great PM. He's more qualified.

Government makes money by taxing and spending.

It's so simple. If you spend more than you tax, you're out of business. MPs don't know what they're talking about.

And we created this miserable economic state. It's like fat people who think it's the bakery's fault they got fat.

No, you kept going in there and you kept eating cake. It's not the bakery's responsibility to tell you to slow down.

Banks shouldn't have to tell you not to borrow so much.

They're banks — they're supposed to lend you money. If you can't afford to take out £100,000, don't take out a £400,000 mortgage.

It's your responsibility to be a grown-up and take care of yourself.

Thank God we have lending institutions and banks. The planes that fly through the sky, the phones we use every day, the cars we drive, the houses we live in, the entire economy is all funded by firms who borrow in return for interest.

This mess is our fault — corporations have no responsibility.

Capitalism is the best thing that ever happened to human beings. The welfare state sounds wonderful but it doesn't work.

Governments hand out more money than they have to support welfare and they land in debt.

Then they have to borrow money — and then there's interest on top of that.

That's bad business. And it has created a culture of entitlement.

When I was growing up my mother went to work. There was no welfare. If you worked, you made money.

If you didn't work, you had to figure it out — you'd go and wash dishes.

The new breed of 20-year-olds don't want to do those jobs.

So people from other countries come over and are thrilled to get the chance to wipe the floors.

Kiss are the only business-savvy band about and I make no apologies for that.

We outsell The Beatles and Elvis put together.

People say things like: "Oh, you make so much money. What do you need any more for?"

Well, actually, I never asked for your opinion. I'll let you know when I have enough money.

Serena Williams - Spoiled Rotten Loser

| Friday, October 21, 2011 | 0 comments |
The US Open once again proved itself as one of the most theatrical stages in sports last night during the women's semifinals where Serena Williams saw her chances for repeating as champion ended after losing her cool and going off on a line judge. After Serena became upset at the judge's unexpected call for a foot fault, she pointed at the official and yelled, "I swear to God, I'm f*ckin' takin' this ball and shovin' it in(?) your f*ckin' throat… I swear to God." As if the outburst wasn't sensational enough, Williams then got docked for a penalty point (she had already received a warning after smashing her racket at the end of the first set) which couldn't have come at a worse time—match point. That meant that the confrontation would be the final point of the tournament for Williams, sent packing by Belgian Kim Clijsters. Here's the extended play of the whole string of events, that we imagine left Eli Manning doing a nervous gulp of his Oreo Double Stuff.



The Times calls Serena's flare-up "a shocking display of vitriol and profanity" and Mike Lupica's Sunday column really rails America's most dominant player in the sport these days, calling it "a shameful performance" and saying she "got exactly what she deserved." Williams did not win back any points for grace after the match, giving an unapologetic, nonchalant press conference saying she doesn't live her life with regrets. She also told reporters that "my idol was John McEnroe" and continues her on-court sentiment that "people have done way worse." She even defends herself that she had just been watching heated moments from Opens past in all the old matched\s being dug up by the networks and shown during the last two days of rain delays. (The media's glorification of violence strikes again!) The press conference, called by Lupica "a ridiculous, disingenuous performance" is after the jump.

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Premiums Up, Choices Down: The First Wave of Obamacare

| Tuesday, October 18, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

Kaiser Family Foundation just released further bad news about the poorly named Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). American families facing a bad economy, high unemployment, and crashing home values now get hit with another cost increase: higher health insurance premiums that are rising more every year.

Obama’s campaign focused on “hope and change,” but I suspect these winds of “change” are ones that most Americans did not “hope” for, did not want, and would like to escape.

Look at the bleak facts:

In 2011, the annual health insurance premium for a family of four was pushed above $15,000 for the first time ever.

The 2011 annual health insurance premium was 31% higher than 2006, and 113% higher than in 2001.

Health insurance premiums were 9% higher in 2011 than in 2010. And the media says there is no inflation? Did your income go up 9% from 2010 to 2011? Not for the vast majority of Americans!

Hurricane Irene wreaked visible damage all along the Eastern seaboard this fall. The damage from Obamacare’s extensive new mandates and regulations is less visible, but no less damaging to individuals, families, businesses, and our overall economy. At least we had warning that Hurricane Irene was coming and could take steps to prepare and protect ourselves. But we were falsely promised that the hurricane named Obamacare would lower costs, improve access to health insurance, and “protect patients.” Even in this earliest stage, with only a fraction of the mandates implemented, we are seeing massive damage.

Obamacare advocates like to blame the “greedy” insurance companies. But most of the blame for higher premiums is directly caused by the Obamacare first wave of mandates and regulations.

