August 24, 2006
What happens when Christians become money changers, professing faith for reasons that are self serving or to promote a particular agenda or ideology?
We received an email today directing us to this website, a particularly biased, shrill and shallow presentation that emphasizes the victimhood of the Palestinians. In particular, we were asked to note this post, From The Christian Bishops Of Jerusalem, a ‘statement’ denouncing Christian Zionism.
The statement issued by various bishops with a pompous moral authority and more than a bit of contrived clerical gravity, is an example of the ‘Islamification’ of some Christian churches- turning a blind eye to the truth and deliberately engaging in deceit to further a particular cause.
Like the biblical moneychangers, these Christian clerics position themselves as close to the Altar of God as they can, purporting that their behavior is sanctioned Godly behavior- and they wag their fingers in an accusatory way at anyone who disagrees with them.
Like the corrupt Muslim ‘religious leaders,’ paid by the dysfunctional regimes, these Christian Bishops purport to speak for God, even as frenzied screams of ‘ITBACH AL YAHUD!- SLAUGHTER THE JEWS! are heard in the background.
While the Bishops shrilly excoriate Israel and her supporters, they make no mention of the virulent anti-Jewish sentiment that has been as pervasive as sand in the region. Some Christian orders claim to run schools and organizations that are models of ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance.’
Of course, that is deceit, posturing as truth
There is no shortage of anti Israel rhetoric (often ‘reluctantly’ presented as anti Jewish), there is not one instance of these local good ‘Christians’ to repudiate the repulsive and hateful anti Jewish sentiment uttered. The only time there is a pretense of ecumenicism are in speeches uttered outside the region.
There are very good reasons the Christians in the region are careful not to question the anti Jewish status quo. Persecution of Christians in the region has been long documented. Violence, appropriation of property and even personal safety of Christians are at stake.
While we all like to see a cessation of violence and peace in the region, it would be nice if Christian leaders were to do the Christian thing and behave in a way that might bring honor to their churches and not scorn.
History has taught what happens to the money changers.
More later, if warranted.
UPDATE: It seems textbooks used by PA schools (synopsis) haven’t changed much. The entire article, found here, is astonishing. There is Holocaust denial, blatant anti semitism, war is celebrated as a virtue and ‘martyrdom’ is extolled. The ‘Protocols’ are treated as actual history.
No word yet from the Bishops on when they plan on castigating the Palestinians for the blatant hate, exhortations to violence and anti semitism.
August 24, 2006
Fatmas Day is here!
That’s right, it’s a day of celebration!
Turns out the 31 Twinkies, 3 Burgers, VW sized fries and that 10 gallon pail of ice cream you’ve been eating 4 times a week may not be why you are fat.
In the 30-plus years that Richard Atkinson has been studying obesity, he has always maintained that overeating doesn’t really explain it all. His epiphany came early in his career, when he was a medical fellow at U.C.L.A. engaged in a study of people who weighed more than 300 pounds and had come in for obesity surgery. “The general thought at the time was that fat people ate too much,” Atkinson, now at Virginia Commonwealth University, told me recently. “And we documented that fat people do eat too much — our subjects ate an average of 6,700 calories a day. But what was so impressive to me was the fact that not all fat people eat too much.”- [emp-SC&A]
One year ago, the idea that microbes might cause obesity gained a foothold when the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana created the nation’s first department of viruses and obesity. It is headed by Nikhil Dhurandhar, a physician who invented the term “infectobesity” to describe the emerging field. Dhurandhar’s particular interest is in the relationship between obesity and a common virus, the adenovirus. Other scientists, led by a group of microbiologists at Washington University in St. Louis, are looking at the actions of the trillions of microbes that live in everyone’s gut, to see whether certain intestinal microbes may be making their hosts fat.
If microbes help explain even a small proportion of obesity, that could shed light on a condition that plagues millions of Americans. Today 30.5 percent of the American public is obese; that is, nearly a third of Americans have a body-mass index over 30 (which for someone of Janet’s height is 186 pounds). The Department of Health and Human Services says obesity may account for 300,000 deaths a year, making it the second-most-common preventable cause of death after cigarette smoking. It’s been linked to various diseases: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis and some cancers. “Individuals who are obese,” the department states on its Web site, “have a 50 to 100 percent increased risk of premature death from all causes, compared to individuals with a healthy weight.”
If microbes do turn out to be relevant, at least in some cases of obesity, it could change the way the public thinks about being fat. Along with the continuing research on the genetics of obesity, the study of other biological factors could help mitigate the negative stereotypes of fat people as slothful and gluttonous and somehow less virtuous than thin people.
MERRY FATMAS! IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT YOUR FAT!
Well, not so fast:
On an individual level and for the foreseeable future, if you want to lose weight, you still have to fiddle with the energy equation. Weight still boils down to the balance between how much a particular body needs to maintain a certain weight and how much it is fed. What complicates things is that in some people, for reasons still not fully understood, what their bodies need is set unfairly low. It could be genes; it could be microbes; it could be something else entirely.
