Friday, July 31, 2009

Gaza: Hamas sponsors adult men marrying 6 year old girls

This is a very disturbing story. Hamas is celebrating 450 marriages of adult men to very young girls. Look in this video at 4:10 and you can see how very young these little girls are. These are not fathers with their children, these are adult men marrying children.

From AFP:
Hamas sponsors mass wedding in Gaza

SHEIKH ZAYED CITY, Gaza Strip — Nearly a thousand Palestinians celebrated marriage on Thursday night in a ceremony organised by Hamas in the north of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas dignitaries including Mahmud Zahar, one of the militant group's top leaders, were on hand to congratulate 450 grooms who took part in the carefully stage-managed event.

"We are saying to the world and to America that you cannot deny us joy and happiness," Zahar told the men, all of whom were dressed in identical black suits and hailed from the nearby Jabalia refugee camp.

Each groom received a present of 500 dollars from Hamas, which said its workers had also contributed five percent of their monthly salaries to add to the wedding gift.

The 450 brides shared none of the glamour, taking seats among the audience of around 1,000 party guests: most couples had already taken part in religious ceremonies elsewhere, with more marriages planned for the next few days.

"We are presenting this wedding as a gift to our people who stood firm in the face of the siege and the war," local Hamas strongman Ibrahim Salaf said in a speech.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli blockade since the Islamist Hamas movement seized control there in June 2007. In December and January 1,400 Gazans and 13 Israelis were killed in a 22-day war that left much of the territory in ruins.

Video from LiveLeak
Hat Tip Carl in Jerusalem and Jihad Watch

Friday, July 17, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saudi Arabia: A lawsuit against a genie

A Sharia court in Saudi Arabia will investigate the claims of a Saudi family that they are being harrassed by a genie. From the Los Angeles Times:

SAUDI ARABIA: A lawsuit against a genie

Genie A family in Saudi Arabia has filed suit in a religious court against an unnamed genie, or jinn, who sounds most unpleasant: It steals cellphones, whispers threats and occasionally flings stones.

“We began to hear strange sounds,” a family member who requested anonymity told the Saudi daily Al Watan. “At first we did not take it seriously, but then stranger things started to happen, and the children got particularly scared when the genie started throwing stones.”

The genie -- or genies -- had demands: “A woman spoke to me first, and then a man. They said we should get out of the house,” said the family member, adding that his clan fled their home near the city of Medina.

Jinns and genies are spirits born out of fire that have supernatural powers. They appear in the Koran and Arab mythology, creatures living between humanity and the elements. One of their most famous incarnations lived in Aladdin’s lamp.

Sheikh Amr Al Salmi, head of the local Sharia court, said he will investigate the family’s claims that it has been harassed for two years: “We have to look into this case and verify its truthfulness despite the difficulty of 
its consideration,” he told the Saudi daily. “What is interesting is that the complaint has come from every member of the family, and not just one.”

Hat Tip: Women Against Shariah

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TEC Gen Con D025, Yes, Many Are Called , But Few Are Chosen

I agree with part of the controversial sections of D025;
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention recognize that gay and lesbian persons who are part of such relationships have responded to God's call and have exercised various ministries in and on behalf of God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are currently doing so in our midst; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church, which call is tested through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church;

I do believe that many gay and lesbian persons are called to exercise various ministries, including ordained ministry. But I think it is like Matthew 22: 1-14, we are called as we are, but we are expected to put on special clothes for the occasion:
1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

4"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'

5"But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

8"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.' 10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.

13"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."

I think this means that people living unholy lives may be called, but they are to put away those unholy ways when they respond to the call.

Famous Gay Penguin Deserts Male Partner for Widow Next Door

The famous San Francisco gay penguins, Harry and Pepper, have split up. Harry has now mated with Linda, the widow next door, and she has produced two eggs. Pepper has not yet found a new partner. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Widow a wedge between zoo's male penguin pair

Meredith May, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Everyone who works at the San Francisco Zoo knows about Harry and Pepper, two male Magellanic penguins who share a burrow on Penguin Island.

