Thursday, September 29, 2011

And Baby Makes 11: Sam 2.0

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Michael Savage Knows Not of What He Speaks

I've noticed an uptick in e-mails from "well-intentioned" people claiming that Barack Obama is Muslim. I've also heard it mentioned in casual conversation, as if it were a reason to dismiss this gifted political talent.

And then tonight, I heard Michael Savage, again, reiterate the "Barack Obama is Muslim" theme by repeating Obama's comment in his speech today that his father and his grandfather were Kenyan sheep herders (shepherds). Savage repeated Obama's comment again and again. He focused on the radical Islamic contingent as a reason to consider Obama dangerous, and continued to mislead (as he has done for weeks) that Obama comes from a Muslim background.

So I thought I'd do a little research on Kenya. According to the CIA - The World Factbook and Wikipedia, over 75% of Kenyans are Christians, and approximately 10% of Kenyans are Muslim.

The breakdown of religious affiliation is, roughly, as follows:

Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%, Muslim 10%, indigenous beliefs 10%, other 2%. Note: a large majority of Kenyans are Christian, but estimates for the percentage of the population that adheres to Islam or indigenous beliefs vary widely. In addition, Kenya has the largest population of Quakers in the world, according to Wikipedia.

So the renouncement of the media's theme -- that Obama is a Muslim -- can be enhanced by pointing out that Kenya is, overwhelmingly, a Christian nation, and that the information that is being propagated is based on lies.

Point being, this information can be used to rebuke the "Obama is a Muslim" theme. Most Democrats already know he's a devout Christian, but we need to get this message out.

It's not as if Obama has a nation of radical Muslims at the ready in Kenya to declare Jihad on the United States the moment he's elected.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Mainline Protestants Shifting to Democratic Party

A poll conducted by Calvin College, a liberal arts, Christian college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, finds that mainline protestants are shifting to the Democratic Party.

Calvin College poll finds mainline Protestants shifting to Democratic Party


Mainline Protestants have shifted partisan identification
from Republican to Democratic

Evangelical Protestants:

2004: 56% Republican, 27 percent Democrat

2008: 54% Republican, 25 percent Democrat


2004: 44% Republican, 38% Democrat

2008: 37% Republican, 46% Democrat


2004: 41% Republican, 44% Democrat

2008: 38% Republican, 41% Democrat
SOURCE: Calvin College

For the first time since the beginning of Franklin Roosevelt's administration, a larger percentage of mainline Protestants call themselves Democrats than Republicans, the national survey commissioned by the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College found.

Evangelical Protestants still lean heavily toward the Republican Party and, despite initial misgivings, generally support Republican John McCain for president, although not as strongly as they did George W. Bush in 2004.

Part of the shift toward the Democrats may be because of President Bush's low approval ratings and concern about the war in Iraq, the price of gasoline and the economy, said Corwin Smidt, a political scientist at Calvin and director of the Henry Institute....

The largest shift from the Republican to the Democratic side was among centrist members of mainline Protestant denominations. While that group represents only 7 percent of the population, it could be enough to swing a tight election, Smidt said.

The survey was conducted before Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race, but it showed Obama with a lead in the general election, 43 percent to McCain's 38 with 19 percent undecided.

"How they (the undecided voters) split is going to determine who wins," Smidt said. "If they split evenly, the advantage goes to Obama. As they say, elections are won at the margins. You don't have to have massive shifts."

This is good news for liberals. Now if we could just separate hate by separating Church from State...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Evangelism Roosts in its Own Petard

An evangelical manifesto criticizes politics in faith

(AP) -- Conservative Christian leaders who believe the word "evangelical" has lost its religious meaning plan to release a starkly self-critical document saying the movement has become too political and has diminished the Gospel through its approach to the culture wars.

The statement, called "An Evangelical Manifesto," condemns Christians on the right and left for using faith to express political views without regard to the truth of the Bible, according to a draft of the document obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

"That way faith loses its independence, Christians become 'useful idiots' for one political party or another, and the Christian faith becomes an ideology," according to the draft.
The declaration, scheduled to be released Wednesday in Washington, encourages Christians to be politically engaged and uphold teachings such as traditional marriage. But the drafters say evangelicals have often expressed "truth without love," helping create a backlash against religion during a "generation of culture warring.

"All too often we have attacked the evils and injustices of others," the statement says, "while we have condoned our own sins." It argues, "we must reform our own behavior."

Ya think, evangelicals?

First off, I haven't met any "evangelicals" from the left side of the political spectrum who have done anything other than question the vast right wing "noise" conspiracy on this issue. I know of no one on the progressive side of the aisle who has demanded of anyone else to adhere to his or her religious beliefs beyond what s/he feels in their own heart.

But beyond that, religion shouldn't play a role in politics. Period. The wall separating Church and State has been plastered with right wing bullshit graffiti over the last couple of decades, but that wall needs to be replastered and repainted; it needs to be refreshed and resecured to be stronger than ever. Thank God that even some churches are seeing the negative, residual effects from blurring church and state. When will the Catholic Church get on board?

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I thought I'd share this delicious Chicken Pot Pie recipe. Its old-fashioned taste is outstanding, and it doesn't use cream soup for flavor.


Celery Seed Pastry

2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
4 - 5 Tablespoons cold water

Cut shorening into flour, celery seeds, and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 more teaspoons of water can be added, if necessary). Gather pastry into ball.


1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1-3/4 cups chicken or turkey broth
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken or turkey
1 10 ounce package frozen peas and carrots (or mixed vegetables of your choosing)

Heat butter over low heat until melted. Blend in flour, onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Stir in chicken and frozen vegetables; reserve.