Well, somebody is at fault. Somebody call a lawyer.
We’re going out for wienerschnitzel und bratwurst to celebrate
August 24, 2006
From Microbiology Bites ( a really cool blog)- ” that brings you the latest news about microbiology in a form that everyone can understand.”
Supposedly, a quarter of the world’s population is infected with Toxoplasma gondii, a long-lived and common brain parasite. The normal host for this organism is the domestic cat, so maybe it’s not so surprising that human infections are also common.
What is surprising is that the parasite is capable of subtle manipulation of its host. Humans become infected by eating infected meat, or more usually by direct contact with soil or cat faeces. However, humans are dead-end hosts as far as the parasite is concerned (no transmission), and it usually only causes mild flu-like symptoms, although severe disease can occur in an unborn foetus or immunocompromised patients. In this situation, the parasite becomes dormant in the brain and other tissues. But that’s not the end of the story!
Can an infectious disease indirectly alter human culture through its effects on personality? People infected with T. gondii experience long-term personality changes:
- Women become more intelligent, warm, outgoing, attentive to others, kindly, easy-going.
- Men show lower intelligence, novelty-seeking and bad tempered.
- Both infected men and women have higher levels of guilt-proneness.
Now a recent paper suggests that male domination of societies worldwide may owe much to T. gondii infection Kevin D. Lafferty, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , 01 Aug 2006). C’mon girls, tell me that you knew that all the time!
August 24, 2006
Americans must see past their natural reluctance to paint all members of a group with a broad brush and realize our failure to act now against this clear and present danger in the ways Sam Soloman recommends will lead to a disaster for us that is far worse than our Cold War enemies had envisaged.
What do we do?
August 24, 2006
Remember looking for the hidden images in the tree? You know, you had to see how many of the hidden and camouflaged images you could find. Of course, once you did fnd them, they were clear and obvious.
Dr Sanity’s The Ayatollah’s Answer, is another example of what Dr Sanity does best. She finds all those hidden images- and once she does, they are clear and obvious.
In discussing the Iranian refusal to halt nuclear enrichment and research projects, Dr Sanity notes the following about the Iranians still wanting to ‘negotiate.’
Does this happen to remind you of anything? The same game currently being played by Iran with the international community reminds me of Peanuts. Think of Lucy as Ahmadinejad and the hapless Charlie Brown as the U.N. (thanks to M.B.!)
But Charlie Brown, dupe that he is, believes her every time she promises that next time it will be different. So, he keeps going back for more only to discover that the same thing happens yet again!
To drive home her point, Dr Sanity provides the classic cartoon image of Lucy snatching the football, just as Charlie Brown is about to kick.
To drive home the point that great minds do indeed, think alike, Thomas Sowell is flying in perfect formation with Dr Sanity. In Will Cease-fires Never Cease?, he notes how busy Lucy has been:
How many cease-fires have there been in the Middle East — or is the number too large to remember? Over the past half century, there must have been more cease-fires in the Middle East than in the rest of the world combined.
Why do these phony cease-fire scenarios keep getting repeated? Because there are too many people, including many in the media, who take the corrupt windbags at the U.N. seriously — so our political leaders have to act as if they take the U.N. seriously as well.
This is a costly charade. Among its costs are human lives. U.N. cease-fires are the ultimate in feel-good decisions made by people who pay no price for the repercussions.
The UN- and much of the world community- are no more than real-life Lucy’s, intent on cheating and playing unfairly because that is the only way they can control and win the game. They cannot compete on an equal playing field because in doing so, they insure their dysfunctional agendas and ideologies will be exposed for what they really are will be dealt a crushing blow. In order for dysfunction to thrive, it needs a host and/or environment that will tolerate dysfunction.
Sowell goes in to note the existential issues that face Israel:
New Hampshire is considered to be a small state but it is larger than Israel. So are 45 other states. Lake Erie is larger than Israel and Lake Michigan more than twice as large.
The Middle Eastern places we hear about are very close to one another. From Israel’s capital in Jerusalem to Bethlehem in the Palestinian territory is only a fraction of the distance from Washington to Baltimore.
Imagine living 15 miles from a people that have promised to wade in ‘rivers of blood’- the blood of you and your children- and then express outrage if you try to defend yourself.
Sowell sees the handwriting on the wall:
None of this matters to those consumed by hate in the Middle East or those in the West wanting feel-good cease-fires, without bothering to think through the actual consequences.
In yet another spectacular example of ineffectiveness and irrelevance, the UN is setting the stage for a nuclear armed Iran blackmailing the civilized world and and an Arab and Palestinian ‘resistance’ movement that does nothing more than widen the gap between the western and Arab worlds.
The ‘hidden pictures’ aren’t so hidden anymore, are they?