As of the fall of 2010, all insurance policies must:

keep adult “children” up to age 26 on parents’ policies,
provide “free” preventive care and screenings for everyone
cover pre-existing medical conditions for children

Adding this coverage unavoidably means the policy will have to cost more.

Obamacare regulations already control practically every decision a private insurance company can make. It is only going to get worse as government “medicrats” micromanage every single aspect of insurance coverage.

Read More...

A Short History of the Income Tax

| Monday, October 17, 2011 | 0 comments |
Presidents Wilson (left) and Taft, fathers of the modern income tax
by John Steele Gordon

Whether the "millionaires and billionaires" are actually paying their fair share of taxes is a matter for the electorate to decide. After all, fairness is hardly an objective standard.

Before the modern era, however, the federal tax system was manifestly unfair by any reasonable standard, grossly biased in favor of the well off. Ironically, attempting to fix that unfairness is what has brought us to the present moment, with a federal tax system that is grotesquely complex, often arbitrary, and corrupted by mutual back-scratching between members of Congress and influential lobbyists.

After the Civil War, nearly all the wartime taxes—including the nation's first income tax—were repealed and the federal government relied mostly on the tariff for revenues. It provided the government with more than ample peacetime income. In 1882, the government had revenues of $403 million, but expenses were only $257 million, a staggering budget surplus of nearly 36%. The reason the tariff was so high was, ostensibly, to protect America's burgeoning industries from foreign competition.

Of course, the owners of those burgeoning industries—i.e., the rich—were greatly helped by the protection, which enabled them to charge higher prices and make greater profits than if they had had to face unbridled foreign competition.

But the tariff is a consumption tax, which is simply added to the price of the goods sold. And consumption taxes are inherently regressive. The poor, by definition, must spend all of their income on necessities and thus pay consumption taxes on all of their income. The rich, while living in luxury, bank most of their income and largely escape these types of taxes.

As the vast surpluses piled up in the Treasury, the political pressure to institute an income tax on the rich grew steadily. In 1894, with Democrat Grover Cleveland in the White House and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, a federal income tax became law. The new tax, however, was very different from the Civil War income tax, which had exempted only the poor. The new one hit only the rich, imposing a 2% tax on incomes above $4,000. Less than 1% of American households in 1894 met that income threshold.

Needless to say, the tax was attacked in court, in a 1895 test case called Pollack v. Farmers' Loan & Trust. The case turned on the definition of a "direct tax," which the Constitution requires to be apportioned equally among the states according to population, something obviously impossible with an income tax.

The court split 4-4 as to whether the new income tax was constitutional. One member of the court, Justice Howell Jackson of Tennessee, was absent because of illness (and died less than three months later). But with the case drawing enormous public attention, the court agreed to reargue it and Justice Jackson rose from his deathbed to hear it.

Jackson was known to favor the income tax and it was assumed that it would now be upheld 5-4. But one of the other justices switched his vote (the opinion is unsigned and we don't know by whom or why) and it was voted down 5-4.

The income tax was dead. But the pressure to tax the incomes of the largely untaxed rich only increased, especially as the Progressive wing of the Republican Party grew in strength under Theodore Roosevelt. By the time of the administration of President William Howard Taft (1909-13) the pressure was becoming overwhelming. One representative suggested simply repassing the 1894 tax bill and daring the Supreme Court to overturn it a second time.

That idea horrified Taft, who revered the court. He feared that it would weaken its position as the final arbiter of the Constitution. He came up with a brilliant, very lawyerly, alternative: He proposed a constitutional amendment to legalize a personal income tax, while meanwhile imposing a tax on corporate profits. In the early 20th century such a tax was, in effect, a tax on the rich. As the corporate income tax is technically an excise tax, there was no constitutional problem. Taft's solution was implemented and in 1913 the 16th Amendment was declared ratified, just as Taft was leaving office.

The new president, Woodrow Wilson, and the strongly Democratic Congress promptly passed a personal income tax. It kicked in at 1% on incomes above $3,000 (a comfortable upper middle-class income at the time) and reached 7% on incomes over $500,000. But there were many deductions, bringing the effective tax rates down sharply from the marginal ones—a feature of the tax system ever since.

Unfortunately the corporate income tax, originally intended as only a stopgap measure, was left in place unchanged. As a result, for the last 98 years we have had two completely separate and uncoordinated income taxes. It's a bit as if corporations were owned by Martians, otherwise untaxed, instead of by their very earthly—and taxed—stockholders.