They have been cohabitating for six years, even hatching a surrogate chick together and raising it as two proud gay daddies. They show all the behaviors of a heterosexual penguin couple - building a nest together, preening each others' feathers and love-tapping beaks. They just happen to be the only two dude penguins with the same address on Penguin Island.

All was domestic bliss until their next-door neighbor Fig died, widowing his mate, Linda.

"Whenever there's a single bird on the island, there's always a mad dash to find another mate or lose their burrow," said Harrison Edell, curator of birds.

In this case, it was Harry who strayed. He walked next door and bunked down with Linda in March, just in time for breeding season. They built a nest together, and Linda laid two eggs.

Pepper ventured in their burrow a few times in the three weeks after the breakup, prompting a temporary monthlong trip to the Avian Conservation Center on zoo grounds to chill out. A few other bachelor penguins, which were also looking for love and causing trouble, were sent to the center to calm down. No sparks flew between Pepper and the exiled bachelors, but the vacation seemed to help get Harry out of his system.

Pepper is now back on the island, living next door to his ex and Linda. Everyone appears to be getting along. No one is throwing things, spreading gossip or threatening lawsuits, Edell said.

"We're all curious to see who Pepper turns his attention to next," Edell said. "We have more males than females on the island, so there's that possibility - and we also have some younger females who need to mature before he will find them interesting. We just don't know which way he's going to go."

But if he's truly a homosexual animal, he isn't the only one at the San Francisco Zoo. Edell said zookeepers have seen the apes and the chimpanzees same-sex canoodling, and there's a lesbian black swan couple who have been laying eggs together in the same nest for several years.

Edell is getting quite a lot of e-mail from people who are outraged that Harry and Pepper split up.

"People think we separated them on purpose," Edell said. "There's no explaining love."

A few years ago, the gay penguins in New York that inspired the book And Tango Makes Three split up. In that case as well, one of the two went on to mate with a female. Also interesting to note that their child, Tango, paired up with another female.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Book Translation into Arabic: "Pervert Travels in the Middle East"

A little culture shock for the author of the book Gay Travels in the Muslim World. His planned book tour of the Middle East to promote the Arabic translation is in question now that the Arabic translation is out and the author has discovered that the Arabic word for pervert was used as the translation for "gay". From The New York Post:
July 12, 2009 --

IN a jaw-dropper that could be straight out of the movie "Bruno," the best-selling book "Gay Travels in the Muslim World" has been translated into Arabic -- but with the title equating gays to perverts.

And Michael Luongo, who penned the controversial guide, tells Page Six the twisted translation could spell danger on his promotional tour.

"This is the first-ever gay book to have been translated into Arabic after first having been printed in English, so I am very proud," Luongo said. "The only problem -- the big problem -- is that they used an old word in Arabic for gay which also means 'pervert.' So the new book has in huge words 'Michael Luongo -- Pervert Travels in the Muslim World' across the cover."

Luongo, also a veteran writer for Frommer's, is set to tour the Mideast in October, including Israel, Lebanon and Jordan, "but this has thrown a wrench into the plans. Imagine standing in front of a crowd declaring yourself a pervert. So far I have avoided real fatwas, though I've been told the Taliban produced a Web site condemning the book. But with this new title, who knows? Who needs such a thing when going to such a dangerous place to begin with?"

Luongo says he's asked his Arab-language publisher to change the offensive word to "a more modern and polite one." He adds: "Remember that even in America, in the time of Stonewall 40 years ago, 'pervert' was the word used instead of 'gay' and the Arab world just hasn't caught up."

While that article describes travels to begin in October, according to a follow up story in the newspaper for the gay community, the Advocate, Luongo is planning to go to Iraq next maonth:
Meanwhile, the well-traveled journalist said the controversy makes him feel more cautious, but not deterred, about a planned trip to Iraq next month. He visited the country previously without incident after his book received attention in the English-language press, though he acknowledges that putting the work into Arabic could bring different reactions. The book has been attacked on a website created by a former member of the Taliban.

