Monthly Archives: March 2008

North Korea Gives Rice Aid To Soldiers

I doubt anyone is surprised with this:

남한이 인도주의적 차원에서 북한에 지원한 쌀이 북한군 최전방 부대로 흘러들어간 사실을 우리 군 당국이 확인한 사진들을 본지가 입수했다.

The humanitarian delivery of rice to North Korea has turned out to be transferred to the North Korean military units on the very front line and now has been proven as a fact by pictures taken by the South Korean military.

이 사진들은 2006~2007년 비무장지대(DMZ) 인근 우리 군 부대에서 고성능 카메라로 1㎞ 이상 떨어져 있는 북한군 동향을 감시하면서 찍은 것이다.

This picture was taken in the surrounding area of the DMZ in 2006-2007 with a special camera from 1 kilometer away documenting the actions of the North Korean soldiers.

위 사진은 북한 군인들이 트럭에 쌀을 싣고 있는 장면으로, 쌀 포대에 적십자사 마크가 선명하다. 우리가 인도주의적 차원에서 북한에 지원한 쌀은 차관으로 지원한 것과 달리 적십자사 마크가 찍혀 있다. 아래 사진은 적십자사 마크가 찍힌 쌀 포대를 북한군이 초소로 옮기고 있는 장면이다. Continue reading

Happiness: Is It Predetermined?

Check it out:

Though most of us spend a lifetime pursuing happiness, new research is showing that that goal may be largely out of our control. Two new studies this month add to a growing body of evidence that factors like genes and age may impact our general well-being more than our best day-to-day attempts at joy.

In one study, researchers at the University of Edinburgh suggest that genes account for about 50% of the variation in people’s levels of happiness — the underlying determinant being genetically determined personality traits, like “being sociable, active, stable, hardworking and conscientious,” says co-author Timothy Bates. What’s more, says Bates, these happiness traits generally come as a package, so that if you have one you’re likely to have them all.

CNN

It is fascinating. It also seems to make sense as some people have this surprising way of being never satisfied yet others seem to attain happiness out of the simplest of things.

Profound.

Glaciers Continue To Melt

Global warming to blame? Hmmm..

 ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) — Glaciers are shrinking at record rates and many could disappear within decades, the U.N. Environment Program said Sunday.

Scientists measuring the health of almost 30 glaciers around the world found that ice loss reached record levels in 2006, the U.N. agency said.

UNEP warned that further ice loss could have dramatic consequences particularly in India, whose rivers are fed by Himalayan glaciers.

The west coast of North America, which gets much of its water from glaciers in mountain ranges such as the Rockies and Sierra Nevada, also would be affected, it said.

CNN

The report came out in 2006 which is much before what has been happening this year which was one of the colder years on record, yet it is still important to note what was happening. Continue reading

Cubans Protest For Political Prisoners

Just in case Michael Moore confused you about what Cuba is like:

HAVANA – About two dozen women marched in Havana on Friday to demand the release of their husbands and other political prisoners ahead of the fifth anniversary of a crackdown on dissent.

Of the 75 government critics arrested March 18-19, 2003, and given long prison terms, 55 remain imprisoned. Sixteen were released early on medical parole and another four were freed into forced exile in Spain last month.

Next week’s anniversary “is very painful for us,” said Laura Pollan of the Ladies in White, a support group for wives of political prisoners. Pollan’s husband, Hector Maseda, was arrested and sentenced to 20 years. Continue reading

Islamic Battleplan: Sue The Defamers Of Islam

Check out what Islam has in store:

DAKAR, Senegal – The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots.

Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world’s Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols. It was a key issue during a two-day summit that ended Friday in this western Africa capital.

The Muslim leaders are attempting to demand redress from nations like Denmark, which allowed the publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and again last month, to the fury of the Muslim world. Continue reading

1 In 4 US Teens Has STD

They blame education… I blame a culture of decadence:

CHICAGO – At least one in four teenage American girls has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a first-of-its-kind federal study that startled some adolescent-health experts.