This has had two deeply pernicious effects. One, it allowed the very rich to avoid taxes by playing the two systems against each other. When the top personal income tax rate soared to 75% in World War I, for instance, thousands of the rich simply incorporated their holdings in order to pay the much lower corporate tax rate.

There has since been a sort of evolutionary arms race, as tax lawyers and accountants came up with ever new ways to game the system, and Congress endlessly added to the tax code to forbid or regulate the new strategies. The income tax act of 1913 had been 14 pages long. The Revenue Act of 1942 was 208 pages long, 78% of them devoted to closing or defining loopholes. It has only gotten worse.

The other pernicious consequence of the separate corporate and personal income taxes has been a field day for demagogues and the misguided to claim that the rich are not paying their "fair share." Warren Buffett recently claimed that he had paid only $6.9 million in taxes last year. But Berkshire Hathaway, of which Mr. Buffett owns 30%, paid $5.6 billion in corporate income taxes. Were Berkshire Hathaway a Subchapter S corporation and exempt from corporate income taxes, Mr. Buffett's personal tax bill would have been 231 times higher, at $1.6 billion.

Just as in the late 19th century, the tax code is now hopelessly arbitrary and unfair. It requires a complete overhaul.

Mr. Gordon is the author of "An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power" (HarperCollins, 2004).

Hundreds of plants and animals up for new protections

| Sunday, October 9, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Matthew Brown

The Obama administration is taking steps to extend new federal protections to a list of imperiled animals and plants that reads like a manifest for Noah's Ark - from the melodic golden-winged warbler and slow-moving gopher tortoise, to the slimy American eel and tiny Texas kangaroo rat.

Read More...

12-year-old girl banned from wearing rosary necklace at school

| Saturday, October 8, 2011 | 0 comments |
Rosary necklace banned for being a
'gang symbol' at Nebraska school

by Michael Zennie

School administrators in a Nebraska town of 26,000 told a middle school girl to take off her cross necklace because it looks too much like a rosary, which they say is being used by gang members.

Twelve-year-old Elizabeth Cary says her necklace is a reminder of her faith. And she vowed to stand up for what she believes in and fight the Fremont, Neb., school district, where she is a sixth grader.

The local Catholic archdioceses has condemned the decision to ban rosaries from schools and says administrators should be smart enough to tell which students are at risk for gang activity.

Taphorn told KETV-7 in Omaha, Neb., that the ban on rosaries is an infringement on Elizabeth's rights to freely practice her religion.

'It makes me feel like I want to scream really bad,' Elizabeth told the TV station.

Little Elizabeth said she doesn't even know what a gang is and doesn't understand why the school won't let her wear her necklace any more.

'I’m deciding to stand up for Jesus and do whatever I can to stop this,' she said.

Read More...

Ohio Muslim Inmates Sue Over Meal Preparation

| Thursday, October 6, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Associated Press
A death row inmate says the Ohio prison system is denying him meals prepared according to Islamic law, known as halal, according to a federal lawsuit that alleges a civil rights violation.

Condemned inmate Abdul Awkal says the prison system's failure to provide the halal meals is a restraint on his religious freedoms.

Awkal, joined by a second inmate not on death row, says the vegetarian and non-pork options offered by the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction aren't good enough. The inmates say the food must be prepared in specific fashion, such as ensuring that an animal is butchered by slitting its throat and draining its blood, to conform with Islamic beliefs.

Awkal, 52, is scheduled to die in June for killing his estranged wife, Latife Awkal, and brother-in-law Mahmoud Abdul-Aziz in 1992, in a room in Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court.

Joining Awkal in the lawsuit is Cornelius Causey, 35, serving 15 years to life for murder and aggravated robbery convictions out of Hamilton County.

Ohio argues that it provides both non-pork and vegetarian meals to Muslims and says the courts have sided with this practice. The state also says that providing halal meals could hurt Ohio financially, given the current budget situation.

"The complete restructuring of ODRC's food service administration and preparation, at a cost of millions to the State of Ohio during fiscal crisis, is at stake," Ryan Dolan, an assistant attorney general, argued in a court filing.

Read More...

Click here for your free copy of Sharia Law For The Non Muslim...

Proposed List Of Demands For Occupy Wall St

| Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Lloyd J. Hart

Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the "Books." World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the "Books." And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.

Read More...

Obama approves 2 solar loans worth $1B for bankrupt Solyndra

| Thursday, September 29, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Associated Press

Facing a Friday deadline, the Energy Department has approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the department has completed a $737 million loan guarantee to Tonopah Solar Energy for a 110 megawatt solar tower in Nevada, and a $337 million guarantee for Mesquite Solar 1 to develop a 150 megawatt solar plant in Arizona.