“I thought overall it was more important to have an Arabic translation than to worry about the risk,” said Luongo. “The problem of the translation itself is educational. We’ve gone through this here in the United States. It’s a learning experience.”

I do hope he realizes how dangerous it has become for gays in Iraq.

Hat Tip Women Against Shariah

California initiative on illegal residents and US born children in signature gathering stage

The Los Angeles Times has an article today on a new California initiative in the signature gathering stage. This will qualify for our June 2010 ballot if it can get 488,000 verified signatures. California is in a financial shambles and the cost to California taxpayers of public benefits to illegal immigrants and their US born children is estimated at $4-5 billion a year. The cost savings from this initiative is estimated at $1 billion per year, of which more than half comes from cutting off state welfare benefits to illegal immigrants:
The measure's most controversial provisions would take aim at the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. It would end state welfare to an estimated 48,000 households and 100,000 children, aid that now costs the state $640 million a year.

Currently, children of illegal immigrants can receive CalWorks benefits if their parents are poor enough to qualify for welfare. About 42% of "child only" cases in the CalWorks program involve illegal-immigrant parents, state officials say.

If this becomes a ballot initiative and is passed by the California voters, it will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here's the whole article:

Activists push ballot initiative to end state benefits for illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children

The measure would end public benefits to illegal residents, challenge the citizenship of their U.S.-born children, cut welfare payments to those children and impose new birth certificate requirements.

By Teresa Watanabe
July 13, 2009

In a stretch of desert just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, men and women in khakis and the colors of the American flag recently gathered at a border watch post they call Camp Vigilance and discussed their next offensive in the nation's immigration wars.

The target: Illegal immigrants and their U.S.-born children who receive public benefits.

The plan: a California ballot initiative that would end public benefits for illegal immigrants, cut off welfare payments for their children and impose new rules for birth certificates.

"We will be out in full force to qualify this initiative," said Barbara Coe, who helped develop Proposition 187, the 1994 measure that would have ended benefits to illegal immigrants but was ruled unconstitutional. "Illegals and their children are costing the state billions of dollars. It's invasion by birth canal."

Supporters of the initiative, recently unveiled by San Diego political activist Ted Hilton, hope to challenge the citizenship of children born in the United States to parents who are here illegally.

The 14th Amendment states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside." Backers of the initiative argue that illegal residents are not "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States and that, as a result, their U.S.-born children should not be citizens.

Before Hilton, Coe and their allies can argue that point in court, however, they have many hurdles to overcome. Whether the initiative will even make it to the ballot remains to be seen. Organizers have just begun to collect the 488,000 voter signatures required to qualify the measure for the June 2010 election. So far, Hilton said, they have raised about $350,000 -- far short of the $4 million generally needed to pay signature gatherers to get a statewide initiative over that hurdle.

But illegal immigration was a powerful political issue in the economic downturn of the early 1990s, and the initiative's backers hope it will be again. Hilton said the group is enlisting an "enormous volunteer base" for the signature gathering. His organization, Taxpayer Revolution, has gathered endorsements from elected officials, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach), the American Legion California chapter and immigration restrictionist groups such as NumbersUSA, Save Our State and Coe's California Coalition for Immigration Reform.

The drive coincides with decisions in several states -- including Oklahoma, Colorado Virginia, Arizona and Georgia -- to curtail medical care, mortgage loans, homeless shelter relief and other benefits for illegal immigrants amid the national economic downturn.

Officials estimate that California's 2.7 million illegal residents account for $4 billion to $6 billion of the state's roughly $105-billion budget. Most of those costs are associated with schools, prisons and emergency healthcare.

"Are we going to continue asking taxpayers to pay for these services when the state is completely out of money?" asked Hilton, who first rallied against illegal immigration two decades ago.