Prepare celery seed pastry (above). Roll 1/2 of pasty to fit large, deep dish pie plate, and ease pasty into plate. Pour chicken filling into pastry lined pan. Roll out remaining dough and place over filling. Roll edges under; flute. Cut slits in center to allow steam to escape. Cook uncovered in 425 degree oven until crust is brown, about 30 - 35 minutes. (Serves 6)


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

There They Go Again

This woman heads to DC to testify about the negative impact climate change will have on the health of Americans, and the White House opts to "severely edit" her report.

White House "Eviscerated" Climate Change Testimony

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Atlanta-based CDC, the government's premier disease-monitoring agency, told a Senate hearing that climate change "is anticipated to have a broad range of impacts on the health of Americans."

But her prepared testimony was devoted almost entirely to the CDC's preparation, with few details on what effects climate change could have on the spread of disease. Only during questioning did she describe some specific diseases that likely would be affected, again without elaboration.


Dr. Michael McCally, executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, also sat on a panel testifying before the committee and afterwards complained about the editing.

“It appears the White House has denied a congressional committee access to scientific information about health and global warming, McCally said in a statement Wednesday. "This misuse of science and abuse of the legislative process is deplorable.”

Most notably, he noted, was removal of the statement that “CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern.”

I'd really like to know what the Bush administration is afraid of. Why are they denying this reality that inevitably affect all of us?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The federal government continues to screw up everything it touches. From a press release I received today:

PRESS RELEASE October 23, 2007

Contact: Donna Cole, NATCA Local GRR President


GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Two years after receiving air traffic controller's industrial hygenist report from Wondermaker's Environmental, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finally admitted existence of the toxic mold during demolition work in the Grand Rapids radar room, called a TRACON. Initiated two years ago after poor press stemming from the voluminous report submitted to the FAA by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the demolition was to repair numerous roof and building water leaks and damaged interior ceilings, walls and floors in the safety-critical control tower. For nearly a decade, air traffic controllers have suffered numerous health problems due to working in the contaminated Tower and TRACON.

Last month NATCA received summaries of three-years worth of asbestos air monitor readings from 1997 Asbestos Abatement Reports on the Tower. These reports indicate the FAA tested over thirty sites (six pages of documentation) in the Tower for asbestos. Not all sites could possibly be tested, but abatement or encapsulation was completed on known asbestos during the 1996/1997 Tower refurbish. At that time, the air traffic controllers were moved to a temporary tower to avoid asbestos contamination and disruption of air traffic services to pilots. At this contentious time in air traffic labor/management history, no temporary tower was utilized. The FAA will not acknowledge the extensiveness of asbestos issues, current toxic mold problems and continues to refuse the air traffic controllers request perform air monitoring testing to find the level of contamination of asbestos and toxic mold in the areas under demolition and repair.

The old tests indicate that as far as the former 1990's servicing company knew, after refurbish all areas tested in the Tower were below 0.01 allowable asbestos levels, with the caveat to maintain allowable levels pending no further disturbances of the tested areas. There were several areas that were labeled as "unknown" hazards, i.e. they were not tested and the substance in the materials could be asbestos containing materials.

The FAA's own OSHA "specialist" identified one area as asbestos containing - window sill caulk. That area actually tested negative by local firm Fishbeck, Thompson, and Carr last month. NATCA was not allowed to participate in testing, contrary to law. Two other recently FAA tested sites, one on the roof top and one on the fifth floor, tested positive for asbestos. The FAA OSHA "specialist" is the same person who claimed mold in HVAC ventilator was dust.

The FAA has decided they will not do any air monitoring for asbestos. The manager at Grand Rapids, Jim Munslow, will not let the Union perform air monitoring at the Union's expense, violating two FAA Orders, two FAA agreements, and an imposed work rule, as well as OSHA regulations.

For government liability alone, performing air monitoring will prevent future liability issues. The air monitoring itself is inexpensive, in contrast to the huge liability from killing or injuring employees. It would make financial sense to conduct testing at this time. As contractors tear down the Tower and TRACON walls, ceilings and HVAC duct, which has been previously tested as positive for several types of hazardous mold and allegedly abated for asbestos, air monitoring would ensure the safety of the air traffic controllers. Mold remediation is expected to be performed in light of last nights declaration, but the FAA has not moved forward with mold remediation as of last night.

Employees working in this Tower have been denied the allowance of a safe place to work due to the FAA's refusal to follow their own regulations, laws and processes. Federal OSHA, responsible for federal employees health and safety, cannot step into the process until an air traffic controller becomes sick or dies, per their assessment of the situation yesterday. The possibilities of contamination from multiple sources is everywhere, and there is no accountability for what will happen to the lives of each employee or the aircraft they move safely through their airspace each day.

The FAA was unable to include an address to repeated interior flooding from HVAC base units on site, creating a replay of the interior damage. They agree the base units need to be moved from an exterior wall (where the pipes freeze and burst) to an interior wall, but the claim there is not enough funding in this project to fix interior flooding too. In spite of a known problem, the likelihood of the TRACON being flooded again is very high, which means all the work that is being done now will have to be redone. It has been two years to get the current issues moved from identification stage to repair.

The FAA intends to meet Wednesday with its own specialist and advise employees and contractors why it refused to perform asbestos air monitoring and mold remediation procedures in light of all the documentation indicating the building structure failures, including dozens of previous asbestos sites and toxic mold sites.