The loans were approved under the same program that paid for a $535 million loan to Solyndra Inc., a now-bankrupt solar panel maker that has become a rallying cry for Republican critics of the Obama administration's green energy program.

The latest loan program, approved under the 2009 economic stimulus law, expires Friday. At least seven projects worth about $5 billion are pending.

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No Room for Medicare Patients

| Monday, September 26, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Jane M. Orient, M.D.

When I went into solo practice of internal medicine in 1981, it was very easy to get a doctor to see a Medicare patient. All I had to do was make a phone call. A courteous receptionist answered. If the doctor couldn't come to the phone right away, I could count on a prompt callback.

Consultants saw patients quickly, and generally called me to discuss their findings and advice. And very often there would also be a letter in the mail: “Thank you for referring this delightful patient to me.”

How things have changed! Now a doctor gets the phone menu, just as the patients do, and it often ends in voice mail. It might be a few days before a staff member calls back—usually with the news that “we are not accepting any new Medicare patients.” At best, my patient might be offered an appointment in several months.

One very fine gentleman, who had recently moved to a rural area, found it easier to fly to Tucson to see me than to get in to see a local internist. That was in 2009. Recently, he has become unable to travel, so I needed to find him a local doctor.

I tried to expedite matters by ordering him an immediate diagnostic test: an abdominal CT scan. I don’t think anyone could argue that it wasn’t indicated under the circumstances. One little problem: I am not enrolled in Medicare and don’t have the proper government-issued number to enter into the computer. A license to practice medicine is not enough. This National Provider Identifier (NPI) is supposed to protect the system against being defrauded. Without that number, the imaging facility could not get paid by Medicare.

“Why not use the radiologist’s number?” I asked. After all, he was the one who would get paid. Nope, a referral was required. How about a self-referral from the patient? Nope, we can’t allow patients to decide what tests they need. “The patient is willing to pay for his own test,” I said. Nope, if he’s on Medicare, they aren’t allowed to take his money.

They gave the patient 24 hours to find a properly enumerated doctor to countersign my order. Fortunately, he found a specialist willing to do so, and assume potential criminal liability for committing “waste, fraud, and abuse” by ordering a “medically unnecessary” study. (Fortunately for the patient, he turned out not to have cancer, but that could be bad news for the doctor.)

So this is the status of retired Americans. They can’t just walk into a facility and request a medical test, and pay for it with their very own money. A man may be qualified to pilot a 747 across the Pacific, but once he’s on Medicare, he is unfit to make an unsupervised decision about his own medical care.

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$19.3 Billion only created 3,500 jobs

| Tuesday, September 20, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Carol D. Leonnig
and Steven Mufson

A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.

The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.

President Obama has made “green jobs” a showcase of his recovery plan, vowing to foster new jobs, new technologies and more competitive American industries. But the loan guarantee program came under scrutiny Wednesday from Republicans and Democrats at a House oversight committee hearing about the collapse of Solyndra, a solar-panel maker whose closure could leave taxpayers on the hook for as much as $527 million.

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How to Know God Personally

| Saturday, September 17, 2011 | 0 comments |

How to Know God Personally

What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?

You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.

The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ...

Principle 1:

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.


God's Love
"God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." 1

God's Plan
[Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" [that it might be full and meaningful]. 2

Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because...


Principle 2:

All of us sin and our sin has separated us from God.


We Are Sinful
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." 3
We were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to go our own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

We Are Separated
"The wages of sin is death" [spiritual separation from God]. 4
This diagram illustrates that God is holy and people are sinful. A great gulf separates us. The arrows illustrate that we are continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion -- but we inevitably fail.

The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf...


Principle 3:

Jesus Christ is God's only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God's love and plan for our life.

 


He Died in Our Place
"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 5

He Rose From the Dead
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures...He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred..." 6

He Is the Only Way to God
"Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'" 7

This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.

It is not enough just to know these three principles...


Principle 4:

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives.

 


We Must Receive Christ
"As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name." 8

We Receive Christ Through Faith
"By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." 9

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him." 10

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be. Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:


Which circle best describes your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?

The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer

Prayer is talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

"Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be."

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, then you can pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?


Yes, I just asked Jesus into my life »


I may want to ask Jesus into my life,
but I have a question I would like answered first »




(1) John 3:16 (NIV); (2) John 10:10; (3) Romans 3:23; (4) Romans 6:23; (5) Romans 5:8; (6) 1 Corinthians 15:3-6; (7) John 14:6; (8) John 1:12; (9) Ephesians 2:8,9; (10) Revelation 3:20

Adapted from Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws and Would You Like to Know God Personally, by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.