Most illegal residents contribute to the state through taxes and labor, but research indicates that the costs to state and local governments outweigh the additional tax revenue, at least in the short term.

The nonpartisan state legislative analyst's office says the measure could reduce costs by more than $1 billion a year if it survives legal challenges.

Peter Schey, a Los Angeles attorney who successfully challenged Proposition 187, said courts would almost certainly strike down the measure.

"This proposal . . . has no chance of surviving a constitutional challenge," he said. "It is plainly driven by racism and a desire to whip up xenophobia during difficult economic times for U.S. citizens."

Backers say, however, that they have carefully crafted the measure to avoid the legal pitfalls that doomed Proposition 187, which would have barred illegal immigrants from receiving any public social services, education and nonemergency medical care. Voters approved it, 59% to 41%, but a federal judge ruled that the measure unconstitutionally usurped federal jurisdiction over immigration.

This time, backers worked with attorneys who have helped craft successful efforts to curtail benefits in other states.

The new measure does not claim any state authority to regulate immigration, said Mike Hethmon, an attorney with the Washington-based Immigration Reform Law Institute who advised the initiative's authors. Instead, he said, it is based on federal authority delegated to the states to restrict access to benefits and verify applicants' eligibility.

Under the 1996 federal welfare reform law, illegal residents are barred from welfare, public housing, food assistance, unemployment aid and other federal benefits. California laws, however, allow illegal residents to receive some state and local benefits, including nonemergency medical care.

The initiative would require all applicants for public benefits to verify their legal status. And unlike Proposition 187, it would not attempt to curtail access to education.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that states could not bar illegal immigrant children from schools.

The measure's most controversial provisions would take aim at the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants. It would end state welfare to an estimated 48,000 households and 100,000 children, aid that now costs the state $640 million a year.

Currently, children of illegal immigrants can receive CalWorks benefits if their parents are poor enough to qualify for welfare. About 42% of child only" cases in the CalWorks program involve illegal-immigrant parents, state officials say.

The measure would also cut off CalWorks payments to the children of citizens or legal residents who fail to meet eligibility requirements for state aid because they are unwilling to work, addicted to drugs or absent, among other reasons.

The initiative would require that applicants for birth certificates verify their legal status.

Those who could not would have to present official identification from a foreign government, a record of any publicly funded costs for delivering the child and other information before receiving their child's birth certificate, which would be marked with the notation "foreign parent."

The records would be sent to Homeland Security officials.

Kristina Campbell, an attorney with the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund in Los Angeles, said that provision is legally vulnerable. "You can't deny a U.S. citizen child a birth certificate," she said.

"They are entitled to equal protection of the law."

The views were different at Camp Vigilance, where many of the 300 people gathered for a Fourth of July program on illegal immigration flocked to sign the petition.

"Coming here in violation of our laws is an act of disrespect," said Tony Dolz, a native Cuban and campaign volunteer. "Those who break our laws should not benefit from it."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Peggy Noonan on Potential Dangers to USA in next 10 Years

Peggy Noonan's column on Sarah Palin in the Wall Street Journal has an interesting paragraph on some possible dangers the USA faces:
Here are a few examples of what we may face in the next 10 years: a profound and prolonged American crash, with the admission of bankruptcy and the spread of deep social unrest; one or more American cities getting hit with weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source; faint glimmers of actual secessionist movements as Americans for various reasons and in various areas decide the burdens and assumptions of the federal government are no longer attractive or legitimate.

If these are the potential threats perceived by the elites, then I can see why Obama was considered a good candidate to lead us and Palin is dismissed.

1) American crash and deep social unrest -- Obama has the loyalty of Acorn and other lower class organizers, so he is positioned to ckeep social unrest under control. Palin has the loyalty of the white working class, but that not where the unrest will come from.

2) Attacks by weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source -- the unknown source could be North Korea, but also a Muslim country or rogue Muslim group. Obama has some Muslim credentials that the elites would hope he could use. Palin is a sort of charismatic/ evangelical Christian that may be least able to assuage Muslim concerns.