Some doctors said the numbers might be a reflection of both abstinence-only sex education and teens’ own sense of invulnerabilty. Because some sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility and cancer, U.S. health officials called for better screening, vaccination and prevention.

Only about half of the girls in the study acknowledged having sex. Some teens define sex as only intercourse, yet other types of intimate behavior including oral sex can spread some diseases.

Among those who admitted having sex, the rate was even more disturbing — 40 percent had an STD.

Yahoo

I think it is odd they blame abstinence education. I think education has little to do with it. I assume 99% of kids know things like “condoms can prevent STDs and pregnancy” and abstinence education does not prevent any of this. This report found that even high knowledge did not translate of integrating the knowledge into behavior. Continue reading

Iwakuni Rape Case

Really sad news that further sullies the American military abroad:

The men face separate trials at the air station beginning in late April and ending in May, base spokesman Master Gunnery Sgt. John Cordero said.

Gunnery Sgt. Carl M. Anderson, Gunnery Sgt. Jarvis D. Raynor, Sgt. Lanaeus J. Braswell and Lance Cpl. Larry A. Dean are charged with crimes that include rape, conspiracy and kidnapping. They have been confined on base since the allegations surfaced in October.

The Marines were referred to general courts-martial after a preliminary hearing in February that featured testimony by the accuser, a Japanese woman who was a 19-year-old minor during the Oct. 14 incident.

Japanese prosecutors declined to indict the Marines in November after their own investigation. Continue reading

Sarkozy: The Unusual Pro-Christian

I have followed Sarkozy a bit and it is interesting to read a bit of this article that is quite educated concerning the notion that he may be a threat to the traditional super-secularism of the French. As the article mentions, Sarko is on his third marriage and is regarded as a sort of Playboy (even only marrying his most recent wife within the context of his Presidency):

For more than a century, what the French call laicite has been the defining characteristic of French politics and public life. The word, which has no English equivalent, goes beyond the separation of church and state. It is a kind of secularism that tends to see “any strong religious views as a direct threat to freedom and way of life . . .”

Thus, discretion about one’s religious views, especially among leaders, is regarded as “a necessary part of being French.”

Sarkozy disagrees. In a book he wrote before becoming president, Sarkozy declared, “I am of Catholic culture, Catholic tradition, Catholic belief, even if my religious practice is episodic.” Continue reading

Finding God’s Will

I got this from an interesting article by Daniel Darling on Crosswalk. I just discovered the site and hope to look to it for resources more often for the site and to share the lessons with you.

We’ve all heard this story and every time we hear it, we laugh, right? But quite often this is the story of our attempts to discern God’s Will.

I can’t tell you how many college students tell me, “I just want to do God’s Will.”

This is good. I wish more young people would surrender themselves to God’s plan for their lives.

But quite often those well-meaning college students or teenagers or even young married folks act as if God’s will is some sort of vague, hazy thing. A vapor that can’t be grasped. It’s almost as if they want God’s Will, but don’t every think they’ll have a shot at actually finding it. Continue reading

Chinese Government Harassing Christians

Terrible news:

With increased frequency, the Chinese government is persecuting house churches and banishing foreign Christians from the country, Baptist Press reports. The incresed harrassment is presumably to squelch voices who might draw attention to the plight of religious minorities in the nation surrounding the Beijing Olympics. “We seem to be seeing a crackdown ahead of the Olympics. Whether that’s to send a message to the church to lay low or whether it is to make sure that anybody who might cause international embarrassment is taken care of ahead of time, I don’t know,” Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs, told BP. “But we do see an increase in the level of arrests, the level of house church services being raided… We also have seen a number of foreigners who are Christians who… have been denied a new visa and told that they had to leave the country. So it’s happening both amongst the house churches of native Chinese people as well as foreign Christians who are living and working in China.” Only about 20 percent of China’s Christians are part of the official approved church (Three-Self Patriotic Movement or Catholicism) while the other 80 percent go to unregistered or unofficial churches.

crosswalk.com

As a Christian with a Chinese girlfriend, I am wondering what things will be like for me when I go to China. I definitely never want to be arrested for the practice of my religion. Continue reading