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3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Oil in North Dakota and Montana

| Thursday, September 15, 2011 | 0 comments |
3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil
Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken
Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate

by U.S. Department of the Interior
Reston, VA - North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.

A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.

New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes.

The Bakken Formation estimate is larger than all other current USGS oil assessments of the lower 48 states and is the largest "continuous" oil accumulation ever assessed by the USGS. A "continuous" oil accumulation means that the oil resource is dispersed throughout a geologic formation rather than existing as discrete, localized occurrences. The next largest "continuous" oil accumulation in the U.S. is in the Austin Chalk of Texas and Louisiana, with an undiscovered estimate of 1.0 billions of barrels of technically recoverable oil.

"It is clear that the Bakken formation contains a significant amount of oil - the question is how much of that oil is recoverable using today's technology?" said Senator Byron Dorgan, of North Dakota. "To get an answer to this important question, I requested that the U.S. Geological Survey complete this study, which will provide an up-to-date estimate on the amount of technically recoverable oil resources in the Bakken Shale formation."

The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels. Scientists conducted detailed studies in stratigraphy and structural geology and the modeling of petroleum geochemistry. They also combined their findings with historical exploration and production analyses to determine the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil estimates.

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9 Foods Not to Give Your Kids

| Tuesday, September 13, 2011 | 0 comments |
By Joe Wilkes

If you've followed the news on childhood obesity lately, you know the state of affairs is pretty grim. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past two decades, and most signs point to the next generation being the first whose life expectancy will be shorter than their parents'. Much of the blame for this trend has deservedly been laid at the feet of the producers and marketers of unhealthy food aimed at our youngest consumers, whose parents face an uphill battle: trying to pit fresh, healthy foods devoid of mascots or sidekicks against superheroes and cartoon animals in a struggle to tempt their children's palates and stomachs.

Since most kids have hummingbird metabolisms that adults can only envy, it's often easy to give them a free pass and let them eat whatever they want. But eventually those metabolisms slow down and the pounds settle in. Also, as physical activity decreases and processed food intake increases annually, kids aren't burning calories the way their parents might have when they were their age. And even if the kids aren't getting fat, they are establishing eating habits they'll take into adulthood. As parents, you can help foster a love for healthy eating and exercise that will last your kids a lifetime—hopefully a long one!

Eating can so often be a classic power struggle where kids try to finally locate their mom and dad's last nerve. (I can remember family dinners with my brother and parents that could teach Hezbollah a thing or two about standoffs.) There are a number of strategies you can use to mitigate this type of deadlock. One is to let your kids help with the selection and preparation of the food. If they picked out the veggies at the farmers' market and helped cook them, they might be less inclined to feed them to the family pet. Another is to frame eating vegetables and healthy food as being its own reward. Otherwise, by offering dessert as a reward for finishing vegetables, you create a system where unhealthy food is a treat and healthy food sucks. With these thoughts in mind, let's take a look at some of the most unhealthy foods being marketed to your kids today, and some healthier alternatives you can offer to replace each of them.

Note: The following recommendations are for school-aged children. Infants and toddlers have different specific nutritional needs not addressed in this article.

1. Chicken nuggets/tenders. These popular kids' menu items are little nuggets of compressed fat, sodium, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and in some form chicken. Depending on the restaurant, chicken might not even be the first ingredient. Oftentimes, the nuggets or tenders are made of ground pieces of chicken meat and skin, pressed into a shape, flavored with HFCS and salt, and batter-fried in hydrogenated oil (the bad, trans-fatty stuff). Then, as if that weren't unhealthy enough, you dunk it in a HFCS- or mayonnaise-based sauce. With all the fat, salt, and sugar, it's easy to understand why they're tasty, but the nutritive value weighed against the huge amount of calories and fat consumed is incredibly lacking. Even healthier-sounding menu items can be deceiving, like McDonald's® Premium Breast Strips (5 pieces), which pack 640 calories and 38 grams of fat—and that's before you factor in the dipping sauce. (By comparison, a Big Mac® with sauce has 540 calories and 29 grams of fat.)

Instead: If you're cooking at home, grill a chicken breast and cut it into dipping-size pieces either with a knife or, for extra fun, cookie cutters. Make a healthy dipping sauce from HFCS-free ketchup, marinara sauce, mustard, or yogurt. Let your kids help make the shapes or mix up the sauce. Try and go without breading, but if you must, try dipping the chicken breast in a beaten egg, and then rolling it in cornflake crumbs before you bake it. It'll be crunchy and delicious, but not as fatty.