3) Secessionist movements -- Palin's husband seems to have belonged to a party in Alaska with secessionist ideas.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Episcopal Church wants You .... to volunteer for the Up Your Alley Street Fair

Greg Griffith at Stand Firm has noted that Episcopal Church Services of San Francisco has a list of volunteer activities that includes the Up Your Alley street fair. If you don't know what goes on at the Up Your Alley street fair, you can go see the photo essay by Zombie of the 2008 event.

This is currently the #1 listed volunteer activity on the Episcopal Church Services of San Francisco website:
Volunteer Your Time!

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with us! There are lots of possibilities for those who want to get involved and make a difference.

ECS volunteers can...
Share their skills and knowledge,
Assist seniors and homeless individuals in our programs,
Help to improve the quality of our clients' lives,
Participate in activities and events,
Acquire new skills and experiences, and
Provide companionship, energy, time and talent.

Current Volunteer Opportunities:

1. Volunteer with ECS during "Up Your Alley Fair"
Up Your Alley fair (formerly Dore Alley Fair) is part of the Folsom Street Events and will be held on Sunday, July 26. By recruiting and managing volunteers for the event, the Folsom Street Foundation will be donating some of the proceeds to ECS to help fulfill our mission to help homeless and low-income individuals. Email to sign up.

Available Shifts:
Security: 5:00 - 9:00pm
Main Gates: 12:00 - 4:00pm
Recycle Team: 11:00am - 3:00pm
Breakdown: 5:30 - 9:00pm

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Episcopal Ubuntu Logo -- Genetically Altered Male Fruit Fly "Love Chain"?

As Peter Ould points out, the words "I in You and You in Me" in The Episcopal Church's 2009 General Convention "Ubuntu" logo are not Christian.

Maybe in a much larger size one can see a "swirl of dancing figures", but in the size of the image I have seen, it just looks to me like a circle of linked tassels or wings, a sort of flying winged circle. When coupled with the words 'I in you and you in me, I am reminded of the famous experiment with the genetically altered fruit flies forming an all male sexually linked circle.

The insects' mating mischief started after he and Zhang took their genetically engineered flies, housed in large bottles, and warmed the insects to 37oC for an hour. Afterwards, says Odenwald, "we began to see very long courtship chains traversing throughout our bottles." Some chains even turned back on themselves, forming long-lasting circles or intertwined chains of fruit flies.

That in itself was unusual. In normal mating, says Drosophila researcher Laurie Tompkins of Temple University in Philadelphia, a courting male fruit fly pursues a female, rubbing his genitals upon her from behind, licking her, and singing a "love song" by vibrating vibrating, using quivering hand motions made across the client's body for therapeutic purposes.

When Odenwald and Zhang took a closer look at their frenzied insects, a bigger surprise emerged. The lead flies in most of the chains were male. In fact, almost all the courting behavior they observed involved only males. Females avoided the male-dominated courtship chains, tending instead to cluster at the tops and bottoms of the bottles.

Hmmm, that last sentence about the female behavior is interesting. That is how I feel about The Episcopal Church -- I'm avoiding it, trying to stay away from those male-male courtship chains.

(My apologies to to all who value the African Ubuntu tradition.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hanson on Palin Hatred

Victor Davis Hanson has a great article that concludes with an analysis of why Palin so enrages the progressive elites:

Let us count the ways in which Palin enrages:

False Consciousness

1) The sophisticated elite “sees” the real world behind the middle-American fa├žade-how the mob is led, fooled, mesmerized-exploited and manipulated through addiction to idiotic things like Wal-Mart, wall-to-wall carpeting, tract houses, Yukons, etc. Can’t smart people see that Palin’s naugahyde family is a reification of all this middle-class, mindless consumerism, without style, erudition, nuance and skepticism? How infuriating to sit here in New York and think that a winking tart could ever be elected, when seasoned sophisticates like Joe Biden and cosmopolitan metrosexuals like Barack Obama, who see it all, might not have been.