2. Sugary cereal. I can remember as a child, after going to friends' houses for overnights and being treated to breakfast cereals with marshmallows that turned the milk fluorescent pink or blue, feeling horribly deprived when faced with the less colorful and sugary options served up in my home kitchen. But now I can appreciate my mom and her unpopular brands and granolas. True, they didn't have any cartoon characters on the box or any toy surprises, but they also didn't have the cups of sugar, grams of fat, and hundreds of empty calories that these Saturday-morning staples are loaded with.

Instead: Read the labels and try to find cereal that's low in sugar and high in fiber and whole grains. Remember, "wheat" is not the same as "whole wheat." Also, avoid cereals (including some granolas) that have hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, or chemical preservatives. Add raisins, sliced bananas, berries, or other seasonal fruit to the cereal for extra flavor and nutrition. Again, letting your child help design a healthy bowl of cereal from choices you provide will get you a little more buy-in at the breakfast table.

3. Lunch meat and hot dogs. Kids love hot dogs, bologna, and other processed meats, but these are all full of potentially carcinogenic nitrates and nitrites, sodium, saturated fat, and artificial colors and fillers. A study in Los Angeles found that kids who ate 12 hot dogs a month had nine times the risk of developing leukemia.1 And more health risks are being discovered all the time. Leaf through any research about kids' nutrition, and you're bound to read about the bane of the cafeteria—Oscar Mayer's Lunchables®. These and similar prepackaged lunches are loaded with processed meats and crackers made with hydrogenated oils. These innocent-looking meals can boast fat counts of up to 38 grams. That's as much fat as a Burger King® Whopper® and more than half the recommended daily allowance of fat for an adult.

Instead: Get unprocessed meats, like lean turkey breast, chicken, tuna, or roast beef. Use whole wheat bread for sandwiches; or if your kid's dying for Lunchables, fill a small plastic container with whole-grain, low-fat crackers, lean, unprocessed meat, and low-fat cheese. This can be another great time to get out the cookie cutters to make healthy sandwiches more fun. For hot dogs, read labels carefully. Turkey dogs are usually a good bet, but some are pumped up with a fair amount of chemicals and extra fat to disguise their fowl origins. Look for low levels of fat, low sodium, and a list of ingredients you recognize. There are some tasty veggie dogs on the market, although a good deal of trial and error may be involved for the choosy child.

4. Juice and juice-flavored drinks. Juice—what could be wrong with juice? While 100 percent juice is a good source of vitamin C, it doesn't have the fiber of whole fruit, and provides calories mostly from sugar and carbohydrates. Too much juice can lead to obesity and tooth decay, among other problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 4 to 6 ounces of juice per day for kids under 6, and 8 to 12 ounces for older kids. Juice drinks that aren't 100 percent juice are usually laced with artificial colors and that old standby, high fructose corn syrup, and should be avoided. Your best bet is to make your own juice from fresh, seasonal fruit. You won't have to worry about all the additives, and it's another way you can involve your kids in the cooking process. Let them design their own juice "cocktail."

Instead: Water is still the best thirst quencher. Explain the importance of good hydration to your kids, and try to set a good example yourself by carrying around a healthy reusable hard plastic or stainless steel water bottle. Get your kids used to carrying a small bottle of water in their backpack or attached to their bike. If they're very water averse, try water with a splash of fruit juice in it. But just a splash. The idea is to get your kids used to not having things be overly sweet, overly salty, or overly fatty. Another great beverage is milk. Growing kids need plenty of milk (or fortified nondairy milks, like soy or almond)—which is filled with nutrients, calcium, and (in the case of dairy and soy) protein—but they don't need too much fat, so choosing low-fat or nonfat options will help ensure that they get their milk without actually beginning to resemble a cow.

5. French fries. High in calories, high in fat, and high in sodium—and unsurprisingly the most popular "vegetable" among kids. Fries offer virtually none of the nutrients found in broccoli, carrots, spinach, or other veggies not cooked up in a deep fryer, and the fat they're fried in is often trans fat, the unhealthiest kind for the heart. To top it all off, studies are beginning to show cancer-causing properties from acrylamide, a toxic substance that is created when starchy foods like potatoes are heated to extreme temperatures. In some tests, the amount of acrylamide in French fries was 300 to 600 times higher than the amount the EPA allows in a glass of water.2

Instead: Vegetables like baby carrots, celery sticks, and other crudités are great options, but if potatoes must be had, there are some options that don't involve melting a brick of fat. A scooped-out potato skin with low-fat chili and a little cheese can provide lots of fiber and vitamins, with even higher amounts if the chili has beans. You can also try making baked fries, using slices of potato with a light brushing of olive oil. Or the classic baked potato could be a hit, with plain yogurt or cottage cheese instead of sour cream and butter.

6. Potato chips, Cheetos®, Doritos®, etc. These are full of fat, oftentimes saturated, and way more sodium than any child or adult should eat. Some chips also have the acrylamide problem discussed in #5, French fries, above. Also, watch out for innocent-seeming baked and low-fat chips that contain olestra or other fake fats and chemicals that could present health issues for kids.

Instead: Kids gotta snack, and in fact, since their stomachs are smaller, they aren't usually able to go as long between meals as adults. Cut-up vegetables are the best thing if your kids want to get their crunch on, but air-popped popcorn and some baked chips are okay, too. You can control how much salt goes on the popcorn, or involve your child in experimenting with other toppings like red pepper, Parmesan cheese, or dried herbs. Try making your own trail mix with your kids. They might be more excited to eat their own personal blend, and that way you can avoid certain store-bought trail mixes, which sometimes contain ingredients like chocolate chips and marshmallows that aren't exactly on the healthy snack trail.

7. Fruit leather. Many of these gelatinous snacks like roll-ups or fruit bites contain just a trace amount of fruit, but lots of sugar or HFCS and bright artificial colors. Don't be misled by all the products that include the word "fruit" on their box. Real fruit is in the produce section, not the candy aisle.

Instead: If your child doesn't show interest in fruit in its natural state, there are some ways you can make it more interesting without losing its nutritional value. For a healthy frozen treat, try filling ice-cube or frozen-pop trays with fruit juice or freezing grapes. Or buy unflavored gelatin and mix it with fruit juice and/or pieces of fruit to make gelatin treats without the added sugar and color (let it solidify in big flat casserole dishes or roasting pans—another good time for the cookie cutters!) Try serving some raisins, dried apricots, apples, peaches, or other dried fruits that might give you that chewy, leathery texture without the sugar.

8. Doughnuts. These little deep-fried gobs of joy are favorites for kids and adults alike, but they are full of fat and trans-fatty acids, and of course, sugar. Toaster pastries, muffins, and cinnamon buns aren't much better. The worst thing about doughnuts and these other pastries, aside from their nutritional content, is that they're often presented to children as acceptable breakfast choices. These delicious deadlies need to be categorized properly—as desserts, to be eaten very sparingly. And you can't have dessert for breakfast.

Instead: Honestly, a slice of whole wheat toast spread with sugar-free fruit spread or peanut butter isn't going to get as many fans as a chocolate-filled Krispy Kreme® doughnut, but at some point, you have to stand firm. Be the cop who doesn't like doughnuts. Doughnuts—not for breakfast. Period.

9. Pizza. In moderation, pizza can be a fairly decent choice. If you order the right toppings, you can get in most of your food groups. The problem comes with processed meats like pepperoni and sausage, which add fat and nitrates/nitrites (see #3, Lunch meat and hot dogs, above); and the overabundance of cheese, which will also provide more calories and fat than a child needs.

Instead: Try making your own pizza with your kids. Use premade whole wheat crusts, or whole wheat tortillas, English muffins, or bread as a base. Then brush on HFCS-free sauce, and set up a workstation with healthy ingredients like diced chicken breast, sliced turkey dogs, and vegetables that each child can use to build his or her own pizza. Then sprinkle on a little cheese, bake, and serve. If your child gets used to eating pizza like this, delivery pizzas may seem unbearably greasy after awhile.

Someday your children will come to realize that caped men in tights and sponges who live under the sea might not have their best interests at heart when it comes to food. Until then, however, why not involve them in the process of selecting and preparing healthier alternatives? Some of these cleverly disguised wholesome foods might become their favorites. Who knows, they may even tempt some of the overgrown children among us!

References
1 Peters J, et al. "Processed meats and risk of childhood leukemia (California, USA)" Cancer Causes & Control 5: 195-202, 1994

2 Tareke E, Rydberg P, Karlsson P, et al. "Analysis of acrylamide, a carcinogen formed in heated foodstuffs" J. of Agri and Food Chem. 2002;50:4988-5006

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Evangelicals Left Off National Cathedral 9/11 Program

| Sunday, September 11, 2011 | 0 comments |
By Todd Starnes

A weekend of religious-themed observances at Washington National Cathedral marking the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks will include a Buddhist nun and an Imam, but not an evangelical Christian, leading the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to ask President Obama to reconsider attending the event.

“A Call to Compassion” will include an interfaith prayer vigil on Sept. 11. It will feature the dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.