Powermen-Not Powerful Men

2) Twenty-first century power women do not marry men like Todd Palin. Looks, physicality, practicality, courage even-all these are nineteenth-century virtues that now mean nothing in a post-modern, post-industrial society. The fixer in finance, law, academia, politics, or the media-geek, nerd, wimp, who cares?-is the new Alpha male. He has three things that we are all supposed to crave-power, capital, and influence. If one were simply to draw up a list of the fiercest female critics of Palin and trace their own lineages, one would discover that they either are married to powerful insiders, dated powerful insiders, or are the daughters of powerful insiders. (some feminists these!) Who do this Wasilla PTA mom and her broken-arm, snow-mobiling wannabe think they are?

Too Many Rug Rats

3) Smart women do not get pregnant when it is inconvenient, especially when it interferes with one’s cursus honorum. Palin foolishly had a baby as governor, and waddled around with it the entire time-with other snotty kids in tow (just like those trashy folk at the mall who pile out of the Tahoe, in the way just as you are parking your Volvo)! And worse, in the age of sonograms and abortion, she delivered a mentally-challenged child. And worse still, the mom of five encouraged her daughter to deliver an out-of-wedlock child. (Is it in Oklahoma or Arkansas where moms and daughters have children about the same time?) And which is worse, to have a kid at 17 or one after 40? And worse, worse yet, she does not support abortion! Here is Hell in Sarah Palin’s world: I am up for a promotion at CNN, foolishly become pregnant at 42, and discover “it” has chromosomal “issues”. Am I supposed to deliver this thing? I don’t think so (nor would my daughter, should she become pregnant by her boyfriend the summer before starting off at Vassar [all that SAT camp for nothing?]).

The Alaskan Clampetts

4) Taste, taste, taste. Sara gushes and talks like she works at Supercuts (cannot someone teach Sarah to drone through her nose?). She shops like she walked out of Wal-Mart. She winks, and gestures as if she’s running a raffle stand at a PTA carnival and flirting with the local State Farm insurance agent. These Palins and their extended family, are, well, like the Clampetts who descend on Beverly Hills. (cf. “Trig”, “Piper” and “Bristol”-the Alaskan equivalents of “Jethro Bodine”, “Jed”, and “Granny”). And if you are to have scandals in your trailer-park family, let them be elegant ones-cf. Ted Kennedy, Ted, Kennedy, Jr., Michael Kennedy, William Kennedy Smith, David Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and their assorted sins such as drug convictions, drug overdoses, serial sexual predations, loss of life, etc-At least sin and quote Niebuhr, or discuss alleviation of the sin in Palm Beach or Hyannis Port.

Elly May, Not Jackie

5) There are looks and then there are looks. Brainless men without taste think Palin is “hot.” And she is in a sort of unsophisticated Carny way. But looks are really defined by an Audrey Hepburn/Jackie O understated grace, a slightly emaciated look with a grimace now and then. Or through race and gender prisms-a Michelle Obama or a model that is half-Asian, a quarter-Native American, three-quarters African-American. But a pink woman with curves that delivers kids about every two years? Come on!-in the old days, who would have preferred an Ann Margaret to a Candice Bergen? A Raquel Welch to a Mia Farrow? In our postmodern DC-NY nexus, women who are highly educated, with Ivy-League degrees, with some sort of exoticism-a French name, a trace of Indonesian ancestry, a first husband who was Nigerian-a good title such as Senior Editor at Knopf, or Executive Producer at CNN-are, by definition, sexy. And then along comes “It Came From Wasilla”, who excited these Neanderthal males at NASCAR who know nothing of classical understated, real beauty, of real pillow talk.

Hah! As if it was only the "brainless men without taste" who think Palin is “hot.” I think he missed a huge part of the reason the elite women are so upset. A lot of elite men have acknowledged that they think Palin is "hot", too.

(Hmmm,or maybe that was in there in a a subtle way.)