However, Southern Baptists, representing the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, were not invited to participate – and neither were leaders from any evangelical Christian organization.

“It’s not surprising,” said Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. “There is a tragic intolerance toward Protestants and particularly toward evangelicals and I wish the president would refuse to speak unless it was more representative.”

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Defending the Faith Part 14: Final Reflections

| Saturday, September 10, 2011 | 0 comments |
by Greg Koukl

“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle.” -Marine Corps training adage

We have been looking at tactics to help you develop two indispensable skills in apologetics. These tactics enable you to maneuver comfortably and graciously in conversations with others about your Christian convictions and values, and teach you the art of maintaining appropriate control of the discussion. As you review these tactics keep in mind the following:

First, know your Bible well enough to give an accurate answer for the faith that is in you: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15).

Second, study these tactics. Become familiar with how they work. Know when to use them and how to initiate them.

Third, push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Be courageous; you need to mix it up with others before you'll feel adequately prepared. You’ll learn best by immediately using the information you’ve gained. You’ll take a few hits along the way, but you’ll also give a few back in a good way. You’ll also learn what the other side has to offer, which often isn’t very much.

Fourth, don’t be discouraged by outward appearances. Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to assess the effectiveness of your conversation by its immediate, visible results. Even though a person rebels at what you say, you may have still put a “stone in his shoe.” The Holy Spirit can use all things to bring others to the truth.

Finally, live out the virtues of a good ambassador. Represent Christ in a winsome and attractive way. You are God’s own ambassador and are the key to making a difference for the kingdom. With God’s help, show the world that Christianity is worth thinking about.

In some circles there’s pressure for Christian ambassadors to “close the sale” as soon as possible. When pressed for time, they say you should get right to the Gospel. If the person doesn’t respond, at least you’ve still done your part, right?

A wise ambassador, though, weighs his opportunities and adopts an appropriate strategy for each occasion. Sometimes, the simple truth of the cross is all that’s needed. The fruit is ripe for harvesting. Bump it, and it falls into your basket.

Usually, though, the fruit is not ripe; the nonbeliever is simply not ready. He may not have even begun to think about Christianity. Dropping a message on him that, from his point of view, is meaningless or simply unbelievable doesn’t accomplish anything. He would likely reject a message he doesn’t understand and then be harder to reach next time.

Here is my own more modest goal: I want to put a stone in his shoe. All I want to do is give him something worth thinking about. I want him to hobble away on a nugget of truth he can’t simply ignore because it continues to poke at him.

Follow the strategy I use when God opens a door of opportunity. I pray quickly for wisdom (James 1:5), then ask myself, “In this circumstance, what is one thing I can say, one question I can ask, one thought I can leave that will get him thinking?”

Then I simply try to put a stone in his shoe. Leave them something to think about, to ponder. And trust the Holy Spirit to bring in the harvest.

For more extensive tactics training go to www.str.org and look for Tactics in Defending the Faith Mentoring Series or STRi DVD interactive training in our online store or call Stand to Reason at 1-800-2-REASON.

Hero - Performed by Michael Israel

| | 0 comments |

9/11 Tribute: Too Upsetting for Muslim and Chinese Students

| | 0 comments |
by Jason Mattera

If you thought that something as innocuous as putting up 3,000 American flags on school grounds to pay tribute to those murdered on September 11 couldn’t be controversial, you haven’t been to Marietta College​.

Administrators at this liberal arts college in southeast Ohio are threatening to cancel a 9/11 memorial planned by their students if flags from other countries are not observed in the activities as well

“I was taken aback by this decision,” said Sarah Snow, an Alabama native and junior at Marietta. “Our school should help students put on events, not set up obstacles, especially when we’re trying to honor those fallen.”

It all started when Snow, the president of the Marietta College Republicans, approached her Student Life department to get approval to participate in the 9/11 Never Forget Project. In addition to organizing a candlelight vigil, Snow sought to plant 3,000 American flags around campus starting this Sunday morning. She received approval from the Office of Student Life on June 23, more than two months ago. But when she returned to campus for the fall semester, days before the memorial was to begin, the vice president of Student Life, Robert Pastoor, vowed to terminate the tribute unless foreign flags were mixed together with American ones.

“He [Robert Pastoor] insisted we add the international flags for the reason that it was a ‘global perspective’ school,” Snow told HUMAN EVENTS in explaining Pastoor’s basis for interfering with the College Republicans’ memorial. He continued, she noted, by saying, “Other nationalities were killed in the twin towers as well” and that Marietta must “consider how the Muslim and Chinese students will feel about the [American flag] display.”

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