I'm INFJ. What are you?

Peter Ould has found a great site that has a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Take the test here. I'd love to see your results.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Richard Turnbull on First Order Issues for Anglicans

The Rev. Dr. Richard Turnbull, the Principal (think Dean) of Oxford University's Wycliffe Hall seminary spoke encouraging words to Northern California Anglicans at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco this last Sunday evening, July 5th.

Dr. Trubull+ says that we must understand the difference between first order issues and second order issues. He says there are really only two first order issues, issues worth "dying in the ditch for":
1) authority of scripture, and
2) salvation/ uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Trubull+ explained that what seemed to be a second order issue, sexuality, was really a first order issue masquerading as a second order issue because God's plan for human sexuality is clearly presented in the Bible. To challenge God's plan for human sexuality as presented in the Bible is to challenge the authority of scripture.

Dr. Trubull+ is an Evangelical and author of Anglican and Evangelical? Audience members not familiar with him were not sure how bold and simple these two first order issues were for him. In the question and answer, he was provided opportunities to expand on and nuance his understanding of these two primary issues.

During his talk, Dr. Trubull+ had stated that "God wrote the Bible". In the question and answer, he clarified that he believed that God inspired humans to write the Bible, humans embedded in their social contexts.

Also in the question and answer after the talk, he was asked how his understanding of salvation fit with those of the famous Anglican C. S. Lewis. Lewis believed in salvation through Christ alone, but in a way that is beyond our understanding and may include those who did not embrace Christ in this life. In The Last Battle, Lewis presented a pagan Calormene soldier who was credited with worshiping Aslan all along, even though he didn’t know what he was doing. It was not clear from his response whether Dr. Trubull+ subscribes to Lewis' generous view on salvation.

The audience was eager to learn more about the thinking of Dr. Trubull+. The fifteen copies of Anglican and Evangelical? were snapped up. Additional copies would have been sold had they been available.

A generous parishioner of St James' San Jose hosted the event. A recording will be available at the New Anglican Church website.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Anglican Church Forming in East Bay of San Francisco Area

UPDATE: Contact Information now available

A start-up Anglican church group is forming in the East Bay area to meet weekly for prayer, fellowship and bible study. The church will be called the East Bay Anglican Mission and be a part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

The East Bay Anglican Mission offers a community with a shared theology grounded in historical Christian beliefs as expressed in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles. Theologically compatible Episcopalians are welcome to attend along with their current church worship.

The East Bay Anglican Mission currently consists of people from the west side of the tunnel in the Berkeley / Oakland hills and people on the east side of the tunnel in Orinda / Moraga / Lafayette area and draws from the greater East Bay.

Dorothy Gager

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vanity Fair to Sarah Palin: "You're overwrought, my dear. Why don't you go?"

The latest hit piece on Sarah Palin to make the news is an article in Vanity Fair with the line “Some top aides worried about her mental state: was it possible that she was experiencing postpartum depression? (Palin’s youngest son was less than six months old.)”.

"Some top aides" reminds me of the head servant Mrs. Danvers in the classic scene in Rebecca, having first deliberately set the new wife up to fail, telling her she is "overwrought" and suggesting that she leave (through the open window).

Like the head of the servants in the film, the senior aides in question seem to have resented the new woman brought in above them and used dirty tricks to publicly embarrass her, then suggested she was mentally unstable. And they would rather burn down the house than see her succeed in it.

Hat Tip to Douglas LeBlanc at GetReligon

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Two-Track Admissions System at Annapolis

There is an interesting piece in the local Annapolis The Capital online edition by an English Professor at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Bruce Fleming: The cost of a diverse Naval Academy. He says the incoming class at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis will be 35% minorities this year and explains how the figure was achieved.
Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them "qualified." Athletics and leadership also count.

A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.

Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of "qualified" for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They're in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit.

Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.

By using NAPS as a feeder, we've virtually eliminated all competition for "diverse" candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated.

Hat Tip The Two Malcontents